How to succeed in the coding world

How to succeed in the coding worldA data driven approach: Success Mantras Using Stack overflow Survey Data from 2017Rahul DixitBlockedUnblockFollowFollowingFeb 24IntroductionSuccess may have different meaning for different people.

So, what does it take to become a successful developer? The short answer would be it varies from person to person.

Success in this articles’ context though implies job satisfaction and higher salary.

There are so many things that come to mind that can be done to achieve success, like disciplined approach, regular coding , working on real world problems, etc.

Different people will have different suggestions based on their approach.

But, what can we glean from real world data.

In this article, I have used the Stack overflow survey data of 2017 to try and get a peek into the following questions:What is the demographic of the people surveyed?What factors lead to job satisfaction?What factors lead to higher salary and does job satisfaction translate to more money and vice-versa?Question 1- DemographyGenderAs can be seen in the figure below, close to 90% of the respondents are males.

There is a big imbalance in terms of the male to female ratio in developer roles.

Is it because there are fewer women developers in general or is it because women developers don’t usually use Stack Overflow? The more probable reason seems to be the first one.

RaceMore than 70% of the respondents are white or of European descent.

Looking at the location section below it seems that this is so because most of the respondents are from USA and European countries.

LocationMost of the respondents are from USA, followed by India and then UK.

Close to 40% of the respondents are from US alone.

The second ranked country, India is at ~ 14%.

Stackoverflow seems to be more popular in USA as compared to other countries.

Question 2 — Job satisfaction FactorsFrom the correlation matrix below we can see that higher the salary, higher is the Job Satisfaction.

Also as the hours per week increase, the job satisfaction decreases.

The interesting thing is that there is a negative correlation between hours per week and salary.

So more work doesn’t really translate into more money.

As we can see in the graph below there is a proverbial sweet spot of 36 hours, in terms of working hours.

Too less is as bad or sometimes worse than too much.

What other factors affect job satisfaction?From the graph below we can see that people whose hobby is to code are generally more happy in their coding jobs.

As Mark Twain said — “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

”Especially people who contribute to open source projects and code for a hobby as well, seem to have the highest job satisfaction levels.

Another popular belief is that working for a big MNC would lead to more job satisfaction.

The data at hand tells a different story though.

It seems that Venture funded startups are the favourites for higher levels of job satisfaction.

Is location a factor in job satisfaction as well?In order to avoid skewed data because of low number of responses, I have filtered out countries with less than 30 respondents for this analysis.

Bosnia-Herzegovina is at the top end of the spectrum, while Japan is at the bottom end.

How does Education affect future job satisfaction? Looking at the plot below, Education results are mixed.

Professional degree seems to be better than a Master’s, and Secondary school is somehow better than Masters.

But, the trend is broken by doctoral degree, which wins hands down.

Strangely enough an undergrad major in Computer Science doesn’t lead to the highest job satisfaction for a developer.

Health Science, Maths, and Psychology do.

But what about working from home.

Do people like to work from swanky offices or from the comfort of their homes.

According to the data, work from home leads to higher job satisfaction levels.

So in order to guarantee job satisfaction for a developer , the best chance would be if coding is your hobby and you contribute to open source projects as well.

You should be located in Bosnia or Lithuania, your undergrad major was in health science and you have either a doctoral degree or you studied only till secondary school.

You work for a venture funded-startup for 36 hours a week, mostly from home.

 :)Question 3 — High Salary FactorsAs we saw earlier in the article that Salary is positively co related to Job Satisfaction and negatively correlated to hours put in at work.

Lets have a look in more detail.

18 hours a week seems to be the highest paying bracket.

Company type, as expected does lead to higher salaries.

Publicly traded corporations with deep pockets are the winners here.

Venture- Funded startups follow suit and are close behind.

How big a role does Formal Education play in the scheme of things.

The results look pretty much regular up until Master’s Degree.

Doctoral degree still earns the top bucks.

Similar to Job satisfaction scores contribution to open source and coding as a hobby lead to highest salaries.

Working remotely doesn’t put a dent on the salaries, but instead leads to higher salaries and higher job satisfaction.

A win-win proposition.

For a developer one would expect an undergrad in Computer Science would lead to higher salaries.

But, it turns out that people from different disciplines with cross functional expertise get paid the big bucks.

Most importantly how does location play in ones favour.

From the graph below we can see that it creates a substantial difference, USA and Switzerland being at the top end of the spectrum and Nepal and Bangladesh at the bottom.

Last but not the least how much does attitude count in the real world?WorkPayCare attribute that was part of the survey implies —“I don’t really care what I work on, so long as I’m paid well”From the plot below we can see that people who care about money more than the type of work, actually end up losing money.

Though, there might be another reason for this trend as well.

People who are already earning less, out of frustration might have that attitude to do any job as long as it is pays higher.

On the contrary, people who are already earning well wouldn’t want to adjust with the type of work.

ConclusionSo to be successful as a developer there are a couple of things that can be done.

Work 36 hours a week for a US based, venture funded startup out of your comfortable home in Bosnia, 100% remotely.

This might just be the dream job!What do YOU think?.Let me know in the comments.

To check more on this analysis, please have a look at my Github link here.


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