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Show HN: Honest Salary – Help make salaries fair and honest by sharing yours (honestsalary.com)
314 points by titusblair on Mar 19, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 191 comments



I'd make this site more focus about apples to apples comparison within the same company. I.e 'Share your salary at X and invite your colleagues to do the same'. So people could go to honestsalary.com/company and collaborate there with the main page showing the aggregate.

And maybe instead of job title use department and 'level' to make it more ambiguous. I.e engineering,marketing,operations or 'associate, sr, manager, director, vp, cto'.

The problem with title is that with small companies title alone isn't ambiguous enough. Yeah yeah I know it's technically illegal for a company to retaliate but that is being a bit naive. Some companies will - the law is pretty toothless here and there are plenty of ways to subtly do it.

Also use HTTPS. For obvious reasons.

Otherwise i'm a fan and I was actually looking for an something similar the other day.


Just to add: You can use https://letsencrypt.org/ for free HTTPS certs.


Here's the source for a small webapp to anonymously share your salary with a pool of others: https://gist.github.com/anonymous/894b151cc981f783e3af I did try to make most of the selections ambiguous in order to better preserve anonymity. The way it works is that the pool creator sets a minimum number of responses before anyone can see the salary info. You also can't see any salary info unless you yourself have submitted.

I made it a while back for people trying to understand tech salaries in a particular area. It's not geared towards startups but maybe someone can modify it.


One thing I forgot to mention is that the app is based around sharing unique URLs; there's no need for users to create accounts of any sort.


Okay, before you all start adding your data there, consider the fact that it's all made public.

In the UK, post codes are usually very specific (sometimes to a single building) and I'm seeing someone from Colindale that has put in their entire postcode alongside their salary, this would be very easy to deanonimise by doing a reverse lookup on census data and then checking the job titles of the full names you'd get for software professionals (for instance, via Linkedin or Facebook).

In that specific example, I was able to find the social profiles of the person who added their salary with just a couple searches in the UK open register; ironically, a data engineer.


Well, sure, but really, so what? I understand that we historically have a culture in which salary figures are secret, but that all seems to come from a bunch of social-hierarchy stuff about keeping up appearances and saving face. If someone doesn't care about that then what harm could even potentially come about as a result of sharing useful information with peers?


It could be a problem at companies where salaries are under an NDA. If the companies find out you broke the NDA you could get fired. I'm pretty sure my company has such a clause.


That's illegal in many countries, including the United States, not sure about yours


I think I would enjoy the experience of daring assholes like that to fire me.


If they're smart they'll just find a legal reason to fire you. Ever surf the web for personal reasons at work? Every use your personal mobile on work time? There are so many rules that people violate every day without repercussion until the company needs a reason to get rid of them.


If they're smart and they want you gone, they won't bother with petty stuff like that. They'll just run you through the formal process, six months of PEP then PIP then fired, speaking the ritual words and performing the ritual ceremonies necessary to generate a paper trail that will comfort the lawyers, all tied up and neat. You'll know exactly what happened but there'll be nothing you can prove.

If they're smart and they want you to stay, they still won't bother with petty stuff like that, because firing people is expensive and hiring them even more so; they'll either look the other way or find a diplomatic way to deal with it.


What kind of company do you work at that has such rules explicitly spelled out? What's the procedure for firing someone based on that data? Don't they need proof of such activities? Does your workplace have cameras and sound recording at all times trained on their employees? If you do and you don't enjoy that, then maybe it's time to look for something else?


"We no longer have the budget for your position"

Done.


At least in germany a nda about your pay in the emoloyment contract is non binding.


That's my standard answer when a prospective employer asks what I'm making now.


Not to be snarky or anything, but shouldn't you know what is in the NDA that you signed?


Yes, I should. It was 10 years ago, and I have no interest in discussing it with anyone, though, so in this case, it's not a big deal.


You don't see anything wrong with sharing your full address on the internet?

Without even getting out of white collar crime, knowing your name, profession, salary and address makes it easier to steal your identity.


My name is spectacularly unique, my full address is a matter of public record, I've had the same profession my entire life, and my salary is $135K/year. If someone wants to create trouble for me there's not much I can do to stop them, but they'd be unlikely to make much of a profit in the exercise, so I'm not particularly worried about it.

I generally don't bother thinking about potential bad things unknown people might do, because most bad things are done by known people and the people who know me are unlikely to have any such motivation. In the improbable event that some significant crime or terrorist act or whatever did happen to affect me, nothing I could have done in advance is likely to have made any difference, so I believe that I'm better off ignoring all such possibilities and focusing my attention toward the aspects of life where my choices are meaningful.

Other people will of course make different choices based on their different experiences and different feelings about risk exposure. This is just the way I live my life - I'm not suggesting everyone should do the same. But I'm pretty comfortable with it, personally.

In any case, I don't get your point, because I don't see why deciding to share one's salary figure should have any bearing on a decision about whether to share one's address.


Good shout. And 120k GBP sounds like a lot. Is it supposed to be USD? Or is he converting a contractor's daily rate to a perm's salary?


£120k is a hell of a lot. I've got to assume that's been translated into dollars.

Being the internet someone will tell me that "everyone in London with at least 2 years experience makes that, easy", but yeah, that number is high for a country where the Home Office considers £35k to be a fair reflection of skilled salaries.


On the subject of conversion, there are currently three jobs in central London. The salaries are 58000, 59331, and 70000. 59331 USD is 40999.97 GBP at the moment, so that's someone earning £41k who's converted properly. The others are round numbers, which suggests to me that they're in GBP and haven't been converted.

Not sure what to make of the fact that it's the two people with the highest salaries who didn't read the instructions.


It's definitely not a normal salary for a developer regardless of experience, even as a mid range manager (say managing a team of 20+) it'd probably be on the higher end.

Most likely a contractor, or adding on other considerations like stock grants; when I was at Salesforce.com they gave the stuff away like candy, so while my base salary wasn't too great the full compensation was good.


Contract rate seems likely; £500/d * 240 working days gives you £120k.


Yes, that's about right from my position of working as a contractor in London.

A fair amount of that is then paid out by the contractor's company in annual corporation tax and a little more in PAYE/NI.

As a contractor, you'd be looking to keep about 70% to 80% of what you invoice depending on how much you take in salary vs dividends.


Am I the only one that feels shaky sharing my salary? I work at a start up and if I share my position and company it won't really be anonymous, as I am the only person at the company with that position. I do agree its nice for people to post their salaries so i know if I'm underpaid. But what if I'm overpaid, or at least played more than most at my company? What will that do to people I work with who find or how much I'm paid? It makes me a little uneasy to think my friends might find out I make more than them, I don't really want to flaunt my pay. I'm not saying I am overpaid, but that is the thought that gets in my way from sharing my salary on sites like this and glassdoor. I always assumed because of this salaries on glassdoor where scewed to the lower spectrum. Am I alone in this?


Ultimately salary transparency is actually a net positive. You can easily know if you're over or under paid and all groups (gender, ethnicity, etc) can see how their pay compares to the other groups.

Yes there is a pain point that you mention when transitioning to such transparency. If the company hasn't been typically fair with salaries or not properly explaining why person X isn't getting Y then it's not going to be fun. But overall it should give you a better position to negotiate a higher salary when you're underpaid and it makes everyone well aware if discrimination is happening.

I'll tell anyone who asks. I don't publicize because most people I work with are really uncomfortable with it but personally I don't care and I think ultimately, as a society, we're going to move in that direction. It's just going to take a long time.


I disagree.

The problem here is that every company has above average performers, average performers, and below average performers. However, almost everyone thinks they are an above average performer.

Therefore, if salaries are shared, at least two thirds of your workers are liable to be pissed off at what they are making, even though the amount is completely fair based on their actual worth to the company.


> almost everyone thinks they are an above average performer.[...]Therefore, if salaries are shared, at least two thirds of your workers are liable to be pissed off at what they are making, even though the amount is completely fair based on their actual worth to the company.

This is a strawman. Where is your data to back up that "almost everyone thinks they are an above average performer"? At least anecdotally I've never run into anything close to that. Almost everyone I've ever worked with that would be considered at or below average knew very well where they were. Their managers also had the data and would sit down and discuss it with them so even if they thought they weren't they certainly knew the company felt they were.

Perhaps if you jumped into an organization where feedback wasn't given (or given honestly) and opened up salaries you could have an issue. But the majority of companies should be giving employees valid, data-backed feedback which would not make them surprised if someone better performing is making more money than them.

Buffer[0] seems to do well with it and an experiment where a Plumbing company[1] did it ended up having lots of positives out of it. Those are just two data points but it shows it's doable. If you have data that shows otherwise, especially for the numbers you made up, feel free to post it as I would be interested in it.

[0] https://open.buffer.com/transparent-salaries/ [1] http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/4422455/Pimlic...


> Where is your data to back up that "almost everyone thinks they are an above average performer?

It is a pretty well documented phenomena.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illusory_superiority

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect


> It is a pretty well documented phenomena.

The effect of an individual feeling above average is, yes, documented and pointed out in your links. But that has nothing to do with "almost everyone thinks they are an above average performer".

Where is the data showing "almost everyone" feels this way? Even reading the wikis you linked it's obvious people will feel this about certain topics or even just in general when comparing themselves to someone else. I didn't see any direct correlation or sources regarding how the majority of people feel, overall, against the majority of others.


Don't be afraid to read the linked articles.

> Illusory superiority has been found in individuals' comparisons of themselves with others...in working environments (for example in job performance)

> In a survey of faculty at the University of Nebraska...more than 90% rated themselves as above average.


> Don't be afraid to read the linked articles.

Oh I did. Those quotes don't actually answer my questions. It "being found" or being found in more than 90% in a single survey doesn't answer my questions at all. Looking for real studies. I looked at some studies but I couldn't find anything about this (at least not in the places I have access to).

Surveys without proper controls are almost useless. I'm certainly saying this entire thing couldn't be true in most people I just want to see data / real studies.


I didn't understand that you found the quality or scope of mentioned studies lacking.

Thanks for clarifying.


Transparency solves that problem. If below average workers moved from business to business getting paid less than their peers, how long do you think they would consider themselves better than average?


Possibly forever, and I think it's very likely they develop a chip on their shoulder because the world is not properly valuing their skills.

Never underestimate the ability of people to come up with all kinds of reasons why they are being treated unfairly.


I think that's a negative bias. The majority of people behave rationally and while they may speak negatively in public, internally they will understand the pattern.

We have a tendency to put too much value in what people say rather than how they act. I'm confident actions would reflect people understanding their value in a transparent world, even if their words did not.


I agree. Over the decades I have worked with a few below average engineers who were so deeply arrogant they simply refused to believe they weren't God's gift to engineering.

This is a small minority though.


That's a nice thought. But I think too much of our culture has been focused on assigning blame for these sort of things to the the "system".

I'm sure some would come to the conclusion you suggest, but I fear many would fall into a victim role and point fingers.


It's a net positive for some people.

You will tell your salary to anyone who asks, and I will also enjoy having that conversation with anyone for the additional data points, if nothing else. However, some people become really uncomfortable if they learn they're making less than others in similar positions. Especially if you work at an early to mid stage startup that doesn't have things like pay bands and formulaic raises.


You can just mention "A startup in XY technology located in bay area", and hopefully that would be enough to give you ambiguity.


Maybe you can add some details about what stage your company is at (seed vs Series A/B/C), instead of identifying your company?


If it weren't for status anxiety, I imagine people would prefer to have this information available (rather than assuming everyone is paid fairly).


It made me shaky if I had to share my Company's name as I am in a similar position to you where there are only 6 people at the company and I'm in a easily identifiable position there. Currently that is optional so I put as much detail as I could about my position without giving away any company details.


Just don't fill out the company name field.


Just posted this to the other discussion, but it bears just the same.

This is just going to be a collection of anecdotes from people who self-select to report because they feel good about where they're at, or because they feel righteously justified in complaining about their situation. Self-selection ruins the data. The responses have to be random to be useful. And the silly thing is that most people who are involved in this business know this.


My company had a similar spreadsheet internally that was self-selected and it was incredibly useful. I found that I had come in at the low range for my pay band and got a $10K raise in the next annual salary review.

It's anonymous. I'm not sure why you think it'd be so susceptible to bragging or complaining. A lot of people, me included, are data nerds, and will contribute to the dataset regardless of our personal situation simply because we want the data to be as accurate as possible.


Since the data was just anecdotes, how did you determine that you were at the low end, compared to what parent comment pointed out - that people self report high?


I disagree with the parent comment's assumption that such data would necessarily be inaccurate. I found it to be quite accurate. I know that I and most of my immediate peers entered our salary data into the spreadsheet, and all of us did so accurately. There were detailed instructions telling you which internal website to go to to find out your compensation information, and the instructions said which values from that to fill into the spreadsheet.


Can you share the methodology of your study where you determined the data to be accurate?


> It's anonymous. I'm not sure why you think it'd be so susceptible to bragging or complaining.

Because people are irrational by their nature, and it takes a lot of effort to eliminate such factors when you make a decision.


I've pointed out some huge issues with the anonimity of this site in another comment.

But apart from that, if a site has no privacy policy, you should have no expectation of privacy or anonimity. If they added an advertising tracking tag they could easily match the data you provide to your real name, your hobbies, your online shopping habits, your marital status...


Maybe fill it out via Tor, and fuzz the postal code.


That means you were 'bought' into thinking it was a good idea by a mere $10,000. Maybe you should have actually been paid $30k more all along - and still.


It's not actually that bad.

First, even in your version, the "feel goods" (high salaries) and the "complainers" (low salaries) would cancel each other out, and (assuming equal numbers of them) will give us a usable median value.

But in the real world is more complicated than "self-selection" in the basic mode you describe.

Who might "feel good" and who might feel "justified in complaining" will not be so much based on the salary, but more on the person and their personality (which we can assume are evenly distributed among salaries).

In other words, it won't only be actually great salaries that are reported from people "feeling good", nor only low salaries reported from people "justified in complaining". And then you'll also have people that regardless if they consider their salary high or low, they want transparency etc, and report their salaries.

The end median result, given enough samples, would be a useful, if not 100% accurate, representation of the situation.


> First, even in your version, the "feel goods" (high salaries) and the "complainers" (low salaries) would cancel each other out, and (assuming equal numbers of them) will give us a usable median value.

Why would they cancel each other out? Why would there be equal numbers?


(which we can assume are evenly distributed among salaries).

Why would you assume that? To me it seems the opposite, that they wouldn't be evenly distributed.


I mean the personalities. I don't think being a "complainer" vs a "feel gooder" personality type changes much based on salary.


Yes and no?

In areas like SFBA where the job market is liquid, people will be less likely to be stuck in a job where offer basics like salary don't match their expectations -- so they'll be more likely to weight other factors like culture and mission when considering how happy they are at their current job. In less fluid markets, people can more easily find themselves in a position where they're disappointed with salary but unable to find a better opportunity.

In those situations, you might be more likely to find people who are either satisfied or dissatisfied with culture, mission, growth etc but are also disappointed with salary.


The responses would be more useful with random / mandatory data, but this is perfectly useful. If I'm making $100K and someone in the same job role with the same qualifications/seniority is making $130K, I know that $130K is possible. I don't need to know if $130K is statistically within one standard deviation of the pay for my role; I can immediately go negotiate.


> Self-selection ruins the data.

Exactly. This is the issue that people who say "doesn't Glassdoor already do this?" minimize, and miss the point of why public salaries would be amazing in terms of improving labor markets.

I think for anyone who is big into "free markets", there is an unresolved tension between "it's better if we let things continue as they are" and "a market always operates better when it has more information". I don't understand why so many staunch advocates for free markets easily opt for the former.


> I don't understand why so many staunch advocates for free markets easily opt for the former.

It's pretty obvious to me: this information asymmetry between employers and employees benefits employers, letting them lowball some hires. More information would make hiring more fair, but also hurt the bottom line, so they don't want it.


Companies generally don't hire at all if it's going to hurt the bottom line.

There might be some exceptions around high profile positions (i.e. CEO) if there's an expectation that media attention and other factors might turn that loss into a profitable long-term investment, but it certainly isn't going to apply to your run-of-the-mill blue collar, middle manager or software developer position.


What hurts the bottom line is the company paying you the maximum that they would be willing to, rather than as minimum for which you'd still accept. Either way they come out ahead, they just come out more ahead in the latter case.


Salary.com, glassdoor and other resources are not random but they are useful.


Comparing glassdoor and jobsintech (data.jobsintech.io), glassdoor seems to be on the low end for the few companies I reviewed. Jobsintech uses h1 visa filing data.


And Green Cards :)


True. At first glance, I didn't think that part of the data was relevant to me, but I found myself digging into companies that I had experience with and their h1/green card ratios and how many h1 were in place. There are definite cultural differences between companies that seem to come through in the numbers. I did find a few that have their numbers somewhat hidden - with different company names that you wouldn't search as an outsider.

Thanks for putting that data together. It certainly was eye opening, and as a bit of a numbers junkie myself I appreciate having the raw data presented instead of just summary information. (well, sort of raw. much more raw than others I've found and not spammy at all)


Out of curiosity could you define spammy? People call Glassdoor spammy, is it because there is too much advertising or because they force user to register in order to see more data?


The advertising I don't see (adblocker), but when you do provide them information they push for more and more and constantly harass you via email. Also, they force you to register after browsing the site a few times and do the hidden content thing pretending to have more content than they do. ("Register to read the full review", then when you register and go to the review it's like 4 words long).

I understand wanting some more input and encouraging users to provide it, but they take it too far.

The way you have it set up with a pretty easy way to search the data along with some posts that highlight some interesting aspects of the data appeals to me a good deal more. I should have known by the site name, but I didn't know there was an actual job board at jobsintech.com until the 3rd or 4th time I visited.


Thanks a lot. That's good to know.

I'm actually in the process of moving the data to the main website (http://www.jobsintech.io/visas), so I'm trying to not mess it up.


I don't agree with that I don't feel like I'm underpaid or overpaid, however, I know of great unjust between gender and ethnicity and all I want is equality for all.


Hey if the creator is here -- you should write "optional" or mark which fields are compulsory ... or somehow indicate it's all optional.

I was hesitant to enter the "Employer" details because the combination of all this info would make me personally identifiable ... I abandoned the site, but then came back after thinking "maybe it's optional"

most people wouldn't come back!


thanks great feedback it has been updated.


Glassdoor already has a bigger pool of salaries and a longer history - consider contributing there.


Why, just why? Besides Glassdoor, there's now comparably.com (which I also question), plus Quora and mobile apps like Blind. Imho, Glassdoor is actually pretty accurate and you can fill in the gaps (things like vesting schedules, promotion paths, etc) through searching and asking questions on Quora.


Here's a peculiar opinion. I don't have them often, so enjoy ;)

I agree that implementing an idea that is fairly common already has a high risk of adding only marginal value. I didn't see the website yet, but I was thinking the same thing "don't we have salary sites already? Why would we need another one?"

Then I read your comment and to be honest (and peculiar): if all the value that the website was is having your comment on a HN thread, then it made my day. I never knew that Quora had salary answers. I never knew about Blind and comparably.com either.

So your comment, that's why this site should exist. It's a small reason, but a reason nonetheless. There are other reasons as well but other HNers said them already and this is the first one that popped into my mind.

To add a few myself that I just learned about:

- http://h1bdata.info/

- http://visadoor.com/


And to be honest with you, that is exactly why I made the comment, because I suspected the OP (and a large fraction of the readership) didn't know about those (or the h1b search portals).

The comments sections of HN is one of my most valuable news sources. :)


It would be a very valuable company, that could automate these kinds of insights and aggregate them for individuals.


For start up employees, what we really need is compensation tagged with company stage (seed, series A, series B, and so on). I know private entities that maintain such a database, so it's definitely doable. If AngelList added this feature, their database would be extremely useful [0].

Also it would help to ask for the date of the negotiation and allow filtering salaries by "negotiated in the last 90 days," "negotiated in the last year", etc..

In the meantime, in SF, the best thing I and my company have found is asking around our friends... not terribly scalable :/

[0] https://angel.co/salaries


That AngelList tool is great! Thanks for sharing.


> Please use US dollars, thanks! Free currency converter http://www.xe.com/

Ah, too late. And I don't think that's a good idea. Exchange rates vary. Comparing within a country/region/city makes a lot more sense than across the world. Let people input their salary in the local currency.


Agreed, I would seconded the suggestion to keep it to the currency of the country that you are from. This helps the comparison to be more realistic.

Ie, if I want to compared my salary in two months in the future to the data that is entered today, the comparison is not useful or accurate due to the moving currency exchange rate.


If I were making a good deal more than my peer what do I gain by being fair and honest. What makes it fair? Why shouldn't I make more or less by the skill of negotiation?

I've not yet read a reason for the top paid people to talk about their salary. It seems they would have more to risk than gain and it would hurt them in the next negotiation.

Not having spoken about my salary I've got no idea if I make more or less. It only matters if I am happy or not.


I don't know any general answers, but here are some scenarios:

* Your colleague who did not realise that they were being highly underpaid gets a reasonable offer from another company and leaves. They were a lynchpin in the organisation and the whole company goes under. You now earn zero salary. If they were more aware of others salaries within your company they may have renegotiated and stayed.

* After years of hidden salaries within the company, some colleagues salaries are leaked. What was previously imagined to be an equitable workplace is now exposed to be highly inequitable. This is felt to be a betrayal of trust by many and sows discontent within the company. The previously happy workplace is now a minefield of distrust and back-room back-stabbing. Now everyone is stressed. This situation would have never arisen if salaries were disclosed from the start.

* An elite of skilled negotiators emerges within the company that far out-earns the contingent of members whose domain-skills would grant them the greater reward in a meritocracy. This leads to a bozo-effect as they rise in the ranks due to greater financial freedom. Nobody can quite pinpoint where it all started going wrong. This transition would have been transparent in a disclosed-salary scenario, and would have been suppressed.

* Your conscience is plagued by guilt about the possibility that you might be robbing your equally deserving peers of their share of the pie. You don't sleep so well. If you knew that they were earning the same as you you could sleep better.

You get the idea.


Those seem reasonable. I enjoyed reading your scenarios regardless; they felt like the choose your own adventure books.


Why should someone more qualified make less just because they are a bad negotiator or just unaware of what everyone makes?

Employers typically want this information because as a whole it is in their favor, not the employees' favor to keep this information from being disclosed.

I have experience working in both the private and public sector.

Private sector salaries (USA) are typically not publicly disclosed and companies often have policies forbidding disclosure despite laws that say this is not enforceable.

Public sector typically is disclosed so anyone can just look it up.

My experience has been it is more difficult to negotiate salaries when salaries are not disclosed. In the negotiation it is very beneficial to show relative value and say, "I am more productive than 80% of the team, but getting paid at the median, so I deserve a raise." When salaries are unknown the company can more easily make claims that they just can't give you a raise because it wouldn't be fair to everyone else etc... You can always move to a different company, but if you aren't wanting to make a move that is not helpful.


You really don't want to negotiate against the other open salaries.

Know your worth; if the product you work on brings millions to the table for the company and you are the lead dev, who gives a rap if your introverted programming partner is making 100k?

Know your value. Quantify yourself. Negotiate from the value you bring. Otherwise you're leaving that analysis up to someone else and their offer certainly isn't going to favor you.


Worth is always relative. What metric shall I base it on? If I base it against the salary of all similarly experienced programmers in the world then it is lower than if I narrow it to just the United States.

If I narrow it to the United States it may be too high if I live in a smaller rural area with less jobs and am unwilling to move. Then I can narrow it down to my region, but then I may undervalue myself as I could always telecommute.

Measuring ones value is always relative and open salaries are to the benefit of the employee not the employer.


Of course it's relative, but your average Joe programmer is going to take the same strategy, so what, you're going to end up grouped into the pool of average salaries.

Super. If you're not that great of a programmer, then stop there.

But if you feel like you make a higher contribution, that the very code that you write is relied upon for generating millions of dollars, why would you frame the discussion around what Average Joe is making down the hallway? These numbers don't matter because you're not like them anyway, and it's up to you to frame your story differently.

Show them the numbers. Get the outlier deal. Then take your family on vacation to a remote island. Save extra and not work for 6 months.

Get a fucking better than average deal and don't worry about Sad Sally who can't figure out her own worth to get a descent deal.


I feel like you're approaching it from the concept that the world should be fair. I'm coming from the other angle.

What if you ask for a raise and they said something such as "we can't give you a raise because we can't afford to give everyone a raise." Seems like the knowing of salaries doesn't cure that. "We don't have anymore budget" "We don't have any room for another senior blah"


It would be great if the world was fair, but I'm a realist. You seem to mistakenly believe that an anonymous salary benefits you, if that was the case companies wouldn't go to such lengths to keep a lid on it.


I'll say I don't know if it does or doesn't but I haven't talked salary in public after being judged by it and subsequently treated differently by my 'friends'

I don't discuss numbers as a general rule


If you want to see how it works in practice, just look at a pro sports league such as MLB. Everybody's salaries are out in the open and the players use this information, with solidarity, as a key component of their collective bargaining process. Though the top players make many times the minimum salary, they still participate and work hard as union reps advocating for all players, even those making the minimum.

Now, I'm not saying this website will function anything like a union but by sharing salary information everybody can work together for greater fairness for all.


The reasons why executives of public companies make more money than before is because their compensation must be published.

So when an executive goes to another job they say "Hey, so and so makes that much money and that's what CEO is worth. Pay me more than that".

And hence we are where we are today when executives get paid a lot, given golden parachutes, etc.

I would imagine the same would go for any position of salaries are opened up.


How does this explain the government salaries? It seems they just get more cemented.


I guess the government is big enough to say take it or leave it.

I actually worked for the DoD for a few years. Myself and others left for substantially more money. In government, often your salary increase is time based. Private it's merit based. Since i left 4 years ago I've increased 50%. Roughly 80k -> 120k. If I were still there, I would not surpass 100k even if I bust my ass. Just get tiny bonuses for a job well done.

On the flip side I never worked more than 40 hours a week, got overtime if I did, great benefits. Real sick days (none of this, I'm sick so I'll work from home B.S.).


Sometimes I feel I make more than I should. But I got there by identifying a need, proving myself for long periods of time, and convincing my employer I was completely necessary for the company. And I truly believe I am. It's all a game - It's a SALE! you are selling yourself at the highest possible price


Will you always be earning more than your peers? When it times come for a promotion or job switch, how will you research your worth?


The worst kept secret is that lots of H1B application data is not private. There are many indexers. Here's one http://h1bdata.info/. And pretty much any tech company has at least a few H1Bs.


I'm getting a MySQL connection PHP exception, which includes most of the database password... You probably want to change it


The biggest problem here is that you don't specify whether "Stock Value/Bonus" is annual. It should be. Otherwise you're going to get all sorts of inconsistent results.

Signing bonus shouldn't be as prominent as it is. A lot of companies don't do it, and it doesn't factor into compensation past the first year.

How about an "Other Bonus" field? A lot of people at my company get paid on-call compensation. It ends up being pretty significant, but absent a field for it, I'd have to either include it in salary or annual bonus, neither of which quite feels right.

Oh, and some basic demographics fields that you should add that would help a lot include age and highest degree awarded (and in what field).


Needs:

1) A currency field to make this globally applicable.

2) Clarification text that salaries are gross, not net.

3) Ability to select some base benefits: health, eye, dental, travel costs, etc


401(k) matching details would be nice. My job has 50% match, no limit, so that's another free $9K per year on top of my salary, which is quite significant.

The best way to represent this field would be "How much does the company contribute per year if you max out your contribution?" And maybe also a field for number of years to vest. Fortunately my company is 0 for that.


And a search tool so that you can compare salary's in your own field.


Checked the "whois" data, the website was put together today I bet in an hour or two , and it's already on HN frontpage, well done.

What's next?


If you're a new grad a good place to look at is your school's salary survey.

For both MIT and CMU with just a BS the median starting salary is 105k (you have to be bottom half of the class to make less than that!)

https://gecd.mit.edu/sites/default/files/documents/2015-gss-...

Min: $70,000 Max: $185,000 Mean: $106,407

https://www.cmu.edu/career/salaries-and-destinations/2015-su...

Min: $30,000 Max: $150,000 Mean: $103,608


< (you have to be bottom half of the class to make less than that!)

That is a poorly worded comment. Someone can be really good but for whatever reason choose something that pays less or didn't get a great luck of the draw. To draw an absolute comparison between academic performance and salary for a whole class is laughable.


I looked at the MIT one - seems like maybe you misread it? Starting salaries for undergrads are mean and median low 80s. There is a bonus column but it says it's only a measure of the people who got bonus offers in the first place, and even then only brings things into the 90s.


You might be reading the wrong section since this is for all majors. Try searching the numbers I posted to find the line I got it from.


There seems to be some confusion between mean and median in your comment. Given salaries are highly skewed, mean should never be used in this context.


Who is getting 185k with just a BS from MIT?


I'm in New York, where the SWE landscape is a combination of traditional big tech companies and finance companies. The latter will pay you a lot, but at the cost of working you to death for it. Finance is not a good field for anyone who wants a life outside of work. The tech companies seem to do much better with work/life balance.


Search for the "2015 Bachelor’s Industry & Employer Data" to see salary range by industry. It seems like it must be from one of the companies in the "Investment Banking" section.


Let's look at what someone would believe to also believe that sharing their salary is a good idea.

1. that if enough people share their salaries, it will cause salaries to revert to the mean, increasing the equality of outcome, independent of inputs.

2. that the data will be real, and not sabotaged or cherry picked.

3. that employers are somehow obligated to pay more than people are willing to work for, presumably just as you make up the difference from shopping at whole foods by paying the ethnic grocer an extra few bucks, because justice, and they're just so grateful, amirite?

4. People with poor negotiation skills, aka those who have less to offer, will make more money.

Yay, sample bias. Now I get to know what people stupid enough to share their salaries earn, which is useless, because if I wanted cogs with minimal value add, I could offshore the work for less.

Seriously, if an HR person ever used that site as a data point for why they made a crappy offer I would say, "yes, I can see that's what you would pay someone with a misunderstanding of how the world works for this job."

Put another way, if you have any doubt about whether someone is overpaid, don't worry, they'll tell you.


“Anonymized” data really isn’t—and here’s why not http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2009/09/your-secrets-live...

So if you answer this, don't answer honestly, because your employer can probably ID you with just salary and zip.


Take aside legal aspects, why wouldn't any employee share their salary with their peers? All the secrecy just create noise, how could transparency be bad? I only see some incentive from the company's pov, you can position yourself somewhat better at bargaining salaries, when your employee has no access to the same data to debate, thus lowering costs a few percents. What am I missing?


If you on the high end of the pay scale, then sharing your information can hurt you. When it comes time to negotiate a raise, the company could be reluctant to give you a raise knowing that your peers will also expect a similar raise.

If you keep your salary a secret, when it comes time to ask for even more money, then the company could be more likely to offer it since it will not have repercussions across the whole team.

Selfish? Yeah, probably, but there you have it.

If you are on the low-end, then getting the salary information of others helps you. If you are on the high-end then it can hurt you (IMHO)--as salaries will tend to trend to the average if they are public info.


Actualy transparency acts to bid up the going rate for the job you can see that effect in how CEO pay has increased.


I read a really interesting account of how public disclosure of lawyer salaries led to a boom in the 90s.

Finance people also are very brazen about how much they're making, from accounts I've read.

Doctors too.


Volunteer's dilemma. If everyone tells (honestly), it benefits the group as a whole. If only one tells, it would be to that individual's disadvantage, since she'll be seen as violating company secrecy policy. Some companies do set wages as confidential info.


> Some companies do set wages as confidential info.

This is unlawful in many jurisdictions, including California and the United Kingdom.


Take aside legal aspects, why wouldn't any employee share their salary with their peers?

If your salary is lower than average, it may cause coworkers to at least subconsciously believe that you're a weak performer. If it's higher than average, it can cause resentment among others who think that they're as good or better than you. Plus, it opens the door to being classified as wasteful or cheap if your perceived spending patterns don't seem to match your salary.

The best way to do something like this is to anonymize individuals and publish averages.


I really don't understand this. Just in the tech industry, salaries can vary drastically worth the job title even within a company. For example, as a senior front-end developer I was able to negotiate a much higher wage than my counterparts because I had a specific skillet that they were looking for. Unless you are in a low level position, there are unlimited factors that come into play at the negotiating table with salaries. One size does not fit all. Should I not be able to negotiate a higher salary? What if I could bring something to the table that others could not? Or if I can code 10x faster than current employees? Or can think outside the box? Should a company not put me both based upon what I feel I am worth and what they feel that I am worth? ...or is this purely a Silicon Valley gender pay issue?


Ha! I've been working on something similar, but as with all of my side projects, its probably never going to get finished. Good job on getting it out there. I'm sure HN will rip it to shreds, because they are good at that, but kudos to getting something out there!


thanks!


There is already a ton of websites to check salaries. Glassdoor is the most famous one and I made http://data.jobsintech.io last year.


The one you made seems completely focused on foreign workers. What am I missing? At first glance it does not appear to be of any relevance to me.

Also, and this is a usability complaint, but when I'm searching for companies all of the search results are coming up in all lowercase. This is not a good user experience. You should style the companies using the same case that they themselves do. The use of "llc" is particularly bad, as is completely lowercasing companies whose names are acronyms, e.g. "ibm". See this list for what I mean: http://data.jobsintech.io/companies


Legal foreign workers are required by law to have the same salary than U.S. workers so it's relevant.

  >I'm searching for companies all of the search results are coming up in all lowercase. This is not a good user experience. You should style the companies using the same case that they themselves do.
The data come from government records and it's all in uppercase.


And murders are illegal by law, so they never happen. There's entire companies whose raison d'etre is to provide foreign IT labor at cheaper prices. And they aren't held accountable for it, unlike murders; those at least are generally followed up on. Here's a source: http://www.infoworld.com/article/3004501/h1b/proof-that-h-1b...

By the way, it'd be worth spending some time sanitizing your data so that it displays correctly. It sucks that the data comes in an annoying format, but it would still be way more usable if it were fixed, certainly at least the top several hundred companies. It is interesting data though -- I'm looking up some data on my previous job, and all of the foreign workers made significantly less than me. I didn't even realize that this data was available by law, so nice job on putting it online in a browsable format.


  >There's entire companies whose raison d'etre is to provide foreign IT labor at cheaper prices.
Then don't look at those companies. However for example Netflix seem they foreign employee very well.

  > And they aren't held accountable for it, unlike murders; those at least are generally followed up on.
That's not true. They are often being investigated. But you're right the should be punished a lot more.

  > By the way, it'd be worth spending some time sanitizing your data so that it displays correctly.
I'm already spending a lot of time doing it. The work is massive :)


the site does not have search so maybe you are referring to a different one?


There's a search bar in the header in the upper right corner on every single page ...


Glassdoor is so spammy


This salary-focused data collection (aside from issues with self-selecting mentioned elsewhere here) is missing a huge number of freelancers who have much more variable income from contracts and other kinds of unpredictable work. Most discussions of wages in tech ignore this rather large cohort that is difficult to count and often forgotten.


https://twitter.com/talkpay_anon provides similar information in tweet form. People can post anonymously to this account through http://talkpaybot.com/.

Disclaimer: A friend and I made this.


pretty sure that if i put my job title, and years of XP there would be ZERO question as to WHO at my company was making that amount. hell, if i just put my job title...

The thinking here is really shortsighted. It only works at companies where there are LOTS of people and lots of people with the same title.

Not only would it make for uncomfortable conversations at work, it would likely get me in trouble with my employers. I can't believe you're actually putting the company names out for people to read when you have SO little data. there is NO practical level of anonymity here. Lot's of folks can (and probably will) get in trouble.


Cool to have another one in case glassdoor disappears or something.. Is the benefit here that this would show a list of salaries whereas glassdoor shows averages?

I haven't used glassdoor in awhile but I sort of recall that it checks your domain. Does this do that too?


What do you mean by "it checks your domain"? Does it change information displayed based on where you connect from?


Sorry, email domain. If I work at Bugaboo then verify my email is rob@bugaboo.com before allowing me to submit a salary for Bugaboo


Thanks for clarification. That's going to filter out lots of people who don't want to share their identity, unfortunately.


Cool site, I added info. It doesn't display as you probably intend it on high res screens though: http://i.imgur.com/2NZZoln.jpg


The assumption here is that salary is set by forces beyond the employee's control, and it's either fair or unfair. I would argue that everyone's salary is fair, b/c it's set at what the employee negotiated for. If you accepted a salary offer as-is, then that's what you get. If you feel your salary is unfair, then contact your boss and negotiate for more. I won't get into all the tactics of negotiation, but it works the same for salary as for a used car. It will help to have as much leverage as you can get, for example an open job offer at the salary you want.


How do they ensure that their submitters are being honest?


Just like with Glassdoor you're not going to be able to verify. Ideally most people will be truthful and the fakes will be minimal but all it takes is a single 4chan "raid" on a new site to populate it with tons of bullshit making it useless.

Now the site could at least verify email addresses before showing them to ensure it's not a bot and make people less likely to make up random crap. But that's still not verifying the input.


Actually did you see the link on HN the other day? From somewhere like the Atlantic or something, which had the story about the attack on the UCSD team's effort to crowdsource-solve a DARPA challenge? Like the whole time they thought it was a sprawling 4chan raid, but it turned out to just be this one dude and his other friend that happened to be around that day. Proof positive that it only takes one determined attacker to undermine an enormous crowdsourced effort.


No I hadn't seen that but it sounds unfortunate =/


How could you possibly do this without requiring documents that no one is ever going to give out?


Sad you're not using Hugo to power the engine room blog :(


Mandatory postal code makes me sad.


yikes... I make too little. :-/ I graduated from an ivy almost 15 years ago...


I don't understand why this matters. I can see why someone graduating just now from an Ivy should demand a better salary, but 15 years ago ... ? Not criticizing, I'm just curious as a foreigner. The US university system kind of remind you of the Indian caste system.


let salary = "$" + Number.MAX_SAFE_INTEGER


As a transgender person, I won't fill it out unless I have the option to opt out of gender identification or select "other" for gender. I'm not alone.

http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/transgender.aspx

http://associationdatabase.com/aws/NCDA/pt/sd/news_article/1...

http://www.autostraddle.com/facebook-wants-you-to-do-you-add...


There are MILLIONS of forms like that all over the internet.

Is that really the first criticism that comes to mind when discussing this very specific endeavor?

Heck, I'm a male, but often put female in forms, just to not give marketeers my info...


> Is that really the first criticism that comes to mind when discussing this very specific endeavor?

This is how Show HN works. Someone makes a thing -- a form to collect data. Someone else finds that it's missing options they would find useful, so they offer a suggestion with supporting links to explain why the missing stuff would be useful. Now the form can be improved. High fives all around.

> There are MILLIONS of forms like that all over the internet.

There are millions of everything on the internet. But it's hard to find successful sites with mandatory gender fields and only two options, because that alienates users for no reason, and alienating users for no reason isn't what successful sites do.

Think about it this way: you might choose "female" sometimes to mess with marketers, but "male" is still an option. If you were filling out a form and the only options were "female over 35" and "female under 35," do you think that might tend to discourage male responses?


But you want to lie about your identity on purpose; this person wants to get identified but cannot.


It's a useful criticism.

In the UK current best practice (although it's still changing) would be to have two questions: one asking about gender identity and another asking about gender reassignment.

Someone born as male who identifies as female should need to tick "other", they should be able to tick "female".


> identifies as female

As a point of clarification, this should be "identifies as a woman". Sex (male/female) is a physical characteristic, gender (man/woman) is a social construct.

More info from transman's first link:

> Sex is assigned at birth, refers to one’s biological status as either male or female, and is associated primarily with physical attributes such as chromosomes, hormone prevalence, and external and internal anatomy. Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for boys and men or girls and women. These influence the ways that people act, interact, and feel about themselves. While aspects of biological sex are similar across different cultures, aspects of gender may differ.


EDIT: The text you quote does not say that man / woman and male / female have different uses. There's nothing to say that male / female only refer to sex not gender.

If what you said is true (and it isn't) people would only need two questions on forms:

"Are you male or female?"

"Are you a man or a woman?"

This would make no sense and so we can safely ignore it.


Yes, people do still conflate sex and gender terms. But language is increasingly shifting toward using male/female to describe sex and man/woman to describe gender because it results in greater clarity.

Sex and gender are separate concepts, and having separate terms for each is a net positive for the English language IMO.


Well, but they can tick "female". Right?

I do think that "none" would be a useful addition, however. Or "whatever", maybe.


Yes, in this context it's extremely important. It's well accepted there's a pay gap between males and females. However there are also discrimination and pay differences for people who associate with non-cys gender identities. If you're going to expose wage information, it's important that it's done so not only in the name of efficient markets, but also in terms of social equality.


Isn't that kind of a strawman? I mean then what about race? What about the color of your teeth?


Kinda curious whether teeth whitening does make a difference.


It would also be helpful to know the numbers by race. If eye color discrimination ever becomes a problem people are discriminated on, then that should also be included.


I definitely agree with you that surveys should always include an "other" option for gender, but I'm wondering why you don't want to fill it out otherwise? I'm guessing from your username that you're a man, so why don't you want to pick "male"?


So a lot of trans and gender-questioning people, once they get onto the "wtf is gender anyway" question, realise that while their brain likes running on testosterone or estrogen, and they might like or dislike their body in different configurations... eventually they realise that they exist outside the gender binary - they feel that they're neither entirely on one extreme of a "spectrum" of gender, nor the other.

Some people wind up being genderqueer - others genderfluid - and yet more agender. All of these people don't fit in either "male" or "female" categories, and usually tend to fill out forms as either "other" or "I don't want to tell you". It's currently at the point in my country where some banks allow the title of Mx - a title for people who don't fit into the binary.

And of course other people just really don't want to tell people their gender if they don't have to.


I feel like this is missing the point that "gender" in a questionnaire is not asking you what you think you are, but what you really are. There is a scientific definition of the word gender that is being ignored here.

And also yeah we could get rid of that kind of questions in "some" questionnaires, but for these kind of mass statistic tools this is interesting for example to see if females are paid less than males. I don't think people are interested in the .1% that is transgender as it will probably be too low to make valid statistics.


> I feel like this is missing the point that "gender" in a questionnaire is not asking you what you think you are, but what you really are.

No, in this case it's a combination of what you are (i.e. your gender identity), and what whoever decides on how much they'll pay you thinks you are, mostly. But there's all sorts of variables in there still - a single variable probably isn't wonderful. Is a trans woman usually paid more or less than a cis woman? Is a genderqueer person usually paid more or less than X, etc etc? Does their identity filter into it or only their presentation - maybe people pick up on subconscious cues?

> There is a scientific definition of the word gender that is being ignored here.

The scientific community, since they accepted the existence of transgender people, mostly uses "sex" for the biological makeup of a person - and I'll point out that even that's not entirely binary, with the generally entirely ignored group of intersex people.

> I don't think people are interested in the .1% that is transgender as it will probably be too low to make valid statistics.

This sort of assumption has the issue of othering groups of people - asserting that certain groups of people are "other". This has issues well past individual studies - it's a societal issue where we decide that certain groups of people are not worth listening to. There's a set of comics written by a queer author on the subject here: http://www.robot-hugs.com/notice/

When you're designing a form, it's not that difficult to accept options that you haven't thought of straight away - in fact, it's bad data science not to, as otherwise you get a bunch of people who either refuse to respond or box themselves in to whatever you force them to be, even when it's inaccurate, and you can't distinguish them from anyone else. After all - the question "which religion are you?", as might've been used in times past, would ignore atheists, and it'd be even worse if it only accepted the top 3-4 religions in a given country.


My point was that this "variation" is not big enough to alter the data, and can be counted as false-positives. I don't think the comparison to a religious select input without atheism is fair since atheists represent a fairly large chunk of the population.


Biological sex isn't binary either, there are far more configurations than just XX and XY.


Good point!


When you fill out gender as party of identifying yourself publicly (e.g. Facebook profile), of course it totally makes sense to have "long-tail" options so that people can fully express themselves, simply because the purpose is to be a public act of self-expression and self-identification. (So kudos to Facebook for including so many options.)

However, for surveys, especially smaller ones like this (i.e. not the US Census), I wonder if adding a third gender option adds to, or diminishes from, the final result. Clearly, the objective here is to compare male and female salaries. Reporting "other" salaries would almost certainly be statistically insignificant (and therefore simply "throwing away" the data), given traffic to the site (not in the millions) and the slim proportion of the population that self-identifies as "other".

Whenever there are two populations, there will usually be elements which don't fit perfectly into either -- male/female, straight/gay, introvert/extrovert. Even with quantitative measurements, your height, weight, and income can all vary from hour to hour, day to day, or month to month, and easily fall on one side of a threshold or another at different times.

But when you fill out any kind of survey, you just have to pick one or the other. Many surveys ask for income categories, and a freelancer just has to decide if they think they're over $60K or under, even though the answer isn't clear at all. In a health survey, whether your BMI reports you as normal weight or overweight might depend on how much water you drank today. But you've just got to pick one.

So when filling out gender on a survey, a survey that is primarily about other things (not about smaller shades of gender distinction), is it really that offensive to simply choose between whether you're closer to self-identifying to male or to female in your current workplace? And if you really feel like a 50/50 split, to pick one at random?

Or, for the purposes of estimating pay disparity, do you really feel that there is no use at all in choosing male or female? That when you were hired, you were not viewed by your hiring manager as more towards male or female, but clearly and primarily as transgender, and so your salary information is useless in estimating any male/female wage difference?


[flagged]


Why the snark? It would be trivial to add another gender option to the page, and it would make the world a slightly friendlier place to a few people. Must everything be an argument?


I agree. I self-identify as black and refuse to fill out forms that force me to select my ethnicity.


Since when do you register your gender with the TSA?

Whenever I fly, I just walk through the checkpoint and move on to my flight.


When you purchase your ticket, they ask for your name, date of birth and gender.


Why is gender included to begin with? It just adds extra, unneeded noise to the data.


It lets you look at things like "are women being paid less than men" and see how that interacts with location, experience level, salary-vs-bonus, etc.


I would except ALL aspects of demographics would be useful here. Not just gender but ethnicity, age hell I could even see height being useful considering you hear a lot of "you have to be taller to be CEO" crap; it would be interesting if there is anything to those stereotypes.


Very US centric. No currency field? Not everyone expresses wages in amount/year. Are these amounts before tax? After tax?


>Very US centric.

Well, it WAS made from Americans, and for US use first and foremost.

>Not everyone expresses wages in amount/year.

But everyone knows how to multiply, e.g. by 12.

The currency field might be legit (through extra work for no benefit: it's easy to convert to USD, and wages aren't really comparable between countries anyway, as they depend on the cost of living and national economy).


I think most professional Salaried jobs quote salary per year.


Not so true in Europe. There are quite a significant number of countries where it is normal to specify a monthly wage rather than a yearly salary. Germany being one of them.


well a this is an English language forum and b quoteing a single year makes it easier to account for countries that have extra month payments


> a this is an English language forum

Are you saying that HN is only relevant to English speaking folks?


As well noted, Glassdoor and other places already do this. Why do software developers feel compelled to constantly "invent" things we already have plenty of. Do something unique, original, or amazing. Stop copying everyone and just putting new UIs and a few extra database fields on stuff and calling it 'innovation'. So tired of the internet and all the noise clogging it up. Once the crash happens, we will have a glut of 'developers' who will claim they are disenfranchised and out of work and blame the economy... just like the steel-mill workers of the 70s/80s. We don't need this now, and we won't need it later when your main employer stops paying you because you don't actually BUILD anything interesting.


> Why do software developers feel compelled to constantly "invent" things we already have plenty of. Do something unique, original, or amazing.

You're completely right.

I'm glad no one redid MySpace / friendster better. We have plenty of social sites!

I'm glad no one redid altavista / Yahoo search. We have too many!!!

I'm glad no one tried to make yet another email client after AOL / compuserve.

I'm glad no one else got into the space industry after Boeing / BST / ATCO / Lockheed; what a waste of time!

I'm glad no one made another laptop after the Epson / HP. So stupid!

I'm glad no one tried their hand at making a tablet; Microsoft essentially invented the category! No one could have done better! No one!

I'm glad no one reinvented the smart phone / pda. Who needs anything but Windows Mobile 6 / Palm / Newton?

(I could go on for longer than the text field on HN can hold)

> Once the crash happens, we will have a glut of 'developers' who will claim they are disenfranchised and out of work

This will never happen even if there was a "crash". You forget that literally every single industry is moving to be more and more technologically controlled, automated, savy, etc; you really think that if there is a "crash" that software developers are going to just sit there out of work? It wouldn't last long...


Well... personally I have to discount your examples of hardware "innovation" since I was talking about software.

But on that note, my iPhone isn't that much better than a Palm Pilot. Let's see... notes, calendar, emails... it's all there. I even had map and nav on my Pilot back then. Granted, Apple Maps, Waze, and Google Maps are better and faster UI, but the basic functionality was there. We just keep improving speed and UI in the hardware world. Stuff like touch screens that actually work are nice - I once owned a touch screen way back in the 1980s (dating myself). Not very useful compared to an iPad.

However, is Google Search that much better than AltaVista? No.

Is Facebook better than MySpace for keeping in touch with friends? Not at all. Facebook is better at monetizing you, and the UI is a bit nicer, but come on, if you want to collate your friends into a web-based "friend's list" and post on a wall/board/timeline, it's all the same. Next FB replacement will be no better.

Email? Surely you are kidding there. There isn't a modern email client worth a penny. Web-based AOL email and Gmail are nearly identical. Some extra filters in Gmail and better UI and JS, but it's the SAME. You send email from point A to point B and people read it. Hey, even attach an image! It worked then, it works now. Same exact underlying technology.

And if anyone had to PAY for Gmail to migrate from AOL, they NEVER would have. So free/freemium has become the expected demands of consumers now (and they are in for a shock).

So, oddly, you have kind of proven my point. All developers are doing is reinventing the wheel. They have no new ideas (mostly). It's only 'hey, how can we take existing product A and make it faster, cooler, shinier?'.

However, try to rethink the whole concept of email - and there is a dozen graveyards filled with a thousand tombstones of developer projects that swore we would 'finally' eliminate email or email overload. No one has done it. Not even the mighty 'give us your personal info' Gmail. I wouldn't even be surprised to see Google shutdown (or charge for) Gmail one day. They did it with Reader and no one saw that coming either.

So, go ahead and keep using your free services that aren't making any money and expecting it all to stay the same.

I'm not questioning that developers will be unemployed in general - of course real industries (like car manufacturing, textiles, POS, etc) need good developers to build and maintain systems. But the web-based side projects (such as the one on this original post) who clog up HN with "Show HN" posts about another database online with a few extra fields and some snazzy UI (or Bootstrap 3!!) are DOA and they don't seem to get it.


glassdoor doesn't break the compensation down into RSUs/bonuses/salary. Salary isn't the only form of compensation




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