Break the Code

How software salaries measure up across tech-savvy Texas cities

Flatiron School has graduated thousands of students since its founding in 2012. Photo courtesy of WeWork

Texas may not have the tech reputation of Silicon Valley or Seattle, but it's definitely making strides. Houston, Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio are rapidly growing into tech hubs, and the Lone Star State should absolutely make the shortlist if you're seeking a well-paying software engineer position.

According to job and salary websites Indeed and Glassdoor, both entry-level and senior-level software engineering salaries are competitive throughout the state. Web developer jobs in Texas are projected to grow 20 percent — compared to the national average of 15 percent — between 2016 and 2026.

Austin leads both levels in overall salary, but it's important to keep in mind that cost of living there is higher as well. Entry-level employees can expect to make an average of $69,342 while senior staffers can climb to $121,302.

Dallas is next, with junior workers bringing in $68,314 and senior developers making an average of $115, 212. Houston and San Antonio are pretty similar, offering engineers who are just starting out an average of $64,194 (H-town) and $65,596 (Alamo City) and more experienced workers $114,686 and $111,369, respectively.

Houston is the most populous city in Texas — and the fourth most in the nation — and that increases the demand for tech talent. While the city lost jobs in 2018, the number of tech job postings actually increased 140 percent year-over-year, based on a report by CompTIA. Software engineer/web developer employment increased 2.1 percent year-over-year in the same report, and are projected to grow 5.9 percent between 2018 and 2026.

Need to brush up your skills, or wondering how to break into the industry? Flatiron School, WeWork's coding school, helps people pivot into tech careers. Flatiron School's on-campus and online immersive courses have a proven track record of impressive employment outcomes and include dedicated career coaching, employment support, and a money-back guarantee (see terms here). Some of its Texas grads have gotten jobs at JP Morgan Chase, National Oilwell Varco (NOV), iland Cloud, ScaleFactor, and Infosys.

Since its founding in 2012, Flatiron School has graduated thousands of students. Its software engineering and data science immersive programs each run for 15 weeks, and the school is committed to creating a more inclusive tech culture with the Women Take Tech and Diversity Initiatives. By creating community through conversations, Flatiron School has been able to provide scholarships for women through its partnerships with Lyft, Birchbox, and SeatGeek, as well as for people of color, military families, and the LGBTQ community.

Check out this list of upcoming events held at the WeWork Houston campus at 708 Main St., schedule a campus tour, or apply today.

In his SpaceCom 2019 keynote address, Bill Nye shares the breakthrough technology he's been able to develop at The Planetary Society. Photo courtesy of SpaceCom

According to Bill Nye, known to most as "The Science Guy" but who now leads the largest non-government space exploration nonprofit, humanity has always asked two questions: How did we get here and are we alone.

"If you want to answer those two questions, you've got to explore space," Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society, says in his keynote address at Houston's annual SpaceCom.

The conference, which took over downtown Houston's George R. Brown Convention Center for November 20 and 21, welcomed a record number of attendees from all over the world. Throughout the two days, 2,500 space fans, experts, and professionals from around the world engaged with panels and programming as well as the exhibit hall full of dozens of space companies.

In his keynote address, Nye walked through the history of solar space studies and breakthroughs, from Johannes Kepler's 17th century observation of the sun's solar force on comets to Carl Sagan's work to develop a completely solar powered spacecraft. Sagan, who was a mentor to Nye, passed away in 1996 and didn't get to see his dream become reality.

Nye, however, has accomplished Sagan's goals, and the technology he and The Planetary Society has developed is low cost and completely citizen funded, representing a huge step toward democratizing space.

"We built two spacecrafts for $7 million," Nye says of LightSail 1 and 2.

The first iteration didn't last long, but LightSail 2 equipped with CubeSats — small but mighty satellites — became the first controlled solar sail spacecraft completely propelled by the sun. Solar sails use radiation pressure from the sun as an energy source reacting with extremely thin reflective material that makes up the sail.

The device, which is still in space, represents a lot of potential for long-term space missions since no fuel is needed. While there have been light sails launched in the past, LightSail 2 was the first iteration to be able to be steered from earth in a timely manner. (The device can be turned in a matter of minutes.)

"With this technology, we can democratize space," Nye tells the crowd, sharing that just a few hours before, Time magazine named the technology as the most innovative invention in aerospace.

Nye says that while the work he is doing at The Planetary Society came about as a group of engineers trying to solve a specific problem, the results they have found and the feedback they received represent the world's interest in continuing space exploration in a cost-effective and feasible way.

"Space brings people together," Nye says.