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Are you a developer looking for a new job? Are you recruiting developers for your team? Here are the top factors motivating developers to find new roles for 2019.

Although most developers are satisfied with their jobs, less than one in five are ‘extremely satisfied’ – according to research by Stack Overflow.

  • Nearly a quarter of developers are dissatisfied with their jobs.
  • The largest group are ‘moderately satisfied’ – over a third of all developers.


Developers are open to opportunities

It’s a similar picture for job-hunting – with most developers sitting in the middle-ground when it comes to their interest in changing jobs.


Around three-quarters of developers are interested in hearing about new job opportunities – but only 16% are actively looking.

However, developers do take actions:

  • Over half of the developers have taken a new job within the past two years.
  • More than a third of developers have taken a new job within the last year.


Which types of developers are most likely to job hunt?

Among groups of developers, what percentage are actively looking for a job?

  • Developers most likely to be looking for jobs include educators, academic researchers, mobile developers, data scientists, and machine learning specialists.
  • At the bottom of the scale and least-likely to be job-hunting are C-suite executives (12%) and product managers (13%).


It’s unclear from this research why some developer jobs have higher levels of job-seeking.

Important factors for a developer choosing a new job

Which factors does a developer prioritize when they’re choosing a new job?


Salary and benefits come out on top as the most popular factor for developers who are assessing a potential job.

  • ‘Languages, frameworks and technologies’ are just a point behind.
  • ‘Opportunities for professional development’ come in third place.

Low-ranking factors included a company’s diversity; its financial performance; and the specific department or team they’d be working on.

It seems that financial benefits and the use of familiar or preferred technologies are priorities for developers who are choosing a new job.

Which benefits are important to developers?

Developers can be offered a range of benefits including stock options, pension matching, gym memberships, and child care. But do they make a difference?


Over two-thirds of developers ranked their salary and/or bonuses as the most important factor when considering their benefits. Every other factor achieved single-digit points – although health insurance was significantly more popular than any other secondary benefit. It looks like salary remains the focus of most developers choosing a job.

What do developers like to hear from a potential employer?

If you’re a company trying to hire developers, do you know which information they find the most useful or appealing?


Again, an estimate of compensation range tops the list of information that they’d like to see in an email from a prospective employer.

Other important factors included:

  • Details of the company they’d be working for.
  • Specifics of why the company thinks they’d be a good fit.
  • Details of the technologies they would be working with.

Where do developers hope to be in five years?

Developers have a range of ambitions.


Just over half hope to do either the same work or another technical role in five years – while a significant percentage have entrepreneurial ambitions.

Startup ambitions

  • Just over a quarter of developers want to be a founder or co-founder of their own company.

Career progression

  • Over a third want to work in a different or more specialized technical role than the one they’re in now.
  • Nearly one in five hope to be doing the same work they’re already doing.

What could motivate you to change jobs in 2019?

An attractive salary and appealing tools and cloud-native technologies seem to be the top priorities of developers changing jobs in the new year. But individual programmers have their own, unique preferences when it comes to benefits and lifestyle.

What could motivate you to change jobs?

What about getting into the DevOps mindset? According to the 2019 StackOverflow Survey results, DevOps specialists report higher levels of happiness.

All data extracted from StackOverflow Global Developer Hiring Landscape 2018.

Alex Napier Holland

Tech Business Writer