The 2019 State of Web Developers in Atlanta [Infographic]
Home to the fourth-largest tech incubator in the country, a thriving business community, and top-ranked educational institutions, there are more than enough factors that have set Atlanta up as a top tech player. In fact, it’s one of the best places in the U.S. to be a web developer this year.
Let’s take a closer look at what sets the city apart from the rest—and don’t forget to check out our handy infographic at the end!
The University that Changed Everything
Atlanta’s rich technological history can be traced back to the establishment of our very own Georgia Tech. Back in 1948, the school was officially renamed from the Georgia School of Technology to the Georgia Institute of Technology, marking its evolution from an engineering school to a fully-fledged technical institute and research university.
Since then, the city’s tech footprint has been steadily growing, earning it the nickname “The Silicon Valley of the South.”
Note: Only software vendors on G2 Crowd with headquarters currently in the Atlanta area are included in graph.
With more than 150,000 businesses calling Atlanta home, it’s no surprise to see Fortune 500 and 1000 companies like Delta Airlines, First Data Corporation, Equifax, and SunTrust Banks attracting tech talent from across the country. Not to mention startups like MailChimp and Calendly, as well as established corporations like Microsoft, continue to set their sights on Atlanta.
Atlanta Tech Village & VCs: The Backbone of Atlanta’s Emerging Tech Scene
Atlanta isn’t just the Silicon Valley of the South; it’s also known as “Transaction Alley” for its numerous high-value investments. In the second quarter of 2019, the city set a new record in venture capital raised with a total of $649.94 million—that’s nearly triple the numbers raised in the same quarter of the previous year.
These impressive numbers should come as no surprise, though, considering that the city is also home to the nation’s fourth-largest tech incubator, Atlanta Tech Village (ATV), which has raised more than $893 million in startup funding since 2012.
“The number of inquiries that we’ve received from out-of-state investors interested in Atlanta startups has more than tripled over the last six months,” an ATV representative said in a recent report. “There’s a momentum that’s been building over the past few years here, and that wave continues to crest. The future of Atlanta tech is very bright.”
Atlanta also presents a multitude of engagement opportunities for burgeoning businesses through conferences like Venture Atlanta and SuperNova South. With so many resources available to local tech newbies, it’s no wonder over 400 startups have set up shop in the ATL.
Of course, Atlanta’s progress doesn’t stop with startups. Tech giant Amazon recently announced plans to fill a 700,000-square-foot facility with 1,000 new jobs, investing an additional $200 million into building enhancements. And even luxury automaker Porsche has set its sights on the city’s tech talent, opening its second U.S. office focused on software and internet-enabled innovation here in Atlanta.
Atlanta Tech’s Big Picture: Where Do Web Developers Fit In?
With over 4.5 billion daily internet users across the globe, it makes sense that the demand for skilled web developers is projected to grow 13 percent from 2018-2028—much faster than the average for all other occupations. And with so many ways to join the workforce—working for a corporation, joining a startup, and even freelancing—it’s never been easier to enter the field.
When it comes to web development, we often hear the terms “front-end”, “back-end” and “full-stack”. Here’s what they really mean:
- Front-End Web Development—creates what you see on a webpage or app interface
- Responsibility: Building the part of a website a user sees and directly interacts with, creating a functioning website from a design.
- Back-End Web Development—builds a website’s “under the hood” databases and infrastructure.
- Responsibility: Work with a front-end developer to make their code work on a website or app design.
- Programming Languages: PHP, Ruby, Python
- Full-Stack Web Development—a hybrid of front-end and back-end development
- Responsibility: Work with the front- and back-end of a website or app, tackling projects involving databases, user-facing websites, or even working with clients during the planning phase.
In the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta area, there are 3,024 total employed software developers creating, testing, and optimizing the front- and back-ends of websites and applications.
Atlanta’s unemployment rate hit 3.7 percent in July 2019—its lowest level since 2001. With 2.7 percent of Atlanta’s total workforce working in high-tech jobs, this is a great year for Atlantians to secure a career in the thriving field of web development.
The Five Best-Paying Tech Jobs in the U.S. (And How Much They Pay in Atlanta)
New college graduates and skilled individuals should set their sights on Atlanta, where top tech salaries hover right around the national average. But it’s important to note, hard skills are only half of the puzzle.
According to a recent LinkedIn study, these are the top five soft skills companies want to see from candidates:
- Time Management
“As powerful as AI will ultimately become and is becoming, we’re still a ways away from computers being able to replicate and replace human interaction and human touch. So there’s a wonderful incentive for people to develop these skills because those jobs are going to be more stable for a longer period of time,” says Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn CEO.
While candidates who have mastered the relevant tools and technologies to be a successful developer are highly valuable to employers, it’s the soft skills that tend to get them in the door. Individuals on the job hunt should set their sights on these five top-paying tech positions.
Take a look at how Atlanta’s salaries stack up to the national average, and note the hard and soft skills required for each:
- Senior Developer
- Description: Sometimes referred to as Software Engineers, these individuals perform various development tasks such as coding, app development, and web development, often overseeing projects.
- Average National Salary: $98,870
- Average Salary in Atlanta: $106,079
- Lead Engineer
- Description: Oversees a development team of programmers and is responsible for the underlying architecture for a given project.
- Required Skills: Management, science, or engineering; experience participating in cooperative engineering programs.
- Average National Salary: $112,581
- Average Salary in Atlanta: $108,518
- Mobile Developer
- Description: Works on new applications for mobile devices; similar related titles include Android Developer or iOS Developer.
- Required Skills: Mobile UI design, cross-platform app development, back-end development, modern language programming skills.
- Average National Salary: $108,088
- Average Salary in Atlanta: $97,127
- Data Scientist
- Description: Uses statistical analysis tools to review large amounts of data for valuable insights.
- Required Skills: IT, math, computational science, or related fields; experience with metrics, analytics, statistics, and machine learning.
- Average National Salary: $120,935
- Average Salary in Atlanta: $104,606
- DevOps Engineer
- Description: Leads the cross-functional team and is in charge of mapping different stages of development, launch, and maintenance.
- Required Skills: Understanding code, time management, and interpersonal skills; experience in business or a related field.
- Average National Salary: $120,226
- Average Salary in Atlanta: $117,970
Atlanta’s Cost of Living
With a cost of living just 2 percent above the national average, Atlanta professionals who earn $100,000 or more can hold on to more of their paychecks—which is especially good news for web developers in the ATL, who command an average annual salary of $95,864.
With the cost of housing below the national average, residents can maximize their salaries. Not to mention, Atlanta’s healthcare costs are among the lowest in the country, meaning workers can save more of their income for other expenses.
Becoming a Web Developer: One Destination, Many Paths
With computer science skills becoming more in-demand than ever, there are also more ways than ever to gain knowledge and experience outside the traditional university system. From coding tutorials and introductory resources to online and in-person boot camps, there are a variety of ways for aspiring developers to jumpstart a new career or advance their current skill set.
While it’s not always easy, learning to code is always a rewarding experience with an equally-rewarding outcome. Just ask our boot camp graduates:
- Bringing Learning Home: How One Coding Grad Is Making A Difference in Haiti
Growing up in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, Esterling Accime taught himself to code before coming to the U.S. and taking the Coding Boot Camp. Following his successful completion of the program, he took his new skills back home to open up his own two-day workshop for anyone interested in learning coding basics. His paying it forward has provided so many with hope for the future, and it all started with a decision to take the leap and learn programming.
- How to Juggle a Career, a Newborn, and Learning to Code
As a father working full-time, Brent Lewis was no stranger to being spread thin. But that didn’t stop him from taking the Coding Boot Camp to further his existing programming skills. His success in the program all boiled down to a commitment to learn for a lifetime; after landing his dream software engineering job, his hunger to create a larger impact on Atlanta’s tech community led him to apply for the Master of Science in Computer Science program.
- For This Teacher, an Online Coding Boot Camp Gave Her the Courage to Follow Her Passion
With limited computer science experience, Rebecca Wieberdink made the leap to join the Online Coding Boot Camp. While her inner perfectionist caused a short bout of imposter syndrome at the beginning of the program, she was able to utilize the support of her fellow classmates and course resources to overcome her doubts. Ultimately, the boost in confidence was all it took for this boot camp grad to realize her full potential and become a professional web developer.
In 2019, more than 23,000 developers graduated from a coding boot camp, and that number of students only continues to grow. These in-person or virtual programs provide fast-paced curricula, real-time support, and career assistance.
Many online programs are also great resources to learn the fundamentals. Codecademy, Treehouse, Khan Academy, and FreeCodeCamp can help interested individuals determine if the tech field is something they’re serious about pursuing.
Ready to start exploring a future in web development? Learn more about our part-time, in-person Coding Boot Camp at Georgia Tech.
We’ve compiled all this data (and much more) for you in one helpful infographic. Take a look down below!