Here’s how to tell if you could make a boatload of money as a programmer

bark via Creative Commons

It’s a great time to be a programmer. The average base salary of a software engineer in the US is close to $100,000, with those in San Francisco making over $140,000 on average.

But that doesn’t mean coding is for everyone. How would you know if computer science is the right field for you?

Code School, a site that offers online coding classes, revealed a new study that shows the common traits found among male and female programmers. It surveyed over 2,200 coders and developers to find out what they had in common growing up.

See if you might be one of them:

More than half of male programmers got into computers at 15 or younger, …

Flickr / Kārlis Dambrāns

… but two-thirds of women became interested in computer science at age 16 or later.

Ed Yourdon / Flickr, CC

More than two-thirds of men achieved high-school GPAs of 3.6 or better, but men are more likely than women to have low GPAs.

Meanwhile, 81% of women in computer science fields say they had GPAs of 3.6 or higher in high school.


Nearly 41% of male coders admitted to waiting until the last minute to do school assignments, …


… but most female coders said they’re less likely to procrastinate and more likely to turn in work on time with the best quality.

Francisco Osorio/Flickr

More than 83% of men had computers as the top hobby growing up. Sports (61%) and music (59%) came next.

VFS Digital Design/Flickr

For female coders, music was preferred over computers (63% vs. 52%). Nearly 1 in 4 women were involved in a band, and 1 in 5 participated in choir and theater.

Thomson Reuters

Only 42% of the male coders received a bachelor’s degree and 27% received a graduate degree. They were more likely to have started and stopped college than women (14% vs. 7%), …

Baruch College/Facebook

… but 51% of women received bachelor’s degrees and 30% received graduate degrees.

Denis Doyle/Getty

Men tend to live at both extremes of the annual income scale, with 1 in 4 making $100,000 and 1 in 5 making less than $25,000.

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Women are more likely to have steady middle-class incomes, with 32% making between $50,000 and $99,999 annually per year, though fewer women than men make more than $100,000 annually (17%).

REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

One interesting outlier: Coders and developers who had low GPAs in high school are more likely to command greater salaries than their higher-GPA peers. More than 62% of coders and developers who had high-school GPAs of 2.9 or lower earn $100,000 or more annually compared to only 41% of those who had GPAs of 3.6 or higher.

flickr user Ana C