What’s Beneath Our Rate Calculator?

the IT market tendencies

We want our developers to grow, meet each other at offline events, and share their insights — including the financial ones.


You’ve already played with our brand new rate calculator widget if you’re reading this research. You know the minimum, maximum, and median rate of your offshore colleagues with the same tech stack, experience level, and country of operation. That’s excellent news.

Of course, we can’t impose any restrictions on your actual or potential employers. We don’t urge you to quit your job if it’s underpaid, according to our data. However, it’s always advantageous to learn about the average IT freelancers’ rates in your country to properly evaluate your current financial state of affairs and soberly consider stack adjustments (will I get more for this new proficiency?) — or even relocation.

That’s one of the reasons both the widget and this research saw the light of day. As a marketplace for vetted developers, Lemon.io does its best to serve as a meeting point for stellar startup founders and gifted IT professionals. We want our developers to grow, meet each other at offline events, and share their insights — including the financial ones.

So much for the preamble.

Your questions, please!

You’re longing for extra explanations about the numbers you’ve come across. Worry not: they are on the way. One of our internal content policy cornerstones is a no-bullshit approach: if we state something, it is based on analysis and facts. Per the rates in the calculator, the starter question kit can be following:

How did we count them?

Which variables did we consider?

Where did we get the relevant data?

Below, we’ll answer all these pivotal questions and provide you with more valuable details on the IT market tendencies.

First of all, we will explain what multiple pieces of information came into play to yield a number you saw in the widget — and where they came from.

Next, we’ll elaborate on why the average freelancers’ rates so appallingly vary from country to country (you can check this out simply by looking at numbers for different countries) and what gradation we use for the countries according to their average rates.

Afterward, we’ll provide you with information on the current tendencies in the global IT industry and explain if the Lemon.io situation reflects the international state of affairs. What programming languages are the hottest (and the most valuable)? Which of the stacks gained popularity in the latest years? We all know that pictures help to perceive the information more easily, right?

Two illustrious graphs will be a decent gift for your knowledge-craving brain. On the first one, you can see the most popular programming languages according to Lemon.io clients’ requests, while on the second one, there’s a visualized list of the most valuable stacks — according to their rates.

Finally, we’ll show you a few examples of the clients’ project samples — i.e., the job descriptions clients use to formalize their demands and explain which kind of specialist they need for their projects. Indeed, they can help you explore the employers’ point of view and learn which details they consider crucial (so that you could tick them off before applying for a new project).

Let’s dive in!

Where did the numbers come from?

Short answer

The Recruiting and Matching departments at Lemon.io have been collecting the data on rates and stacks since 2014 — so they have something to show!

Long answer

Thanks to market awareness and ample experience, our Recruiting and Matching departments had no shortage in the relevant numbers associated with all the developers whose talents they’ve been selling to the Western startups. In 2022, we’ve been working with developers from 26 European countries (Eastern, Northern, Southern, and Central Europe) and have already started to accept specialists from Latin America. The actual numerical data on hiring history, market-validated rates, and stacks from those countries are abundant. We know not just the numbers — we know the numbers helping to find a job.

Besides, we’ve consulted local experts with vast experience for this research — asking questions on rates and complementary skillsets. Is it expensive? Cheap? Might’ve been better? All the answers came in handy for the calculator.

To get the data for the countries we’ve got less internal information (the USA, Canada, New Zealand, and the countries of South America), our Recruiting and Matching gurus conducted an extended job board search, requested knowledge sharing with the HR colleagues from the particular regions — and got the approximate range of numbers and categories for orientation. Of course, this statistic isn’t as precise as the first-hand European info, but it’s by no means groundless. For some countries, we got no statistics at all — and we haven’t included them in our calculator. If you’re a developer from such a country, you’ll see a «no data» message. Sorry, we didn’t want to give fake statistics, will add true numbers later.

Why do rates tremendously vary across the globe?

If you’ve checked the calculator results for different countries, you’ve surely noticed it. Reasons? See below!

Market peculiarities

Not all countries major in the IT business. Where there’s no competition, there’s also no stimulus to pay more. If the IT freelance isn’t so typical, sources of high rates are practically absent. In-house devs with lower rates form the freelancers’ clients’ average expectations in the long-term perspective. Knowing the local market benchmarks, such clients won’t be eager to pay more.

Different tax systems

All freelance developers shouldn’t forget to include obligatory income taxes in their rates. For some countries, they may not exceed 10%, for other ones can reach 30-50%. It’s only logical that the average IT rates in a particular country are heavily influenced by its fiscal policy.

Different hiring models

Where do people hire IT specialists in a particular country — and how do they do it? IT rates will reflect the domestic economy condition if the in-house segment prevails. If, on the other hand, most coders work remotely, there can be a significant discrepancy between the median IT salary and the median salary in the country in general.

Country reputation on the world market

The average rate is the outcome of the long-term fiscal policy. Entrepreneurs seeking programmers know its basics. They know where affordable developers live — because they’ve been helping the market to make them affordable by complying with global rate trends. A bit sad but true.

The general level of life and cost of living

For countries with a high cost of living (Western Europe, the USA, or Canada), the salaries of IT professionals (one of the financially privileged categories) will also be exorbitant.


Quite a lot of offshore specialists suppose that the freelance market erases cross-country borders. However, it isn’t quite so. You can work from anywhere in the world — but for the global IT business, you will still remain the ambassador of your local market — with its own competition, cost of living, and taxes. That’s a downside of the «think locally, act globally» effect.

Global clients stick to «local» thinking. They know the peculiarities of local specialists and are pretty well aware of the average proficiency/education level. Besides, the in-house and local freelance price benchmarks in a particular country are no mystery — and, unfortunately, they often downgrade your rates in the freelance world.

However, as you already know from the widget, at Lemon.io we always evaluate skills, not passports. For us, it doesn’t matter where the dev comes from. What matters is their skills and our ability to find clients ready to pay their rates.

Sorting technologies and countries

Having analyzed all the available data, we composed the final set of variables for the calculator. The ultimate list consisted of four elements: country, technology, specialization, and seniority.

We’d like to share some of our observations about countries, rates, and technologies. So, what technologies are the cheapest and the most expensive — and where do you have the highest chance of earning a fortune?



Web Development with HTML/CSS, Java, PHP


Mobile Development, Web Development with JavaScript, Python, and Ruby


Blockchain and Machine Learning-related technologies, development with Rust and Go, Data Science, Data Engineering, Data Analysis.



Central and Eastern Europe (Czechia, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine), Latin America, Turkey, Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina


Western and Northern Europe countries (France, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, etc.)

Super expensive:

the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand

Upcoming tendencies in the IT world. Evergreens and relicts

Small wonder that different stacks/technologies correspond to different average rates. Professionals in popular/evergreen stacks/programming languages are paid higher. At the same time, those who major in the forgotten relics are frequently left on the bench for too long and have to agree on a lower rate. That’s the sad truth, nothing new.

Which languages and technologies are the most lucrative in 2022?

To answer this, we’ve done a little research. Firstly, we’ve found a current TIOBE index for May 2022 (shows the most searchable programming languages, data collected from 25 search engines qualified by Amazon’s Alexa, updated monthly). It is an indicator of the particular popularity of programming languages. If they are the most searchable, someone’s interested in them: entrepreneurs looking for free hands or coders eager to swap their profiles. In May, the first four places of the TIOBE were occupied by Python, C, Java, and C++.

Secondly, we’ve found some survey data. The Ukrainian IT platform called DOU.ua has been conducting yearly surveys about programming languages’ popularity. Here are five leaders of the latest one (released in February 2022):

1. JavaScript

2. C#

3. Java

4. Python

5. PHP

What’s up at Lemon.io?

Finally, here are two graphs that can shed some light on the technologies that enjoy the highest popularity according to clients’ requests and the tech stacks associated with the highest rates at Lemon.io — the marketplace for vetted freelance developers.

As you can see, per our internal survey, the most expensive technologies are now connected with data analysis, cryptocurrencies, big data, and machine learning. No surprises whatsoever: all these fields have been growing exponentially for the last ten years, and the process is now unstoppable. Speed is the king, as always — the more specialists you have, the better results you will reach. Big data- and blockchain-related startups aim high, shoot brightly, and give work to thousands of web developers.

Per programming languages, the information is reasonably unsurprising: Python is the most popular evergreen, and React/Node are mostly app-associated. Application boom, fueled by COVID and subsequent blockade of real life, will not end soon, so if you’re still unsure about the best choice, it might be your hint.

Project samples

Last but not least, we’ll show three samples of our client’s projects — they have all the typical elements of a marketplace request and help you understand what it can look like.

Sample #1

Rust Developer with blockchain experience, full-time, CET

The client is a blockchain/fintech project. They are looking for blockchain Rust developers to come and build the core node.

They are writing the chain from scratch, so they have a lot of interesting technical issues to solve. Looking for either developer with a background in blockchain development and previous experience working directly on a chain (not smart contract development) or experienced Rust developers.


  • A bachelor’s degree in a relevant field such as computer science or a STEM subject is preferred but not essential;
  • At least three years of development experience with a minimum of 1 year of blockchain experience or seven years of experience with no previous blockchain experience;
  • Experience in a low-level language such as Rust, C or C++;
  • Experience with Python and software testing;
  • Willingness to work on an open-source project;
  • Strong English skills — our working language is English;
  • Willingness to work hours that overlap with CET for 3hrs a day — we have a mandatory meeting at 10 AM CET daily.


  • Develop software in Rust for our core node;
  • Write tests in both Rust and Python;
  • Help design and plan the architecture of the software projects;
  • Fixing bugs and security issues when required;
  • Shaping the future of the core node;
  • Working with other internal software teams to integrate support for the node into their products.


The team is primarily a remote company although they do have an office in San Marino.


One standup a day (10 am CET). Slack/Google


Four months

Selection process:

1 or 2 interviews



Sample #2

Web3 Full-stack dev, Svelte + Node.js, part/full-time, long-term, Canada PST

Our client is building an NFT marketplace in Vancouver. They do have 6 paid customers (who sell not only art items) and have a lot of new features they want to add to their existing platform.

LNFT is a web-based platform for issuing and transacting with non-fungible tokens on the Bitcoin Liquid Network. Blockstream is sponsoring its development and hosting an exemplary curated instance of it for use by Bitcoin artists at Raretoshi.

The plan is to separate out any Raretoshi-specific features from the core platform functionality so that anyone can adapt the platform to host their own Liquid-based NFT site but that’s currently a work in progress.



  • Svelte Kit reactive component framework;
  • Tailwind CSS UI utility classes;
  • Urql GraphQL client;
  • LiquidJS for liquid wallet functionality.


  • Postgres/Hasura for storing relational app data;
  • Hasura backend plus for JWT-based user auth;
  • IPFS for media storage and hash-based content addressing;
  • Fastify NodeJS api/app server.

3rd-party APIs:

  • Esplora for Liquid blockchain data;
  • Liquid asset registry for token metadata;
  • Сoins BTC/LNBTC <-> L-BTC conversion.


1 full-time + 3 part-time developers in Canada. They have meetings at noon PT on Tuesdays, and at 10 am PT on Thursdays.


1-2 weeks


20-40 h/week (depends on the developer’s rate), ideally long-term



Sample #3

Senior Back-end, PHP + some Angular, part-time/full-time, ongoing, US EST

We created our marketplace because we saw the need for a better way to buy and sell photography and videography equipment. Passionate about the craft ourselves, we dreamed of a more focused platform designed for industry professionals and hobbyists.

We are in the beginning stages of building this photography supply store website into the #1 site of its kind. In the future, you will see expanded content on product reviews and demos as well as value-added content filled with tips, tricks, and best practices to help you hone your craft. Bookmark us and visit our photography supply store website regularly!

Now we are looking for a Tech Lead of PHP/Laravel. Ideally, if you have Angular knowledge as well as we have it on the frontend.

Your first task:

To clean APIs, so we can develop a mobile app later on. Now we are using the Excard database and want to get rid of it.


A few devs from Poland


A few hours with EST




Full-time (can consider part-time)


Ongoing work


2 calls (with the founder and current dev) + please show your previous work (ideally marketplace)



That’s all we wanted to share with you in our report. We hope it was helpful and thought-provoking.

If you’ve decided to become one of Lemon.io’s vetted developers — feel free to apply, and we’ll vet you ASAP.

Lemon.io team