Letters from Readers

Reader Feedback: Developer Salary Survey

Our first-ever salary survey indicated that .NET developers on average were still getting salary increases despite a tough economy.

Earning Curve
Our first-ever salary survey indicated that .NET developers on average were still getting salary increases despite a tough economy. Readers weighed in on the survey results:

$92.7K per year is the average salary? Really, because I'm making a lot less than that, and I've been in my current position 15 years. I've got to wonder what's wrong; why I'm so far off the mark.

New Mexico

It's important to note that the survey participants were all subscribers of Visual Studio Magazine or a related newsletter. That probably means that they have a higher-than-average interest in .NET and likely an above-average skill set. We'd expect, then, that the salary numbers would be skewed upward.


My current rate in D.C. Metro is $138/hr. Works out to a raw $260K/yr. I have to buy my own "benefits" and health insurance is a pain, but you can buy a lot of health insurance. The only way to make this kind of rate is to be very productive, have specialized knowledge and be on your own. Remember, whatever your salary, the company assumes you cost them two times as much. Divide by 2,000 and you have a rate to start with. Sure you trade "security" for the rate, but having been laid off numerous times in the late '80s and early '90s, I don't believe in "job security." For those of you already on your own, push your rates higher!!! I found it interesting that people aren't worried about foreign contractors taking jobs and lowering rates. H1-B workers are basically indentured servants and work for $40/hr, if that. That lowers everyone's rate.

Name withheld by request

Look Before You Leap
In January, Microsoft ISV Architect Evangelist Patrick Foley debuted his Startup 101 column. Readers applauded his developer-specific take on the Lean Startup concept:

I love the Lean Startup movement. It was precisely the idea behind our startup. Create a signup page test. If people don't pay you with their e-mail address you won't get far. One tip for developers is to stop focusing on building cool stuff and build tests that focus on social engineering. If you can't socially engineer X number of signups in X amount of time, you'll have a hard time profiting from your endeavor.

Josh Ledgard

About the Author

This story was written or compiled based on feedback from the readers of Visual Studio Magazine.

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