Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Software engineers complaining about a $450k salary?
38 points by misterpoomanchu 6 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 39 comments
Is this (https://www.teamblind.com/post/Would-you-go-to-Snap-from-Google-both-in-NY-E8FK34gT) the epitome of entitlement? It's sad to see there are "engineers" out there that could complain about this.

It's important to keep in mind that the cost of living in certain cities is massively higher than others, in some cases more than 4 times higher.

It's also important to keep in mind that there are CEO's that make 275 times their average worker, some exceeding 50k per hour.

When I see a highly paid engineer salary, I consider a form of societal progress that a skilled worker can make a good living. Something that used to be reserved only for upper management.

It is an acknowledgement from society that work we do is meaningful and valuable.

> It's important to keep in mind that the cost of living in certain cities is massively higher than others, in some cases more than 4 times higher.

People don't understand this.

I live in suburbs near Portland, OR, and paid $330K for a 3 br, 2.5 bath, 1850 sq foot house near the end of 2015. Meanwhile, in Palo Alto, I've seen 1 br, 1 bath, 700 sq ft condos on sale for over $1.5M.

It's pretty ridiculous.

People overstate this.

Specifically owning a home in the bay area is insane. But outside of this one thing, COL changes don't come anywhere close to matching the increased salary. Even if you are including things like childcare.

I'd expect my salary to drop by 250k if I left the bay area. After accounting for COL differences, my savings rate would be far lower elsewhere. Even if you aren't making top of line income, people still can very easily come out ahead in the bay area. That 700 sq ft condo may sell for millions, but it is still only 2.5k/month in rent.

I think you are underestimating how quickly rents have been rising here every year. There's almost never point of rising income when all of those gains are going to rent.

I live here. My income has risen far far far faster than the rent. I'm able to save literally six figures more than I'd be able to elsewhere.

> People overstate this.

You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

The numbers you quoted are from 10+ years ago for the Bay Area.

I live in the bay area, until a few months ago, paid 2,500 for an 800 sq ft apartment in sunnyvale.

And even Portland is expensive - you can buy many homes in the suburbs near Houston for closer to $200k. If I came to work for your company, that would factor into my compensation conversations.

Yeah, I wonder how far 100K or 150K could get you in San Francisco if you're single. Got a random email from some recruiter for a startup who seen me on Github offering me to move to San Francisco - be cool to be around more like minded tech people though.

Sounds like some apartments for even just one bedroom starts at $3,500 a month where in other parts of the US that's enough for a mortgage and all the utilities with a bunch still left over, plus the high taxes, cost of food, etc...

Personally I've been wanting to get my own startup going and probably putting the HQ after funding in Austin(but costs are starting to go up too) - someone I was talking to who's also a tech person told me I should aim for Dallas instead but he's from there so maybe bias. I was thinking maybe parts of Florida or Tennessee(Where my family is originally from) would be interesting too. Which FL or TX would be a lot warmer too so that's a plus so less winter blues probably boosts productivty and morale too, but who's maybe if you get big enough get multiple offices and a private jet haha. Also not a huge fan of dressing up either, super causal or even shorts - but I know some other startups feel that way unless you are doing meetings with clients and stuff they want you to dress up a bit nicer.

265 times the average worker sounds like a bunch! Personally I think it'd be fun to reinvest mostly in the product itself, and then set apart parts of the profit for a bonus pool but then not sure how to distribute bonuses fairly, I know I seen some companies let others review each other internally with some also. Also in tech heard that even when you take off for vacation, they still bug you and expect you to be in touch which I think isn't really good either unless you are the only person who can do something but that's bad too to depend on one person.... Kinda getting ahead of myself though, got to focus on a prototype first before thinking more about that stuff though.

But I guess if you took the risks and effort to get something started, should be awarded but 265 times sounds way too high. hmm but looks like Google's CEO gets 2 million, avg engineer is about 150K maybe. Be nice to actually be able to afford to go on vacations too, I'd love to go on a cruise or to Disney World at least once or twice a year - which is more than most people... I kinda like the idea of company retreats too and also letting people off on the holidays but I guess in tech you still need people to monitor and make sure nothing breaks and some other stuff with a minimum staff.

I didn't see anyone complaining about a $450k salary - the closest thing was the guy who's L6 at Facebook and making the same as L5 at Snap while working 60h weeks.

Not sure what the problem is - people with high compensation can also discuss how much they're making and talk about their career moves. None of it comes across as entitlement.

Also didn't get why any of it would be sad to you or why you're implying that they're not real engineers by putting quotes around the word engineers.

Not sure of OP's nationality, but I vaguely remember hearing certain countries dont care for the title engineer because software engineers dont go through the sale licensing processes other engineers do, or something like that.

Nn a lot of other places (even here in Canada), "Engineer" has a specific meaning and licensing requirements, similar to Doctor and Lawyer.

Like, to be an official medical Doctor you have to graduate from an accredited program, do specific training and internships, pass the boards, etc. Likewise with Lawyers you have to come out of certified law schools, pass the bar, do articling, etc. Same deal with Engineers.

Otherwise the term starts to lose meaning, such as someone being a Sanitation Engineer (Janitor) or Food Service Engineer.

> Not sure what the problem is - people with high compensation can also discuss how much they're making and talk about their career moves. None of it comes across as entitlement.

Agreed. Plus the only way for folks on the low levels to know what they're missing out on is if the folks on the upper levels make it clear.

Read through more of the posts on this website, Teamblind, it made me physically ill thinking that people are upset or conflicted about which ship to jump to next to get the highest possible TC. In reality, if the market will bear it and pay them this much, good for them - still doesn't mean it's absurd.

> it made me physically ill thinking that people are upset or conflicted about which ship to jump to next to get the highest possible TC.

I really think that this says more about you than about the people who post there. And again, you're using the word upset but nothing in the original post indicates that anyone there is upset - it's just natural for people to look to improve their situation regardless of their current level.

Why is it sad? 450k is reaching the top of our field, but is nowhere near the top of finance, law, and business. Engineers at the top of their game should be unsatisfied with this type of compensation.

This is something that actually really bothers me. Heads of business have a near infinite wage ceiling, same with sales. I guess engineers are probably given incentive with stock, but even still they're not treated nearly as well as even lower management.

I dunno, that kinda makes sense to me if you think about the structure of a business. An elite CEO makes the most critical decisions that can be easily worth billions either positive or negative. An elite engineer makes a stellar project sure, but they work on a team etc. An elite engineer that makes elite decisions becomes an executive, and doesn't stay an engineer.

What's elite about them? There's nothing elite about them, almost anyone can do their job.

It's more a matter of connections and luck if you're a CEO.

Beware the company that has a CEO due to connections and luck. Sure, anyone can sit in the seat and cash the salary checks. Not just anyone can do a good job of actually running the company, though.

If you spend more time on blind you'll see it's kind of a thing there. Obsession around TC. Take a look at the highest salaries on 2019:


450k is not even high compared to other positions.

Yeah this is nuts, $950k for a principal engineer, hahahah what a joke

What exactly is sad about negotiating a high salary (if you can get it) from a multi-billion dollar company?

My understanding is Snap has something like a 10/20/30/40 vesting schedule, so it's a long commitment that comes with a lot of risk relative to working at a company with a 25/25/25/25 schedule, especially if you're comparing it to Google. You should be compensated for that added risk in that case.

Plus, you'll probably be working longer hours at a Snap vs a Google.

> What exactly is sad about negotiating a high salary

In reality? Nothing. People should be fighting to raise the bar for everyone, but instead there's a trend to push people who are doing well down to the lowest common denominator.

Snap is monthly vesting with no cliff.

I don't think there is any problem with someone complaining about 450K.

I think the problem is people are envy about him.

I want to be this guy with a 450K salary.

I want to complain about it. I do envy in a good way.

Doing my best to learn and be open to opportunities. Will I succeed?

It is not fair to envy or be jealous.

How much this guy had suffered to have a "tunnel" effort to reach that point? Sometimes people are successful to escape something that is always there and WE always pay a price.. Be it on relationships, health or love.

There is Always a price.

Sometimes you don't know the price sometimes you do.

It's the case with millionaires and billionaires too. There's always a price.

The price isn't really relationships, health, love. You get that quite easily with enough money. But it's often things like not being able to lie around watching Netflix all weekend. Someone like Bill Gates can't backpack all over the Europe even if they had the money to. Lots of royalty may not have to worry about food and housing, but they live in a gilded cage. Most of us can work 40 hours a week, but a president or CEO might not have the luxury to.

Not the epitome of entitlement at all.

Is Apple entitled because it makes such vast profits and wants to make more? Maybe it should reduce it's product prices and all the execs take home $100k/y so they can buy a typical house in a typical city?

Why one standard for business (make profit) and a different one for employees (be humble, be reasonable, don't get too rich)?

If you work for these big companies you are just working for a machine in many regards. There is nothing personal about it even. Even if you are working for a small company, they are not your family (unless they are, but that is rare), you don't owe them to take a smaller salary so that you aren't being too greedy. Especially when you don't get the upside they could get if they sold the business.

Entitlement is "I deserve". A job offer is "we think you deserve" in what is presumably a fair trade of income for work performed.

one of the comment is legit af..

"There’s something wrong with our society where the guy who puts mustaches on cartoon images makes half a million dollars a year, so the rest of us are glued longer in front of our little screens like zombies. God help us all and our future generations. I can’t wait for this scam/sham tech bubble to burst."

How is it any different than a sports player getting millions of fans to glue to their TV screens watching them play? How about a highly paid actor convincing billions of people to glue themselves to the silver screen?

They're all forms of widespread entertainment and are valuable enough to pay good money for.

Theres a difference. A top athlete is the highest form of human physical endurance. A top actor is the highest form of human self expression.

A top clickbait maker is really one of the highest forms of addiction producer.

Clickbait companies are really no different from porn or nicotine companies and top engineers today are producing said goods.

It depends on what they build exactly. Some things spark imagination. Some things are direct dopamine hits, no better than cocaine.

Sports and good TV are often in the former; they're addictive because they jog the mind. Even wrestling. Microtransaction games and social media often fall in the latter.

My father was a grade school janitor. He labored harder in an hour than I do in a week. Most of my extended family are educators, with the academic requirements, stress, and emotional rollercoaster that goes with it. Any of these folks deserve more than me probably, but I can string letters together to make computers do things, so apparently that's highly valuable.

As a former high school math teacher in an inner city, I absolutely worked more and longer and harder as a school teacher than I ever have in software development. I also get paid like 4x. And get more usable vacation. I was regularly 60-80 hours a week as a teacher. As a developer, I'm seldom over 40-50 hours.

And I work a full-time job as well as running a startup on the side which amounts to another near full-time job and a ton of stress, what do I deserve?

Truth is is that I deserve precisely nothing. I get what I get and not because the heavens above postulated thus but because my work had value to someone who was willing to give me money for it.

if only social service and society impact was measured for the pay, me, my other friends and may be you would have been homeless

The blind community is 200% sarcastic. Don't take anything read there seriously.

It seems that salary should be based upon more than just numbers. If an engineer is producing a value greater than a few times $450k they should be adequately compensated.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact