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The Almighty Buck Programming Stats IT

The $200,000 Software Developer 473

itwbennett writes "You can make a decent living as a software developer, and if you were lucky enough to get hired at a pre-IPO tech phenom, you can even get rich at it. But set your sights above the average and below Scrooge McDuck and you won't find many developers in that salary range. In fact, the number of developers earning $200,000 and above is under 10%, writes blogger Phil Johnson who looked at salary data from Glassdoor, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. How does your salary rate? What's your advice for earning the big bucks?"
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The $200,000 Software Developer

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  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @10:55AM (#43995855)
    Make a time machine, and go back to the 80's.
  • Re:Issue Is... (Score:5, Informative)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @11:00AM (#43995919) Journal

    If you can get them, security clearances seem to be a popular way of not getting outsourced and competing with a rather smaller(if alarmingly large, on a per-capita basis) pool of applicants.

  • by i_want_you_to_throw_ ( 559379 ) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @11:00AM (#43995921) Journal

    How do you get started in that field? Do most of them have a financial background with some computer science, or the reverse?

    Well, it's a big field. A good place to start is [] and get into their forums. I have found the community there to be very helpful. I have seen postings with requirements for developing in C++ and C# and some places, if they can see that you have the programming ability, will teach you (or pay for your education) to take you further. It's a field where companies look SO much to get the edge that there are whole companies building straighter fibers (or microwave links) to the exchanges across the US to shave milliseconds off the time of a transaction.

  • by Apuleius ( 6901 ) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @11:04AM (#43995999) Journal

    I made 50K doing IT for a department at MIT.

    I made 120K for exactly the same work at a hedge fund.

    THat's a 70K price to pay for the intense satisfaction that comes from helping scientists engage in science. Worth it IMO.

  • Re:This just in.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @11:53AM (#43996769)

    except that is only true if intelligence is a purely straight line going from dumb to genius, which it is not.

    Or any curve with half the area on each side of the midpoint.

    So, it would be true if intelligence were a bell curve too, which it is generally considered to be the case.

    there isn't a number 1 most average person, but a large group of people that would all fit in the group.

    Yes, but no matter what test you devise, there will be a median, and half the people will be below it.

    The people above and below that level are going to be much less than ~50%.

    Have you seen a bell curve? Yes, the majority of the population is within a standard deviation of the midpoint, but half of them are still below it.

    Parroting a saying without understanding I'd guess puts you in that group.

    Where does that put you?

  • by Paul Fernhout ( 109597 ) on Thursday June 13, 2013 @11:17PM (#44003733) Homepage

    I've been meaning to put up the comments I had on Ray Dalio's principles somewhere for a long time. I finally just put them up here: []

    As I note there, obviously, writing stuff like that must not be the way to get a high paying (>$200K annual) job programming in the financial industry. :-) But this may be of interest to others looking at Ray Dalio's "Principles" or in Bridgewater Associates (the world's biggest hedge fund in 2011) as a place of employment. Or perhaps it may be of interest in trying to understand, from a psychological perspective, some of the potential limits of Bridgewater's financial models if they reflect only that version of "Principles"?

    From what I sent:
    I guess one might say that from the outside, with this cover letter I'm trying to upgrade Bridgewater in my own way, even as Bridgewater would probably upgrade me in some sense if I worked there. :-) I'm supplying some of the results of my having read widely for many years on a variety of topics related to evolution, technology, psychology, and social change. Maybe someone at Bridgewater will read this, maybe not, but it was also interesting to write it and try to get a message through the filters all organizations have. It's a first draft, and it could be a lot better, a lot shorter, and so on were I to spend a lot more time on it, or were I to have better tools with which to communicate it (which I can aspire to create someday, like supplying a semantic web to your inbox).

    The key points here are that:
    * "Evolution" does not mean "progress" as humans normally think of it (this from someone who was in a PhD program in Ecology and Evolution for a time),
    * All reasoning depends on emotions (which give us reason to reason),
    * Bridgewater has reached the size where it has a significant effect on the exchange economy that supports it and needs to consider the broader issues in its modeling and responsibilities to stakeholders;
    * There can be many overlapping senses of "self" (body, family, philosophy, company, state, etc.) and models (including financial models) may need to take that in account, but that is not reflected in "Principles";
    * There is a pressing need for sensemaking tools and I feel I can help create them (and have helped create some in the past);
    * such tools might, through the FOSS gift economy, even be a way to take aspects of Bridgewater's self-improvement culture (like through structured arguments) and make that available to the general public, as if things like openness and rationality are true for Bridgewater, they must be true for the rest of the world, and maybe Bridgewater try to help the rest of the world achieve those things too (while also increasing its potential employee pool of people learning such tools);
    * Bridgewater can probably better promote health among its community in terms of vitamin D, eating more vegetables, understanding the "Pleasure Trap", and having treadmill workstations; ...


    Realistically, I'd have probably been a better match for the Dalio Family Foundation perhaps, directing time and money to open source sensemaking software efforts? :-)

    Anyway, thankfully I found some other way to earn ration units (fiat dollars) that I can exchange for food and shelter, in the absence of a "basic income" and given pretty much all the land is enclosed and privatized, and even if it was not, it takes a village and lots of specific skills to live well in the wilderness... []

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"