How to earn $100K+ (US)

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Salaries are based on a lot of things: location, industry, experience, etc. Keep in mind that many jobs that pay six figures (especially for junior or mud level developers) are in areas that are extremely expensive. I make six figures and live in a 40 year old mobile home.

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If that Glassdoor link you’ve posted means you’re UK, that’s standard starting salary. It goes up about 15k if you’re in London, but that’s offset by cost of living. Tech salaries are significantly higher in US tech hubs than anywhere else in the world afaics (although the main hub also happens to have the highest average cost of living in the world as well; still much higher pay though). Salaries in the UK on average don’t come close. Reasons? Venture Capital isn’t anything close to as widespread so there aren’t the mind-boggling levels of investment being thrown at companies (Uber for example seems to be losing ~$3-4 billion a quarter). Tech companies are generally not as powerful or mature or as advanced at making/being given money. Also we have much stronger worker protections (not even close to some other European countries but still much much better than US) and benefits (and healthcare!) which favourably offset the pay gap.

If you want to make that much as a junior employee, rewind time, do well at maths in school and then in a maths/CS degree at uni, then go work in finance. Or get really lucky and be working at a startup when its value explodes & holding some share of it.

Note that the way you generally increase your salary is by moving jobs.

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Ah, it redirected, that’s why I thought UK, ignore what I said. I guess though, though you’d likely have to get good at answering CS/large scale systems questions if it was a FAANG-style process.

Why specially 100k Plus? That seems like a hell of a lot for a junior.

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It doesn’t really mean anything if you don’t watch the expenses coming with the income.

For example, in San Francisco, 100k$ will qualify you as “low income”. And that’s one of the places where you’ll find most of these six figures developers. So, yes, that’s an entry-level income, because if the companies lower their rates, people won’t come to work there, or will leave very soon after because they will realize they can live better elsewhere.

So, instead of thinking about how much you want to earn, you should ask yourself how much you want to have left at the end of the month, once you paid all your expenses. And that’s a totally different question.

For example, as a Frenchman, I’d take a 30k€ in Lille over a 50k€ in Paris any day.

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I didn’t imply anything like that.

What I meant by that, is that focusing on the salary itself is not the best way to compare jobs. The best way is to compare what you have left.

Many people have done the mistake, and many will keep doing it even after they were warned. They were not all idiots.

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You can try doing an interview on triplebyte to get an idea of what a FAANG style interview is like. If you pass (which most people don’t) they will refer you to various tech companies in SF and NYC where you can presumably obtain that sweet salary you are after. If you don’t pass, you can retry every 4 months. Expect them to drill you on algorithms and data structures, system design, security, network protocols, and live coding. Besides that, from what I’ve heard, it’s generally accepted that to succeed at FAANG interviews, the key is doing leetcode, leetcode, and more leetcode, until you can easily get through medium level questions at a minimum. That’s of course if you manage to get an interview at one of these companies. I know people that have gotten high paying jobs at Facebook and Google without possessing a CS degree, but you will need to get their attention and impress them in some other way, whether it be accomplishments at work, open source software, social media presence etc.

I think what everyone is saying is dont mega focus on money.

You’ll end up in fintech which is boring AF, I’d personally rather work for a charity and get decent money than just making google richer and getting paid loads.

Sorry for slow reply, meant to post this link. This is popular – if you search for something like passing google interview github it’ll come up with a load of links which are all just forks of this where people have made a checklist and notes for themselves on top of it, probably do the same if you want to follow it. I remember it first appearing, and what it is is that the guy set up a study plan to go from not really anything (no CS degree) to being able to pass a Google interview: This is my multi-month study plan for going from web developer (self-taught, no CS degree) to software engineer for a large company.

It’s a lot of stuff but it seems pretty comprehensive, as it’s someone in kinda the same situation, hopefully quite useful.

And also, (caveat: I can only go off bitching about various practices in tech talking online to US-based developers who’ve worked/work for FAANG companies) there seems to be a kinda general feeling that this kind of interview requirement/style tilts the balance massively towards young CS grads from elite colleges at the top of their classes. And that’s either what they’re mainly hiring for or they’re cargo culting Google (see the guy who wrote Brew being rejected from a Google job despite having created a critical piece of dev tooling, or Google recruiters being baffled when confronted with fact they weren’t recruiting minority students from smaller colleges [the elite colleges have modules specifically for interview prep, where they meet Googlers & are trained on how to pass the interviews]). From those discussions, there also seems to be a general feeling that companies on the next level down often don’t have the same onerous processes, and don’t value pat CS as much as ability, and though they may not pay as much up front, that may be offset by location, so lower cost of living. Also, you could spend 18 months learning everything you might need for a Google interview, or you could spend 18 months getting really good at parts of your job, then move jobs, get a big pay bump, and maybe not be a junior dev :man_shrugging:

Also, I know you get it but as a kinda counterpoint to many of the above replies, security in life is really important, money buys you that

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