I think a better take away from this is what a completely arbitrary crapshoot the technical hiring process is at most places.
Also if the author was really making $20k less than a junior developer was at another company, and he has an inside source there, I can’t help but wonder why he isn’t applying for “Bryan"s now empty position.
Perhaps there is no Bryan. Perhaps “Bryan” is a figure of speech. A straw man. A point-being-made. An alternative fact, as it were.
I’ve seen this happen a few times in the midwest but with a slightly different spin - a large company (not a tech company but has a respectably large I.T. department) needs some tech talent to complete a project, they outsource to a contracting company. That company brings in some people claiming good credentials, but end up completely flopping the project, wasting tons of money. The contractors are fired and move on to the next gig, leaving the company with an unfinished project and even further in the hole.
It’s amazing how far you can get without actually knowing how to do anything, if you know how to sell it.