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The Rabbit Hole

 The Definitive Developers Podcast 

99. Salaries and Skills in 2019 with Steve Thompson

by Stride News, on February 26, 2019

In today’s episode we get hyped up about the creative possibilities of The Art of Python as a mini art festival at PyCon US 2019. Steve Thomsen, senior technical recruiter for MDI Group, joins us to guide our discussion on salaries and skills in 2019. Steve informs us about the salary ranges for junior, middle, and senior level software developers and when a six-figure salary is in the ballpark. We discuss the pros and cons of employment at a startup versus a blue chip company, the best ways of asking for a higher salary and why it is important to keep your pulse on the market. Join us to find out how much you can earn in 2019! Key Points From This Episode:

  • What The Art of Python offers people.
  • How much money you can expect to make as a junior, middle and senior level developer. 
  • Why the current environment is favorable for junior talent.
  • The possibility of quick salary increases for newcomers.
  • Senior positions and their responsibilities.
  • The advantage of specializing.
  • How generalists can go about reaching the top.
  • Working for startup versus blue chip companies.
  • How to negotiate your salary.
  • Why you need to keep your pulse on the market.
  • The benefits of open conversation about salary and growth potential.
  • When is okay to ask for more money.
  • And much more!

Transcript for Episode 99. Salaries and Skills in 2019 with Steve Thompson

[0:00:05.9] WJ: Okay, here’s the question, Dave, what is The Art of Python?

[0:00:11.3] DA: What is The Art of Python? Let me tell you about The Art of Python.

[0:00:15.1] WJ: An artist of Python speaks.

[0:00:17.3] DA: Yes, are you a programmer, William?

[0:00:21.0] WJ: I indeed am. I’m a programmer. I program things.

[0:00:23.3] DA: Would you say that you are a dramatic artist?

[0:00:27.2] WJ: The most dramatic artist.

[0:00:28.4] DA: Yes, I know, you can’t hide it?

[0:00:30.3] WJ: I’m Base Salting right now.

[0:00:33.9] DA: Those warmups.

[0:00:36.1] WJ: I mean, we do a lot of artist warmups for this very podcast indeed.

[0:00:40.3] DA: Yeah, it’s true. Well, I guess you guys don’t know the warmups but maybe we could help you with some warmups if you want to do a submission for The Art of Python, which is going to be a little mini conference inside of the much larger PyCon US conference.

[0:00:58.9] WJ: Which is a fantastic conference.

[0:01:01.0] DA: It is probably the greatest conference I’ve been to.

[0:01:04.0] WJ:  Second to PyCon Italia 2018 of course?

[0:01:08.7] DA: PyCon Italia is a cozy nice time, good people but PyCon US is a little bit of something for everybody, you know, PyCon US has of course the talks, the big name talks as the tutorials, all the good big name tutorials and little name tutorials. Big people and little people together. It also has like tracks for open spaces, which is something that we really love.

[0:01:36.1] WJ: How does The Art of Python tie into the rest of the conference? Is it like a workshop that you can go to on one of the tracks?

[0:01:44.3] DA: Programming is something that people are very passionate about and one of the ways people express their passion is through art and music and plays and I think one of the things that is great about programming is you know, sharing your wonder and joy of the thing. The purpose of this is for people to kind of get excited about programming and be creative.

Outside of the normal outlets of talks and tutorials and what not. The call for proposals for all of your creative outlets.

[0:02:19.5] WJ: If you want to like put together a skit or a video or like water color or something related to Python, this is what you do?

[0:02:27.7] DA: Exactly. I love the idea of a water color or like a neural net generated owed to Python, just put William Shakespeare and like the docs for Python together and see what happens, I don’t know, do something crazy but call for pros is open and ending 20th of February. They’re also doing a proposal I think for Bang Bang Con in New York, which is a little bit closer to home also for a cool exciting talks and creative stuff.

We’ll put a link in the show notes.

[0:03:01.0] WJ: Excellent. Looking forward to it. Let’s see those submissions.

[0:03:05.3] DA: Yeah, oh my god, is that Zack? Get out of here Zack.

[0:03:09.4] WJ: Zack, what are you doing? Is that some kind of a flash card Zack? What are you trying to communicate to us? It’s an event? It’s a meetup?

[0:03:22.1] DA: Wow, another New York City Tech Debates.

[0:03:25.2] WJ: I’m so hyped, I cannot wait. These things are great.

[0:03:29.2] DA: Yeah, these are pretty great. This next one is on making sure you’re building the right thing and they’re going to have folks from Codecademy and Blackboard. Both pretty awesome companies as usual, it’s going to start around 6:30, you’re going to have some pizza and beverages.

[0:03:45.4] WJ: Light refreshments?

[0:03:46.6] DA: Light refreshments and then we’ll have a debate, there will be one winner and—

[0:03:54.7] WJ: Two speakers until one speaker leaves.

[0:03:57.9] DA: Classic roles. Yeah, it’s going to be in a new venue this time, it’s going to be at Microsoft offices, that should be exciting.

[0:04:02.9] WJ: Yeah, they have a wonderful space.

[0:04:04.9] DA: It’s very nice, yeah. Highly recommend it, check it out.

[0:04:08.1] WJ: We’ll see you guys there.

[INTRODUCTION]

[0:04:10.9] DA: Hello and welcome to The Rabbit Hole, the definitive developer’s podcast in fantabulous Chelsea, Manhattan. I’m your host, Dave Anderson. Our regular host Michael Nunez is off—

[0:04:20.6] WJ: Taking care of babies.

[0:04:22.0] DA: Being a daddy. Our cohost today, I guess.

[0:04:27.6] WJ: William Jeffries, good to be here.

[0:04:29.3] DA: And producer extraordinaire. Today we’ll be talking about salaries and negotiation or as I like to call it, more salaries. Just, more salaries like more books, our greatest title to episodes.

[0:04:41.6] WJ: Well, we needed to update because the other one, the old salaries episode is stale.

[0:04:46.6] DA: Yeah.

[0:04:46.4] WJ: Things have changed. It’s a fast-moving market.

[0:04:49.1] DA: Luckily, to help us guide us through this topic, we have our illustrious guest, Steve Thomsen. How are you doing Steve?

[0:04:55.9] ST: Great, thanks for having me on.

[0:04:57.4] DA: Yeah, it’s great to have you here. Why don’t you tell the lovely people about yourself?

[0:05:01.9] ST: Sure, I’m a technology recruiter for MDI Group. We are part of a larger organization called Motion Recruitment and we have offices that span across the US from coast to coast so we really just focus in IT and how people either get into consulting roles or you know, permanent new positions.

[0:05:25.0] DA: Cool, yeah. We’re wondering if you had any dirt for us? Where are we at in 2019, how much money can I make?

[0:05:34.2] WJ: Yeah, give us the gos here.

[0:05:35.7] DA: Gift to developer.

[0:05:38.7] ST: Yeah, you know, I think the best thing is, you know, every year just more and more.

[0:05:46.1] WJ: I want double.

[0:05:47.1] DA: Double.

[0:05:49.1] WJ: Exponential growth.

[0:05:50.4] ST: Yeah.

[0:05:51.1] DA: Hockey stick. Classic startup.

[0:05:56.6] WJ: What should we— how much should I be making? What should I ask for?

[0:06:00.8] ST: It depends. You know, I would say anyone with a strong—

[0:06:07.6] WJ: I want double that.

[0:06:12.0] ST: In time.

[0:06:12.9] WJ: Go ahead.

[0:06:14.9] ST: No, I think you know, it’s an easy industry in space to make a six-figure salary, but yeah, double and double.

[0:06:25.2] WJ: Let’s say that you are fresh out of university or fresh out of a boot camp, you don’t have any professional development experience, what does the market command right now in lets’ say New York City?

[0:06:37.1] ST: Sure, in New York, I would say anywhere from probably 70,000, you know, maybe upwards, kind of high 90s and really I think it depends on the company’s ability to take in college hires if they have structure around that. Versus if you’re just kind of going out and finding a place that’s going to give you a shot.

[0:06:57.9] WJ: What if you’re a career changer? You’re like in your 30s, 40s, 50s and you know, you go to a boot camp or you teach yourself. Are you going to be expecting the same kind of salary, does it matter?

[0:07:11.1] ST: Yeah, I don’t’ think it matters too much. There’s a lot of companies that are moving away from having such a strong focus on you know, traditional four-year degrees. You know, I think if you are a career changer and you come out of the boot camp, you can expect to be on par or at least close with someone coming out of a pretty middle of the road, I guess computer science program and really not have to take a dip in that respect.

[0:07:38.5] WJ: Okay, so it sounds like you can definitely get 70, you might get 80 or even 90, high 90s fresh out of a boot camp depending on the industry. How long is it going to take you to find a job at 70? If you needed the job like this week, how low would you go?

[0:07:53.4] ST: That’s a great question. I think that you know, you can find a job as fast as you want if you are willing to go lower than market and probably lower than what you should expect. Everybody has a need for software developers and I think it’s easy to maybe be taken advantage of in some aspects but you know what?

If you are coming out of a boot camp or a college program, you know, the best thing you can do is leverage the networking resources that are kind of built into those. You know, it can take a couple of months if you’re really just trying to respond to job postings and go through some of I think the more inefficient job searching routes or I think you can be into a new role in you know, a month or five to six weeks if you’re aggressive from the start of your search to actually getting in the door.

[0:08:47.0] WJ: Okay, let’s say you’re asking for 50,000, you’d fly off the shelf?

[0:08:49.9] ST: Potentially, yeah. I think you do have to have some semblance of skills, otherwise it may be more harm than good to bring you in the door but you know, I think that again, if time is of the essence, you know, you stand a better chance of securing a job a little bit faster but I don’t think it’s necessary in the current environment, you know, large companies are putting a renewed focus on training junior talent and ramping them up because it is so difficult to find senior level engineers and bring them into your organization without much of a ramp up time.

[0:09:28.7] DA: Yeah, it’s interesting to talk to you about putting a price tag on yourself but really, that’s not how that interview process works for better or for worse. You don’t really have a price tag on your resume, which, it’s an interesting idea. I guess there kind of is like sometimes a little bit a front discussion but yeah, often you don’t have the concrete offer until they’ve already evaluated your skills and you’ve gone through the whole interview process, which I’m sure is similar elsewhere.

Even Phoenix, like, full day job interviews and white boarding and code test.

[0:10:04.0] ST: Yeah, absolutely. You know, it’s not too different across major tech hubs, you know, there’s a little bit of a drop in kind of average salary, starting out, you know, certainly when you get outside the New York or San Francisco, kind of major tech hubs but you know, the salaries I think are still pretty strong, a typical entry level developer here may be looking something closer to 55 to 60,000.

I think what’s encouraging that we see is those individuals have a great potential to really ramp up on compensation quickly. You know, you may be coming in the door a little bit lower than what you had originally hoped but we quite often see engineers get six months down the road with a client and you know, have an opportunity to get a substantial increase once they’ve really delivered value and shown that they have the skills that are really going to be a long term fit for the organization.

[0:11:05.4] WJ: All right, we’ve talked about people who are just starting out, what about like a mid-level developer? First of all, when people say, when you see a job posting for mid-level developer, what does that mean to you in terms of your experience or whatever metric you’re using.

[0:11:18.5] ST: Yeah, no, it’s a great question, it’s not always clear. I think you know, you may have had experiences where someone who has been a developer for five to ten years may not be up to the skill level of someone who has had an extremely intensive three to four years of experience.

You know, whether that’s in a consulting organization or in a ten-year development group where they have great mentorship. Generally, evaluate seniority level. I think more so on level of responsibility, how do they interact with the team, are they participating in code reviews and taking on mentees, you know, are they taking on lead tasks and I think as you move more mid-level and more senior, that’s where some of those responsibilities start to come in that I think ultimately shape you for some sort of leadership or management role and that’s I think a little bit better of a gauge in terms of seniority.

[0:12:24.9] WJ: Okay, how much should you ask for as mid level developer, what should we expect?

[0:12:28.8] ST: I think at minimum, probably 100,000. It’s pretty like, I had mentioned before, there’s a ramp up to that level that that can happen pretty quickly. You know, in more competitive markets, you can easily get closer to 125, 130,000 but I think in some of those areas, you may also start looking for non-base salary pieces. You know, maybe a larger bonus package, potentially some equity at that point. It just depends.

[0:13:01.4] DA: Where you have like that level of responsibility for that. Now you have a stake in the business, more than them trying to level you up.

[0:13:08.7] ST: Yeah, absolutely.

[0:13:10.0] DA: What about the crème of the crème, like the real rock star developers and 10Xers?

[0:13:17.1] ST: Yeah, the ones that are seemingly harder and harder to find these days.

[0:13:22.2] DA: Right, yeah. I apologize for so many clichés.

[0:13:26.8] ST: No, that’s fine. It’s interesting in recruiting, we always try to find the best candidate for the role and so often times, we’re really searching for top level talent for someone more senior, kind of principal-level positions. I think that’s also an area where you can run into two situations where you’ve either are starting to hit a ceiling. If you’re not really specializing in something that’s a little more niche, you may start kind of hitting a salary ceiling where you’re kind of approaching management salaries.

If you’re at really recognizable Fortune 500 company. I think they’re generally better about keeping the financial incentive, therefore really the highest performing engineers but you know, we generally see really senior level talent, you know, in a major market anywhere between 130 to 150,000 and it can go up from there really. If you get to the point where you’re kind of acting as an independent consultant or you're being brought in on temporary basis to turn projects around. That’s where it can get extremely lucrative.

[0:14:40.8] WJ: Much higher risk sort of positioning but higher reward I suppose as well?

[0:14:46.1] ST: Yeah, absolutely. Really comes down to what stage of life you’re in, if you’re more interested in those kinds of engagements or you know, if you have a family to support and need some more stability or maybe work-life balance is what’s most important to you. I think that’s a big driver as to why there is quite a bit of variation at you know, the senior end of the spectrum.

[0:15:12.9] DA: Do you feel like there’s like a real need to specialize in order to reach the upper tiers of salary or can one be like a generalist and still reach some heights?

[0:15:25.6] ST: Yeah, I think that it depends on which direction you want to take your career, you know, specializing I think when you're looking at changing organizations can really help you stand out from the crowd and you know, you have to kind of think about it in that supply-demand scenario where maybe a client has a specific budget that they’ve set for a position but if their options are extremely limited and you are coming in the door extremely qualified and you’re solving problems that have much greater financial impact then you know, you can really maximize your salary there.

If you want to be more generalist. I don’t think that would prevent you from maximizing but I think you may have to take it more so in the leadership direction or maybe kind of solutions architecture, somewhere where you’re using that really diverse set of experiences and framework and language knowledge to where you’re really making some of those key decisions for the organization.

[0:16:39.8] WJ: What is the highest paying company out there right now? What are they paying?

[0:16:45.7] ST: I think that’s great. Probably companies in the transportation space are huge right now. There’s a ton of competition in racing to develop autonomous vehicle technology. Ride share companies are—

[0:17:02.4] DA: Especially where you are, right? Like in Phoenix.

[0:17:05.1] ST: Yeah, that’s huge in Phoenix. We see test vehicles here and it’s quickly coming. I think it’s right around the corner but as that race has intensified, you know, there’s been just a huge influx of compensation in that space to really get the top level talent that you need to come out ahead in that kind of crowded field. You know, there are engineers there that are you know, bringing in between 200 and $300,000 a year and it’s broken up between a lot of times salary, equity and large benefit of packages.

But you know, certainly really lucrative in that space.

[0:17:48.9] DA: Sure, yeah, those machine learning guys, I think I read an article about some of the highest paid machine learning was like close to a million dollars if not for a million dollars a year.

[0:18:00.2] WJ: Well so are these machine learning engineers or web developers or like infrastructure developers like what kinds of engineers are involved in those projects?

[0:18:09.6] ST: Sure, I think it bridges the spectrum. I mean it’s web developers, it’s—

[0:18:15.4] WJ: Are the web developers the ones making the 300,000?

[0:18:17.7] ST: In some instances, yes.

[0:18:19.4] WJ: All right, moving to Phoenix.

[0:18:22.4] ST: You know those are I think more so centered in a typical Silicon Valley areas but you know we do have operations in testing here in Phoenix but yeah, you know the AI machine learning aspects of it you could only speculate. I think you had averted to earlier very astronomical where were those numbers can approach.

[0:18:49.2] DA: Right, that is the hockey stick right there.

[0:18:52.1] WJ: So what about startups versus blue chip companies and everything in between, how does that affect things?

[0:18:58.2] ST: Yeah, I think it plays a huge part in what your expectations are from a compensation standpoint. You know startup companies are sometimes strapped for cash.

[0:19:09.4] WJ: Or sometimes like overflowing with VC funding right?

[0:19:13.7] ST: Well you know, it certainly at different stages you can have an influx of funding but I think the common perception is that equity may be a larger portion of compensation for those roles and really that has the potential to increase long term earnings multiple times over a salary. So you know for some people the risk is worth the chance of a payout that they may never approach working for a blue chip company.

[0:19:47.0] DA: Okay so now that we know how much we could get, how do we actually negotiate the position to actually get it? I think that is really the hardest thing is actually asking for it.

[0:19:59.1] WJ: I think you write it down on a piece of paper and you slide it right across the table dramatically. That is how that works right?

[0:20:04.2] DA: And then you drop the mike, you have a mike and you drop it.

[0:20:09.1] ST: And that’s how it’s done. No, I think negotiating is something that is difficult for everybody. Unless you have tons of experience negotiating salaries, it’s really a point where I think it is difficult to really get started with it and I think it is also easy to let emotional attachment to an opportunity get in the way of the negotiating portion of the whole interview and onboarding process.

[0:20:41.3] DA: Yeah, it feels very intense like and it is not a muscle that you get to flex every day. Once you get a job you are negotiating on a daily basis or maybe you should be negotiating more often when you have a job but you know—

[0:20:53.9] WJ: Double my salary every day.

[0:20:58.0] ST: Yeah, it is pretty rare that we ask for raises in our current environments. You know the stresses of every day work and our priorities I think make it easy to not put a lot of focus on that and sometimes the first avenue, when you are feeling like you need to be making more in your current role, is to start looking outside and I think that is good. It is good to have a pulse on the market but there are opportunities to improve your salary in your current role as well.

Whether it be kind of a predetermined annual increment based on anniversary or maybe a specific time in the year that a performance review comes up, there’s opportunities to discuss raises there beyond the standard cost of living adjustment or when you are looking for new opportunities, setting the market salary is your baseline but then looking at these specific organizations that you are targeting maybe industry and some specialized skill areas that you bring to the table that you could use as leverage to increase your salary.

[0:22:13.4] DA: Cool. So I imagine a factor like these regions that we are talking about, like having that information on hand is really important. What is a good resource to gather this information as you are going into discussion, like want to know if you are under market or where you stand?

[0:22:31.7] ST: Sure you can—I recommend going to websites that both aggregate salaries. So Paysa is a good website to look at salaries and aggregate but then also look at some reported numbers for specific companies and specific locations. I think we are all familiar with Glassdoor, you know that is a good option as well. I think one that could be a little more heavily utilized is reaching out to staffing and recruitment agencies and having a conversation about the clients that they serve.

And the salaries that they are seeing being offered on a daily basis. If you find a good recruiter that can really give you some insight, maybe look at your specific resume, talk to you about your background and give you some information about what they feel you could get even down to a specific clients or levels of positions, I think that can add a lot of value as well. So trying to approach it from various angles can give you a pretty good understanding of a minimum and a maximum goal that you want to set.

[0:23:46.0] DA: Cool, yeah I never looked at Paysa before. This is a pretty snappy website. I am going to check that out. So once you have done this general homework, we talked a little bit about work sizes before like how does that affect your negotiation technique.

[0:23:59.1] ST: Sure, in org size I think the main thing that you have to think about is when you are working for a larger more mature companies, it’s more likely that finance and human resources have established some standardization and pay structures. So you are generally working within salary bins with a target salary defined within that. So while there is a level of flexibility I mean you have to be aware that there is going to be an upper limit that despite how much they like you, they’re going to eventually reach a point where they say:

“We would love to have you on the team but we just can’t offer you anything more” and I think that also leads into an apprehension that a lot of people have, which is, “If I ask for more money, am I putting my offer at risk?” and I think in an overwhelming majority of cases, you are not. It takes an incredible amount of effort within an organization to get someone engaged through the interview process into the point where they want to make an offer.

You know they understand that people are just trying to make sure that they are not leaving money on the table and if they are truly excited about having you on board, if you approach it with a little bit of finesse and professionalism, it can actually be a fairly straightforward kind of objective conversation.

[0:25:33.7] DA: Yeah, that is just true. That’s pretty challenging but I guess just being frank and acknowledging that the challenge or discussion could probably go a long way there. For org size and salary events, I know who is pretty high up in HR and they have some great advice for me when I was trying to pull apart this puzzle, which was to consider the other side of the negotiating table. Where like, if you are working within a salary bend, now they’ll have to consider your current salary.

They are going to ask you for it but they are also going to have to consider where you might be in a year or two years and what your growth is going to be. So I thought that was a good perspective to have, like to keep in mind that it is not a fix point in time and you can keep flexing that negotiation and have some room to grow in there.

[0:26:27.0] ST: Yeah, absolutely. I mean hiring managers are interested in retaining talent, you know that is one of the biggest focuses they have is once you have established strong core team members, keeping them engaged and keeping them happy. So that is a great point, there are intentions of making it feasible for you to have salary growth potentially within the same band throughout time with the company and so I think there is also opportunity to have a bit more direct conversation about overall growth opportunities with the company.

If you are getting the sense that you are coming in on the high end of pay for a position, maybe trying to prime the conversation towards a three to five year outlook, do you see wanting to take someone from this group and help them progress and promote and either move into leadership or some sort of principal or architectural level position and is that a way to achieve the salary growth over time.

[0:27:39.7] DA: Yeah, another thought that I have is actually some advice that William gave me.

[0:27:44.1] WJ: Don’t listen to anything I say.

[0:27:45.8] DA: Oh I am curious what Steve thinks about this. So I remember you had advice for me, which was to have a very specific number in mind to do your homework and know exactly why you are asking for that number and not say, “I want a 120K” or “I want a 100K” or whatever like that. Like I want a $121,242.39.

[0:28:15.8] WJ: It’s true. It is very effective and people are like, “Oh…” there is a reason behind that number and then you can tell them also, “Well here’s the deal. I went through and I did my budgeting and you know, I have a mortgage and then I have a wife and kids” or whatever your expenses are and “I work out the numbers and this is what I need in order to make it all work. If you give me this number then I’ll be happy and I’ll do amazing work for you.”

Then when people agree to that number or pushback on that number, it feels like it’s based on something meaningful. It is not just like, “Oh I throw out a number and then you have to throw in a number that is lower so that we can meet in the middle.”

[0:28:57.0] DA: Right, it’s like, “Well I guess my kids won’t go to college now, but that is fine. I really like your company.”

[0:29:02.8] ST: Right, yeah I think that when you steep it in some reality there, it certainly from an emotional aspect makes it more difficult to push back on salary. One thing that I think it is smart to have that number in your head and there is certainly a time to get to the point where you disclose that and that can come later on in the process. I think a trap that a lot of candidates fall into, it may just even be out of courtesy, is giving away too much information about salary on the onset of having a discussion about a job opportunity.

If you are in a position where you feel like you’re underpaid, being careful not to let that current compensation be a negative influence on what companies offer you. At the end of the day, people are trying to maximize profits and control cost where they can. So it is great to have that substantial backup and reasoning, justification as to why you are asking from something very specific but yeah, I think it is also important to focus on going into conversations.

Looking to see what the company is valuing the position at and what they’re prepared to pay. So it may be uncomfortable to not disclose salary when someone asks you pointblank and maybe even a couple of times but I think that is changing, obviously in New York you can’t ask that pointed question anymore.

[0:30:38.3] DA: Yeah, I was going to say if anyone is listening in New York and you ask that question, you’d be like, “No.”

[0:30:43.9] WJ: Yeah, also if you are an interviewer don’t ask people how much they made in their previous position if you are in New York City because it’s illegal.

[0:30:50.7] ST: Yeah and I think it will continue to be that way in more and more places. Companies are I think more sensitive to closing pay gaps and creating a more level playing field. So now is the time to use that to your advantage and you certainly want to make sure that you are not wasting your time with interviewing for a position that maybe really aren’t going to be able to pay you anything near what you are expecting.

So I think that is okay for your asking what their budget is for the role or if they had a target salary in mind, you know you can handle it in a couple of different ways to where you can at least let them know that you are in the ballpark and that it’s a good use of time to move forward in the process.

[0:31:39.7] DA: Yeah, cool.

[0:31:40.6] WJ: I think having a BATNA is really a useful technique, best alternative to a negotiated agreement, like knowing in your head if you cannot reach an agreement, if this negotiation is going to end in a stalemate, what is your best alternative because if your best alternative is another offer that is like $10,000 less than what you started out with, you are in a pretty strong negotiating position whereas if your best alternative to a negotiated agreement is that you are going to continue to be on the job hunt and it’s been three months and you haven’t found anything and you are running out of runway.

That is a very different situation to be in and just deciding like, “Okay well, if this doesn’t end well then I am going to give myself another month and then I am going to take 30,000 less than I was my flirt previously knowing in your head that that’s the plan I think is really liberating.

[0:32:33.1] ST: Yeah, I would agree. I think that going into every conversation that you have with that game plan in mind is really going to ensure that you are making the best decision with the information that you have at that given moment in steering—looking at the negotiation process as a culmination of a series of maybe less significant steps working towards that final goal.

[0:32:59.3] DA: Yeah but you know, just another conversation. So nothing like you were saying before, it is okay to ask for more. It is okay to ask for what you want, you just need to do your homework and justify that. Steven it was so helpful having this conversation with you. I feel like I have a lot more knowledge about the breadth of salary range that’s out there and how to negotiate to get what I want a little better.

[0:33:25.2] WJ: Consider yourselves updated for 2019. So Steve you got anything to plug?

[0:33:30.3] ST: Yes, we’ve got a Tech Meetup coming up. It’s Tech in Motion out of the Ainsworth at 64 3rd Avenue.

[0:33:37.9] WJ: Oh I used to live right by there, that is on 3rd and 11th in the East Village, right?

[0:33:44.1] ST: Yeah, I’ll take your word for it but yeah, it’s right in that area. So the tech is basically demos and drinks. Some of our cohorts at motion in New York City will be out there.

[0:33:57.5] DA: Cool, that’s Thursday.

[0:33:58.7] ST: February 28th.

[0:34:00.4] DA: That is February 28th, cool. Yeah and they have an Ainsworth right across the street from Rebel Studio.

[0:34:07.1] WJ: Oh man, Rebel Studio’s nice.

[0:34:09.0] DA: They’ve got a great burger and whiskey special.

[0:34:13.0] WJ: And is this sponsored like, are there free drinks and food and stuff?

[0:34:17.7] ST: Yeah, absolutely.

[0:34:19.0] WJ: Oh man this sounds like a winner.

[0:34:21.3] DA: Cool. So we’ll get in touch with you because I guess you won’t be in New York for the event unfortunately.

[0:34:27.5] ST: Unfortunately not, yeah. The best way to reach me is on LinkedIn. So it is just Steve Thomsen 1, but if you just search Steve Thomsen MDI Group, you can find me.

[0:34:38.4] DA: Follow us now on Twitter @radiofreerabbit so we can keep the conversation going. Like what you hear? Give us a five star review and help developers just like you find their way into The Rabbit Hole and never miss an episode, subscribe now however you listen to your favorite podcast. On behalf of our producer extraordinaire, William Jeffries and my amazing host, Michael Nunez, who is out being a dad and me your host, Dave Anderson, thanks for listening to The Rabbit Hole.

Links and Resources:

The Rabbit Hole on Twitter

William Jeffries on LinkedIn

The Art of Python

PyCon US

PyCon Italia

Bang Bang Con

NYC Tech Debates

Codecademy

MDI Group

Motion Recruitment

Paysa

Glassdoor

Tech Meetups

Tech in Motion

Steve Thomsen on LinkedIn

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