July 9, 2022
min read

How to Negotiate a Better Developer Salary: Dos and Don'ts

Anto Pranjić
Looking for a job?
Create a free profile and automatically get matched with companies that meet your requirements.
Get job offers

Most people shudder at the thought of approaching their boss about a wage boost. However, asking can be your only option if your firm doesn't offer regular annual wage raises. While the procedure appears unsettling and daunting, it can be an easy-going one as well. All it takes is researching beforehand about the latest trends in your job and preparing the necessary information. Here’s how to make the process easy and hopefully successful.

First things first

Before you even start thinking about approaching your boss about your salary increase, you need to know your true worth as your company's employee. A good place to learn about your developer worth is our Developer Salary Calculator. All it takes is to enter your role, country, age, and your experience and we’ll calculate your estimated salary worth based on thousands of jobs that went through our platform. Once you know your true worth it’s easy to start planning your approach from there.

Salary negotiation best practices

1. Do extensive research

Apart from researching your worth based on our salary calculator, researching other aspects such as the market situation, company policies regarding promotions, and similar subjects is definitely a must. Make sure to find out what the market is paying for your position, ask your peers for opinions, and do some online research. Keep in mind that you are probably coming into the dialog as the less-informed side. Therefore, there is never too much research beforehand.

2. Do be flexible

Always keep the big picture in mind. Since there are many things up for negotiation, focus on more things instead of just on your pay. Be adaptable and continue to consider the larger picture. It can be a promotion with a larger responsibility, instead of a simple pay increase that eventually leads to a better and stronger personal career growth. 

RELATED: Trading Remote Work for Salary Reduction

3. Do question everything

In a salary discussion, it’s important to ask questions about how your firm approaches compensation planning. Is internal equity a priority or do they care more about outside equity? Recognize the employer's focus and operate in accordance with it. Tech businesses often place a strong emphasis on external equity due to the competitive employment environment in the industry. This indicates that the company bases its pay scale on what other businesses pay for similar roles.

4. Do consider your timing 

Sometimes something as straightforward as the season of the year can have an unanticipated impact on the result. Knowing the timetable for your company's wage review procedure is crucial. In order to understand when departments determine their budgets, you can simply ask HR some questions. By doing so, you can get rid of a significant roadblock in your way and perhaps shorten the length of the negotiation.

5. Do list your accomplishments

Mention one or two things to draw attention to areas where you have had a significant impact. Try to comprehend your boss's point of view before entering the negotiation. By paying attention to the statements your firm makes regarding its business objectives and asking your manager how your job contributes to those goals, you can obtain a sense of their priorities. As a result of keeping track of the tasks you complete that directly relate to the priorities you have chosen, it should be easier for you to negotiate a more pleasing position in the company structure.

Things to avoid when negotiating your developer salary

1. Don't think of negotiating as an argument

It's crucial to stop viewing the salary dialogue as a conflict, even if negotiations can be unpleasant. Negotiation is a lifelong skill, and if you don't develop your self-advocacy skills, you won't succeed, unfortunately. If you're reluctant to negotiate because it seems like an aggressive method to deal with someone you intend to cooperate with, change the way you think about the process. Negotiation is not a fight, but an issue-solving procedure.

2. Don't be satisfied with a "no"

The process of asking for a raise could go smoothly and quickly or it might take a while. Don't retreat to lick your wounds if you receive a no. Instead, think of it as a prelude to a trickier negotiation aimed at achieving your objective. If your boss responds that, based on your level, they can't go any higher, that means you are now beginning the promotion negotiation.

3. Don’t be too humble or shy

Do some self-promotion by making it known that you deserve this raise. Devs often tend to be introverted, but don't be hesitant to use your successful projects and completed tasks as data points to show how much you contributed to your company's success. Even though it is sometimes challenging to do that, when facts are presented, they can lead to a fantastic conversation with your management and it can provide the information they need to make a fair decision. 

4. Don’t come out of the blue

By bringing up the subject subtly during one-on-one meetings with your supervisor and seeing their response, you can better position yourself for success. If the response is favorable, consider it a green light to start a more serious discussion about your position. Make sure you have a clear idea of what you want before engaging in this discussion as your requests should be listed in priority order. 

5. Don’t sulk over a negative outcome

Finally, even if the outcome is a negative one, don’t take that as a personal defeat. Rather see it as an opportunity to learn and understand where you can grow and improve. Work on acquiring those new strengths and approach your boss again within 6-12 months. No one can deny that improvements and growth deserve rewards.


Instead of approaching the conversation as a subordinate pleading for help, make sure to enter the conversation with the attitude that you are both adults and talk about the worth of the work you are doing. Remind your manager that you've been leading up to this as you start the conversation. Moreover, make sure to express your commitment to developing your career inside the organization (unless you're planning to retire soon). Once trust and reliability are established, accompanied by presented achievement and goals, career level-up and wage boost should be an easy and painless thing to achieve.  

How to Negotiate a Better Developer Salary: Dos and Don'ts

July 9, 2022
min read

Subscribe to DevDigest

Get a weekly, curated and easy to digest email with everything that matters in the developer world.

Learn more

From developers. For developers.