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How I Increased My Software Engineering Salary by 50% in Two Years
















Have you been feeling stuck in your software engineering career, like your salary just isn't increasing as quickly as you'd hoped? Let me tell you the story of how I gave my career and income a boost in just two short years. I went from making an average salary as a mid-level engineer to increasing my pay by over 50% and landing a senior position.



The good news is, you can do it too with some strategic moves. If you're willing to step out of your comfort zone, learn some new skills, and get better at promoting your wins, you'll be well on your way to a higher income and more advanced role before you know it.



It won't always be easy, but with hard work and persistence, you can achieve a lot more in your career in a short amount of time.



Are you ready to start making some serious upgrades to your software engineering career path? Let's dive in.





Software Engineering Salary













Identify Your Tech Skills and Specializations




To increase your software engineering salary, first you need to identify your key tech skills and specializations. Think about the languages, frameworks, and other technologies you know inside and out.


For example, are you an expert in Java, Python, or C++? Do you specialize in front-end, back-end, or full stack web development? Are you highly skilled in Android, iOS, or cross-platform mobile app development?


Pinpointing your expertise shows employers what you can bring to the table. Highlight these skills prominently on your resume and LinkedIn profile. You should also pursue relevant certifications to validate your knowledge in key areas.


Keep your skills up-to-date with the latest technologies and best practices too. The field is always changing, so continuous learning is a must. Take online courses, read books, and build side projects to strengthen your abilities.


You might also consider specializing in an industry like healthcare, finance, or education. Developing domain expertise makes you a strong candidate for higher-paying jobs. Some companies may even pay a premium for professionals with industry-specific software engineering skills.


In short, identify what you do well, pursue the proper credentials, keep your skills sharp, and consider developing industry expertise. 

Strengthening and honing your abilities in these ways will make you a highly attractive job candidate and put you in an excellent position to negotiate a higher salary. With the right skills and experience under your belt, increasing your pay by 50% or more within a couple of years is absolutely within reach.






Build Your Professional Network




Building your professional network is necessary to increase your software engineer's pay. To get you started, consider the following:




  • Attend industry events like tech conferences, meetups, and hackathons. Networking at these events is a great way to make personal connections with other engineers and developers. Exchange business cards and connect on LinkedIn. These new contacts could lead to new opportunities.


  • Get involved in online communities. Join forums, Slack groups, or Discord servers related to your tech stack or field of interest. Answer questions, share your knowledge, build your reputation, and relationships. Some of these connections may turn into mentors or job leads.


  • Reach out for informational interviews. Contact engineers at companies you're interested in for a quick chat. Ask them about their role, team, company culture, and how they got there. Express your interest in any open positions. They may be willing to refer you if something comes up.


  • Boost your internet visibility. Start a podcast, blog, or vlog to share your knowledge. Publish stuff on Dev.to or Medium. Respond to inquiries on Stack Overflow or Quora. You'll become more visible the more you donate. This may result in fresh chances, alliances, and employment offers.


  • Never stop learning. Take additional courses to strengthen your skills. Study new languages, frameworks, and technologies. Obtain certifications to validate your knowledge. Continuous self-improvement will make you a more attractive and higher-paid candidate.


With time and consistency, nurturing your professional network and technical abilities can pay off significantly. Keep putting in the effort and the salary increases will come.




Negotiate Your Salary and Know Your Worth


To increase your salary, you need to know your worth and be ready to negotiate. Do your research to determine the typical salary range for your position so you can make a case for why you deserve to be on the higher end of the scale.




Know the Typical Salary Range


Check sites like Glassdoor, PayScale, and Salary.com to find the median pay for software engineers with your experience and skillset. See what companies in your area are paying. You may find there’s a bigger range than you realized, giving you more room to ask for a higher number.


Aside from your base pay, also consider bonuses, equity, benefits, and other perks that could increase your total compensation. If you have certain sought-after skills, degrees, or certifications, that may also justify paying on the higher end of the range. Come prepared with specific examples of your relevant accomplishments and impacts to demonstrate your value.




Do Your Research on the Company


Find out as much as you can about the company’s financials, growth, and future goals. The more you understand their priorities and needs, the better you can position yourself as the ideal candidate to help them achieve their objectives. You'll want to convey your passion for the work they do to strengthen your case. Some ways to learn about the company include:


  • Exploring their website and social media.


  • Reading recent news articles about the company.


  • Checking sites like Crunchbase and AngelList for funding and growth details.


  • Talking to people currently working there about their goals and challenges.


  • Networking with others in the industry to get their perspective.


Armed with this knowledge, you'll be in a much better place to negotiate your worth and land a higher starting pay. Stay professional, focus on your value, and approach the negotiation with a win-win spirit. Do that, and a 50% salary increase could be well within your reach!





Conclusion


So there you have it. With a bit of planning, hard work, and persistence, you absolutely can increase your salary as a software engineer in a relatively short period of time. Focus on developing in-demand technical and soft skills, build a strong portfolio of work to showcase your abilities, and don't be afraid to interview for new positions that push you outside your comfort zone.


The tech field is constantly evolving, so keep learning and stay up-to-date with new languages, frameworks, and technologies. If you do that, the sky's the limit in terms of career and salary growth. You've got this! Now get out there, keep honing your craft, and go get that pay increase you deserve. The future is yours to shape.











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