IT compensation comparison

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HawkeyePierce
Posts: 1800
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Location: Colorado

Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by HawkeyePierce »

edge wrote: Fri Sep 27, 2019 6:01 pm What do you think it does that is groundbreaking?

There were extremely high end and costly software packages to do what it does. But high costs kept adoption low.

Yes, writing code that can scale is a challenge. But really that’s something that market infrastructure type developers had to deal with for a long time. And at places like Facebook and LinkedIn they can optimize more easily because transactional integrity is a secondary factor. Imo LinkedIn is especially bad with how they have architected their solution. They optimized and architected their platform to the point where search, a key feature of any social graph, barely works.
yosef wrote: Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:17 pm
edge wrote: Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:53 am Kafka is not groundbreaking. It’s just convenient and free.
I don't know what this means; in what way is it not groundbreaking? Please don't mention MQ.

edge wrote: Wed Sep 25, 2019 8:08 pm There just isn’t anything particularly groundbreaking at linked in or Facebook etc etc.

Most of Silicon Valley these days is business model innovation not tech innovation.

Imo the interviewing and competitiveness has more to do with screening out the bottom 80% of the software development workforce who are marginal than it is about finding brilliant ground breaking research/innovator type guys.
You can certainly argue that the products at LinkedIn, Facebook, etc are not groundbreaking in what they do. But as has been mentioned, the difficultly in producing them, and consequently the compensation for doing so, is based on the immense scale at which they must operate.

I've really found the opinions from those outside tech in this thread entertaining, even if also insulting.
Transactional integrity is *not* a secondary goal. This is often bandied about when discussing distributed systems in the abstract but it's just not true at the scale of Facebook or Twitter. It's something we may be willing to relax in emergency scenarios but sites like Facebook are engineered to avoid relying on that as much as possible because it's an awful user experience. We don't relax integrity for performance optimization, we do it only if absolutely necessary during an incident to maintain overall site function.

(I don't work for Facebook but I work for a company approaching their scale and have built systems to do exactly that)
novemberrain
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by novemberrain »

international001 wrote: Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:55 am
novemberrain wrote: Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:22 pm In all fairness though, the “average” engineer uses crystallized intelligence as well.

If we compare “above average” people in either category, even “above average” doctors use fluid intelligence
Sure.. you have to use both in any case. And I'm sure any doctor House uses lots of fluid intelligence.
But engineering work is more of a problem solving challenge every day. That's not my experience with what the doctors do. How often they spend days or weeks just trying to figure out a particular set of symptoms?
Diseases are rarely treated in short time. Each patient's case is unique and treatment is continued over several weeks at the very minumum all the way to several decades in the extreme cases. Health care is highly regulated as well as super high risk. That is why they don't do MVPs like in software and problem solve their way to a better solution. I don't know of any human being patient who would agree to be a beta customer (let alone alpha customer) for a new neurosurgery procedure (unless the patient is staring death in the face and has nothing to lose).

Again this is for the "above average" doctors. Regular primary care doctors don't encounter this as much. But if we are comparing "average" doctors, then we have to look at what an "average engineer" does. I am a FAANMG engineer. Less than 5% of engineers at FAANMG do any commits to open source or write any major contributions
novemberrain
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by novemberrain »

knightrider wrote: Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:48 am How many teenagers are surgeons, lawyers and CEOs? Software is not nearly as difficult as you think it is. The barriers to entry are very low and all the information is well documented online.
It is illegal for a teenager to be a surgeon in the US. That would preclude any teenager from becoming a surgeon I feel :)

It is not illegal for a teenager to be a software engineer in the US. :)

While the barrier to entry is low, the barrier to success is high. Anyone can claim they are a software engineer. But that does not mean they will get paid big bucks.
noco-hawkeye
Posts: 439
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by noco-hawkeye »

KlangFool wrote: Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:35 pm
noco-hawkeye wrote: Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:28 pm
KlangFool wrote: Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:37 pm
an_asker wrote: Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:32 pm
KlangFool wrote: Thu Sep 19, 2019 6:40 pm

skor99,

How is this actionable for you? I would like to know.

KlangFool
These discussions are actionable for anyone reading them. It could be a parent trying to advise their kids, could be a person looking for a move up in the rat race, for instance...
Please explain. I do not get it as to what is actionable. And, I am asking it honestly.

KlangFool
It is actionable when you look at where you are in your career and especially when you have conversations with your manager.

If you of a similar experience level (3 years) then you can look at the pay and see where your pay is at. Sure you have to factor in geographies as well, but this is not that complicated to take a swag at.

Similarly, if you have 20-something years of experience and are leading teams of these types of engineers - you should be getting paid more than these numbers. Full-stop. If you aren't, then you should know that a lot of places are remote worker friendly and you could get a good pay increase.

Just ignoring this information because these people might live in a different part of the country is very short sided IMHO. It's how people end up working at mega-corp for 30-40 years and short change themselves a great deal of money.

My $.02.
noco-hawkeye,

So, do you use that information successfully?

KlangFool
Yes. But part of this is you need to have the skills that compare to these jobs and be willing to switch jobs. Over the last 5 years I think this has made a total difference of 250k in additional income.

What maybe I brushed over is that many people work in IT, don't use all the latest skills, and still have a fine career. Thats fine and all - everyone gets to choose a different path.

But having information like this (where maybe a cloud / dev-ops / high automation job gets paid well) can be very useful. If you don't want to leave your job or don't have comparable skills - then this is less useful of a data point I will concede.
confused1
Posts: 56
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:03 am

Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by confused1 »

noco-hawkeye wrote: Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:54 am
KlangFool wrote: Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:35 pm
noco-hawkeye wrote: Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:28 pm
KlangFool wrote: Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:37 pm
an_asker wrote: Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:32 pm
These discussions are actionable for anyone reading them. It could be a parent trying to advise their kids, could be a person looking for a move up in the rat race, for instance...
Please explain. I do not get it as to what is actionable. And, I am asking it honestly.

KlangFool
It is actionable when you look at where you are in your career and especially when you have conversations with your manager.

If you of a similar experience level (3 years) then you can look at the pay and see where your pay is at. Sure you have to factor in geographies as well, but this is not that complicated to take a swag at.

Similarly, if you have 20-something years of experience and are leading teams of these types of engineers - you should be getting paid more than these numbers. Full-stop. If you aren't, then you should know that a lot of places are remote worker friendly and you could get a good pay increase.

Just ignoring this information because these people might live in a different part of the country is very short sided IMHO. It's how people end up working at mega-corp for 30-40 years and short change themselves a great deal of money.

My $.02.
noco-hawkeye,

So, do you use that information successfully?

KlangFool
Yes. But part of this is you need to have the skills that compare to these jobs and be willing to switch jobs. Over the last 5 years I think this has made a total difference of 250k in additional income.

What maybe I brushed over is that many people work in IT, don't use all the latest skills, and still have a fine career. Thats fine and all - everyone gets to choose a different path.

But having information like this (where maybe a cloud / dev-ops / high automation job gets paid well) can be very useful. If you don't want to leave your job or don't have comparable skills - then this is less useful of a data point I will concede.
Knowing what the going rate is for a role is very useful when moving jobs. I used a forum called blind, which is anonymous so can be full of BS but can be very useful to triangulate multiple comments on what a role/level should pay. It helps with the negotiation and makes it less asymmetrical.
international001
Posts: 1822
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by international001 »

novemberrain wrote: Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:03 pm
international001 wrote: Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:55 am
novemberrain wrote: Thu Sep 26, 2019 9:22 pm In all fairness though, the “average” engineer uses crystallized intelligence as well.

If we compare “above average” people in either category, even “above average” doctors use fluid intelligence
Sure.. you have to use both in any case. And I'm sure any doctor House uses lots of fluid intelligence.
But engineering work is more of a problem solving challenge every day. That's not my experience with what the doctors do. How often they spend days or weeks just trying to figure out a particular set of symptoms?
Diseases are rarely treated in short time. Each patient's case is unique and treatment is continued over several weeks at the very minumum all the way to several decades in the extreme cases. Health care is highly regulated as well as super high risk. That is why they don't do MVPs like in software and problem solve their way to a better solution. I don't know of any human being patient who would agree to be a beta customer (let alone alpha customer) for a new neurosurgery procedure (unless the patient is staring death in the face and has nothing to lose).

Again this is for the "above average" doctors. Regular primary care doctors don't encounter this as much. But if we are comparing "average" doctors, then we have to look at what an "average engineer" does. I am a FAANMG engineer. Less than 5% of engineers at FAANMG do any commits to open source or write any major contributions
Sure they may be, just not my experience, what I'd assume is valid for the median patient. Even for very reputable doctors. I'm sure they are very knowledgeable in their field, but they treat you more or less mechanically. What of course is good for the patient. I don't want the doctor to be trying to solve a puzzle the medical science has solved before

In my experience also, when engineers fall into this mode of doing things mechanically, it's feasible to rethink your role and make the problem more difficult and the solution more challenging.

YMMV
international001
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by international001 »

KyleAAA wrote: Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:34 am
international001 wrote: Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:59 am

Are we trying to time the (job) market?

There may be a locking effect some where? At some point, it is not an efficient market when you pay so much more similar talent in different parts of the country. But it doesn't make sense to pay so much for similar healthcare in US than in other countries. I'm sure that those bubbles will burst on the long term, we just may be all dead
The pay differential isn’t that large. These west coast tech companies pay similarly in their satellite offices and some, like Facebook, have an explicit policy where they pay the same.

Case in point, some west coast companies like Square and Open Door opened Engineering offices in Atlanta over the last few years. In SV they are just average payers but in Atlanta they are at the very top of the market and essentially have their pick of talent. Pay in the Atlanta office is adjusted down a bit but nowhere near what the relative COL would suggest. You see the same dynamics in places like Austin or Charlotte. The real impact is that all the incumbent companies will need to ramp up their pay considerably if they want to compete, which is precisely what’s happening. Alternatively, they can make due with inferior talent, which is viable for many business models. But you quickly find that he talent between these two types of companies is NOT similar. They are plainly on different levels.

So then the locking effect must be that SV attracts more of these jobs, and US citizens go there to live.
Still, I would think there is an arbitrage somewhere between countries.

For US only, I couldn't figure out what would be the adjustment for same type of job/talent between (e.g.) Charlotte and SV. IS there a way where this is measured, or it's just your anecdotal knowledge. Assume after-tax. If you make $120k in Charlotte, spend 1/3 on housing (assume rental), and housing is x3 more expensive in SV, you would still need to get $200k to get even in SV. Of course, you can do the math many ways
akarom
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by akarom »

Yes, these salaries are accurate. Just FYI, Seattle is way cheaper than bay area (no state taxes, cheaper housing, slightly cheaper other things). Only pointing this out because of the comparison to the bay area teacher thread. You can get ~$150k out of school. Also, these big tech companies move much faster than most companies. Meaning you'll learn more in 3 years as an engineer than at a regular company (even if there's still a lot of red tape).

$180k is achievable after 1 year if you're good enough to get promoted. In some cases, right out of school. Doesn't Facebook give $75-100k signing bonus to returning rockstar interns? You can jump your $180k Google offer to $220k just by having a competing offer from Facebook or Citadel or Two Sigma. The whole thing is a game. You're not really doing anything different from other companies, except working at larger scale. One thing to think about is these big companies are partially paying you for your talent, partially to keep other companies from taking you. At a big company, you're most likely going to be doing trivial work.

If you're lucky, you can take the big comp and work at a smaller office in a cheap city and really do well. But if you're not in SF/Seattle/NYC, you won't have many options to jump ship and make more.

"Building AI and Machine learning algorithms is not the same as someone building yet another rewards mobile App"

Well it's not always too far off ... machine learning has pretty much become one-click. That's the power of abstraction. But yes, there is more pressure. If Google.com or Amazon.com goes down in the middle of the night, you bet your ass you're getting paged and working a *very* stressful problem. If the website at a lesser-known site goes down, not really a big deal. How often does a bank's front-end go down for a few hours or days? If that happened to Amazon, how many millions of dollars would they lose?

"TLDR: Question still stands - why don't the FAANG open software development centers across the country? Build it - they will come ... and for less money than in the Bay Area and northeast!"

They do. Facebook and Microsoft mostly have offices in the big cities (I think MS is in SLC though). Google is in Texas, Pittsburgh, Colorado, etc. Amazon is in Michigan, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, and more. They can't hire at the same scale in smaller offices, obviously.

"As long as your degree is in certain fields, and your graduation date falls within a certain range, you qualify for this pipeline, but getting INTO this pipeline is basically impossible unless you are recruited early from the top schools they have chosen."

That's complete nonsense. They don't care what school you come from or what your GPA is. You're obviously better off with MIT on your resume than Nebraska, but I have personally gone to career fairs at no-name state schools to recruit for these companies (and I personally got my first job at one from a no-name state school). On the other hand, getting a job at a lower-brand company from out-of-state will be harder if you don't have a big-name school on your resume. Once you have a FAANG on your resume, you can obviously go anywhere.

"Yes, but nowadays DevOps is the buzzword. So pretty much any IT person is expected to know hardware and software. Anybody can go through an online tutorial and learn a programming language in a few days/weeks. So what is stopping traditional IT folks from getting those high paying software engineering jobs?"

Yeah, if you want broken software. I started my career less than 2 years ago, and frequently review code from people who have been in industry 10+ years. I'm pretty easily able to spot all the places their code is going to blow up. If it does blow up, we've got an ops disaster. The average software engineer is not ready to be deploying code for companies with hundreds of millions of users.

"Coming unprepared and failing wastes everyone's time, including your own (particularly if you're flying in). It also burns your chances to get an offer, and potentially your ability to come back in the future. Why would you want to do that?"

But it's also a big time commitment. Doing an interview just to see what it's like, and where you're at, can be useful. If you're so bad that it'll be a disaster, you won't get past the phone screen anyway. Job interviews are much more fun and low-stress when you already have a job you're happy with.
OnTrack
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by OnTrack »

Here is some data on profits per employee at tech companies in 2018. First 6 are:
Facebook....$634,694
Apple.........$393,097
Microsoft.....$171,000
Alphabet.....$158,057
Cisco..........$131,810
Netflix........$109,588
They have a link to the data at the bottom of the page.
https://www.postbeyond.com/profit-per-employee/

BTW, I looked at 2019 data for Alphabet and profits are much higher in 2019, so the profit per employee is 311,184 in 2019 by my calculation.
tlk59
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by tlk59 »

Nathan Drake wrote: Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:35 pm I’m blown away that a LCOL 6 year SDE is clearing 350k

Really did myself a disservice going into a hard science engineering field post-2000 tech bubble

Should have gambled it on software instead
In hindsight maybe, but it wasn't so obvious at the time. I was a laid off software engineer in the early 2000s, living in Silicon Valley, and could not get arrested. Everyone was talking about offshoring being the doom of the career field. Engineers were asking about getting into nursing, accounting, etc.
ARoseByAnyOtherName
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName »

tlk59 wrote: Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:30 pm
Nathan Drake wrote: Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:35 pm I’m blown away that a LCOL 6 year SDE is clearing 350k

Really did myself a disservice going into a hard science engineering field post-2000 tech bubble

Should have gambled it on software instead
In hindsight maybe, but it wasn't so obvious at the time. I was a laid off software engineer in the early 2000s, living in Silicon Valley, and could not get arrested. Everyone was talking about offshoring being the doom of the career field. Engineers were asking about getting into nursing, accounting, etc.
This is absolutely true. Conventional wisdom in 2002, 2003 was that all software engineers were going to be outsourced to India and that it was a dead-end profession.

Ultimately technology matured to the point were software is eating the world (as they say) but that wasn’t obvious back then.
visualguy
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by visualguy »

ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote: Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:17 pm
tlk59 wrote: Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:30 pm
Nathan Drake wrote: Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:35 pm I’m blown away that a LCOL 6 year SDE is clearing 350k

Really did myself a disservice going into a hard science engineering field post-2000 tech bubble

Should have gambled it on software instead
In hindsight maybe, but it wasn't so obvious at the time. I was a laid off software engineer in the early 2000s, living in Silicon Valley, and could not get arrested. Everyone was talking about offshoring being the doom of the career field. Engineers were asking about getting into nursing, accounting, etc.
This is absolutely true. Conventional wisdom in 2002, 2003 was that all software engineers were going to be outsourced to India and that it was a dead-end profession.

Ultimately technology matured to the point were software is eating the world (as they say) but that wasn’t obvious back then.
I also remember those days when it looked like prospects were grim for most in this career. Not quite sure what changed, though. Even if software is playing an increased role in the world, it can still be offshored, done by temporary workers, etc. The sentiment and pay have definitely changed (at least for now), but I don't fully understand why.
HawkeyePierce
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by HawkeyePierce »

FAANG et al use very little offshoring, that's part of it. It's just not a useful concept for anything but spec work.
akarom
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by akarom »

The real problem is going to be the education bubble. Universities are pumping out more and more new grads because companies need more engineers. Really, they need more good/skilled engineers. Schools are making the curriculum softer and softer (Python instead of Java, 100% handwaving on algorithms proofs, and so on). They want to get as many people as possible into the program paying tuition, and more and more people are unable to get industry jobs (not even talking about FAANG).

When I graduated, there were a depressing number of people at our graduation event saying basically "moving home, hope to get a job soon" when saying our future plans. This field is indeed becoming a bit like law, very bimodally distributed. If you luck out and get selected for a FAANG interview, you nail it and are set for life. If not, you hope you get something, and you hope that something lets you actually learn something. Far too many stories of people who get paid to do absolutely nothing, then are screwed when their job gets eliminated. Well, I guess that's what happens when CS departments advertise their major with "you can graduate with a $100k job!!"

Before anyone says anything, there's nothing wrong with Python (and I don't love Java), but it encourages you to do 1-line hacks, which are fine (and encouraged) in industry, but it doesn't get you thinking on how you'd actually reverse a string. Doesn't get you "fluent" in programming (at a minimum, to get past the interviews).
novemberrain
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by novemberrain »

visualguy wrote: Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:34 pm
ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote: Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:17 pm
tlk59 wrote: Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:30 pm
Nathan Drake wrote: Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:35 pm I’m blown away that a LCOL 6 year SDE is clearing 350k

Really did myself a disservice going into a hard science engineering field post-2000 tech bubble

Should have gambled it on software instead
In hindsight maybe, but it wasn't so obvious at the time. I was a laid off software engineer in the early 2000s, living in Silicon Valley, and could not get arrested. Everyone was talking about offshoring being the doom of the career field. Engineers were asking about getting into nursing, accounting, etc.
This is absolutely true. Conventional wisdom in 2002, 2003 was that all software engineers were going to be outsourced to India and that it was a dead-end profession.

Ultimately technology matured to the point were software is eating the world (as they say) but that wasn’t obvious back then.
I also remember those days when it looked like prospects were grim for most in this career. Not quite sure what changed, though. Even if software is playing an increased role in the world, it can still be offshored, done by temporary workers, etc. The sentiment and pay have definitely changed (at least for now), but I don't fully understand why.
Super +1.

I remember in the mid 2000s, one manager in my team said basically told me exact same words, i.e. software engineering is a dead end job. And that I should get out . I am glad I didn't follow his advice. But the point is that back then, his advice sounded very wise. All the world was predicting that. But jobs never died out. There were still jobs, although none of them paid anywhere near the current salaries even when adjusted for inflation. Then sometime around 2012 - 2014, there was a dramatic inflection point and salaries have been just going up linearly or maybe even quadratically.

This trend very well might not continue and the next 5-10 years could / will look very different from the last 5-10

10 years back, a software engineer made roughly 2/3 of what a primary care doctor made. And maybe 1/4th or 1/5th of what a specialist doc made. Now, software engineers make 1.5x what a primary care doc makes (in bay area) and make same as what a specialist doc makes (in bay area).
KyleAAA
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by KyleAAA »

novemberrain wrote: Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:24 pm
visualguy wrote: Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:34 pm
ARoseByAnyOtherName wrote: Mon Sep 30, 2019 7:17 pm
tlk59 wrote: Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:30 pm
Nathan Drake wrote: Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:35 pm I’m blown away that a LCOL 6 year SDE is clearing 350k

Really did myself a disservice going into a hard science engineering field post-2000 tech bubble

Should have gambled it on software instead
In hindsight maybe, but it wasn't so obvious at the time. I was a laid off software engineer in the early 2000s, living in Silicon Valley, and could not get arrested. Everyone was talking about offshoring being the doom of the career field. Engineers were asking about getting into nursing, accounting, etc.
This is absolutely true. Conventional wisdom in 2002, 2003 was that all software engineers were going to be outsourced to India and that it was a dead-end profession.

Ultimately technology matured to the point were software is eating the world (as they say) but that wasn’t obvious back then.
I also remember those days when it looked like prospects were grim for most in this career. Not quite sure what changed, though. Even if software is playing an increased role in the world, it can still be offshored, done by temporary workers, etc. The sentiment and pay have definitely changed (at least for now), but I don't fully understand why.
Super +1.

I remember in the mid 2000s, one manager in my team said basically told me exact same words, i.e. software engineering is a dead end job. And that I should get out . I am glad I didn't follow his advice. But the point is that back then, his advice sounded very wise. All the world was predicting that. But jobs never died out. There were still jobs, although none of them paid anywhere near the current salaries even when adjusted for inflation. Then sometime around 2012 - 2014, there was a dramatic inflection point and salaries have been just going up linearly or maybe even quadratically.

This trend very well might not continue and the next 5-10 years could / will look very different from the last 5-10

10 years back, a software engineer made roughly 2/3 of what a primary care doctor made. And maybe 1/4th or 1/5th of what a specialist doc made. Now, software engineers make 1.5x what a primary care doc makes (in bay area) and make same as what a specialist doc makes (in bay area).
It's funny how perspectives differ. I was in undergrad in a top CS program in 2000 and there was no sense whatsoever that the tech bust would be anything more than a blip for software engineers and no fear of oursourcing. I don't know if we were just naive or ahead of our time.
brianH
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by brianH »

visualguy wrote: Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:34 pm This is absolutely true. Conventional wisdom in 2002, 2003 was that all software engineers were going to be outsourced to India and that it was a dead-end profession.
It was tried, heavily, and most companies that tried it reluctantly declared outsourcing a total failure.

Someone in this thread compared the job of a software engineer to a business analyst. I like this comparison. The big failure of outsourcing was thinking that software development was like assembling widgets on an assembly line: input basic requirements, out comes reliable, functional software. The problem is, those requirements are ever evolving; someone has to listen to the needs, interpret what is being asked for, understand the domain, and architect a system that balances future extensibility and flexibility with ease-of-use, cost, and performance.

People that can do all of that, in addition to the comparatively easier task of actually writing the code, are rare enough to command a premium, no matter where in the world they are located.
Tortoisesque
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by Tortoisesque »

visualguy wrote: Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:34 pm I also remember those days when it looked like prospects were grim for most in this career. Not quite sure what changed, though. Even if software is playing an increased role in the world, it can still be offshored, done by temporary workers, etc. The sentiment and pay have definitely changed (at least for now), but I don't fully understand why.
Probably had a lot to do with the smartphone revolution.

Before smartphones, you had to sit down in front of a computer to do "computer stuff." It was compartmentalized, a bit separate from the rest of our daily life.

Now, everyone walks around with powerful computers in their pockets, and they pull them out constantly to use them throughout the day for just about everything. That means software permeates our lives to an extent that was almost unimaginable before smartphones.

And all of that ubiquitous software has to be designed, written, and maintained by software engineers.
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bluquark
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by bluquark »

KyleAAA wrote: Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:37 pm
I remember in the mid 2000s, one manager in my team said basically told me exact same words, i.e. software engineering is a dead end job. And that I should get out . I am glad I didn't follow his advice. But the point is that back then, his advice sounded very wise. All the world was predicting that. But jobs never died out. There were still jobs, although none of them paid anywhere near the current salaries even when adjusted for inflation. Then sometime around 2012 - 2014, there was a dramatic inflection point and salaries have been just going up linearly or maybe even quadratically.
It's funny how perspectives differ. I was in undergrad in a top CS program in 2000 and there was no sense whatsoever that the tech bust would be anything more than a blip for software engineers and no fear of oursourcing. I don't know if we were just naive or ahead of our time.
The tech bubble was driven by irrational exuberance and it was followed by irrational negativity and cynicism. In an academic environment that had been involved in the steady growth of computing since the 1960s or earlier, it was surely a bit easier to keep a cool distance and avoid either misperception.
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novemberrain
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by novemberrain »

brianH wrote: Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:45 pm It was tried, heavily, and most companies that tried it reluctantly declared outsourcing a total failure.

Someone in this thread compared the job of a software engineer to a business analyst. I like this comparison. The big failure of outsourcing was thinking that software development was like assembling widgets on an assembly line: input basic requirements, out comes reliable, functional software. The problem is, those requirements are ever evolving; someone has to listen to the needs, interpret what is being asked for, understand the domain, and architect a system that balances future extensibility and flexibility with ease-of-use, cost, and performance.

People that can do all of that, in addition to the comparatively easier task of actually writing the code, are rare enough to command a premium, no matter where in the world they are located.
Outsourcing is hardly a failure. Every FAANG company employs tens of thousands of engineers in just India. Second and third tier companies employ millions of service consulting employees in india and elsewhere. If there were no outsourcing, all those jobs would have been in the US.

But I agree that outsourcing didn't turn out to be the US software job killer it was predicted to be. Outsourcing hadly led to the demise of Bay Area software companies. In fact even in top tier FAANG companies say FB or Apple, there are 2 kinds of outsourcing. First kind is contractors employed in Menlo Park from indian consulting companies. They get paid like $100k or $150k and sit in the same team as people earning $350k as core facebook employees. Then there are facebook's own employees in India who earn incredible salaries in India. They are employees who go through as rigorous an interview as menlo park engineers.

So the gist is that outsourcing ate up a lot of lower value level IT jobs. It has become harder for a regular joe IT engineer in the US to get a job as an IT engineer and earn good salary. Regular joe is basically competing against millions of service consulting employees in India and elsewhere who are employed at indian salary of $20k or $40k USD.

Outsourcing companies never were able to climb the value chain and threaten the $350k type of employees in bay area though.
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by KyleAAA »

novemberrain wrote: Tue Oct 01, 2019 8:01 pm
brianH wrote: Tue Oct 01, 2019 6:45 pm It was tried, heavily, and most companies that tried it reluctantly declared outsourcing a total failure.

Someone in this thread compared the job of a software engineer to a business analyst. I like this comparison. The big failure of outsourcing was thinking that software development was like assembling widgets on an assembly line: input basic requirements, out comes reliable, functional software. The problem is, those requirements are ever evolving; someone has to listen to the needs, interpret what is being asked for, understand the domain, and architect a system that balances future extensibility and flexibility with ease-of-use, cost, and performance.

People that can do all of that, in addition to the comparatively easier task of actually writing the code, are rare enough to command a premium, no matter where in the world they are located.
Outsourcing is hardly a failure. Every FAANG company employs tens of thousands of engineers in just India. Second and third tier companies employ millions of service consulting employees in india and elsewhere. If there were no outsourcing, all those jobs would have been in the US.

But I agree that outsourcing didn't turn out to be the US software job killer it was predicted to be. Outsourcing hadly led to the demise of Bay Area software companies. In fact even in top tier FAANG companies say FB or Apple, there are 2 kinds of outsourcing. First kind is contractors employed in Menlo Park from indian consulting companies. They get paid like $100k or $150k and sit in the same team as people earning $350k as core facebook employees. Then there are facebook's own employees in India who earn incredible salaries in India. They are employees who go through as rigorous an interview as menlo park engineers.

So the gist is that outsourcing ate up a lot of lower value level IT jobs. It has become harder for a regular joe IT engineer in the US to get a job as an IT engineer and earn good salary. Regular joe is basically competing against millions of service consulting employees in India and elsewhere who are employed at indian salary of $20k or $40k USD.

Outsourcing companies never were able to climb the value chain and threaten the $350k type of employees in bay area though.
This. Most of our engineers in India make 6 figures. If we wanted to save money we’d open an office in Tennessee, not India.
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by akarom »

Really? Google and Amazon, according to levels.fyi, entry-level people make around $40k in India, if that. They do break $100k for senior people, but not by much. Keeping in mind many people never get to that level (or aspire to get to that level). Same thing in western Europe, where it's cheaper to live than SF, but not too much cheaper than the US in general (plus very high taxes). I was just reading articles the other day about salaries in countries like Hungary, university professors making the equivalent of $500-1000/month. I know things are cheaper in central Europe, but it can't be that much cheaper.

Nevertheless, FAANG is not shutting down US offices and offshoring to India.
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by novemberrain »

I don't think anyone here is arguing that. If anything, we are arguing the opposite. The top tier global class talent available in the US is unmatched in any country on earth. The US is a magnet for super top level talent from across the globe. This fosters creative company construction in the US at an unmatched scale. The number of foreigners with impeccable resumes that work in the US / Bay Area is a testament to that. The number of immigrant nobel prize winners in STEM are another testament
https://www.forbes.com/sites/stuartande ... el-prizes/

But it is also true that even among these very top class companies, they employ outsourcing at a non-trivial scale that has pushed up salaries in India to levels that would have sounded absurd 15 years back. Yes, there are plenty of engineers in India who earn $100k USD +. It might not be the norm, but there are plenty of them.

Amazon just opened it's largest office building in the world and it is in India. It is Amazon's single largest building in the world in terms of total area
https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/22/tech/ama ... index.html
Amazon just opened its biggest office building in the world in the Indian city of Hyderabad.

The online retail giant's new campus in the city's financial district opened on Wednesday. It covers 9.5 acres and has 1.8 million square feet of office space, making it "Amazon's single largest building in the world in terms of total area," according to the company.
The building can accommodate up to 15,000 employees, nearly a quarter of Amazon's full-time India workforce of more than 62,000. The company also has 155,000 contract workers in the country, making India its biggest base outside the United States.
Last edited by novemberrain on Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by akarom »

What is the sum of the square feet across all of Amazon's Seattle buildings? Their Seattle "office" consists of many buildings.
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by visualguy »

novemberrain wrote: Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:53 pm I don't think anyone here is arguing that. If anything, we are arguing the opposite. The top tier global class talent available in the US is unmatched in any country on earth. The US is a magnet for super top level talent from across the globe. This fosters creative company construction in the US at an unmatched scale. The number of foreigners with impeccable resumes that work in the US / Bay Area is a testament to that.

But it is also true that even among these very top class companies, they employ outsourcing at a non-trivial scale that has pushed up salaries in India to levels that would have sounded absurd 15 years back. Yes, there are plenty of engineers in India who earn $100k USD +. It might not be the norm, but there are plenty of them.

Amazon just opened it's largest office in the world and it is in India. It is Amazon's single largest building in the world in terms of total area
https://www.cnn.com/2019/08/22/tech/ama ... index.html
There's a lot of higher end work being done in India these days. Some folks are doing really well. An ex-colleague of mine makes $500K/yr in total compensation in Bangalore running the India office of about 50 engineers for his company.

I'm surprised India doesn't have more home-grown tech companies, and that their talent is mostly working for foreign companies.

There are major home-grown tech companies in China, of course, but some US companies are doing high-end work there as well:

https://www.blog.google/around-the-glob ... na-center/
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by novemberrain »

akarom wrote: Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:04 am What is the sum of the square feet across all of Amazon's Seattle buildings? Their Seattle "office" consists of many buildings.
I don't think the english sentence snippet :
"single largest building in the world in terms of total area"
is confusing in meaning. At least it is not confusing to me.
Last edited by novemberrain on Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by DonIce »

This thread makes me unhappy with my measly barely 6 figure compensation in non-software engineering.
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by akarom »

novemberrain wrote: Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:16 am
akarom wrote: Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:04 am What is the sum of the square feet across all of Amazon's Seattle buildings? Their Seattle "office" consists of many buildings.
I don't think the english sentence snippet :
"single largest building in the world in terms of total area"
is confusing in meaning. At least it is not confusing to me.
I don't think my question was confusing either. Day 1 building is roughly 1.5 million square feet. Add in any other building and you've already beaten 1.8m.
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by novemberrain »

akarom wrote: Wed Oct 02, 2019 12:37 am Add in any other building and you've already beaten 1.8m.
Did I posit anywhere that it doesn't ?
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by akarom »

So "biggest Amazon building" is a silly metric.
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by KyleAAA »

akarom wrote: Tue Oct 01, 2019 11:18 pm Really? Google and Amazon, according to levels.fyi, entry-level people make around $40k in India, if that. They do break $100k for senior people, but not by much. Keeping in mind many people never get to that level (or aspire to get to that level). Same thing in western Europe, where it's cheaper to live than SF, but not too much cheaper than the US in general (plus very high taxes). I was just reading articles the other day about salaries in countries like Hungary, university professors making the equivalent of $500-1000/month. I know things are cheaper in central Europe, but it can't be that much cheaper.

Nevertheless, FAANG is not shutting down US offices and offshoring to India.
I can't speak for Google or Amazon, but we don't hire many new grads in India for some reason. Mostly mid-senior folks. But of course everybody aspires to senior at those companies. The lower levels are up or out, meaning if you aren't promoted up through the bands to senior in some reasonable period of time you are managed out. Every single engineer who isn't already a senior in those companies working towards that goal if they want to work at a top company for the long term.
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by akarom »

L4/L5 at Google/Amazon (aka one promo after new grad level) is considered terminal. Many people like to coast. It may not always be this way, especially as promo process has changed at the companies.
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by KyleAAA »

akarom wrote: Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:12 am L4/L5 at Google/Amazon (aka one promo after new grad level) is considered terminal. Many people like to coast. It may not always be this way, especially as promo process has changed at the companies.
Maybe, things change fast. I know for a fact that L4 did not USED to be a terminal level at Google, but I am hearing rumblings that may have changed in the last few years. But almost everywhere else anything below senior is up or out. If you can coast at L4 these days, that's not a bad place to be.

But that's a bit beside the point. Even the new grads in India are getting the same $150k-200k USD in stock as their American counterparts. At least over the last decade, appreciation on that at the FAANGs has tended to put them over 6 figures before the cliff.
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by akarom »

If you believe levels.fyi, comp, including stock grants, is very low for junior devs. Now maybe some of them at Amazon crossed 6 figures after a couple years because of huge stock growth, but those days appear to be over now. Even in Germany and Spain, salaries are quite a low, bit higher than India. I'm not sure how those folks justify working long hours for relatively low pay (compared to US) and very high taxes. Maybe they don't work long hours in EU, they have a better culture of WLB over there, I don't know.
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by international001 »

akarom wrote: Wed Oct 02, 2019 9:22 pm If you believe levels.fyi, comp, including stock grants, is very low for junior devs. Now maybe some of them at Amazon crossed 6 figures after a couple years because of huge stock growth, but those days appear to be over now. Even in Germany and Spain, salaries are quite a low, bit higher than India. I'm not sure how those folks justify working long hours for relatively low pay (compared to US) and very high taxes. Maybe they don't work long hours in EU, they have a better culture of WLB over there, I don't know.
AFAIK, You work long hours if you have a startup or you are in a multinational corp. At the end, you fit in the culture. US people don't follow the crazy hours/habits they would do in Japan for no improvement on productivity. High taxes and (so far) perceived security are also a reason not to overwork
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by international001 »

All this discussion is interesting but moot.

What would really matter is knowing the distribution of compensations. Are level.fyi bios towards lower/higher paid? What percentage represents all the FAANG employees?
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by jharkin »

tlk59 wrote: Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:30 pm
Nathan Drake wrote: Fri Sep 27, 2019 10:35 pm I’m blown away that a LCOL 6 year SDE is clearing 350k

Really did myself a disservice going into a hard science engineering field post-2000 tech bubble

Should have gambled it on software instead
In hindsight maybe, but it wasn't so obvious at the time. I was a laid off software engineer in the early 2000s, living in Silicon Valley, and could not get arrested. Everyone was talking about offshoring being the doom of the career field. Engineers were asking about getting into nursing, accounting, etc.
+1... My background is what old timers like to call "real" engineering (ie. Mech, Civil, Aero, Chem, Elec, etc type) and I ended up in software by accident in the late 90s working for companies that make software for physical engineering. In '98 software seemed the place to be with nowhere to go but up, but back then 50k+ was a strong starting salary and 80k was amazing. Physical engineers in the Midwest where making 35.

Then 2001 happened and the bottom fell out. Most of what hung on started moving offshore and indeed for nearly a decade we though that the software industry in the US would be dead below senior management levels in our lifetimes. I got forced into management and spent a lot of time riding coach back and forth to Asia.

I stuck it out, but I have a very specific background that is most suited to those engineering software companies and they simply dont pay in the same league as the FAANGs. What I work on doesn't pay anywhere near as well but it keeps the lights on, the factories moving and your safety depends on it every time you start your car or step on an airplane. That gives me much more satisfaction in life than a million dollars to develop the "apps" that are destroying my kids social skills. I really enjoy what I do, and wouldn't take a job at Facebook no matter how much monopoly money they threw at me.

So I just watch threads like this from a distance with awe at how truly lucky these post-2010 CS grads are. Maybe when the next bubble bursts they will finally realize that the time and industry they where born into was such a unique and historically rare opportunity and not the "so easy a caveman can do it" mundane thing some seem to perceive it as....
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by Hyperborea »

bluquark wrote: Tue Oct 01, 2019 7:25 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:37 pm
I remember in the mid 2000s, one manager in my team said basically told me exact same words, i.e. software engineering is a dead end job. And that I should get out . I am glad I didn't follow his advice. But the point is that back then, his advice sounded very wise. All the world was predicting that. But jobs never died out. There were still jobs, although none of them paid anywhere near the current salaries even when adjusted for inflation. Then sometime around 2012 - 2014, there was a dramatic inflection point and salaries have been just going up linearly or maybe even quadratically.
It's funny how perspectives differ. I was in undergrad in a top CS program in 2000 and there was no sense whatsoever that the tech bust would be anything more than a blip for software engineers and no fear of oursourcing. I don't know if we were just naive or ahead of our time.
The tech bubble was driven by irrational exuberance and it was followed by irrational negativity and cynicism. In an academic environment that had been involved in the steady growth of computing since the 1960s or earlier, it was surely a bit easier to keep a cool distance and avoid either misperception.
I was in the Bay Area at the time of the dot com bust working as a lead engineer for a mid-sized company that made a former iconic tech gadget. I was laid off when the company went "lifeboat" but I found a job within about a week and had an offer in about three. There was not the same feeling of despair amongst engineers in Silicon Valley as described in the original post. Maybe that was what it was like in IT but not in the Valley.

There was some shakeup and many marginal engineers moved back to whatever it was they did before the dot com bust (barista, pilates instructor, rough-in carpentry, etc. - in '99/00 anybody who could fog a mirror was an HTML coder) but anybody with real skills had no trouble finding work. There were fewer offers and you could be less picky but there were jobs. Those same people with skills who worked at companies that didn't go bust were in general not let go but held onto as assets that would be hard to reacquire when the economy would inevitably pickup again.

P.S. I've worked at two of the FAANGS and been solicited by them all. Yes, the salaries for engineers are high and the slope of the pay curve with actual/perceived merit is huge. So, if you are highly valued and ranked so then the total pay can be easily mid-6 to low 7 figures without being an official manager or executive. My numbers are getting dated though as I've been retired for coming on 3 years now but without major stock swings (that would drive equity comp higher) it would have been maybe 5% or so of the engineering staff that are paid at the mid-6 and up level.

Edited: To fix late night typos.
Last edited by Hyperborea on Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by KyleAAA »

international001 wrote: Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:13 am All this discussion is interesting but moot.

What would really matter is knowing the distribution of compensations. Are level.fyi bios towards lower/higher paid? What percentage represents all the FAANG employees?
For the 2 top companies with which I have direct experience, the levels.fyi numbers are dead on and represent what the typical engineer WILL see. It's arranged by level and for most of the companies, there is very good data for the bottom half of levels where 95% of people lie. As you would imagine, once you get up to the higher levels the data gets spotty. But I would say they encapsulate roughly 95% of the total population of engineers very accurately.

But don't worry about that remaining 5%. People at those levels are rarely unsatisfied with their compensation.
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by X528 »

KyleAAA wrote: Wed Oct 02, 2019 11:29 am
akarom wrote: Wed Oct 02, 2019 10:12 am L4/L5 at Google/Amazon (aka one promo after new grad level) is considered terminal. Many people like to coast. It may not always be this way, especially as promo process has changed at the companies.
Maybe, things change fast. I know for a fact that L4 did not USED to be a terminal level at Google, but I am hearing rumblings that may have changed in the last few years. But almost everywhere else anything below senior is up or out. If you can coast at L4 these days, that's not a bad place to be.

But that's a bit beside the point. Even the new grads in India are getting the same $150k-200k USD in stock as their American counterparts. At least over the last decade, appreciation on that at the FAANGs has tended to put them over 6 figures before the cliff.
The threat of SWE jobs being outsourced to India may be overblown:

http://newobserveronline.com/95-of-it-e ... t-reveals/
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by international001 »

KyleAAA wrote: Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:56 am
international001 wrote: Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:13 am All this discussion is interesting but moot.

What would really matter is knowing the distribution of compensations. Are level.fyi bios towards lower/higher paid? What percentage represents all the FAANG employees?
For the 2 top companies with which I have direct experience, the levels.fyi numbers are dead on and represent what the typical engineer WILL see. It's arranged by level and for most of the companies, there is very good data for the bottom half of levels where 95% of people lie. As you would imagine, once you get up to the higher levels the data gets spotty. But I would say they encapsulate roughly 95% of the total population of engineers very accurately.

But don't worry about that remaining 5%. People at those levels are rarely unsatisfied with their compensation.

So up to which level of Google it represents 5%
And which percentage of all US software engineers are FAANG and/or sub-FAANG ?
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by KyleAAA »

international001 wrote: Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:55 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:56 am
international001 wrote: Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:13 am All this discussion is interesting but moot.

What would really matter is knowing the distribution of compensations. Are level.fyi bios towards lower/higher paid? What percentage represents all the FAANG employees?
For the 2 top companies with which I have direct experience, the levels.fyi numbers are dead on and represent what the typical engineer WILL see. It's arranged by level and for most of the companies, there is very good data for the bottom half of levels where 95% of people lie. As you would imagine, once you get up to the higher levels the data gets spotty. But I would say they encapsulate roughly 95% of the total population of engineers very accurately.

But don't worry about that remaining 5%. People at those levels are rarely unsatisfied with their compensation.

So up to which level of Google it represents 5%
And which percentage of all US software engineers are FAANG and/or sub-FAANG ?
Well, FAANG are not the highest paying employers (with the exception of Netflix) so I don't think it's particularly relevant to try to figure out what percentage of all US software engineers are at FAANG. It was just an acronym made up by Cramer to describe a group of high-growth tech stocks. It doesn't really mean anything outside of that. There are a ton of companies that will pay senior engineers $300k+, a few you've heard of (like Salesforce and Zillow) and any many you haven't. Even Axon (the old Taser International) will pay that much. And then there are startups who will pay crazy equity that may or may not end up being worth anything. How do you value that in an offer?

For Google in particular, it looks like the data gets sparse at L8. I would expect L8 to be in the low 7 figure range but it would be hard to nail it down any further from the outside. Even the L7 numbers are probably a bit iffy, but in the right ballpark. The L6 and below numbers are probably within a few percent of the actual offer you'd get if you got one today.

But yeah, the top engineers at the top companies make a lot more money than below-average engineers at below-average companies, sometimes by a factor of 2x or 3x. It's the same in most high paying industries. Also keep in mind that many L6 engineers at Google would easily be a director or even VP at another company and contribute accordingly. Put in that light, $460k doesn't seem so outlandish.
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by akarom »

Also keep in mind negotiating is huge. You might get an offer for $220k at Google. Or you negotiate with offers from Facebook and Citadel and end up with $280k (at Google).
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by HawkeyePierce »

international001 wrote: Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:55 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:56 am
international001 wrote: Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:13 am All this discussion is interesting but moot.

What would really matter is knowing the distribution of compensations. Are level.fyi bios towards lower/higher paid? What percentage represents all the FAANG employees?
For the 2 top companies with which I have direct experience, the levels.fyi numbers are dead on and represent what the typical engineer WILL see. It's arranged by level and for most of the companies, there is very good data for the bottom half of levels where 95% of people lie. As you would imagine, once you get up to the higher levels the data gets spotty. But I would say they encapsulate roughly 95% of the total population of engineers very accurately.

But don't worry about that remaining 5%. People at those levels are rarely unsatisfied with their compensation.

So up to which level of Google it represents 5%
And which percentage of all US software engineers are FAANG and/or sub-FAANG ?
Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon and Google have around 200k worldwide, guessing half are in the US. Making some hand-wavy extrapolations about lower-tier companies (eg Twitter has a thousand or so, I think Uber is about the same) and I'd put the estimate between 200k and 400k. Obviously there are some big error bars on this.
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by akarom »

It's going to be difficult to answer this question effectively. There are so many job titles that are pretty much the same... or sometimes not. Software engineer, software developer, programmer, programmer analyst, etc. Do you do the same thing as a software developer at a company paying you $70k that you do at Google? Probably not, even if you ignore the domain. Is someone who makes RoR apps or twiddles with CSS the same thing as a web developer at Microsoft? Probably not.

But there are more than 4 or so companies out there, and the Googles of this world represent a relatively small percentage of software engineering (and related jobs).
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by international001 »

200k software engineers or total employees?

If you trust Labor Department, 600k total SE in US, and making under $100k average
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_ ... mographics


You can make educated guesses. Google has $50k employees and only $20k SE, out of that 90% at google for instance, make no more than $350k

https://www.quora.com/How-many-software ... oogle-have
https://www.quora.com/How-many-people-a ... &srid=C0gT

So my point is that if we had a total distribution diagram, perhaps there are fat tails, but still, tails.

We shouldn't fall into employment market biases more than we do for stock market funds.
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by KyleAAA »

international001 wrote: Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:24 am 200k software engineers or total employees?

If you trust Labor Department, 600k total SE in US, and making under $100k average
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_ ... mographics


You can make educated guesses. Google has $50k employees and only $20k SE, out of that 90% at google for instance, make no more than $350k

https://www.quora.com/How-many-software ... oogle-have
https://www.quora.com/How-many-people-a ... &srid=C0gT

So my point is that if we had a total distribution diagram, perhaps there are fat tails, but still, tails.

We shouldn't fall into employment market biases more than we do for stock market funds.
Those Google numbers are from 2014. Google has doubled in headcount since then. They probably have around 40-50k engineers at this point. Probably 90% of them earn between $200-350k because Google skews quite young. Most of those engineers will go on to earn over $350k later in their career. By most I mean over 50%.

My own company has even more engineers with a comparable pay distribution (slightly lower, more like $160-300k but in lower COL areas), so even factoring in that a good chunk of those engineers are overseas, with just with 2 companies we have 70k engineers earning that pay, which is already over 10% of your 600k number. Haven't even included the other FAANG or dozens of smaller companies that pay just as much or more. Definitely not an outlier and way to large to be considered a "tail." Hell, even Wal-Mart and Nordstrom pay $200-300k these days.

A note on BLS numbers: they explicitly do NOT include equity and deferred compensation in their statistics. Since equity or at least LTIP is a big part of tech compensation at even normal non-FAANG companies, you're going to get a very large downward skew just based on that. BLS goes out of their way to make a note of this.
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by jharkin »

KyleAAA wrote: Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:56 am
international001 wrote: Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:24 am 200k software engineers or total employees?

If you trust Labor Department, 600k total SE in US, and making under $100k average
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_ ... mographics


You can make educated guesses. Google has $50k employees and only $20k SE, out of that 90% at google for instance, make no more than $350k

https://www.quora.com/How-many-software ... oogle-have
https://www.quora.com/How-many-people-a ... &srid=C0gT

So my point is that if we had a total distribution diagram, perhaps there are fat tails, but still, tails.

We shouldn't fall into employment market biases more than we do for stock market funds.
Those Google numbers are from 2014. Google has doubled in headcount since then. They probably have around 40-50k engineers at this point. Probably 90% of them earn between $200-350k because Google skews quite young. Most of those engineers will go on to earn over $350k later in their career. By most I mean over 50%.

My own company has even more engineers with a comparable pay distribution (slightly lower, more like $160-300k but in lower COL areas), so even factoring in that a good chunk of those engineers are overseas, with just with 2 companies we have 70k engineers earning that pay, which is already over 10% of your 600k number. Haven't even included the other FAANG or dozens of smaller companies that pay just as much or more. Definitely not an outlier and way to large to be considered a "tail." Hell, even Wal-Mart and Nordstrom pay $200-300k these days.

A note on BLS numbers: they explicitly do NOT include equity and deferred compensation in their statistics. Since equity or at least LTIP is a big part of tech compensation at even normal non-FAANG companies, you're going to get a very large downward skew just based on that. BLS goes out of their way to make a note of this.
Again, you are projecting that a short, exceptional time period in a small slice of the industry will go on indefinitely. In any thread making that claim for market returns there would be a chorus of "nobody knows nuthin"

Google is big but its still far from being representative of the entire software industry. Other companies, who dont pay anywhere near these numbers, have grown in the same period.
KyleAAA
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by KyleAAA »

jharkin wrote: Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:42 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:56 am
international001 wrote: Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:24 am 200k software engineers or total employees?

If you trust Labor Department, 600k total SE in US, and making under $100k average
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_ ... mographics


You can make educated guesses. Google has $50k employees and only $20k SE, out of that 90% at google for instance, make no more than $350k

https://www.quora.com/How-many-software ... oogle-have
https://www.quora.com/How-many-people-a ... &srid=C0gT

So my point is that if we had a total distribution diagram, perhaps there are fat tails, but still, tails.

We shouldn't fall into employment market biases more than we do for stock market funds.
Those Google numbers are from 2014. Google has doubled in headcount since then. They probably have around 40-50k engineers at this point. Probably 90% of them earn between $200-350k because Google skews quite young. Most of those engineers will go on to earn over $350k later in their career. By most I mean over 50%.

My own company has even more engineers with a comparable pay distribution (slightly lower, more like $160-300k but in lower COL areas), so even factoring in that a good chunk of those engineers are overseas, with just with 2 companies we have 70k engineers earning that pay, which is already over 10% of your 600k number. Haven't even included the other FAANG or dozens of smaller companies that pay just as much or more. Definitely not an outlier and way to large to be considered a "tail." Hell, even Wal-Mart and Nordstrom pay $200-300k these days.

A note on BLS numbers: they explicitly do NOT include equity and deferred compensation in their statistics. Since equity or at least LTIP is a big part of tech compensation at even normal non-FAANG companies, you're going to get a very large downward skew just based on that. BLS goes out of their way to make a note of this.
Again, you are projecting that a short, exceptional time period in a small slice of the industry will go on indefinitely. In any thread making that claim for market returns there would be a chorus of "nobody knows nuthin"

Google is big but its still far from being representative of the entire software industry. Other companies, who dont pay anywhere near these numbers, have grown in the same period.
Sure. But the number of companies that DO pay that much or more has also grown. And many companies who didn't used to pay that much, do now (see Nordstrom, Wal-Mart, et al). I don't see any reason to believe this is a compensation bubble or that this is in any way an exceptional period. The fundamentals more than support paying that much (and more) for talented engineers and compensation has ramped up because demand has ramped up. And as mentioned above, this isn't a "small" slice of the industry in the sense that it's only the top 10%. It's a much larger percentage than that. Less than 50%? Sure. For now.

Of course nobody "knows" whether or not compensation will continue to increase at this rate. But there are no compelling arguments that pay is too high or that this is an "exceptional" market in any way. I'm doing the exact opposite of projecting, I'm explicitly talking about the current situation. Pay is at least as likely to go up as it is to go down.
Invictus002
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2019 12:49 pm

Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by Invictus002 »

In FAANGs, do software engineers get paid more than people who are couple of level up
Or
Those people couple of levels up (not codes, just people managers/project /product) managers/directors etc , get paid even higher?

If the later is true, those categories should be pulling in $1M+ a year, which is what CEOs in other industries and companies make. CEO jobs are lot more stressful.

Those CEOs of mid level companies have skills that these product/project managers/directors have, why would they not just be one of them @FAANG, instead?
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