DevConnect 2020 Australian
We recently had the opportunity to survey a few thousand developers and got just under 500 responses from developers across the east coast of Australia to gather a snapshot of the state of the Australian market for local tech talent in each major city: Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
Our main goal with this survey was to get a feel of how much of an impact the COVID-19 crisis has had on this subsect of the overall market, and our findings show that the pandemic has, indeed, greatly impacted almost a quarter of the developers surveyed. 24% of the developers from our sample have either had their hours or pay cut or been made redundant as a direct result of the crisis.
Continue reading to learn more about the impact of COVID-19 on Australian developers, get the most recent numbers on the average developer salaries in these 3 major cities, and gain insights on post-COVID-19 work life.
What is your current job status?
- full-time, and
- freelancer/business owner.
Has your work as a developer been affected by COVID-19?
Are you currently working longer hours during COVID-19?
Post COVID-19 work life?
Due to self-isolation measures during the pandemic, many developers were forced to put the benefits of working remotely to the test.
This kind of work has some advantages for working professionals, as it allows them to spend more time with family or save time on commuting. However, there are also significant downsides, such as more complicated or slower organisation, lack of social contact, and so on.
That being said, In terms of post-COVID-19 life, the majority of respondents seem to prefer the remote arrangement, as 37% have responded that they are happy to continue working from home permanently and 20% are excited about returning to the office. The rest fall between a balance of WFH/WFO days.
Brisbane seems to have the largest portion of developers who’d like to continue working remotely, as 46% said they are content with that arrangement, followed by Sydney—36%, and Melbourne’s 34%.
As this situation might impact work arrangements in this field in the future, we asked the participants to pick from several other work arrangement options, and we found that quite a number of respondents would prefer a balance of WFH and WFO days—18% would like to continue working remotely 3 days a week and 4% would extend this privilege to 4 days.
22% of the developers from Sydney who participated in this survey said they would like to work remotely less than 2 days a week and these figures are similar in the other two cities.
In Melbourne, 22% would prefer to work from home 3 days a week, while 15% in Sydney and 14% in Brisbane chose this option.
However, the percentage of participants who are looking forward to returning to the office is not insignificant—amounting to 21%.
How do you typically find new work opportunities?
To examine our respondents’ job-seeking preferences, we have divided the methods of seeking employment or freelance work into four categories:
- Through their developer and business network,
- Headhunting by recruiters,
- Applying to job board ads,
- Applying to companies they like.
Out of the total sample, 27% use their developer and business network to find new work opportunities, which makes this the most common option. This is the most popular practice in Brisbane, while in Sydney, the majority of respondents stated they prefer being headhunted and applying to job board ads.
The second most popular method for finding work among our survey respondents (26%) is applying directly to the companies they like, followed by headhunting (25%) and applying to job board ads (22%).
Applying directly to preferred companies seems to be equally popular in Brisbane and Melbourne, with 31% of the respondents from both cities choosing this as their #1 option.
For the purpose of this survey, we’ve divided salaries into seven categories ranging from less than $70k to more than $150k, annually.
According to the results, the lowest and the highest pay grade are equally represented in the total sample, amounting to 20% each.
The other salary grades are more or less equally distributed among our sample as visible from the graph.
Sydney developers seem to have higher pay grades, with 23% of respondents from Sydney receiving more than $150K. The respondents with a middle and lower-paying salary grade from this major city range from 8% to 15%.
The situation in Melbourne is quite different, as most of the survey respondents from Melbourne are at the lowest pay grade—27% receive less than $70K on a yearly basis.
However, those earning above $150K are the second most represented group, while the wage grades in-between are more or less equally distributed.