[Question] Graduate developer salaries at the moment? - boards.ie
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06-11-2012, 11:53   #1
djk1000
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Graduate developer salaries at the moment?

Hi,

I'm just looking for an idea of what graduate developer salaries are at right now? I'm about to go to a few interviews and I don't want to price myself out of it, or indeed undervalue myself.

I'm going for permanent roles in Dublin with no experience, fresh out of college with .Net C# as my primary skill, I also have javascript/HTML5/SQL and some Java.

I just want some idea of what my salary expectation should be?

Thanks!

D
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06-11-2012, 13:43   #2
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Originally Posted by djk1000 View Post
Hi,

I'm just looking for an idea of what graduate developer salaries are at right now? I'm about to go to a few interviews and I don't want to price myself out of it, or indeed undervalue myself.

I'm going for permanent roles in Dublin with no experience, fresh out of college with .Net C# as my primary skill, I also have javascript/HTML5/SQL and some Java.

I just want some idea of what my salary expectation should be?

Thanks!

D
I'm in London so cant comment, just look at monster.ie or other job sites for an idea.
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06-11-2012, 15:04   #3
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I know a few grads on around 30k if that's any use. 2 working for fortune 500 companies.
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06-11-2012, 15:07   #4
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grad salaries can range from 26K to 32K maybe a little bit higher but they would be the exception,.
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06-11-2012, 15:08   #5
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From what I have seen you should be expecting between 25K-30K. As an experienced developer, I would urge you to think about the direction you wish to take for the sake of a few grand gross at this stage. A job paying 25K which will help you grow your knowledge in the area you wish to work, is far better than a 30K job in which the scope for learning is very narrow. I have come across plenty who have chosen the 30K option and then find themselves lacking in terms of knowledge when they try to move on after 3 years experience or so.

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06-11-2012, 15:47   #6
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From what I have seen you should be expecting between 25K-30K. As an experienced developer, I would urge you to think about the direction you wish to take for the sake of a few grand gross at this stage. A job paying 25K which will help you grow your knowledge in the area you wish to work, is far better than a 30K job in which the scope for learning is very narrow. I have come across plenty who have chosen the 30K option and then find themselves lacking in terms of knowledge when they try to move on after 3 years experience or so.
You have a greater chance of making a name for yourself and moving up the ranks in a small to medium sized company. Also more likely to get your hands dirty and different tech and new projects. A fortune 500 company will likely have better benefits and maybe even a nicer pay scale, but you are likely to feel like a number after a short time. Not the case for all large companies mind. But something worth thinking about before you sign anything.
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06-11-2012, 16:13   #7
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You have a greater chance of making a name for yourself and moving up the ranks in a small to medium sized company. Also more likely to get your hands dirty and different tech and new projects. A fortune 500 company will likely have better benefits and maybe even a nicer pay scale, but you are likely to feel like a number after a short time. Not the case for all large companies mind. But something worth thinking about before you sign anything.
Personally, I would advise any graduate to take up a role in a small company, assuming they (the company) are not ripping the pee pay and condition wise. Two years or so in a small company like that can be invaluable. I did that and I ended up gaining knowledge on areas such as mail servers, system and network administration which has stood to me as time has passed even though I progressed into a purely software dev. role.
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06-11-2012, 16:28   #8
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Good advice, thanks! My priority is definitely experience, I've applied mainly to smaller companies and have some interviews lined up.

I found it very frustrating with every job ad having "negotiable" instead of an actual amount and saying "excellent benefits" instead of actually listing the benefits.

While I'm on a rant, what's also bugging me is ads (particularly from recruitment agents) that have a pie-in-the-sky dream list of every technology that they want an I.T grad to have, yet someone with years of experience probably wouldn't have exposure to half of it.
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06-11-2012, 16:33   #9
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Good advice, thanks! My priority is definitely experience, I've applied mainly to smaller companies and have some interviews lined up.

I found it very frustrating with every job ad having "negotiable" instead of an actual amount and saying "excellent benefits" instead of actually listing the benefits.

While I'm on a rant, what's also bugging me is ads (particularly from recruitment agents) that have a pie-in-the-sky dream list of every technology that they want an I.T grad to have, yet someone with years of experience probably wouldn't have exposure to half of it.
No need to get annoyed about it, everyone knows they are fantasy wish lists. I've been offered jobs where I didnt even have 25% of the "required" technologies.
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07-11-2012, 11:13   #10
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Offhand there are recruitment agency reports on IT salaries: Brightwater and Morgan Mckinley publish two of them, AFAIR.
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07-11-2012, 12:58   #11
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You have a greater chance of making a name for yourself and moving up the ranks in a small to medium sized company. Also more likely to get your hands dirty and different tech and new projects. A fortune 500 company will likely have better benefits and maybe even a nicer pay scale, but you are likely to feel like a number after a short time. Not the case for all large companies mind. But something worth thinking about before you sign anything.
For "after a short time", read "two hours into day one". However, as a first job, I'd actually suggest taking a role in a large company over a small one. Yes, in a small company you'll get to use more tools, take on larger projects and do more design level work.

And you won't be ready for it and you'll make a mess of it. Yes, you will. We all did in our first job, that's why your first job is an entry-level one. No shame in it, you're learning and it's expected that you'll be sloppy in places you didn't know you had to be neat in, and that you'll bite off more than you can chew, and that you'll take on tasks that more experienced people know are doomed and wouldn't touch with a barge pole. That's fine. But in a small company, you can wind up being given something important to do that with and the fallout is generally not more training when you inevitably screw up

In larger companies, you won't get near design work of any magnitude for a while, but you will be surrounded by experienced people and if you want to learn and grow as a professional, that's a pretty good environment to do a first job in. Stick it out for a year or even two, and then once you've knocked off the worst of the rough edges, go for a startup and use the tools and do the things you couldn't in the larger company. Not only will you appreciate it more, but you're likely to screw up less as a result.

Also, remember this is your first job. It's not just software you need to be learning, but how the workplace itself operates, how to work with other people in teams on large projects (you haven't met a large project yet, not if you're a new graduate. The largest thing you'll have seen in college work doesn't even begin to approach the largest thing you'll work on in industry). It's how to get on with people that you like and people who irritate you to the point where you'd rip the skin off their face with a rabid badger if it'd make them stop talking for five minutes; it's how to deal with managers and other bosses, both the good ones and the bad ones (and how to tell the difference); it's how to deal with clients (though you may not see any in a really large company); it's how the company is an actual business that needs to earn money and how that affects designs and priorities; and most importantly -if you can see it - how the company hires new hands and what they look for and how they decide how much to pay them.

Oh, and if you can learn about when to stick with the job; when not to take the job; and when (and how) to quietly resign and run for the hills - that would be a good thing too, but the odds are that you'll be a few jobs learning that (that's just how it goes, you need data points).

You won't learn much about those things in a four-person startup, no matter how cool the tools or tasks they have. (Well, maybe the bit about running for the hills, or the bit about bad bosses, and you definitely will learn about the dire need for having written contracts for every last little thing; but other than that...)

Mind, you'll be learning to eat bitter, but that's part of the first job anywhere; it's just that a few people in our industry think they never need to learn it (and they're the poorer for it and they're fairly easy to spot because they create unnecessary work for those around them). In a larger company, it's a lot easier to learn to eat bitter (for one thing, the paycheque cushions the blow; for another, there's usually more support and better trained managers, and less panic).
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07-11-2012, 14:46   #12
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I should probably mention that I'm in my 30's, this is a second career (actually a third career) and I'm an accountant who has worked on projects, worked for big companies, worked for small companies, dealt with infuriating customers and colleagues and have project management experience. I'm well used to the politics!

To be honest, I'd be happy out with €26k-€30k if the employer was helping out with further education.

Thanks for the good advice!
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07-11-2012, 14:49   #13
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30k is about average.
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07-11-2012, 16:36   #14
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For "after a short time", read "two hours into day one". However, as a first job, I'd actually suggest taking a role in a large company over a small one. Yes, in a small company you'll get to use more tools, take on larger projects and do more design level work.

And you won't be ready for it and you'll make a mess of it. Yes, you will. We all did in our first job, that's why your first job is an entry-level one. No shame in it, you're learning and it's expected that you'll be sloppy in places you didn't know you had to be neat in, and that you'll bite off more than you can chew, and that you'll take on tasks that more experienced people know are doomed and wouldn't touch with a barge pole. That's fine. But in a small company, you can wind up being given something important to do that with and the fallout is generally not more training when you inevitably screw up

In larger companies, you won't get near design work of any magnitude for a while, but you will be surrounded by experienced people and if you want to learn and grow as a professional, that's a pretty good environment to do a first job in. Stick it out for a year or even two, and then once you've knocked off the worst of the rough edges, go for a startup and use the tools and do the things you couldn't in the larger company. Not only will you appreciate it more, but you're likely to screw up less as a result.

Also, remember this is your first job. It's not just software you need to be learning, but how the workplace itself operates, how to work with other people in teams on large projects (you haven't met a large project yet, not if you're a new graduate. The largest thing you'll have seen in college work doesn't even begin to approach the largest thing you'll work on in industry). It's how to get on with people that you like and people who irritate you to the point where you'd rip the skin off their face with a rabid badger if it'd make them stop talking for five minutes; it's how to deal with managers and other bosses, both the good ones and the bad ones (and how to tell the difference); it's how to deal with clients (though you may not see any in a really large company); it's how the company is an actual business that needs to earn money and how that affects designs and priorities; and most importantly -if you can see it - how the company hires new hands and what they look for and how they decide how much to pay them.

Oh, and if you can learn about when to stick with the job; when not to take the job; and when (and how) to quietly resign and run for the hills - that would be a good thing too, but the odds are that you'll be a few jobs learning that (that's just how it goes, you need data points).

You won't learn much about those things in a four-person startup, no matter how cool the tools or tasks they have. (Well, maybe the bit about running for the hills, or the bit about bad bosses, and you definitely will learn about the dire need for having written contracts for every last little thing; but other than that...)

Mind, you'll be learning to eat bitter, but that's part of the first job anywhere; it's just that a few people in our industry think they never need to learn it (and they're the poorer for it and they're fairly easy to spot because they create unnecessary work for those around them). In a larger company, it's a lot easier to learn to eat bitter (for one thing, the paycheque cushions the blow; for another, there's usually more support and better trained managers, and less panic).
I think this is a very negative attitude to have. Of all industries, probably IT is one of the riskiest, so fear of failure is not suited to it. You need to take risks and be encouraged to do so. Jumping in at the deep end is good for a persons character building in my opinion.

Also, speaking from experience, I started in an I.T. Related company about 14 years ago and stayed with them for 4 years. I progressed at a blistering pace, travelled the world, and had experiences I would never have had with twice or three times the exposure in a larger company.

Today, I'm 7 years in the same company, a large one. It's a monster. I'm still doing the same job I was when I started. It's not from lack of commitment or hard work either.

As for team work, I would say you are still likely to work in a team, even with a small company but more likely that the team would have more diversity. What I mean is, it wouldn't just be developers. With smaller companies you are more likely to be working directly with customers, sales, marketing, finance the works.

Finally, yes pay is a big factor, but it's not what drives people. Starting out it would be wiser to accumulate knowledge rather than money. And as for managers, I would completely disagree that they are better in larger companies. At the highest ranks of an organisation yes, but mid to low level would be no different than with a small company.

Edit: in some large companies that are exceptions to the rule and considered good companies to work for, if you reach all your targets they (your managers) think that there is something wrong. You are not expected to reach all your targets. You are expected to fail some and win others. They give these almost unattainable goals so that you are pushed to succeed, and stretched a little. This is the practice at Google.

Last edited by Mmmm_Lemony; 07-11-2012 at 16:44.
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07-11-2012, 18:15   #15
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I think this is a very negative attitude to have.
I would say it's not negative; it's realistic. IT has a high failure rate for its projects (that's not an opinion, that's what the statistics say and have said since the late 70s), so if you're going to be a professional in the field, you should be taking a conservative and pragmatic outlook, even if that's a bit of work to maintain

But that's not the culture you see promoted a lot - look through our news sites and we're an industry that, publicly at least, appears to be pushing the "rock star" attitude a lot - aim big, plan big, be sure to worry about "web scale", try to be the next big thing, criticise any other approach (whether calmly or with the infamous "F*ck You" powerpoint slide at a supposedly professional conference) and so on and so forth (and yes, you should be hearing this when you read that ).

Me, I think that's simply not professional and might be great fun when you're in your teens and twenties, but your career lasts a lot longer than that and unless you plan to migrate off to management or somewhere else by then, you need a better perspective, and frankly, that means accepting that you will fail and planning so that that failure doesn't do as much damage as it might if you didn't plan for it.

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You need to take risks and be encouraged to do so.
I'm an engineer. We're trained to be risk-averse. Literally so - the very first lecture at 0900 on the first day of your first year in engineering in TCD is spent watching video and photo footage of Tacoma Narrows, of the Silver Bridge, of the Hyatt Regency walkway collapse, BA flight 5390 and so on, paying attention to causes and casualty figures; the lesson is that this is a profession where a serious mistake causes major disasters and can kill people. And then they talk about Therac-25 and Ariane-V for the sniggering computer engineers who think that this only happens to civil and mechanical engineers. These days they'd probably include people causing major car accidents from following GPS units, or Ulster Bank, or the many, many, many (seriously, what the hell?) incidents of radiation overdoses from computerised radiation therapy machines since Therac-25.

That attitude of knowing the cost of a major failure isn't something to take lightly carries over from the work you do, to how you approach the job in general, and frankly I think that's a good thing. Taking calculated risks deliberately is one thing (and a good thing if done right) whether it's with a design or with a career; telling a new grad to jump in with both feet and take risks they have no experience with and no possible way to gauge because of a lack of experience and data... well, I wouldn't call that a wise course of action.

It sounds great, especially in the blogosphere as an inspirational post ("I followed my dreams! They blew up, but I followed them and that's what counts!"), where it might well make the top of HN for a day or two before the next shiny thing comes along, but your career is supposed to be a few decades long and honestly, if you screw up a major project on your lonesome - which can happen in your first job in a small enough startup - that can follow you around for a bit. And everyone screws up in the beginning, it's what you're meant to do and you're not going to be any good until you do because you won't learn.

Hence my thought that it's better to go work with experienced people for a year or so and knock off the rough edges and get some data, some experience; and then start taking risks when you have some idea of what's entailed in them.

Or, in the tl;dr version:
Quote:
Jumping in at the deep end is good for a persons character building in my opinion.
Good way to drown too, if you don't know how to swim






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Finally, yes pay is a big factor, but it's not what drives people.
....to an extent, yes, when you're young.

Frankly, I thought the OP was the usual 21/22-yo new developer, not someone on a second career; in his case, saying "don't follow the money" might not be realistic. We kindof expect the living-in-a-garret thing from young new grads, but for people starting off who may have families and mortgages to worry about, the money is rather important. I know I couldn't go back to a 30k salary now even if I wanted to for just that reason. And honestly, there are very few companies out there doing things interesting enough to take a pay cut to work for, but a huge number who all claim that they're doing things that interesting. So I've never been a massive believer in the idea that pay is irrelevant (it's not primary once it goes above a certain threshold, and it's a lousy motivator, yes; but it's more complicated than just being some binary choice -- there are whole academic studies of the principles in play here, it doesn't condense to a soundbite well).

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And as for managers, I would completely disagree that they are better in larger companies. At the highest ranks of an organisation yes, but mid to low level would be no different than with a small company.
I wouldn't have had the same experience - the best managers I've ever had or met did not work for small startups. The worst, however, universally did. I mean, you'll find bad managers in large companies and good managers in small companies as well, but the odds seem better in larger companies (though to be fair, it does appear to be very tightly coupled to the company's culture).

Last edited by Sparks; 07-11-2012 at 18:38.
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