After an interview loop with the startup and rejection for the senior iOS role, the CTO said he would be interested in hiring me for a QA role (which is still a fair amount of iOS in that I would be building automated tests). I'm leaning toward going forward with this and have a tolerance for risk, but I do have a couple of questions.
How do I ensure as much as possible they don't use it as a way to lowball me? For the iOS role I initially quoted the Stack Overflow Developer survey's (https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/2021#salary-comp-total-usa) market rate of of $120,000 for a mobile developer in the U.S. as my target, but he said they wouldn't be able to meet it until they wrap up their series A funding, and then floated equity as part of compensation. I was thinking of using the survey as well for the market rate of a QA role in the U.S. since it's not that much lower, but I'd be open to any guidance here.
Also, if I do take this role, how do I ensure that I'm on track to transition to a fully iOS role? For what it's worth I did state clearly over the phone that this is my intent, and he was on board with the plan.