User Anton Trukhanov
Anton Trukhanov
Level 29

Know Your Worth. Ways to Estimate Software Developer’s Market Value

Published in the Random group
Knowing your market value as a software developer is important for a number of reasons. First of all, if you learn programming to make it your profession and make a living out of it, then your market value is one of the most straightforward indicators of the level of your skills. Secondly, estimating your market value is also quite important from the career development point of view, as you won’t be able to plan your career properly without knowing how much you are worth now. Finally, it is just a very practical knowledge to have as it increases your chances of actually selling your skills on the market at a higher rate and making more money. Today we are talking about estimating your market value as a software developer. Know Your Worth. Ways to Estimate Software Developer’s Market Value - 1

6 ways to estimate your market value

What is a software developer’s market value exactly? It is simply the amount of money the market is ready to pay for your skills at a given moment. You can use a number of ways to estimate this amount.

1. Real job offers.

The best and most accurate way to estimate your market value as a software developer is to get first-hand information from the market itself. In order to do that, you would need to apply for real jobs that fit your skills, go through job interviews and receive a job offer. Receiving around 3-4-5 job offers should be enough to estimate your market value in that particular location. Don’t forget that location is one of the most essential factors influencing the job market in general and your value on it, as factors such as cost of living, taxation, etc. are always taken into account. If you would like to estimate your value across multiple locations or aren’t able to apply for a real job and get job offers yet, there are other methods you can use.

2. Job websites.

One of the easiest ways to estimate your market value is to check several of the most reputable and popular job and recruitment websites on the Internet. Here are some:Of course, this method also has a number of weaknesses, as the numbers you get don’t take your specific skills into account and aren’t always reliable when it comes to location-specific data. Plus, the United States is the region with the most data on average compensations, while information for other regions is typically a lot less accurate.

3. Social networks and forums.

Social networking websites can also be a great source of relevant information. LinkedIn, for example, provides its Premium subscription users with information about average salary estimation for each position. Web forums and developer-focused communities, such as StackOverflow, LeetCode, and Reddit, are frequently used by real software developers to discuss salaries. You can get a lot of information by reading comments to posts across these websites and in mainstream social networks such as Facebook.

4. Independent market studies.

As the third option of utilizing data openly available online, you can use various surveys to estimate your value based on information from thousands of other software developers.
  • Stack Overflow Developer Survey is the largest and one of the most comprehensive software developer surveys with various market-related questions including salaries.
Here are couple other interesting surveys:

5. Ask recruiters.

If applying and interviewing for jobs feels too time-consuming and the data you can find online is not reliable enough, another option is just to ask recruiters at companies that are hiring lots of software developers with similar skills and specialization as yours. Generally speaking, it’s always a bad idea to trust a recruiter, but when it comes to real salaries you will typically get some reliable information from them as openness about salaries saves them time spent on negotiations with job candidates.

6. Ask peers.

In order to be able to estimate your market value objectively, you need to know where you stand in terms of experience, skills, knowledge and other factors. Are you a Junior, Middle or Senior developer? If you are already working in the industry, then asking peers and teammates would be a good idea. They can provide you with observations about your real level of skills and experience.

Opinions

Most software developers agree that “market value” can be very subjective, but when it comes to real jobs, you will always be limited by the market averages. Here are several good commentaries on estimating your market value from software developers with years of experience working in the industry. “Your market value is whatever you can get someone to agree to pay you. And since the value created when an engineer joins an employer is unique to that engineer-employer combo, you don’t have one single “market value” but wildly different values for different types of employers. I also think it’s backwards to ask “what’s the market rate?” and base your salary requirements off of that. I find it more advantageous to ask “how much do I want to make?” and then figure out what it takes to make that much,” Jason Swett, a developer and coding blogger, said. “You don’t need to explain to the recruiter (or anyone for that matter) how you arrive at a given number. Ask and push for it, and if it never gets you anywhere then you might need to recalibrate. But outside of employers that might be very close to you (say, ex-colleagues that are in a position to hire you), you don’t have to explain squat. You calculate your value by asking what you want. Assess your skills and monitor closely what salaries look like for your current roles and responsibilities,” Luis Espinal, a computer scientist with decades of professional experience, recommends. “First off, your recruiter probably has a salary range given them by the employer. The recruiter’s commission, and your wage comes out of the same number. Doesn’t matter how much you’re worth, the recruiter only has so much. Second off, any estimate of your worth is uncompelling to someone who has never worked with you. If you ask too much, even if you know in your heart that you are worth it, they will just say, “Sorry to bother you, have a nice day.” Recruiters don’t accept logic. They sell what they can sell. You too,” Kurt Guntheroth, C++ software engineer working in this field for over 40 years, added.
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Know Your Worth. Ways to Estimate Software Developer’s Market Value - 2
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Andrei Level 41
6 September 2021
Thanks, bro! ✌👍
Omkar Kalam Thakur Level 0, India
1 September 2021
hyy