Scala Developers: What They Do, Skills, & Salary

Hire Remote Developers
Rafael Timbó
Rafael Timbó
Chief Technology Officer

Table of Contents

Learn more about Scala developers and the skills they have to leverage Scala for application development or data analysis.
Published on
October 2, 2023
Updated on
April 11, 2024

Even though Scala first appeared 19 years ago, it has only become popular in the last few years. This is due to its ability to handle big data and its scalability and flexibility. Some have attributed Scala's slow rise in popularity to the fact that it is a complex language, but for those developers who have invested the time to learn Scala, it offers significant rewards. The language is now among the most preferred for large-scale application development. For instance, major organizations like LinkedIn, Netflix, and Twitter have adopted Scala.

With the recent interest and adoption of Scala development, Scala developer jobs have become more lucrative, and the demand for competent and skilled Scala developers has risen. 

If your organization wants to leverage Scala for application development or data analysis, you must understand what this engineer does and the skills they can bring to your project. It’s also helpful to understand the position’s salary requirements and how to find the right developer for your project. Read on for a comprehensive guide to hiring Scala developers.

What Is a Scala Developer?

A Scala developer is a software engineer who uses Scala's object-oriented programming (OOP) to build enterprise applications for the cloud, develop data-heavy applications, and work with big data. This combines functional programming with reactive programming, which makes it ideal for working with large amounts of data and ensures scalability, robustness, and maintainability.

What Does a Scala Developer Do?

Scala software engineers are responsible for a wide range of tasks. They use the Scala programming language to design, develop, and maintain applications. This includes designing the application architecture, writing code, debugging existing code, and ensuring it meets security and performance standards.

They rely heavily on the Scala framework, which contains the language and its associated libraries. The Scala framework also provides various tools and libraries for distributed computing, web development, data storage, and more. For instance, they use type classes and reference classes, which contain methods, values, variables, types, objects, and traits to create efficient, secure, and reliable code for applications. Type classes are collections of functions that define object types, while reference classes are object-oriented classes in which the objects in the class can refer to other objects of the same type.

When you hire Scala developers, their roles and responsibilities will depend on your specific project and the size of your team. However, some of the common tasks they are responsible for include the following:

  • Designing applications per customer requirements and industry best practices 
  • Writing code to build web, cloud, or mobile applications using the Scala programming language
  • Debugging existing code and ensuring it meets performance standards
  • Testing applications to ensure they are bug-free and secure 
  • Optimizing applications for maximum speed and scalability
  • Collaborating with other developers, such as designers, testers, and system engineers, throughout the development cycle
  • Ensuring the applications are up-to-date and scalable

Scala Developer Skills

Scala developers must possess specific skills to be successful in their role. That is why it's essential to identify the skills you need before you start your search, and vet potential candidates with in-depth interview questions to assess soft, hard, and technical skills.

Soft Skills

These are the non-technical skills that all software engineers should possess, regardless of the language they use. Soft skills are essential for communication and collaboration in a dev team. A successful Scala engineer should have the following:

  • Excellent communication ability
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work in a team environment
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines

Hard Skills

Hard skills are related to technical aspects such as programming, coding, and software engineering. A successful Scala developer should possess the following:

  • Programming experience: Including programming languages such as Java, C++, and Python
  • Experience with the Scala ecosystem:Including the framework, language, and associated libraries
  • Experience with distributed systems: Including big data technologies such as Apache Hadoop, Apache Spark, and Kafka
    Database knowledge: Including relational databases and NoSQL databases

Technical Skills

Technical skills are the practical know-how and experience a software engineer needs to be successful. A professional Scala developer should possess the following:

  • High proficiency in object-oriented programming
  • Ability to write efficient, robust, and maintainable lines of code
  • Knowledge of functional programming concepts
  • Familiarity with web application development using Scala
  • Experience with web application development frameworks such as Play and Akka
  • Familiarity with databases such as MongoDB and Cassandra
  • Experience with version control systems such as Git, Subversion, and Mercurial
  • Knowledge of API design and application security
  • Ability to optimize code for performance and scalability
  • Experience with continuous integration and delivery platforms such as Jenkins and Chef

Scala Developer Salary

Understanding how much you can expect to pay a Scala developer and the factors that may affect it will help you to make an informed decision about the budget for your project. The cost of hiring a Scala developer will depend on their experience, skill set, location, and industry.

Junior Developer 

According to Glassdoor, entry-level Scala developers in the U.S. with up to three years of experience earn an annual average salary of between $119,690 and $132,614. These developers typically handle basic tasks related to coding and debugging.

Mid-Level Developer

Scala developers with four to six years of experience earn an annual average income of $143,183. They typically handle more complex tasks related to application architecture and design.

Senior Developer

Wages for a senior Scala engineer with seven or more years of experience are approximately $151,156. Senior engineers typically handle more complex tasks such as developing distributed systems, optimizing code for performance and scalability, and designing APIs. They may also be responsible for an application's overall development and maintenance.

While Scala developers in Latin American countries are equally skilled, the lower cost of living means they’re usually paid 30% to 50% less than their US counterparts, with wages varying based on location and experience. Revelo provides a cost-effective solution while offering highly qualified, pre-vetted Latin American developers.

Programming Languages for Scala Developers

Scala developers who want to stay ahead of the competition and up-to-date with the latest trends should familiarize themselves with other programming languages. Being well-versed in other languages makes them better at their job and can earn them higher wages. Here are some of the most important programming languages that Scala developers should learn:

  • Java: Since Scala runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), familiarity with Java is essential for Scala developers. This means they should know the fundamentals of Java programming, such as classes, interfaces, and packages.
  • Python: This is another popular language used for data analysis, web development, and machine learning. Knowing Python can help Scala developers to build more data-driven applications.
  • C++: This is an object-oriented programming language used to develop high-performance software. Knowledge of C++ can also help Scala developers to build more complicated applications.

How to Hire a Scala Developer

The process involved in hiring a Scala developer can be lengthy and complex. Knowing the right steps to follow is essential to ensure you find the right candidate for your project. Here are the steps to hiring a Scala developer:

  • Identify your needs: Before looking for potential candidates, take some time to identify the skills, experience, and type of developers—in-house or remote—you need. This will help you to narrow your search.
  • Work on your employer brand: Make your organization attractive to potential candidates. Take some time to create an employer brand that reflects what you do and your values. You can do this by updating your company website, setting up an employer review page, and using social media to promote your employer brand.
  • Create a detailed hiring process: Drafting a step-by-step hiring process is crucial to keep you from missing any necessary steps. It will also help to ensure that the process runs smoothly and that you find the best candidate for your project.
  • Create an impressive job description: The job description is the first impression potential hires will have of your organization, so you must make it as attractive and informative as possible. Make it comprehensive and include all required skills and experience you need.
  • Use the right job platforms: Reach the right candidates by using job platforms with strengths in the software development field, such as GitHub and StackOverflow. This will help you find the right candidates to support your organization and project.
  • Conduct rigorous interviews: Interviews are the best way to determine a candidate's suitability for the role. Ask questions that test their knowledge, skills, and ability to work in a team.
  • Consider using recruitment services: If you don't have the resources or time to manage the recruitment process, consider using a recruitment service. A reputable recruitment service can save you time and provide quality candidates.

Hire a Scala Developer With Revelo

Finding experienced and competent Scala developers can be challenging. That's why finding the right platform to help you hire and build the best software development teams is essential. Revelo is a leading talent marketplace that connects US-based companies with experienced and pre-vetted remote software engineers in Latin America. 

With our personalized approach, we can match you with the perfect custom Scala developers and help you scale your software development teams quickly. Contact us today to learn more about how Revelo can help you hire the best Scala developers.

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