Help Evaluate Offers

Microsoft RogerFed
Oct 19, 2017 26 Comments

Currently a PM at MSFT. TC 165K.

Offer 1: PM in the San Francisco Bay Area wth a hyper scale cloud provider: TC 230K

Offer 2: PM in the San Francisco Bay Area with a large software ISV (public) that's kicking butt right now. TC 235K.

Offer 3: PM in Raleigh/ Durham with a software ISV (public) that provides solutions to cloud providers and to on prem hosters. TC 210K

Personal situation: wife with a kid. All three firms will provide relo assistance. Wife also needs to find a gig so day care for the kid. We both are not fans of winters in PNW so will end up taking one of the offers.

What is the best overall long term strategy? To be with a large scale cloud provider and navigate corporate politics or work at a more agile ISV ? What's the overall standard of living (savings potential, schools, job upward and sideward mobility, easy day to day life, decent commute). Have to make a decision in 1-2 weeks time, so appreciate the feedback.

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TOP 26 Comments
  • Microsoft HGqw60
    210 in NC has got to go much further than 235 in bay area... state tax alone (5.5% vs 10%) will account for ~10k
    Oct 19, 2017 0
  • Microsoft / Eng
    Whatwhere!

    Microsoft Eng

    BIO
    Hate coding quizzes but studying hard for better future!
    Whatwhere!more
    Raleigh area might be significantly better place to raise a child than bay area with that salary. Unless your wife also makes that much money, Raleigh will provide much better environment for your child. Plenty of sunshine with four seasons and great universities around in three cities - Duke, UNC and NCSU. It is a much smaller area than bay but should be much more fun than surrounded by tech only people. Washington DC and New York are close so you will never get bored for occasional trip as well. Work should be less intense there as people are much more laid back. Career is important but your time with your kid and life as a young family never come back. I vote for Raleigh. Also, people are much more attentive. Bay and Seattle are full of cold non social people who don't know what normal social life is. People are much warmer in Raleigh area.
    Oct 19, 2017 1
    • Microsoft RogerFed
      OP
      Great response - thank you!
      Oct 19, 2017
  • New sith005
    Raleigh 210 will go much further than 235 in bay. Though I don’t know a lot about overall amenities and such there.

    I lived in the bay for 17 years from Oakland to Gilroy to San Jose to San Mateo. I LOVE the Bay Area. But a house will run 3500/month on the low end (south/east, 2-3 bed) to 7k+ farther up the peninsula (rental cost). Purchase is 750k low end to 2.5m+ depending. Childcare full time is around 1200-1800/mo depending, per kid.

    This was my experience over the years. We had a lot of debt (student loans and a couple old cc), but even without that with combined income of 280k it was a stretch. Doable, but thin on disposable income.

    Weather is great, things to do, food amazing. Mobility is great, lots of jobs, but lots of seekers too. Traffic can suck.

    Not trying to dissuade you, as I said I love the Bay Area. But just some color from my experience.
    Oct 19, 2017 0
  • VMware catch
    Oracle and hyperscale cloud are mutually incompatible unless you drank their marketing Kool aid
    Oct 19, 2017 0
  • Microsoft Caterpilla
    These kind of questions with cryptic clues instead of the actual company names really get on my nerves. OP expects others to invest their time and energy to give a thoughtful reply but don't care enough to provide all the relevant details.
    Oct 19, 2017 0
  • Microsoft RogerFed
    OP
    Sorry for being cryptic. Oracle, Red Hat and NetApp in that order. L63 technical PM right now at MSFT.
    Oct 19, 2017 5
    • Microsoft Caterpilla
      NetApp is a mini Microsoft. Way past their prime. Not a lot of innovation. Rest and vest.
      Oct 19, 2017
    • Microsoft majaboy
      If it's Oracle cloud, I thought they gave FU money
      Oct 19, 2017
    • Microsoft RogerFed
      OP
      It's Oracle BMC, no FU money for me atleast :(
      Oct 19, 2017
    • Microsoft majaboy
      Ah k.. what's the level there? I think 165+20 at msft is probably on par if not more than 230 in Bay
      Oct 19, 2017
    • Microsoft RogerFed
      OP
      IC4 at Oracle
      Oct 19, 2017
  • Microsoft RogerFed
    OP
    I made a trip to RDU last weekend and absolutely loved it. The demographic is a little conservative, but the housing is splendid. Commute is decent and food is not bad. Also good schools and college when my kid grows up.

    I love the bay too. Lots f family there, amazing food, and plenty sunshine. More opportunities than anywhere else. But it is expensive. Not sure it will help me retire with a decent amount of savings. As you pointed, housing and day care can take away most of the income. With a 180 base, my take home would be 7.5K a month. 3.5K goes to housing, 0.5K for car, living and misc is another 2K, Day care is another 1.5K, so essentially living hand to mouth. My 50K annual stock gets saved, that's close to 30K of take home savings per year. In 15 years, I would save 450K at that rate which is not much.

    In RDU on the other hand, I could save close to 70K a year and in 15 years, that's ~1M - way more than the 450K I save in the bay.

    I absolutely love the bay, but the math doesn't seem to be adding up now. As a place I prefer the bay, but in terms of long germs savings RDU seems to kick
    Butt.
    Oct 19, 2017 3
    • Microsoft majaboy
      Plus you've to consider the career opportunities in Bay. You won't stick in the same company for a lifetime. So, mobility is something you'll have to consider. Btw, have you considered staying in the PNW and taking one or two vacations during winter months to somewhere sunny?
      Oct 19, 2017
    • Microsoft RogerFed
      OP
      Staying the PNW is not much of an option. Can't take 6-7 months of straight rains. Food scene is quite poorly and it gives too much of a factory town feeling.
      Oct 19, 2017
    • Cisco Inma
      Do you seriously think RDU's food scene is better than PNW's?
      Nov 25, 2017
  • Western Digital CJhK11
    Have a friend just moved to Raleigh/Durham and really likes it. Lives like a king on half what you'd be making.
    Oct 19, 2017 0
  • Microsoft anonseatle
    Lived in RDU for 11 years. Definitely the best choice for a family of the three options you have
    Oct 20, 2017 0
  • Microsoft NrXe01
    Cost of living in RDU is literally half than the Bay Area. It doesn't have a big city feel, but it's a great area to live if you don't need that.
    Oct 20, 2017 0
  • Digital Turbine apolcoeus
    I work in RDU and I can tell you that not only will your salary go a lot further but it's also an up-and-coming area for tech jobs so I wouldn't worry about any talk of lack of opportunity long term
    Oct 19, 2017 0
  • Microsoft majaboy
    Why not say company names? I am too dumb to understand without. How many years of exp? Level? Are you a tech pm?
    Oct 19, 2017 0
  • Microsoft RogerFed
    OP
    Wait, there's Microsoft in RDU?
    Oct 30, 2017 1
    • Microsoft MeIRL
      Yup, there is a decent sized office that works on Visual Studio Team Services & TFS
      Oct 30, 2017
  • Microsoft hollywood
    Take the RDU job. Overall lifestyle will be sooooo much better.
    Oct 24, 2017 0
  • Microsoft MeIRL
    Lived in RDU for 11 years before leaving it to Seattle, I definitely miss it, this salary will go sooo far in RDU, especially for housing - weather is so nice and it's a very family friendly place, tons of activities for the kids. There are limited opportunities though which is the main reason I left, if you don't want Microsoft, NetApp, emc, SAS and the handful of companies there you are stuck.
    Oct 30, 2017 0
  • Microsoft udlV72
    "The kid" lol. I guess that was a packaged deal. I suppose you're asking for guidance with the "kids" in your offer.
    Oct 19, 2017 0