Automation Isn’t Slowing DevOps Pay: Report

Developers at larger organizations pull down bigger salaries. Seems pretty straightforward, right? But you might be surprised at the size of the gap.

According to a new survey of software and DevOps engineers by Puppet, some 49 percent of tech pros at organizations with more than 100,000 employees earn more than $100,000 per year. Contrast that with organizations that only have 1-19 employees, where 21 percent of pros pull down that salary. At companies with 20-99 employees, the numbers weren’t much better: just 33 percent of tech pros made more than $100,000 per year.

Those findings seem logical: larger organizations not only have the cash to pay high salaries to top performers, but also have a need for far more senior people than a small or midsize tech firm.

What’s more interesting—and may come as a relief to some tech pros—are Puppet’s findings around automation. In a nutshell: a majority of tech pros whose jobs consisted of less than 25 percent configuration management earned more than $100,000 per year. “That should put to rest the unspoken by often-present fear that automation will lead to worse job prospects for IT people,” mentioned Puppet’s report.

“If you’re doing less manual work, and more of your work has been automated, you’re able to spend more time on innovation and work that’s seen as strategic,” the report added.

Indeed, new data suggests that most people don’t fear the rise of the machines. A recent Gallup poll found that only 13 percent of U.S. workers are concerned that technology will eliminate their job, despite a Forrester estimate that robots will replace 6 percent of human positions by 2021. “It is possible that the effects of automation, which are increasingly permeating many aspects of American life, are not apparent to many workers,” noted Gallup’s report. “These would include self-driving cars, which are not available commercially in any widespread way, and customer service, which is often handled by telephone or on the internet.”

Within the technology industry, some employees have long feared that machine learning and artificial intelligence (A.I.) will absorb even tasks that demand abstract thought, such as some kinds of coding. On the flip side of that coin, people such as IBM CEO Virginia Rometty have long maintained that automation will end up augmenting the abilities of current employees while creating new jobs.

Whichever side ends up correct, it seems that automation hasn’t impacted the salaries of software engineers just yet. But what will the future bring?

Comments

One Response to “Automation Isn’t Slowing DevOps Pay: Report”

September 21, 2017 at 12:38 pm, yurakm said:

How many programmers lost jobs when manual coding was replaced by Assembly languages? Or when Assembly languages were replaced by FORTRAN, COBOL, and later C, C++, Java, etc?

How many jobs were lost to continuous integration systems like Jenkins and Team City? Or to version control systems, like SVN or Git? Or to bug trackers / change control systems?

My best guess that near zero, that was more than offset by new and more interesting jobs that appeared due to increased programmers’ productivity and more reliable and better maintainable codes.

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