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Google's Engineers Are Well Paid, Not Just Well Fed 342

Posted by timothy
from the in-omaha-that-gets-you-a-nice-house dept.
D H NG writes "According to a study by the career site Glassdoor, Google tops the list of tech companies in the salaries it pays to software engineers. Google paid its engineers an average base salary of $128,336, with Microsoft coming in second at $123,626. Apple, eBay, and Zynga rounded off the top 5."
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Google's Engineers Are Well Paid, Not Just Well Fed

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:30AM (#41691787)

    Google paid its engineers an average base salary of $128,336, with Microsoft coming in second at $123,626. Apple, eBay, and Zynga rounded off the top 5

    Technically, 5 isn't rounder than 2.

  • That's it? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CMU_Ken (574499) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:32AM (#41691811) Journal
    128k? That doesn't seem like much once you factor in cost of living for the locations these companies reside in.
  • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:32AM (#41691815) Journal

    (Rant)
    So Slashdot was bought by Dice, right? Have they done ANYTHING to improve it?

    I'm almost as sharp as a marble, but just look at this:

    Title: Google's Engineers Are Well Paid, Not Just Well Fed
    Summary: D H NG writes "According to a study by the career site Glassdoor, Google tops the list of tech companies in the salaries it pays to software engineers. Google paid its engineers an average base salary of $128,336, with Microsoft coming in second at $123,626. Apple, eBay, and Zynga rounded off the top 5."

    And it has a ... wait for it ... Facebook tag?

    Y'all yelled at me wen I said that Facebook is getting indirect advertising. And yet the Slashdot regulars haven't bothered to fork it since they instinctively know they can't get the critical mass to go to the forked version. So we continue to live with stuff like that.

    (/Rant)

  • Re:$128,000? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by darjen (879890) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:38AM (#41691859)

    Frankly, I would rather earn 90k, work less, and have more free time to spend with my family.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:39AM (#41691869)

    In Germany for a slightly lower salary (let's say 100K) you work only 37 hrs a week (for real, not only on paper), have 30 days of paid vacation a year, an extensive social security and healthcare coverage provided by the government (you don't need any private insurance), and you cannot be fired "at will", but only for a fair reason. What about google, microsoft, and the US in general?

    Yesterday here on slashdot I read a scary post saying that astronomy Ph.D. students work 80 hrs a week, and reading the comments it seemed that it's considered "normal" in the US. I thought they were on another planet!

  • by HerculesMO (693085) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:02AM (#41692095)

    Because it's in Redmond. The other companies are in the Bay area largely, and that's the most expensive place to live per square foot in the country. Gas and everything else are more expensive too.

  • by ltsmash (569641) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:14AM (#41692215)
    I'm not so sure that these engineers are very well paid. Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook was awarded $378 million in compensation. According to the above survey, the average software engineer at Apple makes $114,413 a year. In order to make the same amount as the CEO, the engineer would have to work 3300 years. So let's ask the question: When would the engineer have had to start working in order to have the same amount of money as the CEO? The engineer's first day of work would be 1300 years before Jesus of Nazareth would be born. And keep in mind this is an engineer. Consider junior level employees. According to an article by the New York Times, a salesman working at an Apple store makes about $11.25 an hour. He would make the same amount as the CEO in about 16 thousand years —- that would put his first day of work well into the stone age -- if you’re a creationist, his work time would be longer than the age of the universe.
  • Re:$128,000? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:34AM (#41692527) Homepage Journal

    I work for a well-known company (which for NDA reasons must remain unnamed)

    You have an NDA that you can't even name your employer?

    Most of the folks who stay past 6 or 7 either REALLY love what they're doing,

    I work in an office stuffed with people who love their jobs. The ones who don't aren't around long (and tend not to get hired in the first place). My boss is big on people being to work by 9, and at 5:15 the place is a ghost town.

    I REALLY love what I'm doing. I also REALLY love my wife and kids and would rather be hanging out with them than pretty much anyone else.

    or have no idea how to manage their time.

    This. I've seen way too many people sit at work for 12 hours but only work for 6. I'd much rather work a solid 8 hours then go home, relax, rest up, and do it again the next day.

  • by kye4u (2686257) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:39AM (#41692591)
    Considering the number of Phd's and M.S. graduates that Google employs versus Microsoft, it stands to reason that the average salary would be higher. As others have mentioned, when you factor cost of living, hours worked, and the degree employees hold, 128K doesn't go very far. Also in Washington State (where Microsoft is located), there is no state tax

    When the median home price in Mountain View is over a million and the cost for a decent 2 bed/bath apartment is 3k/month, your dollar doesn't go to far.
  • by timeOday (582209) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:59AM (#41692865)

    They are just taking it away from you, running it through an expensive bureaucracy, and then handing back 1/4 of what they took

    There's no point trying to have this discussion with made-up numbers. The question is whether government administration in a given sector is more or less effective and efficient than private industry, so it's all about the numbers. And not just "golly that number sounds too big!"-type numbers (which is how many people comprehend medicare fraud, for example), but how those numbers compare to the alternative.

  • Re:$128,000? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by czth (454384) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @11:22AM (#41693199) Homepage

    Are you claiming that salaries in Atlanta (the one in Georgia, right?) are at $228k for developers? Or are you translating it to a contracting/consulting rate? Or is that just your way to say that there are no good candidates for openings in Atlanta?

    For $228k I'd probably move to Atlanta tomorrow if the job was interesting at all.

  • Re:That's it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday October 18, 2012 @11:29AM (#41693283) Homepage Journal

    I wish GlassDoor would redo their study after factoring in cost of living. Then we'd see who's *really* paying their engineers.

    That's something people don't seem to get, not even economists. I'm twice as rich as someone in Chicago who earns the same salary as me, because prices up there are twice as high.

    I took a required economics class as an undergrad (late 1970s), and on the first day of class the three instructors were saying that Americans made too much money, there was going to be a crash, and that we would be earning the same as someone in a third world country.

    I'd been in the USAF the previous four years. In Deleware I was a pauper; they don't pay airmen jack shit. When I was stationed in Thailand (then still not developed, although it's completely different now) I lived like a king. My bungalow (including woman) was $30 per month. I could tale three ladies to a decent restaraunt and have a $1 bill. I bought a tailored shirt for $5. It cost a nickle to go anywhere in the country on a bus, a dollar for a taxi.

    I raised my hand and asked about the differences in living costs and asked these three educated idiots how in the hell someone can live on $1000 a year in the US. Their answer? Live in a cardboard box and eat nothing but peanut butter.

    I stood up, called them idiots to their faces, and walked out and dropped the class, and replaced it with... hell, I don't remember, some other unscientific science like sociology or something.

    People just don't get it, and I suspect that someone who should but doesn't, like someone with a PhD in economics is being disingenuous for their own evil ends. I've had nothing but disdain for economists to this day, it was made even stronger when these economists espoused trickle down fairy dust.

    Oh, yeah... time showed that those idiotic economists were idiots, if common sense didn't.

  • Re:$128,000? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Applekid (993327) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @11:30AM (#41693297)

    I work at Google and don't have long hours. I am on an on call rotation, but for a lot of teams, there are dedicated people on call, with a resulting salary bonus. (And the work load for being on call is really very minimal.)

    Google question then, how does one actually get help from Google? I like a lot of their stuff but abandon all hope if you need to talk to a human to figure out why an email isn't going through gmail or resolve issues from the Play store (see Nexus 7 preorder fiasco, "resolve issues" not just "say whatever they want to hear to get them off the phone") or report downright errors in shopping.google.com?

    I can't imagine needing any on-call at all when the end-user support is basically a doormat that reads "GO AWAY"

  • Re:$128,000? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MisterSquid (231834) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @11:31AM (#41693315)

    According to an online Cost of Living Comparison Tool [bestplaces.net], if I wanted to accept a job at Google they'd need to more than double my salary.

    I think comparison tools are very inaccurate about what things actually cost and obscure the value of things that are usually summed up with the phrase "quality of life".

    I live and work in SF after having come from Athens, OH, and your comparison tool is telling me that if I moved this year I would need need 117% more money [bestplaces.net] than I did in Athens. I actually make about fifty percent more than I did when I lived in Ohio and I have much more money than I did when I lived in Ohio.

    More importantly, there are some things no amount of personal compensation could provide: ethnic diversity, world class cuisine, sublime landscape, beautiful weather year round, municipal infrastructure (no boil orders for septically contaminated water), and a dozen other things even 50 years of economic development could not deliver to places like the one I lived in in Ohio.

    "Cost" of living is not just about money and direct comparisons based on money equivalence don't capture the whole picture.

  • Re:$128,000? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MasaMuneCyrus (779918) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @11:32AM (#41693325)

    If you're making $40k in the US, you're not developing software like the software engineers at Google are.

    Or you graduated with a 2.4 GPA.

    It varies by state. The median income can vary by more than $30,000 by state. Your income for a specific profession could vary by a much larger amount, depending on a number of factors.

  • Re:$128,000? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DerekLyons (302214) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [retawriaf]> on Thursday October 18, 2012 @11:43AM (#41693487) Homepage

    My thoughts exactly - they may be well educated, and they may be well paid and have an excellent compensation package... but what in the H-E-doublehockysticks are they actually *doing*? Most of Google products languish under a regime that can be charitably be described as "benign neglect" and the balance are updated only sporadically.

  • by afgam28 (48611) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @12:03PM (#41693769)

    That only makes sense if you assume that Google engineers live paycheck to paycheck.

    What's more likely is that they save a certain percentage of their $128k, and spend it in a lower cost area once they've left their job in Mountain View.

  • Re:$128,000? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Algae_94 (2017070) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @02:55PM (#41696759) Journal

    Under $100k in my area (suburban Washington DC), is barely a living wage.

    It's amazing how weak people get once they get paid a good salary for any length of time. Why don't you try going to a park and finding a homeless guy that sleeps on a bench and tell him how you can barely live with less than $100k a year.

    You are either exaggerating, or you have no concept of what is really needed to live and what things are luxuries.

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