IT compensation comparison

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HawkeyePierce
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by HawkeyePierce » Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:16 pm

Invictus002 wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:13 pm
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?
1) Not uncommon for a staff engineer to make more than their boss (staff is going to be >$400k at least). Middle management (especially the lower levels) is typically not valued much relative to engineers at these companies (IME). Additionally, there usually isn't that *much* middle management. In my case there are only three people between me and the CTO at a company of several thousand.

2) Lots of companies *do* lose their management and product staff to tech companies.

HawkeyePierce
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by HawkeyePierce » Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:19 pm

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.
200k engineers. The latest BLS numbers are around 1.3 million software engineers in the US. If my guess of 200-400k US-based engineers making SV-level comp is on target, that's 15-30% of software engineers making more than (say) $150k.

KyleAAA
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by KyleAAA » Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:26 pm

Invictus002 wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:13 pm
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?
FANG pays more for everything, even accountants, project managers, etc. In the engineering orgs it's not rare for CTOs of smaller companies to become directors or senior directors at FAANG. Downleveling is common. It is not at all rare for a manager to have engineers reporting to them that make more than they do. In general, titles don't matter to compensation, only level. Product managers tend to make the same as engineers at the same level, for example. And yeah, there are hundreds of people at each company who make 7 figures. The title doesn't matter and people manager isn't viewed as a "promotion" over software engineer.

As for why they would not just go to FAANG? Realistically, they probably couldn't pass the interview. There's a lot of industry and role-specific knowledge that's hard to get in other industries. For example, how would you be an effective senior director of an engineering organization if you'd never been a software engineer at that level? Many would argue you can't, so being a CEO at another non-tech company would not qualify you.

Invictus002
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by Invictus002 » Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:56 pm

KyleAAA wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:26 pm
Invictus002 wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:13 pm
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?
FANG pays more for everything, even accountants, project managers, etc. In the engineering orgs it's not rare for CTOs of smaller companies to become directors or senior directors at FAANG. Downleveling is common. It is not at all rare for a manager to have engineers reporting to them that make more than they do. In general, titles don't matter to compensation, only level. Product managers tend to make the same as engineers at the same level, for example. And yeah, there are hundreds of people at each company who make 7 figures. The title doesn't matter and people manager isn't viewed as a "promotion" over software engineer.

As for why they would not just go to FAANG? Realistically, they probably couldn't pass the interview. There's a lot of industry and role-specific knowledge that's hard to get in other industries. For example, how would you be an effective senior director of an engineering organization if you'd never been a software engineer at that level? Many would argue you can't, so being a CEO at another non-tech company would not qualify you.

What about non software sr. Manager/ director positions, many industry CEOs do have those skillsets.

KyleAAA
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by KyleAAA » Fri Oct 04, 2019 4:09 pm

Invictus002 wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:56 pm
KyleAAA wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:26 pm
Invictus002 wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:13 pm
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?
FANG pays more for everything, even accountants, project managers, etc. In the engineering orgs it's not rare for CTOs of smaller companies to become directors or senior directors at FAANG. Downleveling is common. It is not at all rare for a manager to have engineers reporting to them that make more than they do. In general, titles don't matter to compensation, only level. Product managers tend to make the same as engineers at the same level, for example. And yeah, there are hundreds of people at each company who make 7 figures. The title doesn't matter and people manager isn't viewed as a "promotion" over software engineer.

As for why they would not just go to FAANG? Realistically, they probably couldn't pass the interview. There's a lot of industry and role-specific knowledge that's hard to get in other industries. For example, how would you be an effective senior director of an engineering organization if you'd never been a software engineer at that level? Many would argue you can't, so being a CEO at another non-tech company would not qualify you.

What about non software sr. Manager/ director positions, many industry CEOs do have those skillsets.
Sure, and other companies do regularly lose executives to these companies. My current VP founded several companies and was CEO of at least one that had a $1b+ exit, which I’m guessing he got a chunk of. There are two VP levels and he’s the lower level. I’d guess his comp is probably in the $2-3mm range.

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:58 pm

Coworker of mine just announced she is leaving for another Bay Area tech company (non-FAANG). Marketing manager role paying $210k all-in.

She is 29, no MBA.

spae
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by spae » Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:49 pm

yosef wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:17 pm
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.
I moved from companies in the middle of the country no one's heard to FAANG and FAANG-adjacent companies. Other than the pay and the perks, the biggest difference I've noticed is how convinced of their own greatness engineers at FAANG companies are and how much the company encourages them to think that they're elite.

After I made this move, I convinced some of my former co-workers to make the same move and they're superstars at FAANG companies. Quite frankly, they're working shorter hours on easier problems and so am I.

At my current job, I got promoted to staff in less than a year and got an out-of-band raise that required VP approval to go with it, putting me at mid-six figures. My peers believe that I'll get promoted again in the near future, which would put me in the mid-high six-figure range.

At my job in flyover country, I was an above average but unremarkable engineer. At FAANG, people think I'm outstanding. I'm not doing better work but my co-workers simply don't work as hard and performance is all relative.
Last edited by spae on Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

unknownfuture
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by unknownfuture » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:02 pm

This is very anecdotal, but a friend of mine works at FAANG with a total comp of ~$2.5M a year, with a technical, non-managing role. The data on website levels.fyi indicates that he "should" make about $350K at his level. He has a fairly exceptional background. I don't know how rare his level of compensation is.

There are no datapoints similar to his on levels.fyi; I wouldn't be too surprised if their dataset excludes such outliers.

KyleAAA
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by KyleAAA » Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:57 pm

unknownfuture wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:02 pm
This is very anecdotal, but a friend of mine works at FAANG with a total comp of ~$2.5M a year, with a technical, non-managing role. The data on website levels.fyi indicates that he "should" make about $350K at his level. He has a fairly exceptional background. I don't know how rare his level of compensation is.

There are no datapoints similar to his on levels.fyi; I wouldn't be too surprised if their dataset excludes such outliers.
It's not common but not unheard of. There are probably several thousand engineers earning 7 figures thanks to the bull market.

ARoseByAnyOtherName
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName » Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:06 am

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Fri Oct 04, 2019 6:58 pm
Coworker of mine just announced she is leaving for another Bay Area tech company (non-FAANG). Marketing manager role paying $210k all-in.

She is 29, no MBA.
Good for her. Total comp seems low for a first level manager with a small team; if it's a IC role that's more junior that makes more sense.

knightrider
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by knightrider » Sun Oct 27, 2019 1:59 pm

I got inspired by this thread to try my luck at applying for some of these highly paid IT jobs.. I managed to land a first interview at a FinTech company. Unfortunately, they decided I was not the right fit.

I did notice the vast majority of the tech people in this company were under 35. Also most had Ivy league education. Also during the interview we discussed the work culture.. It sounded quite demanding and most people are very "driven", as the interviewer said.. So I can understand how I would not fit in ( early 40s with wife and kid and a "generalist" of IT not one of those know-it-all gurus.. )..

In any case I will keep trying, but this experience kind of confirmed what I have felt about these highly paid IT roles..

spae
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by spae » Sun Oct 27, 2019 2:12 pm

knightrider wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 1:59 pm
... a FinTech company
...
I did notice the vast majority of the tech people in this company were under 35. Also most had Ivy league education.
...
In any case I will keep trying, but this experience kind of confirmed what I have felt about these highly paid IT roles..
I've done interviews and gotten offers in finance and tech. My experience has been that finance companies tend to be much more prestige-driven than tech companies with this being more true the more prestigious the company is. I couldn't even get an interview at the top finance shops until I got a big marker of prestige on my resume.

It's not like tech companies don't care, but they don't care as much. The median person I've worked with in my big tech company jobs has an undistinguished resume and I was able to get offers at tech companies when top finance shops wouldn't even spend ten seconds before throwing my resume away.

If you look at back-end specializations like distributed systems, compilers, operating systems, etc., you'll find groups of older people. As someone in my mid-30s, I've been well below mean age in the groups I've worked in. Sometimes above median, sometimes below, never below by much so far, although I expect that to change within five to ten years if I don't retire.

As mentioned above, I work less than I did when I had a lower paying job in the middle of the country. The same factors that haven driven pay up at big tech companies also makes the companies cozy. I'm not coasting, but most people are, which means that I don't have to work all that hard to get ahead.
Last edited by spae on Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

KyleAAA
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by KyleAAA » Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:34 pm

knightrider wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 1:59 pm
I got inspired by this thread to try my luck at applying for some of these highly paid IT jobs.. I managed to land a first interview at a FinTech company. Unfortunately, they decided I was not the right fit.

I did notice the vast majority of the tech people in this company were under 35. Also most had Ivy league education. Also during the interview we discussed the work culture.. It sounded quite demanding and most people are very "driven", as the interviewer said.. So I can understand how I would not fit in ( early 40s with wife and kid and a "generalist" of IT not one of those know-it-all gurus.. )..

In any case I will keep trying, but this experience kind of confirmed what I have felt about these highly paid IT roles..
You...should look around more before you decide your feelings are confirmed. Nobody worked even 40 hours per week at my last job, much less more than 40. And it is one of the oft-mentioned high paying companies.

DaftInvestor
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:49 pm

des999 wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:49 am
What about software sales? I didn't really see it mentioned but the salary packages in this field are insane. I just recently took the leap from IT architect at MegaCorp to software sales and doubled my salary/package. I'm more on the technical side, some of the full on sales teams/account directors are making 500-750k hitting their full number.
The closer you are to the revenue the more money you make.
In general at the same company (yes there are exceptions):
Sales staff pay > SW Engineering pay > SW support staff pay > IT pay
I transitioned to sales earlier in my career when I figured this out.

sf_tech_saver
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by sf_tech_saver » Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:05 pm

I got an internship at Sun Microsystems in 2001 and learned that the 'average' fully loaded cost for a person on our team was $125k. It was a galvanizing moment for me.

As a college JR in 2001 this was serious money. I became determined to do everything I could to succeed in a system where the average was so stellar vs. the rest of the world. I worked 80 hours a week as an intern and climbed the ladder at Sun.

I then met new friends at Oracle where top folks in their software group were making 2x those at Sun. I worked 10 years in enterprise software to establish myself, ultimately at a company challenging Oracle.

7 figure compensation is not unusual for somebody at my level in my industry now, but it was a 20-year journey of investing my human capital in the highest paying, highest leverage (software, internet) part of our economy.

I completely disagree with Klangfool here. The first step in winning is deciding what game has the best rewards to play.

Bogleheads helps brings the rewards of equity investing to the masses, but human capital is our most important and most personal investment.
VTI is a modern marvel

spae
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by spae » Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:15 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:49 pm
des999 wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:49 am
What about software sales? I didn't really see it mentioned but the salary packages in this field are insane. I just recently took the leap from IT architect at MegaCorp to software sales and doubled my salary/package. I'm more on the technical side, some of the full on sales teams/account directors are making 500-750k hitting their full number.
The closer you are to the revenue the more money you make.
In general at the same company (yes there are exceptions):
Sales staff pay > SW Engineering pay > SW support staff pay > IT pay
I transitioned to sales earlier in my career when I figured this out.
The exceptions include the high paying tech and fin-tech companies will pay typical staff engineers the quoted range (500-750) (as well as people at lower levels in some cases) and those companies combined employ something like half a million programmers. If you believe the BLS, there are maybe 3m to 4m programming jobs in the U.S.

If someone enjoys doing sales, they should do sales. If they want to make money and want to write software, they should move to a company that compensates programmers well.

HEDGEFUNDIE
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by HEDGEFUNDIE » Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:17 pm

spae wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:15 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:49 pm
des999 wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:49 am
What about software sales? I didn't really see it mentioned but the salary packages in this field are insane. I just recently took the leap from IT architect at MegaCorp to software sales and doubled my salary/package. I'm more on the technical side, some of the full on sales teams/account directors are making 500-750k hitting their full number.
The closer you are to the revenue the more money you make.
In general at the same company (yes there are exceptions):
Sales staff pay > SW Engineering pay > SW support staff pay > IT pay
I transitioned to sales earlier in my career when I figured this out.
The exceptions include the high paying tech and fin-tech companies will pay typical staff engineers the quoted range (500-750) (as well as people at lower levels in some cases) and those companies combined employ something like half a million programmers. If you believe the BLS, there are maybe 3m to 4m programming jobs in the U.S.

If someone enjoys doing sales, they should do sales. If they want to make money and want to write software, they should move to a company that compensates programmers well.
Actually they should become sales engineers. Code PoCs and sell deals with them.

DaftInvestor
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by DaftInvestor » Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:36 pm

HEDGEFUNDIE wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:17 pm
spae wrote:
Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:15 pm
DaftInvestor wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:49 pm
des999 wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 9:49 am
What about software sales? I didn't really see it mentioned but the salary packages in this field are insane. I just recently took the leap from IT architect at MegaCorp to software sales and doubled my salary/package. I'm more on the technical side, some of the full on sales teams/account directors are making 500-750k hitting their full number.
The closer you are to the revenue the more money you make.
In general at the same company (yes there are exceptions):
Sales staff pay > SW Engineering pay > SW support staff pay > IT pay
I transitioned to sales earlier in my career when I figured this out.
The exceptions include the high paying tech and fin-tech companies will pay typical staff engineers the quoted range (500-750) (as well as people at lower levels in some cases) and those companies combined employ something like half a million programmers. If you believe the BLS, there are maybe 3m to 4m programming jobs in the U.S.

If someone enjoys doing sales, they should do sales. If they want to make money and want to write software, they should move to a company that compensates programmers well.
Actually they should become sales engineers. Code PoCs and sell deals with them.
Bingo.

I never said people should work in a field that they don't want to simply because they think that's were the money is - its a recipe for disaster if you don't have the aptitude and the gumption.

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HomerJ
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by HomerJ » Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:52 pm

spae wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:49 pm
yosef wrote:
Fri Sep 27, 2019 3:17 pm
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.
I moved from companies in the middle of the country no one's heard to FAANG and FAANG-adjacent companies. Other than the pay and the perks, the biggest difference I've noticed is how convinced of their own greatness engineers at FAANG companies are and how much the company encourages them to think that they're elite.

After I made this move, I convinced some of my former co-workers to make the same move and they're superstars at FAANG companies. Quite frankly, they're working shorter hours on easier problems and so am I.

At my current job, I got promoted to staff in less than a year and got an out-of-band raise that required VP approval to go with it, putting me at mid-six figures. My peers believe that I'll get promoted again in the near future, which would put me in the mid-high six-figure range.

At my job in flyover country, I was an above average but unremarkable engineer. At FAANG, people think I'm outstanding. I'm not doing better work but my co-workers simply don't work as hard and performance is all relative.
Im a little confused.. so you are saying the midwest companies are working on harder problems and have more talented people and work longer hours than FAANG companies on the coast?
The J stands for Jay

spae
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Re: IT compensation comparison

Post by spae » Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:32 am

I think talent is overrated, but on the rest, I'd say the engineers I worked with at the same level were better.

The big tech companies have pretty hefty title inflation. It's a lot easier to get promoted in an org that's growing by 25% or 50% a year that has 10%-25% annual turnover than in an org that grows 2% a year with 5%-10% annual turnover. The teams in big tech companies I've worked in fit the former description and the teams in the middle of the country fit the latter. Promotions get handed out like candy when the company is successful, which makes standards lower.

On the difficulty of problems, I used to work for companies that would kill themselves to eke out a five percent improvement in a year. They were competing the quality of engineering, which forced people to work on real, hard, engineering problems. That's fun for engineers, but it's a miserable business to be in. The big tech companies I've worked for all print money due to network effects. Half the engineering promotions that I see go out are for projects that have no impact or even negative impact on the company. More often than not, people build a system that does what another system already did in a way that imposes a cost on everyone who has to migrate to the new thing, which isn't even as good as the old thing half the time. But that doesn't matter much since the business models at the companies I've worked for are resilient to poor engineering and make-work projects created to stuff promo packets. The companies continue to be successful. Promotions keep getting handed out. Everyone is happy.

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