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Random Developer and Engineering tech and tech adjacent industryThoughts

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by am55, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. am55

    am55 Distinguished Member

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    Remember Sturgeon's Law though. Even if you are paying above market rate (which for someone with a good understanding of, and capable of applying, first year undergraduate mathematics taught in a decent CS course, is perhaps $200-400k/year equivalent) web development is just a crap area to work in generally, due to the mountains of technical debt built over the years between dealing with modern browsers, adtech, "frameworks", fad "du jour" let alone the stuff baked in by the previous team. Those who are willing to cope with that stuff usually take the finance industry bribes. I interviewed an Excel add-on developer for a second rate bank who was making a base salary (i.e. cash, pre-bonus) of 600k - admittedly he had been there 10 years and his work was key to the traders productivity but still... back in the days only quants could aspire to that kind of comp.

    10 years ago you could sort of take the shortcut of using an interesting stack (which is what Paul Graham talks about in his famous "blub" essay), but the market has caught on even to that (e.g. Facebook hoovering up all the Haskell developers all the way up to Simon Marlow). We're approaching a strange singularity where Moore's Law has halted its progress whilst incidental complexity is speeding towards critical mass and important parts of the ecosystem we take for granted (like Google search, or operating systems) are starting to break apart. The flow of giant amounts of money into the space has only precipitated things by introducing dynamics that force companies to self-destruct within a couple of years (Quora is the best example I can think of).

    So today you're basically trying to snipe the guys not clued up enough yet to understand their market value... and when they realise that they could get 5x the money and everybody else (i.e. including you) knew this, loyalty is not exactly the first feeling to bubble up. Meanwhile waves of parasites, more numerous and tenacious than cockroaches, have learnt how to talk to managers and tell them what they want to hear, replacing the departing developers "with a bad attitude". By the time the company realises what happened, the deadline is 6-7x overblown and nothing has been built that works, but hey, it's just a month away...

    /rant
     

  2. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    I imagine that you must be in finance, because those compensation levels sound outsized to me in every sector except for banking, unless you are talking about fairly senior positions, and even then, it's only at enterprise companies.

    Stupid money seems to flow freely through banking though.
     

  3. steveoffice

    steveoffice Distinguished Member

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    Is this figure in usd? Ive been only working for 3 years so but this sounds similar to what I do (dev at a top tier bank working with quants on a front office software) and 600k base salary at a 2nd tier bank sounds high to me... especially considering bonus for people working on software that makes money for the bank.

    Or maybe I need to switch jobs :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019

  4. MickeyPunch

    MickeyPunch Distinguished Member

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    Software developer salaries in the US are crazy, compared to Europe. Even in London it’s pretty hard to go above £100k even with experience.

    Same goes for doctors, they are pretty well off in my country but most are hardly rich. I guess due to universal health care.
     

  5. clee1982

    clee1982 Stylish Dinosaur

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    half of the money you're paying for developer for trading desk is to deal with the disgusting system and a* hole plus infinity change of requirements..., half baked pipes everywhere (except GS so I have heard, and parts of JPM), though $600k is not what I have heard for sure, you sure he is not "quant" developer, or is that an algo desk? The quants guys always codes as well, but these days they code ever and ever more
     

  6. clee1982

    clee1982 Stylish Dinosaur

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    I think if you work for say decent algo HF as quant developer then half mil is probably right (all in, can be higher of course)
     

  7. steveoffice

    steveoffice Distinguished Member

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    Yeah quant dev at a hf that makes sense. But some excel add on at a 2nd tier bank not so sure.
     

  8. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    The money flowing through that industry sometimes sounds like funny money, and from the guys I know who work in it, it feels like funny money as well. I think that this is probably a disorienting feeling that leads sometimes to the newsworthy excesses that we read about. I've never worked in this type of environment, but I can only assume that when you see literal billions flowing in, and then out, and then in again, and then out again, day after day, just as changing numbers on a screen, that you become disconnected with reality to some degree.
     

  9. clee1982

    clee1982 Stylish Dinosaur

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    well, the most resentful guys are probably the hardware guys in Silicon Valley, do harder work (my bias as ex-EE) but get paid way less than the software guys...
     

  10. MickeyPunch

    MickeyPunch Distinguished Member

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    Re. software developers, it makes me wonder if we’re in a new bubble...
     

  11. clee1982

    clee1982 Stylish Dinosaur

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    people in finance making more money, but typically not as high as what other people think they make

    to the people who "process" it it's like counting numbers (bank teller don't feel rich by counting bill everyday, so back in the days when they actually have to count...), to the guys who are making decision, probably create unnecessary ego when they "made" it and equally s*it pants when they lose it...
     

  12. clee1982

    clee1982 Stylish Dinosaur

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    I was freshman in college in 2001, but based on stories that I heard, 2001 was more ridiculous, even by today's standard, and that was "raw" dollar, not inflation adjusted...

    not disputing there is some kind of bubble, but at least a lot tech these days has more real cashflow and based on ideas that's actually technologically executable "today"
     

  13. erictheobscure

    erictheobscure Distinguished Member

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    lol @ all the plebs who don't realize that all the money is in studying seventeenth-century english literature
     

  14. am55

    am55 Distinguished Member

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    And then you complain that your devs can't do maths and you have to write your own algos...

    Actually, I discovered those numbers whilst building a team for an online fashion company. It was a different market back then and we built a cheaper team by getting the CTO to sign off on an exotic stack, but none of the people who talked to us are now making less than 200-400k if they go to an office in the morning.

    Banks don't pay the average developer that well compared to big tech, just as with the front office stuff comp goes up once you've proven to deliver value. In one of the most famous slap-head stories, an Australian bank fired a few developers then had to spend 5 years and a billion dollars to replace their code.

    My point is that if your devs/candidates can't do maths, you should increase the $$ until you find those that do. Otherwise you're the guy complaining about his $300 "bespoke" suit. OTOH you can get away with just running standard software and hiring cheap grads/third world country devs remote to sort of keep it going. But they won't be able to do maths :p
     

  15. circumspice

    circumspice Senior Member

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    Well, I think the difference today is that there is a perception that it is the "smart money" (FAANG) driving compensation upwards.

    If there ever was a perception in the early Oughts that it was Flooz, Webvan, insert-bankrupt-by-2002-here, then the perception was tempered by a feeling that the compensation pattern could be ephemeral.

    The FAANG types are able to offer cash packages and share packages where the shares are actually worth something, versus options which may be a lottery ticket
     

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