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Any programmer, I am looking for advice.

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Feurian42
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#1

Posted 21 August 2015 - 06:41 PM

I recently finished my AA in Computer Software Development. I have a lot of class and project experience, but no work history in the field. I have received my first job offer and, I must admit, a little taken back by their offer of $30k per year for a Junior Software Engineer. It is a salaried position and will require a lot of overtime.

In short, if I cannot negotiate a higher salary should I balk? Accepting that low of a salary, even as an entry level position, could damage my earnings potential for years. Any advice?

 dice
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#2

Posted 21 August 2015 - 06:54 PM

You could take the other option which is sitting at home, collecting welfare, not getting any work experience, not expanding your fields of expertise, not filling up your portfolio, not making any connections...
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Feurian42
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#3

Posted 21 August 2015 - 06:58 PM

You could take the other option which is sitting at home, collecting welfare, not getting any work experience, not expanding your fields of expertise, not filling up your portfolio, not making any connections...


You do realize that at $30k I would still be on welfare, right? I was honestly looking for more constructive advice than that.

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#4

Posted 21 August 2015 - 07:01 PM

What advice do you even need then? Your mind is already set, you're just looking for someone to agree with you and confirm your decision

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#5

Posted 21 August 2015 - 07:06 PM

Wow,that is mighty low. We start our (fresh out of college) programmers in the high 40s.

If there is nothing else immediately available you may want to take it. For one it would be a mark on your resume and hey...maybe there is a chance to advance quick.

The trick in the industry is to prove yourself. Show that you are skilled and you should do well.

If it will make you feel any better I started out a bit above 30k. Granted that was like 20 some years ago. :)
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Feurian42
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#6

Posted 21 August 2015 - 07:13 PM

No, I need no one to agree and I honestly want to take the job. Most importantly due to the fact that it will be great experience and a way to work with other languages that I did not encounter through school. I'm just not sure how much effect it will have long term if I start that low. Its also not the only potential job at this point. There are two other companies that I am in the process with, both look promising.

Wow,that is mighty low. We start our (fresh out of college) programmers in the high 40s.

If there is nothing else immediately available you may want to take it. For one it would be a mark on your resume and hey...maybe there is a chance to advance quick.

The trick in the industry is to prove yourself. Show that you are skilled and you should do well.

If it will make you feel any better I started out a bit above 30k. Granted that was like 20 some years ago. :)


That was my thought. It is really low, lower than even the internships in this area. But I feel I cannot pass up the opportunity for the experience. I'm just concerned that if I accept the offer sheet all future employers will try to base all pay off of that number, essentially gimping my earning potential for years.

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#7

Posted 21 August 2015 - 07:14 PM

I wouldn't worry about it starting low. You won't be locked in to that salary forever.
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Feurian42
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#8

Posted 21 August 2015 - 07:18 PM

Thank you, I should do well though. I ended up tutoring all my classmates in every programming class, even helped some folks with answers online. Well, I guess I'll just take the plunge, kick ass, and not look back.
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#9

Posted 21 August 2015 - 07:22 PM

It's a fun and rewarding career if it's in your blood. There are lots of people who go down the computer sciences path with money being the motivation...and those people don't fair well in the long run.

Love what you do, prove yourself, do the extra hours, go above and beyond and eventually you can grow into less demanding positions...with better salaries.
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K^2
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#10

Posted 23 August 2015 - 11:15 AM

There are a lot of companies looking for good programmers, but many are hesitant to hire someone without any experience. As trip indicated, 30k is very low even for an entry level, but if you can't find anything else, there is no reason not to go for it. It will provide you with experience you need to get a better offer next time.

 

Having higher starting salary is great for having better earning potential on future jobs, but having a low salary is still better than having none. At least, in software.

 

It's also worth keeping in mind that such a low offer is probably less an indication of what the company thinks you are worth, but rather of the risk they think they are taking by hiring you. I can't say without looking at your resume whether such risk assessment is warranted on their path, but it's not uncommon for entry hires. Once you have a bit of experience, your offers should start to reflect your actual ability. If you really are good at what you do, you should be able to do much better. With a few years of experience, $100k/year is not hard to find if you're good.

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ghost of delete key
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#11

Posted 24 August 2015 - 11:17 AM

Accepting that low of a salary, even as an entry level position, could damage my earnings potential for years. Any advice?


Trip and K^2 already nailed it, but I'd like to add, don't worry about being pigeonholed by a number; you only have your own expectations to fear.
As they already said, your performance will be your benchmark, not what someone else paid you.
Asking about prior salary on an application is an old "gag", they want to feel out your expectation of income vs. what they are willing to bet against you.

With experience you'll get as good at that game as you get with coding :)
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Feurian42
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#12

Posted 31 August 2015 - 02:38 PM

I ended up turning down the offer. I kind of had to. I have a wife and three kids and the companies insurance (just health, dental, vision) was $985 per month for a family of 5. I figured the bring home would be in the $14k - 15k range. But I do have several other offers on the table now. Some would be a perfect culture fit for me.

Thank you for the thoughts, info, and advice guys! Cheers!
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#13

Posted 04 October 2015 - 09:52 AM Edited by ghost of delete key, 04 October 2015 - 09:52 AM.

Thank you for the thoughts, info, and advice guys! Cheers!

Best of luck in that!

 

I'll be facing that gangplank in the future myself, having one more semester to go for my AS in Application Development.

Not sure if I'm gonna launch out right away, or transfer to a 4-year and go for a BS.

 

Frankly, even if I land a hack position in a local indie web dev outfit to start, it will be ten million times better than another winter doing mold remediation on rotten houses for pennies.  :sui:

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K^2
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#14

Posted 08 October 2015 - 06:01 AM

Not sure if I'm gonna launch out right away, or transfer to a 4-year and go for a BS.

No reason not to cast out your resume, but I'd recommend trying for BS all the same. Just based on salaries I'm seeing around here for people with AS vs BS.
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#15

Posted 09 October 2015 - 09:22 AM

Good to know, K^2, thanks.





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