From an article in the Economist: Companies Concern: Got Talent?:
The average total starting package for a software engineer in Silicon Valley has risen from $85,000 in 2008 to $98,000 this year, according to Glassdoor, the workplace website. At Google a software engineer can now earn a basic starting salary (before options, bonuses and so on) of up to $151,000, even more than at Apple ($149,000) or Facebook ($138,000), let alone Microsoft ($128,000).
These jobs require not just solid programming skills, but also creative and inter-personal skills. Also known as "smart and gets things done".