Industry Trends & Research


2024 Top Cities to Hire Software Engineers

Gordie Hanrahan image

Gordie Hanrahan

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As job growth continues to rebound, organizations everywhere are seeking out top talent, especially for highly technical fields, including software engineering. Many are expanding their technology organizations through wide-scale hiring while others are taking advantage of global opportunities by opening capability centers in talent-rich markets. Strategies often hinge on an organization’s goals, brand, size, industry, and specialty.

Karat’s newly released 2024 Top Cities to Hire Software Engineers report identifies the Top 30 cities that are hot spots for engineering talent and unveils new trends in tech hiring.

Using the microsite

Our top cities landing page is designed to provide users with a snapshot of key tech talent markets based on your specific hiring needs.

Reading the chart

There are three elements in our interactive chart:

  • X-Axis: Talent Quality. The cities with the highest concentrations of software engineers meeting key interview performance benchmarks are farthest to the right. Cities farthest to the left still fall in the top 30 global cities, but they tend to see higher concentrations of engineers who perform at average levels. 
  • Y-Axis: Talent Cost. We used the median software engineering salary across all levels to rank cities from most expensive to least expensive. San Francisco was this year’s highest cost market, with Mumbai ranking as the lowest cost city for hiring software engineers in the world.
  • Dot size: Number of engineers. The bigger the dot, the more professional engineers working in the city. This is most important for organizations hiring in high-volumes, such as companies looking to open new global capability centers for software development. The largest dot this year is in Bangalore, home to more engineers than any other city on the planet. 

Clicks: For more information about any of the cities, click on the dot to get a full readout of the market’s rankings and stats.


Technical Interview Performance filters allow users to toggle between two tiers of engineering candidates. 

  • Top 25%” represents candidates who perform in the top quartile of all technical interviews. These candidates command premium compensation and often have the opportunity to choose between multiple competing job offers. Most elite candidates have historically worked at high-bar tech companies, but the recent economic volatility has more to do with the stability of larger enterprise organizations, unlocking new opportunities for more companies to level up their engineering talent. 
  • Top 50%” broadens the talent pool to include all above-average performing candidates. These engineers demonstrate strong enough skills to advance to the next stage of hiring at most companies.They form the backbone of most software engineering teams.

Geographic filters allow users to zoom in on specific regions to make reading the chart easier. The “Global” filter turns everything on, and you can turn off countries or regions individually from there. 

Full report

For more information about global hiring, download the full report via the microsite. As a quick preview, below are three key takeaways from this year:

Key takeaway #1: Elite engineers and large enterprises are changing the overall tech hiring landscape.

The uncertainty of the global employment market in 2022 and 2023 yielded a change in perspective for elite engineering talent. Layoffs and hiring freezes put more top-performing candidates on the job market. In contrast to recent years, these elite software engineers started to  prioritize stability and job security above hyper-growth startups and big-tech. The result: Large enterprises in the retail, banking, and industrial sectors attracted and hired more of these top candidates. Our research reveals that job acceptance rates for these elite engineering candidates rose to 73% in 2023, up from 55% in 2022.

Key takeaway #2: Amsterdam, Bangalore, and Seattle stand out.

Amsterdam is at the top of our overall list, and for good reason. It has the highest concentration of elite engineering candidates globally. Bangalore continues its growth as a top location for new global capability centers in India. Multinational companies establish those facilities in Bangalore because the city has the largest number of elite software engineers in the world. Meanwhile, Seattle is home to the highest concentration of strong software engineers due to its impressive pool of candidates tied to elite higher education institutions and big-tech organizations.

Key takeaway #3: Companies everywhere are looking to India — a powerhouse for software engineering hiring.

Our Top 30 list features six cities located in India, including Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai, Pune, and Mumbai in the Top 25. Millions of experienced software engineers currently work in India, and an estimated 1.5 million engineering students graduate in the country each year. To learn more about the complexities, challenges, and opportunities associated with hiring, read our State of Engineering in India report today.

As the tech landscape prepares for a new wave of AI innovation, the pursuit of top engineering talent remains highly competitive worldwide. As the talent market continues its evolution, it’s likely that organizations around the world will have to adapt their hiring strategies and practices to land the talent critical to their continued success.

To learn more about what hiring markets are right for your company, check out our interactive top cities widget and download the full report today!

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