back to article Demand for Ruby, Hadoop and HTML5 rockets, C devs still best paid

Demand for Ruby, Hadoop and HTML5 developers jumped this year, with jobs requiring those skills increasing 70 per cent compared to the same period in 2010, according to a survey of the tech jobs in London by recruiters Adzuna. Adzuna collated every tech job advertised for London last month, a total of 100,000. HTML coders are …


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  1. KidCosmique

    Where are those 35K grad mobile dev roles exactly?

    I'm this year's 1st class hons graduate, with an Android app build as my final project. I was looking for Android Roles since July and guess what I found ? Bugger all! The reasons being the following:

    - very lowly paid (18K-22K on an never-ending Mobile Grad Ad on one of the popular job boards) by a certain recuirtment agency "specialising" in mobile development

    - when I spoke to this agency, and said that I'd like to get, a bit more than that, they said "And when did you get that figure from?!" . And then I never heard from them again.

    - there is very little of them in permanent scheme

    - 80% are on contracts, which are not ideal for fresh grads I'd think. At least not for me

    - OR they require previous iOS work (probably for companies who want to port their iPhone apps to Android) - a double skill-set which is probably very hard to find. OR I am just a very weak candidate indeed.

    These are my thoughts on searching for an Android Dev Grad or Junior role in London for over three months. In the end, I have been employed as a pure Java Dev. I'm not regretting, but it's a shame I could follow the mobile dev, something I really enjoyed as my final uni project, in professional environment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hard Truth

      "...a double skill-set which is probably very hard to find. OR I am just a very weak candidate indeed."

      If the only language you know is Java, then yes, you're a very weak candidate indeed. The usual minimum skillset for developers would ideally include some form of C (Objective C in the case of iPhone development), Java (which is not a form of C nor C++, just a similar syntax) (this for the Android platform, et al), and the usual compliment of HTML5/CSS/Javascript/PHP combo with variations on the PHP with things like ASP.NET, Ruby, etc. Are you going to be PRO at these languages/environments fresh out of Uni? By no means. But you should at least have some practical experience in them.

      1. Daniel B.

        Java does sell.

        A Java-only dev will find a job. If anything, the financial sector is always searching for Java devs...

    2. Solomon Grundy

      Yep. Weak.

      A fresh uni grad with your attitude wouldn't get through HR in most decent size companies. You've got to put in your time in business if you truly expect to meet what you appear to view as "your right now that you got through school". Recent grads are generally terrible hires: You always have to fight them in order to make them understand the real world doesn't work like school did.

    3. Robin

      Do Some Maths!

      Solve for X:

      (18000 - tax - rent) / (price_of_pint) = X

      Seriously .. I'm aware that graduate debts are higher these days than when I graduated (about 10 years ago), but as low as £18k may seem, you'd only need to 'cope' with it for a year and will then find that more doors are open to you, having gained some experience. I'm afraid that after a while you'll start finding that prospective employers care more about your experience than your degree.

      Get 12 months under your belt in your current role, keep your mobile skills sharp and I'm sure you'll find what you're looking for.

  2. Armando 123

    Seriously? Those are the salaries?

    £80k for the top listing and £57k in banking IT? In London? Suddenly life in the Midwest of the US of A is looking quite ducky.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not sure what their criteria were but there's plenty of £600+/day roles going in banking.

  3. Pooka

    I dunno what bank has got an average of £57k - I work in a bank IT dept and don't even see half of that!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The average can be mis-leading

      Speaking as someone with a few years in banking IT:

      - desktop support bods probably get in the 30-45k range

      - VBA gurus with some business knowledge and some C# (like me) can get 35-65k depending on the institution and distance from the trading desk (closer = more cash, hours and shouty people)

      - If you have superb VBA *and* C# and maybe throw in some C++ along with absolutely loads of business knowledge you can expect more in the 80-100k since you'll be sat at the desk with the traders.

      I don't know many people who've enjoyed working in desktop support teams for "the world's local bank" given their tendency to promote idiots (a trait not limited to this company, I know). They are right at the bottom end of that 30-45k range. It was a decent amount of cash when I was single, but I wouldn't want to survive on that in London with a family + property.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      As stated by another poster, if you have the business knowledge and work directly for or sit next to the irate shouty people then you can easily coin £80k as a perm or around £600/day as a contractor. However, working with such people is a skill-set in itself and you will tend to adopt similar attitudes to them due to the time pressure you find yourself under.

  4. Solomon Grundy

    Why the Surprise?

    As IT has become more mature it should come as no surprise that salaries have dropped to a reasonable level. Devs aren't exactly hard to find anymore & that means pay shouldn't be through the roof either.

  5. KidCosmique

    Knowing just java is not the point...

    I never said I know Java only. I'm quite good at SQL, XML, and recently started learning C# and know my way around cloud computing, but that's not the point. The point is, I couldn't find find Grad Mobile Dev roles, especially Android, that pay £35K, as this article would indicate. I just don't think that this is the case. AS I said, 80% roles for mobile devs for Android are contracts, the other 20% are lowly paid or require previous iOS work. I would be very happy to be proven wrong.

    1. Just Thinking

      80% of Android roles are probably contracts because they are not permanent - someone wants an Android app, when it is finished there isn't a role any more (maybe one person in maintenance).

      It's a fad at the moment, do you really want to be sitting there with just Android on your CV when it all dries up in a few years?

      As a grad you might just possibly persuade someone to give you a job in C# or some other language you don't have much experience in, if you are prepared to work for nothing. Once you have a bit of experience, you will find it next to impossible to switch to another language/technology, however well you have learnt it in your own time, because you will be up against people with a track record. Nobody will give you a chance, you won't even get an interview.

      The only time you will get the opportunity to learn a new language is if you move to a different project with your current employer. This will happen from time to time (depending on who you work for) and these are the dual skills, together with a few years domain knowledge, which will get you a well paid job. Probably in some sector you never expected to be part of.

      If you have found a Java job with half decent pay, its a pretty good start.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Knowing just java is not the point...

      I think you mean you couldn't find any "Grad Mobile Dev" (?) roles that pay £35000, *and would take someone with your profile* (whatever that profile is).

      By the way, reading your previous post, I'm sorry to say your grammar is quite atrocious. Never a good trait for a developer to have.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh come off it. "Good at ... XML"? Did you learn that for passing the HR drones? Beware: Harsh truths ahead.

      You know Java because you used it at uni, you just bought a C# book on Amazon, and that it the sum total of your programming expertise. Yes, you are indeed a weak candidate for a mobile dev (or any other) role.

      The jobs that will get you those salaries you're looking for are not described as £x - £x but as "competitive" or "excellent". Those words aren't just there to fob you off (ok, sometimes they are, look for warning signs in the job specification), they're pointing out that the whole "hiring developers" thing is an inexact science and putting a figure on it is often no more than a guess.

      All the job ads that will lead anywhere good are some version of "we need someone good/really good/excellent, with experience relevant to _____, please come and prove to us that you're worth hiring THEN NEGOTIATE YOUR PRICE"

      Any decent developer job will be on a wildly negotiable salary depending on what you prove to them. Don't expect the fact that you know Java and you did a uni course to be an instant ticket to a mid-level salary. But, by all means, apply for those jobs that require Objective C or any other kind of experience too if you feel you can shore up your shortcomings by excelling in other areas - the whole market is an "open for negotiation" area.

    4. Solomon Grundy


      Nothing wrong with contracts, especially if you are young or your lady doesn't want you at home very much. The contract game is a great way to develop a skillset that you can someday use to negotiate for a decent salary and a fulltime job/career.

      After about a decade I was billing out for contract work at $335/hour. I make far less than that now but have a solid job. That being said though, the contracting days were some of the most fun times in my life.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Contracts: experience, good money, flexibility & teach self sufficiently trade off for insecurity

        +1 @Solomon Grundy I agree with you totally. @KidCosmique not sure why you are averse to contracts. If you were say a mature student married with kids and had a mortage then I would understand that the risks of contracting (much less job security and unpredictability) would be detrimental to those commitments.

        Or I might understand if you had already worked for several large companies as an employee and got used to the security (debatable in this day and age).

        But if you are say in your early twenties (but really any age is never too late as they say) and - more to the point - you have no commitments such as a mortage, kids, a partner, but maybe a student loan, then you really don't have much to lose doing contracting.

        Short term contracts can mean variety and you would learn self-sufficiency also a portfolio career of maybe more than one income. Having that experience makes you attactive to a permanent position because you are a good all rounder.

        Contracts are not without their pitfalls but don't discount them straight away.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and heres me...

    just out of uni, putting together a portfolio so i can apply for an 18k job...

    given that median income in the uk is about 20-25k, i dont think a grad with with little or no experience should just be able to flash a bit of paper to get in at 30k+

    i need either:

    a) a project/job/piece of work that is the job in miniature <-my preferred option

    b) to already know the people (through placement/old boys club/whatever)

    c) the HR droid/interviewer to not have a scooby doo about the job your applying for

    (tick box skill set, turn up on time and looking smart etc)

  7. M Gale

    Ruby, or Rails?

    Only I know plenty about the former, but the latter still has me scratching my noggin and wondering what the hell. Sure it's Ruby, but that's like saying that Android uses Java. Android uses Java... in a sort of weird framework that requires as much effort to learn as learning a new language anyway. I'd LIKE to learn the whole Rails MVC thing, sure, but LAMP is just so much damned easier to get something useful up and running with.

    Maybe I'm just odd.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No you are right

      Rails is no more than Symphony / Zend Framework / Code Igniter to a PHP developer. Any real language developer with a decent architectural understanding of systems can build his/her own framework.

      I always thought Ruby on Rails and Ruby was just a fad. There is no distinct advantage over PHP or ASP. Still rich start up execs likes to put themselves out as "hip" so they can get brought out earlier and there you have it.

      In a couple years it'll be node.js developers that has the highest growth rate. The execs are already pumping it up on twitter.

      Or maybe I'm just getting old.

  8. Mr Lion

    @kid cosmique

    Where did you study? That is probably far more important than what you studied and certainly far more so than the classification of your degree.

    1. KidCosmique

      @MrLion Birkbeck College, which I realise is not the best university in the country but at least allowed me to do the degree whilst I was working full time. Whilst managing to work full time and study can look good on a CV, I understand that I can still be pushed down the pecking order when compared with applicants from 'red-brick universities'.


      English is not my mother-tongue but don't worry, I continue to work on improving it and I coped in my last 5 years in customer-liasing roles.


      Thank you for your advice, much appreciated.

  9. hexx

    was there, everything goes 'social' and everybody is building on Ruby. regarding social - don't build your business on someone else's business model, what will happen to you if they change rules? some of the start-ups where just BS sellers trying to come with 'original' 'social-media' based business model to sell it ASAP.

  10. BrendHart

    To grads and assorted comments.

    To grads out there : Most jobs for gads aren't advertised as most grad jobs are filled by word-of-mouth. Hiring a grad developer is risky because very few grads have the personality profile to sit and write code for 40 hours a week despite earning a degree.

    I'm an average experienced developer - I get stuff done reliably although I'm certainly not brilliant. Having said that programmer salaries are woefully low. If you consider the technical and domain knowledge required to code and maintain highly complex critical systems it's a no-brainer. Unfortunately management and beancounters think of us as just your normal semi-skilled labour. It gets a bit depressing when Sue in marketing earns more than you do for browsing Facebook all day, arranging interviews and choosing what font the company email footer should have.

    /end of whinging.

    1. hexx

      "Sue in marketing earns more than you do for browsing Facebook all day, arranging interviews and choosing what font the company email footer"

      and then when you tell her to forget about that font she still doesn't get it even if you explain why and how different email clients, or webmail clients deal with emails how they render and how different systems use different fonts. i hate these marketing ppl, they're braindead

    2. Solomon Grundy

      Sue in Marketing

      Sales is where it's at. Sales forgives all sins because it pays all the salaries of the tech staff & everyone else that keep the business in business - no sales = no jobs. Tech is an operational function and shouldn't be compared to sales/marketing functions.

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