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Money is not purpose of my life, but...

by pajout (Curate)
on May 12, 2006 at 12:30 UTC ( #548970=perlmeditation: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Dear monks, firstly, feel totally free to give me negative votes, if you think that this is totally of topic. And my meditation disappears automatically :>)

To explain the background: I have expressed serious unsatisfaction of my salary today. I'v discussed it with my employeer. Well, I would like to know your opinion about good - average - minimal salary of somebody, who is (5 years) experienced with Oracle, PostgreSQL, C, C++, Borland & M$ RAD tools, Perl :), mod_perl, XML, XSLT, CSS, JavaScript, (X)HTML, all on the developer's level, and who is able not only to code, but really able to create the software (Senior developer, Software architect, Software analyst etc.).

Specially, I am interested in European triplets of good-average-minimal salary of employee (full-time job). My opinion is (1500-1100-700) euro per month, in cash, after all taxes. The reason of this meditation is to compare my opinion with other people.

Comment on Money is not purpose of my life, but...
Re: Money is not purpose of my life, but...
by wazoox (Prior) on May 12, 2006 at 13:52 UTC

    Well, 1100 euros/month looks like an office cleaner salary to me, not developer... 700 euros? Are you kidding? We're paying 550 euros + food (200/month) to the summer interns! I'd rather set the bar around 1500/2200/3000.

    update : I just see that you're in Prague. Looks like western Europe wags are roughly twice eastern Europe ones. So that's why I'm receiving all these spams "developers available in Romania"?
      I am not kidding :>), my salary is 1200 before taxes, 900 in cash.
        Yup, looks like amount decreases in proportion to the distance to Atlantic Ocean... Of course it's all about proportion. How much is your rent? How much for a decent lunch in the closest restaurant?
      Yes, I know that it depends on location, but EU is EU. Yes, it is probably the reason of those spams.
        Well, if EU is EU, perhaps should you consider moving closer to the sea :)
      After applicable exchange rates, standard rates in the US are 2100/3200/4200 euros/month, after taxes. Granted, we have less taxes than you guys, but we pay for stuff you don't (like health insurance, which is a bitch). Maybe prices are relative to distance from Los Angeles (where salaries are much higher than where I'm at).

      My criteria for good software:
      1. Does it work?
      2. Can someone else come in, make a change, and be reasonably certain no bugs were introduced?
Re: Money is not purpose of my life, but...
by ptum (Priest) on May 12, 2006 at 14:08 UTC

    You might want to mark this post as OT.

    A full-time developer (not equivalent to architect, IMO, with only 5 years experience) with relational database, Perl and C++ experience in Seattle can expect to take home as much as $5000 US dollars a month after taxes and other withholding. Checking my handy USD->Euro conversion chart, that seems to be nearly 3900 Euros a month. If you are being paid substantially less than that, you might consider investigating some other options. :)

    Admittedly, comparing salaries across continents can be an apples to oranges scenario, but it might at least give you a ballpark view.

    Update: As pointed out by others in this thread, cost of living is a major factor. The average home price in the Seattle area keeps increasing -- I'd guess it is over $450,000 by now (still quite a bit lower than many coastal cities). Personally, I commute an hour to work because a home large enough to accommodate my family (5 kids) within an easy distance is out of my reach financially. Ideally, you'll want to get a telecommuting job that allows you to live somewhere cheap and still earn a decent wage (I once had a job like that but was laid off, sigh.)

    No good deed goes unpunished. -- (attributed to) Oscar Wilde
Re: Money is not purpose of my life, but...
by EdwardG (Vicar) on May 12, 2006 at 14:11 UTC

    Salary comparisons are tricky because salary depends not only on skillset and experience, but also on location, industry sector, platform (mainframe, win32, *nix), and the prevailing market trend. Complicating further is the sometimes significant difference between advertised and paid salary.

    Having said all that, the national average salary paid for a "Senior Programmer" in the UK is 35,3541. After tax and NI that would give a monthly take-home of 2,149 according to this tax calculator. That's 3,156 Euros.

    This might seem a lot (and maybe it is) but another factor is the cost of living. For example, rent of a luxury two bedroom unfurnished apartment (per month) in London is 1,700 but only (ha!) 757 in Prague2.

    1 ComputerWeekly Salary Survey April 2006 (UK Only)


Re: Money is not purpose of my life, but...
by Herkum (Parson) on May 12, 2006 at 14:15 UTC

    I live in the US, so there are all sorts of tools that are available for analyzing things like salaries including variations between different areas of the US. For example, and have information for comparing two locations against each other ( actually does a better job because it not only presents salaries but other information like cost-of-living, crime rates, population distribution and some other things as well).

    That being said, it is hard to say what is a good salary for you, if you are looking for an objective estimate you should look for a web site were someone has done a real analysis of salaries for Eastern Europe. Anything else is totally subjetive and basically worthless.

      Yes, of course, I agree with you. But, basically, I need rough info about EU salaries, if they are 2x or 10x bigger. (Comments from US monks are appreciated too.) I see two ways now, what to do:
      1. find some methodics to weight cost of live and methodically compare the results of various European locations
      2. start own business
Re: Money is not purpose of my life, but...
by moklevat (Priest) on May 12, 2006 at 14:16 UTC
    Even with an EU unified currency, the local cost of living will play a large part in determining the market for salary. Other barriers to mobility (language, family needs, etc.) create partitions in the EU workforce that can lead to imbalances in salaries and cost of living.

    Prague's prosperity may have caused the cost of living increases to outstrip salary increases. However, Prague may still be relatively less expensive than Berlin, Paris, or London where salaries may be commensurately higher. The key is to find the best ratio of salary to cost of living. In the US, one can work out decent estimates of this ratio using cost of living calculators. I don't know if similar measures are available in the EU.

    Update: Here is an international salary calculator to get an indea of relative cost of living.

      Interest link, many thanks. Quick info of cost of life:
      Prague (I live here) / London == 100 / 118
        Well if London ( this can be roughly extrapolated to Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam... too ) is only 0.2x more expensive than Prague, than you'd really better move to the west, where wages are twice bigger, it would be a net gain of nearly 80%...
Re: Money is not purpose of my life, but...
by Sifmole (Chaplain) on May 12, 2006 at 14:51 UTC
    Another key question is: are you the only developer in this company? Is programming viewed as a profit center or cost in your company?

    If you are the only programmer then it is not unusual at all that you are likely underpaid. If there are other developers you have to find some method of determining what they are paid ( at least ballpark ). If they are all paid similar to you and there is a waiting supply of peope at your experience for the job at your salary then -- you aren't underpaid. Network with other developers in your area, talk with a recruiter, etc to find out what the range is.

    If your company views programming as a cost rather than a profit center, it adds to your difficulty in getting median or better pay.

    Finally, I get from your posting that you are probably in a very small ( or only developer ) programming group with your company; and it is probably your first job. Your frame of reference for what is expected from a Senior Developer or Architect is probably not quite right.

    For instance, in New Jersey, USA most real senior developers are expected to have 10+ years of experience and to be real experts on the primary technologies they utilize. To have completed life cycles on numerous ( 7+ ) projects -- possibly less if projects have been extremely large. Architects are expected to have even more experience and breadth than that.

      I am an employee of the small software developing company, but it is my second job. Possibly I did not use some terms exactly (specially, sw architect...) - we don't use so fine tuned dictionary here, I apologize.
        So it is a software development company? That should be a business where software is viewed as a profit center rather than a cost. So that makes things a bit better. How many other developers are there?
Re: Money is not purpose of my life, but...
by pajout (Curate) on May 12, 2006 at 14:54 UTC
    many thanks for all your opinions and informations. I'll analyze them :>)
Re: Money is not purpose of my life, but...
by perrin (Chancellor) on May 12, 2006 at 16:17 UTC
    I am interested in European triplets

    Me too! Tell them to meet me in the hot tub next to the Tutorials section.

Re: Money is not purpose of my life, but...
by merlyn (Sage) on May 12, 2006 at 16:37 UTC
    For those of us in the US, can you please explain the following terms:
    • European triplet (yes, I agree with Perrin on that, but I don't think that's what you mean)
    • "My opinion is (1500-1100-700) euro per month": what are the three figures there?

    -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
    Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

      My guess is that it's high-average-low net pay per month. Whether high and low are one sigma, etc, the OP would have to answer ...

      It seems that I really should improve my English...
      European triplet means (in my speech :) three amounts of salary related to some European location.
      The three figures are good, average, minimal salary.
        Your english was fine. The problem is that you used a figure of speech (idiom) with which I was not familiar. In the US, we typically quote only one target figure for something, either as a seller or as a buyer. "We'll pay $60K for this job" or "I'm looking for at least $75K if I have to put up with Cleveland" and so on. The idea of "tipping our hand" to reveal our actual private "... but I'll accept $55K" numbers seems very foreign.

        Thanks for clarifying.

        -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
        Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

        It also had me confused - I've never seen that term before.

        You learn something new every day :)

        My real idea was to get voluntary _opinion_ of other people only. And, because everybody is different, I'v attempted to be more specific using that triplet.
Re: Money is not purpose of my life, but...
by spiritway (Vicar) on May 12, 2006 at 18:15 UTC

    You would probably do better trying to find some sort of census or industry data, giving ranges of income and the various spreads and such. It would be more meaningful to do this for your area, since (as others have pointed out) the actual amounts vary wildly between regions. Taking a poll here, while possibly offering comfort, is unlikely to give you solid facts that would support your case.

Re: Money is not purpose of my life, but...
by eric256 (Parson) on May 12, 2006 at 21:12 UTC

    I think many monks hit the nail on the head when they said it depends on your cost of living. If you use rent/house payment as a gauge then you will probably get a better idea ;) Though maybe not. For instance, after taxes I take home 2x my house payment. One paycheck for the house, one for food/bills and savings (haha). Of course I also have to pay for insurance (.2x salary) so that could factor. So if you are paying 285 in rent and making 900 in cash your are making just over 3x your rent which seems pretty handy to me ;) /me hits google and finds that to be $363.66 U.S. dollars for rent and remembers the good old days when I had that great $800 a month appartment as was thrilled at how cheap it was! ;) All things in moderation, the best way to find out how your local salary competes is to check localy ;)

    By the way, don't forget there are many other factors. For instance I could probably find a better paying job, but some perks like flexible hours, freedom to manage myself, and the ability for my family to visit at work every day might all vanish. So you have to weigh all your perks and pay versus your expeinces/ experience and oppurtunity and then make a decession.

    Eric Hodges
Re: Money is not purpose of my life, but...
by puudeli (Pilgrim) on May 15, 2006 at 11:03 UTC

    I would say that in Finland the starting salary for a just graduated software developer (eg. Bachelor of Engineering) would be around 2400e/month.

    I'm getting 3250e/month and after taxes I'm left with appr. 2100 euros and I pay 820e rent for 3 rooms/sauna/kitchen/balcony flat. IMO that is quite a decent salary, at least with my 6+ years of experience.

    Many monks have already pointed out that the overall cost of living and other benefits that you may be enjoying are very important factors so don't rely on the salary alone.

    seek $her, $from, $everywhere if exists $true{love};
Re: Money is not purpose of my life, but...
by SamCG (Hermit) on May 15, 2006 at 14:17 UTC
    Money was not purpose of my life, but... then I had kids...

    s''limp';@p=split '!','n!h!p!';s,m,s,;$s=y;$c=slice @p1;so brutally;d;$n=reverse;$c=$s**$#p;print(''.$c^chop($n))while($c/=$#p)>=1;
Re: Money is not purpose of my life, but...
by rvosa (Curate) on May 17, 2006 at 20:00 UTC
    If this interest is really motivated by your desire to negotiate a higher wage I suggest you look around in your local area for pay offers for equivalent jobs, i.e. check the job listings around Prague. It'd get you an idea what you're worth locally, and if you see something that looks appealing you could at least use it to strengthen your negotiating position.

    Money may well not be your purpose in life, but you gotta pay rent and put food on your family, n'est-ce pas?
Re: Money is not purpose of my life, but...
by poqui (Deacon) on May 18, 2006 at 21:38 UTC
    I did a little digging for my home town, Colorado Springs, Colorado: a good sized city in the shadow of Pikes Peak with lots of outdoor recreation opportunities year round.

    The cost for a low end apartment; the smallest I could find was 475 square feet (and according to google your present apartment is about 540 square feet) the rent was $400 US per month (yours converted to $365 US per month). $0.68 US per square foot for you, $0.84 US per square foot here.

    I would expect someone with your experience to make about $50,000 US a year, about $3,000 US after taxes (or about 2300 euros) a month.

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