Channels ▼

2014 Developer Salary Survey

, May 13, 2014 Our survey of more than 2,200 U.S. developers shows salaries in a well-paid field are nudging up as the economy picks up steam.
  • E-mail
  • Print

For the last five years, Dr. Dobb's and InformationWeek have run one of the largest independent salary surveys of U.S. developers and their managers. As shown in the following slides, the conclusion we can draw from this year's survey is that salary increases have (by and large) matched or beaten inflation during the last year. The variations in compensation follow established patterns: Developers who are male, middle-aged, and working at large firms on the coasts tend to fare best. Developers in the South or Midwest, newbies, and women in any location tend to do less well, although software development is still a well-paying field for everyone.

The devil is in the details, so let's have a look…

Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.



"this survey does not get a good cross-section of employees in the industry"

You know this how, exactly?


Another reason you might be getting lower than the "average" is because this survey does not get a good cross-section of employees in the industry - it would likely be top heavy.
As a manager, I notice that my highest paid people are much more involved in industry research and would fill out the survey and the lower paid ones likely don't know it exists.
I rely on the deltas more than the levels.


That is probably why I make so much. I am a consultant in Texas for oil and gas clients. I have NEVER had a problem getting whatever job I applied for, qualified or not. Sell yourself, work hard, learn on the fly...

Not the typical woman though. No kids and no interest in them. I can take risks so I do. Most managers would rather hire from outside than promote from within... everyone knows companies do not pay for loyalty but another company will pay for new ideas.

Bounce around and get paid.


If it's any help, "non-profit institutions" was not a sector specifically represented by our respondents (though we did have 3% participating who worked in colleges or universities), who reported their "industry description" thusly:
Banking 7%
Biotech/biomedical/pharmaceutical 2%
Consulting and business services 9%
Education (college, university) 3%
Electronics 2%
Financial services 3%
Government (federal) 4%
Government (state) 3%
Healthcare/HMOs 8%
Insurance 7%
IT vendors 10%
Logistics/transportation 3%
Manufacturing/industrial (noncomputer) 5%
Media/entertainment 3%
Retail/e-commerce 3%
Securities and investments 5%
Telecommunications/ISPs 3%
Other 20%


Our figures provide actual data that female base salary is statistically lower than male base salary year over year in the development field stretching over the past five years. As to the "definitely proven" assertion that women "simply don't go for it" and the assumption that this explains the pay gap, I eagerly await your data. Please provide. Thanks!


I always read articles about IT and Developer salaries with interest. I'm sure that you've done your research for the Annual Developer Salary Survey 2014, but even so I wonder about the results. I live and work in the southwestern US. I'm a senior programmer analyst, with what is now called DevOps experience. But the salaries that you've quoted are incredibly out of line with my personal experience. I wish I were making $100K a year, as your survey suggests I am. It's close to the lower to mid $70s. Now, I do work for a non-profit educational institution, and perhaps that's the reason for the very significant disparity between my personal experience and your survey. I honestly would love to know.


Your assertion about pay and the gender gap is not supported by the evidence you present, Your figures don't belie the assertion but to prove it you would have to show more data so comparison of like with like is possible.

You would have to show relative ages, experience in the job, types of jobs and companies worked at (in Europe for example women are more highly represented in the public sector and non profits which pay less for the same jobs). Job titles, hours worked, sizes of teams worked in or managed and no doubt other factors can all affect salary.

If salaries are handed out on merit only then that would then ability to negotiate doesn't count, but if personal fighting for wage rises and promotions is a factor then women do lose out. They are less aggressive but are also lower in confidence and more perfectionist - it is well proven now that women for example will not apply for a job unless they are 100% sure they are right - men will just go for what they want.

Women get less promotions because they simply don't go for it - even other women managers recognise this failing and most don't know what to do about it. It is wrong to dismiss so casually the idea that women don't fight hard enough for what they want and also to assume discrimination.

You may be right, but it is not proven in your figures, and it is definitely proven that women are more reticent about seeking wage rises and promotions. They are also less prone to take risks than men.