Recently oDesk's own Henry Walker delved deeply into our wealth of rate trend data and discovered good news for American freelance software developers. America's automobile industry may be flailing, but "Made in the USA" is not a dying dream in the software world.
It seems that while the UK and Bolivia have seen a dramatic decrease in the hourly fees software developers are able to charge, in the United States—despite the recession—software developers are now charging an average of 35% more than they did in 2008.
This phenomenon flies in the face of Softera Director Mikko Kontio's predictions on IBM.com last September, when he stated that the future of software development was essentially going to involve a buyer's demand for faster turnaround and lower cost.
Even earlier last year, in July of 2008, software developer Roy Lawson suggested on his PolkVoice blog that smaller, more skilled software development teams were a better bet in bad economic times. Thus, it could be that companies are simply willing to pay more for skills, as long as they are getting the work done by fewer individuals. In the long run, perhaps this is a savings for the buyer, despite the marked pay raise for the freelancer.
The exact reasons for the incredible rate increase in the face of America's much-beleaguered economy may remain a mystery. However, it's good news for those with software skills. As for the less tech-savvy freelancers among us, it's a sign of hope. Doom and gloom predictions of meager future paychecks don't always turn out to be true.