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DevOps, machine learning dominate technology opportunities this year

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If you want to boost your income and visibility in the software game, start pointing your work toward DevOps and machine learning. Languages and frameworks associated with these methodologies and technologies are on the rise, and developers working in these areas command the highest salaries.

img0793.jpg Photo: HubSpot

This is a key takeaway from the latest survey[1] of more than 100,000 developers worldwide, conducted by Stack Overflow. The survey finds DevOps specialists and engineering managers have the highest salaries in the field, averaging between $70,000 and $90,000 a year worldwide. (Within the United States, salaries for these two range between $110,000 annually for DevOps specialists and $137,000 for engineering managers.)

The survey also shows that DevOps specialists and developers who code for desktop and enterprise applications have the most experience, averaging eight years of professional coding experience. "DevOps as a discipline and professional identity is relatively new, but the people working in this field are highly experienced," the survey's authors report. "Game/graphics developers and mobile developers have the fewest years of experience."

The survey finds developers are overall optimistic about the possibilities that artificial intelligence offers, but are not in agreement about what the dangers of AI are. Seventy-three percent answered affirmatively to "I'm excited about the possibilities more than worried about the dangers. Only 19% say they are more worried about AI's dangers.

When asked about the specific dangers they worry about, 41% are concerned about the increasing automation of jobs due to AI. Another 24% say they worry about algorithms making important decisions, and 23% say artificial intelligence surpassing human intelligence ("the singularity") is a real threat. Twelve percent say bias in decisions is the main risk with AI.

Developers, for the most part, are willing to

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