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Re: [ruby-81] SF Sr. Rails Salaries?

From: Tim C.
Sent on: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 11:38 AM
I think what you're seeing is a market that's trying to find a price.  In other words, as you've observed, salaries really are all over the place.

Developers who are really desirable and have an information advantage and find the right company might be able to command the 190k salary.  But you'd have to be really, really impressive to pull in that kind of coin *and* fortunate enough to come across a company that recognizes that's what it takes.  And I don't just mean impressive as in "knows Rails inside and out".  I also mean other soft skills like good leadership and ability to pull projects over the line at a rapid, sustainable pace.

The complication is that even though pure supply-demand economics suggests Rails developers should be "worth" the top end of that range, very few companies are willing to admit that yet.  Many hiring companies are still thinking developers "should" be in the 80k-120k range like they were 1-2 years ago.  So, those companies are more likely to hire a sub-par developer who is willing to work for 100k than a good developer who is asking for more, even though we all know that's a bad economic decision.  You'll have to wait for those kinds of companies to work through a few bad hires (and the consequences) before they give up and spend what it takes (or cancel the project if the economics no longer make sense at 160k+).

If you're looking for a single-point number to hang your hat on, I'd say 140k is a good one.  But bear in mind there's a huge +/- on either side of that.

Last, I'm happy to talk if you want to email me privately.

--Tim Cull

On Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 11:26 AM, Master Blaster <[address removed]> wrote:
I've been at my company in SF as a Rails developer for 4 years. In that time, salaries and cost of living have skyrocketed, and I feel that my salary today is worth far less than when I started. 

I am trying to get an idea of what a going salary is these days. I checked indeed and glassdoor and I feel like they are reporting all over the place, and that people who leave a company in anger may report their salaries lower than than actually are, to deter people from working at the company.

How much do you think a Sr. Rails developer with 7 years Rails experience (15 years total programming experience) who is the principal engineer in a team of 4, with tons of experience in scaling and large site development (The one I am currently on gets 10 million hits to the backend per week, and can handle 20k RPM via newrelic) should be looking for in terms of salary? The ones I am seeing range from $120k to $190k .. but I am turning to you guys to help me better prepare myself before I go in to salary negotiations. This is for San Francisco proper.

Please feel free to email me privately at [address removed] if you don't want to post to publicly to this list. I will not share your name or the information you provide. This is of course an anonymous email account :) Also recruiters, please don't email me. I know you want to tell me how much you think you can place people for -- but I'll pass. Thanks in advance!

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