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Category: Advice (135)

  • The War for Software Talent in Silicon Valley Drives Salaries to Record Highs!

    By: Scott Purcell, Division Manager of Jobspring Silicon Valley

    Anyone who has lived in Silicon Valley for a while and works in the high tech world, particularly in software, can attest to a market where the competition for solid talent has continued to grow more competitive by the year.  As a high tech recruiter managing an office focused on placing software engineers I have seen both the competition for talent grow as well as that very same competition drive salaries into a realm that we have never seen before.

    To be fair, salaries for software engineers in Silicon Valley have always been, on average, probably the highest in the United States. I personally came up from LA in March of 2007 and noticed right away the differences in salary ranges in Silicon Valley. For example, very top tier software engineers or architects in Los Angeles would on average be making somewhere in the 110k-125k range give or take. Entry-level grads with a BS in CS from top Universities like UCLA would start out making 50k-70k. These numbers all sounded pretty reasonable to me when you take into account averages for other professions and cost of living. Coming to Silicon Valley definitely was eye opening. Recent grads were getting 70k-80k. Senior Engineers were on average getting anywhere from 120k-140k. These average numbers really blew me away.

    Fast forward to 2010. We’ve just come out of a pretty nasty recession and the rest of the country is still hurting economically. Silicon Valley however is on the rebound. After a few years of radio silence in the venture capital world the money is flowing again. Software engineers that have put in a solid 3-5 years with their current companies and have waited out the recession are beginning to sense that there’s a new boom on the rise. Companies begin to use those funds to hire top talent. At first, salaries seem to stay the same on average. But as 2011 begins trends start to emerge. Facebook and Google begin competing fiercely for the very best young software talent and willing to pay 100k+ for entry-level software engineers. Other companies like Yahoo follow suite forcing venture-funded start-ups to also raise their salaries. Those engineers that had been making 125k-140k are looking for new jobs and, with the demand for their skills, are not willing to consider lateral moves. This drives the salaries up and now 150k base salaries for Senior Software Engineers has become the average. New trends in the market like Big Data and HTML5 drive the salaries up even more.

    For the first time since I’ve been recruiting I’m placing Senior Engineers at base salaries of 165k. You would think that these would be big, profitable companies, but the companies paying those salaries range from Series A funded startups to 300 person profitable startups. Gone are the days of paying someone a lower salary with the promise of equity unless that equity is something extremely unique; as in 1% of the company and you can still expect a relatively competitive base salary.

    Today, in 2013, the salaries in Silicon Valley are drastically different then even six years ago when I moved to Silicon Valley. This year alone I’ve placed entry-level grads starting at 80k and generated an offer for a Java Hadoop candidate with only three years of experience at 175k. Salaries for Senior Java Engineers that my team is placing range from 140k on the very low end to 165k. Candidates with 3-5 years of experience are easily being offered 110k-130k base salaries with significant equity and / or bonuses. This presents challenges to many companies from both a budgeting and internal equity standpoint but that’s Silicon Valley!

    So what will future salaries look like in 2013?

    This is an intriguing question. We’ve come to a really interesting place regarding compensation in Silicon Valley. Right now top engineering talent is getting 165k and above. With some C-Level executives and lower-management in the same range it can make things challenging from an internal-equity standpoint. Do companies stick to their guns and lose out on candidates or do they look to adjust their entire structure?


    My personal opinion is that there are going to be some serious growing pains in 2013 and it will take until Q3 or Q4 until some companies begin to catch up to the market. Many companies will think that salaries are inflated and not want to pay the top salaries when those candidates may not be as skilled as the engineers already at the company. They also won’t want to up the salaries of the current employees. However, as word gets about what the market is paying and there are more companies paying those salary ranges we will start see more candidates making moves based partly on salary. Some companies will successfully counteroffer those candidates and others may lose talent.

    By the end of the year most companies will be paying that market rate for top talent and will have to adjust their internal salary structure. This all hinges on the continued economic growth that we have seen the past couple years. Fingers crossed!

    If my predictions are right, the good news is there will be some exciting growth in the tech world and more than enough money to go around for both talent and budding companies to continue the explosive innovation that makes Silicon Valley the high tech mecca of the world! As the war for talent continues I’m excited and interested to see how this will continue to evolve the high tech market in Silicon Valley and the impact it has on other tech meccas across the nation.

  • How Could Change Your Job Search

    By: Shane Tomlinson, Practice Manager of Jobspring Boston

    Since 2009, the hiring market has done a complete 180. As a tech recruiter many of our job seekers come in wondering how they can find the right opportunity, and are looking for new avenues to land the perfect job. This question has become more and more prevalent over the last few years and has forced us, as recruiters, and you, as the job seeker, to think differently when it comes to finding the best opportunities.

    The days where you could just search on Monster, reply to ads on Craigslist, and rely on cold calling companies to find that perfect job are gone. Now you absolutely have to interact with the community and network/meet people. Most job seekers aren’t publically posting their resume for fear their current employer will find out they’re looking for a new job or they get sick of the 100’s of staffing calls they receive from across the globe.  Even most companies are no longer posting ads online; instead they’re relying on referrals from current employees and trusted recruitment firms.

    Job seekers and recruiters alike are now tapping into their personal and online networks to find new jobs and the only way to become a part of that network is to physically meet that person. While it doesn’t all have to be done through venues such as, it’s a good place to start for anyone beginning the daunting task of changing their career, or trying to find that perfect professional to join their company.

    With this in mind, and an extra push from one of our previous job seekers, the Boston Security Meet-Up was born. 

    The initial idea for the Boston Security Meetup came from a group of candidates with similar interests sitting in our lobby laughing and sharing hacker stories. From there, things moved to, where the idea for the security group was formalized by Akshat Pradhan (Founder) and Ryan Brittain (Co-founder). The first couple meetups started with only about 9-10 attendees, but now it is officially the largest security meetup group in the world, and Jobspring sponsors it every month!

    The Boston Security meetup has become a terrific forum for like-minded technology professionals to connect with people in their field that they may never have crossed paths with otherwise.  Not only is it a great way to bring everyone together to network, but it has proven to be invaluable to me and my team as a source of education for our jobs and the positions we recruit for. The point of Jobspring sponsoring these events is not to solicit the members, it’s to provide a common ground for any type of tech professional to meet and collaborate on different topics.  The goal is to gain marketable knowledge for both parties, if I’m able to help someone in attendance find a job that’s great, and if not I get to learn about something cutting edge, new, and exciting.

    If you’re like me and are interested in security check out our Boston Security Meetup which occurs once a month on one of the first Thursdays of every month, and meet the man behind the idea!

  • Orange County City Lays Claim to National Jobs Title

    Recently the Orange County Business Journal named Irvine, CA the national champion of job creation.  

    Here in Irvine, the jobs-to-population ration is 94.8%, which is the highest among the 100 largest cities in the U.S.

    This impressive statistic is no doubt due to a combination of factors, so we asked Jobspring Orange County's Regional Director, Dave Belsky, to gives us his take on what is influencing Irvine's success in job creation.

    JS: Is it surprising to hear that Irvine has gotten the title of highest job creation rate?

    DB: This is not surprising to hear and there are a lot of factors that go into this: Irvine has a much higher rate of college education than the rest of the state and probably, most of the country.  Irvine also has a better household income as well as a better education system. Not only does it's K-12 program attract people who want a great educaiton for their kids, but UCI is the only university to make the top 50 universities that is less than 50 years old.  Because of that and the general climate conditions here, Irvine is a model city for new economy jobs. 

    JS: In regards to positions in the technology field, do you feel that a large percentage of the jobs in Irvine are catered to computer science majors?

    DB: The jobs in demand right now across the country are people with a STEM background, science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  There’s been a lot of talk about how the US ranks 30th in world math skills, but there are more jobs for CS people than people to fill them.  There is definitely a skills gap, and Irvine through a variety of different factors has been able to attract new economic growth related positions whether it is technology, electronics, research, biotech, medical, business and professional services.

    JS:  What would you say is the reason Irvine is such a business hub?

    DB: Irvine is a master planned community and that plays a role in the concentration of jobs located here.  It's also one of the safest cities in CA over 100,000 people.  The growth isn't merely domestic either; Irvine's climate and infrastructure has the ability to attract international companies to set up their offices here as well.  You see companies in the .NET space, Amazon, Google etc. set up their offices here because of the robust talent pool. Irvine is host to variety of large enterprise companies as well: Samsung, Western Digital, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, Capital Group, Verizon, all of these companies have significant presence here. It's a pretty exciting place to be right now!

    Want to speak with Dave? Feel free to contact him below:

    Email: [email protected]

    Phone: (949) 553-4200

  • Weekly Market Knowledge Rundown

    At the beginning of every week our Jobspring offices around the country participate in “Market Knowledge” meetings. These meetings give our staff a chance to share articles and inform their offices about what’s going on in their local tech market.

    Since we find this knowledge share so useful, we thought that we would share some of these articles with our readers!

    Here are the articles our offices found the most interesting:


    Facebook Hires Chef to Juggle 150,000 Machines  (

    In the last 3 years Facebook’s empire of servers has grown from 30,000 to 150,000 causing the company to rethink their infrastructure and protocols for updating their system. 

    Sources: Fast-growing Boston tech company Gazelle considering move to Louisville Riverport (Insider Louisville)

    Gazelle, the flipper of unwanted electronics, is moving from Boston to Louisville, a big change for this Boston based company. 


    The Cities Winning The Battle For The Fastest Growing High-Wage Sector In The U.S.  (New Geography)

    Chicago comes in at No. 43 for The Top-Paying U.S. Cities for Tech Workers.

    America’s Genius Glut  (The New York Times)

    Four senators have introduced a bill to solve a problem we don’t have: the supply of high-tech workers.

    Los Angeles

    Microsoft Big On Westside  (LA Business Journal)

    Microsoft making its way to Silicon Beach.

    Snapchat moves to Venice  (LA Business Journal)

    Snapchat, a messaging app, is moving to Venice.

    New York

    Why NYC startups are winning the engagement race, and other Silicon Alley trends to watch  (VentureBeat)

    Even though Silicon Valley will continue to be the start up mecca for years to come, VCs, large tech companies and the technology press have recognized New York’s blossoming tech scene.

    Social media management startup Sprinklr grabs $15M from Intel & Battery to outclass Radian6  (VentureBeat)

    Sprinklr was founded in 2008 and launched its software in late 2009. The company claims to have had 400 percent year-over-year growth in 2012.

    Orange County

    The 5 Top Tech Jobs of 2018  (Dice)

    How tech jobs will look from now through 2018.

    Disruptions: Where Apple and Dick Tracy May Converge

    Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass.


    Microsoft's Surface Pro: More security blanket than tablet  (CNN Money)

    Microsoft Surface Pro: Good, but not great.

    128GB iPad now on sale: Will professionals bite?  (ZDNet)

    The 128GB iPad has gone on sale, but can Apple convince people to pay notebook prices for a tablet?

    Silicon Valley

    5 ideas from 500 Startups' Dave McClure's Demo Day warmup

    Dave McClure, founder of 500 startups, will be the first to bluntly address which startups will succeed over others.

    How the University of Phoenix will survive the education tech boom

    The article concludes that degree based learning will always be valuable, but the cost of learning will decrease as well. 


    Don't see something on this list that you read about recently?  Comment below and share market information that's a must know!

  • Learning to Program on Raspberry Pi

    For those of you who haven’t heard of Raspberry Pi it’s the smallest simplest technology to sweep the world in recent memory.  It’s not a new smartphone (or app) or a new gaming system.  Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized computer that can be plugged into your TV or keyboard.  It is essentially a miniature PC that carries out similar functions to that of a regular sized PC.  The concept of this tiny PC was developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a Cambridge, UK based charity that was simply hoping to encourage and enable children to learn how to program.   

    Little did they know this small contribution to the world of computers would become the worldwide obsession of experienced programmers and amateurs alike.  Within months of its launch thousands of people are using Raspberry Pi for pet projects and learn substantial programming skills

     Our Michael Lotfy is one of the amateurs hoping to go Pro.  It all started with a bet, like most good things do, from the day Michael received the pi, he has 30 days to write a program that will search torrent sites for any particular bit of media, and then download it.

    A few days in here’s the progress he’s made:

    On Friday afternoon my raspberry pi arrived. I took it home over the weekend, and got everything connected and powered up. I spent a bit exploring Debian's GUI and reading beginner's user guides. It's not quite as slick as Ubuntu, but it's interesting nonetheless. Next up was been If you're unfamiliar with the website, it's a pretty nifty lesson page to learn things like html, javascript, python, and ruby. Per the suggestions of many security meet-upers, I've chosen to start learning python. I made it through the first 2 chapters of the lesson and it seems pretty easy so far. “—Michael Lotfy

    When his 30 days are up Michael will be presenting his program (or lack thereof) to the Boston Security Meet-Up.

    Think you can help Michael win his bet? Comment below with suggestions.

  • 2013 Salary Expectations for the Technology Market

    By: Phillip Perkins, Division Manager of Jobspring Boston

    Running an office of technical recruiters in Boston, MA in 2013 is an exciting job. The market is amazing, literally better than at any point in history, including the late 90’s dot com boom. People are surprised when I tell them that but it's the truth and there are a few reasons for it.

    The tech market has had over a decade to mature. There are now hiring managers, owners of companies, and founders of start-ups, which have never really lived without the internet. In the late 90’s almost anybody who could write 3 lines of code got hired, thrown into the fire, and sank or swam.

    That's no longer how the market works. In order to get hired as a software engineer in this day and age there is a certain level of technical fundamentals that are needed. That knowledge typically revolves around design pattern understanding; object oriented programming chops, database functionality knowledge, and the ability to accurately communicate your hands-on battle stories with all of them. Typically this means some type of formal training (i.e. a computer science degree or something equivalent) is preferred however there are always exceptions especially with people that have been coding since a young age.

    The selective nature of hiring managers in a great market (by great I mean lots of people trying to hire engineers and very few are looking for a new job) leads to one thing that many learned in Econ 101, an increase in the price. Boston specifically has been fairly resistant to that concept and we didn’t see much of an uptick in salary expectations in 2012. I have a feeling 2013 will be much different.

    If you look at tech market trends, Silicon Valley typically leads the pack and then Boston and NYC trend very similarly afterwards. On a whole last year Silicon Valley salaries averaged 20-30% higher, speaking conservatively. Many will say this is simply cost of living but I would argue it is much more than that. There just aren’t many software engineers that are unhappy at their job. Some could be happier but few are miserable and desperate to move. That was not the case 2-3 years ago. People that were miserable from 2008-2010 but too scared to change jobs due to the economy all made the shuffle in 2011/2012. Now one of the only ways to entice the next level of moderately happy employees to move positions is a fairly substantial salary increase. Below is a breakdown of the typical salary trends we have seen for technology professionals. Obviously there are outliers on either side but for the most part this should help with overall expectations both for candidates and hiring managers.

    Salary break downs by technology.

    Microsoft .NET engineers (general)

    0-2 years  – 55-80k

    3-5 years – 70-100k

    5-8 years 85-115k

    8-12 years 100-135k

    12-15+ 115-150k

    Technologies to note, any hands on development / architecture experience with ASP.NET MVC or SharePoint will take them to the top of those ranges or higher.

    Java Engineers (general)

    0-2 years- 50-75k

    3-5 years-70-100k

    5-8 years-85-115k

    8-10+ years- 100-150k

    The higher the price range if you have experience in Big Data or High traffic availability i.e.: Hadoop, Cassandra, MongoDB, Cloud Computing (EC2). 

    Python Web Developers:

    0-2 years- 65k-85k

    3-5 years- 85k-100k

    5-8 years- 100-115k

    8+ years- 115k-150k

    The higher the price range if there is experience in the following : Django,Twisted, MVC, strong JavaScript, and having experience with Full Stack work.

    Ruby web experience:

    0-2 years- 65k-85k

    3-5 years- 85k-100k

    5-8 years- 100-115k

    8+ years- 115k-150k

    The higher the price range if there is experience in the following: MVC, Rails, Full Stack and Big Data experience (Cassandra, MongoDB)

    PHP Web Developer (general)

    0-2 years- 50-75k

    3-5 years-70-100k

    5-8 years-85-115k

    8-10+ years- 100-140k

    The higher the price range if there is experience with the following: MVC, Drupal, Joomla, Zend, CakePHP.

    The last thing I will leave you with is a piece of advice. Hire the candidate who has the most potential, not necessarily the most hands on experience with specific technologies. We get fairly consistent feedback from long term clients that the best hires are candidates they took a chance on and gave them an opportunity to grow in to the position. It makes candidates immediately indebted to you if they know they are going to learn a new skill set on the job and come in ready to work hard to prove you made the right call. The guys that already have all the skills you’re hiring for aren’t going to be as excited about taking the position and will likely only stay for 1-2 years.

    What do you think? Share your opinion, experience, or suggestions below!

  • Jobspring Boston's Job Seeker Tip

    Jobspring Boston is built on a foundation of expertise that helps our clients and job seekers alike get what they need out of Boston's current job market.  With that in mind we thought we'd take a break in the middle of the week to share some of our market insights about up and coming technologies.

    Many job-seekers come into our office wondering what skills hiring managers are looking for and what will make them the most marketable employees in Boston's current job force.  After surveying a number of our recruiters we came to a consensus about the top 5 sought after skills and technology knowledge bases.  

    1) MVC frameworks

    2) Web/Mobile Developed as opposed to desktop

    3) The ability to explain technical information to non-technical professionals

    4) Linux Administration

    5) Ruby on Rails

    So if you're looking for a job in Boston and possess one or more of these skills your job search has the potential to be quick and painless.  However, even if these skills are not a part of your skill-base just yet it doesn't mean you aren't still marketable.  While new technologies move into Boston the older technologies and systems may be pushed to the back but they're never forgotten. 

    If you feel like you could use some help in your job search we're here to lend a hand. Check out some of the great job opportunities we can help you with!

    Call Jobspring Boston: (617) 267-7300

  • Beating the Phone Screen

    As many job-seekers know, phone screens are crucial to your job search.

    They are the first impression your potential employer has of you, and they often determine whether you will be invited into the office for a face-to-face interview. 

    In the article below, Matt Milano discusses a few strategies to help you "Beat the Phone Screen"

    by Matt Milano

    As impersonal as it can be, many companies conduct first level screening by phone. Instead of getting annoyed, learn what these calls are designed to do and nail thease conversations.

    Remember that you’re asked to do a phone screen, it's because the employer has already determined that your resume is a baseline match with the position. Hiring managers will typically conduct a very brief and highly focused inquiry on what theycouldn’t get off your resume such as:

    - How Good Your Skills Are: past the buzzwords on your resume, do you know enough for a face to face?

    -Motivation: why are you looking for a job?

    -Your Preferences: salary expectations, desired job role, ideal commute

    -Filling the Gaps: looking for certain attributes that may not be on your resume

    -Scheduling: when can you come in for a first round interview?

    Pay Attention to Your Surroundings:

    Using work or home phone lines can be risky on a phone screen, depending on who has access to your line. You don't want your current boss to pick up your line by accident during your phone screen. Distracting the interviewer with background noises like your children talking or a police siren blasting while you are on the street corner is just as bad. Try to use your cell phone so you can maintain control over who answers it. Also avoid any place with background noise or where you can't speak candidly. If you are not in an ideal location, just explain the situation to the interviewer and ask if you can move somewhere else and call them right back.

    Keep It Simple:

    Let the interviewer drive the conversation. Phone screens are meant to be a quick screening tool and that’s it. People who take this as an opportunity to launch a long-winded campaign for why they are a great fit for the job can sometimes turn the screener off by talking too much.

    Stay In Control:

    If a company calls you and you are not prepared, apologize and ask if you can call them right back. This will give you the chance to jump online and research both the company and job description. Many phone screens go poorly simply because the candidate gets caught off guard and can't remember which of their fifty recent applications this call pertains to.

    State Your Interest:

    Even though these calls can be annoying you must act interested and engaged in their questions. If during the phone screen they feel you are not interested you won’t get scheduled in for a face to face interview. At the of the call, make sure to tell them you are very interested and ask them if they feel you are qualified for the position. If they say "yes," suggest that you would like an opportunity to meet with them in person and give them your availability. By being proactive, you may have just saved three days of phone tag to coordinate a time that works for both of you.

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