AI-assisted development has become the emerging technology that developers are engaging with the most, beating out other technologies like generative AI, robotics, quantum computing, self-driving cars, non-cryptocurrency blockchain applications, cryptocurrency, 5G, the metaverse, and more. 

This finding is from SlashData’s 2023 Developer Nation survey. The company surveyed over 25,000 software developers from over 160 countries. 

“With AI powering many of the most controversial and transformational emerging technologies, the rate of technological advancement is increasing, and developers are no safer than artists and authors from the effects,” the report authors wrote. 

According to the report, the engagement in AI-assisted development had actually decreased by 4% since the previous survey, but the type of engagement has intensified. Developers are now more likely to actually be working on it or learning about it, and are less likely to show latent interest. 

“Taken together, a decrease in overall engagement coupled with a shift towards activity amongst

those engaged points to a rapid maturing of AI-assisted development. It is quickly transforming from a trending topic on social media to a useful tool for many developers,” the authors said. 

The report also looked at salary data for developers. In North America, developers’ average annual compensation is over $100k and the median is $75k. North America is the region with the highest compensation of developers, followed by Oceania with $89k in average compensation, Western Europe and Isreal with $62k, and all other regions earning less than $48k on average. 

Globally, 51% of developers feel they are fairly compensated, 39% believe they are undercompensated, and 11% feel they are compensated more than they think is fair for the role. 

They broke these sentiments down further by gender and found that 16% of men feel underpaid, while only 11% of women and 14% of non-binary developers feel that way. They also found 7% of women feel overpaid, compared to 4% of men and 1% of non-binary developers. 

Another trend was that the more experience one has, the more underpaid they feel. The report authors estimate that there is a 7% increase in the chance that a developer will feel underpaid for each year of experience they gain. 

SlashData also devoted a section of the report to women’s role in software development. They said: “Since the beginning of computing, women have consistently played a pivotal role in software development that has frequently been overlooked; from Ada Lovelace developing the first algorithms for modern computers to Margaret Hamilton’s crucial role in the development of on-board guidance software for NASA’s Apollo program. However, despite women’s exceptional contributions to the field, they have often received less credit than their male counterparts, and their place in the field is questioned.”

22% of survey respondents identify as women, an increase of 3% since 2021. The highest age range represented is 25 to 34, which indicates a step in a positive direction since people in that age group have started to settle into their careers. 

The areas with the highest proportion of women were virtual reality with 33%, augmented reality at 28%, and games at 28%. The areas with the least representation were backend services with 13%, web apps and SaaS at 16%, and industrial IoT at 20%. 

When it comes to leadership roles, 14% of men were technical team leads, compared to 8% of women. 11% of men are CIO, CTO, or IT managers, compared to 9% of women. “This could create a cycle whereby there may be fewer mentorship opportunities for other women. When there are fewer female leaders, it has been found in a range of fields that it can be harder for women to progress in their careers, and it can be more challenging for aspiring women to find mentors who can guide them, provide valuable insights, and help them navigate their career paths,” the report authors wrote. 

To learn more about the trends found by the survey, download the full survey here.