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Some interesting salary data shows that there's still a strong need for software and Web developers stateside.

Jobs: Software engineer rated No. 2 on's recent listing of the top 200 jobs for 2010, ranked on factors such as physical demands, work environment, income, etc.

Web developer was No. 15, and computer programmer was No. 34. (On a sad personal note, the jobs I have held rank no. 65 (publication editor); 79 (public relations executive, though I was a mere "PR specialist" -- didn't even make the list); 184 (newspaper reporter); and 199 (lumberjack -- only a "roustabout" was ranked lower).) listed these salaries for the above positions:

  • Software engineer: $85,139
  • Web developer: $60,090
  • Computer programmer: $70,178

That got me wondering about the IT job market, especially related to developers. It wasn't that long ago that everybody was bemoaning the impending death of the profession-at least in the U.S.-because the jobs were going to offshore outsourcers who could pay coders much less than what they were making here.

So I poked around the Web to answer some questions. Just what is the consensus on developer salaries (especially database-related, of course)? What are the hot technologies? Where is the action? What issues are database coders dealing with on the front lines?

Salaries: The Redmond 2009 Salary Survey, in a survey of Microsoft IT compensation, reported salaries of:

  • Programming project lead (Non-Supervisory): $100,635
  • Database administrator/developer: $80,894
  • Programmer/analyst: $78,818
  • Average base salary of respondents: $83,113

The 2009 IOUG Salary Survey (International Oracle User Group) reported an average base salary of about $96,000 per year for "Oracle technology professionals." reports current average salaries of:

  • Software engineer: $90,031
  • Database administrator: $89,742
  • Database developer: $84,176

CareerBuilder's salary site reports current average salaries of:

  • Software engineer: $90,530
  • Computer programmer: $72,661
  • Database developer: $95,951

(On a sad personal note, it says "features editors," of which I am one now, earn an average of $49,686.)

Clouds in the news: It appears I'm not the only one infatuated with the cloud lately (see blogs below). A quick scan of some major IT publications' home pages last week revealed the term "cloud" was quite popular:

Insights & Trends: Google Insights reveals how many searches have been done for some common database technologies, relative to the total number of U.S. searches in the "Computers & Electronics" category worldwide in 2009:

  • SQL Server: 90
  • MySQL: 78
  • DB2: 18
  • Oracle 10g+Oracle 11g: 10

Oracle/Sun acquisition thing.

Issues: So what are database developers struggling with? Here are the top forum topics in terms of views on various categories in 2009:

Microsoft SQL Server




Let's get some more info from the front lines. What are you struggling with? What do you like about your job, or dislike? What are the pros and cons of the different technologies and products? Where is the industry heading? Is the cloud where it's at, or just a passing fad? How much do you think features editors should make? Comment below or send me an e-mail.

P.S.: Don't ever call a logger a "lumberjack," at least in Montana. Nobody uses that term.

Posted by David Ramel on 01/15/2010

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