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Salary is the biggest motivator for software developers

A survey finds that benefits such as free food and drink or a modern office space are not the main motivator for most developers, with the majority prioritising a higher salary

UK and Irish (UKI) developers are primarily driven by their top line salary, according to a survey from Stack Overflow.

Top DevOps specialists who participated in the survey were the second-highest earners (£55,000), earning an average of £8,000 more per year than back-end developers, who had the third highest pay in the developer category at (£47,000).

Engineering managers earned the most, with an average salary of £67,000 – some £12,000 more than DevOps specialists.

However, Stack Overflow found that DevOps specialists and data scientists command a higher salary for their level of of experience, compared to other developer categories.

The survey, based on data from the Stack Overflow global developer survey had 6,700 respondents from  the UK and Ireland.

According to Stack Overflow, developers in England have a median salary of £45,000, compared with £42,000 in Scotland, £41,500 in Wales, and just £37,750 in Northern Ireland.

Commanding an average salary in excess of £80,000 per annum, Groovy is the highest paid language in UKI despite developers’ levels of experience. Scala and Go developers were the second and third most expensive, with average salaries falling in the £75,000 to £80,000 bracket. Stack Overflow found that the lowest paying languages are Matlab and  VBA.

When asked about the language they hated the most, 90% chose Visual Basic 6. Conversely, Python and Go are among the most sought-after programming languages.

As for the most loved language, 78% of developers said they loved coding in Kotlin, while 76% said Rust. Python (64%), TypeScript (64%) and Go (63%) were also extremely popular among the developers surveyed.

In terms of compensation and benefits, 78% of UKI developers said their highest priority is salary and/or bonuses. The lowest priority for most developers is child care benefit – 27% of developers said it is their lowest priority – followed by parental leave (16%).

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