If you're unhappy at work, don't complain to your coder friends. Chances are they won't be able to relate.

The stereotype of web developers is that they don't get up from their workstations except to grab another Red Bull. However, a new survey from education site SkilledUp (and conducted by market research firm ProvokeInsights) indicates that most developers are happier than you are, largely due to a high degree of freedom and rewarding salaries.

Among the survey's findings:

  • Of the 303 developers surveyed, 88% indicated that they were completely satisfied with their career. Another 11% indicated they were somewhat satisfied.
  • Perhaps surprisingly, only 1% of developers surveyed were not at all satisfied.
  • Out of different specialties, the happiest developers on average worked in mobile/responsive programming.
  • Work life balance (61%) and job flexibility (52%) were the top two reasons for respondents' happiness, with answers such as "I work great hours" and "Doing what I love, while working remotely" typical of the results.
  • Of all of the developers who indicated their companies were hiring, 33% were looking for Front-End developers. Perhaps surprisingly, only 18% were hiring for mobile/responsive developers.
  • 55-66% indicated that headhunters often contacted them with new career opportunities.
  • As one might expect, having a decent salary certainly don't hurt. The majority of respondents earned between $50,000 and $149,000 annually, with over four in five developers surveyed indicating they believe they'll receive a pay raise over the next half-year.

"For the first time, we can say 'Yes, Web developers lead extremely happy and fulfilling careers,'" says Jordyn Lee, Communications Manager at SkilledUp. "People unfamiliar with Web development might think it's mundane, repetitive work that leads to dissatisfaction or boredom." However, this research tells a different story. Of course, the research's findings don’t make other careers "any less fulfilling on the happiness scale," says Lee, but "Web developers are more satisfied than we assumed, and it’s not all related to pay."

This is only further validation that a career in web development is great if you like a smile on your face. A 2015 CareerBliss survey found that developers are pretty happy with their lots in life, with Oracle Database Administrator, Website Administrator, and Systems Developer all landing in the top 10 most blissful jobs.

SkilledUp's findings, to some extent, were surprising. For instance, most developers surveyed began their careers in a field completely different arena. Moreover, over half of those surveyed didn't think a computer science degree was necessary for success in the field. This represents a significant shift for education in general. Lee cites online learning as an increasingly valid form of education, with four-year college degrees no longer necessary requirements for success in the coding field.

Are these results surprising to you? Have you ever considered pivoting to a career in web development?

Published on: Jul 14, 2015
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