How to ask for more money as a software developer – NBC US

When some of the earlier waves of tech redundancies began last year, talent acquisition, HR and customer success were first in the firing line. However, in 2023, attention has turned to core technical roles, including data scientists and software developers, as tech organization after tech organization cite a renewed focus on efficiencies and profitability.

This month, LinkedIn laid off 653 roles in R&D, 137 engineer management and 38 product staffers; some 388 jobs are being cut from engineering teams. Bandcamp cut 50% of its staff. Flexport let go of 600 staffers, Qualcomm cut 1,258 jobs, and Qualtrics say 780 roles are being eliminated.

While roles are still constantly being added to the TechSpot Jobs Board and plenty of progressive organizations are still hiring, for those who have survived redundancy rounds, there can be a pervading feeling that you’re lucky to have a job. Meanwhile, the scope of these roles may have changed or expanded.

So, with all of the above in mind, is it a good time to ask for a salary increase? Let’s take a closer look.

Read the room

If your organization has very recently completed a round of redundancies, this may not be the right time, both for you and your manager. Your manager is only human and if they’ve been involved in layoffs, they may be quite drained. Equally, you will likely have a better outcome once the dust has settled.

Consult the calendar

Has it been a year or more since your last salary review? Is there a set budget cycle in your workplace?

Ask HR if you don’t know, and while you’re there, ask if there is a standardized percentage salary increase policy, too. Some companies conduct regular reviews, others do them on an annual basis.

List measurable benefits

It’s time to take stock of your achievements. Note how these have benefited the business, including numbers, data and positive feedback from team members and key stakeholders on high-profile projects.

Have you automated a tedious task saving hours of time a month? Or maybe you’ve solved a sticky product problem? In a downsizing industry, think of efficiencies and value you’ve already brought to the table.

Highlight any additional training you have done

Whether this is upskilling in another language during allocated discovery time or in your own personal time, or if you’ve formally entered education or training, highlight this. Additionally, flag how it already benefits or can/will benefit the business.

Run the numbers

Here’s where it’s important to be specific: Do your research by role and by geographic region, including variations with remote work. If you find you’re at the upper salary level for your role, you’ll need to know what percentage increase is feasible. If you’ve friends in the industry, be candid (if you’re comfortable doing so) or hypothetically ask, “What would you expect a senior software engineer to earn in a mid-sized scaling company?”

Additionally, use the TechSpot Jobs Board to see what similar level roles are currently hiring at and benchmark your salary against these.

Be positive

Remember your review is a conversation not a lecture. Express how you appreciate the opportunities the role and your manager have given you. If you’ve taken on additional work, note how you are enjoying the new challenges and are seeing strong results. Use ‘we’ and ‘our’ when discussing achieving shared goals. And then ask – – they’ll know it’s coming – – “Could we discuss a salary adjustment in light of all this?”

If your manager is warm to this, and says they’ll endorse your request, then after the meeting, send on some bullet points they can take to their higher-ups.


Even with the most convincing proposition, the company may say it’s not in a position to offer a salary increase. Listen to advice from your manager and be open to constructive criticism. Ask how you can add value to the company now and in the future. When you’re finished listening, you can make a call; stay put or move on.

Every week new roles are added to the TechSpot Jobs Board, including…

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