Compensation in the Halifax tech community, 2018

Jeff Andersen
October 30, 2018

Halihax, wordplay on Halifax and Hacking, is a community of tech minded individuals in Halifax, NS. It all started in 2014 as a meet-up series to engage the local developer community out of Volta Labs with free beer, pizza and presentations from local gurus. We gave up on the live events pretty quickly.

Later, the brand was resurrected with the help of Phil Renaud, VP Engineering at Affinio, as a Slack group so that the Halifax tech community could cross-pollinate and share ideas. Just this week Halihax surpassed 420 members, and represents a wide swath of the Halifax tech community.

One topic that keeps resurfacing in Halihax is job opportunities. We have a #jobs channel where each week local companies recruit for open positions. These postings often spawn discussions around salary expectations of the community, often from new founders but also from folks transitioning into the community from abroad.

Last year we ran an ad-hoc survey to gain insight into the active members of the group. Questions included job title, years of experience, base salary, annual bonus amount, whether they worked remotely, and other job related metadata. That survey had 40 respondents, a median base salary of $85,000 and median experience of 8 years.

We ran the survey again this year, incorporating some community feedback.

Survey results

Community members wanted to know more about compensation perks like benefits and stock options, how long people had spent in their current role, whether people are considering changing jobs, and if members lived outside of Halifax itself. New questions for this year have been marked with an asterisk.

Who are we as a community?

  • 73 total respondents (↑ 33)
  • 94.5% of respondents are university or college educated (↑ 17%)
  • 24.7% of respondents work remotely (↓9.5%)
  • 83.6% of respondents touch code daily (↓ 6.4%)
  • Industry experience, median, of 9.0 years (↑ 1.0 years)
  • Role experience, median, of 2 years*
  • 17.8% of respondents are actively seeking a new job*
  • 23.3% of respondents will seek a new job within 12 months*
  • 8.2% of respondents live outside of Nova Scotia*

How is the community compensated?

  • Base salary, median, of $85,000 CAD (-)
  • 39.7% of respondents were given stock options (↓ 1.7%)
  • 93.2% of respondents are paid in Canadian dollars* (otherwise, USD)
  • 83.6% of respondents are given health related benefits*
  • 75.34% of respondents state they are happy with their compensation*

Pretty charts and distributions

Click on any one of these charts to zoom in.

Primary Programming Language

If you code, what is your primary language?

Time Horizon of Seeking New Opportunity

In what timeframe might you be seeking a new opportunity?

Salary vs Programming Language

Median salary by programming language

Salary vs Industry Experience

Annual base salary compared to years of industry experience

Salary vs Remote Work

Median salary of remote vs colocated workers

Salary vs Hours worked

Annual base salary compared to reported work hours per week

Secondary programming languages

Which languages have you used in the last month?

Perceived In-Demand Skills

What skills do you see as in-demand currently?

What are you looking to get out of Halihax?

Write in answers include: React or JS meetups, Information on salaries for negotiation purposes, and to support and be supported by peers.

Where are companies based?

For those respondents who work remote, where is their company based?

  • New York, United States
  • Haifa, Israel
  • Waterloo, ON
  • Ottawa, ON
  • Moncton, NB
  • Saint John, NB
  • St. John’s, NL
  • Wolfville, NS

General feedback about Halihax

  • Promote it more!
  • Run meet-ups!

Join our community

We’ll let you draw your own conclusions on the data as the survey isn’t entirely scientific. Hopefully it gives you some insight into what the tech salary landscape is like in Halifax.

Anyone is welcome to join in on the action by applying through our website. We simply ask that members follow our community guidelines.

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