Standard yearly raise to give to engineers?


A couple of questions regarding base annual raises:

What would you suggest is a typical yearly salary increase for engineers in the bay area?

Should you make it standard for the entire tech team or set it on an individual basis based on performance evaluations?

Salary Performance

asked Feb 9 '14 at 15:53
Sofine HÃ¥konsen
16 points

1 Answer


First, two things.

  1. For software engineers flat, standard rate increases do not convey appreciation as in other industries. Performance evaluations are key. They're also very difficult to do properly. Utilize small temporary teams with at least one person that's been involved in the projects and at least two that are unbiased to them.
  2. Every engineer with a modicum of success, even to simply maintain a very modest base level, should get a standard base increase slightly better than the increase in average cost of living + yearly inflation. Keep stress off those minds or continue at your own peril!

My full, slightly radical, recommendation is to set very modest goals to keep up with for the yearly base increase while giving quarterly voluntary opportunity to engineers to request that particular contributions be evaluated. Have a mandatory micro-evaluation mid-year and a full team evaluation once a year. Those who have shown any degree of extra effort or ingenuity, acknowledge them with an extra raise (with a relative degree of increase) and a modest bonus, perhaps even throw in three days of PTO and guard your company against burn-out from the over-achievers.

Keep open and fair to ensure this does not cause any undue negative pressures. (i,e.. those who simply go for the standard are not looked down on or forced to compete with rising stars)

Along with this, nearly all experienced software developers are vastly more motivated by meaningful equity, profit-share or profit-interests. If you hadn't noticed already, we have a tendency to be just a tad emotionally attached to our work and hate it when we don't feel like we're being included in it's total life cycle. Project-centric incentives work wonders.

Finally, give them an opening to get ahead of schedule without trying to cram in extra tasks (due to being ahead). If they reach certain milestones, allow the team the option of creating extra or side products/services with the intent of much larger than usual (as in true 50-50, single team-corporate) profit splitting. You'll find a great deal of expansion and reduced turnover of quality engineers begin with these seed projects. Your organization can really flourish, because engineers always end up seeing multiple (and often better suited) uses for the tools you have them build.

answered Feb 28 '14 at 07:24
Garet Claborn
324 points

Your Answer

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • • Bullets
  • 1. Numbers
  • Quote
Not the answer you're looking for? Ask your own question or browse other questions in these topics:

Salary Performance