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Posted Monday, May 5, 2008 9:13 AM


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amysecker (5/5/2008)

Not to mention that breaking into 6 figures isn't that much any more: taxes go up, gas goes up, hopefully starting salaries for in-demand fields go up.


Maybe most of the people watching this post are rolling in it :)
However, this small survey doesn't really agree with your comment:
http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Software_Engineer_%2f_Developer_%2f_Programmer/Salary

The same site also has some Canadian salaries ... they are even further from the 6-figure salaries that amysecker finds commonplace.

Mia


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Post #495052
Posted Monday, May 5, 2008 9:16 AM


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Post #495059
Posted Monday, May 5, 2008 9:26 AM
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Joel's rant, aside from the last paragraph ranting on salary, seems to be focusing on "clouds" and synchronization. A friend of mine, a citizen of Mexico, bought an AirMac with a solid-state drive just so he could travel into the USA without fear of anything being found on his drive: he pulls everything that he needs out of .Mac and wipes the drive before crossing the border.

Myself, if I ever start traveling internationally, I'll probably clean out the things that I don't want TSA people looking at, PGP the things that I consider trade secrets, and create a mostly empty "public" login to show them that I'm a clean, upstanding, citizen. Meanwhile I plot the downfall and subjugation of the world for the Free Republic of Mars!

I am not a fan of clouds, I want to be in control of my data. I maintain backups, though I'm no longer doing off-site backups. All I need to do that is buy another 500gig external HD and have my wife drop it off at the observatory when she goes to work. I'm not terribly concerned with Yahoo and Google looking at my email accounts, because I don't do anything particularly noteworthy. That does not mean that I want my life to be an open book to be examined by the government or anyone else: anything that I want to be private I PGP and use encrypted email for with keys exchanged with a very select few.

But I'm ranting about clouds and privacy, which is not what the editorial is about.

Undeniably, Joel is right: Google & MS can afford to offer high salaries to top grads. He's also right that they have no real-world experience. Both companies have to make the appearance of hiring top talent, they have to answer to the Board of Directors which answer to the share holders. They have to try to maintain continuous growth, which is not possible in the long run, but they have to try: Wall Street will have it no other way. Both companies currently have the resources to do that, but will it last forever? I doubt it. I think Google's stock is tremendously overvalued and is going to hit a reality check speed bump in the not-too-distant future.

Google & MS can out-bid for top programmers. But there's plenty of skilled programmers still available, along with many tops who, as Our Beloved Editor and others have pointed out, don't want to move to Redmond or work for one of these companies, they have other motivations rather than just top dollar.

Joel, like many bloggers and editorial writers is frequently amusing, frequently insightful, and frequently just bloviating, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing.

(sounds to me like he got sniped at the last minute like an eBay auction when he was trying to hire someone)
Post #495077
Posted Monday, May 5, 2008 9:28 AM


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mhaskins (5/5/2008)
amysecker (5/5/2008)

Not to mention that breaking into 6 figures isn't that much any more: taxes go up, gas goes up, hopefully starting salaries for in-demand fields go up.


Maybe most of the people watching this post are rolling in it :)
However, this small survey doesn't really agree with your comment:
http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Software_Engineer_%2f_Developer_%2f_Programmer/Salary

The same site also has some Canadian salaries ... they are even further from the 6-figure salaries that amysecker finds commonplace.

Mia


If you take into account that this particular title has a specific "paygrade" in mind, no - that particular title doesn't much break into the 100's. On the other hand, you might care to check out the scale for Senior Software engineers/designers, etc.... you get a much different picture, which does break into the 100's fairly often.


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Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?
Post #495081
Posted Monday, May 5, 2008 9:31 AM


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aljtdj (5/5/2008)
Whine all he wants, and make no mistake it is whining, developing an architecture and/or tools that millions of people, other developers included, will use is far more 'heady' or significant a task than developing software for some two bit clerk to enter sales invoices more efficiently.


Which would you want to be a "Little fish in a big pool" or a "Big fish in a little pool". Being a Big fish in a little pool is just as heady and perhaps even more so than being a 'Little fish in a big pool'. After all you might actually know that "two bit clerk" and be able to hear them say the words "thank you, it works great". Having been fortunate enough to work in both situations let me say "Big fish in a little pool" is more satisfying to me and many others.


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Post #495083
Posted Monday, May 5, 2008 10:31 AM


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Matt,

Joel was originally talking about new grads coming into the market, getting hired by Microsoft or Google and making Sr. level money.

It may be possible to get hired right out of college as a Sr. Developer, but I would imagine this would be unlikely. So, the link in my previous post shows non-senior people for a comparison.

Mia


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I have come to the conclusion that the top man has one principle responsibility: to provide an atmosphere in which creative mavericks can do useful work.
-- David M. Ogilvy
Post #495114
Posted Monday, May 5, 2008 11:17 AM


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mhaskins (5/5/2008)
Matt,

Joel was originally talking about new grads coming into the market, getting hired by Microsoft or Google and making Sr. level money.

It may be possible to get hired right out of college as a Sr. Developer, but I would imagine this would be unlikely. So, the link in my previous post shows non-senior people for a comparison.

Mia


got it - didn't think we were still discussing the new grads. In that case - yes, I'd say they would be few and far between.

Still - I have to say I'm surprised that he would begrudge anyone their good fortune. Hiring the top talent has always been the purview of those with the deepest pockets, and to be honest - the types of "top talent" they're looking for wouldn't necessarily need "real-world experience": they're looking to land the next Einstein, Stradivari, etc...(someone right off the normal charts, heading for that huge next breakthrough).

The rant stinks of sours grapes IMO (something like what Wayne picked up on).


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Your lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on my part...unless you're my manager...or a director and above...or a really loud-spoken end-user..All right - what was my emergency again?
Post #495134
Posted Monday, May 5, 2008 11:53 AM
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Matt Miller (5/5/2008)Still - I have to say I'm surprised that he would begrudge anyone their good fortune. Hiring the top talent has always been the purview of those with the deepest pockets, and to be honest - the types of "top talent" they're looking for wouldn't necessarily need "real-world experience": they're looking to land the next Einstein, Stradivari, etc...(someone right off the normal charts, heading for that huge next breakthrough).

The rant stinks of sours grapes IMO (something like what Wayne picked up on).

That's what it feels like to me. The problem is, regarding the first part of Joel's rant about clouds and synchronization, is that MS and Google have to invent "the next big thing", and no one knows what will be (and if they aren't the one to invent it, then jump on that bandwagon ASAP). There may be some indications as to what it might be, but we don't know until it arrives and only then do we know if it will sink or swim.

I don't think data clouds are "it", nor do I think Amazon's "data center for anyone with $$$" is it. It's a very cool thing, and if I needed horsepower on demand, I'd certainly consider it. And if clouds are it, I won't be participating, just like I don't (and won't) have a Facebook profile or a MySpace page.

Frequently we find that the next big thing is going to be someone having a flash of inspiration and a clever implementation to make it real. And that may or may not be a top CS grad, it could just as easily be a *nix hacker mucking about with PHP open source freeware.
Post #495146
Posted Monday, May 5, 2008 12:08 PM
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I interviewed twice at Microsoft for consulting/contract positions. The interviewers were rude to the point that I told my agency never to send me there again, even if it was the only job in the world.

Money and "fame" is NOT everything.
Post #495154
Posted Monday, May 5, 2008 12:10 PM
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There is always a problem creating the "must have" product when you have no idea what that product the consumer will consider to be "must have".

What I read into Joel's rant was that no-one wanted the product the first time around and the vendor couldn't believe how stupid the consumer was, so they tried again, and again and again.....

Its a tricky one because on one hand you can ask the consumer what they would consider to be really cool. This is likely to lead to an evolutionary product.
On the other hand you think you have a "eureka" moment that has a 99% chance of falling flat on its face and a 1% chance of producing a revolutionary product.

The problem with young programmers on high salaries is that there is a price/quality perception. He/She is earning mega-bucks therefore they must be a genius. That mentality worked brilliantly in the banking sector didn't it? Lending money to people who can't pay it back is stupid? You just don't get the new paradigm!

when these megabucks programmers are hired as CTOs will they have the experience for their role?

Old age isn't synonymous with wisdom but neither is high intelligence. I've seen some very bright people do very dumb things that a less talented person would look at and say "what sort of fool would do that"!

An inexperienced guy will say "the technology is cool, I've planned it all through, the go live date is next week"!
The experienced guy will say "the technology is cool but human beings are involved so we have some issues to solve. If it goes live it will be in Q4 and the backout plan is ;x'".



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