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UK developers among the best compensated in the world

UK developers are among the best paid and highly skilled coders in the world, new research from Stack Overflow Careers has found.

The research revealed that London’s booming tech scene, which is responsible for nearly a third of all new jobs in the city, has almost eradicated unemployment for qualified developers.

UK developers are paid an average of $68,680 (£45,000), higher than anywhere else in Europe, with the exception of Denmark, but still significantly below the $89,631 paid to their US equivalents.

Only 1.5% of those that participated in the survey classed themselves as unemployed – far below the wider UK level of 5.5%.

Although only 4% of developers in the UK are women, the Stack Overflow Careers report highlighted encouraging signs that more women are choosing a career as a developer.

The report showed that 19% of female developers in the UK have less than one year’s experience, compared with just 3.4% for men.

This provides a strong indication that a higher number of women have chosen coding as a career in recent years than had previously been the case.

In the UK, female developers are less concerned about salary than their male equivalent but place slightly greater value on work/life balance and job title.

Additionally, female developers in the UK are less likely to be self-taught and more likely to have participated in an online course or intensive coding boot-camp.

Joel Spolsky, CEO & co-founder of Stack Exchange, the parent company to Stack Overflow Careers, said: “The UK remains a hotbed for developers and the boom in London is sucking up all the available coding talent. The market for developers is incredibly tight, which in turn drives up wage inflation and poses a huge challenge for the tech community as it strives to build on its global potential.”

The report also showed that 38% of UK developers have changed jobs in the last 12 months and 52.9% would consider leaving their current role if something more interesting came along – illustrating the difficulty for employers to attract and retain technical talent.

Nearly half of UK developers (44%) value the opportunity to work remotely and want to be contacted less by recruiters – the highest percentage in the world.

Email and Stack Overflow Careers messages are the top preferred means of communication for UK developers, according to the report.

The report also showed that employers need to include their developer teams in the hiring process so that the right skills can be brought to light and ultimately so the right candidate is hired for the job.

  • Globally 47% of developers say companies can improve the interview process by introducing them to the team (50.7% in the UK)
  • Globally 37% of developers say they want to be shown the exact space where they’ll work (42.8% in the UK)
  • Globally 35% (34.3% in the UK) want better preparation. They want to know who they’ll be speaking to and what’s on the agenda. And 33% want to see more live code (39.3% in the UK)

Globally, 26,086 developers from 157 countries participated in the Stack Overflow Careers survey, providing a unique snapshot of the industry worldwide.