International hiring

Your Guide to Hire Developers and Software Engineers in British Columbia

Jun 21st, 2023

Choosing to hire developers and software engineers in British Columbia, Canada is a strategic decision that offers numerous advantages for companies. Situated in a thriving tech hub with a vibrant startup scene, British Columbia provides a conducive environment for innovation and growth.

The province boasts a highly skilled workforce, nurtured by renowned universities and colleges, which consistently produces top-tier talent. Moreover, the proximity to the United States enables seamless collaboration with major tech centers like San Francisco and New York City, while the favorable business environment and government support further enhance the appeal. 

With a commitment to work-life balance and an exceptional quality of life, British Columbia attracts exceptional developers and software engineers, making it a prime destination for companies seeking to build a talented and dynamic tech team. Here we’ll give you an overview of how to hire and recruiting developers in British Columbia for the first time.

How many developers are there in British Columbia? 

Right now, there are over 18,000 software developers working in British Columbia. Job prospects in the country are continuously on the rise and have been since 2016. 

British Columbia, particularly the Greater Vancouver area, is home to a significant number of software developers due to its thriving tech sector and startup ecosystem. The region attracts both local talent and professionals from around the world, especially from Europe and Asia.

Noteworthy companies with locations or headquarters in Vancouver  include: 

  • Electronic Arts

  • Microsoft

  • Nintendo 

  • Sage

  • SAP Canada

  • Slack (founded in Vancouver) 

  • Trulioo

What do developers in British Columbia do?

Developers in British Columbia engage in a wide range of activities depending on their specific roles, industries, and technologies. 

Here are some common tasks and responsibilities that developers in British Columbia may undertake:

  1. Software Development: Developers in British Columbia are involved in the creation, coding, and testing of software applications. They work on various stages of the software development lifecycle, including requirements analysis, design, implementation, and maintenance. They write code in programming languages such as Java, Python, C++, JavaScript, or Ruby, depending on the project requirements.

  2. Web Development: Web developers in British Columbia build and maintain websites and web applications. They utilize technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create user interfaces, develop interactive features, and ensure cross-browser compatibility. They may work with frameworks like React, Angular, or Node.js to build robust web solutions.

  3. Mobile App Development: Many developers in British Columbia specialize in creating mobile applications for platforms like iOS and Android. They use programming languages such as Swift, Kotlin, or React Native to develop mobile apps with intuitive interfaces, optimal performance, and integration with backend systems.

  4. Database Management: Developers in British Columbia handle database design, implementation, and optimization. They work with database management systems like MySQL, Oracle, or MongoDB, ensuring efficient data storage, retrieval, and integrity. They write queries, develop data models, and optimize database performance.

  5. Cloud Computing: With the rise of cloud computing, developers in British Columbia often work with cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud. They deploy applications to the cloud, configure infrastructure, and leverage cloud services for scalability, storage, and data processing.

Startup scene in British Columbia

British Columbia offers a supportive environment for startups, with a strong network of incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces. Together, these institutions provide resources, mentorship, and funding opportunities. 

The region's proximity to major tech hubs in the United States, coupled with a skilled workforce and a favorable business climate, attracts both local and international entrepreneurs.

With access to capital, a culture of innovation, and a focus on sustainability, British Columbia's startup scene continues to thrive as a hub for cutting-edge ideas and groundbreaking ventures.

Investment and funding

British Columbia has seen a steady growth in investment and funding for startups. Venture capital firms, angel investors, and government funding programs actively support the startup ecosystem. The province's proximity to major venture capital centers like Silicon Valley and the availability of angel investors interested in tech startups create favorable conditions for raising capital.

Government support

The Canadian government and the local provincial government in British Columbia have implemented various initiatives to support startups. Programs like the British Columbia Innovation Council (BCIC) and the Small Business Venture Capital Act provide funding, tax incentives, and resources to foster innovation and entrepreneurship. These initiatives encourage the establishment and growth of startups in the region.

Why companies hire developers in British Columbia

Companies that want to hire experienced developers in British Columbia have a wide range of incentives to choose to expand or hire in the province. 

Access to skilled workforce

British Columbia has a highly skilled and educated workforce. The region is home to renowned universities and colleges that produce talented graduates in various fields, including technology, engineering, and business. Companies are attracted to the availability of skilled professionals who can contribute to their growth and innovation.

Proximity to the United States

British Columbia's location on the west coast of Canada provides proximity to the United States, particularly to major tech centers like Seattle and Silicon Valley. This geographical advantage makes it easier for companies to tap into U.S. markets, collaborate with American companies, and attract investment from venture capitalists.

Quality of life

British Columbia is known for its exceptional quality of life. The province offers stunning natural landscapes, a mild climate, and a range of recreational activities. The high quality of life and work-life balance it offers appeal to employees and contribute to employee satisfaction and retention. This, in turn, makes British Columbia an attractive location for companies seeking to attract and retain top talent.

Types of developers and tech professionals working in British Columbia

As one of the leading provinces in British Columbia, companies have an extensive talent pool to choose from for designers and developers working here, including: 

  • Full-stack developers

  • Front-end developers

  • Graphic designers

  • Web designers

  • Front-end developers

  • Back-end developers

  • Mobile app developers

  • DevOps engineers

  • Data scientists

  • UX/UI designers

  • Quality assurance/test engineers

  • Software engineers

  • Cloud architects

  • Database administrators

  • AI/ML engineers

  • Security engineers

  • System administrators

  • Network engineers

  • Project managers

  • Business analysts

  • IT consultants

  • Embedded systems engineers

  • Robotics engineers

How to recruit developers in British Columbia

When recruiting developers in British Columbia, make sure that you create a clear plan before you begin the recruitment process. Try to post jobs in Vancouver because this is where the largest concentration of tech professionals are looking for employment in the province:

  1. Define the Job Requirements: To get started, clearly outline the technical skills, experience, and qualifications required for the role. Identify the specific programming languages, frameworks, and technologies that are essential for the position. This will help you target your recruitment efforts effectively.

  2. Use Online Job Boards and Platforms: Post job listings on popular job boards and platforms that are widely used by developers in British Columbia. Websites like Indeed, LinkedIn, and local tech-specific platforms such as can help you reach a broader audience.

  3. Tap into Local Tech Communities: Engage with local tech communities, attend meetups, and participate in events to network with developers. These communities often have online forums or job boards where you can post openings. Building relationships within the tech community can help you access hidden talent and receive recommendations.

  4. Partner with Universities and Institutes: Vancouver alone is home to several universities and technical institutes that specialize in tech and research. Establish connections with these institutions through career fairs, internships, and campus recruitment. Engage with professors and career services to tap into the student talent pool.

  5. Showcase Your Company Culture and Benefits: Developers in British Columbia often seek companies with a positive work environment, opportunities for growth, and a good work-life balance. Highlight your company's culture, benefits, and perks in job postings and interviews to attract top talent.

  6. Partner with an EOR or a recruitment agency: Finally, companies can work with a recruitment agency or an employer-of-record partner in Canada that specializes in tech talent to help them identify and recruit top software developers in British Columbia. These agencies often have a deep understanding of the local talent landscape, and can help companies navigate the recruitment process and find the right candidates. 

Salary ranges for developers and software engineers in British Columbia

Developers and software engineers will base their expected salary range on their years of experience, specialty, and the type of company they work for: 

  • Junior Software Developer/Engineer: $31,000-$54,000 USD per year

  • Intermediate Software Developer/Engineer: $42,000-$75,000 USD per year

  • Senior Software Developer/Engineer: $65,000-$110,000 USD per year  

  • Team Lead/Manager: $55,000- $119,000 USD per year

Contractors in British Columbia can make anywhere from $55,000 USD all the way up to $155,000 per year. 

Here’s a look at average developer salaries by programming language:

  • $48,000-$148,000 USD per year for NodeJS developer 

  • $41,000-$133,000 USD per year for JavaScript developers

  • $42,000-$119,000 USD per year for AngularJS developers

  • $51,000-$94,000 USD per year for PHP developers

  • $37,000-$60,000 USD per for WordPress developers 

How to hire with an EOR and build tech hub 

If you’re starting to think about hiring full-time developers and software engineers in British Columbia but don’t want to waste time or resources setting up an entity, you may have considered partnering with an EOR service provider like Via. 

Companies that partner with an EOR recruit and build their teams without the roadblocks of entity incorporation. The EOR simply takes care of the paperwork, including onboarding, offboarding, payroll, benefits, taxes, employment contracts, ongoing compliance, and all other HR processes. 

As your strategic partner abroad, an EOR can help you determine the right salary to offer candidates abroad to ensure that your compensation package is locally competitive. Learn more here

Why companies choose Via

As a global EOR provider, Via makes hiring Canadian talent and building your global team seamless. Instead of having to learn every specific nuance in every province, you can focus on finding the talent that fits your company. Whether you need to hire remote workers or independent contractors in Canada, we support you throughout the entire process. Via helps you manage local HR processes for direct employment such as work visas & permits, benefits, payroll, background checks, and more. Our team of local labor lawyers and on-the-ground experts ensure that your company remains compliant while expanding abroad. As your employer-of-record/entity in Canada, Via assumes responsibility for employment liability, so that you can focus on what matters: recruiting and managing your team.

Need help building your global team?

Janelle Watson
Janelle Watson
My name is Janelle Watson and I'm a Colorado native. I have a BA in English from University of Colorado Colorado Springs and an MA in English from University of Colorado Denver. Before moving to blog and copywriting, I was an English teacher for 3 years at the University of Colorado in Denver. Prior to writing for Via, I wrote reviews and content for a local concert and promotion company in Denver.

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Frequently asked questions

  • How much does it cost to hire a software engineer in British Columbia, Canada?

  • How much do software engineers earn near British Columbia?

  • Are software engineers in-demand in Canada?

  • Which IT languages are in-demand in Canada?