Presented by OfferZen

Developer salaries and the managerial salary “bump”

Offerzen is an online platform where companies meet developers who are looking for work. The platform allows companies to send interview requests to developers, and upfront salary information is required.

When developers create profiles on OfferZen, they are required to list previous roles and years of experience in each role.

One of the fields that developers on OfferZen can fill out is “Managerial Experience.”

This data is used to match them with a company that will best utilise and reward them for their expertise.

OfferZen did an analysis of how the salary offers of developers with managerial experience compare to developers without such experience.

Managerial experience demands a 50% salary premium

Managers can have a larger influence on overall company output over other developers.

It should thus not be a surprise that developers with managerial experience earn a salary premium over those without.

What is more interesting, however, is the rate at which a developer’s salary changes as their managerial experience increases.

Managerial experience redundant after first year

As expected, for every year that a developer specialises in a specific role, their salary will increase by approximately 10%.

This, however, is not the case for managerial experience, which is almost flat after the first year.

The gap between highly specialised developers and developers with managerial experience is negligible.

This indicates that a developer gets a salary bump for managerial experience but isn’t rewarded for continued development as a manager.

A logical deduction is that companies see managerial experience as binary, rewarding developers for having been managers before but not for specializing in this discipline.

Management experience a proxy for experience?

After such a striking conclusion we wanted to stress test our result.

Managerial experience is closely coupled with seniority – perhaps instead of analysing managerial experience we were just viewing the premium companies pay for senior developers from a different angle?

Could a junior developer expect the same salary premium with managerial experience?

Junior developers with any managerial experience earn 35-40% more

Junior developers with 0-1 years overall experience and any managerial experience can earn around R9 500 more than their peers.

Intermediate developers with 2-4 years overall experience and some managerial experience can earn 41% more than similar developers without the managerial experience.

This corroborates our initial conclusion about the managerial experience salary bump but also the diminishing returns for managerial expertise.

If this data is anything to go on, some managerial experience could increase a developer’s earning potential.

Are you a young developer starting out or a dev manager looking for a pay bump?

OfferZen is a job marketplace where top developers are matched with more than 400 of South Africa’s leading technology companies.

If you are looking to kickstart your career, click here to sign up to OfferZen.

Experience years are on a per job-role basis. Examples of other roles: “front end developer”, “backend developer”, “mobile developer”, “devops”, etc. Each developer can list experience in more than one role and all listed roles were included in this analysis.

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Developer salaries and the managerial salary “bump”