Web Development Job Trends

With the need of desktop-like functionalities to support Web 2.0 applications, the web development job market is experiencing considerable changes. From increased salary incentives for emerging tech skills to the freelancing effect, we take a look at the market state.

Salary Trends

The 2008 IT Salary Guide published by Robert Half Technology lists a broad range of IT salaries based on U.S data. It reports an average of $76,250 to $108,250 for the ‘Senior Web Developer’ position, which is an increase of 6.6% over this job’s 2007 salary range. The report gets more remarkable as you drill down the different skills and their respective salary increase:

Java development – 10%
LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Perl) – 5%
AJAX – 5%
CFML development – 5%
Visual Basic .NET – 10%
C# development – 12%

Ranking the different programming languages by annual salaries based on Indeed Salary Search, C++ ranks first, followed by Python, C# and PHP and ASP.NET ranked last.

Programming Languages

To get an overview of jobs based on the most popular programming languages, we’ve used SimplyHired, a job search engine with data derived from millions of jobs indexed over the past few years. Here is a breakdown on the current trends since November 2006:

Perl jobs decreased 40%
Python jobs decreased 9%
PHP jobs increased 35%
Ruby jobs increased 23%
ASP jobs decreased 48%
ASP.NET jobs decreased 31%
Java jobs decreased 39%
AJAX jobs increased 77%
Ruby On Rails jobs increased 238%
Flash jobs increased 2%

Geographic Trends

The job market differs both in terms of programming languages and salary average in different locations. In large metropolitan areas like Boston, New York and Stamford, the salaries are higher than the national average. In UK for instance, the average salary for a senior developer would be slightly less than the US while being almost 50% less in India.

Freelance Jobs

Not every business needs a full-time developer and lately, with the increase of freelance job boards, the number of freelance jobs has increased accordingly. FreelanceSwitch.com, for example, reports 150 new freelance jobs monthly, while SimplyHired, a job search engine, shows an increase of 341% of ‘Freelance Web Programmer’ jobs. The success of freelance job boards relies on the fact that different freelancers can bid for a job giving the job poster several potential candidates to choose from.

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