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Who is paying the most for computer geeks? Photo via Bigstock

Steve Ballmer was right. It’s all about developers, developers, developers these days. In fact, the market is so hot that companies like, Twitter and Facebook are doing “acqui-hires” — like the one today of TeachStreet — just to gobble up key engineering talent.

But that’s not really the norm, and most tech companies are still having to pay out old-fashioned salaries. With that in mind, I asked the folks over at Glassdoor to run some numbers on the top Seattle tech employers to find out who is paying the most for software engineers.

The results, as you’ll see in the chart below, might surprise you. If you thought and Microsoft were at the top of the pay scales, you’d be wrong.

It’s actually F5 Networks, the publicly-traded Seattle company whose software and hardware is used to speed up the delivery of applications over the Internet. It shows an average base salary of $115,388.

Google, with about 1,000 employees in the Seattle area, came in second with an average base salary of $105,437. And Concur Technologies, a maker of travel and entertainment expense management software, was third at $100,029.

Not too shabby.

Now, it’s worth noting a few things. We did not ask Glassdoor to run numbers for new arrivals in Seattle such as Facebook, Hulu,, eBay and Zynga, thinking their staffs are just too small at this point in the game.

The report also includes all salaries reported on Glassdoor for employees in the Seattle area with the phrase “software engineer” in their titles. F5 Networks, for example, shows a higher average base salary in part because more people in Glassdoor listed themselves under the title “senior software engineer,” whereas Google shows only seven Seattle “senior software engineers” and more than 100 Seattle “software engineers.”

Nonetheless, we thought the chart was kind of interesting given the ongoing talent wars. Which company would you prefer to work at these days, and is salary the most important consideration for you?

[Main geek image via Bigstock]

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