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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 acidfast7 (551610) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:13AM (#41692209)

    It's also common for PhD students to work 80h/wk in Germany (at least at the reputable institutions ... Excellence Universities and Max-Planck Institutes) for example. Even students doing diplomarbeit work 60+ hr/wk.

    Also, one needs to compare net (netto) salaries. More the 50% of my gross (brutto) salaries is "comsumed" (for better rather than worse most of the time) in taxes (roughly 35% when income/old age/solidarity/church tax (which I opt-out of) /unemployment), mandatory health insurance (roughly 8%), mandatory pension (roughly 10%).

    Also, I wouldn't directly convert €1:$1.3 because with the cost of living and the VAT ... it's much closer to €1:$1 in real terms.

  • by neurovish (315867) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:28AM (#41692443)

    $128,336 in San Francisco equates to about $65k when cost of living is adjusted to the US average (specifically Raleigh, NC...it was the most average I could think of and is pretty close). I'm sure there is some flexibility in those numbers, but I don't know of anywhere in the bay area that isn't well above the national average.

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

    by darjen (879890) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @09:50AM (#41692747)

    It's not my salary, just a number I picked. The going rate for a senior developer in my area seems to be hovering around 85-90.

  • by MisterSquid (231834) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:16AM (#41693121)

    Our Sillicon Valley startup has about 50 employees and the average engineering salaries are north of $150,000.

    I suppose there are some start-ups that do pay developers the value of the labor, but my own experience is a bit different in that it was more stereotypical of Silicon-Valley startup compensation packages. That is, my salary was shamefully low (I was new to the profession), just about unlivable for the Bay Area, and was offset with a very accelerated stock options plan.

    Even though the company was purchased and I ended up with some real, live tradable stock, the final calculation (dividing the value of my options over the length of my employment) revealed a still cripplingly low annual salary (~75K/year). So, unless your startup is going to hit it BIG big, direct compensation may be a better deal than equity.

    Good on your company for paying their workers the full(er) value of the labor in cash.

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2012 @10:20AM (#41693177)
    Meh. I was offered a job at google but turned it down. Although the raw number is more than I make now, it would have been a pretty severe pay cut when you factor in the cost of living.
  • Salary Inflation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MaWeiTao (908546) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @11:06AM (#41693819)

    I think a very important caveat here is that Glassdoor is a job search site. And like every job search site I've ever seen who posts average or median salaries they tend to inflate them. They'll claim the average income for a designer in NYC, for example, is $100k a year. Then you look at the job listings for the same position and you're lucky if they break $70k.

    Their entire business model is based on getting people to look for work, so of course they're going to do whatever they can to make you believe everyone is earning more than you are.

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2012 @11:38AM (#41694241)

    I make more than $40k as a software developer, but it wasn't too long ago that I was making right around that amount.

    I have an AAS (not a fancy degree, if you didn't already know), my GPA was 2.8, and I assure you that neither of those things has EVER come up in a job interview. I'm also old enough that my transcripts are gone. (Schools only keep them for about 10 years. After that, nobody's looking anyway.)

    The factors that kept me from making more are:
    - Timing. The dot-com "crash" of 2000 happened during my last full semester of college. I didn't land a job in the industry until 5 years later.
    - Lack of experience. Since the dot-bomb dropped during my college days, nobody wanted interns either. No experience = no job.
    - Lack of money. I grew up in a just-above-the-poverty-line household. I had to scrape by to even get a community college education, and that didn't get me a job once there were so many out-of-work developers on the job market after the crash.
    - Location. The midwest is a "small market" even in the larger cities. You don't pay as much for housing, but you also don't make as much.

    So when I did finally land a programming job, it was as a code monkey in a PHP sweatshop. The headhunter wanted a decent payout, so I started at $40k. No raises. Got laid off after a year and a half due to it being a sweatshop and I had outstayed my welcome. (Basically, I wanted more money and they didn't want to give me any more money.)

    Next job was a startup. Still $40k. Over 2.5 years, I got a couple of small raises. I topped out at $45k-ish before I got laid off during the early days of the recession.

    Next job was through a headhunter again. I asked for $50k, but the employer could only go $40k. After 3 years and a few raises, I'm finally at $50k.

    I could probably go to the larger employers in this city and make $70k, but that's really the limit in this area. Nobody in this line of work makes more than about $80k here.

  • Re:$128,000? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 18, 2012 @12:03PM (#41694661)

    Currently interviewing with them now. I'm just seeing how it goes, but I don't have any real belief that I'll accept the job even if they give me one. For one thing, I'd have to move to Mountain View or some other area, which I don't want to do, and I probably make almost as much as they are willing to pay me without having written a book. But, you never know, they are definitely capable of paying very well, so I am not ruling it out.

    The interview process is a lot more rigorous than what I usually get, although I have been asked technical questions before in interviews, even made to write out code. Thing is, it's clear they are working to weed out candidates amongst a pool of otherwise well-qualified people. The questions I have gotten so far are corner-case masturbation, not insightful questions that reveal my thinking or problem solving process, but then I have only been through two rounds, so perhaps they wait until the later rounds to actually bother with more insightful interviewing.

    They are entitled to interview any way they want, of course, and they certainly have smart people working for them, so they can't be doing anything particularly wrong. Still, just like most places where they grill you, it feels sort of like a stunt or a hazing ritual. Some of the worst places I have worked for are also the ones where they are the most restrictive in hiring and absurd with their interview process. I have trouble believing Google is like that, but there's no way for me to know.

    It would be interesting to work for Google, although I am well point the point in my career where I am willing to accept compromises in pay or living situation just to work for a cool company, particularly one who is already past their IPO and starting to attract anti-trust suits.

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

    by Branciforte (2437662) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @12:39PM (#41695405)

    PhD don't matter that much at Google. I have a BS in Math and a 2.2 GPA and I make much more than $128k working at Google. During the interview process, they don't even ask about degrees or GPA unless you are fresh out of school and they have nothing else to go by.

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