TechHui

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I was just on the HireNet Hawaii website (www.hirenethawaii.com) and searching for computer related job postings.  After searching their site for computer and mathematics jobs, the first posting listed is from a company called PRTech which is some how connected with PacRim Marketing Group.  Here is the job description:

 

Involved in the programming aspects of web-based projects in the areas of ecommerce, online registration, e-mailing, survey systems, online reporting and analysis tools and development of other proprietary web based applications for Asian end-users -- Japanese, Korean, or Chinese. Write programs and database integration for web applications, online forms, directories, online reports and other store and retrieve applications using ASP, ASP.NET and SQL database. Development and technical integration of web based programming elements with XHTML design elements, XHTML design templates, formatting, layout and configuration, and troubleshoot reported problems and bugs in web-based applications, identify problem source, debug an directly resolve the issue or coordinate with other programmers

 

Experience with ASP, ASP.Net, Java Script, XHTML, CSS Stylesheets, SQL Server 2000/2005, ADOBE Dreamweaver, Visual Studio 2005, Database Experience Required.

 

Their site says they want someone with a BS. in CIS or CS with 2+ years experience.  Now for the pay they are offering ... drum roll please... bpbpbpbpbpbpbpbpbpbp....... $7.75 and it seems per hour...

 

Am I living in the wrong place?  Things like this make me ashamed to say I live in Hawaii.  I mean come on now even a bagger at Safeway makes more than $7.75/hr.  That is just ridiculous, shameful, and down right appalling.

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That sounds like a definite mistake, way to call out PRTech though. =)
Your not in Northern California any more.

There's an old saying, "if you don't ask, you don't get." It applies to both the buyers and the sellers.

There are a lot of folks who assume that if your looking you will take anything. I see these kinds of things on CraigsList. I have friends who tell me their plans to hire interns, give them a place to live, access to a car, food, a tiny stipend of $100/wk, and the possibility of a bonus at the end. Have them develop iPhone apps for them.

That said, there are some real gigs out there if you look.
I never was in Northern California. I am born and raised in Hawaii nei. That is why I am embarrassed by such calamity. It's like companies like these are cheating people and I ashamed to say they are companies from my home.

Les Vogel said:
Your not in Northern California any more.

There's an old saying, "if you don't ask, you don't get." It applies to both the buyers and the sellers.

There are a lot of folks who assume that if your looking you will take anything. I see these kinds of things on CraigsList. I have friends who tell me their plans to hire interns, give them a place to live, access to a car, food, a tiny stipend of $100/wk, and the possibility of a bonus at the end. Have them develop iPhone apps for them.

That said, there are some real gigs out there if you look.
That's a poorly-written job description anyway. Sounds like they want a one-man dev shop for BK wages.
The cost of living in Hawaii is much higher than most parts of the mainland.
This carries over to the cost of businesses (operating costs, renting costs, etc...). We can see the struggles of technology companies when the Hawaii technology tax credit was vetoed earlier this year.

The technological field has just begun in Hawaii.

There are few companies that can survive in Hawaii and to limit their costs, they tend to pay lower salaries. There are quite a number of graduates here also struggling to stay on the islands (me included). With such competition, wages will be substantially lower than the rest of the mainland.

I cannot speak for the IT field though, since I come from a computer science field.
Cost of living alone is not a reason - many places which have higher cost of living often have higher wages, for example Hong Kong, NYC, Oslo. These places are not necessarily undesirable either so you can't explain it away saying "They pay more because nobody wants to live there".
Ultimately, like all most things, it's supply and demand. IT is currently experiencing a glut, so wages fall.
I fully agree with Jake G. on this one. Boris makes a great point but I would only agree with that if we were talking about industries where companies needed to import product to the islands ie. automobiles, food products, etc. A tech company has no overhead except for their office space and utilities to operate that space. There's no way that the rent for office space and utilities are that much higher here in Hawaii than they are in say Palo Alto, Irvine, Redwood City, etc. The cost of living in those places are much higher than in Hawaii.

I do believe the rumor of salaries are just lower in Hawaii due to higher expenses did start out of legitimate beginnings. Like I said businesses that have to import supplies definitely do have higher operating expenses which in turn caused lower wages in those businesses. However, this overall notion of wages in Hawaii has carried over into businesses that don't have high overhead like tech companies.

I must point out that legitimate tech companies DO pay salaries comparable to those on the mainland. The ones I am calling out here are the one's that are posting jobs on Craigslist for $10/hr or the like. These are the one that read like someone has some great idea for a website but needs a developer to make it for them. So in other words this person thinks they have the next social media website concept that will sell for hundreds of millions and they want someone to build it for them at $10/hr.

Now if this person was paying a developer out of the limited savings account or their own full time salary that is understandable. However, if this start up was on the mainland most would offer a partnership into the profits of the IPO. Here, it seems people are so greedy that they want to pay someone $2000 to build their site that will make them millions.
I beg to disagree Jared - I was negotiating with a "legitimate" tech company. When I asked for a reasonable salary, substantially lower than what I got last in the Bay Area, they said they only paid that on the mainland, not here in Hawaii. Actually, the words were, we are only hiring Sr. folks on the mainland, not in Hawaii. - Even though it was a Hawaii headquartered and funded company.
In this case, I suspect the real compensation is a H1B visa for young English speaking Japanese, Korean and Chinese nationals who want a workcation in Hawaii. This is not typical compensation for software developers in Hawaii. If you master your craft and develop useful specializations (e.g. mobile development), you can find a decent job in Hawaii. Keep your chin up.
Les -

I have been applying and watching the job postings for software/web developer/engineer positions here in Hawaii for about a year and a half now. What I have come to realize is one that I am at the level of a Junior-Mid Level Developer and the average salary for this position is $50 - $55k/year. This is the range of salary I have been noticing both here and on the U.S. mainland however the U.S. mainland may extend to $65-$70k depending on the company. The second thing that I have noticed about the positions here in Hawaii is that 90% of the postings are looking for Mid-Senior Level Developers and they are offering $60-$80k/year depending on where you apply. I noticed the salary for a Mid-Senior Level Developers on the U.S. mainland have a higher range average of maybe $70-90k/year sometime a little more. Here is another thing I do notice about the job postings in Hawaii. Although companies are looking for someone with 3 to 5 years experience (on the U.S. mainland this is usually the experience needed for a Mid-Senior Level Dev) the companies do not advertise the position as being a Mid or Senior level position. You might just see Software Engineer or Web Developer. This in my opinion is how companies in Hawaii justify not paying the salary deserving of a Senior Developer.

In my opinion, there needs to be a conglomeration of people and/or companies that get together and standardize IT job titles along with the experience needed to fulfill that title. With a standardization in place the average range of salary for that position would balance off.

Daniel -

I meant to post a reply a week ago regarding the initial topic of this thread. The advertisement I mentioned at the beginning of this thread was changed a few days after posting this. The new salary offered for the position is $50k+.
12 years ago, I was making $163k / year at Apple (it was a pay cut from what I ddi before) + 75k stock. 10 years ago, I made $200k.

My interns at Apple were paid 60k. I used to pay 80k-$120k for mid level folks and train them for their next job. One is a Sr. Director at Yahoo, another helped create the iPod, I haven't followed the others.

I guess I've always viewed Software Engineering as part of IT.

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