How Many Vacation Days?

I was wondering how many vacation days might be typical for a developer in a new position based on your experiences?

This is going to vary so much by country, culture, and company that I don’t think we could give you a reasonable answer.

Could vary a lot I’m sure but I can share my experience.

I’m in Ontario Canada and a lot of companies I know of and have worked for will have unlimited vacation. More recently I think companies have stopped doing that because it decreases equity among your staff.

People who are bold enough will abuse policies like that while many others won’t take enough time off because the rules are murky.

My last job gave 15 days per year but would give you as many personal days as you needed on a case-by-case basis.

My current job I have 20 days vacation + 3 days for PD and unlimited sick and personal days as well as unlimited maternity/paternity leave. We’re also a hybrid remote company so our remote policy is that your normally supposed to be in EST, Central or Pacific time but there’s a “work anywhere” policy that allows you to work from any timezone some number of days per year (like 20 or something I can’t remember) so people can mix those days with their vacation.

Oh I also only work 4.5 day weeks! 9-5 from Monday to Thursday than on Friday 9-12. So that in my opinion is like an extra 26 days PTO per year

Obviously this is going to depend a lot on where you are but in Ontario at least, tech is exceptional for PTO when compared to other job types

I should add that this isn’t necessarily unique to being a developer. It’s just unique to being at a tech company in general

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Developers usually aren’t “special” most of the time in regards to vacation time.

There are of course companies that give more, but these aren’t unique/isolated to just developers.


Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

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Minimum four weeks in Europe & UK, + associated statutory additions for family-related issues & maternity/paternity (latter two are afaik all set at individual country level so vary in length – paternity from 1 day to 3 months, with minimum 2 weeks for EU countries from 2nd August this year, maternity from min 14 weeks [for EU countries] to 1 year+). There are base-level worker protections that don’t change regardless of job.

In UK ~23 days seems common starting point IME (eg longest month is 31 days, subtract 8 weekend days), + very often accruing an extra day per year of work. Then UK has a set of bank holidays, normally ~8 on a given year, we tend to get those on top of holiday allowance because they’re public holidays. I assume similar in other European countries but :man_shrugging:t3:

It is noticeable in job adverts that more companies are importing the unlimited vacation time idea that @DanJFletcher talks about from the other side of the Atlantic. But even if that provision is made in good faith, it (imo) doesn’t always work in an environment that already has much stronger laws around working hours.


Thanks @DanCouper for sharing, those sound like very generous policies to me.

I’ve seen some jobs in the US midwest boasting about generous vacation time and listing it at 10 days. Many other job postings don’t mention anything at all, so maybe they offer more or less days typically, but I don’t know.

I sometimes do a pro/con list about changing careers from being a teacher to a developer, but having a decent amount of days off to spend with family locally and across the country is very valuable to me, and I can’t justify a change if two weeks is normal in the US.

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The number of vacation days granted each year may vary by length of service. In 2021, more than one–third of private industry workers received 10 to 14 days of paid vacation after one year of service . After 10 years of service, 33 percent of private industry workers received between 15 and 19 days of paid vacation.

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Like Brad said, developers are usually going to be in the same category to most office workers. In the US the standard is probably something like 80 hours per year and about 8 national holidays off. In larger/older companies it’s common for PTO to increase with tenure - often something like a 40 additional hours for every 5 years of continuous employment.

“Unlimited PTO” is a commonly advertised perk in tech companies, but whether that’s actually a good deal can be very hit-and-miss. Sometimes there is fine print and other times the culture just pressures people not to take time off.

The basic takeaway is that benefits like vacation, insurance, and retirement investment are not going to be any different for a developer than any other salaried worker. It’s something worth asking individual companies about during an interview process.

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Here in Germany the amount of vacation days isn’t bound to a specific job, too.
There is a legal vacation entitlement of 24 days a year. Aside of that it varies from company to company, most often in the range from 27 to 30 days (as far as I was told personally). E.g. me has 31 days of which is 1 day because of my age. :wink:


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