We all know that software engineers are highly paid. The downside here is that tech compensation can be incredibly hard to understand, filled with so many different components.

Need guidance on my career path - Leave for FAANG?

Senior Software Engineer at Taro Community profile pic
Senior Software Engineer at Taro Community

I have worked at two larger companies and two small startups (currently at one). I'm quite content with my current company and role, as I have ample opportunities for growth and a great work-life balance. However, the only factor that makes me contemplate leaving my current position is that I'm earning less than some of my peers. I'm not comparing myself to the exceptionally high-earning individuals; rather, I'm looking at other senior software engineers who are making around $400K in total compensation. Currently, I'm earning around $250K. It's important to note that I recognize my experience level is relatively young compared to those with 20-30 years of experience, as I have only 6 years of experience.

I want to think about the bigger picture and position myself in the best possible way for the future. When I discuss this with some of my peers, they suggest that I should work at a FAANG company at least once to attract recruiters from better companies. While I've always been drawn to roles with high visibility and a need for velocity, I've found that at larger companies, I tend to work at a slower pace with less visibility. However, if transitioning to a FAANG role is indeed the key to opening up new career opportunities, I'm willing to consider it.

Has anyone else faced a similar dilemma in their career? I would appreciate any insights or advice from individuals who have gone through a similar experience.

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4 days ago

Dealing with "This offer is the best we can do for this level"

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community


  • Opportunity:- A month ago, I interviewed at a recently IPO'd startup for a senior SWE position and did well.
  • Uplevelling:- The interviews apparently went so well that they suggested I was a good fit for a staff SWE position on the team and made a verbal offer for that.
  • Subsequent Downlevelling:- The actual offer was delayed by 2-3 weeks only for the final offer to be a senior SWE offer.
  • Compenstion Issue:- The final offer is a bit (~10%) lower than all my current offers on all compensation components (cash, stock, sign on). Also, I'm still awaiting a couple of more offers that could be even better paying ones.
  • Recruiter Constraints:- The recruiter stated that this is the best offer they can do for the senior SWE level. This might be true given the ranges available on Glassdoor but I'm not too sure since there was only 1 data point available.
  • My Opinions:- I really liked the team, the manager and the kind of work for this opportunity. But I don't want to leave out on a meaningful amount of money being offered by other opportunities.


  • Assuming that the offer is genuinely at the top range, can I still attempt to negotiate given that the team believed I'm suitable for a staff SWE uplevelling?
  • If I should negotiate, how do I approach it given that they've stated it's the best they can do?
  • Do companies offer compensation beyond the high-senior SWE but below the low-staff SWE ranges to good candidates?
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2 months ago

Optimizing for career growth vs money.

Senior Software Engineer at N/A profile pic
Senior Software Engineer at N/A

Hey there 👋 For context, I quit a toxic job 2 months ago and I'm back in the job market.

I just finished an interview process with a company I really like, I think it checks almost all the boxes:

  • Company size (Series C)
  • Culture
  • I'll join the team that will be on the spotlight for the next 18 months -> My job will have a major impact.
  • I would be able to work on React Native if I decide to (I'm a frontend engineer w/ React expertise)
  • I think that I can reach staff level in about a year or two there.
  • People I interviewed with are superb.
  • Fully remote.

I expect to get an offer from them on Monday (I'm writing this on Thursday night). I know that because the recruiter called me today to touch base and to tell me that things went good! The problem with this company is that the salary is more on the lower side...but it's still on the range I have in mind.

The dilema is that I'm just starting to interview with other companies that pay 50% more, but finishing interviewing with them will take me at least two weeks...and the company I'm getting the offer from probably won't hold the offer for that long.

I have a few thoughts / concerns that I'd like you to help me sort out / discuss:

  • I'm thinking that it would be wise to optimize for career growth, I probably could get a better job if I manage to do great things in the company I'm getting the offer from. What do you think? The salary is not as high as the other companies, but it's good money. (FWIW, I live in a low-cost-of-living country)
  • I was hoping that I could negotiate a better salary with this company if I had other competing offers, but I got nothing, and I wouldn't get any other offer by next week. Do you have any tips about how to negotiate a better offer even when I don't have the leverage of a competing offer? I understand this might not be possible. I feel that I did a really good interview process though, so maybe I could use that as leverage.
  • I really like one of the "slow companies", but they've been just dead slow. I interviewed with their CTO and he said that they will kick off things immediately...but that hasn't happened. Should I ping him? I feel that they should be the ones making the next move, but I'm not 100% sold on that idea.
  • The other companies are just fine, honestly, their pay is what makes them more attractive.
  • Not sure if this is relevant or not, but I'm 36, I wonder if I should spend my 37-38s working for the company that pays less than the others while chasing career growth.
  • I have a good runway, so if don't end up with an offer from any of those companies, I'd be just fine for another 8-12 months.
  • I live in Latam, so it's hard to get 100k+ offers, it's not like I have a pool of options to choose from.

Thanks for reading! 😁

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2 months ago

Advice for someone looking to switch jobs to a Senior Engineer at tier II or tier I tech company?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

Continuing from the post here:

Would the suggestions in that post be different for my scenario? I have added my details below.

I have a total 12 years of work experience. Currently, I am a SDE II at a fintech company. I have worked at this company for 3 years now and had 3 managers in past 3 years. At my current company, I am being asked to constantly move from one project to another every 6 months. For the last 6 - 7 years I have been working on mostly frontend engineering, including hands-on experience in Angular, React, and Backbone JavaScript libraries. I am looking to make a job switch as a Senior Frontend engineer.

I know that to get to the Senior level, I have to show influence at high levels. After reading the answer to some of the questions in the community, I am not able to decide whether I should focus on building web projects or should I start building an Android app. The advantage of choosing a web project is that I already have expertise in modern frontend frameworks. My initial years of experience is in legacy backend systems(mainframes) which I think is not of much use now in Silicon valley companies.

As far as my interest level goes, I am very much inclined toward the web. But I know that app development is definitely something that helps to attract users to your product. I am a bit lost on what I should invest my time on. Considering that I have 12+ years of experience, should I do both? Will doing both Android and web both open a lot more opportunities for me?

Should I focus on building something where I can show the impact with the number of users rather than thinking about the platform (android or web) for which I start building my side projects. Should I even care about doing side projects considering I have 10+ years of work experience?

Should I target full-stack roles instead of front-end roles?

Looking for suggestions. Apologies if this question comes out as too broad and not very clear. I am open for discussion if that can help to narrow down the response.

Current TC: 220 - 240K

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5 months ago

How to ask for a pay raise at my current job?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

I am a senior developer in my company for a long time and performing really well. I switched divisions in this new group about 3 years ago but my managers changed 2 years ago. I see there is a problem of visibility of my work to upper management and I realized my manager is not really helping me grow. I took many initiatives and lead the projects last year but there is politics and they are sort of blaming me that I am not performing well enough though these projects are very important to the success of the company.

On top of this, my compensation is way lower than industry and as well as across my company.. I asked a few friends across the company and it is 25-30k lower than theirs for the same level. I tried asking for a raise to my manager and my 2nd level manager(director) but my manager says that there is a budget every year in the 1st quarter and they allot it based on performance. My 2nd level (director) says my compensation is great and I am same as everyone else here. When I asked about my performance, I was told I am a solid and valuable performer but not outstanding and so you may get accordingly but no guarantees.

Last year there was a new senior director hired from outside of the company in our division and bringing many new processes and changes. The sr.director seems to understand the challenges and problems we face as a product and also the trying to change the way the people are held accountable. But since this person is new, they dont know my contributions in the past 3 years to this product. Many people with senior level titles who are paid more don't really perform at that level and it is seen..and people like me who perform well and paid less. 

My question is - I dont think it is going to help if I talk again with my manager on this, but I definitely am under-paid and have to address this. So, is it OK for me to setup a meeting with the sr.director and share my contributions to this product, etc in the past years , and say I can bring in lot of value to this product in x, y, z areas and say I am underpaid and would you help with matching up at least to the company standards of 25k-30k more. I dont want my manager think I am skipping levels to talk to the sr.director. Also, the sr.director has the power to allot how much raises each person gets, and I think it will help me to talk directly to them, but I am not sure if that's ok to try that, any advise on how to navigate this is appreciated. Thank you!

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7 months ago

Should I send my Boss a Raise Request Email?

Anonymous User at Taro Community profile pic
Anonymous User at Taro Community

I’m looking for a healthy raise at work of 15%-20%. To that end, I have done 2 things:

1.      Shared a file with my manager last week detailing things I have accomplished in the last year and their business impact.

2.      Asked my manager in our in-person one-on-one last week for a raise

My manager indicated it will be difficult for me to get a raise, both because raise guidelines are largely determined by how well the company is doing overall and because I got a nice raise last year and so the expectations were higher for me this year.

For background, I work at a big, boring, and bureaucratic finance company. I don’t think I did a particularly stellar job last year, but I benefit from being one of the few technical people on our business team, so am very valuable to the team. As a consequence, I can get away with doing a minimal amount of work, and I generally have a few hours during the day to spend it however I want. I am currently applying to different places, but realistically see if taking 3 months, plus or minus another 3 months till I jump ship. I have it set in my mind to only jump ship for a company which compensates at least 50% more than my current TC (which is low, by industry standards).

My question is, is it worth sending a raise request email to my boss asking him for the 20% raise? I’m leaning towards yes, but the counter would be he is already aware of what I want since I’ve asked him in person and shared my “ego file” with him, so I could be seen as overly aggressive. I would also only be recapitulating what I’ve already said.

The raise request format would be taken straight from Josh Doody:

Thanks for the guidance!

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6 months ago