Editor's Note

Salary Survey: Reasons for Optimism

Even with a terrible economy, Microsoft-focused developers are doing well, according to our salary survey.

The economy has never been worse in my lifetime. I've been through my share of recessions and times of high unemployment, and remember well the dot-com burst around the turn of the century. Given that gloom, it's refreshing to see that developers aren't suffering, in general, the way the rest of the world is.

The results of our inaugural Microsoft-focused developer salary survey show that clearly: With an average salary of almost $93,000, and the fact that a majority expect bonuses or salary increases in the coming year, you have a picture of a healthy industry, one that's more immune than most to the ravages of the current times.

Here are a few things from our survey that stood out to me:

  • C# continues to be the language of choice, with more than 70 percent of respondents using it. But Visual Basic is hardly dead, or even ill; about half of developers still rely on it. And C/C++ continues to have a fan base, with about one-fifth of survey-takers using it. I suspect that last number will hold steady or rise, with Windows 8 having advantages for faster, non-managed code.
  • Women earn significantly less, by more than $11,000, than men in this field. I am in no way politically correct, but I was surprised at the degree of disparity. It at least warrants more examination.
  • On the whole, developers feel very positive about their futures. Specifically, more than 88 percent don't expect to lose jobs to outsourcing next year, and nearly 90 percent believe they'll still be developing with Visual Studio/the .NET Framework in five years.

It's nice to see some encouraging numbers in this era of uncertainty.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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