AI in Software Development: Developers’ Salary Shifts and Trendsby@annoyt
431 reads
431 reads

AI in Software Development: Developers’ Salary Shifts and Trends

by Ann KussJanuary 30th, 2024
Read on Terminal Reader
Read this story w/o Javascript
tldt arrow

Too Long; Didn't Read

The role of AI in software development continues to increase, bringing more efficiency to the daily routine. Will AI take over software engineering? Will new codes be written by AI, while humans will lose their jobs? The answer is ‘no’. Developers will still be in high demand, and their salaries have all the chances to grow.
featured image - AI in Software Development: Developers’ Salary Shifts and Trends
Ann Kuss HackerNoon profile picture

The introduction of AI, and ChatGPT in particular, has created a real hassle across industries. Not only do tech specialists think of exciting opportunities the new technologies open to us, but they also fear job replacements. The World Economic Forum (WEF) showed in their study that between 2023 and 2028, around 44% of workers’ skills will be disrupted. And AI is exactly the game changer that comes into play.

The role of AI in software development continues to increase, bringing more efficiency to the daily routine, contributing to smart solutions, and helping to automate repetitive and manual tasks.

AI can really help to decrease the gap between programmers, between the experienced specialists and the entry level candidates. But does it really change developers’ salaries and replace their jobs?

Last year brought many AI solutions and tools, such as GitHub Copilot, AlphaCode, and aiXcoder, whose usage quickly spread among developers. They help to decrease the time for production and improve the analysis and productivity. Some tools offer code review capabilities; others have options for integration with other platforms. The fact is undeniable – such tools optimize the coding process.

Naturally, with all AI’s opportunities, the question arises: will AI take over software engineering? Will new codes be written by AI, while humans will lose their jobs? The answer is “no”. Developers will still be in high demand, and their salaries, on the contrary, have all the chances to grow. Here is why.

What Changes Can the Usage of AI in Software Development Bring?

With numerous interactions with clients and stakeholders in Outstaff Your Team, we see that the demand for software developers is still high, even if tech companies consider the usage of AI tools. At the moment, the most common tasks that AI tools can cover include:

  • Automated code review

  • Code generation

  • Bug detection

  • Automated testing

  • Documents generation

  • Vulnerability detection

If previously the difference between entry-level specialists and experienced professionals was perceptible, now with AI for software development, the gap tends to decrease. Besides, the usage of artificial intelligence in software development helps to save time and reduce efforts in cumbersome tasks, making developers more efficient and allowing them to focus on more meaningful tasks.

Risks and Benefits of AI for Software Development

The usage of AI in software development has moved the specialists’ work to a new level, bringing with it higher speed, better performance, and innovation. Developers can now accelerate their development process and proactively address any issues. With AI’s predictive analytics, they can now better predict the development outcomes and suggest process improvements.

But, with all the existing risks, currently the future of work is dependent on automation rather than specialists’ replacement. AI models can still cause biases, leading to inaccurate predictions. The usage of large datasets can involve data privacy concerns and security vulnerabilities. Moreover, the AI for software development still needs validation and cannot take decisions and work autonomously as human professionals.

So, the question, “Will coding become redundant?” doesn’t have grounds and should not raise our concerns. Instead, the developers should focus on their upskilling and on their expertise in AI in software development, which will, in turn, make them even more competitive.

What Influences Software Developers’ Salaries?

Even though the demand for software developers doesn’t tend to decrease, the salaries go through a number of fluctuations that will impact their amount in the end. The most widespread reasons include:

  • Education and qualifications. A candidate with a degree in computer science or engineering may have a higher salary than a candidate who only finished a couple of months of courses.

  • Industry and company size. We’re used to tech giants having bigger budgets than small companies. However, depending on the industry, startups can sometimes offer big salaries and better working conditions.

  • Geographic location. The difference in pay between developed and developing countries may seem enormous until you start counting your spending and taxes.

  • Market demand. If the supply fills in the gaps of demand, the salary is less likely to go too high.

  • Skills and experience. Specialists with niche skills and many years of experience usually get higher compensation than entry-level professionals.

Depending on the location and company size, the salary of software developers varies between $120-170K in the US and $50-70K in Europe. Other countries from around the world join the demand for IT specialists, with such countries as South Africa, New Zealand, or India offering from $40K to $60K.

Unless specialists work remotely, they have little to no impact on geographic location and market demand. However, they can perfectly manage their skills and experience. And this is exactly the area where a salary can be increased. As demand for AI in software development continues to grow, specialists can upskill and obtain higher posts.

Skills of the Future

The appearance of artificial intelligence in software development created stiff competition among tech specialists. The more they follow the trends, the higher competencies they will have. From my experience, I saw many tech companies, both small and large, that demand a combination of hard and soft skills from tech candidates.

In 2024, more and more companies will focus on mobile applications and AI implementation, which means that the following skills will be needed:

  • Mobile development frameworks, such as Angular, React, and Django.

  • Knowledge of cloud platforms, such as Azure and AWS.

  • Database management tools (ex. MySQL, DevOps, Salesforce).

  • AI and machine learning skills, including PyTorch and TensorFlow frameworks.

  • Project management skills and Agile methodologies.

Will software engineering be automated, and will developers remain competitive without continually improving all these skills? Certainly not. Software engineering is one of the first areas that will continue to evolve, and being able to quickly adapt is one of the main criteria in the current market.

AI That Changes Our Working Environment

AI rapidly transforms both the developing processes and the compensation of specialists. The number of companies that aim to implement AI tools continues to increase while professionals turn such tools to their advantage, saving time and reducing manual tasks.

Though many are concerned that AI will reduce their salaries or take off their jobs, such tools have shown exceptional results in automation, control, development, and deployment. The accessibility to AI gave specialists numerous possibilities for development and upskilling. If the tools are used smartly and add value to the routine work, they will only fulfill developers’ expertise. If developers move with the times and learn AI technologies, they will remain competitive in any field and location.