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The founder of a large, successful enterprise told us that his startup tried to poach a "programmer" currently working at Google.

The startup made the programmer what it thought was a big offer: a $500,000 salary.

"He blew us off," said the founder.

The programmer told the startup thanks for the offer, but Google was currently paying him $3 million per year in cash and restricted stock units.

(Restricted stock units, or "RSUs," are as good as stock in that the programmer won't have to buy them to get them.)

A compensation of $3 million per year, or even $500,000 per year, is well above the Silicon Valley average for an engineer. Recruiter Scott Purcell says the software engineers he's placing typically make a base salary of $165,000. The average base salary for a Google engineer is $128,000.

Google has an industry-wide reputation for getting ? and keeping ? the people it wants.

This is a credit to CEO Larry Page. He's made Google into a place where really bright people get to work on extremely ambitious, large-scale problems.

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In the beginning and while reading the article when i reached the phrase

 

"He blew us off," said the founder.The programmer told the startup thanks for the offer, but Google..."

 

 

i though it was going to finish with smth like "offers me more opportunities and possibilities regarding my career" but then i read the "was currently paying him $3 million per year in cash and restricted stock units." and it all made sense.  :D

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$3Mil is nothing to laugh at.  he is with google for the rest of his career i feel.

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... paying him $3 million per year in cash

 

Poor guy -- he'll have to live in a mansion and drive exotic cars. :/

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God I wish I had that sort of talent

 

 

... paying him $3 million per year in cash

 

Poor guy -- he'll have to live in a mansion and drive exotic cars. :/

I know, it must really suck to be him,

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I don't know what's more insane. The guy at Google getting $3 million in compensation or the start-up offering $500K.

 

For all the puffery of "open source software" that Google engages in, you know one thing's for sure: the work that this $3 Million Man does sure as hell ain't open source.

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dat's insane salary. I wish I can get atleast 50% of that :D

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I don't know what's more insane. The guy at Google getting $3 million in compensation or the start-up offering $500K.

 

For all the puffery of "open source software" that Google engages in, you know one thing's for sure: the work that this $3 Million Man does sure as hell ain't open source.

 

How much does Microsoft or Apple contribute to Open Source? That's right, nothing, just because you hate on Google for irrational reasons doesn't mean you can spout whatever nonsense you want 

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How much does Microsoft or Apple contribute to Open Source? That's right, nothing, just because you hate on Google for irrational reasons doesn't mean you can spout whatever nonsense you want 

 

Actually MS does contribute; Codeplex being an example and it even contributed to the Linux Kernel (more in the past, but still).

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/03/microsoft_linux_kernel_contributions/

 

So saying that MS doesn't contribute isn't true at all.

 

On Topic: the very fact that an average Google engineer gets 1000% more than a software engineer in my country does say allot; i live in a really poor country :(

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So they think a single $3m programmer is worth as much as 15 great $200k/y programmers? I understand quality over quantity but I would think it's a logarithmic growth. Perhaps I'm just projecting my own insecurities of not being unable to obtain $3m per year as a programmer though, lol.

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So they think a single $3m programmer is worth as much as 15 great $200k/y programmers? I understand quality over quantity but I would think it's a logarithmic growth. Perhaps I'm just projecting my own insecurities of not being unable to obtain $3m per year as a programmer though, lol.

 

that's not a average "programmer", most likely a top professional from Google. Also for 128k one could get almost 10 software engineers in my country...or 1000 in China. :D

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Also, I suppose the Google programmer could have been lying, maybe he makes say $750K a year and was just messing with the guy. Some people, especially with the kind of loyalty Google tries to foster, do not respond well to poaching attempts.

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TLDR: Pick up a book, do projects and search for in demand jobs in your area or start a business to meet a demand.

 

Value and learning to negotiate will bring you higher salaries with time.  Do you still do the same job you did 10 years ago at the same salary or close to it with the same company? If someone is fine with that they stay or take the time to increase their value and move on to more rewarding opportunities.  You do not have to go to the best of schools and live in proximity to Google, Facebook, Yahoo, etc. to make a large salary ( though living near a major city might increase your chances ).  Spending the time to increase your value that you offer to employers or starting your own highly profitable company can yield you salaries higher than what the average is.

 

For a reference point check out the statistics gathered previously that is reported by companies in the USA http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_va.htm .  As you can see here if your in an in-demand field and offer value you can make six figures easily or very close to it.  If you want to go above the regular statistics you can do so by enhancing your knowledge in building or administrating products that bring great value to companies that can save them money or generate large sums of money.  These would be jobs that are in high demand but offer a low supply of people that are actually qualified for the job.

 

Some might say well I don't have the experience or where could I learn how to do x to get y.  The classical way of picking up a book ( paper or digital ) is the most in-depth way to help you on a journey to become a master your field and increase your value.  You can supplement this with watching a video or taking a class but the information you would probably receive from a class or video can be found in greater depth in high quality books where the authors have been paid or not paid but highly motivated to take you from a complete novice to an expert which is very rare to find.  As most individuals are at the beginner to senior level and do not take the extra step of becoming an expert which is not an easy road to travel.  For those that do travel that road and gain a much higher value by doing so are those that are offered the salaries and benefits you hear about in the news or movies that are not publicly available to individuals on job searching sites and normally sent out by private invitation.

 

Best way to get experience and keeping your skill set relevant is by doing side projects which can be personal or for profit.  Just do something and don't make excuses on why cannot do them.  If your in the field of any type of technology you already know if you don't keep up you fall behind and if you fall too far behind your skill set will eventually be in low demand which could also equal less value which ultimately means less money and free time.

 

Don't know where to look for what is in demand?  Take a look at http://www.tiobe.com/index.php/content/paperinfo/tpci/index.html for a rough estimate and type in popular languages into job sites and your favorite search engine around your area to see what is in demand.  Don't just look at the development / systems administrator side but also take a look at what businesses are looking for on the business side.  If you have a specialty in that or see voids in the market you could create a business creating software to meet that need or better software to fill the gaps where another company has stagnated.

 

Something else you may want to think about if you are currently employed is are you moving up in the company or are your co-workers passing you by with getting promoted or moving on to better jobs.  Some may be happy where they are at which is good if the current job your at is able to meet all your needs and wants along with keeping your mentally stimulated and challenged.  If that is not the case and you are bored at the job and feel yourself slowly turning to mush it is time to prepare for something more rewarding but to do that make sure you offer enough value to your next employer.  

 

There is never a ceiling to your salary increases unless you put an artificial one there by not increasing your value.  Though with the increase in salary normally comes an increase in responsibility which could be more work or you working with the core of the business to generate more net profit.  I would recommend if you really enjoy your company to take a look at positions listed publicly and the private internal ones within the company that are offering higher salaries and work your way to those new positions.  If you have a good manager they will want you to move up within the company and help you if they can.  You may have to seek out those opportunities if they are not something your manager can offer you under their umbrella. 

 

Bottom line is if you want those dream salaries and benefits you can obtain them but you have to offer enough value to be qualified for those positions.  It is not impossible to reach it but will require some persistence and work in getting there.  If it was easy to obtain it wouldn't be that challenging would it?  Take some of the suggestions and ideas above into consideration this year and see what you can do to move to the next challenging level in your life.

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So they think a single $3m programmer is worth as much as 15 great $200k/y programmers? I understand quality over quantity but I would think it's a logarithmic growth. Perhaps I'm just projecting my own insecurities of not being unable to obtain $3m per year as a programmer though, lol.

A good programmer is easily 10 tens more productive than a mediocre one, and a genius programmer is very easily 10 times more useful than a merely good one. See http://programmers.stackexchange.com/a/181297/57335 . This is a similar phenomena we observe in professional gaming, where the higher up the hierarchy you get the larger the differences are, to the point where sometimes the very best player is easily 2 or 3 times better than the 2nd.

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How much does Microsoft or Apple contribute to Open Source? That's right, nothing, just because you hate on Google for irrational reasons doesn't mean you can spout whatever nonsense you want 

 

Ehhh, might want to check your facts on that one. If you need a place to check them, try this helpful page:

https://developer.apple.com/opensource/

 

You can argue how much Apple gives back to UNIX and Webkit, but they do give back something.

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A good programmer is easily 10 tens more productive than a mediocre one, and a genius programmer is very easily 10 times more useful than a merely good one. See http://programmers.stackexchange.com/a/181297/57335 . This is a similar phenomena we observe in professional gaming, where the higher up the hierarchy you get the larger the differences are, to the point where sometimes the very best player is easily 2 or 3 times better than the 2nd.

 

A $200k/year programmer would not be mediocre and doubtfully 'merely good'.  If they are even 1/10th as useful as the $3m programmer then they're wasting money.

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How much does Microsoft or Apple contribute to Open Source? That's right, nothing, just because you hate on Google for irrational reasons doesn't mean you can spout whatever nonsense you want 

 

Just because you hate on Microsoft for irrational reasons doesn't mean you can spout whatever nonsense you want.

There are these things called facts. They're real. And often inconvenient.

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DOesn't really matter what others are earning.  If Google thinks he is worth $3mil, then he is worth $3mil.

Another company may think he's worth less.

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A $200k/year programmer would not be mediocre and doubtfully 'merely good'.  If they are even 1/10th as useful as the $3m programmer then they're wasting money.

?A great lathe operator commands several times the wage of an average lathe operator, but a great writer of software code is worth 10,000 times the price of an average software writer.? ?Bill Gates

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