Software Engineer, entry level salary?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by CodeX, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. CodeX

    CodeX Guest

    So I've talked about my job a lot on these forums, and I do like it, but the pay is not that great and I am starting to wonder if I am putting myself into a rut and whether or not I should be actively pursuing bigger and better things.

    The deal is, I was hired my senior year of college as part time help, primarily to teach my boss C++. I was suggested by a professor of mine who was also working with him part time. I was hired at $12 an hour, and upon graduation was given a raise to 15 an hour. So a year goes by, I am now responsible for most of the code written for the companies newest projects and I think I'm doing pretty well, but the company is having a hard time financially due to this recession. Luckily, we land a rather large deal with another company and upon this deal I was promoted to full time salaried and given a raise that works out to about 40k a year, plus company matched IRA, medical/dental/vision, vacation, all that. Now I am responsible for ALL software development for ALL of our current projects. I am pretty happy with it at the moment, my girlfriend just feels like I could be doing better and that I am getting in a rut and doesn't like that I am not even looking for something else. It doesn't help that neither of us really likes where we live and wish we could move back closer to our families.

    So I guess I am just wondering how my situation compares to other people with the same degree just out of college, and whether or not I should be shooting for better things or just relax and be happy that I have what I have when the market is such shit at the moment.
     
  2. Limp_Brisket

    Limp_Brisket New Member

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    40k a year with a bachelors in computer science? im pretty sure that sucks ass.

    i make that (hourly) and i don't even have my degree yet, and i've had this job for 2+ years. i definitely plan to make much more when i graduate shortly.
     
  3. PcH

    PcH Guest

    Where do you live?
     
  4. PcH

    PcH Guest

    40k a year is absolute shit if you're talking gross
     
  5. Limp_Brisket

    Limp_Brisket New Member

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    if i were you i'd move on to a new company. the difference between hiring someone with a degree and without a degree is pretty large, but since they hired you before you had your degree they're going to take advantage of that, and even if they give you a raise they won't be paying you what you're worth.
     
  6. hsmith

    hsmith OT Supporter

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    hourly, lol
     
  7. hsmith

    hsmith OT Supporter

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    IMO: you will make much more seeding your oats and looking for other jobs elsewhere. Staying in house limits what you can make.
     
  8. Limp_Brisket

    Limp_Brisket New Member

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    works perfectly for me being in school still, i don't know who's bright idea it was to schedule senior level classes at times like 2pm in the afteroon :ugh: but since i'm hourly my work schedule is very flexible.

    but as soon as i graduate i'll be out of here and into a better career job, and i've told my boss that. he said he'd be willing to give me a substantial raise but i know it won't be enough to make it worth it. once they get use to paying you a certain amount pre-degree they're not going to all the sudden start paying you double post-degree.
     
  9. ge0

    ge0 New Member

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    55K with less then 2 years of real exp
     
  10. GOGZILLA

    GOGZILLA Double-Uranium Member

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    it mostly depends on where you live dude but id say that's fairly below standard wages for you actually having a degree and not doing something like data entry or "web developer"
     
  11. GOGZILLA

    GOGZILLA Double-Uranium Member

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    and before people get on my shit i mean entry level web development
     
  12. enfiniti

    enfiniti How firm thy friendship ... OHIO!

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    Threads like this are misleading, you are worth whatever you can sell yourself to be worth. I would expect between 40-60 depending on what you mean by software engineer.

    Ive seen Computer Engineers take 48k/yr jobs to go into a field they like over 62 developing stuff they dont like.



    I think the major thing to think about is the difference between a software ENGINEER and a coder. A software engineer probably rarely touches C++ other than proof of concept and will design most of the software in something like UML, and pass the implementation down to C++ coders making ~40 to 45.

    If you are looking at smaller companies who dont understand software engineering and blindly call "coders" as "software engineers" to bring in more resumes, that is where you will see disparity in salary.

    Most software engineers work their way up as coders, than subsystem software designers, all the way up to true software engineers. If you look at "Average Salary of a Software Engineer", you are probably looking at the average salary of people who dont do the actual implementation of software.
     
  13. ge0

    ge0 New Member

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    pretty sure they code the architecture of software systems
     
  14. SLED

    SLED build an idiot proof device and someone else will

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    bingo.

    I know shit coders out here that are making 100k+ with 5yrs experience, non-management. Their skills are absolutely horrible.

    At the end of the day, they satisfy the client/employer and have good people skills. This is all it comes down to. If all you want to do is sit in a cube and code with your headphones on all day answering only email, you'll probably never break the 80k barrier (dependent on location obviously).
     
  15. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    You're a smart guy, if you can promote yourself well, you can do much better than that - but it may involve moving. The thing to do is to explore your options - you don't have to do anything, just see whats out there.

    If you feel like you're in a rut, you probably are.

    As to degrees, I don't know - I didn't get mine. I pushed buttons in QA for like six months before getting the automation contract, ate lots of shit at a few job hops before starting a software company. After that, the jobs got better. Probably a degree would have been the easier path, but I can't sit in a classroom :)

    What I do know is that if you network, if you are good - if you eat and sleep what you're into, then you can go anywhere you want. Be determined to be better than most everyone around you - learn everything you can, and you can rapidly improve your lot. I went from $12->$30 an hour in six months, at that first QA gig. Always pick somewhere that you KNOW you aren't the smartest guy there. Learn. Move to another company, repeat. Eventually you'll settle into something for a longer period, but hopping every year or so is how you move up in this economy.
     
  16. Swerve

    Swerve OT Supporter

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    Peyomp could you share a few details on what working in QA is like?

    I graduate next year with an honors degree in software engineering (C++ primarily) and this is something I'll probably end up doing to begin with.

    (Or working in a software house more generally).

    Thanks man :)
     
  17. OniMinion

    OniMinion ...recalls when this forum was actually about cars OT Supporter

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    If you take OT's advice, and move on; make sure you line up a job first. After you have an offer, try to counter it with your current employer (it's always better to stay in one place longer than 2 years).
     
  18. SIGirl

    SIGirl Super Duper Moderator Super Moderator

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    It really is all in how you sell yourself. I can talk to someone for 10 minutes and get a feel for their level of knowledge. Gromer graduated and was offered a job 2 months before graduating for $65k. Quite a few of the people he graduated with were in the same salary range. There were other people, coming from the same school with the same classes, that only got $45k. As long as you really know your stuff you will be fine. Remember, people who interview you and don't know you only have a few minutes to learn about you. Make sure you make it good.
     
    Narc likes this.
  19. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    I did not like QA. It takes a certain type. I'd rather be writing code than testing - even automation I found mind numbing.

    That being said - some people like it. And a good QA guy is gold. You have to be detail and process oriented, and not mind repetitive work.

    All else aside, you want to be a high level developer - so a junior first, its the fastest path to big cash. Find yourself a niche, gain expertise in it, hop companies to move up.

    And yeah, always line something up first. In fact, keep a backlog of 2-3 jobs you could go to at any time. It pays.
     
  20. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    FYI, I got a job with a govt contractor for $45k right out of uni with only school programming exp and 10 years previous work xp including senior management xp. My title was Jr Software Engineer 3. However because it was a govt contractor, only my programming xp could be used to determine my salary. One can live pretty well on $45k here in OKC cuz the cost of living is so low.

    If I was willing to work for that much money I would have stayed because this was a pimp job. Great govt customer, awesome boss, relaxed and easy going co-workers, soft deadlines, and nice, new office to work in.

    I left and easily found jobs for more money and I'm now working as a business analyst for an oil and gas company making over twice what I was making at the govt contractor's job and I'm only 2 years out of uni.

    I'm kind of "rethinking" this BA job tho. I like BA work but boy do I miss coding sometimes.
     
  21. SLED

    SLED build an idiot proof device and someone else will

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    Client I work for is currently hiring a "junior" developer at 55k/yr with awesome bene's.
     
  22. CodeX

    CodeX Guest

    West coast right? (going by your location)

    and thanks for all the responses guys you've given me a lot to think about...
     
  23. SLED

    SLED build an idiot proof device and someone else will

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    Scottsdale, AZ (east Phoenix area)
     
  24. SLED

    SLED build an idiot proof device and someone else will

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    soup mang. they'll probably start interviewing in December at the earliest, but if you have your resume together, send it on over and i'll give it to them early. will pm u with my email
     
  25. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I started at $48k gross, and I'm up to about $65k gross now.
     

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