Study: Developers Wield Power, Expect to Get Rich

Remember the old days, when developers were under siege by replacement workers with H1-B visas, outsourcing to offshore coding factories and the threat of their art becoming a commodity service?

My, how times have changed.

A new study reveals today's developers have a coveted job and wield power and influence -- and more than half expect to become millionaires.

Chef, an automation platform vendor, last month commissioned a survey of 1,000 U.S. software developers to gauge their attitudes about their roles in business, society and politics. The results were released this week.

"Developers are emerging as a new power class that is on the cusp of being recognized as a highly influential group in business and society," states Chef's executive summary. "Traditionally considered a disenfranchised group that was underappreciated and not well understood in business, this class is now recognized as the source of ideas and innovation. They're empowered by employers, connected to government, well aware of their value in society and extremely optimistic about their future."

So optimistic, in fact, that 66 percent expect to get raises in the next year and 56 percent expect to eventually become millionaires. They see growth opportunities across several different industries and 69 percent see their jobs as "recession-proof."

Also, developers seem to be losing the stigma of being viewed as nerdy, introverted geeks, and instead are knowledgeable and involved. "Longstanding stereotypes misrepresent developers' breadth of interests and collaborative nature, inaccurately portraying them as withdrawn from business and society," Chef's report stated. Some 71 percent of respondents were involved in political and civic activities in the past year. And while they work long hours, the average respondent finds time to do volunteer work for 50 hours a year.

Other findings include:

  • The average developer expects to stay at his or her job for nine years.
  • 82 percent are more satisfied with their jobs than their non-developer peers.
  • 84 percent believe they are paid what they're worth.
  • 95 percent feel they are one of the most valued employees at their organization.
  • 93 percent think they are empowered to suggest changes to products, processes or services.
  • 97 percent said they have a positive relationship with IT operations workers.
  • 94 percent expect to wield revolutionary influence in important parts of the economy in the next five years.
  • 80 percent said that outsourcing has been a positive factor in the quality of work at their organization.
  • "The research findings identify unique attributes of today's developers -- from how they're plotting their careers to how they're getting involved in their communities and influencing governments," Chef said. "It demonstrates that this class is evolving as powerful, connected influencers who are mobilizing across business and society, shaping more than code and gaining prominence in the process."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.