These 7 programming skills can increase your salary by thousands, according to the mega-popular developer hub Stack Overflow


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  • The popular developer Q&A site Stack Overflow performs a survey every year asking developers about salary, education, work experience, and what technologies they use.
  • Using this data, Stack Overflow identified seven tech skills that increase a developer’s average salary the most.
  • These seven tech skills are often more specialized, and used by more experienced developers.
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As the year comes to an end, it’s a time to reflect on your career and see where you’d like to grow.

Turns out, there are certain skills in tech that can help you increase your salary from thousands, according to data from the popular developer Q&A site Stack Overflow, which has over 50 million unique visitors each month. 

An annual Stack Overflow survey for developers around the world asks about salary, education, work experience, and what technologies they use. Using this data, the Stack Overflow team estimated how much having certain tech skills increased developers’ average salaries.

From the data, the Stack Overflow team identified seven skills that were statistically significant in increasing people’s salaries the most, which it shared with Business Insider. The numbers Stack Overflow disclosed are based on the assumption that the developer in question has five years of work experience and a bachelor’s degree in the US.

“We can see how much do these different technologies move people’s salaries up and down, how much more and less are they making relative to each other,” Stack Overflow data scientist Julia Silge told Business Insider.

One thing Silge noted that none of these skills are especially well-suited for beginners; they are rather more specialized. Silge also pointed out that developers may see a different salary increase depending on their work experience. For example, a developer with more experience would see a bigger increase, she says. 

“These are tools for highly expert work,” Silge said. “People who are using these tools are people who are largely experienced, not at the beginning of these careers but a little further on.”

If you are interested in finding a job with a salary boost, here are the seven skills that can add thousands to a developers’ paycheck:

SEE ALSO: Stack Overflow helps millions of developers do their jobs every single day. Its new CEO says the next stage of its growth is selling to businesses.

Elasticsearch: $2,000-$3,000.

Elasticsearch is a search and analytics engine for large amounts of data. It’s an open source project, meaning it’s free for anyone to use, download, or modify. Today, the company Elastic maintains the project and builds commercial features to support it.

React: $2,000-$3,000.

React is a JavaScript library used for programming web and mobile applications. Developers use it to design how websites and apps look and how people interact with it. It’s an open source project that started at Facebook, where it was used for popular features like the “like” button and for managing ads. Today, React, which has a huge community contributing to it, underpins some of the most popular features on apps like Twitter, Pinterest, Asana, Uber, Airbnb, and more.

“React is a bit of an outlier as it is explicitly a web technology, but it is a really popular and important web technology that has had a huge impact over the past few years,” Silge said.

Apache Spark: $1,000-$5,000.

Apache Spark is an open source project that’s used for processing and analyzing large amounts of complicated data. Developers use it because it’s fast, can be run anywhere, and works with popular programming languages like Python and Java.

“Today more and more people are talking about Spark as a way to deal with big data and deal with it and make decisions with it,” Silge said.

Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, or Google Cloud Platform: $2,000-$5,000.

More companies than ever are moving to the cloud — most often, to Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud. As a result, knowing how to move and write applications to the cloud is in high demand. These cloud skills are also often useful in DevOps, the field for combining software development and operations to help streamline the process of production.

“We see the cloud platforms being associated with higher pay,” Silge said. “Whether they’re working in DevOps or regular web developers, people who have the ability to work with cloud platforms have an advantage in the hiring market today. The ability to deploy code to cloud platforms is a valuable skill that we see more and more.”

Go: $4,000-$6,000.

Go is an open source programming language that started at Google, specifically optimized for writing large-scale software. It’s also similar to the programming language C, which is often used for writing operating systems. Go is one of the fastest-growing programming languages in terms of usage, according to GitHub.

Redis: $5,000-$6,000.

Redis is a popular open source database. Currently, the startup Redis Labs builds features for Redis, as well as commercial features that support it. According to Stack Overflow’s Developer Survey, Redis is the most-loved database.

“Redis is a tool that just works,” Silge said. “People who are involved in that kind of work are experienced engineers working on a specialized path.”

Scala: $7,000-$10,000.

Scala is a programming language that is often used in big data applications. It was created in 2003 and can be mixed and matched with the widely-used programming language Java. People who are using it are people who are usually often data engineers, which are in high demand and earn an average salary of $127,846, according to Indeed.

“Data engineers are hard to hire,” Silge said. “This is a particular technology that we see associated with that.”