Secure a Software Engineer Promotion: Effective Strategies

software engineer promotion

Securing a software engineer promotion takes intention, strategy, and patience. But, with the right approach, you can be well on your way to taking the next step in your career and securing that golden promotion.

Many engineers have strong technical minds and can easily work with complex concepts, numbers, and data. To receive a software engineer promotion, however, you’ll need to leverage a complementary set of skills –– sales finesse.

In this article, we’ll walk you through how you can sell your value, skills, and leadership abilities to land a software engineer promotion.

How To Get a Software Engineer Promotion

Acknowledging that you desire a promotion is your first step toward landing one. Next, you’ll need to go through the following steps to set the promotion in motion.

Build Up Your Skill Set

Promotions, whether in title, pay, or both, always come with an increased level of expectations or responsibilities. You’ll need to build up your skill set to ensure you’re well prepared to step into that next level.

As a software engineer, you likely already have a strong set of foundational skills needed for the job. To prepare for a promotion, look at the job description for the role you desire. Or, look at the workloads and projects of your team members that outrank you. What gaps exist between what you’re currently doing and what the role calls for?

The answer to this question will help you determine what specific skills you should build up in preparation for a promotion. Talking to your manager is another effective way to get information about what skills you’ll need to build up. Express your desire for a promotion and ask for feedback on where you can improve upon.

Know Who To Impress

When it comes to seeking a software engineer promotion, you’ll want to be clear on who you need to impress. Start by dissecting your company’s structure. Companies vary in the way they structure their teams and subsequently their performance reviews.

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to impress all relevant parties, including your supervisor, your colleagues, and your supervisor’s higher-ups. But, if someone, such as your supervisor, stands in between you and the person who signs off on promotions, you’ll want to focus on impressing them. That will allow them to become your advocate before their higher-ups.

Once you’ve identified the person you need on your side, keep them informed on your wins, lessons, and progress on projects. Understand what’s important to them and deliver upon that. Make yourself an invaluable employee to them. Don’t keep your successes to yourself and make sure they can see you hustling, growing, and delivering great work. If you’re wondering how to get promoted as a software engineer, this step is key.

Gain Clarity On The Process

When seeking a software engineer promotion, you’ll want to gain clarity on what the process looks like at your company. Some companies have formal review processes employees must go through at different time markers during their employment. Other companies may not have a formal process for performance reviews or merit-based promotions.

To gain clarity on the process, start by discussing your desire for a promotion with your manager. Tell them what you’re looking for and ask what the process for promotions and career advancement looks like at the company.

How Long Does It Take To Get Promoted as a Software Engineer?

The amount of time it takes to get promoted as a software engineer varies from company to company and role to role. Some companies give annual raises. Others do not. Some companies offer career tracking and planning support. While there’s no hard and fast rule here, in general, software engineers can expect to put in one to three years of work before receiving a promotion. As always, though, there are exceptions to this general range.

You may also be wondering, how long does it take to become a senior software engineer? Senior positions generally require more experience and tenure in the industry. While specifics will vary based on your company and skills, many engineers take 4 to 10 years to become senior software engineers. While it may seem like a long time, you can still get promotions along the way, advancing through junior and mid-level software engineering positions.

How Do You Get Promoted Faster in Tech?

There are several ways you may be able to fast-track your promotion in tech. First, if you’re interested in moving up quickly, consider working for a startup. Startups are notorious for having less rigid organizational structures and being open to giving out promotions based on merit, regardless of how long an employee has been with a company.

Another way to improve your chances of being promoted quickly is to be a leader on your projects. The sooner you begin stepping up as a leader, the sooner your colleagues and manager will begin to see you as one. This can only help your chances for a speedy promotion.

Lastly, sometimes it makes sense to seek out roles at other companies when you’re looking to be promoted quickly.

Find a New Role With BestCompaniesAZ

BestCompaniesAZ can help you find a new software engineering role. We feature open positions at some of Arizona’s top tech companies. We offer career resources such as interview questions, moving guides, and more. You can also learn more about companies you may be interested in by digging into their company profiles, which highlight their unique mission, culture, and benefits. Don’t leave your promotion up to chance. Browse tech jobs on BestCompaniesAZ today!

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