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    All I can think about is what these people do with the higher paying salaries. I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to be making $500K a year. What in the hell am I supposed to do with that kind of money?

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      If you save up for a few years on that kind of salary, you might be able to afford a small, run-down house in San Francisco. ;-)

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          I was about to say the same thing. Living far too long on a grad student/postdoc salary, my imagination on how to spend money is restricted. The best thing my wife and I can come up with is more frequent holidays, especially to visit family/exotic locations and donate to charity. I suppose we could move to a better school district, but there are sociological issues there that are disturbing to us.

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            How else can they afford Uber for gas?

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              If it were me, I think a lot of it would be going to charity. I guess I could also save it and retire early or something.

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                All I can think about is what these people do with the higher paying salaries.

                Presumably very little, until they leave the job exhausted. I’m assuming these are not people on 40 hours/week positions with a healthy work/life balance. At least that’s what I keep telling myself :-)

                I can’t even begin to imagine what it would be like to be making $500K a year. What in the hell am I supposed to do with that kind of money?

                I tried to picture that as well. At today’s rate that’s about £346,701. Plugging that figure into a UK Tax Calculator says that HMRC would take £142,115 so I would be left with £194,318. That’s a little less than the house I just bought cost. That buys a lot of nice holidays (if you have the holiday allowance!) but presumably not “Private Jet” kind of money.

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                  I always wonder, is that person really better than 5x $100,000 employees? Do they really pack in 200 hours of value every week?

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                    I imagine these are the figureheads: the conference keynote speakers, the authors of popular books, etc. People whose work is educational / inspirational beyond their technical value.

                    Either that, or they have core parts of BigTable/Excel/DynamoDB source code on a USB drive and are holding the company ransom.

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                  I find these comparisons meaningless without normalizing for location. Google/Facebook are based in the Bay Area while Amazon/Microsoft are based in Washington, where the cost of living is lower.

                  All four companies have employees in both areas though.. so I’d like to see comparisons broken down by geographical location.

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                    The survey and spreadsheet attached to this article is going to cause anarchy across the states. Which I think is a good thing.

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                      The Microsoft data is pretty heavily weighted toward the bottom end of engineers (Software Engineer ½, levels 59-62). They’ve only got one Principal engineer reporting and two or three Senior. I wouldn’t take this with any real weight versus Google/FB/Amazon. The distributions just aren’t broad enough to make any real meaningful analysis of on the entire scale of pay.

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                        In the chart for Median Total Compensation Breakdown the have the labels for FB & Google swapped.

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                          With all these salaires sharing things, I am sure some companies will (or already started) submitted fake salaries and game the system. So I think we should be cautious will these studies, even if we can still learn a lot from them.

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                            I am sure some companies will (or already started) submitted fake salaries and game the system.

                            How, and why?

                            I share your cynicism, but I also don’t see how they can gain anything by doing so. Low salaries make them appear stingy to the outside world, and high salaries create internal morale problems (since a large number of Google engineers aren’t earning 500k+).

                            Tech companies want this discussion to go away, not to influence it in one direction or another.

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                            I would enjoy seeing salary sharing for something other than SE positions. Still the information is valuable as it is.