Money is still #1 motivation but developers want time and location flexibility too


A recent Stack Overflow survey finds that salary, flexibility and opportunities to learn are the top reasons engineers look for a new job.


Stack Overflow talked to 500 developers about what they look for in a new employer.

Image: Stack Overflow

A new survey finds that only 25% of developers are searching for a new job, while 54% are not actively looking but open to a new job. Stack Overflow surveyed 500 developers to understand the motivations of both groups. David Gibson, a senior data analyst at Stack Overflow, wrote a blog post about the survey.

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Among people looking for a new job, money is still the top motivator:

  • Salary: 65%
  • Work with new technologies: 39%
  • Better work-life balance: 36%
  • Growth or leadership opportunities: 35%

When it comes to people planning to stay at their jobs, those folks value flexibility above all other factors at their current workplace:

  • Flexibility: 65%
  • Salary: 59%
  • Opportunities to learn: 56%

Millennials are the age group most interested in opportunities to learn new skills. 

The survey also asked developers what makes a new company attractive. A focus on developer experience tops the list at 53% with transparent salary calculators (41%) and learning from people outside the engineering team (40%).

SEE: Forget ping pong: Companies offer patent help and equity in client work to attract developers (TechRepublic)

Companies that don’t provide enough resources for developers to get their work done are unattractive to potential employees. Also the survey found that developers disliked set working hours even more than working in-person, at 56% compared to 50%, respectively. 

A recent Microsoft survey reinforced the importance of flexible work hours and locations. The survey found that 51% of workers liked mixing remote and in-person work and half of the people surveyed said they would leave if there was no hybrid work option. Women were even more likely to leave a job if the company didn’t provide that choice. Asynchronous tactics are one way to provide time and place flexibility while still keeping everyone in the loop.

Engineers are most likely to use word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and colleagues when looking for a new place to work (47%), followed by reading news articles or blogs about a company (41%) and then reviews on sites such as Glassdoor (38%).  

In the US, the  number of people quitting their jobs dropped somewhat in October from 4.36 million in September to 4.2 million. Job openings rose to 11 million, a near record high according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary for October. In the Information sector, job openings were up compared to October and the number of people quitting stayed the same.

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