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Wondering if the ~80£ salary in the listing below is typical for a senior engineer working in London. By NYC standards (where I think the cost of living is comparable) it’s quite low.


I think 80-90 is pretty common though you can get more


contracts are higher as well


outside of london it's more variable but you can get 60-70 or more depending on the company (the bigger the company, the higher the salary in general)


weird. from what I’ve seen (anecdote disclaimer), a senior engineer in the metro areas of the US would easily get $120k+. even naively using exchange rate for comparing salaries, it’s still a decent difference


us salaries are usually way above what you can get in Europe


even within same companies


salaries in Europe outside the UK tend to be still much lower


That said, public health care, public education, etc. I may not have a high salary, but I have a MSc and 0 student debt (not from UK originally; UK is starting to go down the bad road sadly.)

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As a former Brit based in California, I can concur that US salaries are much higher than the equivalent UK salaries but, as @lady3janepl observed, there are additional costs to factor in here in the US and salaries reflect that. I'm in the Bay Area -- one of the highest cost of living areas in the US -- and brand new graduate engineers often get $100K around here. Healthcare often has high deductibles/copays so even if you have great insurance through your job, you can still have many thousands of dollars of out of pocket costs (we just paid over $6K out of pocket for my wife's emergency gall bladder surgery -- luckily the other $100K was covered by insurance!).


And, yes, paying off your student loan can take decades (we paid off my wife's MBA loan several years ago -- and it was $500/month and she'd been paying it for decades, on and off).


California also has fairly expensive auto insurance and gasoline prices (not UK/EU levels but extremely high for the US, along with high state and sales taxes).


Also, crazy high housing costs. I pay $3K a month in mortgage (although that includes property taxes and home insurance) -- and I live in a relatively cheap part of the Bay...


If you work out in the heartland of America, taxes and cost of living are much, much lower and salaries reflect that.


(you may well ask "Why on Earth do you live in such an expensive place?" ... happy to extol the virtues of life in California but that would be way off topic for this channel 🙂 )


I understand California knows how to party

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california also knows how to weather

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Where I live in the East Bay, we have "Baby Bear" weather: never too hot, never too cold 🙂 A "chance of frost on high ground" is considered Extreme Weather here and they send out alerts! We almost never hit 100F either.


and driving along the coast is just amazing


i live in louisiana so these things really stuck out to me


California also knows how to shake and burn, unfortunately.

seancorfield16:09:50 -- ~150 earthquakes a week in my area (which is good -- nearer 200 is better -- it was down to just 30 last week and I started to worry we were going to get "The Big One" which we're due).


the weather in CA is probably the one thing that makes my heart ache every time I return home


definitely prefer manchester but I'd bin our weather in a heartbeat


tfw no TIL


it’s the artisanal sushi shops


Super interesting. I live in NYC and I think it’s similar to SF in terms of what software engineers earn (but definitely not similar wrt weather).


@brianballantine I get the impression that NYC has some industry sectors that pay crazy-high salaries? I've seen NYC FinTech jobs advertising $300-400K/year... But I also think your housing costs are even worse than SF?


i've heard manhattan is cheaper than SF


(compared to SF)


friend who came back from NYC recently said it got a bit run down compared to when he used to live there ( ~10 years ago I think? )


what’s really crazy to me is that the price to purchase property is higher in palo alto than SF. it’s almost Manhattan prices


@seancorfield I’m not sure. I imagine working in fin-tech would pay well, but I’ve always worked non-fin-tech startups in NYC. Heh, a friend of mine recently said something to the effect: “People who work at cupcake shops eat a lot of cupcakes. I used to work for a company that sold sweaters and pants and now I own a lot of nice sweaters and pants. So I’m thinking I should find a job in finance or banking. Maybe then I’ll have a lot of money.”


@lady3janepl - I’ve lived here for 20 years, mostly living in Brooklyn and working in Manhattan, and everywhere I go has only gotten nicer (and more expensive) over that time. The subway system, on the other hand…

Eric Ervin18:09:47

MTA fi' dead


I’ve heard you’re gettin nice payment system though 😉


no, you'll have a lot of speculative assets


The job market here for programmers (to bring this back on topic) is really good.


to get good money in finance you have to be a finance/math person who can program or get into HFT. The margins on the latter are getting lower each year though


@dm3 That probably explains why FinTech recruiters see my LinkedIn profile and keep pestering me -- BSc Hons in Maths and some PhD work (although that was pure Comp Sci -- I don't think they read that part).

Eric Ervin19:09:38

I thought I'd read that whiteboard interviews were passé. Last few interviews I've gone to have reminded me of my days student teaching. Aren't there ways to test someone's technical skills on a computer?


I think software interviews in general need fixing. Lots of problems with the various ways a candidate's skills are assessed. I prefer a take home challenge, but even those are being abused as some challenges require 2-3 days of work instead of a few hours.

Eric Ervin19:09:06

2/3 had a take home thing. They still wanted to see my standup routine. I'd hoped that by typing a lot in my github account I could avoid this kind of dog and parentheses show.


All "live coding" interviews are broken IMO -- that's not how software developers work. I hate whiteboard tests and live-on-the-computer tests. I've never conducted those as a hiring manager.

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If you can't figure out whether a developer knows their stuff during a live conversation (in person, by phone, by video conference), then you're doing something wrong in my opinion.


See the pinned item here (from ages ago) that is the mind map I use to guide discussions in a technical interview.


Yeah, I've been in interviews where there was a phone screen, a take home challenge, then an onsite round of white boarding or pair programming. It's not easy going through the whole thing, and I hate just thinking of it.

Eric Ervin19:09:59

No big deal. I can do other professions and be a recreational programmer.


I have people skills... maybe I can find something else too 🙂


I'm quite happy being stuck in programming though, but nice to have options.


If I was still working with Java I'd really feel stuck though.

Eric Ervin19:09:05

I just had the idea that I'll go into prop comedy with a whiteboard #lemons #lemonade


I can see the value in an on-site (or remote) pairing session as part of the interview process -- if pairing is something your team does regularly.


I do think pair programming as the assessment is good, it was actually refreshing as it was the first time I'd been in an interview with it. But mixed with all the other hoops... Pair programming as I saw described once:


We have a live-coding portion of our interview process with one extra twist: The team members and the candidates each pick a non-trivial 4clojure problem (or similar), and we all work together on it, so the team has to work on it just as much as the candidate does.

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^^ that sounds like a great idea.


Yeah, it’s less like an interview and more like a hackathon or users group or something.

Eric Ervin19:09:24

Anything where I can get feedback from the REPL as I work.


I get why we have to do it - lots of chancers out there


but I’m so done with code tests (and I say that as part of a recruiting panel that has them as part of our process)