State of the Union: programming professionally in 201615 Apr 2016 | Reading time: 1 min
Stack Overflow released their latest annual developer survey last month. (For any non-programmers reading: Stack Overflow is a website where you can ask questions about programming. For many programming problems, the answer will already be up there. It’s an amazing resource that almost everyone in the industry uses.) A few key points stood out for me.
Education: 43% of programmers have a BA or BS in Computer Science or a related field. This is a much smaller number than I would have guessed. It’s amazing to think that most programmers don’t have a CS degree. The survey methodology has changed from last year, when respondents could only pick one option for their education, Maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised. During a recent retrospective at Pivotal, I noted that of the handful of people in the room, most either had a degree in a non-CS subject or didn’t have a degree at all.
Bootcamp graduates: 6.5% of developers with over five years’ experience have taken a full-time intensive programming course – that’s over 1 in 20, more than I expected. It suggests that bootcamp alumni are finding their feet as professional developers, and shouldn’t have problems getting jobs as long as their skills stay relevant. Bootcamp graduates’ salaries are 20% above average – a similar uplift to having a CS PhD.
Salary by gender: there’s no gender pay gap for young developers in the US – but there’s a significant pay gap for those above 30. The effect is smaller, but still significant, when comparing by years of experience instead of age.
Gender balance by age: women make up much more of the youngest and oldest age groups than those in the middle. The peak in the over-60 age group certainly corresponds to the 1980s peak – and subsequent collapse – in the number of women taking CS degrees, and when those women would have entered the workforce. Perhaps we’re seeing an uptick in the number of women entering the industry.