Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

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ARoseByAnyOtherName
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName »

Oatmeal wrote: Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:31 pm I have a BSEE degree. First job out of college I used the EE skills especially deciphering schematics and making a complicated system work (wafer fab). That didn't last long and changed direction into a different type of engineering in a different field. Currently doing systems engineering for a large company based out of the Bay area. I'm at the highest grade level possible without being in management.

I've been with the current company for about 24 years. I live in the PNW (working mostly from home). So MCOL or maybe HCOL due to housing prices. Anyway, I make $250k base. $50k additional target bonus. And about $150k in RSUs. In 2019 total gross compensation was right about $450k.

I could make more if I leave. But don't want more stress. I like my job. Especially like the flexible schedule. Can't complain.

All jobs come with pros and cons. So you gotta look at the big picture and compensation is just a part of that.
$450k total comp, flexible schedule, just stressful enough, working from home mostly? I'll eat that Oatmeal any day of the week :sharebeer :happy
palanzo
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by palanzo »

Starfish wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 12:51 am
jayk238 wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:58 pm The average engineer makes about 50k in europe would you guys live in europe for that salary?
You have to be careful how you compare.
We talk here about gross salaries. We talk about jobs that might require a lot more that 35-40h/week. We talk about expensive healthcare and education.
But yes, generally US pays more. In term of quality of life though, it depends.
The average engineering salary in The Netherlands is 110K. I'm not sure where the jayk238 is getting his information.

Starfish: Very good point about cost of healthcare and education, and quality of life.
RobLyons
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by RobLyons »

This thread has me like :shock:
Is there a high barrier to entry into the SWE field? I assume BS in CS ?
Also are there crazy incomes in other engineering fields; Petroleum, electrical, biomedical, aerospace, or is this specific to SWE? Thanks..
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3CT_Paddler
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by 3CT_Paddler »

RobLyons wrote: Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:30 pm This thread has me like :shock:
Is there a high barrier to entry into the SWE field? I assume BS in CS ?
Also are there crazy incomes in other engineering fields; Petroleum, electrical, biomedical, aerospace, or is this specific to SWE? Thanks..
Those high SWE salaries are mostly concentrated in California, the PNW and NY.

Engineers in the Petroleum field can also take home a lot.

It’s hot for Civils right now, but it’s not a business that commands the same types of salaries unless you own your own firm or are a rainmaker.
Nathan Drake
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by Nathan Drake »

Oatmeal wrote: Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:31 pm I have a BSEE degree. First job out of college I used the EE skills especially deciphering schematics and making a complicated system work (wafer fab). That didn't last long and changed direction into a different type of engineering in a different field. Currently doing systems engineering for a large company based out of the Bay area. I'm at the highest grade level possible without being in management.

I've been with the current company for about 24 years. I live in the PNW (working mostly from home). So MCOL or maybe HCOL due to housing prices. Anyway, I make $250k base. $50k additional target bonus. And about $150k in RSUs. In 2019 total gross compensation was right about $450k.

I could make more if I leave. But don't want more stress. I like my job. Especially like the flexible schedule. Can't complain.

All jobs come with pros and cons. So you gotta look at the big picture and compensation is just a part of that.
What type of systems engineering?
Starfish
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by Starfish »

RobLyons wrote: Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:30 pm This thread has me like :shock:
Is there a high barrier to entry into the SWE field? I assume BS in CS ?
To get into these companies you need a lot more than a BS in CS (which probably is not even mandatory).
Nathan Drake
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by Nathan Drake »

:sharebeer
Starfish wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:23 am
RobLyons wrote: Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:30 pm This thread has me like :shock:
Is there a high barrier to entry into the SWE field? I assume BS in CS ?
To get into these companies you need a lot more than a BS in CS (which probably is not even mandatory).
I don’t think you do

The aptitude is more important than the degree
Gadget
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by Gadget »

I think Petroleum Engineering is a good case study for what could happen to CS and SWE in the future. PEs are still making bank in the oil industry. Even though the oil industry is down as a whole.

The problem is that a very small percentage (less than 5%? it seems like) of graduates at major colleges are getting jobs in PE now days. Whereas in 2007, every single PE got a job.

Basically, the best of the best will always make bank in SWE and CS. But if the market starts to flood with too many qualified graduates, there just won't be jobs available for the average ones.
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by MMLC3 »

mottooscillator wrote: Sat Jan 25, 2020 1:30 pm
shans2000 wrote: Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:52 pm
mottooscillator wrote: Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:17 am Engineer in Bay Area. Total compensation: $1M/year.

Salary: $300,000
Bonus: $100,000
Stock: $600,000
That is outstanding! How many years experience and is it FANG?
FANG, 20 yoe+, 15+ in Bay Area
$600k stock per year is incredible. Is this a combination of getting in early and several refreshes over the years and stock going several x?
Assuming sw engineer?
knightrider
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by knightrider »

Nathan Drake wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:56 pm The aptitude is more important than the degree
I would say attitude and luck are even more important :-) Keep in mind Software engineering has the lowest barriers to entry compared to traditional engineering. After all, 90% of coding is just writing if/then statements and for loops. That is stuff anyone can learn.. No advanced math or physics needed..

So to get the high paying jobs you have to differentiate yourself from the huge pack. A strong attitude that demonstrates you live and breath tech is important. Also, many of these tech companies are run by inexperienced and sometimes immature 20 and 30 somethings. So there is a lot of luck that comes into play with how you measure against their whimsical criteria..
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by KyleAAA »

knightrider wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 1:57 pm
Nathan Drake wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:56 pm The aptitude is more important than the degree
I would say attitude and luck are even more important :-) Keep in mind Software engineering has the lowest barriers to entry compared to traditional engineering. After all, 90% of coding is just writing if/then statements and for loops. That is stuff anyone can learn.. No advanced math or physics needed..

So to get the high paying jobs you have to differentiate yourself from the huge pack. A strong attitude that demonstrates you live and breath tech is important. Also, many of these tech companies are run by inexperienced and sometimes immature 20 and 30 somethings. So there is a lot of luck that comes into play with how you measure against their whimsical criteria..
Sure, but at least 60% of software engineering isn't coding. Coding != software engineering. And the other stuff is much more difficult to learn without experience.
knightrider
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by knightrider »

KyleAAA wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:00 pm Sure, but at least 60% of software engineering isn't coding. Coding != software engineering. And the other stuff is much more difficult to learn without experience.
Can you share some examples of this other stuff that is much more difficult to learn? I've always associated SWE with coding, or at least managing hardware and networking stack which also requires some coding..
maineminder
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by maineminder »

knightrider wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:13 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:00 pm Sure, but at least 60% of software engineering isn't coding. Coding != software engineering. And the other stuff is much more difficult to learn without experience.
Can you share some examples of this other stuff that is much more difficult to learn? I've always associated SWE with coding, or at least managing hardware and networking stack which also requires some coding..
This may help with the difference between the two;

https://www.guru99.com/what-is-software ... ering.html

I always thought about it this way; as a software engineer I'm concerned with the full life-cycle of a software project. Everything from requirement definition, design, dependency management, code, debug, support and fixes. The last three are actually hard to do well, especially when you're dealing with larger code bases that very commonly exceed millions of line of code.

Dependency management (think the interactions between teams) of a medium sized software project is a nightmare if it's not designed correctly with clean interfaces and a clear deliverable's. There are software development strategies that can help with this. A popular one now is something called agile.
VictorStarr
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by VictorStarr »

At Google and Facebook software engineers have levels from 3 to 9.
Majority of engineers are at levels 3-5. Level 5 is a terminal, IC can stay on this level indefinitely.

Here are typical salaries, yearly bonuses and RSU grants (SF Bay Area and Seattle):

Code: Select all

Level  Salary Bonus  RSUs   Total
3	$120 + $24 + $60  = $204K   
4	$150 + $30 + $75  = $255K
5   	$180 + $36 + $125 = $341K
6	$225 + $45 + $250 = $520K
7	$260 + $75 + $400 = $735K 
8   .....
9   .....
There are a few other benefits:
  • 401K match (1-1 or 2-1)
    1-1 Donation match
    "Free" food, free laundry service, ..
There are a few drawbacks:
  • Twice a year performance reviews
    High pressure projects
    Lack of mobility (it is hard to move from level 5 to 6 and 6 to 7).
HawkeyePierce
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by HawkeyePierce »

knightrider wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 1:57 pm
Nathan Drake wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:56 pm The aptitude is more important than the degree
I would say attitude and luck are even more important :-) Keep in mind Software engineering has the lowest barriers to entry compared to traditional engineering. After all, 90% of coding is just writing if/then statements and for loops. That is stuff anyone can learn.. No advanced math or physics needed..

So to get the high paying jobs you have to differentiate yourself from the huge pack. A strong attitude that demonstrates you live and breath tech is important. Also, many of these tech companies are run by inexperienced and sometimes immature 20 and 30 somethings. So there is a lot of luck that comes into play with how you measure against their whimsical criteria..
There's a lot more to being a software engineer than banging out for loops. Sure, the code mostly reduces down to ifs and for loops but there's a lot that has to happen before you're hands-on-keyboard.

Just regarding math: abstract algebra, statistics and probability are commonly used. Monitoring a large-scale system? You'll want stats knowledge. Probabilistic data structures are a key tool in big data systems (and are a field of abstract algebra). Machine learning engineers use a lot of linear algebra and multivariable calculus.
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by KyleAAA »

knightrider wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:13 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:00 pm Sure, but at least 60% of software engineering isn't coding. Coding != software engineering. And the other stuff is much more difficult to learn without experience.
Can you share some examples of this other stuff that is much more difficult to learn? I've always associated SWE with coding, or at least managing hardware and networking stack which also requires some coding..
Designing scalable systems. Monitoring. Tier 3 customer support. Driving technical initiatives across organizational boundaries. Project management and mentorship. Your average senior software engineer in a large organization will spend at most 50-60% of their time coding. Of course, as the size of the org decreases, so do some of the non-coding aspects. Very junior devs will spend closer to 100% of their time coding.
shans2000
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by shans2000 »

MotoTrojan wrote: Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:05 pm
shans2000 wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:47 pm Mechanical Engineer, $600k total comp, 20yr experience in Bay area.
Individual contributor? Would be fascinated to know more. Well done making software money.
Not individual contributor. Management position.
MotoTrojan
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by MotoTrojan »

shans2000 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:46 pm
MotoTrojan wrote: Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:05 pm
shans2000 wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:47 pm Mechanical Engineer, $600k total comp, 20yr experience in Bay area.
Individual contributor? Would be fascinated to know more. Well done making software money.
Not individual contributor. Management position.
Mind sharing your salary? Large vs. small company? Big difference between lottery ticket start-up equity which ends up at $600K total comp, and someone who could legitimately liquidate their annual stock grants and get $600k/year. If things go well for me, I could also say my total comp was in this realm, or higher :); if they don't, I'll be happy with my individual contributor low 6-figure salary.

Congrats either way.
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by KyleAAA »

Starfish wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:23 am
RobLyons wrote: Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:30 pm This thread has me like :shock:
Is there a high barrier to entry into the SWE field? I assume BS in CS ?
To get into these companies you need a lot more than a BS in CS (which probably is not even mandatory).
Nah, you just need to interview well. MANGAF cares little about degrees or pedigree, much less so than smaller/less prestigious companies. When I hired at one of them, we actually set aside a portion of the headcount specifically for non-traditional candidates.
shans2000
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by shans2000 »

MotoTrojan wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 6:14 pm
shans2000 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:46 pm
MotoTrojan wrote: Sat Feb 01, 2020 11:05 pm
shans2000 wrote: Fri Jan 17, 2020 1:47 pm Mechanical Engineer, $600k total comp, 20yr experience in Bay area.
Individual contributor? Would be fascinated to know more. Well done making software money.
Not individual contributor. Management position.
Mind sharing your salary? Large vs. small company? Big difference between lottery ticket start-up equity which ends up at $600K total comp, and someone who could legitimately liquidate their annual stock grants and get $600k/year. If things go well for me, I could also say my total comp was in this realm, or higher :); if they don't, I'll be happy with my individual contributor low 6-figure salary.

Congrats either way.
Salary/RSU+Bonus is 50/50. Large company (Market cap > $100B).
Starfish
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by Starfish »

It could be Apple and it would be a reasonable number.
Starfish
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by Starfish »

KyleAAA wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:14 pm
Starfish wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:23 am
RobLyons wrote: Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:30 pm This thread has me like :shock:
Is there a high barrier to entry into the SWE field? I assume BS in CS ?
To get into these companies you need a lot more than a BS in CS (which probably is not even mandatory).
Nah, you just need to interview well. MANGAF cares little about degrees or pedigree, much less so than smaller/less prestigious companies. When I hired at one of them, we actually set aside a portion of the headcount specifically for non-traditional candidates.
Getting to the interview and interviewing well already put the candidate in top single digit.
ARoseByAnyOtherName
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName »

Starfish wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:39 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:14 pm
Starfish wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:23 am
RobLyons wrote: Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:30 pm This thread has me like :shock:
Is there a high barrier to entry into the SWE field? I assume BS in CS ?
To get into these companies you need a lot more than a BS in CS (which probably is not even mandatory).
Nah, you just need to interview well. MANGAF cares little about degrees or pedigree, much less so than smaller/less prestigious companies. When I hired at one of them, we actually set aside a portion of the headcount specifically for non-traditional candidates.
Getting to the interview and interviewing well already put the candidate in top single digit.
Top single digit of what?
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by KyleAAA »

Starfish wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:39 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:14 pm
Starfish wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:23 am
RobLyons wrote: Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:30 pm This thread has me like :shock:
Is there a high barrier to entry into the SWE field? I assume BS in CS ?
To get into these companies you need a lot more than a BS in CS (which probably is not even mandatory).
Nah, you just need to interview well. MANGAF cares little about degrees or pedigree, much less so than smaller/less prestigious companies. When I hired at one of them, we actually set aside a portion of the headcount specifically for non-traditional candidates.
Getting to the interview and interviewing well already put the candidate in top single digit.
Not in my experience.
bantam222
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by bantam222 »

1/3 make the interview. 1/3 interview “well”. You are at the “top single digit” pretty quick
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by snackdog »

My brothers are both in oil and gas and live in LCOL cities. One never went to college, was a bit of a grifter, went to prison for a while, has about 20 years experience and earns $300K. He is a pseudo-engineer managing drilling for BP. Owns a home, second home and rustic cabin.

The other has a PhD and 23 years and earns $500K. He manages petroleum and reservoir engineers at Exxon. I think he has a primary home, a couple places in northern California and an apartment in Boston.
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Boomer01
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by Boomer01 »

It's incredible what some of you engineers are making. On the flip side, I am a partner at a small Civil firm with 14 years of experience and make a base salary of $160K with dividend checks and perks (vehicle, 9% 401K match, etc.). Overall I pull in $200K+ and feel very blessed especially living in a LCOL area. I hope people don't see these $500K+ salaries and start second guessing their $100K salary. You have to consider industry, company, area and experience when comparing salaries.
stoptothink
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by stoptothink »

snackdog wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:08 am My brothers are both in oil and gas and live in LCOL cities. One never went to college, was a bit of a grifter, went to prison for a while, has about 20 years experience and earns $300K. He is a pseudo-engineer managing drilling for BP. Owns a home, second home and rustic cabin.
That's my brother: didn't graduate high school, spent 6yrs in the military, came out and did random jobs for a few years like substitute postal service worker, working at Costco, etc. Got a job in the oil fields and now makes $300k+ a decade later. He's worked for several companies, but now works for a company capping unused wells in Colorado.
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by SmileyFace »

Nathan Drake wrote: Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:05 pm
Oatmeal wrote: Sun Feb 02, 2020 9:31 pm I have a BSEE degree. First job out of college I used the EE skills especially deciphering schematics and making a complicated system work (wafer fab). That didn't last long and changed direction into a different type of engineering in a different field. Currently doing systems engineering for a large company based out of the Bay area. I'm at the highest grade level possible without being in management.

I've been with the current company for about 24 years. I live in the PNW (working mostly from home). So MCOL or maybe HCOL due to housing prices. Anyway, I make $250k base. $50k additional target bonus. And about $150k in RSUs. In 2019 total gross compensation was right about $450k.

I could make more if I leave. But don't want more stress. I like my job. Especially like the flexible schedule. Can't complain.

All jobs come with pros and cons. So you gotta look at the big picture and compensation is just a part of that.
What type of systems engineering?
I don't think I saw Oatmeal answer but it could be Applications/Systems Engineering in Pre-Sales (within an IT Expertise field or Systems Field). The going salary range right now depending upon Grade-Level, Locale, company, etc. within the US is $170K to $250K not including RSUs/ESPP/Options. Many in this field have EE or CS degrees although some started as Net-Ops/Net-Admins in IT departments and simply built their skills before moving over to one of the vendors they bought from as an Systems Engineer (with no degree). With the Job Market booming right now - the last few years have seen phenomenal growth in salaries. What's great about field is it is partially commissions based with no salary cap so successful SEs can make 2, 3 or even 4x their salary in a particular year if all the stars properly align ($1M commission checks aren't unheard of).
Starfish
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by Starfish »

KyleAAA wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:14 pm
Starfish wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:39 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:14 pm
Starfish wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:23 am
RobLyons wrote: Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:30 pm This thread has me like :shock:
Is there a high barrier to entry into the SWE field? I assume BS in CS ?
To get into these companies you need a lot more than a BS in CS (which probably is not even mandatory).
Nah, you just need to interview well. MANGAF cares little about degrees or pedigree, much less so than smaller/less prestigious companies. When I hired at one of them, we actually set aside a portion of the headcount specifically for non-traditional candidates.
Getting to the interview and interviewing well already put the candidate in top single digit.
Not in my experience.
So, from what I understand, your theory is that a number a companies hiring way less than 1% available tech people (software engineers but not only) with the highest salaries in the field (in the entire world) and the associated prestige just go for average? Then how do they select the people? :oops:
I live in BA and I know a bunch of people in these companies. With some I am friends, other I see in professional relationships.
Most of them, if not all, come from top universities, were top of the class, went to various science Olympics with good results or are exceptional in other ways (even if only in interviewing). Now what is the chance that I know only the smartest people there?
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by KyleAAA »

Starfish wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:37 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:14 pm
Starfish wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:39 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:14 pm
Starfish wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:23 am

To get into these companies you need a lot more than a BS in CS (which probably is not even mandatory).
Nah, you just need to interview well. MANGAF cares little about degrees or pedigree, much less so than smaller/less prestigious companies. When I hired at one of them, we actually set aside a portion of the headcount specifically for non-traditional candidates.
Getting to the interview and interviewing well already put the candidate in top single digit.
Not in my experience.
So, from what I understand, your theory is that a number a companies hiring way less than 1% available tech people (software engineers but not only) with the highest salaries in the field (in the entire world) just go for average? :oops:
I live in BA and I know a bunch of people in these companies. With some I am friends, other I see in professional relationships.
Most of them, if not all, come from top universities, were top of the class, went to various science Olympics with good results or are exceptional in other ways (even if only in interviewing). Now what is the chance that I know only the smartest people there?
It's not a theory, I ran teams and hired there. I am not guessing or assuming, I have direct knowledge. They also don't pay the highest salaries in the field. Microsoft, for example, targets the 68% percentile in total compensation. There are plenty of companies that pay more, although most pay less. Amazon is only around the 80% percentile in pay. If you are in the top 30-40% of engineers, you can get a job with these companies. And these companies, are, in fact, full of such engineers. 1% talent not needed. Not even at Google and FB. In fact, engineers I have personally rejected at other companies went on to get offers at FAANG. They weren't top 1% when they interviewed with me, so what are the odds they were top 1% two months later?

They select people to interview based on the same criteria as everybody else. It's actually VERY easy to get an interview at most of these companies. Amazon especially and to a lesser degree Facebook will interview anybody with even moderate experience from a no-name school and company. From there, it's just a matter of interview performance. Getting an interview these places is really only competitive for new grads.
Starfish wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:23 am Now what is the chance that I know only the smartest people there?
Very very high, based on my experience.
Starfish
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by Starfish »

KyleAAA wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:46 pm
Starfish wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:37 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:14 pm
Starfish wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:39 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 7:14 pm

Nah, you just need to interview well. MANGAF cares little about degrees or pedigree, much less so than smaller/less prestigious companies. When I hired at one of them, we actually set aside a portion of the headcount specifically for non-traditional candidates.
Getting to the interview and interviewing well already put the candidate in top single digit.
Not in my experience.
So, from what I understand, your theory is that a number a companies hiring way less than 1% available tech people (software engineers but not only) with the highest salaries in the field (in the entire world) just go for average? :oops:
I live in BA and I know a bunch of people in these companies. With some I am friends, other I see in professional relationships.
Most of them, if not all, come from top universities, were top of the class, went to various science Olympics with good results or are exceptional in other ways (even if only in interviewing). Now what is the chance that I know only the smartest people there?
It's not a theory, I ran teams and hired there. I am not guessing or assuming, I have direct knowledge. They also don't pay the highest salaries in the field. Microsoft, for example, targets the 68% percentile in total compensation. There are plenty of companies that pay more, although most pay less. Amazon is only around the 80% percentile in pay. If you are in the top 30-40% of engineers, you can get a job with these companies. And these companies, are, in fact, full of such engineers. 1% talent not needed. Not even at Google and FB. In fact, engineers I have personally rejected at other companies went on to get offers at FAANG. They weren't top 1% when they interviewed with me, so what are the odds they were top 1% two months later?

They select people to interview based on the same criteria as everybody else. It's actually VERY easy to get an interview at most of these companies. Amazon especially and to a lesser degree Facebook will interview anybody with even moderate experience from a no-name school and company. From there, it's just a matter of interview performance. Getting an interview these places is really only competitive for new grads.
Starfish wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:23 am Now what is the chance that I know only the smartest people there?
Very very high, based on my experience.
Just for my curiosity:
1. What is the number of applicants for a position?
2. How would you rate the average applicant?
3. If some middle of the pack guy from - say - Arizona State - applies to google does his resume even passes HR?
Last edited by Starfish on Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by KyleAAA »

Starfish wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:01 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:46 pm
Starfish wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:37 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:14 pm
Starfish wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:39 pm

Getting to the interview and interviewing well already put the candidate in top single digit.
Not in my experience.
So, from what I understand, your theory is that a number a companies hiring way less than 1% available tech people (software engineers but not only) with the highest salaries in the field (in the entire world) just go for average? :oops:
I live in BA and I know a bunch of people in these companies. With some I am friends, other I see in professional relationships.
Most of them, if not all, come from top universities, were top of the class, went to various science Olympics with good results or are exceptional in other ways (even if only in interviewing). Now what is the chance that I know only the smartest people there?
It's not a theory, I ran teams and hired there. I am not guessing or assuming, I have direct knowledge. They also don't pay the highest salaries in the field. Microsoft, for example, targets the 68% percentile in total compensation. There are plenty of companies that pay more, although most pay less. Amazon is only around the 80% percentile in pay. If you are in the top 30-40% of engineers, you can get a job with these companies. And these companies, are, in fact, full of such engineers. 1% talent not needed. Not even at Google and FB. In fact, engineers I have personally rejected at other companies went on to get offers at FAANG. They weren't top 1% when they interviewed with me, so what are the odds they were top 1% two months later?

They select people to interview based on the same criteria as everybody else. It's actually VERY easy to get an interview at most of these companies. Amazon especially and to a lesser degree Facebook will interview anybody with even moderate experience from a no-name school and company. From there, it's just a matter of interview performance. Getting an interview these places is really only competitive for new grads.
Starfish wrote: Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:23 am Now what is the chance that I know only the smartest people there?
Very very high, based on my experience.
Just for my curiosity:
1. What is the number of applicants for a position?
2. How would you rate the average applicant?
1.) Varies widely, but in line with other companies. The positions don't receive noticeably more applications than other companies. This isn't particularly important since applications are a small part of sourcing.

2.) Varies widely but again, no persistent difference with other companies.
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by Starfish »

Sorry, I edited my message too late, before seeing your answer.

3. If some middle of the pack guy from - say - Arizona State - applies to google does his resume even passes HR?

In line with other companies means what? 10 applicants?
EarlyAdopter
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Re: Engineers - What are you making?

Post by EarlyAdopter »

unclescrooge wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:34 pm
tigermilk wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 10:14 pm
jayk238 wrote: Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:58 pm The average engineer makes about 50k in europe would you guys live in europe for that salary?
Absolutely not.
What if it came with a 35hr work week, union benefits, a pension, and 30 days of vacation?
Civil, US, government job, PE, MCOL, $80k 32 hr work week, pension, good vacation and sick leave, etc. So it is possible. I know my pay is on the lower end, would be almost exactly 100k with a 40 hr work week. No desire to go to the private sector.
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by KyleAAA »

Starfish wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:16 pm Sorry, I edited my message too late, before seeing your answer.

3. If some middle of the pack guy from - say - Arizona State - applies to google does his resume even passes HR?

In line with other companies means what? 10 applicants?
3.) I can't speak to Google specifically. But in general, yes, it easily passes HR if the resume shows evidence of the skills required. I don't even look at the university and neither do recruiters that work with me. The fact is, the VERY large majority of engineers at those companies did not attend prestigious universities. It's rare to come across an ivy leaguer or somebody from MIT or Stanford. Eve if Google hired every single CS graduate from those schools who graduated in the last 10 years, it wouldn't be enough.

In line is hard to quantify. It could be anywhere from 3 applications for a very senior position to 300 for a new grad position. But again, applications are a minor source of candidates so it's not particularly important.
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by HawkeyePierce »

Most of the software engineers I work with went to state schools.

I agree with KyleAAA. We *actively* ignore the schooling listed on their resumes as interviewers. That's hiring policy at my company.
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by Starfish »

KyleAAA wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:12 pm
Starfish wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:16 pm Sorry, I edited my message too late, before seeing your answer.

3. If some middle of the pack guy from - say - Arizona State - applies to google does his resume even passes HR?

In line with other companies means what? 10 applicants?
3.) I can't speak to Google specifically. But in general, yes, it easily passes HR if the resume shows evidence of the skills required. I don't even look at the university and neither do recruiters that work with me. The fact is, the VERY large majority of engineers at those companies did not attend prestigious universities. It's rare to come across an ivy leaguer or somebody from MIT or Stanford. Eve if Google hired every single CS graduate from those schools who graduated in the last 10 years, it wouldn't be enough.

In line is hard to quantify. It could be anywhere from 3 applications for a very senior position to 300 for a new grad position. But again, applications are a minor source of candidates so it's not particularly important.
If you select one candidate out out 300, or maybe 3 because 2 maybe go somewhere else, it means 1%.
If you have a very senior position, job requirement itself could less than 10% engineers to begin with.
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by sunny_socal »

LOL, so much time spent figuring out what field to enter, what education to get.

IME much 'success' has to do with this:
- Get your degree, yes. Everyone has one.
- Time & Place has a lot to do with it. Did you happen to be at the Successful Company at the right time? I have friends who were in the same field but they were at a better Megacorp that struck it rich. They are now retired at age 45.
- Attitude is next. If you try even a little bit you already look a lot better than the rest
- Personality is huge! I'm a bit of an introvert, it doesn't help me. I'm a "better" engineer than most of my peers but I see many of them getting ahead without being that great. Why? They are great with people! (I'm not horrible, it's just not my strength.)
- Sacrifice plays a part. Willing to live on the West Coast? Ok with having no live? (on call 24/7, evenings & weekends gone, likely holidays as well). You'll get paid.
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by spae »

Most of them, if not all, come from top universities, were top of the class, went to various science Olympics with good results or are exceptional in other ways
Google has 80k engineers, well over half in the U.S.. The BLS puts the number of programmers in the U.S. at around 3M. Top 1% of 3M is 30k. It's mathematically impossible for Google to only have top 1% engineers. Top 10% of 3M is 300k. Once you add in FB, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and the others, it's mathematically impossible for these companies to have top 10% engineers only. That's even if they have 100% perfect hiring filters, literally everybody who's a programmer applies to work at one of those places will take the offer over one of the less elite tech companies. In practice, the average engineer at one of these companies is average.

I've worked at multiple of the top tech companies, a normal engineer at one of those places isn't much better than a normal student you meet at a state school, a few years later with some experience under their belt. Sure, the elite firm programmers are better at whiteboarding algorithms problems and have above average in egos, but are they above average at doing actual work? Not so much.
If you select one candidate out out 300, or maybe 3 because 2 maybe go somewhere else, it means 1%.
Sure, if you hire by rolling 3 dice and only taking people who get all 6s, it means 0.5%. What does that have to do with anything?
Last edited by spae on Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by KyleAAA »

Starfish wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:00 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:12 pm
Starfish wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:16 pm Sorry, I edited my message too late, before seeing your answer.

3. If some middle of the pack guy from - say - Arizona State - applies to google does his resume even passes HR?

In line with other companies means what? 10 applicants?
3.) I can't speak to Google specifically. But in general, yes, it easily passes HR if the resume shows evidence of the skills required. I don't even look at the university and neither do recruiters that work with me. The fact is, the VERY large majority of engineers at those companies did not attend prestigious universities. It's rare to come across an ivy leaguer or somebody from MIT or Stanford. Eve if Google hired every single CS graduate from those schools who graduated in the last 10 years, it wouldn't be enough.

In line is hard to quantify. It could be anywhere from 3 applications for a very senior position to 300 for a new grad position. But again, applications are a minor source of candidates so it's not particularly important.
If you select one candidate out out 300, or maybe 3 because 2 maybe go somewhere else, it means 1%.
If you have a very senior position, job requirement itself could less than 10% engineers to begin with.
I'm not sure what you mean. One routinely gets 300 applications at no-name companies and hires only one. Certainly top companies tend to be more selective, but they can't be ultra selective. There just aren't enough engineers in the US for them to have ultra-high hiring bars. The idea they only hire the top 1% of engineers is absurd. As I stated, anybody in the top 30-40% can get an offer and many engineers at these companies are merely top 35%. Most, even.
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by stoptothink »

spae wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:24 pm
Most of them, if not all, come from top universities, were top of the class, went to various science Olympics with good results or are exceptional in other ways
Google has 80k engineers, well over half in the U.S.. The BLS puts the number of programmers in the U.S. at around 3M. Top 10% of 3M is 300k. Once you add in FB, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and the others, that's already beyond "top single digit" even if they have 100% perfect hiring filters, literally everybody who's a programmer applies to work at one of those places will take the offer over one of the less elite tech companies. In practice, it's mathematically impossible for these companies to be highly selective.

I've worked at multiple of the top tech companies, a normal engineer at one of those places isn't much better than a normal student you meet at a state school. Sure, they're better at whiteboarding algorithms problems and are above average in ego size, but at doing actual work? Not so much.
If you select one candidate out out 300, or maybe 3 because 2 maybe go somewhere else, it means 1%.
Sure, if you hire by rolling 3 dice and only taking people who get all 6s, it means 0.5%. What does that have to do with anything?
Not in the field, but I do have two childhood friends who are engineers at FAANG and a colleague who came to us from FAANG: undergrads from Cal State LA, Utah Valley University, and Grand Canyon University (yeah, the for-profit university). My uncle is an engineer at Microsoft (in his mid-50's): Utah State. That's my peer-reviewed anecdote.
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by Starfish »

KyleAAA wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:32 pm
Starfish wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:00 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:12 pm
Starfish wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:16 pm Sorry, I edited my message too late, before seeing your answer.

3. If some middle of the pack guy from - say - Arizona State - applies to google does his resume even passes HR?

In line with other companies means what? 10 applicants?
3.) I can't speak to Google specifically. But in general, yes, it easily passes HR if the resume shows evidence of the skills required. I don't even look at the university and neither do recruiters that work with me. The fact is, the VERY large majority of engineers at those companies did not attend prestigious universities. It's rare to come across an ivy leaguer or somebody from MIT or Stanford. Eve if Google hired every single CS graduate from those schools who graduated in the last 10 years, it wouldn't be enough.

In line is hard to quantify. It could be anywhere from 3 applications for a very senior position to 300 for a new grad position. But again, applications are a minor source of candidates so it's not particularly important.
If you select one candidate out out 300, or maybe 3 because 2 maybe go somewhere else, it means 1%.
If you have a very senior position, job requirement itself could less than 10% engineers to begin with.
I'm not sure what you mean. One routinely gets 300 applications at no-name companies and hires only one. Certainly top companies tend to be more selective, but they can't be ultra selective. There just aren't enough engineers in the US for them to have ultra-high hiring bars. The idea they only hire the top 1% of engineers is absurd. As I stated, anybody in the top 30-40% can get an offer and many engineers at these companies are merely top 35%. Most, even.
It doesn't not really work like that because all candidates get employed finally.
If 300 candidates apply for 300 (or 500) positions some companies get the first pick and others get the last.
There just aren't enough engineers in the US for them to have ultra-high hiring bars.
There are 65k H1B and at least half must be in software.
50k computer science majors graduate EVERY year. Without counting people going across fields. Without counting people who can come from lower paying companies.
I don't think FAANG all together has more that few thousand open positions in computer science a year. In US at least. I don't think it comes even close to that.
But you make a good point. Looking at the numbers is a lot less selective than I thought.
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by Starfish »

spae wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:24 pm
Most of them, if not all, come from top universities, were top of the class, went to various science Olympics with good results or are exceptional in other ways
Google has 80k engineers, well over half in the U.S.. The BLS puts the number of programmers in the U.S. at around 3M. Top 1% of 3M is 30k. It's mathematically impossible for Google to only have top 1% engineers. Top 10% of 3M is 300k. Once you add in FB, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, and the others, it's mathematically impossible for these companies to have top 10% engineers only.
FAANG does not have any M in it, does it? :D
Anyway I am not sure about your numbers. Alphabet employes 100k people but they are not all engineers.
This article says:
https://www.businessinsider.com/samsung ... has-2014-9

In 2013, Samsung Electronics had a whopping 275,000 total employees, or more than five times the size of Google’s, Ars Technica reported Friday.
That’s more than Google, Apple, and Microsoft combined.

Even when you narrow it down to just software engineers, Samsung still had an overwhelming 40,506 people making software. To put that in context, Google only had 18,593 in R&D (most of which were probably making software).
If you select one candidate out out 300, or maybe 3 because 2 maybe go somewhere else, it means 1%.
Sure, if you hire by rolling 3 dice and only taking people who get all 6s, it means 0.5%. What does that have to do with anything?
I am not sure what is not clear.
If you get to pick 1 person out of 300, and the 300 have the normal distribution, then you are hiring top 0.3%.
Other companies don't get to pick, they take the leftovers.

There is a similar, but simpler case in hardware: Apple dominates the hiring market and can pick from the candidates (there are hardware positions at Google and Amazon/Lab126 and even Tesla, but the number of positions is not comparable).
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by HawkeyePierce »

Starfish wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:00 am There are 65k H1B and at least half must be in software.
50k computer science majors graduate EVERY year. Without counting people going across fields. Without counting people who can come from lower paying companies.
I don't think FAANG all together has more that few thousand open positions in computer science a year. In US at least. I don't think it comes even close to that.
But you make a good point. Looking at the numbers is a lot less selective than I thought.
I'd be very surprised if it's that low even just among those five companies. Between attrition and organic growth my non-FAANG employer has over 500 engineering roles open right now and we're a small fry compared to those companies.
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by jerrysmith »

InfoSec Eng
BA, MSEng
Work for a University. 90k, pension and 6% match on 457b. VLCOL area.
I could make more elsewhere but I like the job, stability and pension.
Not planning on leaving.
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by Coltrane75 »

KyleAAA wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:32 pm
Starfish wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:00 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:12 pm
Starfish wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:16 pm Sorry, I edited my message too late, before seeing your answer.

3. If some middle of the pack guy from - say - Arizona State - applies to google does his resume even passes HR?

In line with other companies means what? 10 applicants?
3.) I can't speak to Google specifically. But in general, yes, it easily passes HR if the resume shows evidence of the skills required. I don't even look at the university and neither do recruiters that work with me. The fact is, the VERY large majority of engineers at those companies did not attend prestigious universities. It's rare to come across an ivy leaguer or somebody from MIT or Stanford. Eve if Google hired every single CS graduate from those schools who graduated in the last 10 years, it wouldn't be enough.

In line is hard to quantify. It could be anywhere from 3 applications for a very senior position to 300 for a new grad position. But again, applications are a minor source of candidates so it's not particularly important.
If you select one candidate out out 300, or maybe 3 because 2 maybe go somewhere else, it means 1%.
If you have a very senior position, job requirement itself could less than 10% engineers to begin with.
I'm not sure what you mean. One routinely gets 300 applications at no-name companies and hires only one. Certainly top companies tend to be more selective, but they can't be ultra selective. There just aren't enough engineers in the US for them to have ultra-high hiring bars. The idea they only hire the top 1% of engineers is absurd. As I stated, anybody in the top 30-40% can get an offer and many engineers at these companies are merely top 35%. Most, even.
I'm with KyleAAA on this one. How is it even possible to know if a candidate is the top 1% of all engineernig talent (I presume that's what you mean)? Do you have some sort of chart that quantifies qualifications that finely? Is there a talent ratings agency? Do you intentionally seek 100 applicants and chose one and declare that top 1%? lol

It semes impossible, subjective and unnecessary; especially considering how arbitrary job evaluations and promotions are, it makes this criteria absurd. MegaCorps like Microsoft or those in any other industry employ engineers in thousands of specific positions that are so ultra specialized and narrow in their needs that its neither possible nor necessary to only seek ultra super high talent.
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by KyleAAA »

Starfish wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:00 am
KyleAAA wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 8:32 pm
Starfish wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:00 pm
KyleAAA wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 3:12 pm
Starfish wrote: Thu Feb 06, 2020 2:16 pm Sorry, I edited my message too late, before seeing your answer.

3. If some middle of the pack guy from - say - Arizona State - applies to google does his resume even passes HR?

In line with other companies means what? 10 applicants?
3.) I can't speak to Google specifically. But in general, yes, it easily passes HR if the resume shows evidence of the skills required. I don't even look at the university and neither do recruiters that work with me. The fact is, the VERY large majority of engineers at those companies did not attend prestigious universities. It's rare to come across an ivy leaguer or somebody from MIT or Stanford. Eve if Google hired every single CS graduate from those schools who graduated in the last 10 years, it wouldn't be enough.

In line is hard to quantify. It could be anywhere from 3 applications for a very senior position to 300 for a new grad position. But again, applications are a minor source of candidates so it's not particularly important.
If you select one candidate out out 300, or maybe 3 because 2 maybe go somewhere else, it means 1%.
If you have a very senior position, job requirement itself could less than 10% engineers to begin with.
I'm not sure what you mean. One routinely gets 300 applications at no-name companies and hires only one. Certainly top companies tend to be more selective, but they can't be ultra selective. There just aren't enough engineers in the US for them to have ultra-high hiring bars. The idea they only hire the top 1% of engineers is absurd. As I stated, anybody in the top 30-40% can get an offer and many engineers at these companies are merely top 35%. Most, even.
It doesn't not really work like that because all candidates get employed finally.
If 300 candidates apply for 300 (or 500) positions some companies get the first pick and others get the last.
There just aren't enough engineers in the US for them to have ultra-high hiring bars.
There are 65k H1B and at least half must be in software.
50k computer science majors graduate EVERY year. Without counting people going across fields. Without counting people who can come from lower paying companies.
I don't think FAANG all together has more that few thousand open positions in computer science a year. In US at least. I don't think it comes even close to that.
But you make a good point. Looking at the numbers is a lot less selective than I thought.

FAANG+Microsoft+other top tier companies that pay even more hire WELL over a few thousand engineers per year. Many times that. Turnover is very high. Microsoft alone has 4000 current job openings and that's only because they've slowed down hiring recently. And Microsoft isn't even in the top 10 highest paying employers in Seattle, much less the nation.

But at the end of the day, you are trying to find stats that might possibly backup what you assume to be true. I don't assume anything is true. I know what is true, because I experience it every day. You aren't going to convince me that what I literally do and see and experience every day isn't true.
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by spae »

KyleAAA wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:53 pm
Starfish wrote: Fri Feb 07, 2020 2:00 am
There just aren't enough engineers in the US for them to have ultra-high hiring bars.
There are 65k H1B and at least half must be in software.
50k computer science majors graduate EVERY year.
...
I don't think FAANG all together has more that few thousand open positions in computer science a year. In US at least. I don't think it comes even close to that.

FAANG+Microsoft+other top tier companies that pay even more hire WELL over a few thousand engineers per year. Many times that.

...

But at the end of the day, you are trying to find stats that might possibly backup what you assume to be true.
I agree with this. I'm just going to add some guesstimate numbers that don't use any information you couldn't get from taking to someone at a bar. Google took, what, five years to double their engineering headcount from 40k to 80k? That's 15% CAGR. If the growth rate continues, they'll add 12k engineers next year. Their attrition is below industry average but a lower than average attrition number like 10% still puts them at 8k hires to maintain their workforce. That's 20k hires for the year from one tech company alone, without inside information, it's reasonable to guess that Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft will put up similar numbers within a factor of two. Facebook and Salesforce combined being within a factor of two is another ballpark estimate.

That's 100k hires right there. Not all will be in the U.S. and not all will be software, but well over half will be programmers in the U.S. The claim is that these companies are hiring the top 1% because there are 50k new grads and 65k total H1Bs across all fields in a year? That's so far from being in the right ballpark that it's not even on the right planet even if we ignore the low paying body shops that snag a large number of the H1B slots. The top H1B sponsors are Infosys, Tata, IBM, Wipro, Accenture, Hcl, and then Tech Mahindra in that order.
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Re: Engineers - What are you making? ($$$)

Post by megabad »

Interesting thread. Since I worked in government and then switched to private, just wanted to point out that I have observed public sector salaries are usually about 40-60% less for an experienced “engineer”. This is pretty consistent across many fields. The gap at entry level is smaller but large raises and promotions are very rare in the absence of a market force or meritocracy. The only exception I have found is an oddball federal employee that lucked into a highly graded position (usually not really an engineering role).

That said, I have never personally known a public sector engineer that was “laid off”. I know many many private sector engineers that have been. Most of the successful and happy public sector engineers I have met highly valued the low stress, short hours, stability, and had little ability to move or travel. These can be very valuable features despite lower pay. I have known more than one colleague that has cheerfully left a very high paying private sector job and is now making half of what they were in the public sector but is thrilled with their decision.

Just wanted to point this out because I have seen some posts lamenting their “low” salaries and I wouldn’t obsess too much if you are seeing other lifestyle benefits. I think most of the non software salaries here make sense to me. Some of them seem a smidge high but I mostly attribute that to loose definitions of “LCOL”. For example, in my opinion, there are exactly zero LCOL areas in CA. Just my opinion though.
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