[Clug-work] C/C++ and Perl developers needed

Jonathan Carter (highvoltage) jonathan at clug.org.za
Fri Sep 5 13:25:28 SAST 2008

Adrianna Pinska wrote:
> These may or may not be priorities, depending on one's lifestyle
> choices.  Obviously supporting children requires an enormous amount of
> money, but not everyone is going to have them.  And property is
> expensive, but owning a reasonably nice flat in a reasonably nice area
> is not out of reach of two people earning a salary within the
> suggested range -- although it helps to be nearer the end of the range
> than the beginning. ;)

This thread may possibly be better suited for clug-chat (shall we move
it here?), but here are my views anyway:

  * A good programmer should very easily find a job for more then
25k/pm. I know of a bunch of companies that are looking for only
reasonable programmers for more than that
  * I know some programmers who are absolutely brilliant, and only get
paid half of that
  * You can't always expect to walk into a job and expect to get the
salary you want. Sometimes you'll have to prove yourself first. Usually,
when the first 3 months has passed and the 'probation' period has ended,
you would have had enough time to show what you're made of and can ask
for an appropriate salary adjustment (mention that you'd want a salary
review after 3 months when you join the company)
  * Anything is negotiable. If a company can employ someone brilliant
that can add lots of tangible value to the company, they will usually
make a plan to get you hired, even if they have to go somewhat out of
their original budget.
  * I earn more than that and I can barely program at all (not that I'm
in a programming-specific job though), and I can in absolutely no way
afford a nice home or to have children or even support a wife. Some
months go by where I even make a loss if I add up all my income and
expenses. When my father was my age (oh my God I sound like him now), he
could do all of that with a very simple income. These days, you should
really not even be thinking of raising a family, imho, if your combined
salary is less than R60000 a month. Men usually make more than women, so
unless you have a rich wife (or parents, etc), you'll probably have to
make quite a bit more than that.
  * There's nothing wrong with asking for more if you're not satisfied
with what someone is offering. The worst that they can do is say no, or
offer you other benefits or a roadmap stating when they will be able to
meet your requirements. Often, they will actually say yes. You have the
right to be happy, and financially secure. Don't let any asshole tell
you otherwise.
  * There's also nothing wrong with offering a moderate salary. Even
though programmers are scarce, unemployment is also quite high, and
there are literally millions of people in our country who would
literally (ok I'll stop with the literally's now) kill for that kind of
salary. Is it better for a company who has a budget of 50k/m for a staff
member to give two people a job for 25K each? Or pay one very highly
skilled person R50k/m? Both have pros and cons, and it's highly
debatable. I'm sure for many, it's certainly not an easy choice.
Sometimes you have to help your future employers with these kind of
decisions. Maybe they'll pay you R40k and get an intern to be your
assistant for R10k? Who knows. Nothing is set in stone.

Since we're on the subject, I need to get back to work...


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