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I did a quick comparison. This doesn't include all the costs, but it should give you an idea of what he/she means:

The median sales price of a Santa Clara County 3 bedroom house is $820,000. This is $3,877/mo, plus $850/mo property taxes, for a housing cost of $4,727/mo

That $140,000/yr is taxed at $48,922 in the state of California, leaving $91,078, or $7,589/ mo income.

CA Income ($7,589) - CA Housing Costs ($4,727) = $2,682 leftover.


The median sales price of a Cobb County 3 bedroom house is $173,000. This is $818/mo, plus $140/mo property taxes, for a housing cost of $958/mo

That $80,000/yr is taxed at $23,600 in the state of Georgia, leaving $56,400, or $4,700/ mo income.

GA Income ($4,700) - GA Housing Costs ($958) = $3,742 leftover.


I'm not saying my numbers are valid for every person's situation, only that this is an example of a situation where the numbers work in Atlanta's favor.

Your numbers are way off. Salary doesn't paint the entire picture. Median total comp for a fresh out of college (L3) at Google is ~165k.

L4 is ~215k. L5 (Senior) is ~265k.

Factor in free breakfast/lunch/dinner, free gym, free laundry, generous 401k matching, other perks and discounts, and the gap widens even more.

And those scenarios represent a small fraction of the total number of engineers in the Valley. There is a reason Google is so selective in its hiring.

Throwing those out as typical is disingenuous.

Google is a huge outlier when it comes to salary. There are thousands of tech companies in the bay area, and median salary is around $100K.

Do you have a source of this data? I have tons of friends in the Bay Area who work at a wide variety of tech companies, and none of them are making $100k or less. I guess maybe they really are "all above average" but I find it hard to believe that the median salary for software engineers in the bay area is really $100k.

Sure. [1] [2]

Of course, this is just "a couple minutes of google research"--I am not a subject matter expert, as someone on HN kindly pointed out last time I posted these here. Also, they are based on self-reported surveys and don't include sellable equity, so take it with a grain of salt. I don't know where better data would be published. I'm intuitively not too surprised by these figures--I think the HN demographic is probably pretty skewed towards the higher end, judging by all those threads where people toss around $150K and $200K salaries as "normal".

1: https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/san-francisco-software-en...

2: http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Software_Engineer/Sa...

$140k is what we're discussing in this thread. You're welcome to join us.

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