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(IT World)   You may want to sit down for this: Google engineers make a lot of money   (itworld.com) divider line 30
    More: Interesting, Google, Google engineers, google engineer, Glassdoor, software engineers, engineers  
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2865 clicks; posted to Geek » on 14 Jan 2014 at 9:46 AM (32 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



30 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-01-14 09:51:49 AM
That's nothin'...  You wouldn't believe the amount of money I make in a game of Monopoly.
 
2014-01-14 10:08:26 AM
The disparity in skilled labor beyond the first standard deviation is as vast as the goddamn NFL.  Yes, there are engineers that are literally worth millions of dollars a year because they'll make shiat that generates ten times that in revenue.  You can hire an army of mediocre engineers for the same money and you won't get the same result, because this is very much like signing an army of league-minimum receivers to replace Calvin Johnson.  They may cost the same money or even far less, but in a competitive world none of them, nor a collection of them, can replicate what the one HoF guy can do.  So good luck offering that million-dollar engineer a position like $30k/year for 80-hour weeks.

That's why I laugh bitterly when business mags vomit article after article to convince HR departments to commoditize skilled talent.  It really reads like, "Well, we can't afford the good players because they're too expensive, so we're going to offer league-minimum to a bunch of undrafted free agents and that should get us into the Super Bowl."
 
2014-01-14 10:14:01 AM
Average Total Compensation: $144,652 (ranging from $78K to $550K)

Average Salary: $118,958 (ranging from $78K to $215K)

Average Cash Bonus: $20,946 (ranging from $20 to $100K)

Average Stock Bonus: $30,933 (ranging from $125 to $200K)


Pretty sure Total Compensation means salary plus bonus plus stock.

$78K is about equal to $78K plus $20 plus $125.

$550K is about equal to $215K plus $100K plus $200K.

Assuming these numbers are accurate and representative of Google engineers in general (a leap of faith, for sure, but it's the best data I could find), your average lower-level software engineer there makes $145K per year, including stocks and bonuses. The high end was a $550K salary, $100K in cash bonus and $200K in stocks, so about $850K per year.

Something tells me that Phil Johnson isn't going to be a candidate for one of those higher-end Google salaries.
 
2014-01-14 10:23:40 AM

dragonchild: You can hire an army of mediocre engineers for the same money and you won't get the same result, because this is very much like signing an army of league-minimum receivers to replace Calvin Johnson.  They may cost the same money or even far less, but in a competitive world none of them, nor a collection of them, can replicate what the one HoF guy can do.


Busted analogy. If receivers scaled like software developers, and your best one was Calvin Johnson, yeah, he'd run the 40 in 4.32 -- but most of your other players would run it in somewhere between 20 seconds and 5 minutes, and about half of them would always need multiple visits from the coach to make sure they're running in the right direction.

Oh, and there would be a good chance that at least one of the folks watching the game could run the 40 in 0.5 seconds flat.

The difference between a super-developer and a regular developer isn't like the difference between a HoFer and a working-class player. It's more like the difference between a HoFer and one of the couch potatoes watching the game. Actually, it's more like the difference between a HoFer and a turtle.
 
2014-01-14 10:23:42 AM
"with only 90% of such developers making more than $139,000 in salary."

Huh?
 
2014-01-14 10:27:32 AM

Target Builder: "with only 90% of such developers making more than $139,000 in salary."

Huh?


He meant 10%.
 
2014-01-14 10:27:37 AM

Target Builder: "with only 90% of such developers making more than $139,000 in salary."

Huh?


Yeah, that, too. Second-string blogger?
 
2014-01-14 10:49:44 AM

jfarkinB: dragonchild: You can hire an army of mediocre engineers for the same money and you won't get the same result, because this is very much like signing an army of league-minimum receivers to replace Calvin Johnson.  They may cost the same money or even far less, but in a competitive world none of them, nor a collection of them, can replicate what the one HoF guy can do.

Busted analogy. If receivers scaled like software developers, and your best one was Calvin Johnson, yeah, he'd run the 40 in 4.32 -- but most of your other players would run it in somewhere between 20 seconds and 5 minutes, and about half of them would always need multiple visits from the coach to make sure they're running in the right direction.

Oh, and there would be a good chance that at least one of the folks watching the game could run the 40 in 0.5 seconds flat.

The difference between a super-developer and a regular developer isn't like the difference between a HoFer and a working-class player. It's more like the difference between a HoFer and one of the couch potatoes watching the game. Actually, it's more like the difference between a HoFer and a turtle.


Oh so very much this!!! That's why I'm terrified when I hear things like "everyone needs to learn how to code". More money has been wasted, more contracts have been lost, and more hours have been worked fixing stupid mistakes because of the fact that a bunch of useless idiots got it into their heads that going into "programming" would be a good idea.
 
2014-01-14 10:50:34 AM
I know a Google engineer, and although I don't know how much money he makes, he does get to go to a lot of fun parties.
 
2014-01-14 10:54:58 AM

baconbeard: jfarkinB: dragonchild: You can hire an army of mediocre engineers for the same money and you won't get the same result, because this is very much like signing an army of league-minimum receivers to replace Calvin Johnson.  They may cost the same money or even far less, but in a competitive world none of them, nor a collection of them, can replicate what the one HoF guy can do.

Busted analogy. If receivers scaled like software developers, and your best one was Calvin Johnson, yeah, he'd run the 40 in 4.32 -- but most of your other players would run it in somewhere between 20 seconds and 5 minutes, and about half of them would always need multiple visits from the coach to make sure they're running in the right direction.

Oh, and there would be a good chance that at least one of the folks watching the game could run the 40 in 0.5 seconds flat.

The difference between a super-developer and a regular developer isn't like the difference between a HoFer and a working-class player. It's more like the difference between a HoFer and one of the couch potatoes watching the game. Actually, it's more like the difference between a HoFer and a turtle.

Oh so very much this!!! That's why I'm terrified when I hear things like "everyone needs to learn how to code". More money has been wasted, more contracts have been lost, and more hours have been worked fixing stupid mistakes because of the fact that a bunch of useless idiots got it into their heads that going into "programming" would be a good idea.


This. If you don't have the mind for it, don't code. You are just hurting everybody
 
2014-01-14 11:02:51 AM

machoprogrammer: baconbeard: jfarkinB: dragonchild: You can hire an army of mediocre engineers for the same money and you won't get the same result, because this is very much like signing an army of league-minimum receivers to replace Calvin Johnson.  They may cost the same money or even far less, but in a competitive world none of them, nor a collection of them, can replicate what the one HoF guy can do.

Busted analogy. If receivers scaled like software developers, and your best one was Calvin Johnson, yeah, he'd run the 40 in 4.32 -- but most of your other players would run it in somewhere between 20 seconds and 5 minutes, and about half of them would always need multiple visits from the coach to make sure they're running in the right direction.

Oh, and there would be a good chance that at least one of the folks watching the game could run the 40 in 0.5 seconds flat.

The difference between a super-developer and a regular developer isn't like the difference between a HoFer and a working-class player. It's more like the difference between a HoFer and one of the couch potatoes watching the game. Actually, it's more like the difference between a HoFer and a turtle.

Oh so very much this!!! That's why I'm terrified when I hear things like "everyone needs to learn how to code". More money has been wasted, more contracts have been lost, and more hours have been worked fixing stupid mistakes because of the fact that a bunch of useless idiots got it into their heads that going into "programming" would be a good idea.

This. If you don't have the mind for it, don't code. You are just hurting everybody


The problem is, it seems that the worse a coder is, the more they truly believe that they're some sort of 1337 haX0r.
 
2014-01-14 11:04:32 AM
I can see some of them making $3 mil when they did their IPO, but not on an ongoing basis.
 
2014-01-14 12:34:38 PM
You may want to sit down for this, but engineers in just about every field make a lot of money.

Maybe shouldn't have gotten that 4 year degree in Fine Arts.
 
2014-01-14 12:41:10 PM

solve4x: engineers in just about every field make a lot of money.


BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Oh, wait, you're serious. . . let me laugh even harder.

AAAAAHHH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!  (wheeze) HAAAAA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!  Oh, wow. . .
 
wee [TotalFark]
2014-01-14 12:56:49 PM

R.A.Danny: I can see some of them making $3 mil when they did their IPO, but not on an ongoing basis.


I got hired there in 2005.  The stock price was $216/share.  I knew Google notoriously paid actual wages below the norm for that area, and I knew that the HR person couldn't budge much on them when they made me the offer.  So I asked for more stock options.  They quadrupled them.  So even post-IPO you could make a decent chunk of change if you haggled.  No $3mil, certainly.

Pre-IPO shares were converted like 10-to-1 after IPO shares, which put them in a totally different class than us plain old regular hires. The admin clerk in the area where my first cube was was worth over a million due to her pre-IPO options, for example, and that was at the $220/share price.  Last I heard, she sold them all when they were in the $600s and retired.  She probably cleared $2mil or so after taxes.

If you hung onto the options, they're worth some money.  I have a couple friends who started there when I did who did just that and are worth quite a lot of money (both on paper and in actual dollars) these days.  Of course, that means working there for 9-ish years, which is not typically the case. (The average engineer spends 2 years at Google, or at least did so in 2008, when I helped a guy come up with those numbers.)  It also means hanging onto stock options, which is a temptation not many can resist.

From what I hear now, they've had to re-jigger how they do options in order for options to be the kind of thing that would retain an employee.  But back in the day when it was going up twenty or a hundred bucks a share per day, no such jiggering was needed.  The heyday is over, though.
 
2014-01-14 01:02:58 PM
Maybe he's the guy who runs the Superman 3 code there, so yeah.

Then again I'd rather be middling poor and work a normal 37.5 hour week.
 
2014-01-14 01:04:39 PM
When I interviewed there I think the going rate was about 130k/year. I wouldn't be shocked if there were engineers there making millions, the guys who conceive and implement things like the adwords algorithms are worth every one of those pennies. At the end of the day it would have been a considerable effective paycut for me ( cost of living blah blah ) and uprooting the family to CA was pretty much a non-starter anyway however the interview process was pretty cool and I really liked the people i met. I were single and younger it would have been an opportunity of a life time.
 
2014-01-14 01:07:04 PM

wee: From what I hear now, they've had to re-jigger how they do options in order for options to be the kind of thing that would retain an employee.  But back in the day when it was going up twenty or a hundred bucks a share per day, no such jiggering was needed.  The heyday is over, though.


I have a cousin that has a similar story, he actually started at a time where people had to work partially for promises. It paid off very well for him.
 
2014-01-14 01:28:31 PM
Well, of course they do.

Why sell your soul to Satan on the cheap?
 
2014-01-14 01:34:31 PM
No doubt, Google engineers are awesome at what they do and get paid very well....but, when you consider cost of living the numbers aren't so impressive.

A junior/mid level developer in a place like Fort Collins, CO (a pretty awesome place to live) can walk into a job paying 70k *without* being half as good as a Google employee.  That'll give them the spending power of someone in Silicon Valley pulling down 115-120k (http://www.areavibes.com/cost-of-living-calculator/fort+collins,+co- vs -san+francisco,+ca/).

In Chicago, IL - a decent mid-level developer would be cruising around 90k.  You'd need an equivalent salary of 125-130k in CA.

Still, I'd imagine most of the people at Google aren't there for the salary.  Plus I'd guess a year of working at Google would be equivalent to 2-3 years of generic business app crap, and having Google on the resume would open a lot of doors.
 
2014-01-14 01:53:07 PM
I use the words "earn", "pay / paid" or "are remunerated".

"Make" is what you generate in the restroom or in the chambers of congress.

/"do" is also forbidden.
 
2014-01-14 02:42:38 PM

Fark_Guy_Rob: No doubt, Google engineers are awesome at what they do and get paid very well....but, when you consider cost of living the numbers aren't so impressive.

A junior/mid level developer in a place like Fort Collins, CO (a pretty awesome place to live) can walk into a job paying 70k *without* being half as good as a Google employee.  That'll give them the spending power of someone in Silicon Valley pulling down 115-120k (http://www.areavibes.com/cost-of-living-calculator/fort+collins,+co- vs -san+francisco,+ca/).

In Chicago, IL - a decent mid-level developer would be cruising around 90k.  You'd need an equivalent salary of 125-130k in CA.

Still, I'd imagine most of the people at Google aren't there for the salary.  Plus I'd guess a year of working at Google would be equivalent to 2-3 years of generic business app crap, and having Google on the resume would open a lot of doors.


dfw has one of the best cost of living / salary ratios for software devs in the US i think. Sr. developers here can make around 95-110k fairly easily. A good team lead can bring around 125k from there you get into management where 140k is fairly feasible. I'm 37 and just interviewed for a team lead position in the 135 neighborhood but, man, it looks like a lot of work. heh i'd rather make 125k and play ping pong half the day.

but yeah, having 2 or 3 years of google on your resume means you can pretty much write your own ticket anywhere on the planet.
 
2014-01-14 02:49:14 PM

chasd00: Fark_Guy_Rob: No doubt, Google engineers are awesome at what they do and get paid very well....but, when you consider cost of living the numbers aren't so impressive.

A junior/mid level developer in a place like Fort Collins, CO (a pretty awesome place to live) can walk into a job paying 70k *without* being half as good as a Google employee.  That'll give them the spending power of someone in Silicon Valley pulling down 115-120k (http://www.areavibes.com/cost-of-living-calculator/fort+collins,+co- vs -san+francisco,+ca/).

In Chicago, IL - a decent mid-level developer would be cruising around 90k.  You'd need an equivalent salary of 125-130k in CA.

Still, I'd imagine most of the people at Google aren't there for the salary.  Plus I'd guess a year of working at Google would be equivalent to 2-3 years of generic business app crap, and having Google on the resume would open a lot of doors.

dfw has one of the best cost of living / salary ratios for software devs in the US i think. Sr. developers here can make around 95-110k fairly easily. A good team lead can bring around 125k from there you get into management where 140k is fairly feasible. I'm 37 and just interviewed for a team lead position in the 135 neighborhood but, man, it looks like a lot of work. heh i'd rather make 125k and play ping pong half the day.

but yeah, having 2 or 3 years of google on your resume means you can pretty much write your own ticket anywhere on the planet.


I've been hearing a lot of good things about Texas.  I'll be moving somewhere in the US in the next two years, but haven't decided where....but I'll have a closer look at dfw.
 
2014-01-15 12:15:18 AM

Fark_Guy_Rob: Plus I'd guess a year of working at Google would be equivalent to 2-3 years of generic business app crap, and having Google on the resume would open a lot of doors.


I'd wager that 90% of the code written at Google *is* generic business app crap.  And it's written in dogfood languages like Dart.
 
2014-01-15 03:43:25 AM
the lead DBA on my team probably makes 250k+
 
2014-01-15 08:18:54 AM
"the average salary for an application software developer was $93,000, with only 90% of such developers making more than $139,000 in salary."

Either that blogger is bad at math or the 10% are subsidizing the 90%
 
2014-01-15 08:24:21 AM

jfarkinB: Average Total Compensation: $144,652 (ranging from $78K to $550K)

Average Salary: $118,958 (ranging from $78K to $215K)

Average Cash Bonus: $20,946 (ranging from $20 to $100K)

Average Stock Bonus: $30,933 (ranging from $125 to $200K)

Pretty sure Total Compensation means salary plus bonus plus stock.

$78K is about equal to $78K plus $20 plus $125.

$550K is about equal to $215K plus $100K plus $200K.

Assuming these numbers are accurate and representative of Google engineers in general (a leap of faith, for sure, but it's the best data I could find), your average lower-level software engineer there makes $145K per year, including stocks and bonuses. The high end was a $550K salary, $100K in cash bonus and $200K in stocks, so about $850K per year.

Something tells me that Phil Johnson isn't going to be a candidate for one of those higher-end Google salaries.


Which makes me wonder, is it possible to  build a kind of sabermetrics for 'software engineers.'
 
2014-01-15 09:26:34 AM
I love the fact that I work for a startup where I perform the work of about four "normal" engineers yet I don't get sh*t for compensation. Seriously, fire those f*ckers, pay me 75% of their salary, eliminate their overhead and boom, you come out way ahead. But no. Let's keep f*cking up. Been there six years since I left grad school waiting for them to turn it around, but I have come to realize it will never happen. So hopefully I'm leaving later this year. I don't understand why it's so hard to realize that the one guy who can't walk through a f*cking building without taking a dozen questions from people who can't handle their own sh*t is worth a lot more cash than the other losers you have on the job. Can't wait to see some of these people sh*t when I bail. Oh, and now you can pay me hourly to come back and consult.
 
2014-01-15 01:46:19 PM
Ahh, the 10x developer myth.
 
2014-01-15 03:51:47 PM
Which myth is that? The tale that some developers are 10x more productive than others? Because, believe me, that's no myth. Or the tale that 10 cheap programmers can do the job of one good one? Yeah, that one's a myth.
 
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