Coffeehouse Thread

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Skills vs. Salary : Survey

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    I'm curious what MS developer salaries are compared to their skill-sets and how that compares to where I am.

    I've been programming professionallly for a total of about 12 years, proficiently for about 8, expertly (in some areas) for about 2. I know how to manage projects and small teams, and have a few commercial successes under my belt, i.e. I know how to get code right, tight, and to shipping quality and I know what the boss wants: to MAKE MONEY. I'm a very revenue conscious programmer, something missing in many tech-heads like me. I've done my own startups, several, some were disasters, made a few bucks on one or two. I'm not a millionaire yet, and gave up on pipe-dreams. I'm content to have a decent job in the current economy.

    At this point in my career, I don't even care what the platform or language is's all just bits to me. I mean, I learn new stuff everyday and I tend to stay more in the MS tech realm, but usually it's all just variations on a theme I've seen before. (Quantum computing is throwing a few curveballs at me, but it's nothing I'll have my mind into deeply for a while.) And I wouldn't think twice if our customers demanded our solution delivered on a Mac, a Linux box, a PocketPC, an XBox, or heck, even a board wired up with transistors and home-made core memory. I'm at that point where I really "get" computer tech.

    Education aside (I quit college to pursue this career and now have Computer Science BS and MS codemonkeys under me on the org-chart and I'm their fearless leader!), I can handily command a 6-figure salary on the East Coast (even with the crappy economy). When I was green, I was in the 30's.

    What's an entry level MS dev get? What about someone there in my experience range? What about the rest of  you? Has outsourcing affected pay scales and expections at MS (as it has in my neck of the woods)?

    Sorry if I got off-topic...too much caffeine.

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    Jeremy W

    I'll answer as one of "the rest of you". I've been doing IT for about 10 years professionally. My first paid gig was doing the JavaScript for IBM and Microsoft's site (funky floating frames on purple background for IBM, and a menu system vaguely like the current one for MS).

    To be honest, I've never commanded a high salary. Part of that has been the industries I've worked in: 6 years in non-profit, 2 years for 'stock option' dot com's and most recently in healthcare.

    None of which pay incredibly well.

    In my last job I was the Director of IS / IT in charge of a team of 15, bringing in 2.5M$ in income (total income for the company was 5M$/year). Pay? 40K.

    That's non-profit work for you.

    I'm making more now, but to be honest I don't care about money. Never really have. I'm sure part of this is being Canadian (as a rule our "dream" is to pay off our debts and go on a vacation once a year, which I'm now able to say is basically accomplished).

    I'd just love to be in a job where the company is has a direction, people love to do their jobs, there's loads of teamwork and energy and lots of potential. Someplace where smart people work with smart people to produce great 'stuff'.

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