I am working for a start up company in California. I am currently the only backend developer building a social network for this company. Before there was a team of 2 backend, 2 frontend and looking to hire more but now it's just myself and another front end developer.
I have been tasked with building the framework for the site, building the site itself, and building an API layer so the 3rd party mobile development team can make the same system calls as we can without having to work with the database. Six months into the project we switched from MySQL to MongoDB so the ground work for the proversion of the website that was build before I got there also has to be converted to MongoDB. It is also my first time working with MongoDB. It was kinda just decided that we did not think MySQL would be able to meet our scaling needs.
I am also in-charge of infrastructure. I have to be a system admin. I have to decide on which hardware we are going to run the website from and develop a fault tolerant load balanced network for the platform to run on. I have also been working on a custom version of Debian Linux that our system will be running on. These include database servers and application servers (HTTP/PHP). I have been building media management servers for user content, backup servers' logic layer that will give detailed marketing information. Currently I am only getting paid 35k a year for this type of work and I am curious on what sort of realistic figure I should be approaching my boss with.
IMO $35k is super low. From what I've heard from startups in the Valley $60k/year is about the absolute bottom end they are paid and that comes with lots of equity. If I was working at a startup creating your product I'd expect at least $80k/year with equity.
A good programmer, that costs twice as much as a crap programmer, is 3 times more efficient.
It does not look like you can hire somebody in US less than for 60k.
As low-cost solution you can outsource a web-developer or outsource the developing of entire project.
You can outsource a contractor here https://www.odesk.com/. Rates vary much but you can get somebody with rate starting at 20$. So your annual expense will be like 40k. Often more costly developer does not mean better developer. Of course you’ll have some discomfort related to different time zones etc.
Also you can check this really big ‘bodyshop’ to outsource developing of entire project (they have like 10k of developers) http://www.epam.com/