Developers’ Personal Characteristics

WE FOUND THAT EACH YEAR of experience is worth about $1,350. That is, if you have five years of experience, you’re likely to earn $1,350 more than someone who is similar to you but has only four years of experience.

Education makes a big difference in salary—something that may be surprising, given that the web contains a lot of people who are self-taught or who got brief educational experiences at for-profit programs. If you have a doctorate, you can expect to earn on average $10,434 more than someone without one. Strangely enough, possessing a master’s degree is slightly bad for salary: respondents with master’s degrees earned $542 less, all else being equal.

Although older respondents tended to earn more, this was attributable to years of experience. When experience is held constant, respondents in the 26 to 30 and 31 to 35 groups earned the most, with an advantage of $3,932 and $3,347, respectively, over other age groups. Respondents aged 61 to 65 earned $4,526 less than younger respondents with similar experience.

We asked respondents to rate their bargaining skills on a 1- to 5-point scale; 5 meaning they are a very good bargainer. (While this rating is very subjective, the subjectivity is appropriate for this question because so much about bargaining has to do with confidence and being able to assess yourself highly.) For every self-assessed bargaining point, the respondent’s salary estimate goes up by $5,695. So holding everything else constant, someone who gave themselves 5 points will make 4 x $5,695 = $22,780 more than someone with 1 point.

Gender had a predictable influence on salary in the web field. Our analysis showed that everything else being equal, men earned an average of $2,165 more than women.

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