I have some different comments to make about India. I do agree compared to a lot of other professionals here, the pay is good for a programmer. But, like others were mentioning, managers, consultants and sales people earn more than a programmer within the software industry.
Now, what would be a great salary per month for a programmer? If he gets 400$/month it's considered extremely good salary here!!! I after two years of working in Asia's largest software company TCS, get a disgusting salary of 630$ a month! How many people would call that great? But, considering the cost of living here, it is a great income. Also owing to the fact that, getting a software job now is almost as simple as anything you can get here(assuming you have BE degree in IT), this route of career looks perfect for many. Most of them live an a dream world. Good jobs are offered by MNCs based outside India. Indian companies are mainly intio software consultancy which simply means "body shopping". Some other clients "hire" us. Our company does projects for clients majorly based out of USA and Europe... (almost all fortune 500 companies are in one way or the other rely on Indian Consultancy firms like TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Satyam, Patni etc... for software development and maintainance.).
Entry level salary for a programmer in all the above mentioned Indian companies vary between 250$ to 400$. The hikes are great. The best in Asia in any industry. But then again, the hikes for programmers are much lower compared to the managers. Basically if you are on the managarial side, you hikes are more; salary is way too high compared to that of a programmer.
Basically within the industry of software, programmer has the lowest pay; managers and consultants the maximum.
But, only good part abou these companies are, you get to go "onsite". Everyone wants to join these companies because he gets to go "onsite". (Onsite means working in the client's office.) Since majority of our clients are from USA and Europe, we get to visit these contries and work there. And while working there, we'll be getting very good allowances there... (Avg after paying taxes wages varying from 2000$-3500$ for engineers with <5 years of exp in USA, In Europe... around 1800 pound sterling... ).
Now, if you don't get onsite, even the best of the pays for 5-8 years experienced programmers here are in the range 1000$-1500$. People here in India might argue that it's an extremely high salary. But the standard of living here is not even comparable with Developed countries. Roads are pathetic, no infrastructure and absolutely no value for a productive man's time. With all these difficulties, there is extreme work pressure on programmers. Too much.
But , compared to other fields here we get far better pay as programmer. But then again, in a country where a Toyota Corolla costs around $28000!!! (I guess it costs 13,000$ in the USA) can't really say that we can afford luxuries so easily.... even if we have one among the higher paid jobs.
All in all it's a decent enough profession here.
Edited by SP Rao, 01 September 2006 - 05:23 AM.