Do I give up on my career?

Apple xcodec
May 29 365 Comments

I’m 30 years old with a base of 150k. I’m a HW engineer who gets astounded by 20 somethings getting 200k out of school.

At this rate I should probably go back to grad school and major in CS

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TOP 365 Comments
  • Facebook ⭕w⭕
    And the 20 somethings getting 200k out of school wish they were trust fund babies who make millions doing diddly squat, who wish they were the next Jeff Bezos, who wishes he was immortal.

    Point is, there is no point in comparing yourself to others. You already make a ton of money relative to the median household salary, be grateful. Go look at pictures of North Korean kids who wonder if they'll have enough food to last them another week to gain some perspective.
    May 29 26
    • SAP / R&D
      mVH75Bds

      SAP R&D

      BIO
      Mostly human
      mVH75Bdsmore
      I'm in my 40s, SWE. TC around 210. 20 YOE. TC is just a tool. Focus on net worth over income. 1.6M net worth. 0.9M invested. Your accumulated wealth is what you retire on. Lots of people have high income, then let lifestyle inflation take over and don't save enough. What percent you save is more easily in your control than income
      May 30
    • Vimeo vUrG43
      👍
      May 31
    • Qualcomm udfD65
      This is the first time I felt that I read something in this website that actually is worth reading.
      May 31
    • Schweitzer Engineering Laborator nVqE32
      I have come from the same background. Got my PhD in EE and was being paid 88 k$ while having lowest possible WLB, bully bosses, crappy colleagues, and on the top of it can't help to feel like a loser. But I tried to keep the big picture, people from North Korea, etc, etc. But over the long term, these don't work. I just became cynical, sad, and unbearable for myself and others. Untill two years ago I decided to move to tech with absolutely zero skillsets. Worked hard, learned, stayed positive, and today I have offers from Amazon, Google, a startup which easily triples my salary and hopefully doubles my quality of life. If you know you feel sad, just do something about it. Somebody told me "the only thing you will regret is that you had time and you didn't do anything about it". When you get to a really good situation become a stoic, like Marcus Aurelius. Help others, make life easier for people, make their lives better. But making yourself desperate because others are desperate is certainly not the way.
      Jun 14
    • Too long to read.. Boring 👎🏿
      Jun 14
  • Amazon mdllgo
    I started working when I was 31. (Before that I had to survive life)
    Many times I feel "behind" when I see kids 10 years younger than me get paid the same amount as I do, but I keep reminding myself the journey I had to get to this point and I feel thankful and fresh.
    You can always start or innovate at your own thing.
    May 29 11
    • Intel / Other seabay
      +1. It hurts when someone gets orbited ahead of you. @op, here is to make you feel better. Am closing in on 40, have a PhD and still learn about the same as you
      May 30
    • Microsoft klao
      Same
      May 30
    • Comcast delta888
      Same
      May 30
    • Accenture plackers123
      Same
      May 30
    • Apple / Eng srand()
      Good job amazon!
      May 30
  • New AsYK38
    Don't believe all the hype. Most good software engineers in the bay at 30 make between 200-265k total with a 150-185k base. Looking at outliers is not helpful.
    May 29 14
    • Amazon anw2Bwm
      SW is expected to be oncall 24/7. HW by design is slower paced
      May 30
    • Northrop Grumman HowCouldYu
      My understanding is HW in FAANG is extremely high stress, while software is low stress
      May 30
    • Facebook Chris Box
      HW at Fb has similarly comp as SW
      May 30
    • Samsung MaMaKramba
      Guys above who commented they switched from HW to SW, how did you manage that? I am currently HW product Manager with firmware dev. background, desperately trying to switch to software product management but no luck so far. How to pass the onsite interview without software background?
      May 31
    • Microsoft Vbsm66
      @samsung it's very straight-forward for programming jobs, just practice HackerRank and LeetCode. It probably still holds true for PM, since companies prefer PMs who have technical background in the field they're managing.
      May 31
  • Intel babubhatt
    No. You don’t kill yourself. Probably best to not joke about it either.
    May 29 1
    • Apple xcodec
      OP
      Got it. Changed the title
      May 29
  • New / Eng
    lostlexa

    New Eng

    BIO
    I’m here to make your life easier.
    lostlexamore
    You won’t necessarily like SW. And current twentysomethings making 200K TC fresh out of school are either overpaid heavily or living in an area where rent for a 1-story closet is 4K/mo
    May 29 2
    • Amazon OTdS88
      You can definitely get a two story closet for that price
      May 30
    • Airbnb / Finance
      unemployd

      Airbnb Finance

      PRE
      Accenture
      BIO
      Sup
      unemploydmore
      Yeah but no windows tho
      May 30
  • Microsoft / Eng gqne23
    Just uninstall Blind and live in bliss
    May 30 1
    • Juniper UsA51
      👆 this..
      May 30
  • Microsoft qFjJ31
    150k at 30. Must be rough
    May 30 5
    • Disney omegared
      First world problems. The struggle is real... the original title was should I kill myself.
      May 30
    • AnchorFree / Eng 🍪 cookie
      Ahaha , TC140 31yo 12yoe here.
      OP, maybe just find yourself a hobby and stop worrying about the $? =)
      Join a startup that cures cancer, or better join a non profit like Greenpeace and help them save the planet. What do you do with 500k TC and 5 villas in Beverly hills, when a planet gets destroyed by climate change? Exactly. No use.
      But if you want to switch to swe, you'll need to invest about 2-3 years of intensive study in order to get past 180-200 TC. I don't think companies pay 300-350 to people who excel at leetcode only, you'll need to prove some production experience too.
      May 30
    • AnchorFree / Eng 🍪 cookie
      Btw age doesn't matter, 45-47 years old IMHO is the time to retire from swe. So if you want a high TC career between 35-45, yeah invest in studies. Do some courses on Coursera\Udemy. Watch only the new materials, pay attention for example that you learn python 3 and not python 2 by mistake (don't learn the deprecated stuff, like if it's a JavaScript course, make sure it's from the Promises\async-await era and not from callbacks\jQuery era)
      May 30
    • Metromile / Eng FoHm60
      @cookie you don't need to do anything but ace leetcode interviews for high TC. No big tech company can accurately gauge if you can actually build anything useful, they only care how you can solve toy problems and bullshit behavioral questions (and sometimes they dont even care about this).
      May 31
    • AnchorFree / Eng 🍪 cookie
      Well if you at least master LC, at that point you really can code, so it's a start already :) . It's still better than allowing people who do not code at all, to get into the position and bs their way through the first year using stackoverflow snippets.
      May 31
  • Oracle anidivujya
    Are you crazy? I am 41, work my ass off, built great products and have a base almost same as you do
    May 30 4
    • Tell what you've built and we'll say if it's great or not. Can't believe ppl bragging about themselves like this.
      May 30
    • Oracle anidivujya
      Dear BobMueller I don’t care a rats ass convincing you on what I built. So you can GTFO.
      May 30
    • H&R Block / Eng Uwvf45
      I'm 43, work but don't work my ass off, and I make $100k base
      May 30
    • Criteo / Eng ++i
      @BobMueller: What’s wrong with saying the products you’ve helped build are great? Wtf
      May 30
  • Apple xcodec
    OP
    Thanks guys. I know I’m being an ungrateful whiny ass.

    It’s just hard to focus when I read these ‘Rate my offer’ nauseating posts.
    May 29 8
    • Zillow Group poopboop
      Technically it’s FAANG.... which includes Apple.
      May 30
    • Zillow Group poopboop
      But also.... maybe take some time away from Blind? Any social platform has a rude tendency to shine light on what we don’t have, but may want. Count your blessings. Seek global perspective. Be better.
      May 30
    • Intel / Other Path2Zero
      If reading the threads makes you miserable, and that misery is unable to provoke action, why not stop reading them or delete blind?
      May 30
    • Optum androidG
      Most 200K TC includes bonus equity etc. 150k base is pretty good I think. Unfortunately very few companies offer equity unless you're in Bay area.
      May 30
    • Care.com / Product HSUIxGUI
      Pick your priorities: if TC at expense of all else motivates you, find where and what gets it that you can reasonably do (e.g., SWE in FAANG) and work toward it. Otherwise, work on prioritizing what you want first.
      May 30
  • Microsoft AryaSnow
    150k base at 30y is actually pretty good.
    May 30 6
    • Microsoft bnsixjoans
      True
      May 30
    • New / Ops
      tooQ10

      New Ops

      PRE
      Rakuten USA
      tooQ10more
      It is spectacularly good. I suspect on some level OP knows this.
      May 30
    • Apple / Eng srand()
      Of course it is good. Not amazing But good. Not everyone got a job at fang after graduation.
      May 30
    • Cisco lg7ma4jq
      4 y ago when I was 30 I was making 125k base with 8% bonus (which was not steady) that was my total comp (apart from 401k contribution matching up to 4%). Considering inflation you are at the same rate. It's not bad. As far as u r not spending 80 hr weeks and just doing 40hr weeks. Save money, invest, enjoy wlb. Enjoy life. With the 150k. You can make yourself and your family more than happy. That is unless your wife/GF is into shopping spree/take lavish vacations. As far as you live within your means you should still be able enjoy. Don't compare yourself with others. It will make you miserable. Just look to make progress on yourself, your emotions, health, relationships with relatives (I mean parents and spouse and kids) and celebrate and enjoy life.
      May 30
    • First Republic / Eng tuku
      I am 32 year old making 138k woth 11% bonus, i was happy woth what i made until before last week from the time i joined blind and saw others salaries. Its all relative.. we should be happy with what we achieve
      May 31
  • Microsoft tard
    Make you feel better: I’m older than you and my base is less than you
    May 29 7
    • Microsoft Flpx72
      I’m also older than you and have both a BS CS degree and an MBA (top 10 school btw) and also over 10 years of experience. I made a big industry and career shift 4 years ago and only broke 150 base about a year ago, so keep at it. I also learned that the scale is exponential...you won’t worry about hitting 410k when you’re at 400, you’ll be looking for 500k.
      May 30
    • Autodesk dbl0zero
      I’m in SW and Data Science for 13 years, now my 40’s and my base is less than you, my TC is less than you. And I’m a woman of minority... comparison only makes us sad and unhappy about our own reward, but most people live the life in similar ways, isn’t it?
      May 30
    • Microsoft klao
      Same
      May 30
    • General Motors rAIF33
      31, 7 yoe, TC 105k. You’ll be alright.
      May 30
    • Ticketmaster / Eng GvB&$78
      Same here. Mid 30s, making much less
      May 30
  • Facebook / Eng
    baldnshort

    Facebook Eng

    PRE
    Facebook
    baldnshortmore
    I spent plenty of years (10+) doing amazing work for really low TC. Now I do average work at an amazing TC.
    May 29 6
    • H&R Block / Eng Uwvf45
      @bobmueller: TC: total compensation
      May 30
    • Yes. I was asking what's that amazing TC that he's talking about
      May 30
    • Salesforce Zed12
      Also, what's the average work you're doing?
      May 30
    • Twitter finetody
      What’s the amazing work u were doing?

      Who cares about the average work, it’s FB, he is most likely working on ads.
      May 30
    • H&R Block / Eng Uwvf45
      I bet it was Skymall.
      May 30
  • Amazon SeekingHLP
    Don’t get consumed by all the numbers posted on Blind. Remember, still median income in US is less than 40k and if you are making 4 times, you are rich.

    There would always be some people earning more than us, that doesn’t mean anything. Remember, people find a way to spend money that they earn. Important thing is to be happy, have fun and enjoy your life.

    Remember it’s only one life.
    May 29 0
  • Intel 1090SC
    I am 43 and making 185k. Although well educated (2 masters degrees). I’ve had a difficult life and came from a very poor family, difficulty getting started, challenging background.

    Although gifted in school no support no means. Too naive to understand what’s real and what’s BS. After spending my entire 20’s making other people successful and inventing new products - my husband had affairs and- the side with his ho. Had many medical challenges and had physical therapy.

    Left an abusive marriage and was homeless for a year. Got myself on my feet. Went through hell, went to counseling and slowly strengthened my mind and life.

    Stopped comparing. Started focusing on happiness and I found a good job at a good company, remarried had a baby, relocated and had to hit “restart.” Career has not been easy - I was making 325k in my 20’s but it was for naught. I fell for it again when relocating for start up Hype in Sillycon Valley.) and lost it all.

    Getting back on my feet at 39 was not easy... giving birth at 40- not easy. Losing so much - not easy. But I’m doing okay. I’m here. I’m standing and I’m growing. I have an okay income and an AMAZING team - very technologically competitive people and a wonderful spouse and family.

    It’s not perfect- but I am happy.

    Morals: 1. Never give up. 2. Believe in your work. 3. Have faith patience and tenacity. 4. Don’t be afraid to lose 5. Stop comparing. 6. Grow the fuck up and take responsibility for your own happiness. 7. Your career is not your mind, consciousness and you. 8. Be prepared to fail to grow. 9. Stop
    Comparing. 10. Happiness lies within.
    Jun 1 7
    • Bain & Company uqRH20
      Thank you for sharing this. Much needed on Blind.
      Jun 2
    • Props to you . Thanks for sharing
      Jun 2
    • Google / Eng JLrC80
      How did you go from making 325k/year to homeless?
      Jun 5
    • Intel 1090SC
      It’s a long story ... but in short I supported someone through medical school, residency, fellowship and all other manner of esoteric stuff. I took on the debt for everything with the expectation that I would in turn complete my PhD and complete patent filings. (Was nominated as woman inventor of the year)

      As they say ... the best laid plans. How I became homeless is as follows:

      1. Spouse had many affairs during medical training. One of the orderlies got pregnant and was 19. It was one of many affairs. This one resulted in a baby and I was blamed for being too ambitious.

      2. Over-obsessed on making TC but not managing money.

      So all the savings 401k etc, money was handled by spouse and all debt was mine (with the expectation that it would be more equitable once he was fully employed) . He wanted to look good on paper so my ex spouse also had me carry all the debt. In short he was the man so he had the money in his name and I had debt. It was a poor agreement on my part as I believed in reciprocity.

      More over I came from a poor, disabled, immigrant family. So I did not even know how to secure legal support how to protect myself professionally and fiscally and so on. Naive.

      My family was embarrassed by the marriage failure and my ex and his (very privileged) family spread rumors of my being a “bad wife” etc. due to family shame my family exiled me from going to home town.

      3. Ex husband gave all money to his parents so he could claim 0.00 in the “paternity” situation that was happening.

      4. Depression. He put my dog to sleep. No money and no where to go. No family support. No money. No home anchor and no safety net.

      Nothing. Except hard work and menial labor and cheap hotel rooms, endless studying to get to a good job. To a Place of survival. It took me 2.5 years to get my first safe apartment. But man that sleep - the first week in my own tiny dingy unsafe apt was the most amazing thing. Tireless discipline Meditation. Study. Sleep. Work. Hope.

      That’s how homeless ness happens. That’s how one picks up oneself. You stop looking at the skyscrapers and getting blinded by the height. Instead you work on the steps before you. Some lead to skyscrapers- but most - most just lead you forward.

      Most Folks in Silicon Valley TC pissing match have no fucking clue how privileged they are.
      Jun 6
    • American Express uktg07
      Seriously!! My God, that sounds terrible! Are you from an Asian or Middle Eastern culture? Seems similar to stories I’ve heard (especially about being welcomed in old town). That’s brutal!

      A lot of people who are American or come to America don’t realize how spoiled they are and become so entitled. I cannot fathom taking my life over something that is in my power to change. The only excuse would be mental illness, like clinical depression since there is a mental imbalance that impedes one from thinking rationally.

      OP makes triple the avg. American yet feels he is poor. He should go to a developing country without the “luxuries” we in America have gotten used to as the basics, such as an indoor bathroom with full plumbing/toilet that can be flushed and a hot shower that comes from a faucet. This post is ridiculous.
      Jun 7
  • Amazon ariel88
    Dude...money is just a number. There will always be someone who will be richer than you, happier than you, healthier than you, sexier than you, getting more laid than you. Making a comparison will only make you sad and ungrateful to what you have.
    May 30 2
    • New hqWe60
      how to get laid more 🤔
      May 31
    • Facebook Huawei37
      Very true.
      May 31
  • Tableau fBCz83
    Step 1: Enjoy the people you work with
    Step 2: Enjoy the work

    If you’ve got those and make enough to live, you are doing well.
    May 30 0
  • Neurocrine D.Trump
    I agree with you. But don't focus on the rat race, there's no end to it. You are losing precious years when you should be doing all the things you enjoy, make new friends, get new perspectives, and create memories. Don't be a whiny ass. It's surprising to see so many blinders in their 20s say they are feeling depressed.

    Sure, try to get better but in the quest of it, don't become a depressed brat who doesn't realize money is just a means to attain the 'real' things in life.

    Let the 20 somethings make 200k. Because they haven't walked the journey you did, just like you didn't walk the journey the 70s born did. They probably have their own problems to deal with. So cheer up, be grateful for the things you have, look behind to realize how far you have come, and be curious about what the future holds for you. Best.
    May 29 0
  • Google / Eng
    mccosh

    Google Eng

    PRE
    Amazon
    mccoshmore
    I know people act on here like massive TC and big tech jobs are easy to come by, but for 95% of developers, it's just not that way. In fact, I'd say you're making as much or more now as most developers will in their lifetime.
    In other words, there's no guarantee you'll go to grad school and wind up with a job in Big Tech, and even if you do (you're chances are probably better than most if you're in Hardware at Apple), you'll start at 200k - the same as a new college grad. Add to that the chances you don't like the work, or your job, and the two years lost income getting a master's - I'd stay where you are unless you have a compelling reason.
    I know you're at Apple, so you might be in the Bay, but as a straight-out-of-college 200k'er, I can tell you that living in the Bay absolutely sucks. I'd take your TC to live in any other city, gladly. My 2 cents is do what you love, and if you make enough money forgot about the people who make more.
    May 30 11
    • Amazon inluv
      Flask+Jquery
      May 31
    • AnchorFree / Eng 🍪 cookie
      Ahahahaha oh c'mon , flask and jQuery ahahahaaa you made my day
      May 31
    • AnchorFree / Eng 🍪 cookie
      Maybe it's silverlight and shockwave? :)))
      May 31
    • Amazon inluv
      I’m serious
      May 31
    • Equinox Fitness azqO33
      How the hell are you comparing flask/jquery to silverlight/shockwave?
      Jun 13
  • Apple LaEb06
    To pacify you, SW engineer $150k TC... working for Apple, hard to believe right ? Yes been getting 0 RSU 0 Bonus almost every alternate year... RSU when I actually got are peanuts... you might be thinking I am underperformer but no that’s not true, changing teams backfired so much that they blocked my growth... got promoted every year for first 3 years that I joined, 3 patents on my name, top performer for any outside teams that I worked with and after that reality hit hard... politics, too much hiring and changing teams backfired .... so there are people like me who are in same boat as me... working for big companies is no fun anymore.... working on career change where people will recognize my value... EOP: 7
    May 30 10
    • New drd00m
      Go to Tesla, SpaceX or to Facebook
      May 30
    • JOANY / Mgmt e^(iπ)+1=0
      How long have you been at Apple and where? If you're making $150k in The Bay and you ever got refreshers, this story doesn't add up.
      May 30
    • FileMaker / IT Hawas
      @laeb06 - i can feel your pain too. Been in the same boat. We might be even worse we come under Apple but no one even knows we are a part of Apple. Lol 😂
      May 30
    • Apple LaEb06
      I am stuck coz of H1B... dragged few years in hope that my situation will improve but now I am preparing myself for interview and just leave... not planning for big FANG but decent size with WLB
      Jun 2
    • Rally Health FuPayMe$$$
      Buddy I am on h1b too and have changed jobs every two years on average without any issues and scored massive tc increases in the process. I don’t understand why you feel you are stuck on h1b. Most tech companies sponsor h1b transfers and do gc as well.
      Jun 2
  • Amazon / Mgmt AbEX75
    Becoming a SW is the easiest thing ever, you never risk a life and there is always room to come back and fix a mistake ( aka code patch ). The same cannot be said for career move to for example a heart surgeon or an airline pilot.
    May 30 6
    • Facebook EazyE
      Or UBER
      May 30
    • Criteo / Eng ++i
      See: Therac-25, the medical radiation therapy machine that killed cancer patients in the 80s due to poor code quality; Toyota’s lethal unintended acceleration due to poor software engineering practices; and, of course, Boeing’s fiasco with their non-redundant MCAS system that caused a few hundred deaths.
      May 30
    • Microsoft BLTa65
      Lol what a shitty SWE mindset, with no knowledge
      of history or even current events... not surprisingly it’s a guy in amazon management. 🙄
      May 30
    • Amazon / Mgmt AbEX75
      Guys, well you can scream and shout here, but doesn't change anything. He is not going to rewrite Boing flight code or tune a self drive algorithm on his first day and neither any one of you have or will do it. Instead of killing time here better try to solve and avoid weekly patch fixes to my Windows laptop. Can't say about Facebook, never used it for obvious reasons.
      May 30
    • Pure Storage iSSk05
      Either a troll or a complete lack of self awareness. It’s a lot easier to get some poor bastard killed than most people realize.
      May 30