I’m a software engineer in Boston with 20 years of experience, nowhere near the midpoint salary for starting salaries.
If you have the right buzzwords on your resume, I think you can fetch higher rates, like the thesis suggests.
I also second what Teksystems found and the bolded conclusions.
I’m teaching myself python, kotlin, node.js, [long list here] at home on nights and weekends.
They are easy to learn.
I think it’s silly companies don’t hire me at my salary or a little more to learn new tech, when I’d be fully functional in a few weeks.
Machine learning, data science are difficult, but someone with 20 years of experience and a strong math background, a learning drive, and willingness to learn on her or his own after hours can do it.
What I see consistently ignored are: my 20 years of learning how to work well in teams, to lead teams, to lead projects, to understand all types of business and engineering situations by experience, to know what to document when, and how work across geographies. I am an engineer not just because of that, but because I know how to assemble software which is easy to read, easy to maintain, and easy to use. I know how to estimate my efforts, and to collaborate on effective estimation, in both agile and waterfall. I know how to talk to anyone [customer, owner, business user, colleague, mentor, or mentee] about what I’m doing and listen effectively.
This skillset is crucial to success, not only my own, but the companies I work for.