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Businesses The Almighty Buck

Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires 467

msmoriarty writes: "According to a recent survey of 1,000 U.S.-based software developers, 56 percent expect to become millionaires in their lifetime. 66 percent also said they expect to get raises in the next year, despite the current state of the economy. Note that some of the other findings of the study (scroll to bulleted list) seem overly positive: 84 percent said they believe they are paid what they're worth, 95 percent report they feel they are 'one of the most valued employees at their organization,' and 80 percent said that 'outsourcing has been a positive factor in the quality of work at their organization.'"
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

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  • wait, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jaymz666 ( 34050 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @03:32PM (#46772137)

    80 percent think outsourcing has been positive? They must not be working with the resources we do... They lie, lie and lie some more. Shirk responsibility and ignore questions.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      80 percent think outsourcing has been positive? They must not be working with the resources we do... They lie, lie and lie some more. Shirk responsibility and ignore questions.

      You are confused, 80% of them were H1B workers... ;D

    • Yeah, i think they are lying about who they surveyed. Prob went to a libertarian mixxer or something.

    • Re:wait, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by radarskiy ( 2874255 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @04:50PM (#46773375)

      They only surveyed those still employed.

    • Re:wait, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AlphaWolf_HK ( 692722 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @05:05PM (#46773543)

      These sound like developers, not management.

      And you know what? I agree with them. Mainly because I don't think outsourcing means what you think it means. Outsourcing doesn't mean "send your job to India." In many cases that particular job never existed within your company to begin with for one, and it may not necessarily go to India number two, but rather it goes to the company down the street.

      Outsourcing takes advantage of trade, only on a much larger scale. For example, if your mom makes a batch of cookies and UPS'es them to you, she "outsourced" the task of bringing them to you to UPS. She did this for a multitude of reasons: UPS can deliver them cheaper than she can, UPS can deliver them in a much shorter amount of time than she can, UPS can more efficiently deliver them than she can.

      When outsourcing goes overseas, it tends to be due to what economists refer to as comparative advantage. Steve Jobs (who I am not a fan of, but respect in various ways) once notoriously mentioned this: Some manufacturing tasks that you'll find they can do in China (such as rapidly changing design specifications in a mass production line) simply aren't available here. So it isn't necessarily that the labor is cheaper in China (it is cheaper) but that the jobs that you need to do just aren't available in a domestic US facility.

      Generally it is easier to not to send work tasks offshore. This mainly has to do with issues like language barriers, customs, etc making offshoring more difficult. You need to really be able to justify doing it, not only due to those reasons, but for reasons like KKK type groups complaining that you're giving brownie a job, or liberal groups claiming that you're not paying dues to the labor unions, and both giving you bad press about it in their respective circles. Both of them are douchebags for doing that, by the way, but that's life. At any rate, if they can do it so much cheaper overseas than it can be done domestically, then you should do it. Why? Competitive advantage (not the same as comparative advantage.)

      You see, you selling your product to Americans who will only buy American is fine, but Australians, Canadians, indeed even BRIC nations buy our products en masse. But you know what? They never follow the "buy American mantra." They go for whoever offers the best value, and that can't be you if you don't minimize your operating expenses, which may include getting cheaper labor if that's what it takes. No amount of mercantilism (tariffs, etc) will fix that, so don't even think about calling your congressman. If foreign companies can do the job much cheaper, eventually your entire company moves over there, or it just goes belly up because it can't compete with global competitors.

      But anyways outsourcing is good, and in light of paragraph 3, 4, and 5, offshoring is also good. If I were them, I would also ignore questions asked by labor unions. Why? Because no good can come of it. No matter what your answer is, they'll always demonize you.

      And I speak as somebody who is in one of those careers that is most vulnerable to offshoring and H1-B competition (by the way, I support H1-B as well.)

    • by K. S. Kyosuke ( 729550 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @06:13PM (#46774331)

      They lie, lie and lie some more.

      Are you implying they made the wrong career choice and should have gone for statistician jobs instead?

    • by Livius ( 318358 )

      Presumably the same 80% who believe they are above average...

  • And how could one become one of those 1000? Even if just 56% of them become rich that's good enough a chance for me.

    • Being a Millionaire before you die does not mean you ever became rich by North American Standards. Especially if you have another 30 years to work, and inflation goes to work.

    • Even if just 56% of them become rich that's good enough a chance for me.

      The thing is that being a millionaire really isn't the same as being rich.

      Think about it -- if you were of retirement age today, how much would you want in assets to feel comfortable retiring? A quarter million? A half million?

      Now consider the amount of time that you actually have left until then. Depending on how long it will be, a half million dollars today will very likely be equivalent to over a million when you will need it.

      I would venture to say that most people who are relatively early in their ca

      • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
        I'd want $5,000,000. I have 15-20 years until retirement. I'm on track. Are you?

        I'd re-define "millionaire" (as in the rich with no money cares rich) to be people with unearned income greater than a million a year. That's the level of comfort people think of for millionaire. The millionaire next door type (I know quite a few) don't live that well. A tiny 2-bedroom house, raising one child, one new car every 10-20 years. Saving most of their disposable income. Having just enough so that when their he
    • Even if just 56% of them become rich that's good enough a chance for me.

      I am not sure if accumulating $1M over a lifetime counts as "rich". I started working 35 years ago. I immediately started regularly and automatically putting a little from each paycheck into my IRA, invested in an index fund. The monthly payroll contribution was less than my car payment. Yet, today my IRA has over $700K. Unless there is a market crash, it should be over $1M by the time I retire.

      • by starless ( 60879 )

        I am not sure if accumulating $1M over a lifetime counts as "rich". I started working 35 years ago. I immediately started regularly and automatically putting a little from each paycheck into my IRA, invested in an index fund. The monthly payroll contribution was less than my car payment. Yet, today my IRA has over $700K. Unless there is a market crash, it should be over $1M by the time I retire.

        The usual estimate of how much you can withdraw from your savings per year without having too much chance
        of drawing down your capital is 4%.
        So, $1M gives you an annual income of $40,000, not exactly a high salary, even adding in ~$30k in social
        security income won't make you especially well off.

  • Want (Score:5, Funny)

    by Garybaldy ( 1233166 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @03:34PM (#46772167)

    I want the drugs those developers are on.

    • by plopez ( 54068 )

      They were really good in the 90's. At some start ups people were getting paid in stock options and landlords were taking stock options for rent. I joined a start up but I held out for cash, I was never that stupid.

  • by neminem ( 561346 ) <neminem@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @03:35PM (#46772175) Homepage

    I think I have a good shot at becoming a millionaire in my lifetime - not from hitting it big, just from saving more than I spend (especially into my 401k, with company matching).

    And what *about* the current state of the economy? It seems to me that it's mostly recovered at this point. And it's not unreasonable for white-collar workers to expect *some* kind of raise at least every couple years, even if it's just a raise on par with inflation.

    • by dpilot ( 134227 )

      Years back, in the days of much higher inflation, my brother said he fully expected to be a millionaire one of these days, and he also expected to spend something like $100 of that money to get a hamburger at McDonalds.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      ^^^ THIS.
      I make a modest salary, but live below my means and save about 1/3 of my gross. I don't get to drive brand new cars (and stay away from depreciating assets in general) and my house is not the greatest, but it's fine for me and I think, barring another 2008/2009 debacle, I'll be over $1M on paper in about 10 years from now. It's very doable, as long as you don't fall into the 'keep up with the Joneses' trap and understand that compound interest will be your friend long after all your current frie
    • by mellon ( 7048 )

      It's recovered for us, for the moment, but it's still pretty brittle. I wouldn't get too attached to the "recovery" if I were you.

  • Well, if you work at a fairly professional wage, put away a decent chunk in a 401k, perhaps get some company match, the millionaire mark isn't out of reach for most professionals.

    Then again, I too have been guilty of riding the startup dream.

    • Why does everyone want a 401(k)? I had a 401(k) for a while. I stopped making that mistake, and I'm far better off.
      • If you don't understand why people want the ability to save large amounts of money without paying taxes on the principle, interest, or dividends until they withdraw it, I'm not sure you're as well off as you think you are.

  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @03:38PM (#46772237)
    It has an annual safe return of $40k to $50K. For younger developers who may not retire until 2050, that is not much after several decades of inflation.
  • Shock (Score:4, Insightful)

    by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @03:43PM (#46772317) Homepage
    In case y'all hadn't noticed, our community is rife with hazardously inflated egos. This is a natural extension thereof.
  • by unimacs ( 597299 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @03:45PM (#46772343)
    I've got a rather dumpy house in a nice urban neighborhood. It's paid for and worth a bit over $200,000. Looking at long term trends and the increasing popularity of urban living, it will most likely appreciate a fair amount before I retire.

    That alone will get me a good chunk of the way towards being a millionaire in terms of net worth.

    Now add in the gobs of money that they recommend you save for retirement and by the time you do retire... well, you've got a lot of money. This assumes of course that you can navigate yourself past the agism that's also part of being a developer and remain a well paid part of the workforce until you retire.
  • by TsuruchiBrian ( 2731979 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @03:50PM (#46772435)
    I am a software developer with 9+ years experience. I bought a house at the end of 2011 for $570K and zillow says it's worth $695K now. In 27 years, I think it's pretty likely I will be a millionaire due to inflation and paying off my house.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @03:55PM (#46772523)

      I am a software developer with 15+ years experience but I have $1500 in my bank account and still live with my mother.

      Fuck me.

    • Or we'll get rid of QE and get 7% or 11% interest rates again, and your home value will stay the same plus inflation, but the sale price (your asset) will drop. Then people will again be able to buy a house and pay it off in 10 years or so instead of 30, since we'll be talking about putting a hundred or so dollars on top of their loan instead of paying 3.5x to pay it off in 10 years instead of 30.
  • A million is easy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by byteherder ( 722785 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @03:50PM (#46772437)
    If you can't find a way to get to a million by retirement, something is wrong.

    Here is a simple way to do it. Put $16,000 in your 401k and $5,000 in your IRA every year. Investing in a good S&P500 index fund which will return about 10%. In 18 years, you will be a millionaire.

    Now getting to $10 million is tough.
    • If you can't find a way to get to a million by retirement, something is wrong.

      Here is a simple way to do it. Put $16,000 in your 401k and $5,000 in your IRA every year. Investing in a good S&P500 index fund which will return about 10%. In 18 years, you will be a millionaire.

      Now getting to $10 million is tough.

      Actually, the hard part is getting the first million. Then it feeds itself. Especially since the second million, etc. aren't being held back for basic living expenses.

    • This is the worst advice ever.

      • It comes down to basic math. Save regularly and let the compound interest work for you.

        The alternative to saving for retirement is just to work until you die.
    • 10% return?! What the hell are you smoking! THat is a return only wall street sharks and investors get. Seriously.

  • Being a millionaire in "our lifetime" probably won't mean much. With inflation and medical costs of growing old, you'll need a few million just to retire. Unless they think they'll earn that million in the next 5 years or so, it's not going to get them what they think.
  • Sounds more like the interview happened in some management circles.

  • Where did they get the 1000 responses? Did some management magazine offer free subscriptions to managers who stood over their employees as they filled in their responses to the survey? The data suggests this happened at least 98% of the time.

  • Infrastructure (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DaMattster ( 977781 )
    The infrastructure guys always get fucked over, always! Without infrastructure, what will your whiz bang application run on? Software Engineers, developers, you guys have it made whereas the lowly systems and network admins only get recognition when something takes a shit.
  • How many (%) excpect to go to heaven (or equivalent, based on believe-system)?

    Much higher than those puny 56 %, and millenia older as well...

  • Developers are white collar workers, who can do math. If you ask any white collar worker in america "Do you expect to become a millionaire?" If they answer no, they are either bad at math or bad at retirement planning, or both.

    Now I am not saying "everyone will be a millionaire" but I am saying that if you asked the same thing of a Nurse, pharmacist, professor, regional manager at Jack-in-the-Box, or a School Administrator... they should have the same answer, as they have similar salary levels to a "De
  • yeah and... (Score:5, Informative)

    by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @03:59PM (#46772599)

    >> 56 percent expect to become millionaires in their lifetime.

    yeah and 99% of software engineers also seriously believe their initial time estimate to have that feature implemented by was actually realistic.

    • by ADRA ( 37398 )

      http://articles.latimes.com/20... [latimes.com]

      There are roughly 9.6 million millionares in the US presently (NOT INCLUDING HOUSES). That works out to roughly 3% of the population, so not a ton.

      Given that I think most dev's probably fall into the top 1/3rd earners in society and that the 'millionaire' mark errodes yearly with inflation, its very likely that a large number of software developers will in fact be millionaires by the time they retire. The real question is in 30 years, what will a million bucks be in buying p

  • Just publish an app. And monetize it. Problem solved.[1]

    [1] Note that for many programmers who try this technique, the universe may opt to substitute an equivalent product, such as gained knowledge about how the world works and reduction of personal naivete.
  • by BenSchuarmer ( 922752 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @03:59PM (#46772607)
    but a million bucks doesn't go as far as it used to
  • Becoming a millionaire in a person's lifetime is very simple and most people can do it. Contribute 10% of your income to your retirement accounts over the course of your lifetime into a diversified portfolio, and you will become a millionaire. Time and discipline are the keys, not generating a large income. Unfortunately, most people are missing one of those two attributes.

  • Seriously, did they pay slashdot to run this garbage? "IT consulting company produces colourful but unattributed info-graphic saying developers are important but IT is to slow." would be a better summary.
  • 1. Buy a million dollar house
    2. Spend the next 30 years paying off the mortgage
    3. Poof. Instant millionaire.
  • I'm thinking the respondents were all fresh out of school, and haven't had their absurd expectations ground down by the real world yet...

  • by vinn ( 4370 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @04:18PM (#46772905) Homepage Journal

    I remember when I was younger and management would send out employee opinion surveys. I'd answer them, be truthful and feel like my opinion actually mattered. I felt it was proper to express exactly how happy or unhappy I was and that the survey was some mechanism for improving things.

    Then I became part of management and I realized how completely wrong I was.

    The employee opinion survey mostly serves as a crutch for manager's to pat themselves on the back and the do a very good job curve fitting the results to their preconceived notions of how things are. It also serves to weed out people with bad attitudes - I've overheard more than one discussion of trying to locate an employee based on the comment they made on the survey.

    So, if you say you're happy with the wage you're getting, you won't be getting a raise. In fact, it's even seen as a sign that pay cuts should be happening. Likewise, if you feel like you're a valued employee, good luck getting any more benefits. It's more likely management will use that as an excuse to strip away that one little perk, like free soda or something, just because they'll decrease the amount of HR budget dedicated to keeping employees happy. Don't ever be happy on paper.

    Unfortunately, it's not enough for just you to express your desire for a raise. If 40% of your colleagues think they get paid enough, that's probably enough for management to little to no wage increase. You really want less than 5 - 10% say they're happy - in other words, 90% of the employees in your department need to express displeasure with their wages in order for the survey to have any meaningful effect on wages. (There's plenty of other ways to get a raise though - an employee survey is probably one of the least likely ways for it to happen.)

    PS. If you think your company is one of those awesome companies that cares, you're probably wrong. If you sat in the room with the CEO, COO, and HR Director and heard that private conversation about the survey, you'd be horrified.

  • by Dcnjoe60 ( 682885 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @04:29PM (#46773091)

    One could say the same thing about high school athletes expecting to go pro.

  • by Mister Mudge ( 472276 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @04:33PM (#46773135)

    ... that developers are no less short-sighted, ignorant, or stupid than the rest of the US population.

  • 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

    I downloaded the study by Chef (which amounted to a 3-page PDF), and there was no breakdown of the sample population by age, race/ethnic make-up, gender, marital status, location, degree and primary/secondary software skills. So, one has to wonder how much of a self-selection bias took place in this so-called study.

    For instance, I cannot see a way by which a sample population of single men in their late 20s working as developers (or founders) at start-ups in Silicon Valley will respond the questionnaire in a manner comparable to, say, a mixed gender sample population of developers in their mid-30s or 40s working at established companies out of, say, Austin.

    Also, regarding age, someone starting up today should not find it impossible to become, literally, a millionaire as in "having earned a million" by the time of retirement. To effectively be a millionaire - meaning having net assets worth a million or more (at current purchasing power) counting inflation, that is another thing.

    The thing that made me scratch my head the most is that 2/3 of the sampled population believed their profession to be recession-proof. That strikes me as naivete (or stupidity) of youth/inexperience/arrogance.

    The software industry is not recession-proof. It is recession-resilient for those who actively cultivate their professional network.

    But recession-proof? Not. A. Chance.

    Either this study is seriously affected by the Dunning-Krugger Effect, or it is an exercise in intellectual self-pleasure, or somehow Chef managed to sample a population composed by truly elite multi-discipline engineers, owners of very hard-to-get skills (like building software for radar systems or something.)

  • by bwcbwc ( 601780 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @06:41PM (#46774559)

    If you earn $80k+ a year, you need to be a double millionaire just in retirement savings to maintain your income when you retire. I guess this means 44% of developers don't expect to retire at age 65?

  • So... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by benjfowler ( 239527 ) on Wednesday April 16, 2014 @07:11PM (#46774811)

    So, no different to the peculiarly American trait of considering poor people "temporarily embarrassed millionaires". No thanks to the self-serving ideology peddled by the rich, that we'd all be better off if we all worked harder, never mind the fact that the rich get rich by capturing the surplus value of your labour.

    There's a degree of this everywhere (e.g. the hundreds of millions of retards out there who consider themselves "middle class", despite needing a paycheck each week/month to survive), but nowhere is this stronger, than in the US.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun