Conventional wisdom suggests that, if you want to make truly big money as a developer or programmer, you should head to the biggest possible firm. On the surface, such advice makes sense: Who has deeper pockets than Google or Apple, after all?
While those big firms might provide job security and some very nice perks (who has a better cafeteria than Google?), they’re not the only ones with money: Startups are shelling out quite a bit for tech talent, recognizing that a 10x developer or a skilled engineer can mean the difference between a company making it to a glorious IPO or going out of business.
In late 2014, for example, news leaked that a small startup named Weeby.co was paying its software engineers the princely sum of $250,000 a year plus equity. That salary came tied to some demanding metrics, including monthly performance reviews, but it nonetheless represented a significant bump over what many engineers earn at even large companies. Nor was Weeby.co alone in paying top dollar; in a bid to attract the highest talent, other startups have routinely shelled out six-figure sums. (A flood of VC capital into the startup arena has helped these small firms maintain their hiring sprees.)
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