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#1 DonSandbekkhaug   User is offline

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How to get a raise

Posted 22 June 2019 - 06:58 PM

I've noticed that a lot of people on this forum have worked in software for awhile. I'd like to increase my salary (who doesn't?) so I'm curious:

How have you gotten a raise bigger than a standard cost-of-living increase? If you haven't or it wasn't as big as you hoped, why not?
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Replies To: How to get a raise

#2 Skydiver   User is online

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Re: How to get a raise

Posted 22 June 2019 - 07:38 PM

It really depends on your company culture, as well as the personality of your manager and your manager's managers. In some companies, simply doing exemplary work and consistently meeting goals is sufficient to be noticed and recognized. In other companies you'll have to learn the art of "managing up" or as some cynics put it: "tooting your own horn".
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#3 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: How to get a raise

Posted 22 June 2019 - 08:50 PM

If your salary increases are not meeting up with your expectations, ask your manager what you need to do to bump that number up. You'll want to be prepared for the conversation, ie, at least to have a target number that is more specific than "more than I'm getting now".

Be aware though that often the answer is "hire on at a different place". In my career, my salary has generally gone up the most when I've changed jobs.
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#4 no2pencil   User is offline

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Re: How to get a raise

Posted 23 June 2019 - 09:26 AM

** Topic moved to the Corner Cubicle **

The simple suggestion would be to be more valuable to your company. If you can increase the money you bring in, then you are worth more money. Understand what success in your current position means to the business, & over achieve it. Sometimes it's attendance, sometimes it's deadlines, sometimes the company themselves may not even know. Exploring this shows major concern in your desire to do well.

However, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question. Sometimes the company can't afford it, which would suggest either a new position that pays more, or finding a new place to work.
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#5 jon.kiparsky   User is offline

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Re: How to get a raise

Posted 23 June 2019 - 09:59 AM

View Postno2pencil, on 23 June 2019 - 11:26 AM, said:

The simple suggestion would be to be more valuable to your company. If you can increase the money you bring in, then you are worth more money. Understand what success in your current position means to the business, & over achieve it.


In addition to understanding what success means in your current position, you should also try to understand your company's business model and plans so you can make sure your efforts are aligned with that. For example, when I started in my current position, we were working with a legacy app that was seriously unsuited to the needs of a growing organization, and my three-person team probably spent most of our time putting out fires.
After realizing that this was what was going on, I started dividing tickets into three categories - column A was "emergency work that has to be done be a developer to prevent immediate harm to the organization", column B was "work that would eliminate an item from column A" and column C was "work we want to be doing for long-term improvement to the system". And then we made a kaizen, "every time you have to do a piece of work from column A, you have to write a column B ticket to eliminate that work". After six months, we were down to about 10% interrupts, from like 70% or 80%.

You can also, if you're plugged into the organization, use your engineering mindset to suggest process improvements that would help the company roll along. This takes a bit of tact and it helps if you get on well with your non-technical colleagues, but it can have good results.
For example, a few years ago I pointed out to one of the assistants to our CEO that our monthly all-hands meeting, everyone in the company on a call for two hours plus a bunch of prep time for people doing presentations, was accounting for about one percent of our payroll budget and was probably costing more like two percent in lost productivity. (since taking two hours out of a morning typically means that nothing happens until after lunch)

Starting the next month, it's been a one-hour meeting, we're all able to get some more work done, and nobody has complained that it's too short.

I should add that I have had regular and quite reasonable raises and bonuses over the last four years that I've been there, and I like to think that I've earned them.
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#6 DarenR   User is offline

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Re: How to get a raise

Posted 24 June 2019 - 06:03 AM

ive found the easiest way to get a raise in software is to go to a different company-- many many companies that arent specialized in software dont really value software engineers the way they should so they always try to pinch pennies in that area. a real software company is different and usually pay top notch monies--
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#7 BetaWar   User is offline

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Re: How to get a raise

Posted 24 June 2019 - 06:50 AM

In my experience, most places count a "good" raise as ~3%. If you are getting a promotion, the increase will be closer to 10%. However, every time I have changed jobs, I have gotten at least a 15% bump. That is one reason most people suggest, especially when starting out in your career, to change jobs every 2-3 years. It isn't a great solution, and I know lifers are a few larger companies that have been pleased with their salaries and as such have stayed with the company for 20+ years, but in my personal experience, these sorts of companies are few and far between, not to mention that they seem to devalue good engineers over time (one thing that made the decision easy for me the first time I left a company was when I realized that new college graduates with no work experience were coming in at a higher pay grade than I was on, even though I had been with the company for 3 years).
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#8 astonecipher   User is offline

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Re: How to get a raise

Posted 25 June 2019 - 04:57 AM

My largest raise was 23% on an annual review, in part because the company paid my relocation (and doesn't do that for people to begin with) so I started lower than I should have, and also because I closed over 70% of the teams tickets the previous year, lead multiple projects, and was the goto dev for every complicated issue that was seen. My average raise since (at other companies and excluding the pay change going to those companies) has been 5%.


I had an old Navy Chief tell me to record every thing you've done worth mentioning. So, all those projects you completed and anything that stands out to you. When review time comes up, have it available; When you ask for the promotion or raise, it isn't just an empty statement, but is backed up by what you have done for the company.
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