“Compensation in FAANG companies explodes. Remote work becomes mainstream. These trends are related. Let’s look closely”
1. Compensation in FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google) companies explodes
2. Remote work becomes mainstream. The number of remote developer jobs in US tech companies grow.
These trends are related. Let’s look closely.
Well-paid developers in the Silicon Valley
FAANG companies don’t hire everybody. They hire developers of a special breed.
For those who don’t know: after a few phone interviews, they will
torture interview you the whole day (5 interviews, one after another) in the office.
So what do engineers who can’t pass the interviews, but who live in the Valley do?
Well, they stay with other companies in the Valley. Sure, compensation is comparatively lower but it’s still pretty significant.
And, it’s much higher than other places in the US. Just search for “distribution of salaries in USD for the top 10 metro areas” here.
Big companies – big development centers
So what are bigger companies doing in this situation?
For illustrative purposes, let’s say “big” is over 150 employees. They just open development centers in places where you can find good developers.
These developers cost less and they’ll hire 50-80 developers in these types of centers.
Yes, many of these developers would not pass the typical FAANG-like interview.
The ability to create good software (software used by Google developers by the way) and the ability to pass the code interview in the very same Google – that’s two different things.
The problem of small startups
In this situation, a CEO of a young startup is stuck between two alternatives: the CEO and the startup founders have to be in the Valley.
Because the investors are here and potential customers (especially if it’s a B2B startup) are also here, this can not be avoided.
It sounds logical to also have the developers nearby.
Often, for investor’s money, such young startup can hire as many as three developers. Or five. Not enough to conquer the world.
To open a development center in a place where you can find good developers that cost less – this solution is not for a small startup.
Such a development center would have many more employees than the company headquarters. Plus, it would be difficult to manage.
Besides, you never know what engineering culture will be in the development center. Your ability to create/influence this culture is very limited.
A risky venture.
The “100% remote team” solution
And in this moment our CEO reminds you about “a 100% remote team”.
Let us look closer at this beast.
There is a well-known thing called “Plateau of Productivity”:
“Plateau of Productivity” means that all the trendy bloggers have stopped writing about this technology. The hype around this technology quiets down and… the technology is just being used. EVERYBODY is using it. Absolutely everybody.
Over the last few years, the following instruments reached the plateau of productivity :
- Distributed version control systems (yes, I mean Git)
- Task trackers (yes, I mean JIRA. Do other task trackers even exist?)
- Messengers (Skype, Slack, Google Talk, WhatsApp, Viber, thousands of them)
- “Agile“. Yes, “agile” is not hype anymore. People do not brag about this. Being a scrum master is not cool anymore (I believe these folks mutated into cryptocurrency enthusiasts). People just USE agile these days.
This is the set of technologies you need to organize remote work.
Everybody knows how to use them. Not just senior developers.
Students use Git to store solutions for their exercises. Gamers use messengers to organize themselves into clans and to coordinate their attacks. And so on.
And for our imaginary CEO of a young startup, the idea to organize a 100% remote team looks like an ideal solution.
Instead of 3-5 developers, he can hire 10-12.
All the tools for remote work are at hand and he can be sure the candidates know how to use them.
A chance for developers living outside of Silicon Valley
We see that companies like GitLab, Zapier and Buffer started as 100% remote startups.
Today they are big and still they are remote: these companies have multiple remote developer jobs.
So, when the marketing specialists are saying that a company “accesses a global talent pool” – now we know what it really means.
So for you, a developer, living outside of Silicon Valley – this is your chance.
Ok, you might not get a salary like in Facebook – but, the salaries of startups hiring remotely are better than salaries on local markets (especially true when comparing to local markets outside of US).
So, use a site that show remote developer jobs in your programming language, find a position you like and apply!
@Dmitri Geller thank you for good findings. I may add 2 important trends we see in 2019: 1) agencies and software houses are switching to remote teams, that gives more full-time job offers 2) Europe and Africa become more and more popular as a source of remote developers.
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