Discover the Lucrative Lead Software Engineer Salary: Powering Your Career


A lead software engineer’s salary typically ranges from $100,000 to $150,000 per year. With the increasing demand for skilled software engineers in the industry, companies are willing to provide competitive salaries to attract top talent.

As a lead software engineer, you can expect to earn a significant salary due to your expertise and leadership responsibilities. In addition to the base salary, many companies also offer benefits such as stock options, bonuses, and flexible work arrangements.

However, it’s important to note that the salary may vary depending on factors such as location, years of experience, and the specific industry or company you work for.

Discover the Lucrative Lead Software Engineer Salary: Powering Your Career


Table of Contents

Understanding The Lead Software Engineer Role

Being a lead software engineer is a challenging yet rewarding position in the software development industry. In this role, experienced engineers are entrusted with greater responsibility, overseeing the technical direction of projects and leading a team of professionals. To truly understand the lead software engineer role, let’s delve into its key responsibilities and the unique set of skills required.

The Key Responsibilities And Skills Required

As a lead software engineer, you will be responsible for various aspects of the development process, from planning to execution. Here are the key responsibilities and skills required for the role:

  • Project management: Lead software engineers are accountable for the successful completion of projects. They need to effectively manage resources, set realistic timelines, and ensure the project adheres to the defined scope.
  • Technical leadership: Serving as a technical expert, a lead software engineer guides the team in making critical design decisions, choosing appropriate technologies, and creating robust architectural frameworks.
  • Code review and quality assurance: They are responsible for conducting thorough code reviews to enhance code quality and maintain consistency. Ensuring adherence to industry standards and best practices is vital to deliver high-quality software.
  • Mentoring and coaching: A lead software engineer must possess strong leadership skills. They mentor team members, providing guidance and support while fostering teamwork and professional growth.
  • Collaboration and communication: Effective communication is crucial as a lead software engineer. They must liaise with stakeholders, project managers, and other teams to ensure seamless coordination and alignment of goals.
  • Technical expertise: Lead software engineers must have a deep understanding of various programming languages, frameworks, and tools. They should be well-versed in software development methodologies and have a strong grasp of software engineering principles.

How The Role Differs From Other Software Engineering Positions

While lead software engineers share some similarities with other software engineering positions, there are key distinctions that set them apart. Here are the primary ways in which the lead software engineer role differs from other positions:

  • Level of responsibility: The lead software engineer is responsible for the technical success of the entire project or team, whereas other software engineers typically focus on coding and individual tasks.
  • Decision-making authority: Lead software engineers make critical decisions regarding technical design, architecture, and project direction. They have the final say in choosing technologies and methodologies.
  • Leadership and team management: Unlike other software engineering positions, lead software engineers are responsible for guiding, mentoring, and managing a team of software engineers. They ensure the team works cohesively and delivers projects on time.
  • Communication and collaboration: While all software engineers need to possess good communication skills, lead software engineers must excel in their ability to communicate effectively with stakeholders, team members, and other departments to align goals and deliver results.

The lead software engineer role carries significant responsibility, requiring both technical expertise and leadership abilities. By understanding their key responsibilities and the distinctions from other software engineering positions, aspiring lead software engineers can prepare for the challenges and opportunities that come with this role.

The Growing Demand For Lead Software Engineers

Lead software engineers play a critical role in the tech industry, and their demand is rapidly increasing. Companies across various sectors are recognizing the value of these professionals who possess both technical expertise and leadership skills. In this section, we will explore how leadership skills have become increasingly important in the industry and how companies acknowledge and appreciate the contributions of lead software engineers.

The Increasing Importance Of Leadership Skills In The Industry

Lead software engineers are not just responsible for writing code; they are also expected to guide and lead their teams towards success. Here are key points highlighting the growing significance of leadership skills in the industry:

  • Collaboration and communication: Lead software engineers are skilled in building effective communication channels and fostering collaboration among team members. They excel in articulating complex technical concepts in a straightforward manner.
  • Decision making and problem solving: These professionals are adept at making critical decisions under pressure and solving complex problems. Their ability to analyze situations, evaluate alternatives, and choose the best course of action is highly valued by companies.
  • Mentoring and coaching: With their extensive experience, lead software engineers mentor and coach less experienced team members, helping them grow and develop their skills. This transfer of knowledge builds a strong team dynamic and promotes continuous learning.
  • Project management: Lead software engineers have a deep understanding of project management principles and can effectively plan, organize, and execute complex projects. They ensure that projects are delivered on time and within budget.

How Companies Recognize The Value Of Lead Software Engineers

Companies understand the immense value that lead software engineers bring to their organizations. Here are some ways in which companies recognize and appreciate the contributions of these professionals:

  • Career progression: Many organizations provide attractive career progression opportunities for lead software engineers. They offer higher-level positions and increased responsibilities to acknowledge their expertise and leadership capabilities.
  • Competitive salaries: Lead software engineers often command higher salaries than their peers, reflecting the level of expertise and leadership required for their roles. Companies recognize the value they contribute and provide competitive compensation packages.
  • Decision-making authority: Companies trust lead software engineers with decision-making authority, empowering them to influence important technical decisions and overall project direction. Their opinions are respected and considered during critical decision-making processes.
  • Recognition and rewards: Companies actively recognize and reward lead software engineers for their contributions. They acknowledge their achievements through promotions, bonuses, and other forms of recognition to motivate and retain top talent.

The demand for lead software engineers is growing rapidly as companies recognize the importance of their leadership skills. These professionals play a vital role in not only driving technical excellence but also guiding and growing their teams. The industry appreciates their contributions and rewards them accordingly, making it an attractive career path for software engineers looking to advance their careers.

Exploring The Lucrative Compensation Package

Being a lead software engineer is not only fulfilling in terms of career growth and responsibilities, but it also offers an impressive compensation package to match the high-demand nature of the role. In this section, we will delve into the salary ranges for lead software engineers and explore the additional perks and benefits offered in the industry.

Salary Ranges For Lead Software Engineers

Lead software engineers are highly valued in the tech industry, and their salaries reflect their expertise and experience. Here are some key points regarding the salary ranges for lead software engineers:

  • Salaries for lead software engineers can vary depending on factors such as years of experience, location, and the company’s size and industry.
  • Entry-level lead software engineers can earn an average salary of $100,000 to $120,000 per year, while more experienced professionals can make upwards of $150,000 annually.
  • Companies in major tech hubs like silicon valley and new york city often pay higher salaries due to the higher cost of living.
  • Salary ranges can also be influenced by the specific programming languages and technologies a lead software engineer specializes in. Proficiency in languages like python, java, or c++ can potentially lead to higher compensation opportunities.
  • In addition to base salaries, lead software engineers can also receive bonuses and profit-sharing options as part of their compensation package.

Additional Perks And Benefits Offered In The Industry

Apart from competitive salaries, the tech industry offers a range of additional perks and benefits to attract and retain top talent. Here are some notable perks and benefits that lead software engineers can enjoy:

  • Flexible work hours and remote work options: Many tech companies understand the importance of work-life balance and offer flexible work arrangements to their employees, allowing them to choose when and where they work.
  • Health and wellness benefits: Comprehensive health insurance, gym memberships, and wellness programs are often provided to prioritize the well-being of employees.
  • Retirement plans: Companies may offer 401(k) plans or pensions to help lead software engineers plan for their future financial security.
  • Stock options and equity: In startups and larger tech companies, lead software engineers may have the opportunity to receive stock options or equity as part of their compensation package. This allows them to share in the success of the company and potentially gain significant financial rewards.
  • Professional development opportunities: Tech companies invest in the growth and skill development of their employees by providing access to training programs, conferences, and workshops to enhance their expertise.
  • Generous vacation and paid time off: Many tech companies offer above-average vacation allowances, paid holidays, and generous parental leave policies.

Lead software engineers are not only well-compensated financially but also enjoy a range of additional perks and benefits that enhance job satisfaction and work-life balance. These competitive compensation packages make the role of a lead software engineer a highly attractive proposition for those looking to excel in the technology field.

Factors Influencing Lead Software Engineer Salaries

As the demand for technology continues to rise, the role of a lead software engineer has become increasingly crucial. This position requires a high level of expertise and experience, and as a result, it offers a competitive salary. However, several factors come into play when determining the salary of a lead software engineer.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the key factors influencing lead software engineer salaries.

Industry Trends And Demand:

  • Self-driving cars, artificial intelligence, and other emerging technologies are driving the demand for lead software engineers.
  • Companies in industries such as finance, healthcare, and e-commerce are actively seeking skilled professionals to develop and maintain their software infrastructure.
  • The demand for lead software engineers is expected to continue growing as technology becomes more integrated into our daily lives.
  • The scarcity of talent in this field adds to the demand, leading to higher salary offerings.

Geographic Location And Cost Of Living:

  • Salaries for lead software engineers vary across different geographic locations.
  • Cities with a high cost of living, such as san francisco and new york, tend to offer higher salaries to compensate for the increased expenses.
  • In contrast, smaller cities or regions with a lower cost of living may offer comparatively lower salaries.
  • Remote work options have also become more prevalent, allowing lead software engineers to work for companies located in higher-paying regions while enjoying a lower cost of living elsewhere.

Remember, these factors are just a few examples of what can influence lead software engineer salaries. It’s important to research the specific industry and location to understand the unique dynamics that impact salary offerings. As the demand for technology continues to grow, the salaries of lead software engineers are likely to remain competitive, making it an attractive option for aspiring professionals in the field.

Experience And Education: A Direct Impact On Salary

Lead Software Engineer Salary

The correlation between years of experience and earning potential:

  • As with many careers, the salary of a lead software engineer is often influenced by the number of years of experience they have in the field. The more experience a lead software engineer has, the higher their earning potential tends to be.
  • Entry-level lead software engineers with 1-3 years of experience can expect a starting salary ranging from $70,000 to $100,000 per year. This initial salary is typically lower due to the limited experience and skills possessed at this early stage of their career.
  • Lead software engineers with 3-5 years of experience can expect a moderate increase in their salary, averaging between $90,000 and $120,000 per year. With a few years of experience under their belt, these professionals have had the opportunity to expand their skill set and take on more responsibilities, leading to higher earning potential.
  • As lead software engineers gain 5-10 years of experience, their salaries increase significantly. At this point, they can expect to earn an annual salary between $110,000 and $140,000. This increased earning potential is a result of their extensive experience, expertise, and ability to lead and manage complex software projects.
  • Lead software engineers with over 10 years of experience can expect to earn an annual salary in the range of $130,000 to $170,000. Their wealth of knowledge and experience puts them in high demand, often leading to more senior leadership roles and higher salaries.

The role of advanced degrees and certifications:

  • Advanced degrees, such as a master’s in computer science or software engineering, can have a significant impact on a lead software engineer’s salary. Holding a master’s degree often opens doors to higher-paying positions and increases the overall earning potential.
  • Certifications in specialized areas, such as cloud computing or cybersecurity, can also boost a lead software engineer’s salary. These certifications demonstrate expertise and proficiency in specific technologies or practices, making candidates more valuable to potential employers.
  • Lead software engineers with advanced degrees and certifications may see a salary increase of 5-15% compared to those without these credentials. This increase is due to the added knowledge, skills, and credibility that advanced degrees and certifications bring to the table.
  • While having an advanced degree or certification can positively impact a lead software engineer’s salary, it’s essential to note that experience and practical skills often hold greater weight in the industry. Employers value hands-on experience and track record of successful projects when determining salary offers.

Years of experience and education can have a direct impact on a lead software engineer’s salary. As professionals gain more experience and obtain advanced degrees or certifications, their earning potential increases. It’s crucial for aspiring lead software engineers to continuously develop their skills and knowledge to stay competitive in the industry and maximize their salary potential.

Climbing The Career Ladder: Advancement Opportunities For Lead Software Engineers

Lead software engineers play a pivotal role in the success of any software development team. As they gain experience and expertise, they have the opportunity to advance their careers even further. In this section, we will explore the various promotion prospects within the role and transitioning into higher-level management positions.

Promotion Prospects Within The Role

Lead software engineers can expect the following advancement opportunities within their role:

  • Senior lead software engineer: As lead software engineers demonstrate exceptional technical skills and leadership abilities, they can be promoted to the position of senior lead software engineer. This role offers increased responsibilities, such as overseeing multiple projects and mentoring junior team members.
  • Architect: With a strong background in software development and a deep understanding of system design, lead software engineers can pursue a career as software architects. Architects are responsible for creating and implementing high-level design decisions, ensuring scalable and efficient software solutions.
  • Technical manager: Lead software engineers who possess excellent communication and organizational skills may consider transitioning into a technical manager role. Technical managers are responsible for managing software development teams, coordinating project timelines, and ensuring smooth execution of projects.
  • Director of engineering: For lead software engineers who aspire to have a significant impact on a company’s technological direction, the role of director of engineering is a natural progression. Directors of engineering oversee the entire software development process, work closely with executive teams, and define the strategic roadmap for technology initiatives.

Transitioning Into Higher-Level Management Positions

Lead software engineers also have the opportunity to transition into higher-level management positions, such as:

  • Engineering manager: As engineering managers, lead software engineers can take on a broader scope of responsibilities, including overseeing multiple teams, coordinating resources, and managing the overall technical strategy of the organization.
  • Chief technology officer (cto): The role of a cto involves leading the technology vision of a company. Lead software engineers who possess strong leadership skills, business acumen, and a deep understanding of technology trends may aspire to become ctos and guide the company’s technological vision and strategy.

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It’s worth noting that the transition from a lead software engineer to a management position requires a shift in focus from hands-on technical work to strategic planning and team management. Developing leadership abilities, fostering strong relationships with team members, and staying updated on industry trends are essential for a successful transition.

As lead software engineers progress in their careers and take on new challenges, the opportunities for growth and impact are abundant. Whether it’s within the role itself or in higher-level management positions, the path to advancement is open for those who are driven and continuously strive for excellence.

Tips For Negotiating A Competitive Salary As A Lead Software Engineer

Negotiating a competitive salary as a lead software engineer is crucial in ensuring that you receive fair compensation for your skills and expertise. By understanding industry standards and effectively showcasing your qualifications, you can maximize your earning potential. In this section, we will explore some tips that can help you navigate the salary negotiation process as a lead software engineer.

Researching Industry Standards And Salary Benchmarking

Before entering into salary negotiations, it’s essential to conduct thorough research to determine industry standards and salary benchmarking for lead software engineers. This will provide you with a solid foundation for your negotiation strategy. Consider the following key points:

  • Research salary data: Utilize reputable sources such as industry reports, online platforms, and professional networks to gather information on average salaries for lead software engineers in your location and industry.
  • Consider your experience and qualifications: Take into account your unique skills, years of experience, and any additional certifications or specialized knowledge you possess. These factors can impact your market value and should be considered when evaluating salary ranges.
  • Factor in cost of living: Keep in mind that salaries can vary depending on the cost of living in a particular area. Adjust your salary expectations accordingly to reflect the local economic conditions.
  • Be realistic but ambitious: While it’s important to be realistic about prevailing market rates, don’t be afraid to aim high. Highlighting your exceptional skills and accomplishments can justify a higher salary offer.

Highlighting Your Unique Skills And Qualifications During Negotiations

During the negotiation process, effectively communicating your unique skills and qualifications can significantly impact your ability to secure a competitive salary. Consider the following strategies:

  • Emphasize your accomplishments: Highlight specific projects or initiatives you have successfully led or contributed to in the past. Illustrate the positive outcomes of your work and the value you bring to the table.
  • Showcase technical expertise: Outline your proficiency in programming languages, software development methodologies, and other relevant technical skills. Demonstrate how your expertise can contribute to the overall success of the company.
  • Communicate leadership abilities: As a lead software engineer, your ability to mentor and collaborate with team members is crucial. Highlight your leadership qualities, such as effective communication, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
  • Quantify your impact: Whenever possible, use numbers and metrics to quantify the impact of your work. For example, mention how you increased productivity, reduced development time, or improved customer satisfaction through your contributions.

Remember, negotiating a competitive salary is a collaborative process. Approach the discussion with confidence, clearly articulating the value you bring to the organization. By conducting thorough research and effectively showcasing your skills, you can increase your chances of securing a salary that reflects your abilities as a lead software engineer.

The Future Outlook For Lead Software Engineer Salaries


As technology continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate, the demand for skilled software engineers is soaring. With this surge in demand, companies are willing to pay top dollar to attract and retain talented individuals who can lead their software development teams to success.

In this section, we will explore the future outlook for lead software engineer salaries, examining the predicted salary growth and industry trends, as well as the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

Predicting Salary Growth And Industry Trends

  • Software engineering salaries have been steadily increasing over the years, and this trend is expected to continue as the demand for skilled professionals remains high.
  • According to industry experts, lead software engineers can expect to see a steady increase in their salaries due to the scarcity of talent in the market.
  • The rapid growth of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and cloud computing is projected to contribute to the surge in lead software engineer salaries.
  • As companies strive to stay ahead of the competition, the need for experienced software engineers who can innovate and develop cutting-edge solutions will only grow, leading to higher salary offerings.

Opportunities And Challenges In The Evolving Tech Landscape

  • The evolving tech landscape presents both opportunities and challenges for lead software engineers. Let’s explore some of the key factors that impact salaries in this field:
  • Increased demand for expertise in emerging technologies: With the rise of technologies like blockchain, cybersecurity, and data science, software engineers with specialized knowledge in these areas can command higher salaries.
  • Globalization and remote work: The ability to work remotely has opened up new opportunities for lead software engineers, allowing them to tap into the global job market and negotiate competitive salaries.
  • Diversity and inclusion initiatives: Companies are increasingly recognizing the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. As a result, lead software engineers with diverse backgrounds may have a competitive edge and potentially higher earning potential.
  • Continuous learning and upskilling: With technology evolving at a rapid pace, lead software engineers who invest in continuous learning and upskilling will likely see their salaries grow. Staying updated with the latest tools, frameworks, and methodologies can make engineers more valuable to their organizations.

The future outlook for lead software engineer salaries looks promising. The increasing demand for skilled professionals, coupled with the rapid growth of emerging technologies, is expected to drive salary growth in the software engineering field. However, it’s important for lead software engineers to stay ahead of the curve by continuously learning and adapting to the evolving tech landscape.

By doing so, they can position themselves for success and potentially command higher salaries in this competitive industry.

In-Demand Skills To Boost Your Lead Software Engineer Salary

Are you a lead software engineer looking to increase your salary potential? While experience and qualifications play a significant role, possessing in-demand skills can certainly give you an edge in the tech industry. In this section, we will explore two key areas that can help boost your lead software engineer salary: emerging technologies and programming languages, as well as soft skills highly valued in leadership roles.

Emerging Technologies And Programming Languages:

  • Cloud computing: With more and more businesses adopting cloud-based solutions, knowledge of platforms such as amazon web services (aws) and microsoft azure can significantly increase your value as a lead software engineer.
  • Artificial intelligence (ai) and machine learning (ml): These emerging fields have revolutionized various industries. Acquiring skills in ai and ml technologies can make you an invaluable asset to companies seeking to leverage data-driven decision-making.
  • Internet of things (iot): As smart devices become increasingly prevalent, expertise in iot development can open doors to high-paying roles involving connected devices and systems.
  • Blockchain: This decentralized technology is gaining traction in sectors such as finance, healthcare, and supply chain management. Understanding blockchain development can be a lucrative skill for a lead software engineer.

Soft Skills That Are Highly Valued In Leadership Roles:

  • Communication: Effective communication is crucial in leadership positions. Leaders need to be able to clearly articulate their vision, guide their team, and collaborate with stakeholders.
  • Emotional intelligence: In addition to technical expertise, possessing emotional intelligence allows lead software engineers to understand and empathize with their team members. This skill fosters better teamwork, motivation, and overall job satisfaction.
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking: The ability to analyze complex problems, develop innovative solutions, and make informed decisions is highly valued in leadership roles. These skills allow lead software engineers to navigate challenging situations and drive successful outcomes.
  • Adaptability and continuous learning: The tech industry evolves rapidly, and being adaptable and open to continuous learning is crucial for lead software engineers. Staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies ensures you remain competitive and sought-after.

By focusing on developing these in-demand skills, you can enhance your value as a lead software engineer and increase your earning potential. Whether it is mastering emerging technologies or honing your soft skills, investing in your professional growth can pay lucrative dividends in a highly competitive job market.

Remember, staying updated with emerging technologies trends and continuously improving your soft skills will set you apart from the pack and position you for success in your lead software engineer career.

So, what are you waiting for? Start exploring these in-demand skills and take your lead software engineer salary to new heights!

Taking Your Career To New Heights: Strategies For Maximizing Salary Potential

Are you a lead software engineer looking to boost your salary potential? Whether you’re just starting out in your career or already have years of experience under your belt, there are strategies you can employ to take your earnings to the next level.

By focusing on continuous learning and professional development, as well as leveraging networking and mentorship opportunities, you can maximize your salary potential and pave the way for long-term success.

Continuous Learning And Professional Development

Continuous learning and professional development are key factors in increasing your salary potential as a lead software engineer. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Stay up-to-date with the latest technologies and industry trends: As a software engineer, it’s crucial to stay on top of emerging technologies and trends in the field. This not only enhances your skillset but also demonstrates your commitment to continuous learning.
  • Take on new challenges and responsibilities: Seek out opportunities to expand your expertise by taking on new challenges and responsibilities. This can include leading projects, participating in cross-functional teams, or volunteering for additional training.
  • Pursue advanced certifications and degrees: Obtaining advanced certifications or pursuing further education, such as a master’s degree in computer science, can greatly enhance your marketability and earning potential.
  • Attend conferences and workshops: Networking and learning opportunities abound at conferences and workshops. By attending these events, you can connect with industry leaders, gain new insights, and stay ahead of the curve.

Leveraging Networking And Mentorship Opportunities

Networking and mentorship play a crucial role in advancing your career and increasing your earning potential. Here’s how you can make the most of these opportunities:

  • Build a strong professional network: Cultivate relationships with peers, colleagues, and industry professionals. Join online communities, attend meetups, and engage in professional networking events to expand your network. These connections can lead to job opportunities, referrals, and valuable insights.
  • Seek out mentors: Mentors can provide guidance, advice, and invaluable support throughout your career journey. Look for experienced professionals who can offer insights into career advancement, skill development, and salary negotiation.
  • Participate in industry organizations and associations: Joining industry organizations and associations can provide access to a wealth of resources, including job boards, educational programs, and networking events. Take an active role in these communities to maximize the opportunities available.
  • Be an active online presence: Establishing yourself as a thought leader in the software engineering community can open doors to new opportunities. Contribute to industry forums, write blog posts, and engage with peers on social media platforms to raise your profile and showcase your expertise.

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By focusing on continuous learning, professional development, and leveraging networking and mentorship opportunities, you can position yourself for growth and maximize your salary potential as a lead software engineer. Embrace these strategies to take your career to new heights and achieve financial success in the dynamic field of software engineering.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Lead Software Engineer Salary

What Is The Average Salary Of A Lead Software Engineer?

The average salary of a lead software engineer can vary depending on factors such as location and experience.

What Qualifications Are Required To Become A Lead Software Engineer?

To become a lead software engineer, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field, along with several years of experience in software development.

What Skills Are Essential For A Lead Software Engineer?

Essential skills for a lead software engineer include strong coding abilities, leadership and communication skills, problem-solving capabilities, and a deep understanding of software development methodologies.

How Does Experience Affect A Lead Software Engineer’S Salary?

Experience plays a crucial role in determining a lead software engineer’s salary. Generally, the more experience you have, the higher your salary is likely to be.

What Career Opportunities Are Available For Lead Software Engineers?

Lead software engineers may have opportunities for career advancement, such as becoming a software development manager or transitioning into a technical architect role.


To sum up, the salary of a lead software engineer can vary depending on various factors such as location, experience, and industry. Generally, the role of a lead software engineer comes with higher compensation compared to other software engineering positions.

In the technology industry, factors such as demand, competition, and the complexity of the projects can also impact the salary range. It is not uncommon to see lead software engineers earning six-figure salaries, especially in major tech hubs. In addition, as technology continues to evolve rapidly, the demand for skilled software engineers, including leads, is expected to grow.

Overall, pursuing a career as a lead software engineer can offer not only financial stability but also opportunities for professional growth and advancement.

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