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U.S. Programmers at Overseas Salaries (link)

Richard Scothern
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 25, 2001
Posts: 83
http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/dec2003/sb2003122_8887.htm
I admire the guy for what he did. The price for overseas programmers seems quite high though, I wonder what special skills he was after.
Can one live in Boston on $45K? I suspect so.
Richard
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Richard Scothern:
Can one live in Boston on $45K? I suspect so.

Must be easier on $45K than on unemployment benefits (or less)...
Kinda shocking though that $45K is considered low pay in the US. I'm making about $35K in Europe and that's about standard for someone with my experience level (and don't forget our taxes are quite a bit higher than those in the US)...


42
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Where do you live Jeroen?


SCJP1.4, SCWCD
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Netherlands.
At my current pay I'm maybe a tad below average but I just started in this company a few months ago after being unemployed for several months.
Greg Neef
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Joined: Jun 16, 2003
Posts: 82
US working hours per year are far higher than Europe and the salary's reflect that differential.


SCJP 1.4
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
I worked in Rotterdam for a couple of months in the early 90's and remember that programmer salaries were about half of US levels at that time. The Dutch guys were getting in guilders what US people got in dollars.
Net taxes weren't that high I think although the company was paying a lot of overhead for each employee. The system is a lot different in the Netherlands.
I also worked in Italy for a while. Programmers were pretty low on the Italian pecking order, mostly because their earnings were all reported to the government and nominal tax rates are pretty high. The way most Italians handle this is to report only part of their earnings but this wasn't an option for most software engineers.
Stephen Pride
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 14, 2000
Posts: 121
Originally posted by Greg Neef:
US working hours per year are far higher than Europe and the salary's reflect that differential.

Exactly. I've seen editorials recently and in the last six-or-so months that say American productivity is the highest in the entire world. While there is a lot to do with that, I believe one reason is people in America are being over-worked. In my company alone, I hear from colleagues who work 10-12 hr days routinely, and even work 1-2 full weekends a month to boot (not counting travel time). Given their American salary and their time spent working, one could probably equate they work much less than the $45K/year, 40hr/week person. I even heard in some European countries, the benefits are a lot more attractive, too, making the salary figure alone a bit misleading.
[ December 05, 2003: Message edited by: Stephen Pride ]

SCJP
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by Greg Neef:
US working hours per year are far higher than Europe and the salary's reflect that differential.

Well not FAR higher. 20 to 30% more. US programmers often do a lot more OT than Continental Europeans.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Richard Scothern:

Can one live in Boston on $45K? I suspect so.

Good article. Yes, you can live in Boston on $45K and I know plenty of people who do it. It's not that hard if you share an apartment in a cheap area (e.g. Sommerville) or live in the suburbs and commute in.
Yes, American programmers do regularly work overtime. We also have fewer government benefits. I suspect the extra salary on this side of the pond probably isn't as valuable as the lifestyle and benefits over on the continent.
--Mark
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

Good article. Yes, you can live in Boston on $45K and I know plenty of people who do it. It's not that hard if you share an apartment in a cheap area (e.g. Sommerville) or live in the suburbs and commute in.

Presumably the gritty suburbs not the nice ones.
The sad thing is that you cannot afford to buy a house on this kind of salary any longer.
stara szkapa
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 27, 2003
Posts: 321
Originally posted by Richard Scothern:

Can one live in Boston on $45K? I suspect so.

Can one have a life in Boston on $45? Let's say someone wants to support wife and two children.
Tim Baker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
i don't find this article to be anything new or innovative as it tries to imply. it's just a simple supply and demand situation. as the demand for jobs go up the wages go down. as the supply goes up, the competition increases. i'm sure many other companies are already advertising positions below what would of been paid a while ago.
here in the UK we have the longest working hours in all of europe, but i'm not sure how it stacks up agains the US. I'm also not sure how wages compare, but the cost of living is definately lower in the US with us paying the same prices in pounds as you do in the dollar for many things. I know that as a graduate I can't expect much more than �20k ~ $30k and I have to look at jobs from �15k ~ $22.5k. we graduates have it hard at the moment because there are loads of people with experience looking for work and so applying for the entry level jobs too.


Kim Jong II (North Korea's Dear Leader) said:Nuclear weapons don't kill people, people kill people.
Calina Cazangiu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 27, 2003
Posts: 30
Aren't the benefits much better in Europe, including health insurance and pension plans?
Tim Baker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
in england you don't need health insurance coz of the NHS, private health insurance might be included for directors but probably not for a programmer job. also the NHS is extremely poor at the moment, so that in itself isn't an advantage to living here.
if you work for a big firm you might get something sweet called a final salary pension scheme, but there is a massive problem with pensions in the UK at the moment because firms have not paid enough in to them and so loads of people are having to take massive cuts. also there are very few final salary schemes still going for new members.
in some parts of europe you get more protection from being fired (in spain i hear its near impossible to lay off workers), but not the good old UK
i'm trying to think of a benefit to working in the UK, but in the good few minutes taken to write this post i can not think of one.
Carlisia Campos
sanitation engineer
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 22, 2001
Posts: 135
Originally posted by stara szkapa:

Can one have a life in Boston on $45? Let's say someone wants to support wife and two children.

If you have no debt and a modest life style, then yes. Since, your biggest overheads would be car and hoursing, you should at least check the price to rent or buy a place at bostonapartments.com to have a better idea.


i blog here: carlisia.com
Tara Bhattacharjee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 36
This has already been happening for the last 2 years. Every one I knew in the sw industry took a pay cut. Including the well qualified people with proper degrees and experience.
Ajeet Jose
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 05, 2003
Posts: 68
Let me add something about France...
* J2EE/Java market is not too bad atleast in Paris
* salary is arround 35K - 50K euros for 2-5y experienced/skilled people
(generally skilled people are recognised well)
* medical coverage is excellent including vision, dental etc.
* 8H/day is normal (there is no concept of overtime payment unless you are a consultant who charges by the number of hours).
* annual vacation and casual, medical, parantal offs are fine
-best in my experience with other countries. In my views French people value the personal/aesthetic life as equally as or more than professional life.
* Work pressure is generally tolarable
* pension scheme is the best in europe
* Job security is high -no one can just fire you with 15 days notice.
- minimum 3 months notice period for permenant contract people
- if you are fired social security protects you for atleast 1 to 3 years
with decending support from 80% of you last pay.
* technology is as good as US
* Open source SW are commercially well recognised
* Chances to grow to management level is narrow
* Tax and social security is the highest in europe (arround 20% of your earning will go off)
* You must be fluent in French (Your english knowledge will do nothing profesionally as well as socially)- that includes your keyboard to OS to all software you deal with.
- Speaking/understanding spoken French is not that easy - our school French a second language will do nothing - we have to work very hard to catch up.
* If you are non-white you will experience slight racism in Paris
* House rent and cost of living is very high in Paris
* 80% of jobs are arround Paris
* If you have wife and children they would find exteremly difficult to adjust with for atleast 2 to 4 years. Then comes the difference in educational system. (Though British and american schools are available -they are unthinkable with your salary - no public school offers english atleast as second language)
That said..
* Java/J2EE competition also very high..
Generally French developers are very strong in Java/J2EE
for example..Jonas and JBoss origin
Obviously they target only the French market
my 2 cents

[ December 07, 2003: Message edited by: Ajeet Jose ]
Ashok Mash
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 13, 2000
Posts: 1936
Tax and social security is the highest in europe (arround 20% of your earning will go off)

Hmm, 20% is sounds like a dream, really! Its 42% (20% for first 20,000 and the 42% for anything above that) in Ireland, and I think its even higher in Norway! Govt health service isn't too good (long waits and all that) and basic private health insurance costs about 350 euros a year (no dental/vision cover on this plan). Infrastructure (for example broadband penetration, rail network) etc is relatively on the lower end of the scale compared to other EU member nations.


[ flickr ]
Richard Scothern
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 25, 2001
Posts: 83
Originally posted by Tim Baker:

i'm trying to think of a benefit to working in the UK, but in the good few minutes taken to write this post i can not think of one.

Lowest unemployment rate in the G8? I currently can't think of a reason why I wouldn't want to work in the UK. Of course if you don't have a job, it's probably the opposite.
Richard
Ajeet Jose
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 05, 2003
Posts: 68
Let me correct myself..
In France, the tax rates are not uniform for all, it depends on various factors, your maximum pay, your dependends, etc.
(20% is for single guy with 35K)
about infrastructure..
Broadband connection with 1024K with digital TV is available from 29 Euros/per month.
French public transports (bus, train, metro, TGV, etc) are excellent.
You will also see public transport stricks yearly 2 to 3 times and
see how the whole thing freezes.
SJ Adnams
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 925
I currently can't think of a reason why I wouldn't want to work in the UK.
1) Weather
2) Weather
3) Weather
4) Transport System
5) Weather
6) Weather
7) ..you get the idea
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by Simon Lee:
I currently can't think of a reason why I wouldn't want to work in the UK.
1) Weather
2) Weather
3) Weather
4) Transport System
5) Weather
6) Weather
7) ..you get the idea

The other way around to be honest. It rains every day sometimes but often for only 15 minutes or so in spring and summer. Right now it's a lot more than that.
But the transit system always stinks. Particularly in Autumn when 'the wrong kind of leaves' fall. Or whatever. There is always an excuse, the lamer-sounding the better.
Tim Baker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
Originally posted by Richard Scothern:

Lowest unemployment rate in the G8? I currently can't think of a reason why I wouldn't want to work in the UK. Of course if you don't have a job, it's probably the opposite.
Richard

the unemployment figures are fixed by the government, they exlucde just about everyone they can from that for whatever reason. then they shove anyone who is unemployed for any amoutn of time on to some crappy training course, which takes them out the system for a year or two. it also doesn't help anyone looking for an IT job which are in extremely short supply and being taken up by experienced people rather than the floods of graduates coming out of computer courses at the moment.
on the subject of weather, i don't mind the weather here, it get's neither too hot, nor too cold, but stays mild and wet for virtually the whole year. if i went to spain i'd be dying of the heat, and if i went to scotland i'd be dying of the cold. there aren't any earthquakes, tornados, monsoons hurricanes or anything else
[ December 08, 2003: Message edited by: Tim Baker ]
Richard Scothern
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 25, 2001
Posts: 83
Originally posted by Tim Baker:

the unemployment figures are fixed by the government, they exlucde just about everyone they can from that for whatever reason. then they shove anyone who is unemployed for any amoutn of time on to some crappy training course, which takes them out the system for a year or two. it also doesn't help anyone looking for an IT job which are in extremely short supply and being taken up by experienced people rather than the floods of graduates coming out of computer courses at the moment.
on the subject of weather, i don't mind the weather here, it get's neither too hot, nor too cold, but stays mild and wet for virtually the whole year. if i went to spain i'd be dying of the heat, and if i went to scotland i'd be dying of the cold. there aren't any earthquakes, tornados, monsoons hurricanes or anything else
[ December 08, 2003: Message edited by: Tim Baker ]


If all employment figures are fixed by all governments (which I suspect they are), then my original statement still stands. I didn't say they were low, I said they were the lowest in the G8.
Nobody is entitled to a job. If you don't have one, don't wait around until you are put on 'some crappy training course'. Get off your ass and get a McJob until something better comes along.
As for the weather, it's looks sunny from my window Honestly, what's wrong with a bit of rain, you're not going to melt!
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093

* Tax and social security is the highest in europe (arround 20% of your earning will go off)

My income tax is around 30-35%, and that's before social security charges are extracted...
20% tax is very low, almost unheard of. It might apply in France to expats from certain countries under certain conditions, but not to EU citizens...
Tim Baker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
i'm never going to apply for a 'mcjob' because i'd rather kill myself
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by Tim Baker:
i'm never going to apply for a 'mcjob' because i'd rather kill myself

Tim, I worked my way through college pushing a broom and made my living the same way for my first year after I graduated due to an extremely lousy job climate.
I guess you must be better than I was, eh?
Ajeet Jose
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 05, 2003
Posts: 68
Guys, why not move arround to different parts of world and do the job you like. Instead of sitting jobless in the home country or doing McJobs that you did not like..
I would prefer to do J2EE job in Mogadishu (Somalia) than unemployed or McJob in Silicon Valley.

Tim, killing yourself may not be nice choice
[ December 09, 2003: Message edited by: Ajeet Jose ]
Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
I think you have to look at different careers and anyway software is very very competitive now. Personally I'm looking at going into teaching and I have 2 MSc's and 8 years experience in the software industry. People went into software for the cash that is not the case now.
Tony
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
What is a McJob - working in Scotland or working at MacDonalds.
There are worse things than the latter - you could aim for trainee manager at least.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Ajeet Jose:
Guys, why not move arround to different parts of world and do the job you like. Instead of sitting jobless in the home country or doing McJobs that you did not like..


There are a number of reasons. Off the top of my head...
- Cultural/language barriers
- Standard of living
- Proximity to friends and family
- Disagreements with the political/legal/religious freedoms (or lack thereof)
- Climate

--Mark
Tim Baker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
you forgot one
- money
a McJob was first coined by McDonalds IIRC but has come to mean a generally shitty job.
Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:


There are a number of reasons. Off the top of my head...
- Cultural/language barriers
- Standard of living
- Proximity to friends and family
- Disagreements with the political/legal/religious freedoms (or lack thereof)
- Climate

--Mark

That's suprisingly liberal of you, shouldn't location be controlled entirely by the market.
Tony
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Alfred Neumann:
Well not FAR higher. 20 to 30% more. US programmers often do a lot more OT than Continental Europeans.

We also have fewer holidays and less vacation time. Two weeks after a year is typical. Then an extra week after 5 years. 8 t0 10 holidays a year depending on the industry.


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
Amazon Top 750 reviewer - Blog - Unresolved References - Book Review Blog
Marcus Raphael
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 03, 2003
Posts: 57
I am looking forward to shortly entering the Software market, after completing my Msc Software Engineering in the UK (aged 21- and very proud).
I think that as professionals we should not put up with low salaries. Fireman complain, postmen complain, bin men are going to be paid more than java programmers!
We have to put our foot down!
We are skilled workers, and in my opinion a good salary is a minimum of �35k uk currency! dont know about u but i cant live like a tramp!
lol
if it dont work out i'll start a business, stuff making someone else rich!
Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
Originally posted by Marcus Raphael:
I am looking forward to shortly entering the Software market, after completing my Msc Software Engineering in the UK (aged 21- and very proud).
I think that as professionals we should not put up with low salaries. Fireman complain, postmen complain, bin men are going to be paid more than java programmers!
We have to put our foot down!
We are skilled workers, and in my opinion a good salary is a minimum of �35k uk currency! dont know about u but i cant live like a tramp!
lol
if it dont work out i'll start a business, stuff making someone else rich!


I admire you attitude but I think you may be in line for a reality check.
Tony
 
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