The 2022 International Developers in Japan survey results are live!

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Paul McMahon

Founder of TokyoDev

In October 2022, I conducted a survey of international developers living in Japan. The results are now live, please check them out!

This year’s survey had 42 questions, up from 24 questions for 2021’s survey. I was initially worried this increase may lead to a lower response rate, but I ended up with having 558 people responding, 28% more responses than last year.

Salaries continued to rise

The median salary of respondents was ¥9.5 million per year, up ¥1 million from last year. This may have been partially explained by respondents being more experienced, with a median of 7 years professional software development experience, up one year from 2021’s survey.

International subsidiaries pay extremely well

The median compensation for respondents working at companies headquartered in Japan was ¥7.5 million, whereas it was ¥14.5 million for those at international subsidiaries.

This discrepancy in pay wasn’t as pronounced at low experience levels: respondents with under 3 years of experience earned ¥5.5 million at Japanese companies, versus ¥7.5 at international subsidiaries. But for more experienced respondents it was extreme: respondents with 6-8 years of experience earned ¥7.5 million at Japanese companies, but ¥17.5 million at international subsidiaries.

Since the survey was conducted, we’ve seen hiring freezes and layoffs happening at many of the top paying international subsidiaries, so it will be interesting to see how this changes in next year’s survey.

Women paid worse and less satisfied then men

Women were paid less then men across different experience levels. Their overall satisfaction with their job was also lower, driven by lower satisfaction with their compensation. There was no obvious reason I could find for this disparity in pay, which is quite disheartening to me. Adding questions that could help reveal what factors into it is something I want to explore more in future surveys.

If you are a women looking to improve your career, or are someone who is interested better understanding the challenges women face, What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know is a book that I’ve heard can help.

Remote work continued to be the norm

Only 4% of respondents were required to exclusively work from an office, whereas 70% of respondents could work exclusively remotely. 2021’s survey asked this question in a different manner, and also found 4% of respondents never worked remotely, while 68% of respondents worked remotely on a daily basis.

Part of this could be explained by COVID not being “over” in Japan, with daily life here not being so different from 2021. But given the majority of people have been working remotely for over two years now, I see it as unlikely to change.

React.js on it’s way to become a defacto standard

When asked about what web frameworks respondents use on a regular basis, 57% answered React.js, up from 48% the year before. 18% of respondents used Vue.js, down from 26% the year before.

Only 0.5% of respondents were unemployed

0.5% of respondents were unemployed, down from 2% in 2021’s survey.

And much more…

There’s much more to be seen in the full survey results, so please take a look at them.

More about the author

Photo of Paul McMahon

Paul McMahon

Founder of TokyoDev

Paul is a Canadian software developer who has been living in Japan since 2006. Since 2011 he’s been helping other developers start and grow their careers in Japan through TokyoDev.

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