Open Source Adds Up to App Developer Pay Hike

Lora Bentley

Sun Microsystems' purchase of MySQL, the release of Adobe's AIR, and open source moves by larger, established companies are driving an increase in application developer salaries, according to a report from BlueWolf.


ChannelWEB reports the study revealed application developer salaries will increase from $80,250 to $112,500 this year -- a jump of 7.6 percent. The demand for open source developers in particular is also high because it's not easy to outsource them. They are complex, the story says, and communication often breaks down.


BlueWolf co-founder Michael Kirven says:

We've gotten more requests from our permanent placement division for open source developers in the last six months than in the last five or six years combined. It's not as easy as getting free software, someone has to get it up and running. LAMP is everywhere now -- these types of technologies no one heard of 18 months ago are all the sudden becoming a hot commodity.

Interestingly, managers are turning to alternative forms of compensation to meet the needs of developers and other IT staffers who are commanding higher pay. Options include flex time and the ability to work from home or otherwise outside the office, as well as the opportunity for training that will keep them current. As Kirven points out, these options are often more important to developers than a specific salary figure.

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Mar 4, 2008 5:26 AM johnkweber johnkweber  says:
My site was created totally with opensource tools. This cost me the sum total of 20 pounds for the documentation of the Fabrik component. and of course the 3 months work late at night.However the point is that had it been developed by professionals that are familiar with open source it would have been close to ZAR100 000 easily (conservative estimate)Had it been developed though by professionals using standard tools such as SAP or Oracle etc etc etc. It would have cost ZAR 100's of thousands in licensing alone.Open source has it's place in the market and the fact that developers are in demand for LAMP skills means that the big move is on. This is excellent as the money on a project should rather go to the developers than to licensing fees. The licensing fees dont always mean that there is less work to do because the framework is already existing. It ten to one means that the costs will rise exponentially due to the fact that skilled developers that are experts in that framework make a killing because they have specific domain knowledge. The same reason why the LAMP developers will be costing more this year and even more next year. They are specialists in a large and ever growing marketplace. I work in a business where we integrate many various solutions to get a large cohesive product. Trust me when I say that even when using the most expensive licensed frameworks, there are always elements of open source programming in them. JAVA for instance is used to glue most of these expensive frameworks together anyway.So I guess the time has come for open source developers to start earning big. Maybe some of these larger licensed frameworks will start taking notes and start learning from this expensive lesson. Reply

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