Maybe Swiss firms have a real arrogance problem (not all, but many). If it makes you feel any "better", your country of origin is not the reason (I get comments like that while living in Switerland too).
They are mostly just clueless. Large Swiss firms even more so (Swisscom being the main offender).
EDIT: To clarify, I got lowball offers with some other bullshit reason like "but it'll help bootstrap your career". As if my multiple years (15+) of career in international companies doing a good job (as developer/architect/senior) was not enough for their position, somehow.
And a warning to non-western members:
"The cost [...] has been evaluated, taking into account realistic labor prices in different countries. The total cost is X (with a western equivalent value of Y) [where Y>X]
source: LHCb calorimeters : Technical Design Report
ISBN: 9290831693 cdsweb.cern.ch/record/494264
On top of the above, the usual package for prospective employees:
Resolution of the CERN Staff Council
- the Management does not propose to align the level of basic CERN salaries with those chosen as the basis for comparison;
- in the new career system a large fraction of the staff will have their advancement prospects, and consequently the level of their pension, reduced with respect to the current MARS system;
- the overall reduction of the advancement budget will have a negative impact on the contributions to the CERN Health Insurance System (CHIS);
Pensions which will be applicable to new recruits as of 1 January 2012; the Management and CERN Council adopted without any concertation and decided in June 2011 to adopt very unfavourable mesures for new recruits.
Given that cheap and disposable trainees — PhD students and postdocs — fuel the entire scientific research enterprise, it is not surprising that few inside the system seem interested in change. A system complicit in this sort of exploitation is at best indifferent and at worst cruel.
Swiss laws and wages don't apply to CERN (workers there also don't pay taxes, or contribute to Swiss social welfare).
La Suisse pourrait contribuer à améliorer les conditions sociales des travailleurs détachés du CERN. Le Conseil fédéral est prêt à évoquer la question avec l'organisation.
It often does sucks if you work at CERN for some university, the salary then depends on their rates, and often you don't know where you will be in 2 years, but you still get UNICA + no taxes...
Then the problem is that getting a staff or permanent position is very hard, then again CERN cannot hire half the world, it's a matter of needs, From what I witnessed most people just take CERN as a stepping stone and move on, unless you're one of the lucky few to get a staff (and you're ok with gambling 5 years to get a permanent).
I think you are verifying it.
It's exactly for this reason that big corporate software is generally shite: because they try to get it at a discount by paying low wages to consultants whom they think they can afford to underpay because they live in a poor part of the world (hint: India). Then they end up with horrible messes of software that nobody wants to work with, at which point they have to pay more money anyway to convince anyone to fix the mess.
It's just people thinking they're so smart when in fact they're short-termist and dumb.
I've met a lot of very bad german developers that command a decent wage, simply because there is a scarcity of talent, and I've seen lots of eastern european guys do a fantastic job earning much less, because thats how their local market is like.
I agree that it is never a good idea to pay less than the local average, though.
you find exceptions and cost of living in different places creates some disparity but as a rule "you get what you pay for" still holds water
you assume that getting a visa is easy. Often impossible or insanely difficult.
You can in fact get a Bulgarian developer which is just as good or even better than many Western European or American developers (I have hired a few) and for a fraction of the price.
Meanwhile they may still be paid very decent amount of money that allows for them to have a standard of living exceeding the one they would have had if they had been employed in Switzerland with Swiss salary, and Swiss living cost.
You don't always get what you pay for with developers or any other services or products. Sometimes, but not always.
But don't take my word for it:
A decent full stack developer in his early 20s with no or little college education and 2-4 years of working experience is paid out 25,000 dollars yearly after all taxes and social contributions are paid.
Adjusting for living expenses that's like being paid out some $70-80,000 in the valley.
Developers here don't have debt, easily save up money, live in nice apartments, drive German luxury cars, enjoy 5-6 weeks of vacation where they travel to foreign countries. They meet in at 10 AM and leave at 6 PM sharp. We eat lunch together at restaurants every day and take plenty of breaks. From what I have experienced living 5 years here, life as a developer in Sofia (the most expensive city in Bulgaria) is more comfortable than in the Valley or New York.
Professional opportunities in the US are probably better, no doubt about that, but that's another story.
I'm in love with the entire Iberian peninsula, particularly the southernmost bits. It's poor(er), beautiful in people and in landscape, the weather is nice most of the time, and things are affordable, even by the local sheep farmers. I won't be getting rich, but I'll be living and working on my own terms. Best part is, the wife is amenable to this after the children are out on their own. My wife is in the medical field. She can likely transfer her license and skills over. Heritage-wise, she's from the area, so this is a bonus as well.
You're comparing two of the most expensive places in the world to Bulgaria, it's likely that your statement is true of many parts of the US.
But median salary in Toronto is merely around USD 50,000 before tax according to payscale: http://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Software_Developer/S...
That leaves Toronto developers with significantly less than Sofia developers when you adjust for taxes and purchasing power.
I don't want to moralise, but in this case I don't see how I can avoid the conclusion that you're basically ripping them off. So I'll just stop here 'cause I don't like to moralise- but I'll just say that I'd never work under such conditions.
Feel free to moralise but try to live up to it yourself: Don't buy anything produced in parts of the world where people make less than you. Buying employees or services or products are the same, you know.
With virtually zero percent unemployment for developers in Sofia, need for programmers everywhere in Europe, no visa-requirement preventing anyone from leaving Bulgaria, and some 10-15 percent of the population already having left, I think it's fair to assume that nobody is getting ripped off.
Your position, however is different than mine. In your case there's noone forcing you to not share a bigger part of your profits with the people you employ. The choice is all yours.
You maximise your profit. Fair enough. But that brings us back to my original comment. In a free market economy, everybody is maximising their profits. For low-wage workers that means minimising the quality of their work, and I don't see any way out of it, if you agree that everyone is a rational player.
The alternative is that you're hiring complete idiots, which also works to your detriment, considering they're expected to work with their brains.
But back to your original point, do you believe that a shirt made in England that you would pay twice the amount of money for, would be 2 times higher quality than a shirt made in Bangladesh?
So I end up paying twice for each item I buy? Nice.
>> do you believe that a shirt made in England that you would pay twice the amount of money for, would be 2 times higher quality than a shirt made in Bangladesh?
My experience is that clothes and particularly shoes that I buy which were manufactured in Europe and are noticeably more expensive than the cheaper varieties made in SE Asia, are generally better quality and tend to last longer.
Not if you believe that you underpaid for it in the first place.
>> My experience is that clothes and particularly shoes that I buy which were manufactured in Europe
I was under impression that those were not available to you from your earlier posts. In that case, you can simply choose to pay more for European clothes of higher quality, so not sure what the problem is.
If you paid people a lot more money you'd get a lot better software.
You get what you pay for alright, regardless of whether you recognise it as such or not.
This is completely wrong, but it sounds nice.
'Please consider that your local living costs are much lower than in Switzerland. We incorporate those differences in our offered rate like every other company does. Thanks for your understanding.'
So the tone was—yes—unprofessional, the attitude not. And even if this attitude is debatable, you have to allow the other party to express reasons for a lower offer in a negotiation.
This is how much I charge. Thanks for your offer, it's way below of what I think I deserve for my services. Nah, I don't need a lecture from you on why I should find this generous. Nope, I don't care why you make me such a low offer. What does it matter if I can actually find people who pay the rates I charge?
The market will balance this out. Thanks for your time, have a nice day.
> The market will balance this out.
The employer can also and usually choose between different candidates and maybe there are some or many equally skilled professionals in country x offering their work for much less (because they can because of lower living costs). So, it's reasonable to ask for a lower price in such a context. It's not about disdain.
EDIT: why the downvote?
My argument is that "offer me whatever you want; I'll accept whatever I want".
I don't need a justification or a lecture on why I should consider your offer as a generous one. That's how much you can give for my services at a certain point in time. Even if I consider your offer low, I won't find it insulting. But I will find it insulting if you think that I should accept your offer because based on your opinion this is how much I should make because of where I live.
No thank you, I'll be the judge of that.
Otherwise yes, people are allowed to express silly things and one shouldn't prevent them from doing so, especially when they show their true colors.
Looks to me like they dodged a bullet.
When you call out someone trying to lowball you and they start ranting, they're really ranting about a narcissistic injury to their self-image.
Someone who does that will be a terrible client, because they're operating from a position of contempt for the people they employ. They do not see you as an equal, but as an inferior.
If the "inferior" challenges their default entitled one-up world view by expecting to be treated like a competent and well-compensated professional, they're absolutely going to have issues with that.
The difference here was that OP had the power to say no, and wasn't trapped by obligations.
I have the impression that some commenters resent them for having that level of self-determination and make excuses for the behavior of the employer.
If you can low one employee, why not lowball them all, and and up with only lowballed employees?
EDIT: funny as it is, my rates were probably a third less than what a local consultant would have charged them.
But I agree that basing salaries on costs of living in the worker's country is wrong. Salaries should be based on what your labor is worth, not what your perceived economic need is. It's exploitative, and it's also not fair to local workers who would get priced out by foreign workers willing to settle for less.
DO you also think it is weird that people who live in incredibly expensive cities like NY or SF should get paid more money then?
If you are looking at two remote candidates offering to do the same work, the fact that one lives in India and the other in Paris should not make a difference in what you pay them (well, timezone difficulties aside). You should pay well for good work, and if it's not going to be good work you shouldn't pay at all. 'Pay well' is not relative to where a person lives, it's relative to the market value of that work.
Luckily, the software development market is global and there are some really sane people out there.
Sure, wages are lower than elsewhere (especially Switzerland), but the quality of engineers in eastern europe is very high.
Case in point: Google Switzerland employs lots of eastern europeans with Swiss-level wages. That wouldn't make any sense if the only reason was money.
EDIT: My math and electronics teachers (both women, data point) in my Swiss engineering school were Russian and Romanian. Their shared theory was that during communism teaching material was not written by teachers, but was written by topic experts (expert mathematicians were forced to write teaching books). It sucked for the experts (they were forced), but was great for students to have a book written by a master to study. Their point, not mine.
1.You can't really use ideology to fight them. If a researches comes and says that 2 + 2 = 4, even the most fervent apparatchik (Communist party member) would have had a hard time spinning it into 2 + 2 = -1. While in other fields such as sociology or history... things are a bit more malleable.
2. They're practical and quite far removed from anything that might stir up anti-establishment actions.
3. The "1984" factor: if you need highly skilled mathematicians and physicists for your weapons, you really need them. You wouldn't want to issue your army 7.5mm rounds for their 7.62mm rifles because someone was bad at engineering :)
That wouldn't make any sense if
the only reason was money.
Fewer Swiss would work for tech wages, because they can more easily get jobs in banking, finance, law, medical that pay better and/or are easier. Or hail from old money, and are artists, musicians, run galleries ... A similar phenomenon is at play in tech in the US, which is full of foreigners from EE, India etc.
They have arrangements with authorities to get work permits more easily (it made a lot of debate in the press). They "import" qualified workers, paid Swiss salaries. If price was the only matter, that wouldn't happen - Google would open a development office there instead (they have smaller ones, but the Zurich office is the largest that is not in Mountain View).
Yeah, so I assumed.
Your "very much untrue" remark is very much off the GP's point then, which was that those considering remote outsourcing to Eastern countries do that mainly for the cost reasons. Not that these countries lack the talent worth paying for when onsite.
Thanks for showing me the problem with my argument.