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The Almighty Buck Businesses Apple

The Impact of Low Salaries At Apple 782

Posted by kdawson
from the baby-needs-a-new-pair-of-shoes dept.
orenh writes "Recent data indicate that Apple engineers have significantly lower salaries than their Silicon Valley peers: $89,000 at Apple, versus $105,000 at Yahoo and $112,000 at Google. Paying lower salaries had a major impact on Apple's bottom line when it was struggling in the market up until 2004. But now that Apple is highly profitable, these lower salaries are no longer a factor in Apple's success. Will Apple have to raise salaries to match the market rate, or face defections?"
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The Impact of Low Salaries At Apple

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  • "Will Apple have to raise salaries to match the market rate, or face defections?"

    Yes!
    • by Toll_Free (1295136) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:30PM (#23832223)
      Nah, they won't.

      I live in the area, and let me tell you, people would rather KNOW they are going to have a paycheck, at least in theory because of seniority if nothing else, than NOT because they jumped ship to get a 20K a year raise.

      Not when you paid nearly a million dollars for your 3 bedroom house.

      There ARE people within a few miles of my house paying 25 thousand dollars a month in RENT.... My neighborhood is in the 2 to 3K a month range, and if I KNEW I could pay my bills with the economy going to the toilet, there is NO good reason for me to jump ship for a raise.

      Three years ago, they ALL would have jumped ship. It's a different type of world now, since foreclosures, etc. are looming everywhere. Local trash mags have foreclosure sales listed, as do newspapers.

      Apple should pony up some of those profits, but a smart board and CFO would realize, they might need a bit of cheese to get them through the thin period we can all see coming.

      --Toll_Free
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by somersault (912633)
        While I doubt working at Apple would be much more fun and mentally stimulating than working at google, as long as I enjoy my job and can pay the bills plus a few luxuries (mostly music, movies and video games for me), I honeslty wouldn't care how much I earned. Those salaries are all above mine, though for the average 24 year old in western civilisation I'm probably doing quite well for myself tbh. My rent is only £215 a month including broadband though, in an area where £300 or more
        • by johnlcallaway (165670) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @01:01AM (#23835285)
          I agree. I recently went from $110K/year with 15% bonus to $95K/year without a bonus for better job security and satisfaction. Company I left has since removed bonus, frozen pay increases, decreased 401K matching, and now fires people w/o severance instead of layoffs. I have a great job with a small company, a great boss that I respect, and work fewer hours.

          A couple of adjustments, like paying off a car and riding my motorcycle to work everyday instead of 3 or 4 times a week and I hardly notice. The bills are paid, I still have a growing 401k, and the credit card debt is going down instead of up. Maybe not as fast as it did a year ago, but in the right direction.

          I can't speak to the Apple engineers, but I will argue that taking another job purely on salary isn't always the best thing to do. And ratings in magazines rarely add in other perks.
          • by kaiwai (765866) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @02:28AM (#23835661)
            I agree about the pay; I was in a job being paid around $20 per hour - the job was pretty easy (non-IT related btw), but the boss was an asshole. Now sure, for the first few months I could do the old thing of "lay back, and think of the queen", but that only works for so longer. The extra pay, no matter how great it may be, will never offset in the long run a crappy work environment. The work environment is where one spends at least 1/3 of their life, all the money in the world isn't going to make the work environment better.

            I went from that job to another job (again, non-IT related), I earned less money BUT at the same time, I had alot more perks. I was head of a department in an section of the retail sector which provides stable long term employment. My co-workers were down to earth genuine people rather than egotistical pricks like I've seen in the IT world. Sales representatives giving the ability to get things at wholesale prices (for my own person consumption etc).

            Believe me, before I went back to University, I had a pretty sweet time in that job.
      • by Sta7ic (819090) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @07:11PM (#23832729)
        It's reading things like this that help put my little worldview in perspective. I'm out in the sticks of Eastern Washington (the state), earning ~52k writing software, paying 645 for a two-bed, and maybe a mile from the Columbia River and the mess of parks cluttering the shore.
      • by phreakincool (975248) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @07:58PM (#23833187)
        "There ARE people within a few miles of my house paying 25 thousand dollars a month in RENT"

        Anyone who pays that amount of money just to rent, needs to have their head examined.
    • by jaxtherat (1165473) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:51PM (#23832517) Homepage

      "Will Apple have to raise salaries to match the market rate, or face defections?"

      Yes!
      Nope. Not only are Apple employees more than likely as fanatical about the product as the loyal Apple consumers (and if you're unkind you can say that they drank the Kool-Aid).

      Pride in what you do and a sense of corporate individuality is a huge factor in determinining the loyalty of employees.

      Look at Games Workshop as an example. They borderline brainwash staff to love their job, and then they pay them so little that they generally have to share accomodation with fellow staff. And yet the staff turnover is surprisingly low for such a relatively crappy and intensive job.
      • by dhavleak (912889) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @07:32PM (#23832947)

        Pride in what you do and a sense of corporate individuality is a huge factor in determining the loyalty of employees.

        I agree, but I think you overestimate this effect. In Apple, with Ive and Jobs generally being the public faces, it's rare for the guys in the trenches to get noticed. Not everybody's ego is pleased with a pat on the back. They need public accolades, more money, or a mix of both.

        Also, as sexy as Apple's products are, they don't have a very large lineup. There's no dearth of sexy products in the rest of the tech. world, and people do often move -- we'd probably be surprised at the number of people who have worked for at least 2 companies out of Apple, Google, and MS.

        The numbers in TFA (Glassdoor) are based on a sample set that's way too small to be a statistically "representative sample". So we don't even know if Apple engineers really are paid less than the average silicon valley employee.

        The one effect the article seems to miss: Apple's stock has been on fire for some time now. So if Apple employees are getting stock awards and have a decent employee stock purchase plan, the raw salary numbers aren't telling us the whole story.

      • by infosinger (769408) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @07:53PM (#23833143)
        Jobs keeps them there because he ends every employee meeting with "And one more thing...." and makes them wait for the next meeting. ;-)
    • by statemachine (840641) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @07:23PM (#23832847)
      When the other companies in the Valley are hiring again, and Apple continues to have lower salaries, yes they will need to raise them.

      $89K/year won't get you a house even with today's market. Maybe an OK condo, assuming a bank will give you a loan. But if you don't mind driving 100+ miles each way, then you could get a decent structure, though the neighborhood might be in the middle of nowhere. Rents are going back up, but if you don't mind living in small apartments to be able to have some play money, then sure, $89K is enough.

      For those who just see the numbers and have no idea about cost of living, $700 for an apartment is awesome in the midwest, but $1400-1600 in the Valley will at least keep you out of the bad neighborhoods. After gas, food, and utilities, you'd be lucky to have anything left over to go out and socialize. In the midwest, you'd live like royalty.
      • by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @07:38PM (#23833009) Homepage Journal
        "$89K/year won't get you a house even with today's market. Maybe an OK condo, assuming a bank will give you a loan. But if you don't mind driving 100+ miles each way, then you could get a decent structure, though the neighborhood might be in the middle of nowhere. Rents are going back up, but if you don't mind living in small apartments to be able to have some play money, then sure, $89K is enough.

        Wow....I mean, I figure if you've got a few years experience under your belt...$89K/yr is really NOT that great?!?! And I mean not great in areas that aren't nearly as expensive as out there in Silicon Valley.

        As the parent said...people paid over a million dollars a pop for homes out there that aren't that palatial. How they hell does anyone make a house payment like that on $89K/yr? Hell...how do you pay for what a condo or apt must cost out there on that salary? I'm not even talking having wife and kids to support....

        $89K is not a high salary in this day in age...it is middle class...medium-low end of it really.

        This is what bothers me in the presidential rederick that is going on wanting to raise taxes on the rich. Use to..the rich was $250K and up....today...well, apparently it is $75K and up from what I've seen. Notice where the tax rebates started declining in full value recently? Yep....$75K and you start getting rich and don't deserve a full rebate.

        • by Peaquod (1200623) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @08:27PM (#23833439)

          presidential rederick
          can't resist the urge... it's rhetoric
  • by mactard (1223412) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @05:54PM (#23831763)
    But the Lord Jobs gave them all free iPhones! That surely has to make up for having to work for the biggest asshole in California.
  • by Shadow Wrought (586631) * <shadow.wroughtNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @05:55PM (#23831765) Homepage Journal
    You get what you pay for;-)
  • by Zerth (26112) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @05:56PM (#23831779)
    You're implying that Apple engineers are equally skilled as Google engineers!

    On the other hand, why are Yahoo engineers so overpaid... :)
    • by juuri (7678) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @07:13PM (#23832745) Homepage
      Outside the Bay it might note known, but there is a running joke about the coming downfall of Google from within due to it's arrogance. Google actually doesn't pay that well and uses a *lot* of 3rd party contractors who make shit on the hope of coming onto google for real.

      What's really terrible is Google operates with a quit long interview process, often with a number of people. These people are all very similar and have huge chips on their shoulder and only look to hire people much like themselves. That is people from academia with not too much real market experience. They are quickly becoming a very self referential mono-culture of people who genuinely believe they are better, but without the actual experience to back it up. A telling sign is their over reliance on logic puzzle interviews, raw information queries and needing to gel solidly with a large number of people. They ask very few "how would you do X" or "how do you deal with Y" questions, instead thinking that the raw intelligence is the best feature to grade an applicant on.

      Anyone who has dealt with tech "darlings" knows the danger of this. Sure they may be smart as fuck, but it doesn't mean they know how to finish or deliver. It may be hard for the slashdot poster to believe but people used to dream of working at microsoft (and before that IBM) the way they talk about google now. It's just another cycle.

      • by rossz (67331) <ogre&geekbiker,net> on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @07:38PM (#23833003) Homepage Journal
        I recently finished a one year contract at Google. Since leaving, I have said on numerous occasions that google's downfall will be their arrogance. You nailed it perfectly. The mono-culture you mention isn't just in their technical leanings. It's also very much evident in the political leaning of the workforce. Politics is dominated by the extreme left. You aren't supposed to hire based on politics (it's the law), but people are rejected because they "don't fit with the google culture." Google is also failing miserably in hiring military vets. That's a big no-no. I expect them to get in serious trouble for that.
        • by Alioth (221270) <no@spam> on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @04:12AM (#23836153) Journal
          The military still have vets? How much horse cavalry is there?

          (Seriously, over here a 'vet' is a vetinary surgeon. I did a bit of a double take when I was living in Houston and I saw a bumper sticker saying 'If you value your freedom, thank a vet' - and I thought, well, it's all very nice having someone to give my cat his annual FIV vaccination, but I didn't realise vetinary surgeons were the vanguard of freedom fighters too!).
  • What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @05:56PM (#23831783) Homepage Journal
    Your loking at just the salary? don't be stupid.
    Benefits. I make less then I could, but the benefits of where I work more then make up for it.
    So, what are their benefits?

    • Re:What? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:02PM (#23831879)

      You're looking at just the salary? Don't be stupid. Benefits. I make less than I could, but the benefits of where I work more than make up for it. So, what are their benefits?
      I hope the benefits include remedial education.
    • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NumbDr9 (601117) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:15PM (#23832035)
      While you're on the topic of benefits, don't forget about the golden handcuffs. Any employee who was around for the bump and has unvested stock options has a compelling reason to stay.

      I worked for a company that went through a profit cycle after a long period of doing nothing. I was expecting the company to do something to compensate the engineers who had been patient through the hard times, but then I realized something. They didn't have to. We all had significant stock options, and now that the stock was worth something we would all think twice about leaving (even though there were no raises or bonuses that year).

      On the other hand, when the stock price went back down, people were dropping like flies. Eventually Apple will have to make corrections, but they are probably not there yet.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by PieSquared (867490)
      I seem to recall google having a pretty excellent benefits package in *addition* to their superior salary.
    • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eclectic4 (665330) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @08:09PM (#23833269)
      Benefits: Working in a genuinely cool atmosphere (I see guys walking around with blue dreadlocked hair, eating at Café Mac (great food, BTW) sitting across from Steve eating his veggies and vegan gourmet cookies, playing volleyball on lunch in the inner lawn of 1 Infinite Loop, etc...

      But I think the greatest thing is working with other extraordinarily talented people passionate about Apple. I don't know how else to explain it. I've told this to countless people, but I think the thing that Apple does the best, bar none, is hire the right people. The process is long and arduous (even for the lowest of the low), and they make you feel very special. It's also something you notice after a while, but almost everyone else at Apple kind of behaves the same. Always upbeat, hip, and very passionate. Most have hardcore hobbies (from playing in bands to mountain climbing, almost to a person it seems), and are very goal driven. But, who wouldn't want to hire people like that? The execution at Apple in this regard is just brilliant.

      Lastly, and why this has to be explained, and why nearly no one here has mentioned it is quite strange... money is not everything, not even close. Yes, the stock (not options, actual stock placed in an ETrade account, all set up for you to sell at your convenience, although I wouldn't!), 25% off product is nice, the free shit is also nice, and well, working for a great company means a hell of a lot, but the salary isn't at the top of the list of things most of the employees are wanting as far as compensation, it's all the rest, and being able to be who they are (when you saw a suit, you knew they were from out of town) and being pushed to be passionate... it's not that money, at least to the type of people Apple hires... which is my point.
      • Re:What? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Aceticon (140883) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @04:09AM (#23836135)
        They convinced you that you are better than everybody else because you went through a long and difficult process to be accepted into a group of people who themselves believe they are better than everybody else.

        They provide employees with some unusual (but reasonably cheap) benefits and promote an image to both the inside and the outside that by being with them you are somehow part of a select clique.

        The same process is used in elite military forces, religious cults and even in street gangs.

        I bet you're surrounded by mostly males, in their late teens and twenties - they tend to be the most susceptible to this kind of group conditioning.
  • by Anonymous Freak (16973) <prius.driver@mac. c o m> on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @05:58PM (#23831807) Journal
    I have multiple friends who work for Google, that used to work for Intel.

    They got paid significantly more at Intel, for what was effectively a lower-level job. (Not directly comparable in job function, but in heirarchy.) Google pays on the order of 25% less.

    Comparing one single job isn't the way to go. Apple may pay less than Google or Yahoo, but, really, what job position at Apple are they referring to? TFA just say "engineers". Well, what kind? If you're comparing, say, the guy who designs the box that the iPod comes in to the guy who designs Google's customized Linux kernel, then it's not even close to comparable.
  • by kidgenius (704962) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @05:58PM (#23831813)
    Now, I know Google is supposed to be an absolute delight to work for, but there is also a certain "coolness" to working at Apple. Think about it, you get to work at the company that makes some of the coolest electronics and computers out there, wouldn't it be awesome to work there? That will go quite a ways towards bridging the salary gap. In addition, if Apple really started noticing its employees leaving en masse and couldn't find competent people at the salaries they offer, then they would definitely raise salaries to attract top talent. I don't think they are having much of a problem doing that with their current situation. And, if you don't have to arbitrarily raise salaries, why would you as a company do something that would cost you more if it wasn't required?
    • by Dun Malg (230075) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:21PM (#23832099) Homepage

      you get to work at the company that makes some of the coolest electronics and computers out there, wouldn't it be awesome to work there?
      "Coolness" and "awesomeness" are hardly things that would tilt a talented person's interest in their favor. If you were offered $19K/yr to muck out the toilets at Apple when you could get $24K/yr at IBM, I doubt neither the "awesomeness" of working at Apple, nor the "coolness" of their products would significantly influence your decision.

      No, if you're working in an engineering capacity what matters are things like how "interesting" the projects you're assigned are, and the support you receive from the non-engineering staff. I have worked on software projects that were utterly mundane in their purpose and end use (military fuel management systems), but were extremely interesting to work on. Slick packaging and good interface design aren't what make you want to get up in the morning to go to work.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NDPTAL85 (260093)
        Maybe not for you, but for Apple employees it obviously is what makes them want to get up in the morning.
    • by skelly33 (891182) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:25PM (#23832163)
      Agreed - also, sorry but $90K is not chump change. "engineers" maybe convincing themselves of an over-inflated sense of self-worth just because of what's happening at another company. The fact is that Google cannot and will not hire 100% of engineers, thus the reality of being "able" to make better money at Google is tempered by the fact that the opportunity needs to actually present itself.

      To me, that's a bit like a store with a low price guarantee on a product - if you show them a competitor's ad that has a lower price, they call and find out if the product is actually in stock and the shopper can head over right that moment and buy it. If so, then the opportunity has actually presented itself and so they honor the price.

      If you take a poll of competitive salaries for similar positions at Google to your employer and demand a match, the might be inclined to determine whether any of those positions are actually opportunities for you, or if you're just trying to give them the squeeze.

      Not saying that you will never get what you want, but:

      a) Consider how important the difference is to you , versus...;
      b) Consider the risk of losing your job over such a high differential demand with no backup plan.

      For what it's worth, companies DO (sometimes) review employee compensation to ensure that they are keeping the ones they want and trimming the ones they don't, and in time Apple may end up doing the same. Any corporation worth its salt knows that its greatest asset is its workforce talent.
    • Work/Life (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Trojan35 (910785) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:30PM (#23832221)
      People love working for Google, but my friends there tell me they work 70+ hrs/week.
      People like working for Yahoo, but my friends there tell me they work 60+ hrs/week.
      People tell me they love working for Apple, because they only work 50hrs/week.

      Maybe the salaries reflect that? Maybe the salary difference between Yahoo/Apple reflects the relative financial positions of the company? Maybe the salary differences have to do with Cupertino vs Mountain View cost of living? Maybe Apple employees have made buttloads of stock and HR doesn't need to pay them $20k more because they're making $50k each year in restricted stock that's vesting? Maybe Apple gives 30% bonuses and the others don't?

      I don't know, you tell me. I know Salary vs Salary is normally a weak comparison.
      • by Wee (17189) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:55PM (#23832551)
        People love working for Google, but my friends there tell me they work 70+ hrs/week.

        The only people working 70+ hours/week at Google are the folks nearing a deadline, putting out a fire, or dealing with some other emergency. Some other folks do get close to that, however. The fresh out of college, in-a-new-town sort of folks have no life and so they work all week. Google gives them dinner (though I suspect dinner service will be stopping soon; shortly before I left, they were sending out surveys to see how they could "serve you better"), there are showers, and if you're young and energetic you can hook up with another geek. You get a few years before you burn out, so these guys are fine; they'll learn.

        The other ones working insane hours are the people that want a pay raise. You have to get promoted to get a raise at Google. And since promotions are essentially popularity contests, you need to Be Seen (and be seen as a go-getter). Since I'm getting up in years, and I have a family life I enjoy, I never bothered to nominate myself for a promotion. It meant a few years without a raise, but the stock did well so it was a wash in my mind. The bonuses were fairly generous anyway.

        The final group working long hours are those who are doing a 20% project. These are few and far between, the 20% project being primarily a myth to entice people into applying for a job. (I did a lot of interviewing, and about half the interviewees would ask about 20% projects, what mine was, etc. I could never quite bring myself to lie to them and say that there was ever the slightest chance they'd get to choose and work on a 20% project). There's been a real severe crackdown on 20% time. There's just less need for a "throw everything at a wall, see what sticks" mentality. They have a core set of products, so what you'll see from here on out is acquisitions as a way to get into offering new products/services, and add-ons to existing products (new features in Google maps, etc). There's actually a little room for 20% time in the latter areas, but the barrier to entry is non-trivial. Long gone are the days when you could host some new whizz-bang idea on your workstation or a borrowed machine in a coloc. If you want to integrate with existing services, you have to speak borg, borgmon, etc.

        Anyway, there are a lot of people who put in a normal working week at Google an dare perfectly happy. They won't get promoted as often (or ever), and they won't get involved with the internal Google hip-crowd, but they can have happy, productive careers there. It's actually a pretty non-stressful place to work, once the golden handcuffs come off. I don't know that I'd work there again, but it's a fun place to be, with a lot of energy about the place.

        As far as Apple, the stuff I was hearing is that there's a lot of fear for one's job, everyone needs to swear allegiance to the Cult of Steve, etc. I gather it's not a very fun place to work, and I gather that long work weeks are all but mandatory. That could just be sour grapes from overworked engineers, though.

        -B

  • by telchine (719345) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:02PM (#23831873)
    Comparing Apple with Google is like comparing apples with oranges, or, like comparing Apple with Orange!
  • by bigtangringo (800328) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:02PM (#23831877) Homepage
    I DNRTFA, but compensation includes benefits and options.

    Additionally, and more to the point, the environment has a huge impact on the salary I'll require.

    In the words of a friend of mine: My ability to tolerate bullshit is commensurate with my salary.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Otter (3800)
      Even more to the point, the "data" here are a handful of self-selected, self-reported anonymous reports, and therefore completely meaningless.
  • It depends (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sjbe (173966) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:02PM (#23831883)

    Will Apple have to raise salaries to match the market rate, or face defections?
    Depends on what else they can offer employees and how good they are at recruiting talent. Salaries are an important part of the equation but not the only one. The perks at Google are legendary which is perhaps the clearest admission that salary isn't everything.

    We have to remember too that Apple is not really a direct competitor to Yahoo or Google. Sure there is some significant overlap but the real question is what are their competitors at Dell, HP, Nokia, RIM, Motorola, and Microsoft paying. I suspect Apple is likely fairly competitive on the pay. HR folks are pretty aware of what the going rate for talent is in a given area.

    I don't know too much about Apple's corporate culture but clearly they are able to attract some pretty talented folks. All other things being equal people talent will migrate towards higher pay but things are rarely equal. Speaking for myself I'd rather make a little less in a fun place with interesting work and cool co-workers. Benefits are also a consideration.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:06PM (#23831931) Homepage
    "Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?" [pbs.org]

    There's more to a job than the salary.

    Of course, we all know how well that worked out for John Sculley.
  • Look at the stock (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:10PM (#23831967)
    I joined Apple 5 years ago, and received some options as a hiring bonus. The stock is now worth 2000% of what it was.

    That's why you don't hear me complaining about salaries.

    • MOD UP (Score:3, Interesting)

      by SuperKendall (25149)
      This factor was obvious to anyone who has worked at a large company before. Many of the people working at Apple right now are probably doing so out of goodwill!

  • OBjoke (Score:5, Funny)

    by fred fleenblat (463628) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:15PM (#23832031) Homepage
    No the engineers are paid just fine, it's just that Steve Jobs' $1 salary is dragging down the average...
  • by bomanbot (980297) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:29PM (#23832203)
    Well, I RTFA and while the data from the TechCrunch posting is quite interesting, the conclusion drawn from the blog post mentioned in the blurb is missing one important factor:

    It takes Apples R&D budget and spreads it over the total number of employees from Apple. It then gets to the conclusion that Apple has underpaid its software engineers especially in the last few years as the R&D budget was not nearly as big as it should have been for the number of employees Apple has.

    The problem with this conclusion is found in this article [daringfireball.net], which estimates that half of Apples employees are now working in retail i.e. in an Apple Store. Since Google and the likes do not have a brick and mortar business, so most employees are actually engineers, the simple calculation from the article might work there, but with Apple, it is a bit more complicated than that, especially since the retail store business has just been built in the last couple years

    Dont understand me wrong, Apple could still by all means underpay its engineers, but the conclusion of the article is too simple, I think.
  • by mbessey (304651) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:35PM (#23832299) Homepage Journal
    I doubt those numbers are worth the paper they're (virtually) printed on. For Google, their results are based on TEN responses, according to the article. That's not statistically meaningful for a population of several thousand.

    In addition, they don't verify the information they're given (how could they, anyway?), nor do they have any idea who is actually posting those salaries. Interesting idea, but very suspect methodology.
  • Pathetic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by db32 (862117) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:51PM (#23832507) Journal
    This is the kind of shit that bothers me about modern America. Oh noes, those guys get paid more than me, I am the suck and must leave for greener grass. It is unbelievably short sighted and materialistic to base these kinds of comparisons strictly on salary. Even outside of taking into account other benefits such as medical, retirements, or other such things there is who you work with, who you work for, where you work, where you live, what you actually do. You know, lots of job satisfaction things. It saddens me to watch people constantly bail on jobs they like for more money only to find they hate their new job, don't get to do what they want, have completely lost seniority, etc.

    I turned down job offers easily 30k more than what I make now. They weren't where I wanted to be for one. Also, while at my current employ I had to have some major surgery on my ankle. I spent 3 weeks "working" from home, which was really little more than keep up on what was going on and help with what I could through the fog of pain killers. No vacation or sick time used. Then when I did take some vacation time they had to get a hold of me for a few things, on those days they didn't charge me vacation time. I enjoy the people I work with, my boss is great about letting me just get things done (I have worked for micromanaging cockmasters before so this is GOLD in my book), and generally enjoy doing my work even on the shitty days.
  • job security? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jadin (65295) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @06:59PM (#23832595) Homepage
    I'm sure a lot of people would take lower pay if they knew they would have a job for the next 20 or 30 years vs a job that pays great, but you don't know if there will be layoffs a week, a month, or a year from now.

    No clue as to whether Apple has job security, but I'm guessing it would be a huge factor if they do.
  • by GarfBond (565331) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @07:02PM (#23832629)
    I'm not going to say anything about what the data means, but I am going to call into question the data itself. The site is based on two different types of surveys, employer ratings and salary numbers, and the site has different response results on both.

    So how much does a Google software engineer really make? The average, based on ten submissions, is $97,840. And the range is between $80,000 and $150,000, with annual cash bonuses coming in anywhere from $20,000 to $45,000. Adding salary and bonus together, the Google engineers that have entered information on Glassdoor average $112,573 in take-home pay. (And then there are stock options on top of that). Yahoo and Microsoft engineers get about the same salaries, but smaller bonuses, leaving their take-home pay at an average of $105,642 and $105,375, respectively. Apple software engineers make only about $89,000, on average, but they get to create some of the most loved products on Earth.
    I'm pretty sure with only 10 responses, this data is completely meaningless. However, now that people know about this site, maybe we'll see some more interesting results as more people report in.

    These ratings are by no means scientific. They are based on 124 responses for Microsoft, 50 for Yahoo, and 37 for Google, all collected during the companyâ(TM)s private beta. The more honest responses the site collects from any given company, the more accurate the results will be.
  • by mkcmkc (197982) on Tuesday June 17, 2008 @10:10PM (#23834187)
    I don't know where that $89,000 number came from. Everyone in my group at Apple makes at least $225,000. Well, except for one guy who just spell-checks the docs--he makes $189,000. Man, if you're making under two hundred you're really getting reamed. I mean, damn. You are at least getting the yearly $100K bonus, aren't you? I'd really be pissed if I was missing out on that. That and the key to the Happy Endings room at the gym...

  • Non-money issues. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Animats (122034) on Wednesday June 18, 2008 @12:22AM (#23835101) Homepage
    • Google Google is really an ad agency. Search is just another traffic builder. Most new hires outside of Mountain View are ad sales execs. Over time, this will change the culture, as ad execs move up in the organization. Google has never had a second profitable product - AdWords generates all the profits. Despite all the new "product" rollouts, none of the new stuff makes money. When I've been over there, I get the feeling of "overfunded dot-com". There's all this activity, but it's not contributing to their bottom line. The technical work that does contribute to revenue revolves around ad optimization. The stock peaked a while back, and it's way overpriced for the revenue, so don't rely on stock options. Yes, they have free food, but the feeding schedule is designed to make people spend their whole life at work.
    • Intel Dilbertland. By design. Tiny grey cubicles out to the horizon. Just visiting Intel HQ is depressing. Yet incredible CPU design work is done there, by huge teams.
    • Apple The Mac people hate the iPod people. The iPod people hate the iPhone people. If you're in a visible position, Steve Jobs yells at you. Some of that attitude permeates the culture. Too much excess stress.

"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance." -- Cal Keegan

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