It doesn't even matter if all you did was help update the docs. Are you saying an average googler makes $500k ? How a person could get an mid-level IT position in, say, oil company or a finance institution etc? One of the things I have found helpful is to read the otherwise often ignored first two chapters of books in multiple domains. Advice: Do more of the stuff you'll wish you'd done more of once you get older. 180k, and you are looking at close to 300k. Unfortunately, many of the best jobs out there aren't advertised, you have to know people to get in. Competitive Salary. So, for the developers making more than (plus or minus) $200,000 per year in salary: How long did it take to get to your level? These are the people that could spend an hour answering a simple question like "What happens when you type 'ls' in a terminal?" I think the typical argument is that they send you non personal emails that seem to not know about your unique and talented gifts. Hoping in another 5-6 years I can break 100K/yr. Learning how to create, add, or magnify value is the single most important any contractor or employee needs in any industry. Even greater challenges will await you in whatever you think is perfect, so you'll have to learn the same skills of pushing through to find learn and do what you need. Things like a happy wife, a house full of animals, and a sailboat that goes where the wind takes it. I can tell you that most actuaries do not make 200k either. Explore skills overlap. Now of course I don't get 100% utilization, but in practice my holidays and illnesses have had a much bigger impact on that than availability of engagements has. While I've struggled to find a title the past 10 year that fits, I'm liking "full-stack", combined with one of system/software architect/integrator. I researched GlassDoor trying to find answers. One thing gets easier, something new will pop up. It's even more true at 40 or 50. Here's what I'd say: If all you want to do is make money then get yourself in as a contractor for a specific industry. Understanding the basics of payroll, bookkeeping, client management, etc helps you grow as a professional. I don't care if the problem is small or big, they're all worthwhile and can make a big difference in someone's life to solve if you truly care about solving problems. Trends today are on mobility and security, but there are plenty of others. I work for a consulting company like Accenture or IBM global services. The most fun I get is out of achieving new things, rather than things the money can buy. House prices aren't part of inflation, are they? Electrical engineer by education, I am a full-stack "technologist" covering everything from semiconductor device physics to analog/digital circuit design to software (C/C++/Java/Python) to specific application domains (electronic displays, natural language understanding, MEMS/sensors, digital image processing and computer vision, augmented reality, thin-film optics, etc.) 4. I researched GlassDoor trying to find answers. The average software engineer could earn up to $5,016,723 for a career that could last 40 years, with an annual salary of around $125,418. You're responsible for your own benefits and for self-employment tax. All three share the same trait; find a company in need and pitch yourself as a contractor. Get to know people in the industry who are "going places". I just refuse to, now. That makes sense considering we had a recession, it canceled out high inflation years like 2007. > Housing: rent of primary residence, owners’ equivalent rent, fuel oil, bedroom furniture, etc. This is not true at all. > I'm kind of tired of all of these salary surveys because I don't trust them. I also relentless kept it touch with recruiters. Studying any scientific discipline can help you code better. 5% (interest rate plus property taxes) of 1.2M = $60K. I must ask though: I'm not sure what you're wanting to get from asking those questions. Samsung Electronics. Confirming. Regarding biting "the Enterprise Application Architecture Bullet," if all I wanted was money I think I'd feel less dirty and immoral at the end of the day running a porn site than purposefully selling people extremely complex solutions to simple problems. I generally prefer charging by the day rather than the hour and have billed as high as $1000/day. Being able to touch 200K and not work full time: Thanks for this. The ranking has forced buckets, so someone always gets screwed. I have to routinely turn down work. Average SJ home prices are now a north of a million (There was a link to this somewhere, but I don't have it for now). What is big money and can you make it as a software engineer without becoming a vice president, director, or entrepreneur? I also make sure I always take calls from recruiters and let them know when my current contract is up for renewal, so that every three months all recruiters I know will call me asking if I'm already available. I agree with seeing freelancing as a way to avoid paying a third party for doing sales (marketing & negotiation) and finances (bookkeeping & buffering) for you. How much risk are you allowed to take? I was more than blown away, it didn't seem real at all. Especially b/c our primary product is a low price point, so our revenue is well distributed across hundreds of clients. He's saying that because salaries aren't quite as high here. Find a company and say "I live right down the street, you need X and it is hard to find, you can either have me show up every day or have someone a few thousand miles work on it" - for some companies it is easily worth the extra $40-$60k to have someone local. It’s one of two security jobs with a salary range that tops $200,000. But we old guys really do get high off of things other than money. You have to create a path for it consciously by constantly figuring your own potential and (asking for) moving towards roles of higher responsibility. Put in the time and the effort when it's needed, but if you make it a habit, it'll become expected. But it also comes with markedly increased risk, which is why it pays more. It's 99% nonsense and it manufactures stress solely for the sake of manufacturing stress. Most of them were a grant of X shares over 5 years (IIRC). 40 hour work weeks are good and healthy, but I think it's harder to become super successful without working a lot. Evans Data Corporation reported there were around 4,4 million software engineers in North America in 2016.. I think the women liking money thing is more about social status, power and strength than actual money. - communicating well, both in person and in writing Good software engineers don’t call it a day until their code works and they can explain exactly why it works. No idea about parent's background but in my experience those jobs are almost impossible to get if you are not already "inside". can get you pretty close to $150k in other large cities with a good tech presence. I had to make a location change for family reasons, and though they offered it (and I tried it), remote work is not Microsoft's forte. This can make entirely new software, or produce an update for existing work. About 3/4 of that was salary. I got a job for 130k 6 months later and my mind was blown. I have 2-3 clients that put me well over 100% utilization for a couple years going strong now. Last Updated on December 4, 2020 by . Can you confidently whiteboard the entire Oracle Enterprise Suite? Anyone can do it today. * it is common at Google, Facebook, etc., for any senior dev to get $200k total, including all forms of compensation; * the OP states "$200,000 per year in salary". 2) Steady promotions (you are good technically, work well with people, and pick good projects, and -- hardest of all -- your management chain doesn't suck) for a few years, until you hit L65 (Principal level), 3) Stock awards over the next 5 years take care of the rest. The work is mostly very interesting, low-latency java programming, distributed systems, etc on a small highly capable team. I am currently making about that much. Amazon pays their entry level Software Engineers on average nearly $30,000 more than REI Systems: That’s a huge difference, particularly if you consider that money growing over time, if you invest it. Large companies typically employ large teams and offer greater opportunities for collaboration, where software engineers may work on a small component of a big project. Could you tell us a bit about your educational background and career path? It was a lot of hours, and it sucked. Low High. Software engineers have an incredibly unique job. worse than that, you depress earnings for an entire industry of people because you are willing to work for shit money. This helped me to cement my place at the company to the point that I was able to have a lot of control and influence within it. Do you think your company favors system engineers over web dev or application devs ? I donno, I've seen up to $180k from LinkedIn spam, some of those are not listed jobs in very hot companies... Classy. What age were you when you started? == Background (Combination of breadth and depth across EE and CS) ==. Just remember how the fallout from the last bubble (which included inflated salaries) affected real industries with hard working real people having real families that did not have anything to do with the ridiculous entitlement and greediness of the entrepreneurial culture. Write articles, books, talk at conferences, become an "industry expert" (hint: fake it till you make it). Senior engineers and managers, meanwhile, can expect to earn anything above that, particularly in London. > [Moxie Marlinspike] was the chief technology officer and co-founder of Whisper Systems, which was acquired by Twitter for an undisclosed amount in late 2011. You have to be a front office VP to be guaranteed this kind of money. Way more interesting question to ask how folks got to principal or staff at a big company. 300k for 40 hours a week in quant finance after 5 years in Boston? So generalize to keep your mind open and prepared for new challenges future can bring, but also specialize in an area that you expect to be in demand in the future. Some software engineers can gain employment with a high school diploma and 10 or more years of relevant experience. I still have a copy of the cover letter I sent to apply for a job in structured credit products at Bear Stearns. In my opinion though they are both bets you are place on your career. Fulltime position. You're going to be that ninja who knows exactly how the memory manager works, or you're going to be that guy who shows up in a tux & a NSX when someone gets shot in the head to help clean up. "Industry expert" on the other hand sounds plain boring. it would rather deny reality than hurt itself. Build a revenue-generating company by selling software (vs. giving it away in hopes of attracting eyeballs & monetizing those). That might be the Craigslist … software engineers paid $200k complain about heating bills - "/g/ - Technology" is 4chan's imageboard for discussing computer hardware and software, programming, and general technology. [Edit: to clarify, by "peak", I am referring to peaks if you were to plot the responses in a histogram, not a dollar amount.] Since I am a recent graduate, I thought being successful was everything, but I was sitting there hearing someone who was successful and very influential in the industry telling me that it's not all that. I don't buy "easily" for a second. I've wrote these items a while back and I thought that people might find it valuable so I decided to share it with you. Next, specialize. But it's frustrating to be generalized as an out-of-touch ivory tower type when that is simply not the case. I am not sure why people are taking offense to this, but living here with a family as the single bread winner , and 200K is around what you might need to give them the same quality of life you would probably get much cheaper in other parts of the country. Within any given job, it does not take people long to recognize the combination of breadth and depth that I have. Let's say that is shipping, or distribution, or something along those lines. (Large emphasis on "roughly".). Those who don't are almost always "managed out". Salary estimates are based on 256,924 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by Software Engineer employees. Work for a company where quality >> # of hours put in. I will start by echoing what others have mentioned that 150-200k is not really that amazingly high for the Bay Area. Being a PhD student myself, I am of course biased on this. Small company - 3 people total, I'm the only developer (and always have been), and I own the majority of the company. Is it true that most quants are ungodly intelligent and frequently come from PhDs in science? As they say, it may be better to reduce your spending by $10K/y than to increase your income by that amount. 25? or is the compensation pretty much same for your level of seniority ? Maybe if I wanted to complain that it was really hard. HN: This is not a poll and the person who submitted this post need to edit the title and replace is with "Ask HN". the main difference between people like that, and people like you, is they know what they're worth, and have the balls to tell someone insulting them with low paying work to fuck off in exactly as many words. You should work to live not live to work. 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