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The Almighty Buck Programming

Stack Overflow Launches Salary Calculator For Developers ( 102

An anonymous reader writes: Stack Overflow today launched Salary Calculator, a tool that lets developers check out typical salaries across the industry. The calculated results are based on five factors: location, education, years of professional coding experience, developer type, and technologies used professionally. Stack Overflow is releasing the tool because it believes developers should be empowered with more information around job searches, careers, and salary. The company noticed ads on Stack Overflow Jobs that include salary information get 75 percent more clicks than ads without salary information. Even in cases when the salary range is below average, the ads still get 60 percent more clicks.
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Stack Overflow Launches Salary Calculator For Developers

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Thanks Rust!!!

    • Has anyone here actually used Rust for a big project? How did it go? I was considering it, so I looked at large open source Rust projects like Servo and the Rust compiler. The source code for both was really difficult to follow. I've contributed to a lot of C, C++, Java and Perl open source projects, so I'm no stranger to digging into unfamiliar code trees, even when they use a language I don't know too well (like Perl). Something seemed really wrong to me when Perl code was easier to follow than Rust code,

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I ported a major web client application to Rust, but it made my (non-profit) employer turn into a Social Justice Mob that lost focus and delivered an awful application.

    • I'm mostly doing desktop development these days, but I added Full Stack Developer as a role just to see what would happen. My estimated salary went down by about $1000. Not sure what to make of that. Are recruiters finally seeing through the buzzwords they help propagate?

  • by computational super ( 740265 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @01:25PM (#55226075)
    Not as useful as I was hoping, since you can only select from about 7 (high-salary) specific regions. Still, looks like I'm underpaid (yet again...)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's the middle of the day, and you're posting on a Slashdot article as soon as it went up. No wonder you're "underpaid". Get back to work!!

    • by mattis_f ( 517228 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @01:36PM (#55226151)


      It also seems heavily tilted towards web development. There are no options that fit "firmware", "embedded", "device software", "OS", or anything else that fits my skill-set.

      • Yeah, I was also very disappointed at the lack of embedded device software and drivers.
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        The numbers given seem insanely low in some areas too. £75k in London is total crap, you will be living in a shoe box or commuting your life away on that kind of money. Maybe it's a formatting error and they dropped the leading 1.

    • by rnturn ( 11092 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @01:54PM (#55226257)

      Not just high salary US locations... the locations with the highest cost of living in the country. Those high salaries aren't even enough for many, if not most, employees in those locations to even live near their jobs; insane commutes are the norm. (The money isn't everything.)

      Gotta love the optional technologies field that has a list of several dozen options that you can view only one at a time. (Must have been a Windows developer; they sure love foisting a crappy interface like that on users.)

      Almost worthless tool, IMHO.

    • Yeah, the regional salary behavior in America is annoying. It does odd things, too.

      In developing a universal Social Security, I used a model of a single tax on all income (business, personal). Our current Social Security system has a cap (now at $127,500) and takes 12.4%.

      So you go to the western third of the country, to New York, to other regions, and you find a lot of areas where a $140k salary is basic, lower-middle-class income. So now a chunk of the middle-class has a high income, above the SSWB,

      • I'm very curious where you live that that's the case. I'm in Seattle, living within the city limits, and that's more than half again what I make in a year. I certainly wouldn't mind getting more income, but I'm not hurting. Informal polls of my acquaintances suggest that $60K-$80K is pretty average for skilled, non-developer corporate work.

        What standard of living do you consider to be "lower-middle-class income"? And in what urban area?


        • You may be confusing "salary" with "income requirements." Since it's almost ubiquitous for couples to have both partners working, what you're really saying is 120K-160K is middle class income, yes? Single folks are pretty much living a much more hand to mouth existence. Otherwise why would settle have 250 square foot apartments? And of course, in rural areas $10/hour is a pretty good wage.
        • by Rob Riggs ( 6418 )
          The poster you are replying to seems to be lacking some perspective. $140K it not "lower-middle-class" in any part of the US. It may be "less than average" in a few select ZIP codes, but in any major city, including SF & NYC, it still counts as firmly middle-class or above. He may feel average compared to his peers, but that's what happens when one has above-average peers.
          • "Middle-class" is essentially the median--there's not a semantic difference between "middle-class" and "average".

            Seattle's median is actually $80,000. For software development jobs, it's over $97k. In parts of the Bay Area, $105k is "low income".

            The Social Security Wage Base is worked off a median income of around $50k. In 2015, incomes above $103,057 held a total 51.1% of the income share; Social Security took 12.4% of the income below $118,500. In 1970, that upper quintile held only 43.3% of the

    • Useless tool (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ranton ( 36917 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @02:15PM (#55226353)

      It's not just less useful than I was hoping, it is essentially a useless tool. The number of roles are limited, the number of locations are limited, it only uses years of experience as a proxy for job responsibility, and it thinks a list of technologies is a good way to determine pay. I'm not even sure why they would spend time to create this tool.

      Too many sites care too much about languages and frameworks when calculating salary. There are a few niches which command very high salaries relative to responsibility / years of experience, but they are rare. And they are usually very specific. Level of responsibility is a much better criteria than technologies known, and it isn't even included in this calculator. does a much better job because they look at what is important. First off the job titles are given ranks such as Software Engineer I through Software Engineer V. This is much better because each of those match up with increasing levels of responsibility, which is what mostly drives salary. Then it adds in criteria such as number of direct reports, size of company, who you report to, etc.

      Honestly if your tool cannot beat the usefulness of a general tool such as's salary report then it doesn't need to exist.

    • by sconeu ( 64226 )

      Los Angeles isn't a city listed.
      I'm a developer of security applications, which aren't listed (closest I could come was either backend or desktop developer). Prior to that I worked for a defense contractor (also not listed).

      Agreed that it's targeted the "trendy" stuff.

      • by Blitter ( 15795 )

        Yes, surprised how few cities were listed. Washington DC isn't Silicon Valley but there's a lot of software developers here working on a lot of different things.

    • ...Still, looks like I'm underpaid (yet again...)

      If CEOs created a salary calculator, it would likely find 98% of them as underpaid as well. This is why I tend to find salary calculators as worthless, and why I give far more weight to to other metrics like job satisfaction and work/life balance.

      Experience usually shows that life isn't all about the money. If someone offered you seven figures to shovel shit into a bucket for 12 hours a day, you would technically be a millionaire, but chances are you'd be fucking miserable.

      • Yeah messing around with Glassdoor and what I told it my current salary was, I was consistently between 3 and 5k under what I was worth... I imagine this is to keep me checking in on job postings that'd pay me "what I deserve". I suppose I didn't keep going to see if it would eventually tell me I was overpaid... perhaps I will try that next.
  • I only entered myself as "US" since I don't live in one of the few mega-cities listed.

    It has a kind of limited set of choices for skill, but I entered "mobile developer" along with a variety of languages I know (P.S. Lisp not even included? Come on!)

    The results looked impressive for salary ranges. However then you scroll down to the list of job offers below... and almost all of them are at the low end of the scale, or even below the low end.

    So it sure seems like the results are out of wack with the realit

    • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

      Lisp isn't included because there's 2 jobs in the world that actually use it- both of which are professors writing lisp compilers. I agree their choices are limited (not including android and iOS options for mobile dev? The two are on different salary scales, as Android developers are harder to find in some areas). But lisp should be the bottom of the priority list.

      I actually thought the results were low for New York. It may not do well at the high end of the experience scale or something. Or it may b

      • Lisp isn't included because there's 2 jobs in the world that actually use it

        Indeed. Over my 30 year career, I have seen only one major project written in Lisp: Yahoo Stores. They hired a few Lisp programmers to help rewrite it in C++.

    • same...25 percentile was $122k...maybe in NYC.
      • by AuMatar ( 183847 )

        125 in NYC? Good for entry level. Experienced devs go higher, up into the 200s for experienced devs. Possibly more if you're a quant.

    • Yes but people are frequently ludicrous and entitled.

      Generally WordPress consultants and people working with WordPress charge way less than people with equivalent jobs with other focus areas. This has historical reasons and is quite frankly a huge problem. It also brings the market value down and makes it unfair. When you look at WordPress projects vs. non-WordPress projects side by side you'll notice that WordPress projects generally get quoted in the low to mid $10,000 while other similar projects on other platforms get quoted $30,000 and above. This is not because WordPress is cheaper but because the community as a whole bids itself down. Rather than asking what do people charge, ask yourself what your time is worth. Do a competitive analysis based on your skills and expertise and charge for your time. This also requires that you charge for the actual time you spend working, not the time you think you should have spent. Bill by the hour and bill what you're worth. Not the easiest answer, but that's the hard truth.

      Source [].

      This guy is saying that non-Wordpress projects get $CASHBANK and that Wordpress projects get $SHITMONEY and that it's a huge problem and you should just charge a lot because you're entitled to it.

      Mind you, I'm pushing strong for universal Social Security, which in the 2016 model would have paid every American adult $8,751/year or $729.25/month in semi-monthly payments. That's a poverty-reduction system. The economy doesn't give everyone a fa

  • by dmomo ( 256005 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @01:47PM (#55226213)

    It looks like having had contact with PHP comes at more of a cost than I thought.

    • It looks like having had contact with PHP comes at more of a cost than I thought.

      Makes sense to me. I think I've mostly succeeded at scrubbing the PHP stains from my brain, but it's tough to be sure you've got them all.

  • You aren't giving an accurate view of the average salary in Kansas if you aren't including California jobs that allow remote workers. Sorry Kansas, you need to pay the going rate.
    • You aren't giving an accurate view of the average salary in Kansas if you aren't including California jobs that allow remote workers.

      Remote jobs go to Mumbai not Topeka.

      • Those jobs aren't even posted here. Two of my last three positions have been remote. You just have to be ridiculously overqualified and meet the requirements that were intended to justify an H1-B. If they actually stumble onto what they intending as an impossible unicorn or close enough to it they'll generally hire you.
      • "Mumbai" looks a lot like rural Michigan to me. I didn't even need a passport to get in here.

        • In fairness to ShanghaiBill it is a sort of stepping stone on that path of phasing foreign workers in.

          Generally the high level of the process goes something like this. 1. Find holes that can be created and identify obstacles. 2. Create holes (RIF/Fire/Expand), 3. Work understaffed to overload remaining staff and gather strategic revenue. 4. Plant agents in the manner most likely to reduce obstacles while minimizing local loyalties and ideally do so at or below the strategic revenue gained in step 3, 5. Repe
  • by FeelGood314 ( 2516288 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @01:58PM (#55226277)
    I'm an embedded programmer with 20 years experience and self employed. I bill $175/hr and I'm drowning in work. The closest the tool has is designer with C and assembly which pays $120K/year. Maybe the sample size is they had is too small. I do wish everyone would share their salaries more so we don't all get screwed.
  • The calculator seems very web-dev centric so there isn't an option for System Software Engineer. Other options like Game/Graphics Developer and Mobile Developer don't really do the trick either.

    I wouldn't normally complain except the "75th percentile" option is less than half what I currently make. If someone tries to write me a job offer based on this calculator they are going to be sorely disappointed with my response. I've run into this before, with hiring managers coming to me to argue how "generous" th

    • You are correct too web oriented. Erlang is not an option, pitty because I do distributed apps with Erlang OTP. The closest could be Clojure but the result is the salary of a newly hired zero competence dude Was fun to try :-)
      • Erlang is a little obscure. It's a great system and I think we'd be better off if it more developed on it, but it's not on the top 20 of GitHut [] or TIOBE [] lists. Popularity isn't an indicator of superiority of course, else I'd have to argue how Delphi/Object Pascal beats Erlang. I think popularity does indicate the availability of salary data. And there should be more samples of people working as Delphi programmers than of Erlang programmers. (Gut feeling is I suspect the Erlang programmers get paid way more)

  • by h4ck7h3p14n37 ( 926070 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2017 @02:02PM (#55226299) Homepage

    I just got back $117,000 (25th percentile) to $169,000 (75th) for a United States based DevOps/SysAdmin role with a BA/BS and 20+ years experience. Additional keywords were: C, Java, Perl, Python and AWS.

    The low and high salaries shown seem a bit high for the Chicago market, but not by that much. The key is to avoid the companies that think they can low-ball offers for talented people and important roles. I'm sure there's lots of places throwing out offers from $70,000 to $90,000 and think they don't need to pay any more than that.

    I would recommend people consider some contract work in order to get a good idea what salary your local market supports. The agency recruiters should be able to negotiate way better than you can initially. Once you have a contract in hand, then you have a much better idea what a company is willing to pay. Remember to add in the recruiter's percentage when determining your real billing rate. You do need to remember to factor in the costs of things like benefits and taxes paid by your employer when negotiating, but I would start by asking for the hourly rate I had times 2,000 hours of work in a year and go from there.

  • The salary ranges in their calculator look low to me.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I can't pick Linux? Seriously? Embedded C on Linux is a thing, and I can't pick it.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Many jobs outside of the embedded arena dont really consider linux a skill, i did the same thing when entering info in to this and wondering why linux wasnt listed. Having just done an interview and gotten a job at a new company doing CDN software dev, they mentioned they were surprised to see 'linux' listed on my resume since they had never seen that as a skill listed before. Coming from the embedded C area, where everyone lists that as a skill, it seemed odd to me that they had never seen that. I think

  • I wonder how much information they actually have. Are they only based on job offers made on their website? Because I guess smaller businesses or those in rural areas do not advertise in the same way as bug businesses in urban areas. According to that tool, I'd be under the 25th percentile in salary although I am over the 90th percentile in income in my region according to recent data.
  • WTF is this, 2006?
  • location, doing the needful, education, years of professional coding experience, developer type, technologies used professionally, and doing the needful


  • a median

  • Salaries for developers in the embedded industry, especially telecom, android, automotive, IoT should be added, as well as categories for Other for developers and Other EU and Other countries.

    This would make the calculator the world's most comprehensive calculator.

  • Why is it possible to enter a negative number for the years of experience?
  • Nope. None of the people I know (and I know a lot) are anywhere near the bottom end of the lowest amount...

    Can't comment on the rest, but it strikes me that they took the US wage, and translated the figures into UK pounds, and gave us that. That's not how it works.

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