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Ask HN: Is DevOps still the highest paying sector of CS?
7 points by uncomputation 11 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 13 comments
I remember for years sysadmin was the highest paying sector within CS jobs. That has now shifted to devops related stuff. With the huge interest in devops, Kubernetes, and cloud platforms, do you think the flood of people in that area will drive down the salary ranges and in what timeframe? The next three years, five years, or has it already happened and I’m late on the pickup?

was it the highest paying? I think the pay is usually higher for cyber security, ai engineering, algorithm developers, some niches and I see blockchain salaries rising fast.

but in all of CS you got so many niches you could get astronomical salaries, cryptography, algotrading, advertising. and that's all before stock options or ownership. highest pay is when you own something.

I’m getting my data from the StackOverflow surveys and just talk around the Net. See the 2019 survey (https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2019#salary) and 2020 survey (https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2020#work-salary-b...) as examples.

Any more insight into blockchain stuff? It was my (admittedly basic) understanding that most of the money to be made there was from getting some initial supply or speculative price increases.

I wasnt talking about investing, I was refering to salaries. writing contracts and definitely auditing, which is basically cyber applied to crypto. and then there's all layer 2 solutions and products on top/side of Blockchain.

I think highest here means highest salary floor for the job, not the ceiling. I think it was at one point, at least according to my recruiters who want me to do DevOps.

I agree. I dont remember it ever being the highest paying.

Unfortunately, Stack Overflow decided to use Survey Monkey to store their old survey results so I could only find an easily accessible one as far back as 2015 (https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2015#work-complang) but even in that one, it notes that niche areas and cloud computing pay well. Cloud computing specifically was said to pay 126% above average. Just wanted to prove I’m not failing sanity check yet.

Ah, I guess that makes sense when it was still niche. It looks like the others above it are mostly big data and ML related.

That makes a lot of sense: niche areas in general pay higher so it’s not anything about cloud architecture or devops but rather when it was still niche that made it lucrative. I don’t think it’s anywhere niche anymore so I would assume the salaries will gradually lower but then again who knows, it’s hard to lower salaries that have been high previously.

It's likely they just haven't paid raises or made cost of living adjustments. Even with low inflation, a lack of COL adjustment would be substantial over 5 years.

I dont think DevOps is a thing you specialize in, it’s a dev job someone has to do as part of some larger project. DevOps people get paid better because they know all the things that go into the project that other devs know, and they also know how to deal with large infrastructure.

If you only know kubernetes or docker without knowing what runs on them, it’s quite unlikely that your salary is going to be stellar...

If it’s money you’re after, quant/dev or algo trading is your best bet.

I think any niche area you pursue and get good at it.

It can pay you really well. I have seen people making six figures doing Excel Work such as writing VBA scripts so it all depends on the person.

If you are devops guy and you are really good at you can be making a lot of money

SAP consultants usually. There are several SAP subspecialties, like ERP integrations, that are themselves very lucrative.

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