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How We Replaced Salary Negotiations with a Sinatra App

Konstantin Haase
June 24, 2016

How We Replaced Salary Negotiations with a Sinatra App

Presented at RedDotRubyConf 2016 in Singapore.

Konstantin Haase

June 24, 2016


  1. How we replaced Salary Negotiations With a Sinatra App Konstantin

    Haase @konstantinhaase / @rkh_popcorn Travis CI travis-ci.com
  2. None
  3. There will be code. I promise.

  4. @jocranford

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  9. What’s in a salary?

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  11. $1,000,000 per episode $100,000 per episode 10x actor?

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  16. “Why are the best programmers 10x more productive than mediocre

    programmers, but paid only 3x as much?”
  17. “How do bootstrapped companies hire talent?”

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  19. ‣ bootstrapped ‣ 38 employees ‣ top talent ‣ base

    in Berlin, Germany Travis CI
  20. ‣ 8 countries, 16 nationalities ‣ 54% women (50% in

    engineering) ‣ wide range of backgrounds ‣ we’ll keep hiring Travis CI
  21. Salaries account for 46% of our spendings, making it the

    biggest cost centre.
  22. We don’t negotiate salaries.

  23. A Sinatra application tells us what to pay someone.

  24. Negotiation skills don’t reflect your value to the company.

  25. Negotiation skills don’t reflect your financial needs.

  26. Salary negotiations harm underrepresented groups.

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  28. Source: Fortune Magazine

  29. The Travis CI Salary Framework™

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  31. Developing the “Framework” took a full year. Everyone could participate.

  32. We pay by value. We pay by needs. We use

    generalised rules that apply to everyone.
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  34. Value

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  36. How do you define a 10x developer (if they exist)?

  37. Example: Software Engineer — Level 10

  38. Shows an intuitive grasp of situations, analytic approach used only

    in novel situations.
  39. Is self-motivated to the point that they create new work

    (for themselves and sometimes others) and has their own vision for what needs to be done.
  40. Understands business requirements. Does not just understand but also shape

    the big picture.
  41. Engineering Career Path defined up to level 17 at the

  42. Employees should level up about once a year.

  43. If an employee doesn’t get a raise, that’s considered a

    bug, not a feature.
  44. Needs

  45. We use a generalised “needs” model based on location.

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  47. www.economist.com/content/big-mac-index

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  49. numbeo.com

  50. rkh.im/move (outdated, does not work properly for Singapore)

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  52. glassdoor.com

  53. payscale.com

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  55. Only compare data points from the same source.

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  61. Country base line based on how market rates* compare to

    Berlin. City adjustments based on how the living costs compared to national average. Income tax estimation is added on top. * Factor adjusted upwards for low income countries, for city states Consumer Prices and Rent Index will be used if higher
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  63. Rates calculated for 3563 cities in 209 countries Four countries

    also have 92 regions.
  64. youtube.com/user/CGPGrey

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  66. Currencies are tricky.

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  69. © Lincoln Stoll

  70. What’s important: Competitive, Comfortable, Fair, Feasible, Prospective

  71. Everyone can participate in the salary discussion.

  72. Thank you! Konstantin Haase @konstantinhaase / @rkh_popcorn Travis CI travis-ci.com