Dino Cajic explaining Software Developer Extinction

Being a software developer is great. Everyone wants to get in and as long as you call yourself a software developer you’re likely to get a high-paying job quickly. Software Developers have the leisure of not applying for jobs anymore. Recruiters are reaching out to them daily. The average length that a developer stays at a job has shrunk drastically. After all, why wait for a 3% raise when you can change jobs and negotiate a 20% increase? Developers have become spoiled in that sense.

Nobody even cares that they’ve worked for 20 different companies in the last 5 years. These companies need software developers and there’s a shortage of quality developers out there. Top developers are getting recycled and are moving from company to company achieving salaries higher than most physicians make (and they didn’t even have to attend medical school).

The more options software developers have, the higher their salary requirements become. It’s completely normal to hear that software developers are making $200,000+ now. Working for less than $100,000 is not something that excites most mid-to-senior developers anymore. And that’s where the problem starts for most companies.

Companies Have a Hard Time Affording Developers

It’s becoming increasingly more rare to find quality developers that work for a small company. These developers are usually just starting out in their development career and work for the junior developer salary. You usually find these companies filled with developers right out of bootcamp.

Another tier is the company that absolutely needs developers to survive but can’t afford them. If they raise their rates, they’re going to lose clients. If they stay where they’re at, they’ll lose business and eventually shut down. It’s a lose/lose situation. I’ve had friends ask me, “do you think I should demand this rate from this company and do you think I’ll get it?” My response is always the same, “most likely you’ll get it if the company needs you badly enough. Just know though that you’re the first one on the chopping block and the company will start looking immediately for your replacement.” Nine out of ten times, that’s what happens.

Going Overseas

Quality developers exist outside of the states, and companies know it. I’m increasingly speaking with more organizations that have outsourced their entire development staff overseas. Why pay for one developer here when you can get 2–3 developers overseas for the price of one? Even when there’s a language or cultural barrier, these organizations are finding it significantly more cost effective to hire an overseas project manager that can assist with the overseas team.

Once the development team goes, it’s a slippery slope for other departments to go overseas as well, especially those closely related to software development, like UI/UX.


Companies promising low-code alternatives have been around for years now, but it’s only recently that I’ve seen an uptick in low-code news.

While there are still flaws in switching to a low-code option fully, an organization may plan to do an 80/20 split, with 80% of new applications being built with low-code environments. This reduces the job availability for software developers once smaller organizations start incorporating these low-code or no-code alternatives into their environment. Once the tech giants start pushing forward and only utilize the top engineers for their most difficult projects, the pay gap will widen.


What is the solution to this? I can’t say that I have one. I’m merely stating an observation. Software Developers tend to think that there’s no way that their positions can be automated or eliminated with alternatives, but that’s simply not true. How long will it take for this transition to occur? Nobody knows but tech tends to move quickly. Instead of 20+ years, look at the next 10 years and see where the trends are pointing to. Is the Software Developer Extinction upon us?



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