"Sharing my salary publicly" was published on
Earlier today I shared my yearly salary on Twitter. It was in response to this tweet by a US-based software engineer. I've had people ask me why I'd willingly share this information, which is a fair question. The answer to that is hard to break down in 280 characters, so I decided to resurrect this blog for a minute and post about my motivations. (A sidenote: this blog has been in a state of construction for aeons, and things are probably wonky.)
Up until recently, I would hold back sharing details about my salary. I'd disclose this information to close friends, but not to co-workers and I'd never even consider throwing it just out there, for all of Twitter to see. I've been a frontend/software developer for three years now and I've always kept by the adage that compensation info is something that's no one's business but my own. After all, it could affect future job offers - companies are more liable to lowball me knowing I don't make as much as others, and am therefore more likely to accept a lower offer.
(I also called myself a junior developer well into my third year as developer even though I've been coding since the age of 10, so if anyone's going to lowball anyone, it's probably going to be me, but I'll get back to that).
A fact: my salary information is public information. I work at a foundation with a so called CAO -- a collective bargaining agreement. You can read it here. If someone wants to know how much I make, that information is out there. There's obviously a range; the scale I'm in is between €36.070 and €58.922. Anyone can make an educated guess as to where I am on that scale, providing they know how much experience I have, my educational background, my gender, and how long I've worked there.
Still, why share it with everyone? And why on Twitter, where context is nil, nuance is dead, and people I don't know are quick to make assumptions about who I am and what I'm capable of based on a single tweet?
I can list a lot of cons against volunteering salary info, and I can't list too many pros either if I'm honest. The best answer I have is that I don't see how putting it out there harms me, and that I want to show that not all developers receive US/Bay Area salaries. Despite the fact that I'm not making 200k/year, I get by perfectly fine (and that's on living in a social democracy). It's entirely possible this information will be used against me at some point - but my idea is that if a company decides to lowball me in salary negotiations despite me knowing what I'm worth, I probably don't want to work there in the first place.️
I guess this past year I just started caring less about the number on my pay slip. This number doesn't say anything about how I am as a person, a daughter, a friend, a co-worker. It's just a number, and I'm fine with other people knowing it. The fact that I'm even able to make a living moving pixels around on a screen is honestly still mind boggling to me - five years ago I didn't even know frontend development was an actual job!
Another reason for sharing, admittedly a petty one, is that I got a little annoyed by all the Bay Area FAANG people sharing their out of this world salaries. Repeat after me: the US is a massive outlier! I don't know anyone making that kind of money here.
That's not to say I'm 100% satisfied with what I make. I would definitely like to make more money, solely because it would allow me to move out of my crappy studio apartment. The fact is that the housing market in Amsterdam is absolutely fucked, and the only reason I'm able to live in this city without roommates is because I got super lucky in the social housing lottery. Still, I live in a 16m2 apartment, and after five years I'm so ready to move on. Unfortunately, with my current salary that's not possible, so I am exploring my options. I'm really happy in my current job though, and I'm in no rush.
Anyway. This might all come back to bite me in the ass later and I'll have to eat crow. I do honestly think salary transparency is better for everyone in the long run, but your mileage may vary, and that's fine! If you'd like to share your salary but aren't ready to do so publicly, my Twitter DMs are always open.