By Ross Perez 2010/03/30

I do not speak Portugese. I want to make that clear because otherwise, this blog post will seem a little odd. However, after seeing a Google Alert with the Portugese title "Micos de Realejo, Engenharia de Software" (Software engineers?) and Tableau Public in the text, I decided to click in. Although I could not read the text, the author provided an excellent interactive visualization which told the entire story, even for someone without the proper language skills. The visualization and my unaided analysis are below.

After skipping over the text, I read the left side of the viz to try and understand what it was depicting (besides something about software engineers). It read Experiencia Medio, Satisfacao Medio, Salario Medio and Numero de Respostas. Using my super-cognate skills, I guessed these were referring to Average Experience, Satisfaction, Salary and Number of Responses. Similarly, Regiao seemed to signify region (SE, NE, S, etc). The only mystery was the bottom axis... Estado. State, of course. I guessed that this viz was about Brazil, mostly because it is the most populous Portuguese speaking country.

So, in about thirty seconds I had my bearings and could start analyzing. I found out that respondents from the CO region (central?) have very high salaries, satisfaction and experience, especially in the state DF. Seeing that I could also filter by education on the right, I selected Mestrado (masters?). Turns out software engineers with a a masters degree should avoid working in SC where they are less than half as satisfied as any other state.

"But Ross," you may say "why would I ever need to know such arcane and useless knowledge". Never! Probably. The point is this: if you have information you need to convey to a wide audience, visualization will make it through the language barrier enough to get the idea across. Skeptical? Just try reading the article. Trust me, visualization is easier.

What we like about this viz

Small multiples! People love stacked bar charts but they can be very confusing and hard to compare. These small multiples convey the message in a simple and easily comparable format.



Here is a translation, from Google Tranlate (, of the Portuguese above the viz:

Search results on salaries of programmers - Part 1 - data aggregated by state
Cost, but started to leave. 247 responses were different (in fact already are 270, but they were 247 when I did the cutting, then I update with new data). Our thanks to everyone who responded.

Today we see the data aggregated by state. To create the visualization, I used the fantastic, amazing free tool Tableau Public. I have no words to say how much this tool is cool. It allows you to create interactive visualizations that you can include in your site.

Most important to investigate the results of the research is to know that this is not a random sample and therefore can not draw generalized conclusions. As you can see from the chart below, there were more responses from Minas Gerais, the tamarin's home, and Paraíba, thanks to William Germoglio who spread the news. Of course, we can not say that these two states concentrated most developers in Brazil.

Among those who said the place where they work, for this chart exclude those working outside of Brazil and residents of Piauí and Pará, because each state has contributed a single response.

The graph shows some interesting data: how much the average wage level of experience of the developers of the Northeast is well below the average of other regions. Moreover, the average satisfaction level is fairly uniform in all states. It is noted a discrepancy in the average wage in the Federal District, far above the national average.

Try playing with the chart below by selecting, for example, only programmers who have undergraduate, or only those with 3 or fewer years of experience.

Peace and All Good!
Michael W Cristiani
Market Intelligence Group, LLC

Thanks Michael! That is a great tool.