Experience matters and the pay gap is real: 5000 developers talk about their salaries

Get money, get paid.
Get money, get paid.
Image: Reuters/Pawel Kopczynski
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Let’s dive into the most interesting results from the O’Reilly 2016 Salary Survey of 5,000 developers (which excluded managers and students).

The gender pay gap is real

gender pay gap
Image: Provided by author

Not only are women grossly under-represented among developers, but they are grossly under-paid—they earned on average $13,000 less than their male counterparts.

Even when you control for location, title, and years of experience, women still get $5,000 less per year than men.

Employers actually do value age and experience

age and experience
Image: Provided by author

One of the most common misconceptions about programming is that it’s a “young person’s game.”

But the astronomic salaries of recent college graduates at companies like Facebook are not representative of the field as a whole.

There’s a predictable correlation: the more experience you have—and generally, the older you are—the more you get paid. $1,194 more each year, to be exact.

Developers who shun meetings pay a price

meetings vs coding
Image: Provided by author

Like it or not, developers who spend more time in meetings—and less time coding—tend to make more money.

The bigger the company, the bigger your salary

company size
Image: Provided by author

Part of this may be explained by smaller companies (startups?) granting equity in lieu of large salaries.

Interestingly, when you control for experience and location, freelancers make about $12,000 more per year than their full-time employee equivalents (though it’s not clear how much of this goes toward paying their own insurance.)

Most software jobs are actually outside of the tech industry

industries image
Image: Provided by author

Pretty much every large organization employs developers. Only about 1/3 of developers work in what we traditionally think of as the “tech” industry.

But some industries pay better than others

salary median
Image: Provided by author

The median annual developer salary was $90,000, but the same job in finance pays $11,000 more per year. Education pays the worst—$11,000 less than median.

The more you work, the more you get paid

work week images
Image: Provided by author

Working smart is no substitute for working hard, at least as far as compensation is concerned.

About half of developers reported working 40 hours or more a week. And since the developers who spend the most time at their desk generally take home the most money, it’s hard to blame them.

This post originally appeared at FreeCodeCamp, hosted by Medium.

We’re running a global survey of people relatively new to coding. It explores socioeconomic background, family background, age, military status, and much more. The full dataset will be released under the Open Data Common License in late Apr. 2016, and you can already view some of the aggregate live results here. 11,000 people have taken this survey in the past few days, and you should, too—it’s completely anonymous and only takes five minutes.