Thursday, March 11, 2010

$24 an hour

While sitting at work one day, I got a text. I didn't recognize the number, but when I saw the content, I knew exactly who it was from. The text said "i can't believe you said that stuff about NepotiSoft on linkedin". It was from the HR person at NepotiSoft.

I immediately knew what the problem was. On my LinkedIn profile, I had posted that I worked on a project at NepotiSoft that failed, and it did so because of the lack of requirements put forth by both the government and by NepotiSoft's management.

I could understand that this could be construed as distasteful, and possibly unprofessional, so I changed the LinkedIn profile, and replied back that I was sorry if I upset anyone, and that the post had been updated. With this reply, there was a small text conversation in which I was lambasted again for saying something [possibly] negative about NepotiSoft, and to which I replied that NepotiSoft has a lot of problems.

Then I got a reply that I didn't expect. The text said "We paid people $31 that 'claimed' they could do more then they really could, and wanted to only write code, writing code is a $24 an hr job..." (the grammar and mistakes are there because it is a verbatim quote).

This was an obvious shot across my brow, as I was paid $31/hour at NepotiSoft, and I failed at my assigned project (I will argue until my death it was of no fault of my own). I can understand that they may be pissed off that I left, and that the project failed (they will argue that it didn't fail, but that is a later post...). It wasn't the direct shot at me that made me think about the text, the conversation, and the situation.

It was the dollar amount. $24 for a software programmer?

I work in a room with about 15 other software programmers, and none of them make $24 an hour. I would say the minimum is probably around $30 an hour in respect to those 15 people. These are people that are extremely seasoned, and are experts in their respective areas (everyone is a C programmer, but many specialize in Java, or Perl, or C++, or Cisco, or dealing with Linux & it's configuration, etc..), and I consider myself one of these experts.

For a good C programmer who is knowledgeable about Linux, and who has expertise in legacy systems/programming/structures/code, it is not absurd to make $75k+ a year. In NYC, $100k jobs are common (so can be said all along the East coast). Government programming jobs will start around $50k-60k, and it is not uncommon to get the same amount when it comes to government subcontracting. Private sector jobs demand at least $50k-60k for a C programmer, and often more for someone with a particular expertise.

The only programming jobs where you can make sub-$60k are web-programming jobs. Web programming doesn't require a lot of expertise, and doesn't command as much expertise. But even then, there are some very creative and experienced web programmers who are well-worth much more than $60k.

It really bothered me that someone could think that programmers should only make $24 an hour. What a joke.

No comments:

Post a Comment