Management Knows Developers Are Worth More Money: Survey

Should companies pay developers more? A new study suggests keeping talent around (and happy) is far more critical than some managers may think.

In a Stripe study titled ‘The Developer Coefficient,’ C-suite execs said “access to talent” was the largest constraint to company growth, ranking higher than regulation. Specific to tech pros, 53 percent of managers said “access to software engineers” was the largest hurdle to overcome.

The same execs said a security or data breach was most concerning to them, ranking slightly ahead of “disruption from tech industry” and “access to developer talent.” Around 71 percent said developers facilitate bringing products to market faster, with 70 percent saying tech pros increase sales. And 69 percent report that developers help differentiate services from the competition, while 65 percent rely on them for internal reporting and visibility of issues.

Some 56 percent of executives say their companies have increased the amount of developers on payroll; 43 percent report that the next five years will see an increase in spending for “software infrastructure and tech.”

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Distilled to a core argument, we can glean that executives know developers are critical to the bottom line, and contribute mightily to the overall health of a business. But that sentiment isn’t translating to those doing the work, at least in terms of compensation. As the Dice Salary Survey points out, 42 percent of tech pros anticipate changing jobs this year, with 63 percent saying they’ll do so for better pay; 45 percent report they want “better working conditions,” while 30 percent are ready for more responsibility.

Of the tech pros reporting a wage increase via the Dice Salary Survey, 36 percent say it was merely a merit increase; 23 percent made more money by switching jobs, and only 10 percent received a raise via promotion.

All these data points show it’s time for companies to spend more for talent. Similarly, a flashier perks package might help developers stick around, and encourage others to sign up for a job at a company. Paying more for talent is a hard pill to swallow for many managers, but executive sentiment shows it’s one most in the C-Suite know is necessary if they want to succeed.

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