Quite a lot of data to deal with, some thoughts:
The pay disparity between the US and EU(and UK) for now is very large. If US developers are paying less than 50% of their salaries on health care then they are coming out a head. There is something to be said for statutory leave (vacation days), but the choice to earn 2x (or apparently 4x) what I do is quite enticing.
Binning 20+ years experience together generates uninteresting plots.
If US developers are paying less than 50% of their salaries on health care then they are coming out a head.
Also, in the US, most have to own a car. Our public transit sucks. And housing near tech areas is super expensive. Still, the difference is stark.
You also have to keep in mind that living expenses in Germany, France, and most of the UK (with the exception of London) are much much lower than the Bay Area.
It looks like the author is a web developer. Surely there’s an area of tech that is at least a bit better when it comes to correctness than what (in my opinion) is the worst offender of “ship it!!!” culture.
What area of tech are you thinking about?
I’m not sure actually. I know there are programmers who work on low level systems or embedded areas that can’t fail because people would get hurt or a ton of money would be lost. Maybe there?
There’s plenty of real work that involves programming but isn’t the business-driven sprint garbage we all love to hate.
The problem is that “Real Technology” isn’t one place. You need a specialty, and usually one that isn’t “just programming” (e.g. biomedical engineering, aeronautics, high-end AI). The age when a generalist programmer could get into interesting jobs seems to have ended. Right now, it seems that you need something else in addition to programming ability to get into Real Tech. I think the best advice that I could give would be to look back to who one was before becoming a software engineer. What were those prior creative passions and intellectual interests? Obviously, this is very personal and some people will have an easier time finding a niche than others.
Also, in bubble times like these, the salaries in Real Tech tend to be lower by 10 to 50 percent, depending on how “researchy” the field is. On the other hand, those salaries are a lot more stable and, let’s be honest, the most talented among us may be underutilized, but most of what professional programmers do is monkey work and $120-140k for that is a short-term aberration that the masters are fighting, hence the boot camps and the abuse of the H1-B program.
Came here to say this too, there’s a lot of sub-fields in software that are much more concerned with getting it exactly right every time. They’re going to be harder to get into than just taking a bootcamp or teaching yourself, though, and there aren’t 10,000 startups and recruiters trying to place anyone with a pulse in those jobs.