Silicon Valley engineering salaries are finally getting fair.

Silicon Valley’s engineers have it great. That’s the conventional wisdom, anyway. Everyone’s heard about the free food, on-site laundry, the Wi-Fi commuter shuttle, and the haircut trailer in Google’s parking lot. It’s not just perks. These guys are swimming in cash, too, aren’t they? Facebook’s IPO will create more than a thousand millionaires. Then there are those tales of high-stakes bidding wars between Google, Facebook and Twitter, with the most-prized engineers getting potentially millions to go to certain hot companies.
To people who live outside the Valley, these accounts of unbounded compensation paint a picture of a place overflowing in bullion. And in some parts, that’s kind of true: Go to Atherton or Old Palo Alto and you see enormous, multi-million-dollar mansions that rival the best that Beverly Hills has to offer.
But those properties belong to executives and finance guys. The hard-toiling coders, meanwhile, live more modestly. I’ve spoken to many engineers at the Valley’s biggest companies, and from what I can tell, their salaries range from $100,000 to $150,000. You find people making more than $200,000, but they’re the exception, not the norm. The starting salary for engineers at Facebook and Google is around $100,000 a year. According to several posts on Quora, the companies have also been throwing in signing bonuses of $50,000 lately, and of course there’s stock as well.