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February 17, 2014


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I feel like we are missing a key piece to this story. Most individual contributor software engineers don't receive RSUs worth in the hundreds of thousands of dollars along with a base salary of 200k.

Could you share a little of how you got to this position and why your skills command such a high premium?

Seems like the stock price is rising (he sold options, etc.) That would account for a steadily rising W2 income.

Erik, I think his position/salary is actually fairly standard for software engineers working in high cost of living areas at a senior level. My guess is he probably works for one of the internet giants (think Google or FB) whose stocks have also been on the rise and could also explain the increase in benefits he talks about.

My experience is that stock options are common for software engineers but restrictive stock units (RSUs) are typically only for executives. These are grants of stock and don't have any exercise price. Clearly that is not the case for six figure 15 but it seems unusual to me so I am curious how he achieved this.

I work in silicon valley and RSUs are the new norm. All entry level employees only get these. In fact, I don't believe my company does stock options at any level anymore

Wow, this is eye opening. I went from making $35k a year to more than $100k a year and felt like I hit the lottery by doing what I love. $500k a year just sounds like a mini-miracle. It's all about comparisons. I do think that he's right - the trick is finding what you love so you don't burn out. Good luck!

Amazing profile, and what a great position to be in at age 33! Could #15 please shed some light on how common is the salary+bonus+RSUs for his group at work? He talks about being a top performer, so it may be that he receives the bulk of the payout. Just trying to figure out the context of the pay. Thanks!

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