The State of Software Developers in Canada, Salaries, Trends

The State of Software Developers in Canada 2017: Skills, Salaries, and Trends

Andrew Zola
Andrew Zola on Linkedin

The Brookfield Institute recently released a report that revealed some interesting insights into the state of software developers in Canada. The findings highlight the prevalence and importance of software developers who form the backbone of the Canadian technology-driven economy.

Until now, we were just speculating about this topic because we didn’t have an accurate picture of the country’s tech talent. In partnership with Stack Overflow, the report titled Stacking Up: A Snapshot of Canada's Developer Talent draws from the 2017 Stack Overflow Annual Developer Survey of over 50,000 developers around the world along with traffic on the company’s website.

Canadian Tech Skills

When you go through the report, it quickly becomes obvious that the country has one of the highest populations and concentration of tech talent in the world. It also shows that Canada and Toronto, in particular, has one of the largest and fastest growing developer communities in the world.

According to the findings, 72% of software developers within the country identify themselves as web developers with about two-thirds classifying themselves as full-stack developers. While 90% report coding in more than one language, JavaScript (not surprisingly) leads the stack.

Out of all the software developers surveyed, 95% had at least some higher education while 60% stated that they were at least partially self-taught. While about 40% worked in software and internet or web services industries, others worked in industries such as finance, healthcare, and media.

Canadian Tech Salaries

The report also suggests that 85% of the software engineers surveyed worked in full-time roles. The median salary across the country for developers was CAD 70,000.

This is solid evidence that developers command a much higher salary than the rest of the labor market. The Canadian labor market as a whole commanded a median salary of CAD 45,280 last year.

This can help encourage more people to look into a career in technology which in turn can help meet the rising demand for top tech talent in the country.

Canadian Tech Trends

Canadians accounted for 4.4% of global software developers in the study. This makes Canada the fifth most represented country in terms of global tech talent.

According to Stack Overflow web traffic data, Toronto represented over 32% of Canada’s software developer talent pool.  Montreal (with a strong community focused on AI) came in second place with 19.6% and Vancouver in third with 10.2%, collectively accounting for 30% of Canadian developers.

On a global scale, Toronto ranked thirteenth when it came to the concentration of developers in the city. As for developer community growth, the city ranked fifth.

The Canadian tech industry lacks diversity as 83% of developers identified as white or of European descent. Only 9% of Canadian developers were female, but there is a positive trend here as the male to female ratio of developers decreased from about 17-to-1 in 2015 to 10-to-1 in 2017.

The Stack Overflow's Developer Survey is an English-language based voluntary annual survey that covered 51,392 developers around the world in 2017. Out of this, 2,223 software developers were based in Canada.

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