Meanwhile, the jump in salaries over the last two years is evident. This year, compensation increased faster than inflation for the first time in three years for both testers and developers. Software engineers have enjoyed steady increases during the past four years, which continued but did not accelerate this year as much as the lower-paid positions did.
Salaries varied widely by region. The numbers for the Pacific region are pushed up by salaries in the Bay Area, which includes Silicon Valley and San Francisco. The figure for the Mountain Region probably does not signal a decline in salaries in the area. Rather, the unusually large leap in last year's salaries, whose exact cause was hard to identify, is likely a misleading number. Online cost-of-living calculators can help translate, in rough terms, what the variations in salary mean in terms of purchasing power for cities in each region.