It sounds like we need more data before we can even start with the theories. 100 datapoints from a facebook group isn’t really enough to start speculating on.
Selection bias for people in that specific group.
Selection bias for people who choose to report (people on the extremes may be more likely to report).
No adjustment for location or even country.
Self-reporting brings in various biases and freedom to lie.
My conclusion is that you can’t draw any conclusions or even begin to understand compensation distribution from this data.
Indeed, for example, I don’t use facebook.
Some of the factors affecting big law pay: The big firms are insanely profitable. They can afford to pay associates in a way that your local small town family law practice can’t. So at the high end, you can afford to pay, so they do. At the low end, they can’t afford to pay, so they don’t.
The salaries for big law firms tend to move in lockstep because they’re competing for the same pool of applicants and they’re all offering about the same work experience. There’s perhaps a little variation in office environment aand who’s got the sexy clients, but it’s fairly even. It’s somewhat random who gets placed where. But if one firm offered 10% less salary, it’s easy to imagine a significant reduction in applicants. Everybody with a choice would take a higher paying job, and they’d be left with only those people with a single offer. Interviews are a crap shoot, but it’s easy to see that exclusively hiring candidates rejected by all competing firms is probably not great.
Relation to tech? Do we have a few big name companies that are insanely profitable? Are they competing for the same talent? Is offering 20% less salary then competition going to affect your applicant pool?
The question is whether there are less profitable companies at the bottom. Or, companies not directly in the software business for whom software development is more of a cost center. Assuming a bimodal distribution, I suspect the team who writes printer drivers is going to gravitate towards the lower end, which doesn’t bode well for retaining the talent required to develop a driver much better than “not entirely busted”.
Do we have a few big name companies that are insanely profitable? Are they competing for the same talent? Is offering 20% less salary then competition going to affect your applicant pool?
I think the answers to all 3 of your questions are yes.