This tip is probably the most obvious. You'll only get paid more if you start doing more in your role. As Spiderman famously said, "with responsibility comes greater power". From my experience, power equates to more money in your back pocket.
Over the years, I've seen a lot of developers bitch and whine that they deserve more money, however, in most of the situations, people think they deserve more simply because they've been at the same job for a long period of time. These folks are still doing exactly the same tasks they did a few years' ago, but think they are entitled to more money simply because of time.
Some developers are underpaid and deserve more money, but the quickest way to get more money is to make yourself more valuable to a company. We've all read about becoming a rockstar developer or learning to become the company's linchpin. This advice might seem a bit cliche and actionable, but it's true. If you can position yourself in that role then you will be able to command more money.
So, the next question you should be asking... how can you become more valuable to your employer? The answer to this question is another obvious answer, however, very few people I've worked with actually commit to it... you need to put in your freaking hours. Now, when I say put in hours, I don't mean simply working longer, never going on holiday and having no social life... that would be silly.
When I say put in hours, what I mean is spending a chunk of time every day, or every week, doing deliberate practice. If you're confused about the difference between practice and deliberate practice then an analogy might help. Think about the differences between a painter and decorator and an artist like Leonardo da Vinci. Now, no matter how long a painter and decorator paint walls, he's never going to develop the skills to be the next Leonardo Da Vinci. This principle applies to your work and programming as well. Within the first few months on any job, you generally learn a lot of new skills, then after a period of time, say 6 months, you get the way your company works and you know enough about the technologies and products they use to get on with your work without thinking about it too much. So tip one, you need to put in the time, but, you need to put in the right time!
My last bonus tip isn't a tip to make you quit your job. The advice I've written here is my own opinion, which you can take or leave. My last tip is based on research done by a recruitment company. The research shows that people who tend to job swap every 3-4 years will end up with a significantly larger net income at the end of their careers compared to people who stay within the same company for too long. This makes sense, a company who's already paying you will want to pay you the minimum to help increase their profits. Companies advertising for jobs, on the other hand, need someone ASAP to help them make more money, so a new job offer, in 99% of the time, will get you a bigger increase in salary, compared to a pay rise at an existing company.
Anyway, that wraps up this article, to help you get paid to your full potential. I'm guessing a lot of readers, were expecting a load of hardcore dev tips, but, genuinely, companies care more about your soft skills, and your abilities to communicate, take ownership of a task and solve problems over encyclopedic technical knowledge. Many developers might think that learning to program well is the only thing they should focus on, but just be aware, it's actually the communication side of things that will get you your money. Hope someone found this useful, enjoy!
Software Architect, Programmer and Technologist Jon Jones is founder and CEO of London-based tech firm Digital Prompt. He has been working in the field for nearly a decade, specializing in new technologies and technical solution research in the web business. A passionate blogger by heart , speaker & consultant from England.. always on the hunt for the next challenge