What are your salary expectations?

Aggregate salary data of developers in Dublin, Ireland

I have done over 1000 interviews in the last few years. Here is the answer to the question of what are your salary expectations?

June 23, 2021
Last modified June 23, 2021


I have been lucky enough to have been involved with some high growth companies in the last few years. I have completed just over 1000 interviews. It has allowed me to meet some great engineers.


I have always done at least the screener when doing interviews. In that interview, I spend time getting to know people. I search for expectations that a candidate has before moving to more time consuming and energy zapping parts like pair programming tests.

The number one thing I write down is the salary expectations of the candidate. I have collated and aggregated the data over the years.

A disclaimer on this data

My salary data is very much centred around my location, Ireland.

Another thing to point out is while I talked to many engineers, The engineer’s primary skills that I was searching for were Javascript(React, Node.js), Python, Golang, AWS, Terraform, Ansible and knowledge of distributed systems. Why these skills? mainly because this is what seems to dominate in smaller companies or startups.

The engineers I tend to talk to also want to be able to work across the stack. They generally are happy to do frontend, backend and ops. Nearly every engineer has a T profile, where they do a bit of everything and know one area well. I bucket engineers by their T-profile.

The three buckets are

  • Frontend
  • Backend
  • DevOps

I removed outliers in some buckets as it skewed results.

As a side note, In my opinion, DevOps is not a role but dev and ops working together. Unfortunately, companies seem to want to label ops people who know how to do a bit(or a lot) of coding or an engineer who knows ops, DevOps.

All buckets command pretty much the same salaries over the years, but I see DevOps engineers pushing up the averages at the senior and principal levels.


TitleYears experienceSalary
Principal engineer8+120,000 +
Senior engineer6-890,000-120,000
Associate Engineer2-445,000-70,000
Graduate Engineer1-235,000-45,000


TitleYears experienceSalary
Principal engineer8+130,000+
Senior engineer6-8100,000-130,000
Associate Engineer2-445,000-85,000
Graduate Engineer1-235,000-45,000


TitleYears experienceSalary
Principal engineer8+140,000+
Senior engineer6-8100,000-140,000
Assoicate Engineer2-450,000-85,000
Graduate Engineer1-235,000-50,000

Summary and 2021

Salaries from 2018 to 2020 have steadily been climbing. I have not performed as many Interviews in 2021. Still, from observations from conversations with engineers looking and hiring managers, The salary expectations are moving higher and faster than in previous years. One recruiter friend told me he had not seen the market so hot in over 20 years. Many hiring manager colleagues have also stated they are seeing fewer applicants than in previous years. One thing for sure, it is an excellent time to be a software engineer.

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