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Old 27-02-2017, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by insiocto View Post
Glad you asked this question. We do need more CS love in this forum.

Based on my research so far, market rate as of 2017 is 4.5K and above for a good CS graduate, and 7-10K for senior engineers. Here are some companies that offer such salaries.

1) Rapidly growing VC funded startups such as Garena (>5.5K), Grab (>5K), honestbee (~5K) and Carousell (~4.5K). Garena is about to IPO and is quickly conquering the mobile e-commerce space with its Shopee offering. Grab is probably the fastest growing startup in SEA with dozens of people hired per day. Both Garena and Grab hire fresh graduates regularly. Due to the frenzied development pace, the work-life balance is not really ideal, but the performance bonus can be very good if you are willing to put in the hard work.

There are smaller VC funded startups that are relatively unknown, but they are doing really interesting work. Nugit, 90 Seconds, TradeGecko and nuTonomy come to mind. However, they rarely hire fresh graduates. They offer 7-10K for senior engineers though.

2) Reputable software consultancies like ThoughtWorks (>4.5K) and Pivotal Labs (>4.5K). You will definitely learn how to make high-quality software during your stint there. They are hiring fresh graduates regularly as well. They put a lot of emphasis on pair programming though (some people may not like it). Decent work-life balance, although you may need to put in extra hours to catch up on the client’s tech stack. Well-defined career track as well, 7-10K is possible if you stay there long enough and get promoted to senior engineer.

3) Government digital services AKA GovTech (>4.5K). Taking a cue from their U.S. counterpart ([s://[/), they are adopting a Silicon Valley attitude (think startup culture) to how they create software. Basically, they are like a software consulting arm for the SG government, developing products using agile methodology and evangelizing software engineering best practices to other government agencies. Also, there is Singapore Power, a stat board entity that is going digital, and is attracting a [URL="s://"]strong team of engineers[/.

Pretty much an iron rice bowl with a well-defined career track, except the work is not too interesting, although it can be meaningful to some people.

4) Acquired tech startups such as Viki (>5K), Zopim (>4.5K) and Redmart (>4.5K). They are independent subsidiaries who are not absorbed into the parent company post-acquisition. As such, they got the financial backing of a mature company and can continue to do interesting work independently. Their engineering teams are pretty lean with mostly senior engineers. They have a strong mentorship culture, which is great for fresh grads. Excellent work-life balance since they focus on the work you have done instead of hours worked, which means working hours are flexible.

5) Profitable startups such as PigeonLab (~5K) and ReferralCandy (>4K). Typically, these startups are bootstrapped without any/very little VC funding, yielding organic growth. This necessitates a lean engineering team, but they compensate their engineers very well. Good work-life balance with remote work option.

6) Reputable BigCorps building their own engineering teams right here on local soil. Google, Facebook, HomeAway and Skyscanner come to mind. Their pay should be pegged to Garena level, or slightly higher. For Google, HomeAway and Skyscanner, their engineering teams are focused on expanding its user base in SEA. Facebook’s team consists mostly of data engineers doing BI work and supporting its U.S. counterparts. Great work-life balance and benefits.

Also, to answer your question about prestige. For Google and Facebook, their interviews are standardised meaning the difficulty is similar to their U.S. counterparts. The salaries are much lower, however it’s still in the top percentile in Singapore which has a relatively lower COL and much lower tax. However, I still think it's more prestigious to work at their U.S. headquarters, as you can work on their core products or moonshot projects. For their APAC teams, their work is mostly restricted to support user growth in the region.

Lastly, the bottom line is, you have to be good to receive such offers. You cannot just waltz in and smoke your way to the offer stage. Those companies typically give tough technical interviews and you have to prepare for them for months beforehand. The job hunt is a mentally draining and time-consuming process too, sometimes with soul-crushing rejections.

Source: received multiple offers from the aforementioned companies and got friends working there.
multiple offers? which are the companies you received offers from?
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