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Salary expectations for a senior software developer

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  • Jan 15th, 2021 11:49 pm
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Mar 30, 2010
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Salary expectations for a senior software developer

What's everyone else's experience when it comes to salary expectations for a senior software developer with let's say 10 years of experience? I keep being told that it should be be 95k but that seems way too high to me.

I looked it up on Glassdoor but I'm told that all the estimates there are usually on the high end and aren't reliable indicators of industry standards.
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Oct 5, 2019
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dc200 wrote: What's everyone else's experience when it comes to salary expectations for a senior software developer with let's say 10 years of experience? I keep being told that it should be be 95k but that seems way too high to me.

I looked it up on Glassdoor but I'm told that all the estimates there are usually on the high end and aren't reliable indicators of industry standards.
You are going to get a huge range of numbers in the responses here. Some people will tell you developer is a dead end career and take whatever you can get. Others will tell you about how they negotiated 200k+ a year.

Reality is there is a wide range of salaries depending on the company. If you are a developer in a non tech company salaries will be low. I’ve seen senior developers get 70k a year, since they are just supporting some internal applications in a small to medium size non tech company. If you are an actual senior developer in a (especially us based) tech company in Toronto or Vancouver you can get 200k+.

95k doesn’t sound high to me though and probably isn’t too far from the median for a senior developer. Might be a bit on the low side actually. Glassdoor also isn’t accurate, but in my experience it skews low since it contains reports from a long time ago.
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May 13, 2020
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Too many factors in play, size of the company, what you do (Fintech, utility, health care) etc . I've had companies offer me 75k to be a senior, and 95k to be an intermediate developer...

From my experience, 95k seems like a good estimate
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Aug 16, 2008
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Glassdoor is probably best source for Canadian salaries. Levels.fyi for us based.
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Sep 28, 2003
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I think the city is also a factor. I imagine working in Toronto or Vancouver would pay more to offset the cost of living. I've also seen over 100k for senior positions in Ottawa but also around 95k. It certainly depends on the company but I think city matters too. I've found that Glassdoor helps but you have to filter down to salaries within the city.
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Mar 3, 2012
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I have a couple data points: Intermediate devs can be compensated north of 90k these days in TO, Van and Montreal.
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Nov 14, 2014
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Mississauga, ON
you should target for 90-120. Anything below you are being underpaid and if you need anything more you need to be good/specialize or work for companies like Amazon. if you have been in the same company for a long time, you might be getting 5-15k less than market rates. You need to ask for a raise or move out.

Also, check linkedin salary estimates. More current.
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Dec 10, 2007
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dc200 wrote: What's everyone else's experience when it comes to salary expectations for a senior software developer with let's say 10 years of experience? I keep being told that it should be be 95k but that seems way too high to me.

I looked it up on Glassdoor but I'm told that all the estimates there are usually on the high end and aren't reliable indicators of industry standards.
Highly dependent on your location and then your tech stack. In the post-covid 19 world maybe location is temporally less of a factor but offset by a recession in economy. In Toronto, 95k would be considered below average for Senior SDE; a very good Senior SDE would able to hit 120-140k.
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Jul 4, 2004
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As mentioned, one of the biggest factors is location.
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financial institutions, Toronto is around high $70K (mid level of senior dev)
Last edited by teoconca on May 19th, 2020 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Oct 20, 2010
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BC
teoconca wrote: financial institutions, Toronto is around high $70K (mid level of senior dev)
Does this include bonus? I've heard some financial institutions give a low base salary but make up for it in the bonus/benefits
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gillbates wrote: Does this include bonus? I've heard some financial institutions give a low base salary but make up for it in the bonus/benefits
No. Bonus is about 10-15% on top.
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Jan 12, 2011
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Toronto
teoconca wrote: financial institutions, Toronto is around high $70K (mid level of senior dev)
Depends on the institution and org. I have sources indicating anywhere between 100 and 200 with bonus. Base is usually in the lower 100s.
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Nov 15, 2016
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As a Senior Infra Developer, i can speak to TC for the financial sector. A few things come into play:
1. Location - HCOL vs LCOL
2. SWE experience (application side, mobile, Cloud/DevOps) ... all command different scales. For my purposes, i'll use Cloud since that's my field.

Generally you'll see anywhere from $70 - $200k (RSU inclusive if for Faang). Finance sectors have a wide range as well, range is $70 - $130k range. If your in a demanding sector such as Cloud, you could see North of $150k. LCOL areas for SWEs would be around $70 - 120k. The expectation for a Senior SWE with 10yrs experience is a $100k minimum base.
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teoconca wrote: financial institutions, Toronto is around high $70K (mid level of senior dev)
Is it that low? Just hired a senior dev for big5 and I'm giving them 90k base and that was at low end since it was internal hire and he isn't very good either (not efficient codes) but I'm really short staffed for new project . I'm in data analytics and needed developer mostly for python and R to grab stuff from DBs
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StatsGuy wrote: Is it that low? Just hired a senior dev for big5 and I'm giving them 90k and that was at low end since it was internal hire and he isn't very good either (not efficient codes) but I'm really short staffed for new project
Could be. Depends on skillsets, needs, orgs.
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Jul 4, 2004
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teoconca wrote: financial institutions, Toronto is around high $70K (mid level of senior dev)
That seems quite low. Salaries vary a lot but I know that many smaller high-tech firms in Ottawa (which I believe often pay less than Toronto), pay recent grad developers with coop around $75k to start.
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Moon
L5 at Amazon will pay >200k. Target the good companies before you consider the shit ones.
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May 9, 2012
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Applesmack wrote: L5 at Amazon will pay >200k. Target the good companies before you consider the shit ones.
10 YOE should be at least a L6 (>300k), don't take loser's advise from a L5.

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