Sunday, September 24th, 2006

Salaries Go Up for Ajax Jobs

Category: Business

This survey by IT JobsWatch shows that things are looking up for Javascript programmers. Over the last year, the average salary for Brit Ajax slingers has gone up 33% from £29,375 ($55,853) to £39,228 ($74,588). I’m sure these numbers are representative of trends in many other countries. Based on my own project experience over the last few years, the lowly Javascript programmer has gone from being a servant of the “design team” to a star, whose time is often more valuable than that of the programmers that make up the traditional “application team.”

What’s ahead for companies that are developing Ajax applications (and at this stage, that seem to be just about everyone)? There are those that will double down on traditional languages and skillsets via Javascript code generators such as GWT. But there will be enough companies going the pure Javascript route to drive up salaries even further. And behind the demand will come the training and certifications, the standards, tools and blessed frameworks, and the army of freshly minted Ajax programmers to fill all of those well compensated jobs. If you’re considering selling all of your Java books and moving to a Javascript commune, do it quickly.

Posted by Dietrich Kappe at 11:58 am

4.3 rating from 36 votes


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Exciting news ! :)

The only weird sounding part is that I don’t think I’ve ever known a javascript programmer that didn’t also program in other languages..Ie they are just another programmer on the team like anyone else (except perhaps now they get to have the coveted rockstar programmer position because of the increased demand? ;) ) .

Maybe JS only programmers do exist, I’m not very social so my experiences are probably not a fair sampling..

Comment by Jesse Kuhnert — September 24, 2006

$74,588 for js programer ? That’s just crazy !
In France, it s hard (at this moment) for a js programmer to find a job payed more than the equivalent of $20,000.

Comment by stephan — September 24, 2006

I have to agree with Jesse. I haven’t known someone who is only a js programmer. So I’m sure the monetary amount is for someone with real programming experience that just happens to know js very well. Stephan, if that’s just someone that ONLY knows js, then I can understand that pay rate. (Even with all the AJAX stuff). If its someone with more than just js experience, then I’d suggest its time to find a new place to live maybe? (Of course what do I know, I’m on the other side of the Atlantic Pond)

Comment by nblade — September 24, 2006

is that for year or for month?
In Israel the average paycheck per month is 6000$

Comment by Uriel Katz — September 24, 2006

Time to fool lots of companies in name of ‘AJAX’ ;)

Comment by Adnan Siddiqi — September 25, 2006

Yeah but half of that Israel paycheck is danger money

Comment by steve f — September 25, 2006

ok i get it,it is for year,in israel is used to talk about the salary in pay per month.and a correction:about 5000$ ,my bad

Comment by Uriel Katz — September 25, 2006

The Ajax crowd does seem to be split between UI-minded “traditional” developers who count javascript/ajax dev. as one of several languages/skillsets, and the formerly-undervalued front end developer. This doesnt mean that we now value front-end development skills more, but that there’s more challenging and valuable work to do there.
I can confirm – based only on the recruiter calls I’ve been getting – that ajax seems to be the magic word these days. Everyone and their brother is looking for experienced folks with demonstrated (or sometimes not) experience with ajax and rich ui web development. If the system works, the demand should force salaries up.

Comment by Sam Foster — September 25, 2006

Jesse, nblade: Interactive media agencies have had JS specialists for a long, long time. It would appear that the corporate world is catching up.

Comment by Ben Galbraith — September 25, 2006

“Interactive media agencies have had JS specialists for a long, long time. It would appear that the corporate world is catching up”

very true

Comment by Slvn — September 25, 2006

I’ve never understood why so many front-end developers are (have allowed themselves to be) so miserably undervalued in the past. I think part of the problem is that there are so many incompetent/sloppy front end developers (though the current renaissance in front end development is starting to separate the wheat from the chaff).
I am a dedicated front-end developer at an advertising agency and I do a lot of challenging work (for which I am well compensated). A good front-end developer is priceless, but they are still pretty hard to come by. To some extent I think this is why front-end development has been treated like the programmers equivalent of unskilled labor for so long.
My company deals with freelance front-end coders from time to time and the good ones are (still) few and far between. I still run into front-end people who use tables for layout, invalid markup and only test their sites on IE … I think that’s why front-end developers have been undervalued for so long—because so many did the bare minim for so long, very few people have seen what kind of stuff you can do on the front end (until very recently).
In fact, good front-end development work requires a lot of competency in a number of specific areas. In addition to managing the complexities inherent to creating software that must run just as well in such wildly diverse clients as Safari, Opera, Firefox, Internet Explorer, iCab, Omniweb, and Netscape, a good developer will keep structure, behaviour and style totally separate, use semantically appropriate markup, coordinate with backend developers and in all probability a flash developer or two. A good front-end developer will in all likelihood be playing an advisory role to art directors and designers for complex projects that involve a highly-dynamic UI.
Most of the dynamic UI stuff that people are doing as a consequence of the newfound popularity of so-called AJAX apps is stuff that plenty of good front-end developers have been doing for years (minus the xmlhttp part). Of course, being able to dynamically load content into a page without reloading the page makes all that dynamic UI stuff much more valuable and gives it a bigger payoff.
It also seems to me that end users are becoming increasingly intolerant of flash and that the creatives who design the sites are really starting to see the benefit of using javascript and css to drive a dynamic UI rather than resorting to .swf developers. I’m seeing more and more instances in my agency and others where .swf is treated as a dynamic image format (or being eschewed altogether).
To me, it makes no sense that any decent front-end developer would accept substandard compensation.

Comment by Joe — September 25, 2006

Must Be Paid By The Word. 8P (J/K)

Comment by Mario — September 26, 2006

Netcull 2006-09-25

– 网络黄链:中留日学生"买凶"破日本AVç«™ – Windows Live Search new partner for China Telecom – Web 2.0 快速向企业用户渗透 – Salaries Go Up for Ajax Jobs – Virtual social software 有意思的应用,有意思的想法ï…

Trackback by Wangtam — September 26, 2006

I am among those JavaScripters that don’t do any other language. I got a small taste of Java a few years ago that introduced me to object oriented coding, MVC, etc. It wasn’t enough to make that my focus but I could tell it wouldn’t be hard.

A couple of years ago, I considered switching, but then came Ajax. Now my front-end code is more influential to the application architecture than the .net or Java.

A recruiter recently contacted me and liked my general experience but seemed hesitant about the rate I suggested to lure me away from my current position. I mentioned “Ajax” and the tone in his voice changed immediately. Who knows how much I could have gotten if I had been willing to leave.

I’m not bragging. This would probably be the case with most folks who read this blog. Thanks Ajax!

Comment by Chuck — September 26, 2006

Hi @all…
For those who have never heard of a programmer that works with JS only, I am such a person. I have developed my own JS-only framework depending 100% on webservices… I am very happy with it since it is exactly what I wanted and didn´t find in other FWs – absolute encapsulation of JS objects on a site…
I have to say that just recently I had a discussion with a high-rank JAVA programmer, who stated that it is impossible to write good code in JS. I was very annoyed about that. In my opinion you can write quality code in every language.

Comment by Frankie — September 28, 2006

I am part of a team who is developing a three tier artchitecture with Ajax(using Dojo toolkit). It is very clean to develop a good java script code with dojo (actually similiar to JAVA). I have worked on the server side many years(Database, J2EE), and I have never liked working on UI part (especaily AWT/SWing/SWT ), but now I am falling in love with Ajax(thanks go Google). It is not enough to know only JS to develop an enterprise application using Ajax as a front end. If you are programming a website, then JS is enough

Comment by Raage — October 18, 2006

Slvn, Lukasz Szajkowski. I strongly agree with you guys. I am also a js programer. Few people know how charming js is. its strange in the past people always thinking UI is a graphic designer thing. It’s hard to really find a proper team to work with. I think a person who know very much presetation level things such as cross-browser compatibility, designing html/js/css framework and splitting UI from bussiness logic is not easy. it requires photoshop, illustrator, good understanding of HTML(which is not simple as you think). at my expierence, a team which has a AJAX programer, progress of their project can be accelerated at least 20% percent. business logic, UI design perfectly isolated is not easy! we are not easy!

Comment by maciafts — October 23, 2006

in india ajax programmers get about Rupees 10000 per month ($225/mo or about $2700/year)
yes, its true!

Comment by sid — November 23, 2006

yes in india me as js programer get Rupees 10000 per month ($225/mo or about $2700/year)

Comment by shailendra kamath — December 10, 2006

Well I don’t know exactly but in INDIA they consider AJAX as an additional technology to JAVA,JSP,Java script…
Certainly one can demand more package up to 30,000 Rs ($666/) per month if they know AJAX!

Comment by pallavi — April 26, 2007

The salary may be going up in other countries but here in Italy web agencies are interested in complete programmers and not only in javascript coders.

My skills are javascript (OOP, Ajax), php, python, mysql, xhtml, xsl and css and my salary is still less than 1k Euros per month even though the cost of life is quite expensive, so a salary like like that is a dream for many italians

Comment by Njonas1 — September 4, 2009

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