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How much do computer programmers really make?

This is a discussion on How much do computer programmers really make? within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; I was wondering how much they really make, on a yearly bases I heard somewhere that they can make up ...

  1. #1
    Registered User camel-man's Avatar
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    How much do computer programmers really make?

    I was wondering how much they really make, on a yearly bases I heard somewhere that they can make up to 130,000 but that doesnt seem very accurate most salaries I have seen in CS is roughly around 64,000. Any people out there with real life experience in the workforce?

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Knowing which country you are asking about would be an important piece of information.

    In any case I doubt you'll find many people willing to discuss their salary on a public forum. But as a rule of thumb, what you see is what you get. There's then a whole business policy in place that can add incentives, productivity prizes, career progression plans, etc that tend to increase earnings to levels sometimes quite away from what was initially agreed. Some companies also just pay better than others because they require much higher qualification. They are necessarily less common, so you don't see those higher wages so often in your local newspaper.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    the hat of redundancy hat nvoigt's Avatar
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    130,000 what? Dollars? Euros? Rupies? The worth of your salary depends entirely on your locality. Although it's an absolute number, it's worth is relative.

    Example: A programmer in Munich will get 50% more than I do for the very same job. However, his cost of living in Munich is 3 times higher so in the end, we both have the same amount of money left.
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    Registered User camel-man's Avatar
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    I am in the united States so yes Dollars

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    Sweet
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    It's possible to get that high.

    But as was said it depends on where you are located. Just be good at it and you should make good money for your area .
    Woop?

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    Quote Originally Posted by camel-man View Post
    I was wondering how much they really make, on a yearly bases I heard somewhere that they can make up to 130,000 but that doesnt seem very accurate most salaries I have seen in CS is roughly around 64,000. Any people out there with real life experience in the workforce?
    A simple word of advice, never do any job just for the money. If you do, regardless of how much you make you will find yourself still quite unhappy. A good career usually entails a combination of finding a job that pays 'X' in a career path where you enjoy doing 'Y' amount. The ratio of X to Y required is usually up to the individual but it needs to be there.
    manasij7479 likes this.
    Quote Originally Posted by anduril462 View Post
    Now, please, for the love of all things good and holy, think about what you're doing! Don't just run around willy-nilly, coding like a drunk two-year-old....
    Quote Originally Posted by quzah View Post
    ..... Just don't be surprised when I say you aren't using standard C anymore, and as such,are off in your own little universe that I will completely disregard.
    Warning: Some or all of my posted code may be non-standard and as such should not be used and in no case looked at.

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    Well, in a way. But speaking for myself, the higher is X the less I care about Y.

    ... now that you got me thinking about it, I think i'm more of the mercenary type.

    @camel-man

    Sorry for being a pain, but living in the US, I'd go as far as naming the city. You'd be amazed what a few miles do to your career in that country.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    Unregistered User Yarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    Sorry for being a pain, but living in the US, I'd go as far as naming the city. You'd be amazed what a few miles do to your career in that country.
    Interesting. Having never been anywhere else, I have to ask: Is it not also that way in Europe?

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    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    I was pulling his leg. In hindsight I should have put a smiley there. But since you ask; not everywhere, no. There's bound to be slight differences, I'd guess. But countries being smaller and we not having a federalist tradition tend towards equalization of wages and taxes. In practice this does not work very well for poorer and undeveloped regions since they end up paying the same taxes as the rest of the country but fewer companies are interested in mounting their tent there, leaving job opportunities on the hands of smaller companies who necessarily don't pay well. Unitary government models tend to create human desertification. But the general principle is that wherever you go inside your typical European country your wage is going to be the same, or almost the same. If I recall correctly the average wage difference in Portugal, for instance, between Lisbon, Oporto and Faro (the three main metropolitan areas and that cover the country from North to South) was just recently divulged to be somewhere around 5%.

    We just learned in Germany things work differently. Which doesn't surprise me given the form of state government. But other countries like Spain, France, Italy, UK, etc may show their wage divisions just not in such a significant way.
    Yarin likes this.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    There are sites that list salaries by country/location/state/province for various careers. That is usually a good place to start. >100K in the USA is normally only found at places working on government contracts or jobs that require top security clearance. This is not to say those jobs do not exist b/c they are all over the place on Wall Street (with much much higher salaries than that) but to be realistic not everyone is going to work on Wall Street.

    Usually the > 100K jobs are reserved for management and above which usually do not do much, if any, actual programming.

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    Registered User camel-man's Avatar
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    So for the most part CS major jobs pay under 100k

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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    It depends. Google for a site and look it up. They can give you far more accurate information there than I can. I can only speak from experience in my field in my part of the country. That is a lot of variables.

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    I have this weird theory that you should 1) be very good at what you are doing, and 2) get into an industry where your wage is a negligible part of the operating budget.

    For example, if you work in a small software startup, most of the budget will be developer salary, and they will be economical about it.

    However, if you work in the automotive industry instead, programmer salary is a negligible part of the operating budget, so they won't mind paying 2x or 3x to get the very best programmers, because a bug in your code will cost them orders of magnitudes more than what they pay you (like a major recall).

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