Nowadays, our world is moving towards digitalization and networking of all activities, both professional and personal. On the one hand, this process is an extraordinary revolution that benefits consumers through lower costs, more variety, better access to services around the world, and much more.
On the other hand, moving to a digitized format that includes software, applications, websites and more is time-consuming and sometimes even difficult.
Of course, nowadays there are many different online services that help users create a desktop application or a website page, but for more complex tasks it is often necessary to hire an expert in this field.
In recent years, the demand for developers’ expertise has increased significantly, which strengthens their potential career path and ensures a stable future for them.
In this article, we present you the 7 best alternatives for a junior developer. We take into account the average annual salary, demand, requirements and more.
What Does A Junior Developer Do?
A junior developer works in technical development and is responsible for writing and maintaining code for websites, applications, and software programs.
There is a very large pool of specializations from which a developer can choose, each of which has different requirements. These jobs range from writing the code for a piece of software from scratch to making sure that the final design and readability of a website provides a good experience for the end user.
Regardless of the developer’s chosen focus niche, the junior developer position is the second step in a developer’s career path. Such a career starts with an entry-level position, then moves on to the junior level, then to the mid-level, and finally to the senior level.
Naturally, the salary increases exponentially with more experience and a larger number of successfully completed projects. In fact, even a junior developer earns quite well, but senior developers in better-paying companies often have annual salaries of more than $200,000.
What Are The Skills Needed To Work As A Developer
However, the above-average salary of developers is explained by the difficulty of their job and the requirements needed to perform it competently. First of all, programming skills are a must in this profession, even though programming may not be the main activity of every developer.
In addition, developers must also be familiar with databases and web storage, back-end technologies, and front-end frameworks to ensure they understand each step of the development process and are able to do their part of the job in line with the rest.
Finally, there are other soft skills that are considered bonuses, such as organizational skills and the ability to work in a team, as well as other requirements that relate strictly to each developer’s niche of expertise, such as an understanding of a particular embedded system or a deep knowledge of cloud computing.
Which Are The Best 7 Alternatives For A Junior Developer?
1. Full-Stack Developer
Full-stack developers are the people responsible for both back-end and front-end development of a website, application, or software program.
Back-end development involves creating and maintaining the “server-side” portion of a project, i.e., writing good code, debugging, and working out security and data storage options.
Front-end development, on the other hand, consists of working on the “client-side” part of a project, making sure that the end user benefits from a great experience, that a website is easy for users to navigate, crawlable by Google’s algorithms, and more.
Full-stack developers differ from middle-tier developers in the fact that while both developers need to master both the back-end and the front-end, the latter focus only on the transition and communication between the two sides, rather than developing both sides entirely from a blank page.
Because of all these requirements and the complexity of the job itself, the average annual salary for full-stack developers in the U.S. is $97,155, with the possibility of it rising to $185,282 by the time a developer reaches the senior-level role.
2. Desktop Developers
Desktop developers are a specific type of software developers whose job is to create desktop applications. These are programs designed to run on computers and use their resources to perform their functions.
There are many different types of software that a desktop developer can choose from. The most common type is simple desktop applications, i.e. software that is downloaded by users and whose main task is to use the computer’s resources to perform a certain activity or service.
A second alternative is the development of browser applications such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc., which allow users to access the Internet through their computers.
Then desktop developers could also be tasked with creating and maintaining an operating system. These are programs that create an abstraction layer on top of the hardware, creating an environment in which functions can be executed. Examples of operating systems include macOS, Microsoft Windows, Linux and others.
Finally, desktop developers can also create programming software, which are applications used to develop, optimize, test, and troubleshoot other software applications. The most common examples of such applications are Visual Studio, Eclipse, and IDEA.
In the U.S., the average annual salary for a desktop developer is $92,459, but can rise to well over $150,00 as the developer gains experience.
3. Database Developer
Database developers are IT professionals who are tasked with building and maintaining a database. This particular job requires a very good understanding of programming language and database specific language.
However, it is important to know that there are many different variants of SQL, coming from the different vendors, which are the service providers of software programs for managing and creating a database.
Therefore, any developer who wants to develop or maintain a database must understand and be able to communicate with the SQL variant of their particular vendor. The most commonly used vendors are Oracle Database, Microsoft SQL Server and MySQL.
Due to all these difficulties, the average salary of a database developer is $105,759, with the possibility of it being over $170,000 once a developer reaches a managerial position.
4. Security Developer
With the constant proliferation of sensitive personal and business data on the Internet, cyberattacks are becoming increasingly popular. Therefore, security developers are not only a great addition to a development team, but they are essential.
Security developers are responsible for developing and designing software applications with security in mind, or ensuring that the proper controls and security mechanisms are implemented into a project.
One of the most important requirements for a security developer is knowledge of secure coding practices, encryption, and access control rights to ensure that all data in a software is secure and protected from both internal and external cyberattacks.
The role of a security developer does not end there, however. Security developers must also constantly test their work for exploitable vulnerabilities. To this end, they often perform back-testing on data collected in the past and translate these findings into statistical predictions for future data.
Finally, security developers must constantly review and update past projects, because as technology advances, the potential methods for cyberattacks become more sophisticated, so they must be sure that all defenses are up to date.
The average annual salary for a security developer in the U.S. is $82,870, with the possibility of reaching over $150,000 with more than 15 years of experience.
5. Big Data Developer
A Big Data developer is a data analyst who sifts through a company’s data to develop insightful indicators that can then guide the company’s business and commercial decisions. A Big Data developer, then, works with both programming and statistical tools to help management make day-to-day decisions.
A Big Data analyst’s responsibilities include understanding the company’s goals and constraints, analyzing and classifying the data, and then writing reports, implementing algorithms, and designing the company’s Big Data architecture.
To do such a job, developers must have a good understanding of Big Data technologies such as Spark, Hive, Hadoop and others, be familiar with databases and programming languages, and finally, be proficient in mathematics and statistics.
Since it is quite a complex job, the average annual salary for a Big Data developer in the U.S. is $100,203 and can rise to $170,040 if the developer reaches a higher position in the company.
6. Video Game Developer
Another great alternative for a junior developer is to become a video game developer. This is essentially a software developer who uses their technical skills to develop and maintain a video game.
The profession of video game developer is definitely one of the most mentioned “dream jobs” of children when they are asked what they would like to do when they grow up, and this choice is completely understandable!
Whether a video game developer works remotely or with a larger group of developers, they have the opportunity to express their creativity and have fun while achieving the goal of creating a successful video game.
However, it is important to remember that the requirements for a video game developer are very high, as not only are skills in programming and coding required, but also in many other front-end aspects such as graphics, user experience, user interface, accessibility, design, and more.
The salary of a video game developer varies greatly depending on the size of the company developing the game and the budget available. For example, in smaller companies, a developer can expect an average annual salary of about $80,000.
However, in the United States, the average annual salary of video game developers is $125,544, but it has been reported that large video game companies such as Epic Games and Roblox have offered salaries of over $200,000 and $320,000, respectively, but it is important to keep in mind that a developer only has a chance to achieve such promotions through years of experience and successful results.
7. Artificial intelligence Engineer
The last best alternative for a junior developer in this article is to become an Artificial Intelligence Engineer. With the rise in popularity of AI, especially recently with ChatGPT, everyone has become aware of the extremely useful computing power and capabilities of AI.
Even though the importance of AI has only recently become known, many large companies and firms operating in the tech niche have already realized this, making the AI engineer profession extremely stable and future-proof.
However, this is probably the most difficult profession in this list, because programming and coding will not get you far. It is extremely important for an AI developer to be able to do a lot of research and experimentation, as most aspects of this emerging niche are in constant development. So, to become a successful AI engineer, it is not enough to have a good understanding of programming, but also to be able to develop something from scratch that may have never been done before.
Because of all these difficulties and the extremely high demand for AI engineers, the average annual salary in the U.S. for these professionals is $142,613, significantly higher than for any other profession on this list. Moreover, it is not uncommon for AI engineers to earn more than $200,000 per year after a few years of experience.
Overall, as we have seen, the profession of developer offers many different profitable and interesting career paths that can be pursued entirely remotely. In addition, there are many more interesting opportunities, especially when someone is promoted from entry-level to junior developer.
For example, if someone prefers graphics and design and loves video games, then it could be his dream to become a video game developer, have fun and earn about $125,000 on average!
If instead a developer is more interested in technological advancements and where the world is headed in the future, then they might be interested in becoming an AI engineer, which has great prospects for a future career and works with all kinds of cutting-edge technologies.
To sum up, development covers such a wide range of activities that everyone can find the best alternative for themselves and earn a lot of money. However, it is important to remember that the most important aspect of developer jobs is to get started and gain as much experience as possible to ensure a good start in your career.
CryptoGlobally aims to offer impartial and trustworthy data on cryptocurrency, finance, trading, and shares. Yet, we can't give financial guidance and encourage individuals to conduct their own studies and thorough checks.