As Alan Kay said on another thread, he and his contemporaries worked at Parc because it was “their calling” and only one wanted to make money. Nowadays the focus sadly seems to be comp first and passion second.
I think in many ways tech salaries as still depressed. We forget about the Apple / Google / Adobe / eBay / Intel salary fixing ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-Tech_Employee_Antitrust_L... ). Since SV 'set the bar' for salaries I think that deal depressed the tech compensation until today. The period when salaries were intentionally depressed (2005 to 2009) was especially important for the growth of the industry with mobile phones and cloud computing starting then.
Also, the iOS app boom is clearly over, so I wouldn't trust anyone that claims learning Swift will lead to a comfortable retirement.
That said, even for projects that you do as a calling, I still believe you should charge a lot, simply to make others and especially business types respect you.
> A side hustle can provide supplemental income while providing you security if something goes south
What kind of money-making side-hustle can layer on top of a 40-50 hr/week job and _not_ negatively impact work/life balance? Pretty unconvincing.
There is a big difference between running a side hustle to make a little money on the side and running a side hustle with the objective to eventually found the next big thing startup.
The former is pretty doable in my experience. I have three friends that run small volume productions of different speciality physical goods in their basements. From what they told me independently most work is packaging and shipping; "Once the CNC runs, it runs...". One of my friends sells art. I rent out property and there is always some work to do but overall it is pretty much doable besides a regular day job, having a family and maintaining work/life balance. I'm sure there are a ton of other examples, the only caveat here is that all that I can think of need at least a little investment.
Until you find a good situation and stick with it. A good situation shouldn't be discarded on a whim.
Edit: Furthermore, there's a well-defined career track for job hoppers, it's called being an independent contractor. You know what you're worth and you set your rate, and it's generally assumed that you know how long you're going to stay in a position when you start, and you only accept positions that are the length you want.
The article says it and I fully agree, you need to be able to verbally stand your ground when time comes to discuss your compensation.
As a CTO, I have seen first hand that overconfident amateurs can pass the external HR tests and an interview with my CEO just fine. And then I'm left dumbfounded during the technical interview because our $200k annual engineering candidate cannot explain what threads are, despite claiming 5 years of experience building multithreaded systems.
Also, I did get bitten by the American way of doing business where everything that isn't written in a contract or the companies financial books isn't worth anything. Never do gentlemen's agreements with US companies.
Oh and there's one very easy lever if companies are unwilling to pay your full price: you just work less. Offer them 20 hours a week for their suggested monthly rate and then a month in you can ask if they would like to increase your working hours. At that time, you can then say "I'm sorry I cannot work for less per hour than before"
So basically it's all negotiation. If you are truly skilled, almost nobody will offer you a fair price right away, because all of them have been burned by overconfident amateurs. But imagine how you'd feel if you notice a year in that your incompetent coworker is making twice your salary. Being paid highly will also automatically grant you decision power and respect.
So no matter what else you do, practice negotiating. It's the single most important skill, assuming that you're generally capable at your job.
And good people skills will also spill over to all other aspects of your life, like getting laid.
> Negotiate In The Beginning and Never Take A Companies’ Word As Payment
More people than you would expect need this advice.
In addition, I have to lecture people that you want to have a higher starting title because that gives you a higher top end to your salary band for raises without needing a promotion.
The ONLY point at which you have leverage over a company is before you take the job. You don't have to rake them over the coals for every single penny, but you should know what you are worth and negotiate for it.
I will also say that if you are working with a smaller company, you might want to apply some creativity to your negotiation. Maybe they can't match your salary numbers, but they could give you twice or thrice the paid vacation (that has value). Or, they may not be able to pay you a cash bonus, but maybe they can provide you with something (services, products, reimbursement for domestic help, foreign travel to conferences, etc.) because it comes from a different budgetary bucket.
But, as always, get it in writing.
This person is an entry level software engineer. There is basically no reason to think they can give any kind of insight into how promotions and raises work, since they've never been in the room making decisions about promotions and raises. The advice in this blog post boils down to "if you want a raise, 1. try to get promoted, 2. negotiate for more money, 3. try to get promoted, 4. work life balance, but then unironically 5. when you aren't at work, always be doing different work and finally 6. if this advice doesn't work for you it's your fault"
What HN needs is a downvote button for stories, because flagging is extremely misused.
Your stock may be worth a lot more if/when it is finally liquid, but it is much much more likely that it will be worthless. There are many ways that your shares can end up worthless while the founders (or more likely investors) of the company cash out millions of dollars. Be careful to avoid being dependent on that stock in how you plan your finances.
I don't know why, maybe human nature, but it seems that compensation for new hires is more competitive than internal salary increases.
That said, other compensation like stock and espp can dwarf your salary if you're at a growing company.
Not speaking about the article, just in general. Eg, there is an article about jp Morgan and climate change on the front page too
Do people actually commonly care about that these days? Good papers / leaderboard positions on shared tasks I get in data science but competitions as in Kaggle et al? My brain defaults to interpreting that as "had time to waste working for free, for whoever put up that competition". Seeing that in an application package has about as much influence for me personally as some random certification.
Also the grind is painful. You're better off minimizing your expenses (low CoL) and living on a modest wage in my opinion
But promotion, even in the very best of places, with quite good taxes, has very diminishing returns. A promotion takes new skills, more work, and let's say a 10% bump in salary (higher percentage increases seem to only happen at the low end. I got a 180% wage increase at one point but now that would be ridiculous). I mean I guess there's the executive promotion but I have no idea how people get that. These executives certainly aren't smarter or more effective than I am, so ... There comes a point, surprisingly low (let's say $200k a year), where chasing promotion is just not worth it, as a 10% before tax raise will only get you 2-3% actual more money. And generally speaking even the $350k or so I'll eventually probably get to will only get me $60k or so more income.
I get the impression the only real way up at this point is starting a company, or at least starting to work for a company I have significant ownership in. Plus I fantasize it comes with more independence (although I lead teams now for more than a decade. Any illusions of control you have as a TL or manager didn't really survive). Truth is that I'd be surprisingly strongly affected if I were to get fired, and while I've always been able to find a new higher paying job rapidly (I left a lot of jobs early in my career because I found something better. "A lot" is about 6 btw, over now 17 years, not counting effective job changes while consulting), and I hate the risk this represents. I also don't think that'll happen, but there are certainly circumstances that would cause just this.
So starting a company. Something. But how to do that?
Unless your current spending is extremely reckless, cutting expenses typically makes less of an impact than increasing income. If you currently spend 60k, you cannot cut your expenses by more than 60k, but you can definitely increase your income by more than that if you manage your career properly.
But yes, remote work can be a great way to maximize happiness and savings (if it works for you, not everyone is happy with it).