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Is there any StackExchange/Area51 site where it would be appropriate to ask questions regarding computer programmer salaries and how to negotiate them?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Is there something about your question that's specific to computer programming? Or could you replace the term "computer programmer" in your question with "chef" or "accountant" or some other job title? If it's specific, Programmers SE; otherwise, no.

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Negotiating salaries, yes, but questions about what salaries are are usually "too localized", though. – NickC May 13 '11 at 22:50

There are really two separate topics:

  • Programmer salaries
  • How to negotiate salaries (as a programmer)

Neither one of these topics are prima facie on-topic for Programmers.SE.

Salary negotiation isn't a programmer-centric topic: nothing about negotiating a salary requires programmer expertise. There might be questions related to negotiating a salary that might have some special programmer-only insight, but it's highly unlikely that a question merely about negotiating a salary requires that.

Similarly, scoping a question with "(as a programmer)" doesn't automatically make it a question that demands uniquely programmer-centric expertise.

And our FAQ even explicitly classifies salary questions as off-topic:

What about other programming related questions?

Please note that the following subjects are considered off-topic here:


  • What salary/wage should I ask for/expect? (Too localized to your place and time)

So please don't ask them there. We can't help you.

A larger point to make is that some topics don't fit the Stack Exchange model well, or don't have a home yet. Salaries and salary negotiation are two of those topics.

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I don't know, What salary/wage should I ask for/expect? is a How much money should I be making? type question. That's definitely off topic for sure. But if he specifically means, How should I go about negotiating for a better salary?, I think that's perfectly on topic there. Would you agree? – Jeff Mercado May 13 '11 at 23:16
@Jeff No. Salary negotiation doesn't require a programmer to do it. It's no different than "What's a good chair (for a programmer)?" or "How do I deal with my chatty coworker (as a programmer)?" There might (key word: might) be a specific question that tangentially relates to salary negotiation that requires programmer expertise, but that's a question like, "Does specializing in X provide value for a company if Y?" – user149432 May 13 '11 at 23:18
Yes but one could qualify themself for this. I'm a lone programmer who maintains a 50 billion LOC legacy library and management wants be to refactor this. I feel I'm being underpaid. etc. Your example questions wouldn't be a good question anywhere IMHO. – Jeff Mercado May 13 '11 at 23:23
@Jeff Any question like that would, should, and will be closed as a thinly veiled rant about a person's job. I have a really hard time coming up with any question specifically about salary negotiation and requires a programmer-only knowledge that would play out any differently. – user149432 May 13 '11 at 23:27

For a how-to on negotiating programmer's salaries, I would think programmers would be appropriate. A lot of the great questions and answers there are how-tos and this can be asked in a non-localized manner. Just be smart about how you ask your question though. If you mention something along the lines of "How much money should I be making?", that sort would be closed (anywhere).

Before doing so however, you might want to ask on their meta to see if that would be appropriate just to be doubly sure.

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