We've taken Show HN off the title now.
The data set so far is small - limited to a few countries - and we're working behind the scenes. There are also lots of known issues, and a few data issues.
I'm hoping this site will help people in tech get a better sense on tech compensation outside regions where there's better compensation transparency like the US. I started this site after I saw the impact of my article on the trimodal compensation model had , but got many questions on what companies pay "Tier 3" or "Tier 2" packages in various countries.
So, to reiterate: this is heavily WIP, we've got lots of work to do, and we're planning to add more countries, one at a time. Eventually covering all of Europe, and then beyond! One day I hope it will be ready for a proper "Show HN" submission. That day is not today :)
Also, I reached out to dang to remove it from Show HN as it’s not submitted by someone who did the project (and not ready for such a submission)
Since this is early stage here is something for your consideration: so far I'm not very keen on how many of these websites account for equity/RSU in the salary information. For example, during my first 4 years at FAANG, my salary increased 50% due to stock appreciation alone. But the I faced a cliff where my comp went down after the 4th year. How to represent this data accurately?
If I introduce my comp at hire I'll discount how much I truly earned during that period. But if I introduce my data on the 4th year that'll give a distorted view of how much engineers at that level usually make. It will also discount the fact that my salary went down afterwards.
I don't know the answer but it feels difficult to capture with a single number a compensation package with a large and very volatile component.
One useful approximation - look at the grant values of your RSU grants. That is exactly how much your employer values you and is willing to pay you. Appreciation or depreciation of that grant is beyond your direct control.
I’m voting for simplicity: capturing the number in the point of time, and also capturing whether the equity component has appreciated or depreciated.
My bet is that having the date of the submission plus data on whether this was a new offer plus the indicator of how the equity changed will give a good enough sense for the sake of using this data.
As a software engineer looking to optimize for comp (among others) I'm interested in how reproducible those numbers are. If someone got lucky and their initial grant is now worth several times more that's great for them, but doesn't tell me much about what to expect for myself. I agree that filtering by new offer works best when comparing offers.
The website was shared to me some time ago, and I have actively used the information to yield a better TC; which worked flawlessly. And I wanted to share this with the community, by using the Show HN. Apparently things don't work that way here.
Again very sorry for the wrong submission and thank you for all the work that you have done.
I was also wondering how you are planning to cover remote jobs, because it further complicates things - maybe info about average cost of living per country would be useful. Or info about taxation. Etc.
(So for example I could see that if I move to my farm in Portugal I won't need to worry about finding a remote job which only pays €2K per month, as the cost of living there is so much lower than anywhere else in Europe.)
Maybe you could have a separate country entry for remote jobs, as long as they are available within the EU... I hope I'm banging on open doors here :)
Why did Paul Graham build Hacker News rather than encourage the use of Digg? It already had submissions of similar types that Hacker News started with. I assume it was because things were missing off Digg that Hacker News built, and the two sites ended up serving different audiences in the end.
Why build something new rather than encourage using existing services?
Because many of us have this entrepreneurial sprit to build, and do it the way we think is a good approach, filling in for gaps on the market. Time and people then decides if it was worth it.
The most obvious answer: TechPays caters for countries not present on eg levels.fyi - see how there are no data points for eg Estonia, Hungary, Belgium etc.
Then, this site is built with an anonymous-first mindset and offers additional context on data points - like whether or not equity is liquid - which I’ve not seen before, and has localization like being able to search for The Randstad in the Netherlands.
While there is data on levels.fyi, I expect this site to get significantly more data for European countries as it’s the main focus of it. Eg it already the has the most data for the Netherlands across any data source online - more than 2,000 entries -, and I have not promoted the site, this came from running in stealth. Same with eg Hungary which just launched but it’s hard to fine any data on this country - and impossible to submit data on most similar sites for it.
> The most obvious answer: TechPays caters for countries not present on eg levels.fyi - see how there are no data points for eg Estonia, Hungary, Belgium etc.
All three of those countries have submissions on levels.fyi.
 Estonia: https://www.levels.fyi/comp.html?track=Software%20Engineer&c...
: Hungary: https://www.levels.fyi/comp.html?track=Software%20Engineer&c...
: Belgium: https://www.levels.fyi/comp.html?track=Software%20Engineer&c...
The point stands that I’m building an Europe-focused site, being a former hiring manager based here. Eg in Hungary, the compensation data is in HUF for most companies with local contracts. On TechPays, this information is in HUF. On levels, it seems to be in USD.
It’s a different site. I’m building it because I’d like to have something with more details on this market and because it’s a very fun side project and an excuse to keep coding.
Today it’s not so clear to me that/why it’s valuable to yc but I’m glad they find the site and its moderation.
Edited out: Levels is just full of dark patterns.
People are heated about how they add the same value whether in SF or Kentucky, but forget there are people even more valuable than them getting paid significantly less.
If you are fighting against location based pay, you should be asking your employer to pay all employees on similar teams worldwide the same
Highly paid Bay Area developer moves to elsewhere in the US and complains that they got a pay cut.
Developer in low cost US city agrees and says they should be paid Bay Area salaries as well.
Canadian developer points out that they get paid lower than anyone in the US despite having very high costs of living.
Someone else says think of how much the developers in India are getting paid for doing the exact same work.
Developers in India go - we are very happy with our salaries, leave us out of this please.
I don't understand why this could be. Speaking up publicly is definitely a cultural no no in india. so maybe that's why?
If their salary were raised to SV levels, sure, they might go from "well-off" to "fabulously wealthy" - but they might also get replaced with Western or Eastern European engineers. If they're not absolutely confident of their value to the company, it's not a gamble worth taking.
Is it too hard to see why he would be satisfied with his work conditions?
I have no idea what "employees on similar teams" bring to the table. I am not going to negotiate on their behalf.
I am productive. I'll make an immediate impact on your team. I've added millions of dollars in value. I've done international product launches.
We can walk through my body of work from the past two decades in detail if you'd like.
I add the same value, independent of location.
I am not your commodity. Do not represent me. I will not represent you.
I negotiate for myself and my family.
No, you don't. I get where you are coming from but you are not just negotiating for yourself and your family, others have fractionally negotiated on your behalf in the past and have set expectations that you are going to have to meet or exceed to be able to get hired and the same goes for those that come after you.
You do not operate in some kind of idealized vacuum, you are part of a market, whether you like it or not doesn't really matter. Market transparency benefits you too.
My response to the OP is to the above.
I don't have to advocate for others. I don't even know the others capabilities, so I can't make an honest case for/against them.
I know my skills. I know my value.
Especially when you get into 20+ years of software engineering experience. It's not "you versus a bunch of others" - it's me and maybe one other candidate.
Salary ranges are huge. Exceptions are made all the time.
And when you're a contractor, the deal making is even more flexible (as is my case).
I would much rather be paid based on skill than based on location. I think people should be able to make the case that indeed they are more productive than X people from Y location. If not, by all means higher the cheaper people and see how that turns out.
For those middling developers who are adversely affected it would make sense that they focus on jobs where location is more important.
And that is how societies, especially middle class, gets decimated. Look at what happened to midwest when The Capital discovered that chinese workers are equally skilled at manufacturing stuff at a fraction of the cost.
Sometimes, you don't need skillset beyond a certain level to do a job. And I would rather have that job stay in my community to ensure its stability, rather than outsourcing it so that a few in my community get fabulously wealthy while a big chunk suffers unemployment and all that it entails.
A case could be made for maintaining an inefficient and underproductive middle class as a more efficient tax on the productive middle class (as opposed to a less efficient direct redistribution). I am of the view that the US is a net beneficiary of globalization and Americans would have to be prepared to be a lot poorer on average in order to wind it back. I’m also of the view that subsidies for unproductively is long term counter productive.
I think management often overestimates the savings of cheap labor, but instead of legislating nationalistic hiring practices, I would prefer those companies to fail and new ones with new management who can more accurately assess costs and value to replace them.
Nice theory. Though consumer surplus is not evenly distributed which creates problems.
> This is supposed to be done by using the wealth gained by being early to the middle class to reinvest in additional productivity and specialization.
Again, wealth gained goes to a different set of people than the ones who need to reinvest in additional training. Also, if you are worked until the age of 45 in a certain field, retraining and becoming expert in another field is near impossible given how much time you have to spare with other commitments in life. So again, a cute theory but fails in practice.
> I am of the view that the US is a net beneficiary of globalization
Citation needed. Maybe there are benefits in the short term but I am afraid we have destabilized our society for the long run.
> I would prefer those companies to fail and new ones with new management who can more accurately assess costs and value to replace them.
Sounds good in theory. Haven't seen it working in practice over the last 2-3 decades across the Western world.
Again, lack of wealth causes more problems across the board.
I cite myself for my opinion.
I’ve seen a lot of failed outsourcing over the last 20 years. It’s not like companies haven’t been trying and it’s not like they won’t keep trying. In any case, I’m not sure how effective spreading the wealth through labor restrictions will be if developer salaries normalize after the next recession. I think it is probably a moot point.
Look at what happened w/ workers in China and elsewhere in that same timeframe. It takes two to tango. Why don't mfg towns in China and Southeast Asia count as "strong communities" too? There are plenty of locally-bound jobs in any First-World country - most of those have well-developed service economies after all. But other stuff will just get done wherever it's most convenient.
The “cool” thing about neoliberal trade is that it drives internal inequality (usually on pre-existing race, ethnic, tribal, and other distinct subgroup lines of advantage/dusadvantage) in both the more and less developed partners in trade.
It all seemed to work fine for US business leaders until it slowly started dawning on politicians that their "free trade" schtick created a colossal national security risk in the form of enormously fragile multicontinent supply chains.
Eastern Europe is full of top devs who who work remotely for SV companies and understand US culture (New Yorkers couldn't believe I was a foreigner) and deliver value, while being paid half of what their US team members are getting and are (mostly) happy with that since 80k-150k is still way more than what local companies pay there.
& timezone and language/cultural differences too that are not immaterial.
I personally am moving from completely remote to completely remote but from somewhere else, specifically because my company pays more than the difference in CoL so it's "free" for me. From the company's point of view, I just became more expensive for no reason and at no gain to them, but that's their policy so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
IMO cultural compatibility is valuable and worth paying a premium for, both within an employer's team, between an employer and their customers or their marketers, etc.
The support culture can be vastly different between cultures, as can design sense, time prioritization, team dynamics, etc. It's hard to work effectively with someone who barely speaks your language, doesn't get your jokes, doesn't like the same food, isn't used to communicating the same way -- whether in body language or slang or powerpoints, etc. (And it goes both ways -- I'm not just talking about American companies offshoring, but also Americans trying to work overseas, or people moving to/from China for opportunities, etc.)
But in an actually free market, where capital, labor, and customers are all free to pick and choose as they please, I doubt the difference would be as large as it is now, like 5x-10x difference for the same work just based on cultural compatibility. I've met plenty of foreign (to me) people who work harder and are just plain better at my job than I am, but get paid less because of the circumstances of their birth.
In a hypothetical world where people were free to work and live where they please, I don't know what an appropriate value of that "cultural fit premium" should be, maybe 20-30%? Certainly not orders of magnitude. But we don't have that hypothetical world, and our protectionist borders seem to be getting more defined by the day, not more blurred, as the West goes through a cultural backlash against globalization.
The dark side of "equal pay for equal work" is that Americans often enjoy higher pay and a higher quality of life for less work, sometimes MUCH less work, compared to their counterparts in international tech sweat-shops. We have hard-won labor protections that took decades of organizing to achieve, and even then there are horror stories of abuse and burnout.
Ideally we'd be paying all workers the highest wages and letting them move where they please, but doing so would also cause hyperinflation across the world and in turn drive down purchasing power. And cause a horrifying housing crunch in all the desirable areas of the world. The whole system is rigged such that there can ever only be a small % of comfortable people, or else it all falls apart =/
Other options are to pay the lowest common denominator (and lose all your highest paid staff), just don't outsource, or apply a cost of living adjustment, etc. None are perfect or easy solutions.
But salary transparency is a great start, especially while there are still people doing the same job in the same OFFICE, sometimes on the same team, who get paid differently. It at least gets the conversation going so we can start thinking about solutions...
A company that pays everyone the same thing is overpaying a lot of people. That’s great for those employees, but it probably means the company wasn’t able to hire as many people as it otherwise would have. Either that, or the company has become less competitive and runs the risk of failing.
It’s perfectly fair to argue that you should be paid the same as all the other employees at company X, and it might work as a negotiating tactic. But if your options are $150k at global company X where SF employees at the company are making $300k, or $75k at local company Y, what would you choose? Company X probably knows what your options are.
Is this some reference to how SWEs are overpaid on the whole? OR something else..?
But COL-adjustments are ingrained in every international company. It's just US based employees always benefited and liked it
For example, for Estonia, the highest TC is Bolt, but about 26% of the compensation is actually stock in this unlisted unicorn. Presumably that stock price is computed from the last funding round. Who knows what Bolt's valuation will be in the next round? That equity might be marked down 50% or more, and you still can't sell it until the company does an IPO one day (which would probably be many years from now when the IPO market is alive again).
I think it would be really useful to add a "Company is publicly listed" boolean column, so you'd immediately know if the equity is liquid.
Latest funding round (e.g. Series B) would also be interesting information because that helps calibrate expectations around equity and a company's staying power in general.
The private part of the shares are clearly marked as private in details, and there's an explainer eg at .
I do think it's important to include private equity in packages. My Uber stock package turned out to be worth a lot of money once the company went public. I now have friends at Databricks with massive packages - which can go up or down, and are dependent on an IPO. But this is very important information in my view.
How about promoting this flag to a column in the high-level grid display? It's pretty interesting, and would allow you to get a quick overview of the ratio of startups vs established companies. I imagine this would look rather different for Estonia vs Luxembourg, for example.
You are right about the importance of this information. But it would be even more useful if the latest funding round was included. Equity in a Series F has a very different risk/reward profile compared to equity in a seed round company.
Also, the "anonymization" of companies is so specific as to be almost useless. There's only one ride sharing company with an office in Amsterdam AFAIK, just as there are not all that many internationally operating social networks there. It would be better to just spell out the names I think.
The data is based on what the companies advertise, and the data size is of around 2000 salaries for each country:
- Switzerland: https://swissdevjobs.ch/salaries/all/all
- Germany: https://germantechjobs.de/en/salaries/all/all
- UK: https://devitjobs.uk/salaries/all/all
- Romania: https://devjob.ro/en/salaries/all/all
Important to add that we don't catch the whole spectrum of the market (missing FAANG-like and some top international startups), so basically our 90 percentile will be probably an 80 percentile if you add those.
I think it's important to also have this perspective, because not everyone has the determination & luck to go through the whole interview process at FAANG-like companies.
Interesting. The avg salary after tax in romania is 11k ron, around 2300 eur. Tax and national insurance for permanent employees in that country is around 45-50%. So the average pay is around 4400 eur. More than the german average of 45k per year before tax.
I've seen adverts for experienced developers that pay €35k. And life isn't that much cheaper in the cities here.
As a funny data point, my first salary ever as a developer in Valencia, Spain was 12k €/year (6k € part time), and I was very happy with it since it was while I was in college so it was all for fun and savings. Some day I should share my salary evolution, it's just crazy.
*I'd say on average if you exclude Madrid/Barcelona
It's really bimodal, like in OP's post. The big multinationals tend to pay decent wages and the others pay a pittance.
> The resource at “https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/3.5.1/jquery.mi... was blocked because content blocking is enabled.
And then there are cascading errors.
Wow, how the world changed from using Google's CDNs to having to host it yourself.
I just pushed a fix to move the script to the local domain. It will be live in a few minutes.
- Where the income comes from (could be many sources)
- Whether or not there were any serious deductions
At the very best, you'll get a figure with lots of variance.
Say you sell a house / apartment, and made $xxk on that one. That one will get lumped in with your regular income. Same if you sell some stock / equity.
Supply: In the EU university is easily accessible, meaning that there are thousands of universities pumping hundreds of thousands of graduates a year. Plus, now they even invented the Blue Card to make it easy for skilled second/third worlders to immigrate to the EU.
I would guess it's the same in Denmark (even if they're not quite as socialist); Perhaps Finland.
But the majority of tech in Europe is: Dublin, Berlin and Amsterdam.
AFAIK none of those have host countries which publicly disclose tax information;
And Zurich and London (non-EU).
Zurich IME is more in line with Californian salaries though.
Rent is usually the biggest part of expenses and the prices are crazier in the SV than in Zurich (the city).
Maybe you were not referring to the SV, but then you have places 30min away (by train) from Zurich that are also way cheaper.
Sweden & Denmark absolutely live that vision.
People get confused because they've conflated socialism and communism, where communism is a means of controlling and distributing the means of production across the people; an economic model that differs from socialism which puts the needs of the people in control of the state; but allows innovation outside of that.
Some people also get confused because they believe that anything involving a private market means Capitalism; that's not true, capitalism is a specific system where, by definition, the wealth has similar rights to the labour in how it gets paid. Some people think this is why capitalism is innovative, because it incentivises "old money" capital to invest, but it favours rewarding people who already have money, which is at odds with the Swedish model.
I think you're right that Denmark is not materially less socialist, in fact you could argue that Sweden is the less socialist one as they've been selling off their healthcare systems to private healthcare for a while now.. Which has resulted in a pretty bad healthcare system honestly.
Varies state to state, in some countries there is "mandatory health insurance" which is subsidised, NHS is free at point of sale in the UK.
Education is also dubious, as in some of Europe there's subsidies for childcare under school age, but it's nearly universal to have free healthcare for standard ages (school years 0 - 11); and very few countries offer higher education (university) for free (and even fewer pay you) -- Sweden/Denmark do all of that.
When it comes to income support, if you lose your job then you're really taken care of, it's not really as binary as "do they offer support", in Sweden you can have 80% of your pay for the first year in most cases, only 20% of that is paid by your employer; which is a bit unprecedented in Europe.
2) Sweden has the number 8 highest income tax
Such things are not so easy to quantify, Sweden has 2 tax rates;
a) Municipal tax rate, (usually around 32%~)
b) Federal tax rate (20%)
Municipal tax applies to everything you earn, Federal tax only applies to everything after 45,000 SEK (4.500 EUR/mo); that's for income tax, there's also social contribution tax that your employer pays (19-30% depending on how they operate in the country) and the highest VAT in Europe.
You'd have to try to understand how that applies for you. My salary is higher than average but not absurdly high and I'd earn more money in my pocket in every single other country in Europe, I think that's because there's an "absurdly high earner" tax in most countries and a lot of those comparisons take "maximum effective tax" as their only reporting metric, UK has 4 tax bands for example, one of which only kicks in at 150.000gbp p/a; which is 4x the national average and the tax rate then is still lower than Swedens.
So it being "8th highest" is dubious. I'd be interested to see the citation; though I would agree that websites are not doing a real analysis about what they're saying and just stating an "effective top tax"
3) Private healthcare works for me
Private healthcare through my insurance is actually great, but nothing is better than a fully working properly socialised healthcare service; they have tremendous buying power, even operate their own supply chains and can provide services which don't just bring them profit.
My childhood in the UK without the NHS would have been positively miserable, it's hard to imagine how it was because of what it has become now though.
My source for the tax income: https://taxfoundation.org/top-personal-income-tax-rates-euro... note, it's the marginal tax rate, ie, what a person with a top salary would pay.
Also, remember the ISK accounts. By paying 0.375% on your account assets annually, you don't pay any capital gains tax. This is imo a big enabler for the "common person" to build up capital.
It's also completely wrong about Denmark, where the top tax rate is actually capped at 52.07%
> Altogether, the marginal tax rate cannot exceed 52.07%
This is incorrect. Socialism is workers owning the means of production. Communism is a post-capitalist classless stateless society. When people say socialist in terms of the Nordic countries, it is more about social democracy than workers owning the means of production.
Even in Marxist theory, which is the point of reference to communism, Karl Marx States: ‘socialism is the first stage of the worldwide transition to communism’
Ergo it is not communism in of itself.
I'll leave this little prose from the bottom of the dictionary definition for socialism:
> The term ‘socialism’ has been used to describe positions as far apart as anarchism, Soviet state Communism, and social democracy; however, it necessarily implies an opposition to the untrammelled workings of the economic market. The socialist parties that have arisen in most European countries from the late 19th century have generally tended towards social democracy
Autocrats are pervasive and sometimes they feel inevitable, which is why it's nice when we are able to build social structures that are resistant to corruption.
Unfortunately even they are fallible.
But why did you say this in response to my comment?
I would say Sweden and Denmark are more ‘socialist leaning’ compared to other democratic republics of the world.
Government spending is spending, it can be investments, defence, police, social programs, education, pensions, etc;etc;etc;
You can infer precisely nothing from this data.
Otherwise, by stripping people from their privacy, you create basically a database of targets for thieves and other criminals.
This might be realistic for people working 100% for San Francisco companies
Also a whole bunch of other locations, which you can browse here under the International section: https://levels.fyi/locations/
You're probably thinking of after-tax salary, also known as take-home pay (5k/month in your example).
Salary is almost always discussed in pre-tax terms, because two employees with the same salary can get very different tax deductions based on their family situation etc. This website is no exception, as far as I can see.
(Of course, this makes sense when comparing within the same country. When comparing different countries, tax rates are already different before you consider discounts.)
I am not.
> Salary is almost always discussed in pre-tax terms
Better naming would be "Compensation across Europe's biggest tech hubs".
I don't agree to generalize over Europe if you cherry-pick the few specific places where the 1% of the (top paying) jobs in the continent are.
If we cherry pick, we might as well be specific. It's why we refer to SV wages and not US wages. The difference is massive.
Europe tech wages as a whole, as pretty shit overall.
Most companies are happy to pay your relocation costs and / or get you a place till you find one on your own.
You can also fly rather cheaply if you miss your family, so this reads very weird to me.
But if you have a nice life, a nice social circle of friends, ...etc, do not take all that for granted. You won't magically get all that back once you move. You probably never will to be honest. You will meet other people but building a social life from scratch in a new country is hard and you will end up with a lot of shallow relationships, or maybe nothing at all.
But it really depends on your personal situation. If you are a 20 year old nerd with barely any social life to begin with, go ahead. It might even improve your life.
I've worked at places making 150k USD where the most knowledgeable people I worked with were making 90k GBP in Europe. We lost a lot of people during the great exodus of inflation at the beginning of the "Ukraine training exercises".
Pardon ? In France the net is about 50% of the super gross paid by the company, much of it social security. And that's before you pay the bloody income tax.
They do in some cases. In France and Austria (I think Germany
and others too), the gross salary you negociate to get is actually even higher for the employer as there is a tax the employer must pay on top of that to cover his side of the social contributions. I wish this would be more transparent.
What you said applies to places like Denmark, Switzerland, where the employer has to pay no extra taxes.
 : https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F1419
 : https://www.insee.fr/fr/statistiques/serie/010752333
 : https://www.insee.fr/fr/statistiques/6436313#titre-bloc-9
If you look at income tax in high income tax states the income tax looks similar, so its the payroll taxes and VAT that really is the difference between France and US.
You'll hear "I win 100k a year", not "I win 181k a year". During hiring, you negotiate on the 100k number. Your contract mention this number. In the end, if there is a tax raise on the company part, they have to maintain your salary to the same level, even if it ends up costing them more than before.
That'd be also why US salaries seem so high from the outside, but are less impressive once your factor this in.
Sadly, US salaries don’t just seem much higher than Europe: they are much higher. Take home pay after all taxes for a senior engineer at a large public tech company can commonly be $250k+ per year, in addition to benefits like health insurance and 6+ weeks off once vacation and holidays are taken into account.
Income tax in France is progressive. You slice your income in brackets, and for each there's a tax rate. Your average tax rate is the average of your brackets.
The highest bracket in France is 45% for income above 160k, so for your total income tax rate to be about 40%, it would mean that you make an absolute shitload of money.
Income tax brackets, French, but the table is clear enough: https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F1419
Employees also have their own national insurance contribution which is deducted along with income tax.