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.
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.
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.
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.
Without even getting out of white collar crime, knowing your name, profession, salary and address makes it easier to steal your identity.
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.
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.
Not sure what to make of the fact that it's the two people with the highest salaries who didn't read the instructions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 seems to do well with it and an experiment where a Plumbing company 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.
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.
> 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.
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.
Thanks for clarifying.
Never underestimate the ability of people to come up with all kinds of reasons why they are being treated unfairly.
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.
This is a small minority though.
I'm sure some would come to the conclusion you suggest, but I fear many would fall into a victim role and point fingers.
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.
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.
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.
Because people are irrational by their nature, and it takes a lot of effort to eliminate such factors when you make a decision.
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.
Why would they cancel each other out? Why would there be equal numbers?
Why would you assume that? To me it seems the opposite, that they wouldn't be evenly distributed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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 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!
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:
The comments sections of HN is one of my most valuable news sources. :)
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 :/
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.
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.
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.
* 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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"
I don't discuss numbers as a general rule
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.
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.
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.).
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).
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
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.
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!)
Min: $70,000 Max: $185,000 Mean: $106,407
Min: $30,000 Max: $150,000 Mean: $103,608
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.
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.
So if you answer this, don't answer honestly, because your employer can probably ID you with just salary and zip.
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.
Finance people also are very brazen about how much they're making, from accounts I've read.
This is unlawful in many jurisdictions, including California and the United Kingdom.
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.
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
>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.
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.
> And they aren't held accountable for it, unlike murders; those at least are generally followed up on.
> By the way, it'd be worth spending some time sanitizing your data so that it displays correctly.
Disclaimer: A friend and I made this.
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.
I haven't used glassdoor in awhile but I sort of recall that it checks your domain. Does this do that too?
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.
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...
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?
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".
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.
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.
Sex and gender are separate concepts, and having separate terms for each is a net positive for the English language IMO.
I do think that "none" would be a useful addition, however. Or "whatever", maybe.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Whenever I fly, I just walk through the checkpoint and move on to my flight.
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).
Are you saying that HN is only relevant to English speaking folks?
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...
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.