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  • Money and Programming

    This thread is all about money and programming.

    What is the best route to go as a programmer to make more money than the average programmer. To be specific, what are the best languages and skills to master in order to make 100,000+ a year.

    The overall point of this thread is to figure out which programming skills are the most profitable.

  • #2
    I'm a C++ developer. I've had offers in the 80k range. If I were to do low level embedded system development I could easily be in the 100k range. But I chose to develop for a startup company making a fraction of what I should 55k + benefits. I'm doing this because I'm getting profit sharing and 10% ownership in the company, so if it takes off I could be banking 100k a year without lifting a finger! If it doesn't pay off I'll treat it as a learning experience and move on to a job with a better salary. Hope this helps a little bit.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by joedamas View Post
      This thread is all about money and programming.

      What is the best route to go as a programmer to make more money than the average programmer. To be specific, what are the best languages and skills to master in order to make 100,000+ a year.

      The overall point of this thread is to figure out which programming skills are the most profitable.
      Unfortunately that depends a lot on an employer, company financial situation and luck (be at the right place at the right time with the right skills).
      However, I've seen too many times "experts" with the only one skill above average - talking nonsense. :(


      I would suggest to study something that you find interest in. Once you are an expert in that field, start thinking about more money. Start for less and first prove you self. With references and recommendations you can expect to earn more.

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      • #4
        I agree with what has already been said.

        The big question one has to ask is what does it really mean to be an expert? And are companies and their human resources deparment capable of judging you correctly?
        You have companies that judge on official certifications, but I've seen many consultants hired on this basis while being rubish developers.
        From my limited experience I've met more companies using this shallow approach at branding programmers, so you need to be lucky. But there's potential in aligning your version of "crazy skills" with the right company and culture.

        I found the "Pragmatic Thinking and Learning" book a great read as a general guide into skill acquisition, see the Dreyfus model of skill acquisition.

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        • #5
          It should be depends on various situation just like suggested above and country you lived in. But surely the more rare the subject it usually the one with higher pay rates since the competition will be lower. In any case it's not always about money.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by joedamas View Post
            This thread is all about money and programming.

            What is the best route to go as a programmer to make more money than the average programmer. To be specific, what are the best languages and skills to master in order to make 100,000+ a year.

            The overall point of this thread is to figure out which programming skills are the most profitable.
            Well just about any language can land you a 100k job in San Francisco, but the cost of living is so insanely high that it doesn't mean much. I turned down a 100k job offer for an Android position last year because, with cost of living difference, was essentially the same salary I was already making here (I make a little over half that now, but I didn't at the time); also they wouldn't pay jack to relocate me from the other side of the country.

            I'd really recommend not focusing on the money when deciding what to specialize in. Demand changes from year to year. You could start focusing on mastering X that's popular today, only for Y and Z to replace it by the time you master it. Focus on finding a career that interests you. I, for instance, *hate* web development. I find it mind numbingly boring. I don't care if I could make more money as a web dev, I wouldn't do it. That being said, some people *love* web development. If you find an area you are passionate about, the money with come to you. You'll be much more motivated to keep up with the industry if you actually care about it. If you hated your iOS job, for instance, you probably would be adverse to learning the newly released Swift that will eventually replace Objective C (which would kill your chances at getting a future job.)

            Software devs that come into this profession solely for the money are a dime a dozen. I'm not saying you can't make a living in this industry with that mindset, but ironically you'd make more money if you stopped caring so much. At the end of the day, if you focus on the money, what's going to make your potential employer choose you over the guy/gal who chose what they do because they love it?

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            • #7
              I'm going to say one of the bigger factors here is probably location, and working for a highly competitive large corporation. Many of those positions are easily over 100k (but of course you have to factor in cost of living) I don't know that knowing a particular language or technology would make you more likely to get into such a role. In my experience, knowing a particular language is not a make or break thing. It's helpful to have a good grasp of the big, popular stuff (C++/Java/etc, depending on particular industry subset). But knowing how to pick up new languages, work with whatever stack you're given, etc -- that's what's really valuable.

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              • #8
                Location is a big deal. New York and San Francisco are the places to go for a high salary. Unfortunately that also means higher cost of living so you must take that into account also.

                As fast as languages. Diversify yourself and always be learning. That's how you ensure a good pay in the longrun. Another thing to be aware of is language popularity on the tiobe index. it might be worth learning some of the up and coming languages and avoiding some of the languages that are going down in popularity.

                For example. It might be worth learning scala because it's a language being adopted by more and more companies every year. That also means you will learn java and every programmer would benefit from knowing java. You also might want to learn python over ruby or php.

                Also it's not just languages you know but other skills as well. Can you manage a database, do you actually understand performance implications of the queries you write against your database, do you know a wide variety of technologies (mongo,reddis,lucene,elasticsearch,solr,couchdb,pg sql,mysql,etc) and techniques (npl,machine learning,reactive programming,clustering,etc), can you efficiently interact with apis. The list goes on and on. The point is that you need to know and learn a lot and you should always be learning.

                Finally. Experience is very important. More important than the languages you claim to know or the college you graduated from.

                Tl;dr: the modern well-paid programmer usually is one who learns fast, is always learning, and is versitile. So learn a lot. Learn in logical progression. And always be learning.

                (I'm on my phone so if my post seems a bit jumbled I apologize)

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                • #9
                  No money no life. Yes, money.

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                  • #10
                    I think that nowadays it is better to know how to create websites. It is one of the most popular branches, as far as I know.

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                    • #11
                      Maybe I'm wrong but this approach isn't that beneficial. I mean, if your aim is money and your question is "what's the best language to earn" it won't lead you anywhere. Programming isn't the easiest skill and it requires perseverance. If you worry about money maybe you shall try other fields? Say, internet marketing doesn't require coding knowledge. And for it, there are many useful tools for beginners and professionals. Say, this free Google check tool is in use by many marketers. Such a career would be much easier at the beginning and if you become good enough, it will be as rewarding in terms of money.

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                      • #12
                        Hi everyone. Programming is a good thing actually, but now I need to get the most reliable database in order to know more Finland. I need to get comparison between various countries, so if anybody could help me, I'll be glad!
                        Last edited by Lewis90Erickson; July 27, 2021, 03:42 AM.

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                        • #13
                          thanks
                          Last edited by Adam_Smith; July 27, 2021, 12:54 PM.

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