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  #21  
Old 18.11.2019, 19:50
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Re: Top of the market pay for software engineers?

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200k+ is certainly achievable as a contractor doing Dev work in most multinationals (i.e. on 1000chf a day), but of course you have all of the other expenses to pay yourself (e.g. Pension).

160k as an internal would certainly be equivalent to 225-250k contracting for similar positions.

1k a day used to be pretty achievable in Zurich as a contractor but many of the large banks have been squeezing the market in recent years till all they are getting are naive newcomers from poor countries who believe that 650 is a lot. From that 1k do typically some intermediaries want a decent slice as well.


What are the best paid purely technical specialists in non-management positions? Niche players. People who still know that ancient system only three companies still use... and can fix stuff that would take other teams weeks to figure out. Thats the moment where the other options are expensive, so the contractor can pretty much dictate the price. But those jobs arent offered on a plate to new graduates, are difficult to maintain and generally very rare. People who have them are not going to spill the beans about them on the internet.
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  #22  
Old 18.11.2019, 20:56
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Re: Top of the market pay for software engineers?

I know two people working at google, both less or around 30 years old with 120k base salary. I don't know, 200k might be the total compensation including bonus, stock, retirement fund.
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  #23  
Old 18.11.2019, 21:13
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Re: Top of the market pay for software engineers?

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lol you're bitchin about getting a 160k offer from google?? proof that googles mental interview techniques don't work.
But, but, but FAANGs in the US pay even a whole lot more, with late careers devs reaching $400k-500k - which I suppose is simply unthinkable in Switzerland, or not?

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Do you also need a big willy to tell us how much you may be able to earn ?
What's your malfunction, dude? You have nothing better to do with your life but shit in other people's threads?

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From what I read one can't afford to rent anything in the bay area and taxes are also about double in the USA.
Not double. AFAIK, US federal tax is comparable in magnitude to total (federal+cantonal+municipal) tax in Zurich. There's state income tax in California (about 10%?) and capital gains tax, that's it. Rent is higher but let's be frank renting own apartment in Zurich is also not cheap.

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So in the end that 160 offer here is probably better then 200 in SF.
But 200k is top of the market here in Zurich (excluding one outlier firm), whereas in SF I hope to be making $300-400k+ after 5-10 years working for FAANGs, so still SF seems like a much better deal financially than Zurich even despite higher taxes and rents.

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I know two people working at google, both less or around 30 years old with 120k base salary. I don't know, 200k might be the total compensation including bonus, stock, retirement fund.
Yes, it's total compensation. My salary in offer is also 120k, 15% target bonus, the rest is stocks. Google stock is highly liquid and practically as good as cash, this is not some fake startup paper money we're talking about.
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  #24  
Old 18.11.2019, 21:24
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Re: Top of the market pay for software engineers?

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Yes, it's total compensation. My salary in offer is also 120k, 15% target bonus, the rest is stocks. Google stock is highly liquid and practically as good as cash, this is not some fake startup paper money we're talking about.
This would be about 140k with bonus, without stock. How is the stock made available, is this yearly and guaranteed? A google guy explained it to me, but I couldn't understand exactly under which conditions and how much and I think that neither he did.
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Old 18.11.2019, 21:37
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Re: Top of the market pay for software engineers?

I'm getting ~ $80k stock grant, vested over 4 years evenly every quarter. Module market noise (stock price development from grant date to vest date), this is guaranteed pay. From what I understand I should also be normally getting some refresh grants every year with similar 4 year schedule which accumulate together and boost total compensation further, they are not guaranteed and I don't know the amounts yet.
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  #26  
Old 18.11.2019, 21:58
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Re: Top of the market pay for software engineers?

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What about non-Google companies? Don't want to make my career dependent on a single company.
If you're good enough, you don't need to worry about finding employment.
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  #27  
Old 18.11.2019, 23:50
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Re: Top of the market pay for software engineers?

The pay for software engineers is never super high Ironically the highest salary to your performance ratio you can get till you're young. The FAANGs can afford to overpay you for 2-3 years with the hopes to rip off the benefit for many more years.

To get past the salary of your rank you need to step on some unique opportunity, which happens only to a few percent of the population. As a software engineer your daily job will be monotonous, year over year you're going to stick to the same old "challenges" working 12-14h a day (for that ~200k). That won't make you world-wide genius worth millions on the pay slip. So either get as much as you can till you're young and move to management or look for a career with more freedom and independence like a researcher or entrepreneur as only for the latter there's really no forced limit what you can achieve.

If I could turn back time I would choose the path of entrepreneurship. Earning 3 to 5 times the average salary was superb, but it ends quickly looking from perspective of 20-30 years. It's never too late to start but at this age it feels super tough to become entrepreneur.
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  #28  
Old 19.11.2019, 08:29
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Re: Top of the market pay for software engineers?

If you check



www.deinlohn.ch (you have to create an account but its free)


you will see that a senior software engineer at google gets between


203K and 295K CHF (based on 13 entries).



whereas at Credit Suisse he gets "only" between 112K and 141K
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  #29  
Old 19.11.2019, 09:59
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Re: Top of the market pay for software engineers?

if you're basing your whole career on who pays the most the you're going to be very very unhappy. thats my top tip of the day
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  #30  
Old 19.11.2019, 11:34
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Re: Top of the market pay for software engineers?

Said every manager....
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Old 19.11.2019, 13:25
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Re: Top of the market pay for software engineers?

From what I've read, there actually is a niche in software development industry that can pay around 350K - 450K CHF a year.

This is more or less exclusively for ML/DL specialists with at least 6+ years of experience developing highly scalable models.

Though I've never seen these job postings live, I have no reason to doubt in these numbers to be real.
The thing is of course that these are also very limited positions and talent is generally hired from the worlds best.
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  #32  
Old 19.11.2019, 22:54
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Re: Top of the market pay for software engineers?

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From what I've read, there actually is a niche in software development industry that can pay around 350K - 450K CHF a year.

This is more or less exclusively for ML/DL specialists with at least 6+ years of experience developing highly scalable models.

Though I've never seen these job postings live, I have no reason to doubt in these numbers to be real.
The thing is of course that these are also very limited positions and talent is generally hired from the worlds best.
I've seen such offer from some Norwegian retailer, but it was just 6 months contract. That wasn't sustainable income as the OP outlined. How often can you get such lucrative contract even if you have the skills/knowlegde? But for me it would do. I would prefer to work 0.5 y every 2 years
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  #33  
Old 20.11.2019, 01:56
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Re: Top of the market pay for software engineers?

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But my concern is from what I hear, elsewhere in Switzerland it is very hard to get even that much money even as a highly experienced professional. So if I stay in Switzerland I would be basically gold-handcuffed to Google. Or not?
Google pays well, and the serious ramping up in L5-L7 that is visible in your link is consistent with the impression that I get internally. Note though that I haven't spent time pouring over the Google internal "share your salary" spreadsheet.

All that said, Google aims to pay above the mean in whatever city it hires in, but not many standard deviations above the mean. In other words, Google pays what it pays because it believes at least some other people are paid similarly in Zurich.

The real question, and I think the reason that some people look a little askew at your attitude, is whether your only goal in life is the accumulation of wealth. Even within Google, there are many more career options in Silicon Valley, and if that is your only priority, you should tell your recruiter that you'd like to be in MTV if possible, otherwise you could start in Zurich (or wherever) and apply for an internal transfer.

But for many, once you hit a certain point, more money doesn't actually bring more satisfaction. I'm honestly not sure if any amount of additional money would convince me to spend years dealing with the disasters of traffic and housing that almost define the south bay. I find Zurich to be a pretty nice balance in a lot of ways.
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  #34  
Old 20.11.2019, 10:34
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Re: Top of the market pay for software engineers?

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But for many, once you hit a certain point, more money doesn't actually bring more satisfaction. I'm honestly not sure if any amount of additional money would convince me to spend years dealing with the disasters of traffic and housing that almost define the south bay. I find Zurich to be a pretty nice balance in a lot of ways.
Key idea - once you hit a certain point.
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Old 21.11.2019, 00:13
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Re: Top of the market pay for software engineers?

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But for many, once you hit a certain point, more money doesn't actually bring more satisfaction. I'm honestly not sure if any amount of additional money would convince me to spend years dealing with the disasters of traffic and housing that almost define the south bay. I find Zurich to be a pretty nice balance in a lot of ways.
Exactly Unfortunately nowadays most employers insist of paying me 10-20% less than that point. Still good but my savings are a bit small. It just doesn't fit my retirement investment plan so either I have to become really frugal now or forget my dreams of wonderful old age times. Well, the salary that fits me well is 140k, still not much for the OP
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  #36  
Old 22.11.2019, 15:57
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Re: Top of the market pay for software engineers?

How to find a job that pays more than 200K per year?


Very easy, just search on a job advertising site like jobserve.com with the right filters set ( >=200K/year or >=100/hour) and choose the one that suits you most.


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Old 22.11.2019, 21:00
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Re: Top of the market pay for software engineers?

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How to find a job that pays more than 200K per year?


Very easy, just search on a job advertising site like jobserve.com with the right filters set ( >=200K/year or >=100/hour) and choose the one that suits you most.
I tried your website and I don't find any >=200K jobs. What am I doing wrong?


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if you're basing your whole career on who pays the most the you're going to be very very unhappy. thats my top tip of the day
Why do you say so? Earning twice the typical industry pay allows me to retire twice as early. Perhaps even faster thanks to compounding. I think being able to retire at 30-35 rather than at 50+ and have 1-2 more decades of life to myself could make me pretty happy. And it's not like I have to work twice as hard at Google - from what I hear it's a good place w.r.t TC / WLB balance.


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.. you're going to stick to the same old "challenges" working 12-14h a day (for that ~200k)
From what I read, Google has very good TC/WLB in the industry. People get paid well and go home after normal 8h/day. 60-70h work weeks are more of a norm in the hedge funds. Frankly at my age I probably wouldn't mind working such hours for a proportional pay (300-400k) for a few years. It's possible today in the US in bigger and more elite hedge funds, like Citadel, Jane Street, etc. How about in Switzerland?


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If you're good enough, you don't need to worry about finding employment.
I'm worried about finding employment with comparable total compensation if I choose to stay in Switzerland for the long term. It seems to me so far that outside Google there's really no choice but to emigrate to US

Last edited by kerneltrick; 22.11.2019 at 21:35.
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  #38  
Old 22.11.2019, 22:17
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Re: Top of the market pay for software engineers?

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That's my plan for now. But what after I quit Google if I don't want to see my pay cut in half? I love Switzerland but it seems I would have no choice but to go to US for the money.
Honey, you sound incredibly entitled, check your privilege. Plenty of people with double your experience are making much less than you and are doing ok. If you are only in it for locust-type remuneration models, Switzerland may not be ideal for someone who is not yet on the upper levels.
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Old 22.11.2019, 22:40
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Re: Top of the market pay for software engineers?

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Honey, you sound incredibly entitled, check your privilege. Plenty of people with double your experience are making much less than you and are doing ok.
People in the city where I was born are earning on average ̶$̶1̶0̶k̶ ̶/̶ ̶y̶e̶a̶r̶ [edit: official government statistics:] $5.7k / year and doing mostly ok too (I think, big and growing Zurich-sized functioning city, not much crime, etc), so what? Should you feel ashamed of earning even a modest 100k CHF / year compared to them here in Switzerland? I'm a capitalist and have no moral qualms against working for the highest payer. I invested quite a bit in my education and want to get a good ROI on it.

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If you are only in it for locust-type remuneration models, Switzerland may not be ideal for someone wh o is not yet on the upper levels.
That's exactly what I've been wondering about. It rains money in the US for software engineers today, but apparently not so in Switzerland. Much less the rest of Europe.

Last edited by kerneltrick; 22.11.2019 at 23:23.
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Old 23.11.2019, 04:51
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Re: Top of the market pay for software engineers?

Well, I remember the welcome speech of the chancellor of Durham University in the thousand year old Durham Cathedral, the key message being: Don't let your studies get in the way of your education. Clearly you invested in your studies but not so much in your own growth. I know a few people who fought hard to get into Google, going through interview processes lasting several months. For you to be so offhand about it makes me hope a member of the hiring team reads this forum to better understand the type of person you are. It may not be a great cultural fit.
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