A survey of Canadian software developers reveals that salary savvy engineers also look at the ability to work remotely, the types of problems they’re solving, and team leadership and culture when making career decisions.
Commit, the remote-first developer community where startup software developers get paid to find their next career opportunity, announces the release of their 2021 State of Software Developer Careers in Canada Report. The report, conducted by Commit and Angus Reid Group, illustrates the key factors that influence software developers’ career decisions and workplace benefits companies should prioritize when looking to hire and retain developers.
“This is a wakeup call. Canada is world-renowned for our ability to produce top software development talent. Remote work is vital to helping curb brain drain, but without a significant level-up on total compensation this will only be temporary”
Key survey highlights include:
- The median annual income of Canadian software developers in 2020/2021 is $90,000 CAD.
- Over half (63 per cent) of software developers are not completely satisfied with their current base salary.
- Half (50 per cent) of software developers expect to be paid more if they were to change jobs, with 58 per cent saying that salary bands for software developers are higher in the U.S. than in Canada.
- 95 per cent of software developers identified flexible hours as an essential or important benefit.
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Software engineers are aware of the salary gap between Canada and the U.S. but aren’t myopically focused on compensation alone
“This is a wakeup call. Canada is world-renowned for our ability to produce top software development talent. Remote work is vital to helping curb brain drain, but without a significant level-up on total compensation this will only be temporary,” said Greg Gunn, Co-Founder and CEO of Commit. “Global competition for software developers is heating up and this data shows that Canadian talent is aware their skills are valued higher elsewhere.”
Despite software developers’ awareness of higher salary compensation in the U.S., salary is not the main driver for why developers have stayed in their current jobs. 80 percent of software developers stayed at the same job during the pandemic and attribute this to liking the type of work they do and enjoying the colleagues with whom they work with.
Workplace benefits can be the unsung heroes of compensation packages
The prominent narrative around COVID-19 has created a need for companies to offer more holistic workplace benefits. This is evidenced within software developers, with 72 per cent of software developers surveyed reporting that they have flexible work hours.
Remote work stands out on top with 92 per cent of software developers stating that remote work is an essential or important benefit. In fact, 83 per cent of software developers are likely to seek out new job opportunities if remote work is not offered.
“Companies should tailor their benefits to what would best raise the quality of life for their employees, which can look different from industry to industry. As an employer, your responsibility is to be in tune with your team in order to understand what they need to thrive, professionally and outside of the workplace. Today, a basic benefits package includes remote-work and flexible hours, at the very least,” said Tiffany Jung, COO of Commit.
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Additional survey highlights include:
- Less than half (47 per cent or fewer) of software developers are receiving essential benefits, such as cell phone plan coverage, work from home stipend or coworking space access, home internet plan coverage, or an employee resource group for underrepresented groups.
- Nearly three-quarters of software developers surveyed (74 per cent) reported receiving an increase in salary since the start of the pandemic.
- Developers who stayed at their jobs during the pandemic most commonly said they did so because they enjoyed the work they do (46 per cent) and the colleagues they work with (46 per cent)—these two values came ahead of compensation (43 per cent).
- 48 per cent of software developers reported working primarily from home during the pandemic.
- 92 per cent of software developers working primarily from home during the pandemic did so from their primary residence.
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