Where C&S Lives, Works, and Gets Paid

Results of location based information from our 2017 survey

Justin Reese
Jun 1, 2017 · 7 min read

Earlier this year, Code & Supply surveyed its membership base to learn a bit more about their work life. This article is an exploration of the data based on the geographical information included in the survey. You can read a detailed breakdown of compensation information in the other article from this series.

Where Code & Supply Lives

First, I’d like to explore a bit of biographical information about Code & Supply to get to know who we’re talking about. Although C&S was founded in Pittsburgh and holds all of its events there, the membership base is broad because of our use of livestreaming our presentations, our Slack team, and our internationally marketed conferences.

While many members outside of Pittsburgh exist, we did see a strong concentration in Southwest Pennsylvania. Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Seattle and New York were all represented in our survey respondents with just a few in each location.

When excluding locations with less than 3 survey respondents, we see a bit simpler collection of locations.

Eliminating any zip codes with less than 4 respondents allows us to see where the most members are located: the east end of Pittsburgh. This makes a lot of sense, as Code & Supply has historically held many of its events at locations in the East End. Google, IBM, UPMC and more East End companies all have offices that have hosted Code & Supply events. We’ve also opened a new co-working spot in the Friendship/East Liberty area that will continue to cater to this audience. In the future, Code & Supply would like to host events in the far reaching suburbs with heavy concentrations of members. Surveys like this allow us to decide where to hold those events.

Of interest to us in this survey were many factors that impacted members’ satisfaction with their job. One factor that can contribute to how much someone enjoys their job is their commute. The next image is a map of the average commute in minutes for members living in each ZIP code. You can see a skew toward long commutes in the outer suburbs as people living in these areas likely commute into the city for work. However, we also see the Regent Square neighborhood coming in at 28 minutes, meaning a long commute is not restricted to just suburbanites. In some cases, the mode of transit may impact these numbers and will be an interesting thing to factor in on future surveys.

The commute picture is incomplete if it is only looked at from the side where someone lives. Equally important is the commute times to places of work. We can see that the average commuter to Southepointe is taking a 25 minute trip to get there and that if someone works out of the South Hills, they likely work from their home with a 0 minute commute.

The final piece we’ll look at with regards to where C&S members live is how much they make on average. We can see that the average in the Mt. Lebanon, Upper St. Clair, Bethel Park area is the highest of the pack and the academically focused neighborhood of Oakland is the lowest with the average member making just $51,885 if they live there. Since many people living in Oakland are still students, graduate assistants, or working for a university, these numbers are expected to be low, but the $20k jump to the next lowest is surprising.

Where Code & Supply Works

Code & Supply members work in an area that closely matches where they live with the exception of downtown Pittsburgh. The downtown area is growing as a residential area, but our survey shows very few living in that area. It however is the primary location where our members work with nearly 15% of respondents working in the downtown neighborhood.

The pay in the downtown area does not lead the pack however. Instead, Southepointe is leading the average salary for its workers with $112,400. Southpointe is an industrial park, just across the Allegheny/Washington county border and as such has some tax implications for companies there. Does this mean that companies there are willing to pay their employees more? The sample size in that area is somewhat small, as we can see in our previous map, so we can’t say for certain what causes Southpointe to be the highest paying.

In order to create a map that includes numbers for the Downtown, Uptown, and Oakland neighborhoods, we’ve included the following map that only shows neighborhoods where at least 6 respondents work.

Where Code & Supply Employers Are Headquartered

The motivations for being an active member in Code & Supply vary. Some are looking to improve their skills to be ready for new jobs, some are looking to meet people that are like-minded to learn from them, some are looking to meet someone that can be their shepherd to getting a better job. Often, however, the people coming to events are remote workers looking to interact with someone in a way they don’t get normally because they don’t work in a standard office. People that they can have a real dialogue with and work side by side on a project with. This is evident in our map of who employs Code & Supply members. With employers in 21 states (and 3 countries, excluded for presentation purposes), Code & Supply is reporting to organizations all over. This question was asked as “Where is your employer headquartered?” meaning that some of the respondents are also working at local branches of companies headquartered elsewhere, however we are sure that a large portion of this includes remote workers.

When doing the research for this post, many people were curious about where the money comes from. Are all these high salaries just Silicon Valley money being pumped in or is it coming from Pittsburgh companies?

The next few maps attempt to illustrate that. For the sake of anonymity and presentation simplicity, each city in the survey responses has been grouped into a region. The Mountain West includes Colorado and Utah, Silicon Valley includes Mountain View and San Francisco, etc etc.

In our first map (split into two images: east and west to better fit on the screen), we can see that Silicon Valley does indeed lead for having the highest average salary. The Mountain View, San Francisco, Oakland combination pays Code & Supply members an average of $123,548. When compared to Pittsburgh based companies, at only $86,915, you can see why a large portion of our members are remote workers.

Pittsburgh is 5th out of the 12 regions where companies are employing C&S members. In order to better compete for local talent, Pittsburgh companies will need to remember that they aren’t just competing with an influx of cash from Google and Uber branches in this city. Pittsburgh companies are also competing with NYC and San Francisco for talent, even when that talent wants to live in Pittsburgh.

The impact for each of these regions is important to consider as well. How much money is pouring in to Pittsburgh from other cities? We can see that directly in our survey data. Our survey, representing just 10% of our total membership, shows that the Silicon Valley region is pumping a total of $3.8M into the city by way of salaries to people living here. Extrapolating the survey to our entire base means San Francisco and its kin are likely injecting about $38M into Pittsburgh’s economy.

The Silicon Valley may have the highest average salaries, but since Code & Supply’s membership base is largely employed by Pittsburgh-based companies, it still leads all other regions and members here make an estimated $146M in total based on a survey total of $14.6M.

Hopefully, this series of articles on compensation empowers you to negotiate better deals with employers or understand how you can move up the ladder. If this survey helps you at all or you want to see us continue to do work like this, please consider supporting Code & Supply by becoming a sustaining member at https://codeandsupply.co/join/.

Leaky Abstractions

Stories from behind the scenes at Code & Supply

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