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About state and government jobs

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College Student at Taro Communitya month ago

Hi I have heard there are a lot of government jobs around where I live that hire for web developer or other computer science related roles. I wanted to ask if you guys know much about these types of jobs and what your takes on going for those types of jobs right after graduation.

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(2 comments)
  • 7
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    SWE @ Govt
    a month ago

    I can only comment from an Australian fed govt perspective:

    Our federal government has lots of programs for both high school and university leavers where people can apply for these programmes and end up getting offers from a variety of different government agencies.

    Depending on which a pathway you go through also depends on the level you start at.

    These pathways may also not guarantee you an engineering role and so that is dependant on the pathway, your degree, your experience, the availability of roles etc (e.g: could join as a business analyst).

    Pros:

    • Incredibly stable
    • Relatively good pay for that level of stability
    • A lot of horizontal movement
    • Low barrier of entry/not as much competition

    Cons:

    • The tech stacks are generally not great to work with and highly dependant on which b2b company had the best marketers to push said stack
    • No high level IC role
    • No stonks in your TC
    • Higher average age so difficult to relate to your colleagues sometimes

    Could go on for years but the opportunity changed my life for the better, it's really a question of what you want to get out of the role.

  • 7
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    a month ago

    I was actually analyzing IT roles in my city just yesterday our of curiosity! I have never worked for the government before, but the pros/cons I can come up with are pretty similar to what Devon said:

    Pros:

    • Very stable
    • Pay is not bad from what I've seen (entry-level software engineers in California government can start at $100k or around there, which is not bad)
    • I think you get pension if you stay there long enough?
    • Excellent benefits (you won't need to worry about healthcare)
    • You get to help improve society (and even your own community if you're working for your own city). The world is overwhelmingly going digital, and the government (at least the American one) is so behind. You will be doing genuine good for humanity by making government tech suck less
    • A job is a job, and there are many worse ones than these. This is very important to consider given the market

    Cons:

    • Learning quality will be quite poor as government tech (at least in the US) is horrible and anywhere from 10-40 years behind. So many .gov websites are completely unusable
    • Hard to get things done due to bureaucracy
    • Pay growth is very weak with a low ceiling. For SF Bay Area government engineers, the total compensation seems to cap at around $175k unless you become an engineering manager. For context, a junior engineer at Meta will make around that (often more)

    With this economy, I think every engineer, especially juniors like yourself, need to have a more open mind. So if you have some inroads into a government IT job, take them! I imagine a lot of engineers don't even realize this is an option as they're busy focusing on Big Tech and other flashy product companies, so use this to your advantage (less competition).