The Best Countries for Developers to Work in

Countries with the highest job satisfaction and more analysis


Every year from 2011, Stack Overflow conducted a survey to be able to know better the IT landscape from the perspective of developers. The survey asks a lot of questions about developers job such as how many hours do they work, how much their salary, how satisfied do they feel about their job, etc.

In this article, I used Stack Overflow Survey Data 2019 to answer several questions like how is developers job satisfaction level, how much their total salary, etc. If you are interested in analyzing the data by yourself, you can find it in this link.

This article is also written for completing a project for my Udacity Data Scientist Nanodegree Program.


There are several questions I asked myself about the survey, and these are three questions that I am going to answer in this article:

1. Which country has the highest job satisfaction for developers ?

2. Is there the difference in job satisfaction between developers whose undergraduate major is IT-related an those who are not ?

3. Is there any differences in terms of salary between people who contribute to open source and those who are not?

Note that I filtered the survey data so it only contains the respondents who work as a developer (I excluded students and people who only code for their hobby).

Data Exploration

1. Country with the highest job satisfaction

In this 2019 survey there are nearly 90,000 responses from over 170 countries, and for this question I am going to use only the top 30 countries based on the total number of respondents.

As a developer, we want the best workplace and environment for us to be able to grow personally and professionally. One of the indicator we can take a look is job satisfaction of its employees. I am curious which country in this survey that has the highest job satisfaction for developers.

Figure 1: Job Satisfaction Percentages per Country

The data shows that United States is the best country in terms of job satisfaction of its employees with almost 40% of the developers feel very satisfied, and from the visualization above we know that 5 of top 10 countries with the highest job satisfaction level are located in Europe.

2. Job satisfaction based on developers background

It is not a secret that anyone can be a developer even if they do not have computer science / IT background. There are tons of online and offline bootcamps or Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) they can learn from. In fact, the result shows that 29% of developers do not have IT-related background (their undergraduate major).

I want to know more about job satisfaction when it comes to their undergraduate major. Is there any differences between them? Do developers whose background is not IT-related is more struggling with their job so that the job satisfaction is lower? I did the analysis and the result is interesting.

Figure 2: Job Satisfaction Percentage by Undergraduate Major

I found that developers whose undergraduate major is not IT-related have slightly better job satisfaction compared those who have IT-related background with 34% and 30% respondents feel very satisfied respectively.

3. Contributing to open source makes your salary higher?

One thing that I was interested in from this survey was about contributing to open source. Does this have impact to developers salary? That was the question I asked when I first saw the survey data.

We can see from the data that the more frequent the developers contribute to open source, the higher their salary. On average, people who contribute to open source once a month or more have 7% higher salary than those who never contribute.

The correlation between those two variables does not mean if we want the higher salary, we have to start contributing to open source. We need to remember one thing, correlation does not imply causation. One thing that seems reasonable about those correlation is, you need to have some sort of skills if you want to contribute to open source (I did not mean that a newbie in programming could not contribute but we can agree that the more experienced developers must be better at doing this), thus by contributing to open source can make you a more skilled and better developers, and the more skilled someone, the higher their salary.


In this article we did the analysis about developers from Stack Overflow Survey Data 2019, and these are the summary of what we have done.

  1. We measured the job satisfaction level for each country and found that United States has the highest job satisfaction level for developers in the world, and 5 of top 10 countries with the highest job satisfaction level are located in Europe.
  2. We then looked at their undergraduate major and found that developers whose undergraduate major is not IT-related have slightly better job satisfaction.
  3. Finally, we found that developers who contribute more to the open source have the higher salary (although ”does it have the direct causation?” is still debatable).

These are some of the key takeaways that I got from analyzing the data, I hope it also helps you gain some insights about the developers job.




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Aditya Kumar

Aditya Kumar

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