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The Rabbit Hole Podcast

Welcome to The Rabbit Hole, the definitive developers podcast. If you are a software developer or technology leader looking to stay on top of the latest news in the software development world, or just want to learn actionable tactics to improve your day-to-day job performance, this podcast is for you.


35. Salaries

Today on the podcast we will be talking about salaries. Ever wonder how much money you're making in comparison to other developers? Well, that is our topic for today. Joining us for the conversation is our special guest, the Talent Acquisition Partner of Stride, Hayley Ricks. On today’s episode Hayley is on as our specialist who can talk about salaries but can't really talk about salaries, and we'll get to the nooks and crannies of all of that. Stay tuned as we go over the rights you have as an employee when negotiating salary, what resources to use to find out more about your industry pay scale, as well as increasing the transparency around salaries within your workplace.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Why Stride differs to other companies when it comes to determining salaries.
  • What to prepare for regarding salary talk before entering a job interview.
  • Knowing your rights within an interview and identifying any red flags.
  • Why providing your interviewer with your expected salary can be a good thing.
  • Resources for gathering data and determining your salary range.
  • How salaries vary between different companies and different industries.
  • Recognizing when you are either over-paid or under-paid.
  • Approaching the subject of a salary raise when taking on new tasks/positions.
  • Navigating the tricky discussion around salary transparency within the workplace.
  • Avoiding the trap of looking at false comparisons of salaries.
  • And much more!

Transcript for Episode 35. Salaries

[0:00:00.4] MN: Hello and welcome to The Rabbit Hole, the definitive developer’s podcast in fantabulous Chelsea Manhattan. I’m your host, Michael Nunez. Today, my co-host.

[0:00:11.4] DA: Dave Anderson.

[00:00:12] MN: Our producer.

[00:00:12] WJ: William Jeffries.

[0:00:14.7] MN: And, today we will be talking about salaries. Ever wonder how much money you're making comparable to other developers? Today, we will be talking about that.

[00:00:17] DA: Everyday.

[00:00:22] MN: Everyday; yeah, when you wake up in the morning. Am I making enough money? Mind on my money and my money on my mind.

[00:00:27] DA & WJ: Yeah, awesome.

[00:00:30] DA: Really?

[00:00:31] MN: All the time, all the time. Before we continue we have a special guest here today, the talent acquisition partner of Stride, Hayley Ricks. Hey, Hayley how's it going?

[00:00:40] HR: Hello! Doing well, thanks for having me.

[00:00:43] MN: Awesome, we have a specialist here who can talk about salaries but can't really talk about salaries and we'll get to the nooks and crannies and all of that in a second. So; talk to us, how does the entire process go when it comes to a position at Stride -

[00:01:02] HR: Right.

[00:01:01] MN: Or anywhere given someone just came out of college or someone came out of bootcamp are those ranges differently? Like, what are some things that get put in to account when you - when you're doing your talent acquisition partner things?

[00:01:14] HR: Yeah, a lot of different things. Stride differs to other companies when it comes to how we determine salary. That's something that I like about Stride is that we have explicit ranges depending on what level you are and how much experience you have and we're really transparent about that and super straight forward which is good. When it comes to hiring someone straight out of bootcamp or college.

[00:01:42] WJ: Yeah, are those the same? Are those equivalent if you're straight out of bootcamp or your straight out of college?

[00:01:47] HR: In some ways, yes, in some ways, no?

[00:01:48] WJ: Okay.

[00:01:49] HR: It depends on who's hiring these people and what kind of experience someone straight out of bootcamp had before going through the bootcamp. Like do they have five years of semi relevant experience to the job?

[00:02:05] DA: Yeah, those transferable skills.

[00:02:07] HR: Right, exactly. So, we look at those when we're hiring someone straight out of bootcamp. Have they worked in the tech industry before but in a different capacity? Have they done maybe a little bit of coding because some people have done some kind of technical work before.

[00:02:23] WJ: Stride doesn't really hire right out of the bootcamp, right? Maybe other companies.

[00:02:26] HR: We don’t. We have a few times but rarely and all of those people have had some kind of prior work experience for at least a year before bootcamp.

[00:02:37] WJ: So, what does somebody make if they're coming fresh out of a bootcamp and they have no work experience, in New York City.

[00:02:45] MN: In New York City, in general.

[00:02:46] HR: I can give you a range. Ballpark, anywhere from 70 to honestly up to a 100…

[00:02:55] WJ: Wow.

[00:02:55] HR: …depending on the kind of company because some products of companies who maybe just got a lot of funding, you know, pay a lot more than other companies who aren't in that situation. So it really depends but that's — and it is a wide range it says anywhere from 70 to a 100.

[00:03:10] MN: Yeah, I know like finance will pay you the big bucks.

[00:03:13] HR: Yeah. Exactly.

[00:03:13] MN: But you’re on pager duty all the time.

[00:03:17] HR: Right.

[00:03:17] MN: Right like that's the pros and cons of being in finance. 

[00:03:18] DA: You've sold yourself.

[00:03:21] WJ: Yeah, this all assumes that you got a full time job out of the bootcamp, which, you know, a lot of people don't.

[00:03:26] MN: Right.

[00:03:26] DA: Right. Given statistics and claims, and whatever like can be a little bit dicey.

[00:03:33] MN: There maybe individuals who are listening, who are interviewing in certain places. What are some things that like developers may not know that an interview are may do that is not a nice thing to do?

[00:03:46] HR: Well as of, very recently, as of October 31st, interviewers cannot ask a candidate about their salary history. So how much they've made in any of their previous jobs or how much they're currently making.

[00:04:00] MN: Okay, that's really interesting.

[00:03:59] HR: That's illegal and in the State of New York as well as in California. Definitely, I would encourage people to look up that law and read the specifics of it but -

[00:04:09] WJ: Why is that on the books?

[00:04:11] HR: In order to mitigate any kind of bias when you're presenting an offer to someone. So, we still have a lot of issues in this country with a gender gap would pay. So females are often paid less than males and also people can be biased by looking at your past salaries, perhaps you were way under paid in your last job -

[00:04:37] Da: Right.

[00:04:37] HR: A company -

[00:04:39] DA: You can be going from like one of those $70k jobs as a junior to like one of the well funded companies like in finance and be a little bit embarrassed about how much you were getting paid for maybe a job that has it's own rewards in it's own way.

[00:04:52] HR: Right. Exactly, exactly. So you can underpay people easily and kind of take advantage.

[00:05:02] DA: Yeah, if you're changing careers or if you take some time off then that definitely puts a pretty big impact on the salary that you, people maybe expect that you should get versus what you're actually getting.

[00:05:13] HR: Right, absolutely. So I think it's a really good law. I'm glad that it's coming to effect. So, it's good to be careful and know that you have a right to not tell people and you should never feel like you need to disclose that information. But you can disclose that information and people can make decisions on your pay based on that information, if you freely disclose it to an interviewer. There's no rule against that.

If you think, you know, perhaps you've been working for three years and slowly been making more money to your — maybe that's something you do want to talk about and say, "Hey, I'm currently making x amount of money, and they want to make $10k more for that reason,” that's perfectly fine if that's relevant to you, but it might not be.

[00:05:56] MN: But the interviewer can't ask, is the law.

[00:05:58] HR: Right, the interviewer cannot ask.

[00:06:00] DA: What if they ask anyway? Like, and I personally don't anything about that law.

[00:06:05] HR: If they ask anyway and you don't feel comfortable disclosing that information you can say, “Pursuant to this law, this new New York City salary law I don't feel comfortable telling you that and it should not bare any weight in this discussion.”

[00:06:22] DA: Yeah.

[00:06:22] HR: So, if you want it, if you want to play it that way, you have the right to do that.

[00:06:29] MN: I see.

[00:06:27] WJ: Plus it’s like, I get the sense that the interviewer might not love that.

[00:06:32] HR: Love that answer?

[00:06:34] WJ: Yeah.

[00:06:34] MN: I mean, if they're not following the law, do you want to be part of that company? Is the question.

[00:06:38] WJ: Well, they might just not know. I mean, it's a brand new law.

[00:06:43] HR: The interviewer should know. I think the interviewer should know that kind of law, I think it's important. It's the same as, you know, you can't ask where someone's from or how old they are if you don't know those really important legal question disclosure questions as someone whose part of the hiring process and that's a problem in of itself.

I also think that if an interviewer has an issue with that answer then they're not totally respecting the candidate and that's maybe a red flag.

[00:07:16] WJ: What are the consequences to the interviewer if they ask that question, legally?

[00:07:17] HR: So, this is interesting, you can be fined from anywhere from I believe a $125,000 to, and I need to check on this, like $250,000 if that's recorded.

[00:07:31] MN: What?

[00:07:31] DA: Wow.

[00:07:32] HR: So yeah, you can get in really hot water, so people should definitely, definitely not ask.

[00:07:38] DA: Yeah, that was my least favorite question to answer. Or just because it’s like kind of awkward. You know that there's a game being played at that point even though it's just money.

[00:07:47] HR: It's just money, yeah. Everyone's got it, everyone wants more. No one has enough.

[00:07:53] DA: I was reading Secrets of Consulting and I'm like there's an interesting passage there about like setting your worth and it's like, “Okay, it's just money but then it's also a not money -

[00:08:03] HR: Right.

[00:08:03] DA: Because it’s also like how much someone respects you and how much, you know, you value yourself and so many other things it's like layers of meeting on top of money -

[00:08:13] HR: Right.

[00:08:13] DA: It's like a relationship between you and someone else and it's interesting how complicated it is.

[00:08:19] HR: It is, I will say that I think that, I think people feel awkward disclosing how much money they want to be making, but that is important and if an interviewer asks you that question like, “Do you have the certain range in mind for what you're targeting?” I think it's a good idea to have an actual number or an actual range in mind. Because it's a good data point for the interviewer to have. I know personally when I ask that question it's so I can make note of it and at some point you need that information if you're moving forward with an offer so -

[00:08:55] DA: Yeah.

[00:08:55] HR: I think it's good to know the range that you want to be making and I don't think that, that should affect the interviewer's view of you or whether or not you should move forward because negotiation is a totally fine and good thing to always do.

[00:09:11] DA: What are some good resources for figuring out that kind of number for yourself?

[00:09:14] HR: I would say — so there's a lot of different websites that you can go to that have that kind of salary information depending on where you live so you can run reports on or PayScale, or there are certain specific ones to developers. I don't know if you guys have heard of them? But just to -

[00:09:35] DA: I use Glassdoor, that’s about it.

[00:09:36] HR: Yeah, and Glassdoor is great. Glassdoor, yeah, is good. It's not always super accurate because they do a lot of — they kind of change the numbers and kind of aggregate things in a way so you're not seeing exact salaries a lot of times.

[00:09:51] DA: Oh, yeah.

[00:09:51] HR: Which can be tricky, so that's something to remember that they average things out.

[00:09:55] DA: Yeah, it's choosing two when you like look at one of those sites and there are many, many, many titles that -

[00:10:05] HR: Right. That too, yeah, yeah.

[00:10:05] DA: Vary between companies. How do you compare what one company calls a mid-level developer, versus what another company does?

[00:10:13] HR: Right. That is really hard.

[00:10:16] DA: Like, there are many companies that maybe have a lower bar for a senior developer than other companies and -

[00:10:22] HR: Yeah.

[00:10:22] DA: And they have “Senior Developer 2”.

[00:10:25] HR: Like, come on.

[00:10:26] DA: It's like, “What is a Senior Developer 2?” It's really interesting to see that.

[00:10:29] MN: I find that very confusing to browsing through websites like Glassdoor and trying to make those comparisons like, “Really what does that even mean?”

[00:10:36] HR: Yeah. A good idea is also to look at the company's job description so you can actually see like, “Okay, so a senior developer there is, you know, has this many years of experience,” and that can help them form a little bit.

[00:10:51] WJ: How much would you say that a developer would make, more like a junior developer would make with like a year of experience in a; you know, relatively in demand stack?

[00:11:01] HR: I would say, around $80 maybe a little north of that $80.

[00:11:05] WJ: So that first year of experience doesn't really bump you that much? Maybe a thousand or maybe ten thousand?

[00:11:11] HR: Again, again it so depends on what kind of company you're working for and what industry because you could be making maybe $20k more than that if you were, you know, at a Facebook or a big product company versus a non-profit.

[00:11:29] MN: Joe Schmo 

[00:11:30] HR: Versus the hedge fund.

[00:11:31] MN: Yeah. I imagine the range in the industry, especially in New York City this probably would go to sort of different products that you can work for. They have X amount of dollars versus big banker over there with Y amount of dollars.

[00:11:44] DA: Right.

[00:11:44] WJ: So like what are the different industries and how does that affect things? Where would you say the big lines are, like finances?

[00:11:53] HR: Oh, yeah. Finance for sure.

[00:11:56] WJ: Finance should be the most highly paid for a software developer?

[00:11:58] HR: I would think so, yeah. I would have to do more research but I could pretty confidently say that's probably true, especially in New York.

[00:12:09] WJ: How much does it matter like the size of the company? Something like a Google or Facebook versus something like a Comcast or Viacom versus, you know, something like a post series A startup versus something like a seed round?

[00:12:24] HR: Yeah, that's a good question. I'm sure it matters, but also I've encountered people who worked at pretty small startups who just got a ton of money really quickly who then also got paid like a lot more than you could even be making it like a Comcast or some kind of big company.

[00:12:43] MN: Because they might have to [inaudible] the startup?

[00:12:44] HR: Because, yeah, they're like overpaying people because they just want to hire people quickly, hire good people really quickly to start building things and they don't audit and make some kind of system for how much people are getting paid. So there aren't a lot of checks and balances, it's like newer startup product companies. So maybe they're being paid more than someone at like a larger established tech company that has more rigid kind of systems in place to measure that.

[00:13:14] DA: Yeah, I think it's also it's kind of hard because there, you may be getting other things as well.

[00:13:17] HR: Right.

[00:13:18] DA: Like there are intangible benefits like, you know, like the healthcare, retirement, the volleyball team even, you know?

[00:13:27] HR: Right, exactly.

[00:13:29] MN: The volleyball team.

[00:13:31] HR: How could you put a price on the volleyball team?

[00:13:33] DA: It's impossible.

[00:13:36] WJ: So, what about like, you know, a mid level developer whose got several years of experience but isn't like a team lead?

[00:13:43] HR: Define several years. Like five years?

[00:13:45] WJ: Maybe like two to five?

[00:13:45] HR: Again, working with a wide range, I would say anywhere from $90 at some places to five years at some companies north of a $120.

[00:14:01] WJ: Yup.

[00:14:01] HR: Does that seem right? I mean yeah. It's a wide range.

[00:14:06] DA: Yeah, I guess the question I have I guess suppose I'm at a place, how do I know if I'm being under or over paid and how often does that happen, both under and over?

[00:14:18] HR: I think if you're being under paid you definitely know it because you probably don't have very high morale. It could affect — I think if you’re being under paid that you're working way harder and you've taken on a lot responsibilities.

[00:14:37] DA: Right.

[00:14:37] HR: And you don't feel motivated and you don't see any pay off to that, then that's a red flag.

[00:14:44] DA: Right. 

[00:14:44] HR: If you can't pay your bills and you're not irresponsible with money then that's an issue, you should be pay more. If you're living paycheck to paycheck and you're not super financially irresponsible, that's obviously a red flag. But, I think that not making enough for what you're doing affects job performance, it affects your attitude. So I think of that, if that seems to be an issue, and you feel demotivated because lack of any kind of reward.

[0:15:13.3] WJ: So, let’s say somebody comes to you and asks you your opinion, about whether or not they're over paid? Whether they are underpaid? Whether they are not paid fairly? What questions would you ask to get at that?

[0:15:24.5] HR: Whether or not they are underpaid?

[0:15:25.1] WJ: Yeah, like, if they wanted to know whether they are not being paid fairly, and if they were being paid fairly, whether they were over or underpaid. What would be the questions to ask to give you the signals you needed to make an educated guess?

[0:15:38.5] HR: I would want to know about their responsibilities. So, how much are they actually doing? Are they someone who’s kind of sitting down and doing the bare minimum of their job and kind of floating under the radar and not putting in a lot of effort; and feeling like underpaid then maybe you’re not underpaid. You’re actually not doing that much significant work. So, I’d want to hear what their responsibilities are, what their day looks like, how many hours they're working? I think if someone’s working 60 hours a week and being paid $40,000 a year and working really hard that’s a problem.

[0:16:15.5] DA: Right. Well I see your point like about motivation and pay. Like, if you are getting paid less then maybe like why bother? What’s going on?

[0:16:23.2] HR: Right, exactly, yeah and same with being over paid too. If you’re getting paid way more than you need to be could also give you a why bother mentality. You’re kind of just sitting there like raking in money or not being motivated to try harder and to move up. So that could also maybe demotivating I think.

[0:16:43.1] DA: Yeah, I definitely heard stories about people who are working for really well to-do company like finance companies and they just need someone who does like PHP or like DV2. And I’m like, “You're the DV2 guy and that's it. Like that’s your life now, but we're gonna pay you so much money that you never want to do anything else.”

[0:17:03.5] HR: Right.

[0:17:02.5] WJ: So, let’s say we've got Susie Q here and she’s got three years of experience. She’s working at a post-series A startup, they don’t have a large tech team but it’s been growing rapidly and so she’s been given a lot of responsibility. She’s a team lead and she’s still making a $100 – 100k. Would you say, you know, working 55 hours a week would you tell her, “You’re probably on target, maybe a little underpaid, or overpaid”? What would you say?

[0:17:31.8] HR: I would ask how she — does she feel motivated? Is she happy with how much she is being paid? Like, does that pay the bills for her? Does she enjoy those responsibilities if she is motivated right now? Because if that’s not a problem then that’s fine.

[0:17:48.5] WJ: Let’s say she’s thinking about jumping ship.

[0:17:52.3] HR: Okay.

[0:17:51.4] WJ: But she’s not sure if, you know, asking for more money in order to stay is really fair because it might be, she doesn’t know, she’s not a recruiter. It might be that they could find a replacement for her at the same rate or less.

[0:18:06.3] HR: Right. I would definitely say talk to your manager if she feels unsure and she's taken on new responsibilities and as a team lead, and has been there awhile I think absolutely do that and a good manager would want to have that discussion with Susie and should be open to that kind of discussion and I think she should communicate really clearly her new responsibilities and…

[0:18:31.3] WJ: So, you don’t think you could make a blanket statement like even that set of facts that’s not enough information to say yes or no, you’re underpaid?

[0:18:39.0] HR: No, I don’t think so. Yeah, and it depends on other benefits and is she, yeah, able to pay the bills that sort of thing?

[0:18:48.4] DA: Yeah, and I guess it’s also — it's tough because like, there is a certain salary progression when you’re at a job, right? Like-

[0:18:53.9] HR: Right.

[0:18:53.8] MN: Like, okay you get a nominal raise or like you push for more and that’s whatever. But it seems like there’s a perception that in order to get, like the really larger gains like you need to be changing jobs frequently kind of like, in order to have more stakes at the table. Things like; you know, there’s — once they already have you they know that there's kind of less bargaining on the table if they really want you.

[0:19:20.1] WJ: Right, it seems like the objective measure for – for you would be how much the company could pay on the market to get someone with that equivalent. Who can deliver an equivalent amount of value, right?

[0:19:32.3] DA: Right, which is like what Hayley is saying before about even doing your research and knowing it ahead of time-

[0:19:36.4] HR: Yeah.

[0:19:39.4] DA: what you're worth, like I guess even if you're at the job.

[0:19:40.9] HR: Yeah, but I would say a company would, I think, would wanna keep a good person rather than, you know, it’s expensive to hire someone new. So, if it’s a matter of hiring someone new versus giving someone a little more money I think that, that makes more business sense. But I would encourage Susie to have a number in mind like to do research and figure out how much more she wants to be making because if you're going in to that kind of conversation you should have a certain number in mind to start that conversation with.

[0:20:10.8] DA: Yeah, so like when someone like Susie has been on a company for a while is starting that discussion and doing research like sites that we mentioned earlier like Glassdoor and where you can get these kind of like arrogant numbers from the industry. But like, I can see an argument against that for the boss being like, “Well you know we're no Google, we're no whatever.”

[0:20:21.7] HR: Right.

[0:20:21.7] DA: But, like there maybe like discrepancies within the office and I’m curious like what your thoughts are on like transparency of salaries and asking colleagues what their salaries are? Because it can be an awkward question to ask.

[0:20:44.4] HR: Right.

[0:20:43.5] DA: But, like it is the most relevant information too that kind of discussion.

[0:20:50.7] HR: Yeah, absolutely, I think so. That’s so tricky because I think it can cause tension but if you were to create like the perfect utopian company where everything is fair based on experience, based on what you do, like it would be great for people to share that kind of information if a company was administering salaries fairly and how they should be. Like in a perfect world people could disclose that to each other and no one would feel any kind of animosity so I've asked my co-workers that before and gotten the answers and its fine. I think it’s tricky. At certain companies that would not go over well because there are some issues with people being paid so differently.

[0:21:34.1] DA: I guess there is like kind of the real world issues with that.

[0:21:38.1] HR: Yeah, yeah.

[0:21:39.7] DA: But, you know, earlier when we were talking about salary bands and like companies have like a mature process and are adhering to that. I guess that, kind of, provide some transparency. So you don’t need to ask that.

[0:21:49.4] HR: Yeah, I think so. I think Stride's pretty good about having pretty clear, kind of, x, y, z, like falling within these bands.

[0:21:59.5] WJ: You can also end up trap in, sort of, a bubble though. If you are looking within at the one company you already work at. Because, you know, when a developer is comparing their options the market for them they are the product in the market for them are all of the jobs.

[0:22:16.5} HR: Right.

[0:22:16.5] WJ: And, so you’re – I see this, you know, companies will say, “Well, you know we are in the fashion industry and so we're gonna pay developers what developers make at other fashion companies and to me that seems –

[0:22:27.6] HR: Probably not a lot.

[0:22:24.9] WJ: Yeah, probably not a lot and those developers aren’t making money because of their domain expertise within the fashion space. They are comparing their salary to the salaries that are being offered for the same technical skill set across all industries.

[0:22:48.0] HR: Right.

[0:22:48.7] WJ: There’s a real trap there of looking at false comparisons.

[0:22:52.6] HR: I agree with you, yeah. But that’s the thing I think you have to cognizant of what industry you’re going in and know that if I’m working in fashion I’m not gonna be paid for doing the same job as if I was working in finance. And, that’s just always going to be true.

[0:23:10.0] DA: Right, I mean, I guess it’s kind of like, you know, this book that I really enjoyed when I was younger called like What Color Is Your Parachute? They talk about like what domain and like language you want to speak and like that’s kind of a tradeoff I guess. If you have a real passion about finance about like – fashion and technology then that’s a niche that you can find other enjoyment in even though you maybe you are not getting paid big money that you’re getting in finance or Ad Tech, or what have you.

[0:23:28.5] HR: Right, exactly. Like you don’t go in to the nonprofit world or certain industries to make money. If you care about it that much then you're willing to sacrifice that a little bit.

[0:23:52.4] MN: Cool, I think that answers the question that I was about to ask, which is like suppose we had Susie Q who again the example was brought up that she is making X amount of dollars I think it was $100 thousand and then she gets an offer elsewhere. Like what would that offer have to look like for Susie Q to jump ship from what she is currently doing to the new offer? And I think it boils down to like what money means to Susie Q, but as well as what she is currently doing at that particular work place.

[0:24:23.7] HR: Right. So, it sounds like Susie Q has been interviewing without talking to her manager first? Or I don’t know? I would encourage her to have a conversation. Well, it also depends how much Susie Q like the company and the mission and the people she’s working with.

[0:24:41.9] WJ: Well, and how much she trusts her manager?

[0:24:43.3] HR: How much you trusts her manager, yeah.

[0:24:43.6] WJ: Your manager could just turn around and not put you on any of the good projects because they think you are a flight risk now.

[0:24:50.6] HR: Which she needs to leave. That’s a bad sign. So, yeah that’s a tough question. I would say, yeah, how safe does she feel having that kind of conversation with her current manager? If she doesn’t then she, if that offer is, you know, comparable money wise or more and the benefits are good and she thinks her managers are better then, yeah I would leave. I think it is really telling when you have that kind of conversation with your manager about wanting to be compensated more and they have their backup or don’t want to find any kind of solution and just say a hard no.

[0:25:29.7] DA: Right.

[0:25:29.7] HR: That’s always a red flag. I think a good manager should wanna find some kind of solution to the problems that you're facing with being motivated or getting money.

[0:25:39.9] DA: I guess there are realities that make it challenging. Like when you were saying, to bring that up or having conversation with the manager. But I do like the idea of living in a world where that’s possible. I think we should all push with that.

[0:25:50.8] HR: Yeah, yeah, I think so, absolutely. 

[0:25:53.4] DA: More transparency.

[0:25:55.1] WJ: What would you say is the range for like the upper range for software developers? Like, if we are talking about somebody who's really quite senior, you know, they’re expert in a particular area in software development and they’re quite talented, generally. What would you say is the range for the upper end of the skill level?

[0:26:17.2] HR: Of, okay, of the developers in general. Again wide range depending on a lot of things, but I'd say anywhere from $140 to if we are talking about a big tech company like a Google or something, $250 plus.

[0:26:37.3] DA: Yeah, well, and also like once you get to a certain tier of salary it’s not really like the title. It’s like they want you, this particular human. And, if you can differentiate yourself in that kind of like a rock star status then, I mean, I was reading something about like data scientists in particular like, there are like highly qualified people who also have technical skills and allegedly like getting paid more than $6 million dollars, like craziness.

[0:27:09.0] HR: Yeah, yeah. Oh yeah, you can go way up.

[0:27:12.1] MN: Yeah, I think I read a similar article where they mentioned that the data scientist instructors that are like famous colleges or like Ivy League colleges were hired by big companies and there’s not enough teachers to teach people about data science. So, then it’s like a huge like surge of data scientist and AI related development and stuff like that because all the Ivy League related professors have been hired to, and they’re getting paid seven digit like ridiculous amounts of money for that kind of work, which is insane.

[0:27:47.4] HR: Wow, yeah. It it insane.

[0:27:47.9] WJ: And, the other really crazy. You hear about, you know, some developer who was the founding technical person for a finance startup that hit it big. You know, and now he's the indispensable one and without him the whole company would collapse and so he’s just like, “Give me $10,000,000 a year,” and they have to do it.

[0:28:05.1] DA: Or like, you have this, you know, C++ core to your web application and like there's — you’re the one who built it and you engineered top security into it, whether you've intentionally done it or not. Because, you know, that’s a very specific skill set to make a web server in C++.

[0:28:25.4] MA: Yeah, there is still COBOL developers out there whose raking – whose raking in the doe on finance. Because it's finance so they pay a lot of money there. But they still have COBOL mainframes that keep, you know, data about all the transactions that is happen throughout the day. If you know COBOL you can make a pretty penny. Not that I’m suggesting you to go out there and learn COBOL because that language is from the 70’s I would not recommend it. But it’s [inaudible + 00:28:51] 

[0:28:51.7] DA: Yeah, I’m done with React.

[0:28:54.7] MN: Go to COBOL.

[0:28:51.7] HR: I will say, I do think it’s good to do your research and know what market is, because if you do have the skill set that is every sought after right now, you wanna make sure that you’re not being advantage of because of where you've come from or anything. That, yeah, you should know that like you should get paid how much other people are being paid ballpark for that same skill set. Because, you know, like COBOL there’s something specific.

[0:29:19.5] MN: Right, that's super specific. Like, if you learn COBOL in college you're probably like 70 right now. If it was me I came math like off the fly. But like that was a big programming language in the 1970’s, if I recall correctly. Fun fact they taught that at my college where I went so, yeah. I don't know why, but I definitely can do some COBOL, if necessary. If Stride needs a COBOL developer, I’m your guy maybe. I don’t know.

[0:29:45.7] DA: You're a braver man than me. I took [inaudible + 00:29:48] for a minute and I was like, “No, I’m out.:

[0:29:51.1] MN: Oh man, yeah. If the discussion we had talking about Susie Q sounds like you I think, as Hayley, mentioned you might wanna talk to your manager and do some self reflection to determine whether the company you are currently working for is the mission statement that you want to follow and you enjoyed your co-workers and the product that you are building or the work that you are doing and if you, if there are red flags and any of those departments then you offer that gets given to you is probably a better one than where you currently are.

[0:30:25.7] HR: Depending on a lot of things, yeah. I will also say that I love hopping on calls and talking people through like their own salary negotiations and I would love to be a resource to anyone who wants a second opinion or doesn’t really know, you know, what they're dealing with. I help my friends with that sort of thing a lot so reach out if you wanna talk through that.

[0:30:46.6] MN: Where can people reach you? Do you have a Twitter account to follow?

[0:30:52.2] HR: I do have a Twitter it’s new and I have two tweets. I re-tweet a lot of Chance the Rapper and the Last Blockbuster is also hilarious. Someone at Stride told me about that and I thought it was kind of funny. So you can find me on Twitter Hayley h-a-y-l-e-y Ricks r-i-c-k-s or email me

[00:31:14] MN: Awesome. Well, thank you so much, Hayley for coming down this is really a big help.

[0:31:20.1] HR: Thank you for having me, it is fun to see what this is like.

[0:31:22.5] MN: Yeah, podcasting is fun, don’t be scared.

[0:31:24.5] DA: It’s the glamorous life.

[0:31:26.5] MN: Yeah, to talk about salaries and what’s comparable and what's not? iIt's a really interesting topic that I imagine a lot of developers feel everyday with their mind in their money and money in their mind.

[0:31:37.4] WJ: Absolutely.

[0:31:39.8] HR: Cha ching.

[0:31:39.3] MN: Cha ching. Again Hayley, thank you so much for coming on down. I like to thank my co-host Dave.

[00:31:44] HR: Thank you.

[0:31:46.7] DA: Yeah, thanks men.

[0:31:47.0] MN: Always a pleasure. Our producer; William.

[0:31:50.8] WJ: It was great to be here.

[0:31:50.3] MN: Awesome, you can reach us at I’m Michael Nunez this is the Rabbit Hole. We’ll see you next time.

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