Canadian Software developers Tell Employers What They Want

By: Yasmin Ranade

November 29, 2021

Commit, a professional network for engineers who want to work at start-ups, has shared its 2021 State of Software Developer Careers in Canada Report. The report surveyed 508 software engineers across Canada.

The report, conducted by Commit and Angus Reid Group, revealed factors that influence software developers’ career decisions as well as workplace benefits companies should prioritize when looking to hire and retain developers.

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.

Curious to know if women shared a unique perspective about their needs as software engineers, I asked Greg Gunn, Commit CEO and Co-Founder to comment. Gunn replied, “Female software developers were surveyed; however, the survey did not enquire about the attitudes of women software engineers.”

Canada – U.S. Wage Gap

Greg Gunn, Commit CEO and Co-Founder

I also asked Gunn about the compensation packages offered to Canadian software developers compared with their counterparts in the U.S.

Gunn replied, “The median annual income of software developers, as reported by this survey, comes in at $90,000 CAD. Compare this to the median annual income of software developers in the U.S., which, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, came to $110,140 USD in 2020.”

“As stated in the report,” Gunn added, “What this data also shows us is that there’s ample opportunity for organizations across the country to standardize developer salary bands so that we’re creating a more competitive ecosystem overall.”

Total compensation packages differ, too.

“Regarding the overall package, there is a significant difference between the overall packages offered. In this survey we found the following regarding compensation and benefits packages for software developers in Canada:

  • 44% received an annual bonus
  • 36% received stock options
  • 72% were offered flexible work hours
  • 66% received a learning and development stipend
  • 65% received a fitness or health benefit
  • 9% received cell phone plan coverage
  • 44% received internet plan coverage

Gunn added, “Whereas in the U.S., various reports and companies have shared that some of the most common benefits you’ll encounter as a software engineer in the U.S. include stock options, [free] food/snacks, travel assistance and retirement plan matching schemes.”

Leading the Future of Work

It is not surprising to learn that software development is ideally suited to remote working.

Gunn commented, “Developers will lead the shift to remote-first work because this group is already known to thrive at working remotely.”

“During the pandemic, business executives caught up to what software developers have known all along: You don’t have to work side by side with your co-workers to be your most productive or deliver your best work. At least not full time,” stated Gunn.

Gunn shared, “In 2020, GitHub put out a report that showed that developer productivity was maintained, and had even slightly increased, compared to pre-COVID days.”

“Developers will lead this shift because their jobs have proven to function well while remote, and this shift will bleed into other skill sets and jobs,” said Gunn.

Gunn added, “This data represents a software developers’ preference and comfort with remote work. For example, 92% of software developers said that they considered working remotely to be an essential or important benefit. In fact, 83% are likely to seek out new opportunities if remote work is not offered.”

Commit was founded in 2019 by software developers and is a first-of-its-kind remote community to support the career and community needs of engineers who are passionate about building early-stage software.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.