BACKGROUND IMAGE: iSTOCK/GETTY IMAGES
Of course, developer experience does matters when it comes to a paycheck: Coders with more than 20 years of experience are the highest paid. But according to the late 2014 Founders and Funders survey, there is no difference in average pay between people brand new to software programming and those with up to six years of developer experience, which might be disheartening.
It appears that salaries really jump with over seven years of experience. One explanation for why brand new developers are coming in with such high salaries lies in understanding who the new crop of coders actually are. Many of these "beginners" have actually been coding since high school or even middle school, have had internships in high school and college, and come out of school with a tremendous amount of valuable developer experience that they expect to be paid for. Also, those college internships have become a battle ground, with employers hiring students from their freshman year onwards and paying market rate – -- or higher – -- salaries. Some (scary talented) developers are even being recruited straight out of high school.
And don't expect this trend to end anytime soon. Demand has created a frenzy: A skilled developer in London can get multiple job offers in 24 hours, and often one of those offer bids is a counteroffer from his or her existing employer. All of these factors play in to why a developer's starting salary is so high today.