active twitter account
completed Linkedin profile
active github account
active website (Github Pages allows free static hosting)
Hope this helps and good luck.
Imho he should apply for jobs, apply more and even apply more. Having studied literature, I have jumped ships from publishing to tourism (marketing analyst) to being a full time data analyst via doing the work and having a resume to show it.
Having an application, that differentiates one from the competition did maybe help a little bit.
If @brokedev would like, he could shoot me a mail and I would show him, what I had for an application. Helped me get a lot of interviews - in the end I could choose between jobs.
Have just updated my profile - seems to be cached. In some minutes my email should show there.
But maybe I just wasn't able to find the right strategy.
With that being said, Dev communities tend to be quite different on twitter.
I'll have to take the plunge as well, so I'm speaking to myself as much as I'm speaking to you, make an account _solely_ for your developer persona.
I like your suggestion about my "developer persona". Do you have suggestions for tools or tactics for making sure the signal to noise stays high?
That's essentially why I don't use the service in a nutshell, and find it in its entirety much ado about nothing.
However, I mentioned I need to follow this advice as well because I often meet developers from other companies, and many in my local area are involved with each other on Twitter. Particularly, the UX and RoR communities of my area are both quite strong on Twitter (I'm a C#/Python guy, but it still applies). In sum, They are much better aware of what's going on and where to find a new job, should they need one.
I'm in the same boat as you - in order to further develop myself I'll inevitably have to cave and make a Twitter account.
> Do you just use it to follow things and post replies to people looking for help?
In a nutshell, yes. Or dev jokes, or your current project(s), or really anything that builds up your following. The metrics are available....use them!
"Retweeting" other developers you follow should help as well.
> I'm worried that maintaining my feed (?) would be a huge time sink.
> Do you have suggestions for tools or tactics for making sure the signal to noise stays high?
It is a huge time sink. But unfortunately the "powers that be" place a premium on having both an online presence, and online "clout." While a Github profile and personal website is certainly more important for reputation as a developer, your Twitter serves as a mouthpiece for your work and is (again, unfortunately) ultimately the first _and_ last thing looked at.
Maintaining your feed, I guess, would be easy as a developer. You have normal user level things - ie: only follow the accounts in your developer sphere - and you can also use management systems and third party software to filter out more of the noise. Hell, you could even write your own and use that same tool to build up your following! I believe most of the timesink in that aspect would be front-loaded - once you're up and running, you don't need to put much more work in.
This has the added benefit of being able to look stuff up if I forget about it.
I really love this passive aggressiveness.
I'm very curious how you managed to shift to data analysis.
I've made a successful shift to marketing, but technical work still eludes me.
So when the chance arose, I first started doing some web analytics. As the data grew more and more (esp. in our internal tools) I needed more then excel. So I tried to learn a little bit of (in my case) python to help crunch bigger numbers.
From there I got to manage the technical side of an ad server, did a lot of project management and via a gig in online marketing as a "pure" web analyst I came to work in a digital agency as a so called data analyst. Most work is "classic" web analytics, some is work on bigger datasets (growing part of my work).
So basically I had a knack for math, science, empirical stuff, statistics and tried some programming (bad code, but code non the less) and that way I was able to jump ships.
One day I will try to incorporate my love for literature/texts into the mix - maybe NLP or some things like that might be fun. We'll see.
I was a music major in university (and planning on an English lit or creative writing minor) -- then I took an intro compsci course halfway through, and had a bit of a shock; it was an entirely new thing for me, but I really had a knack for it, and enjoyed it as well. It was a bit late to change my major... but I just fit in as much compsci as I could, and also just starting building things outside of coursework. I managed to get a software dev job right out of college based on a bunch of interactive online drills I wrote for the music department, plus I had very solid communication skills and academic recognition.
The software dev job was doing custom dev on lots of different kinds of projects (that was good), and in my spare time I turned the interactive music stuff into a site that's still a side income stream. It's languishing somewhat these days, because 5 years ago I started as a developer at a UK-based startup (working remotely from France; long story) and gradually became the CTO -- mostly just from looking for the hardest, riskiest problems we had and chasing them down one at a time, and being easy to work with.
It's hard to abstract any of this to general advice -- maybe just that mastering anything requires a good deal of focus and just time. If you want to do technical work (huge range there) you need to be doing it -- making mistakes, finding your way to solutions (good ones and bad), paying close attention to what's hard and why. It's probably worthwhile building something other people use, and can look at, etc. -- plus (whatever your focus is), mastering the context of working with customers, colleagues, competitors is valuable. If you build and support something all on your own, you're forced to learn a lot about all that.
whenever you scale to Germany, please shoot me a line. What you are building seems to me the ideal service to use. So many use cases shooting through my head...
Greetings from the old world
You don't need to be a 140-char Shakespeare, just follow some influences and projects you're interested in, re-tweet things you find useful and if you have anything of substance you've created (github, blog post etc) post it.
It's not so much showing off as it is showing you're on-top of new ideas and trends in your field.
It's close to impossible to get a remote job by the sheer amount of people wanting them. And no place will let you negotiate less salary for a job. :-/
I find myself as the same place as the the dev who wrote this. I don't even need a "dev-salary", we could live on the 44k a month and I would be happy with that as long as it's remote. Could go less, but it has to be a job that exists in ~5 years.
2.) Don't spend so much time thinking about why your company is screwing you. People job hop every 2 years, because it's the only way they'll get a 20k raise. Your salary will eventually hit a plateau as you move up, but early in your career, you shouldn't stay too long at one place.
3.) Don't reek of desperation. It's a turn-off to dates and it's a turn-off to interviewers. Ranting with a throwaway account is fine, but don't mention your situation in an interview.
4.) Use your rails skills and scrape indeed's listings for rails jobs in your area. Make a private rails app and filter out all the recruiters and IT staffing firms. Why? A lot of them are just doing arbitrage with the existing listings, and they don't have exclusive access. Do direct applications first, and if you're still not getting hits, then go to recruiters.
5.) Do research on data.jobsintech.io, glassdoor.com, crunchbase.com, and angel.co for company information. Message past devs on linkedin. Oh, and half of all glassdoor reviews are fake and from the HR departments. If they don't talk about negatives or give weak ones, it's usually fake.
6.) If you haven't already, look into your county's social services for any benefits you might qualify for. Your daughter might be eligible for disability benefits, and in the meantime, your family needs to eat.
1/ He did not quit or made any ultimatum. He acted on what was promised, nothing wrong with that. But right you should always lower your head and submit to the startups and their heads.
2/ Typical protection of abusive companies by telling employees who are being openly screwed : "Deal with it". Such a healthy advice, lets not question the ethics and working of most of the tech sector who all have been dipping their toes in shady hiring practices.
3/ Easy to say when you're not living paycheck to paycheck and you see your dream slowly crumble before your eyes because of a company's unacceptable behaviour (acceptable to certain on HN though who probably think the CEO was right).
WHile 4 & 5 are valid, your first advices put the entirety of the blame on OP, when in fact that blame lies entirely on the CEO and startup in question. If I were in his position I would have made sure that their name are public and known to prevent others from being exploited.
>That I’d been told $75k was reasonable, and that I would have to look for work elsewhere if it was going to be $44k.
That sounds like an ultimatum. The problem is he's bluffing. He gets his bluff called, and then what? He's out on the street, in a worse place then he started from. My advice is not to bluff. Get a job first, don't look back. When you take a counter-offer, you also run the risk of having them get resentful, and firing you the first chance possible.
>2/ Typical protection of abusive companies by telling employees who are being openly screwed
This is based on what I've seen. I think companies should pay their employees market wages. But most companies will only give you a 5% raise, not a 20k one. If you know how to consistently get companies to give you a 20k raise, please share.
>3/ Easy to say when you're not living paycheck to paycheck and you see your dream slowly crumble before your eyes
I'm being realistic. Companies don't like hiring people who will take any job. He doesn't have to walk in there like Don Draper. Being nervous is fine. A lot of people get anxious. But going in there with a sob story isn't going to help his case. Even if they don’t turn him away, they can still use his living situation to lowball his salary.
His honesty is a sign of loyalty, which is clearly unwarranted with a boss that's only looking for ways to screw you. The problem is that a single developer has no power over an asshole boss. The only thing we can do is protect ourselves with exactly this kind of tactical advice.
But by all means, also protest for better worker protections to prevent people from being abused like that.
I feel like asking for naming and shaming the bad company so others can steer clear, but that's probably going to bite you in the ass. Suck it up, and name and shame them in 5 years, after you've got your life back on a solid road and well out of his reach.
I do care. I want him to be shamed. I want his entire business to fall apart, so that the CEO finds himself in the same position as this guy.
The reality is, that this is the market that exists. All great and valuable to rally against bad practices and push back where possible. Even better to start your own shop and create a better environment. At the end of the day though, you have to do whatever it takes to make things work - regardless of how fair or equitable things are.
I respect and agree with your points, but do not agree 100% with this advice. Exploiters are the default. (Just the higher up you go, the nicer face they show you. Because you can hurt them more.) I only agree with this advice if you can do it without suffering serious blowback.
I try to carefully assist non-dev coworkers screwed by their bosses. This includes talking with crying coworkers who swear revenge because their boss humiliated them and thieved money — and they can't just quit because the next company may be even worse. One thing that helps is understanding this is an institutional problem. Not necessarily a "bad boss", nor their fault. Even with completely different people, the overall functioning would be pretty much the same. (That's why I keep recommending books like "Disciplined Minds".)
Then we take effective steps to make their resume look good, increase their bargaining power, learning tech/PM/etc skills, start winning internal company politics...
This is not intended as a slight against your or anyone's advice here, seriously. But I chose my nick for a reason, and when I read things like scrubbing one's online presence from anything that suggests the sun doesn't shine out of one's butt 24/7, the hair on the back of my neck does stand up a little bit. The idea most people involved in such... theatre?... might actually be a great person "privately", but just feel forced to "play the game", makes this even more unsettling. If nobody feels responsible for causing it, who will fix it? The people who suffer a lot from it are too busy suffering or even dying, the overlap between finding this unbearable and having the means to fight it seems rather small.. sorry for ranting, but I guess with so much solid advice already given I thought I might as well :)
I think the solution is "activism" but most people don't actually know what it means. (We associate it with screaming people or individual actions.) It's just about solidarity: teamwork. People learn how to act in teams under a boss. But not the arts of self-organizing, consensus , how to treat your teammates with respect , sharing knowledge/confidence to both lead & follow, etc.
 Starhawk writes good books on consensus meetings.
 Respect's often ridiculed as "political correctness": not using slurs; remembering that not everyone can afford a nice laptop; certain things can suddenly trigger painful memories and therefore create obstacles to lucid decisionmaking; etc.
Because what an unemployed, self-taught person with a non-working spouse (and four children, one of whom is special needs) is a defamation lawsuit on top of things? I assume the poster is US-based and their are just certain realities of the legal system. Even if the suit is ultimately overturned, what kind of representation is he going to be able to afford if he is borrowing from family and his family is skipping meals?
The state of corporate ethics or even the particulars of who is to blame in his former job is completely orthogonal to his current situation.
Accept the shitty boss as a learning experience and get a better job at a better company.
Maybe if the boss has a superior to report to, or there's some neutral person at the company where you can address these things, you could try going there, but it doesn't sound like it's that kind of company, and it's unlikely to lead to a job with a raise, and that's really all that should concern you right now.
One must have backup plans. If you're privileged enough to be a dev, always try to have jobs lined up. (Especially going into a negotiation, where it's an option to follow through on the firing threat.) Show your face at local usergroup meetings if you can. Feel the safety of knowing there's multiple companies who'd hire you the next day.
Bosses often don't give a shit about your productivity per se. They do fear losing perceived "irreplaceable" devs... but you generally have to be one of their first hires, or somehow release some big projects alone which other devs would rather not maintain.
[Edit] Professional mask: see "Disciplined Minds: A Critical Look at Salaried Professionals and the Soul-Battering System that Shapes their Lives" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disciplined_Minds
Update your LinkedIn profile as someone has mentioned already. Sweeten it up, get a great looking but professional profile pic up there, get kudos from friends, etc.
Do the online profile cleanse. Make sure everything is very professional looking. Remove any controversial political views or disparaging remarks about previous employers. Looks like this blog post is anonymous. Keep it that way and make sure that email address isn't associated with anything. Employers will google your email address. They'll even drag your profile pic into google image search, so the cleanse includes anywhere that appears.
Get code into GitHub asap and make your profile there sound like you're a team player, super positive, super keen, all that good stuff.
Stop blogging about how tough your life is and don't ever mention it in conversation. Whether you like it or not (personally I don't), that idiotic quote in American Beauty from the motivational tapes is true: "In order to be successful, one must project an image of success at all times.". Yup, that came from the real-estate King himself. Seriously douchey and seriously true.
What employers care about is that you're going to be a great addition to the team, make the rest of the team happier and more productive and be super productive yourself. That's pretty much it besides not being a liability or a risk. Hence the profile cleanse, positivity, demonstration of ability by getting your code into GitHub and so on.
Then go forth and market the hell out of yourself with tons of positive vibe. What I'm telling you here is pretty much to do very much the opposite of what you're doing. Absolutely don't beg. You may get charity but I don't think you're going to be happy with it considering your salary expectations and family situation. You're going to want to land a job earning $75K upwards with excellent benefits in a stable and growing business. That means they need to think that you're awesome, so make yourself awesome and go and kill it.
Best of luck!!
Really? as a CEO those are signals for you? the profile picture is debatable but the endorsements are just a joke and everyone knows it, people just exchange them like they do with twitter follows. If anything, too many of them would be a negative signal for me.
Completely agree with the rest of your comment though.
Who said hiring is fair?
>Any company that would be this lazy as to potentially throw away their best candidates in the first round of filtering on criteria that has such little actual signalling is not one that I would want to work for anyway.
For most companies (not talking Facebook and Google level stuff) it doesn't really matter -- and they could care less if you would work for them or if they get top talent or not. Any decent-ish programmer can do the work they require, so they are OK with being lazy in hiring.
Even the CEO, who has skin in the game, won't be entirely dependent on making the best possible hire (hopefully).
Most job seekers are terrible at job seeking. What does that say about how good managers are at hiring?
(Also, managers has to look at hundreds of different candidates.)
Pro-tip: no one wants to see a Nikon in your profile picture and no one cares about your photography hobby on your resume. I'm talking to you, half of the tech community on Linkedin!
I agree that many of the filters that people use are bullshit.
(You've most likely also read https://web.archive.org/web/20120501193533/http://raganwald.... too, a point in which is that other BS filters act just like the toss-half one in that they aren't really useful when your qualified applicant proportion is small.)
You'd be surprised. Might not be so explicit, but randomness (ie luck) plays a huge role in filtering process.
I am very curious how the balance of power can be tipped so drastically in the other direction in some places.
In my experience it was enormously difficult to find qualified candidates, especially if HR or recruiters were allowed to pre-filter candidates using relatively superficial judgments. A fizzbuzz test easily eliminated more than 80%.
Certainly one wants an edge, what I find confounding is that none of the advice dealt with proving actual ability as much as being shinier and flashier than the next candidate. I guess I was naive in thinking that kind of superficiality had diminished relevance in this industry.
> Remove any controversial political views or disparaging remarks about previous employers.
If a person keeps their stupid political views to themselves while at work, it's really not any of their employers business. As far as disparaging remarks go, if it's an awesome company to work for, there shouldn't be anything to worry about.
If your employees have to be as fake as possible to get hired, maybe you're doing it wrong.
I often pick my nose, scratch my ass, tell rude jokes, love wearing sweatpants, and don't have a problem with embarrassing-to-most sexual conversations. Do I engage in these things on a first date as I might on a day to day basis with friends? No.. I dress up a bit, smell a bit better than usual, steer clear of politics and sexual jokes. So it goes when seeking a job.
That's what I take issue with. I think for most people, the majority of their internet use isn't in a professional context, and I see no reason it should be used to judge them professionally. My Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and even GitHub accounts aren't professional things. I'm an adult, I know the difference between work and non-work, and I only work for companies that also know the difference.
If you present a pretty good face that isn't the expected one, it won't work-- frequently they want the drone.
Of course, politics goes beyond the pageant of professional politicians we call elections. (For example, saying "corporations are illegitimate entities" is political. Or "corporations are structured as dictatorships, and that's where you spend much of your lives". What would we expect a corporate gatekeeper to do, upon seeing that?)
Yes, there are plenty of hiring managers who let their ideology get in the way of making decisions that benefit the business. The companies that have a lot of those won't be around very long. But if you make any political comments online, just pretend that you're on TV and everyone can hear you. In other words, don't be an ass.
I have a few websites. They don't produce much income, but some guys offer their services for hire; thinking I might hire them if they say the right things? I tell them up front, I can't afford to hire them, but some are very persistent.
They send me their resumes, even after telling them I'm a struggling website owner, and I don't make a living doing this work. From my perspective, it's so easy to spot the Real Estate Kings? This one guy wanted me to join his companies, exclusive website forum. He was going to put in a good word, so the the other Winners would let me in. Well, I went to the forum, and it was just this guy and me. Every article was written by him. Every comment on the site was written by this guy. I couldn't belive the verbage this guy was throwing around. His favorite phrase was "Are you interested in monetizing? Followed by "You need to scale!" It's was almost like he memorized that movie about Facebook? And yes, he had a professional, cheesy profile pic. with a tie, and head cocked. Call me old school, but I wouldn't put his picture into Google Image search, but that same cheesy picture came up at least a couple dozen times just in just Images. He used the same portrait pic. in every website--ever created? My point is I had this guy figured out pretty quick. I think, if he didn't try so hard to sound professional, I would have loved to kick around a few ideas I have? And yes, if we meshed, I have a small bank roll I would be willing to risk.
I thought hiring in tech was about abilities? I don't care what a person looks like? It's so easy to spot "The Real Estate Kings" of Coders; I couldn't imagine trying to hide who you are? Yea, scrub the web, if you can, of anything controversial, but be honest? Honesty used to go along way?
Do you really need that Starbucks fueled, go, go, save world with my app, never sleep, positive vib in order to get noticed for employment?
Maybe it's just me, but I'll take the well rounded individual, with some finished projects over a Cheerleader?
"As a general rule, the information obtained and requested through the pre-employment process should be limited to those essential for determining if a person is qualified for the job;...employers should not ask for a photograph of an applicant. If needed for identification purposes, a photograph may be obtained after an offer of employment is made and accepted."
It surprised me when you attached any importance to "a great looking but professional profile pic", since it's such an obvious way for discrimination to work, so I checked if that was allowed. I don't recall being asked for a photo pre-employment in 30 years.
They're not allowed to discriminate on whether your resume contains the right collection of trendy buzzwords either, but that's what HR systems sit and do every day.
You play the game that exists, not the one that's written in statute.
I am surprised that a CEO publicly declares photos to be useful. A photo is clearly bullshit - there's no useful information in a photo (unless it's "here I am accepting $PRESTIGOUS_AWARD last year") - and it raise risk of discrimination claims.
There's lots of useful information in a photo.
A talented HR/CEO can size up a lot of things from it, even from the way the candidate is dressed in the photo.
"Hmm, too old, too quirky looking, doesn't look a good fit for our culture, fucking hipster I hate them, too slopilly dressed don't like working with such guys" etc.
It sounds like I've been wasting my time trying to be a better software developer or hone my skills; the big bucks are waiting for me as soon as I choose to project an artificial persona. My entire life thus far is starting to make a lot of sense.
Another quote is "act as if" - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-robbins/the-law-of-attrac...
Like Mark said, your attitude is at least half as important as your ability to code.
Read all the way through, as he points out that it is not the equipment that matters, its the setup with the reflectors, which can easily be improvised...
1/ Don't use your Facebook profile photo
2/ Don't use anything blurry: photo should be well lit and clear
3/ Don't use a photo that isn't a headshot—make sure your face is clearly visible and smiling
4/ Don't use anything where you're engaging in unprofessional behaviour
Not that your advice is bad -- it's about the same as any college advisor would give -- but to those with whom such fakery leaves a foul taste, just remember the tech industry still has plenty of opportunities where that's unnecessary.
Got a job in a great environment with great colleagues - without having to constantly denying myself.
For me these things work as a filter for companies, where I would not want to work. But for the OP I would first say - get any dev job at all and after that look for a great job to then jump ship.
If this is a serious job solicitation and not just catharsis you are doing it all wrong. Starting with how desperate you are, how proud you made your mom, and how shitty you've been doing and been treated does not make the hirers of desirable jobs want to hire you. If nothing else, go google "just-world hypothesis."
I'm not in a hiring position right now (although I know plenty of hiring managers itching for referrals) but if I were I wouldn't touch you with a 10-foot pole even if on some level you make your plight sympathetic. Why? Because your post radiates "danger, high risk, unprofessional, possibly unstable individual who does not know how to behave in a business setting."
Scrub this and start over.
But I'll quickly qualify that by adding that it can really only be a one-time catharsis. He can't afford to make a habit out of this kind of post. In that sense, I agree with you. Professionalism is important in terms of him getting out of the hole he's in and getting a proper gig, but if he had been professional with this post I'd never have seen it or read it.
Brokedev: My advice would be to follow the recommendations given by "ecliptik" above. Work on your professional development: your resume, LinkedIn, GitHub, etc. Then market yourself like crazy with a good personal blog (showing what you're doing, learning, and experimenting with) and Twitter. Follow programmers you admire, and use Lists on Twitter to create a custom list of RoR developers so you can check out what they're working on and filter out noise. That won't be hard to do. Then keep at it. Make sure you're programming every day. Get involved in an open source project, and get your code on GitHub.
But I actually think he's shown himself to have good character here. He isn't attempting to sabotage the company even though he could. This happened very recently so you'd expect some of the emotions to be raw. I don't think this person is "high risk" if firing them after abusing them means that they're still loyal enough to you to not reveal your identity publicly. It sounds like this person was a trooper right up to the very end and is in fact pretty much the opposite of high risk.
Also please explain where he 'blackmailed' his boss?
Good managers let their employees vent, when necessary, and don't take it personally.
Insecure ones get all uppity about things like that.
Wikipedia: "Blackmail is an act [..] involving unjustified threats to make [..] cause loss to another unless a demand is met."
Regarding your Wikipedia quote, leaving a job in which you are abused and underpaid is not at all unjustified.
And I understand that you don't want to see yourself as a blackmailer.
"I'm more worth than that" and leaving is standing up.
"Give me more money or I leave" is blackmail.
"Regarding your Wikipedia quote, leaving a job in which you are abused and underpaid is not at all unjustified."
Leaving is not the blackmail part, threatening to leave is the blackmail part.
No one would ever be found guilty of blackmail for simply saying "Give me a pay rise or else I'll resign". (But, "Give me a pay rise or else I'll report your illegal activities to the authorities" would be blackmail.) The essence of blackmail is demanding money for an illegitimate reason - money which you are not legitimately due - and there is nothing inherently illegitimate about demanding a pay rise. It simply means that you put a different value on your own labour than your employer currently does, and if you and they cannot reach agreement on that value, you'll look for someone else with whom you agree more.
It is absolutely the correct call. He was being taken advantage of. He used his only point of leverage to get a fairer deal.
And it's not extortion because the "threat" was not wrongful; the boss is not his owner nor is he entitled to his work.
The word you're looking for is haggling, and it's a common part of negotiations.
HN regularly mentions the book "how to win friends and influence people" or talks about hacking various interpersonal processes.
This is just an interpersonal hack. Saying "give me more money or I'll leave" causes many - but admittedly not all - managers to respond with "go ahead and leave then", even when the manager knows that replacing the leavig employee will require a higher wage than the employee is currently getting and some expenditure on the recruitment process.
People are not rational and they do mot make rational decisions. We know that management, and recruitment, is very broken.
Blackmail is defined as a demand for money in exchange for not revealing compromising or injurious information.
"Give me more money or I will publish these naked photos of you" is blackmail.
One of those is illegal. The other one isn't.
"This bounty hunter is my kind of scum, Fearless and Inventive"
When dealing with sociopaths,, to negotiate from a position of strength; you need to have an offer in hand from another employer, because it is very likely that you could be fired on the spot when you confront this type of individual. The sociopath doesn't care, and will just find someone else to exploit.
What he did was give his boss an entirely reasonable ultimatum.
I can see how it might seem threatening to someone who feels threatened by the thought of an employee standing up for himself.
WRT your definition of blackmail, I'm getting "the action, treated as a criminal offense, of demanding money from a person in return for not revealing compromising or injurious information about that person." It's a VERY specific term having to do with hidden information.
What you cited seems closer to the definition of extortion ("the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats"), but frankly, as long as what you're threatening to do is legal, that's business.
Your relationship with your employer is first and foremost a business relationship - they are not your best friend, your family, or your surrogate father. You have no obligation to play nice with their feelings.
I understand your impulse to not give in to an employee that demands like this, but you need to drop the moralizing BS - what you're saying is "they know what they're worth and I can't afford to pay that, so I'll only hire employees who don't know what they're worth". Sound accurate?
That is bs, leaving is the only leverage you have as an employee. If you do't use it, you might have a problem, because you lack the ability to negotiate. The age of feudalism is over you know...
To be fair, this could have been wrapped up in some better language, like "I don't think my salary is reflecting my talents", but in the end it all boils down to leaving for a better opportunity
A manager who knows someone is worth it but would still rather let me go than pay market price for their labor (because he doesn't like negotiating when he's not in a position of absolute power) is probably doing so because he can't man up and negotiate with someone his own size figuratively speaking. The stereotypical "I'm not letting a woman tell me what to do." sort of insecurity/attitude.
Employees have been "on the bottom" in the traditional work relationship for so long, it can seem "unfair" to employers to have to deal with employees on a more level playing field.
that's exactly how salary negotiations work. If I don't do a good enough job, you demote or fire me. If I do a good enough job AND the market says I should make X, then X - Y isn't fucking good enough, and you should be warned that I'm happy to find an employer that WILL pay me what I ask for.
Sounds like he gave the job his all, but given his situation in life, I don't know how else he could have reacted to this. Added to that he doesn't really have the support of his wife since she doesn't yet know.
My point is that a lot of factors are at play, so labelling him as unprofessional is a bit unfair to him at the moment. He's in panic mode.
The important thing is that he's just venting, and trying to use his bad experience to his advantage. Let's say you get a resume from a web developer with some factory experience, some design experience and an internship. If you check his references you might hear that he was fired and that he acted unprofessionally. Maybe that he had "unrealistic salary expectations", or that "his personal life got in the way of work". (Because the CEO clearly was an ahole).
He had some bad luck, tried to do a good job and now he's in a tough spot. I think that's easy to sympathize with.
As someone who actually hires people, allow me to assure the poster that nothing about his story says anything of the sort.
It screams "person of good faith who got taken advantage of by an asshole."
I'm kind of curious, if you're willing to give a general corner of industry. I can't think of anything that doesn't have "bad boy" characters. Seems like any federal agent kind of person would attract attention from the CIA. A doctor maybe? Still seems like someone willing to write off-topic prescriptions would command more salary.
It's actually kind of tough to think of a profession that needs to be perfectly ethical, and also appear to be perfectly ethical. Aerospace designers kill test pilots. SEC agents that appear to be on the take probably get bribed more often than the squeaky clean.
Maybe there's some corner of insurance that having a reputation would endanger your employer somehow. Everything i can think of right now implies higher salary.
I just don't think this case is analogous. mchurch became instantly infamous with all Googlers, which made him radioactive in a big swath of the upper tier of the software industry, not just in NYC but also CA and other tech hubs. In contrast, this guy posted one thread to Hacker News that (from what I can tell) is fairly anonymized. Maybe folks close to him will recognize that this is his story, and maybe in his local dev community word will get around that he wrote it. But he's looking for remote work, and I think it extremely unlikely that he'll go to apply for a remote job a year from now and they will somehow connect him to this post.
Just want to clarify my meaning here. The intent is really a more frank and critical version of mmaunder's advice above.
When I say he is unprofessional, I'm not talking about per se what he did at work, how he left (involuntarily), or his reaction. That was more amateurish, which isn't exactly "professional," but not unprofessional. He should have set expectations and negotiated better and harder earlier. He should have done a job search on the DL so he had something lined up before giving an ultimatum; the writing was on the wall anyway. Woulda shoulda coulda. Well, coding and negotiating skills are not correlated. Join the club. Hopefully he will learn and do better next time.
What is unprofessional is posting a pseudonymous rant to Hacker News with your email address and "begging for work."
Posting a pseudonymous "My shitty employer shafted me" story to HN would be spot on. But turning that into a job solicitation is a huge, unprofessional blunder. Yeah, he touched a nerve and got bumped up the page. Yeah, he's probably going to be inundated with offers. Charity offers for weak positions of the kind he left. Maybe he won't be screwed over hard, but he won't be treated like a professional and get the terms he could if he were working from a position of strength, competence, confidence and success. He'll get an offer consistent with desperation. Do you want to work at a company that seeks out desperate candidates as your colleagues?
The fact is, if you want $75K, you have to find someone who thinks you are worth $75K. If you don't have a degree or a distinguished resume, you've got a lot to prove even in a tight job market for engineers. The way you do that is show that you kick ass on the front end and can lay down code with the next guy, and communicate your worth and expectations with confidence.
But yeah, those of you who think a self-pitying rant about starving in a trailer and getting fired from his first glorified internship in a winning career strategy, you do what works for you.
What does that mean?! Erase the tumblr post?
And start over, not with another tumblr post, but with a legitimate career hunt.
2. Keep looking for new opps. Get your CV out to as many places. Keep your hopes up. Spend time with your kids in the mean time. Kids are great company when you are "present with them".
3. Note for yourself: get numbers in writing before making changes to your life about opportunities.
4. Never use the word Fuck or any other expletives or crass language in any communique where you have the moral high ground. That just makes you look like the guilty one. Don't give the fuckers that chance.
Good luck bro.
I really can't post my personal account names publicly, that would give away the company and, as I've said previously, I do really like the dev team. My team leader has a kid as well and works his ass off, and I want to see that pay off for him when they get through some of the deals they're working on. There are other devs there who are really good people, including one whom I consider a friend. They all depend on it as well. Who am I to fuck with their livelihood to screw with a guy who's going to be rich regardless?
Hell, I'm not mad at the CEO either. I don't really understand if he's just forgetful, but he claims in the emails that he never said any of that about my salary. He's been running around to meetings, so I get why I'd be the last thing on his mind.
To those wondering about the financials, I know that one of their rivals (with what I consider an inferior product) is in the billion dollar club, and they're set to be profitable very soon.
"I don't blame my boyfriend, he only beats me when I deserve it."
You learn many valuable lessons on that first job. One of them is that if they pay you cheaply initially they will almost never see you as "valuable" after that. It's just human nature. Another lesson is that the best way to get a raise is to switch jobs.
HN's patio11 has perhaps the most awesome blog post on salary negotiations. http://www.kalzumeus.com/2012/01/23/salary-negotiation/
Good luck and stay strong bro.
I remember at my second job, I discovered that a co-worker who worked there longer, made less money than I did, and I considered myself underpaid. And that was actually a pretty nice company with decent founders. The co-worker started there as a student I think, and maybe he was never assertive enough in asking for raises, or maybe a bunch of 5% raises still don't amount to much if you start low enough.
Whatever the case, I learned through personal experience that the best way to get a raise is to switch jobs. For some reason, it seems you have more leverage with a prospective employer than with a current one.
The good news is that when I left I they gave him a huge raise, I think they doubled his salary.
edit: I wrestled with bringing this up, but you mention several times what kind of laptop you had versus what kind your coworkers had and that you bought an unaffordable laptop for a part time internship. You can usually find passable used laptops on craigslist and such that are very inexpensive. Getting by on one of those is a lot more impressive than a loaded out Macbook, so why should this have mattered to you?
Of course, being an experienced developer, I know that the way to remedy that is not with complaints about fairness -- decision makers might not even have realized that was what I was using. Rather, pointing out the productivity benefits of having hardware similar to other devs usually seems to suffice. (Spec out a machine, propose it, etc.) It's not your machine, it's the company's, and it lets you be a more productive resource.
We all got what we were looking for. It's just a question of when you don't need that basic training anymore. Sounds like that time came for you around the same time it did for me. I can tell you - at that point, the only way up is out. You are much, much more employable now. Don't "beg for work" ... present yourself well and ask for market-rate. You said that's $75,000 in your area? Better yet, say you're looking for a range of $80-90k and see what they say.
I've got a question for you, and maybe an idea. Did you sign a non-compete agreement beyond just your term of employment?
Even if you did, it might not be enforceable in your state. Go to the billion-dollar rival and tell them how you've got almost a year of domain expertise under your belt working on a similar product. You're looking for that next step - full-time Software Engineer, and a chance to build on what you already know. You're able to make clear comparisons between the two offerings, and I bet you have some ideas about how theirs could be the best of both worlds. Oh, and when they ask you...
"Why did you leave your previous job?"
Don't panic. 18 story points on your last week, remember? You're a sharp web developer who rapidly rose in value - far faster than your perceived value to a CEO who forever saw you as "the cheap intern." Since you couldn't reach an agreement that met your salary requirements, you parted ways. Now you're able to devote more of your time to the search. That's all you need to say - so practice saying it with confidence.
Email real people at the target company (email is the new cover letter) or start asking questions on Twitter - don't just drop your resume in an upload. Start a conversation. Get your Team Lead and as many coworkers as possible to jump in with recommendations, when they ask for references.
My next offer after the internship was a real one, at market salary in Silicon Valley. There's light at the end of the first-job tunnel. It's tough now, but please believe me when I say it does get better.
This is the third time this month I've heard of a startup "CEO" screwing their employees out of pay and/or benefits, specifically exploiting 'interns' or severely low-balling entry level hires who don't know better. Startups are hard. They're supposed to be hard - you're trying to build something big without the resources of a big company. That means you can't pay what a big company would pay. That doesn't mean you get to screw people over.
As a founder you have three options:
- Do tons more work as a founder. Fill in the gaps you can't hire for on your own, until you can pay to get that help. That's why you get the equity, and that's how you build your founding team.
- Be up front with people about what they can expect in terms of pay, especially early on. Let them know about the risk. Hope your idea and the state of the company so far excites them enough to join anyway. Work your ass off to improve their situation and get them to stay.
- Lie to people, obscure expectations, and basically screw up people's lives because you want to be the next Steve Jobs.
The first two are not only ethical, but pragmatic. Being able to do things on your own is a prerequisite to being a founder, and it means you need to take on less investment, you get to keep more of the company. Being able to put your ass on the line by letting people know the real risks is the way to build a strong, loyal team of tough people.
If you're going to be a founder, mull that stuff over. Accept that this is hard. You don't get to pretend it's not, because that will bite you in the ass a hundred different ways.
I didn't graduate from a uni either, and always get passed. But that was years ago. I'm lucky to have the recent two companies I work with are awesome.
I hope these will help you out:
As an expat, this has been very frustrating for me recently since it excludes seemingly 75%+ of remote positions. I went from generating tens of millions of dollars of revenue for startups to being unable to get a reply from startups when applying for their remote positions.
I've heard this complaint before; it's absolutely ridiculous. You can get plenty of developers for nearly any technology as long as you stop offering pathetic wages. It's a seller's market, deal with it.
Unfortunately there are some states that have refused to setup the exchanges and take federal funding. The best advice there is to move out as soon as it's financially feasible. It's an awful situation and I wish you luck.
edit: Also contact everyone you worked directly with (find them on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) and ask if they know anyone hiring, have contacts, etc. Anything to get some leads or get your foot in the door somewhere.
(About your former boss: I know that in most states, employers can fire you at any time for any reason, but generally you'd expect them to actually fire you, not just delete your slack account. Makes me wonder if he was planning on telling you at all or if he instead intended to just stop payment on your paycheck and hope you'd figure it out for yourself. What an asshole.)
The only ones that get remote jobs are either very senior, have proven track record or they are free-lancers. So I'd say keep looking for it every once in awhile but focus on getting a local job.
And always be learning. Always try to work on side project. It will help learn and also may turn out to be an income source.
You also don't state which city/location you're in; that could be useful for potential employers.
It may also be worth checking out if there's anything in last weeks HN Who's Hiring post to see if anything suits you: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10152809
My condolences that you're going through this. You did good demanding what you're worth. contact any tech headhunter in your area, and you'll find work in no time.
This is so true. An offer changes the dynamic of the negotiation totally. I think the psychology and economics goes like this: If there is no counter offer, then the company would pay just more for the monthly asset they will likely have any how.
However, if there is a direct offer they are competing with, it means there is on the balance an acute need to find and train a replacement - one whom might actually cost more than the current employee is paid. Also, the value of the employee is validated by his demand in the job market.
The emotions, which will be present but subdued in a professional setting, are also different. Without a counteroffer, the employee will just sound greedy. With a counter offer, the employee is actually generous by offering the current employer a chance to save in hiring and training costs (unless the new wage is ridiculously high).
Silly and strange world we live in.
Sorry for the language guys, but guess we all know someone like that boss!
It's not that hard when you're single but the things are totally different when you had a family and kids. The situation can drag you to any point when it comes to a hungry brother, sister or children. I know, I've been there (thank god it's a history now).
But the good news is, you are really valuable. I mean, you are a ruby developer. You'd be having £400/£450 per day if you were a contractor in London/UK.
So don't give up yet! Check the links other users provided and open a linkedin account as suggested as well as job site accounts and upload your CV. Just hold on couple of weeks and I am sure things will be better.
Hacker News is a great community. So keep us updated and let us see what we can do about it.
Also it might be useful if you can tell us where are you based (I may have missed that if it's already in the article).
Although I'm working on contract in Japan at the moment, I spent the last 2 years working in London and interviewing people for positions almost every day. Entry level for a good Ruby dev is £30-40K for a full time position. Some companies pay higher (some significantly higher), but they will only hire one in 1000 applicants, probably. There are still people in London making £22K per year as a full time Ruby dev.
And, no, you can not live on £22K per year in London :-P
Entry-level for a good junior engineer is what you say it is, however senior/lead probably reaches around £100k for particularly impressive candidates, and finishes at around £60-80K for other engineers.
Contracting on the other hand seems to top out at about £650 pd. There £300-400 is entry-level, £400-450 is mid-level or low-end senior, and £500+ is high-end senior, architect or lead. Generally you get more if you work for financial institutions and have a skill that is extremely difficult to recruit for. Basically it's generally not about how good you are - that is the wrong frame. It's about how cleverly you have fit a pain point within the market.
My numbers might be a little wrong but it should give a general feel.
It's certainly unfortunate that there are engineers that are only making £22K but ultimately in many cases it's low confidence in testing the market. They can get more.
400 GBP is low end dev. Companies such as Accenture rent out juniors for a lot more than that.
No, I don't. I mean, I've had a seriously awful boss before, but even he wasn't this sociopath.
No matter what transpired between the OP and his boss, that is not how you fire someone with a family. Period.
You can hate the guy. You can think he's terrible. You can wish him all the ill in the world, but if there's a family involved, you give them notice and you help them move on.
Anything less than that, you're just a selfish asshole.
Back in 2013, my daughter was born and within 2 days I was laid off from my position as IT Manager at a small MSP in Dallas.
No college degree at the time, no savings, wife and I were not working. The one thing I did have though (fortunately) was experience in the industry - about 8 years of IT experience (dev, systems engineering, architecture, management).
I freaked out initially - the stress of a new kid, no money kind of ate at me. For not only was I a dad (a young one at that), but also now my family has no income (wife was on maternity leave).
The first thing I did was head to a local coffee shop and busted out my laptop.
I hadn't edited my resume in a few years. I deleted everything and started over. I knew this crappy employer wasn't going to dictate my families future. I also knew what I was worth.
I immediately got on LinkedIn and started connecting with everyone I knew/asked for references and then started connecting with hiring managers at prospective companies.
I created a burner phone number (google voice number) and used this on my resume - then created a Monster, Dice and Careerbuilder accounts (to attract headhunters) and filled out those profiles entirely.
Having not spent a lot of time in a few years looking at salaries in different segments of IT, I spent a few hours figuring out what in the hell I wanted to do - and what would make me some $$$.
I found that in the Dallas/Fort Worth area (at the time), Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and VMware were heavily searched terms by recruiters on LinkedIn and Indeed.com.. I started looking at what I could do to leverage my current knowledge/skills and find a lucrative position.
After spending a few hours researching, I found that I could leverage my systems (Windows/*Nix) administration experience and help developers deploy their code. I was pretty good with Python and was interested in learning Ruby.
Bingo - DevOps!!
I found what interested me - the best of both worlds and I started targeting my job searches/applications towards that.
By the end of the day, I had a call from a local recruiting agency looking for Cloud and DevOps engineers. By the next morning I was on the phone with the hiring manager - and by the end of the day (3 phone interviews later) I had an offer in my inbox ($90K more than my last job).
What you went through completely sucks. Don't beg. Show people that you can get shit done. Do the work, be the prize.
I am a single dude with no family of my own, but I will say a few things:
A) When you are looking for a job - make friends with headhunters. Do everything you can to get unsolicited phone calls/emails from them as much as you can. Post your resume on Monster and make a really good/clean profile. I also recommend doing this on StackOverflow and Indeed as well.
The whole point is to get these headhunters to work for you. Yeah you will eventually start getting 20-30 emails a day from them and the same number of phone calls. A lot will be for jobs in completely random cities. Filter them out, anything that looks pretty good - follow up on it. (For the love of god, use a burner number, you will regret it later if you don't)
B) Use LinkedIn and Indeed to your advantage. With Indeed for instance, you can setup a profile as a company and search key terms in specific geo areas looking for talent. As someone looking for a job - you can do the same thing. Make your employee profile, then make a profile for "your" company and see where you stand in the listings.
On LinkedIn, I highly recommend upgrading to a Job Seeker paid plan (if you can do it - they sometimes have a free trial too). That will give you access to see who has viewed your profile (for longer periods of time), where you stack up against other candidates for LinkedIn job posts, plus you get a few InMail credits to use.. USE them! Find companies in your area - from startups to big corporations and just start connecting with anyone you can. When you get to a Director of IT, or VP of Engineering, start asking about potential opportunities within the company. Develop a connection with them and the folks in HR (actual internal recruiters). Polish your resume, your CV and LinkedIn profile. Don't be afraid to send messages (shit have a form message ready to go if you need to).
Lastly, don't ever give up. As other posters have said - you can get a job, if you make it your fulltime job. A big part of finding a job is hustling.
If you have less than 2 years of dev experience, I highly recommend brushing up your GitHub account, maybe working on a small coding project to showcase your skills.
I don't know where you live, so it is not fair to comment on salary - as that is super variable according to where you live.
Actually one of the things that was encouraging during the past few months was remarks from former employees that [CEO] is a dick, but [Company] pay is what makes it worth it.
Also for a laugh / attitude change take a look at this flowchart  which is geared to graphic designers who always get asked to do work for free. In your case substitute "intern" in there and "reduced salary" for free. You've got a lot of valuable skills and people should pay accordingly.
Don't be afraid to ask for a reasonable salary, even if it was 2x what you were making before. While this sounds easy to do, practice doing it with some friends in a mock interview. You want to be prepared when going in for an interview and not asking for the right salary is a big mistake a lot of programmers make as they want to avoid confrontation. Become comfortable with asking it and you'll get what you want.
That said, revenge can only hurt you. You need a job, and unless you have a legal case against him, there's nothing you can do about him right now. You need to think about you and your family, not about the shitty boss.
That's why he was able and willing to screw you over like that.
Here's a brief overview: http://www.sociopathworld.com/p/portrait-of-sociopath.html .. but the rabbit hole goes pretty fucking deep.
While I sympathize with your situation, it serves as a good reminder to others that you should put off having kids until you're financially secure.
On a more positive note, just "fake it till you make it", and everything will be alright. There are plenty of dev jobs out there.
It's good to be aware of these facts, sure. Reading a one sided three paragraph description is not sufficient evidence.
In general, it's good to be "rigorous", but in this case, it's not.
In a relationship or work setting, people should be mainly judged by their actions. Hurtful things should not be ignored and people should be made responsible for their actions. I agree it's good to be aware of typical pathological personality types so people who end up in relationships with them have some framework to work with their problems and even identify a bad case and leave.
Sure, taking advantage of people is a thing that comes easily to psychopaths. But there are lots of other personality disorders and ways to act like one.
Was the CEO actually lying or just trying to squirm out of an emotionally uncomfortable position for as long as possible? The situation sucks for the OP and there are absolutely horrible employers, even psychopaths out there - but really, there's not enough data to make those claims even if you are an experienced therapist or a psychiatrist.
The setting you're in has no bearing on whether people actually differ greatly based on their neurological makeup, though, so I don't see how that matters.
We're not on the same page here, but that's to be expected, even if you're actually not a psychopath yourself.
But what the world really needs to know is that because the difference between humans and psychopaths is so counter-intuitively vast, even seemingly small things are strong signs that someone is a psychopath.
For example, if someone keeps talking over you, he's probably a psychopath. Because he has no respect for you as a human being, he'll just casually interrupt you whenever he feels like saying something.
An actual human being wouldn't do that, because he naturally respects you as another human being.
You can't tell that someone is a psychopath without having actual psychiatric credentials and actually performing diagnostics on the patient.
"For example, if someone keeps talking over you, he's probably a psychopath."
I'm pretty sure that it does not suffice as evidence.
You're focusing on the wrong thing - on the specific action and not on the feeling it generates. A non professional individual seldom has enough experience on personality disorders to tell what exactly is wrong. This means collecting anecdotal evidence has little value unless one knows the subject really intimately. But one can trust ones feelings.
The key to identifying difficult people is first realizing that the interactions with the person leave you mostly feeling worse. Not in a single interaction, mind you, but over time. That is probably a good time to read a "how to deal with difficult people" guidebook and assess ones situation.
The diagnostics part should be left to professionals.
But you're not a psychiatric professional so how could you possibly identify "difficult people" like that? :p
Even if it happens over and over again with some specific individual, you're still not in a position to conclude anything based on that, because you lack psychiatric credentials!
It seems to me that a lot (most?) of the head hunters on linkedin use a "shotgun approach" to recruiting where they basically just send you a message if you have a random matching keyword in your profile, ignoring actual details of your skills, ability to relocate/location, seniority, wage expectations etc.
So you might easily get a full inbox, but going from that to a real position might not be trivial.
I don't approve your ex boss behaviour but sometimes companies struggle to get your pay check at the end of the month, it really depends on companies.
One advice: Being "good with computers" does not means that you're worth a 75K wage. When someone in India does Rails apps cheaper, you need the skills to prove 75K and even more. Having a college degree proves that you've learnt the basic toolset to be able to solve problems, however you can learn it on your own. Your challenge is to prove you posses those skills without a diploma. It's possible, I'm a drop out myself, but it's takes time, effort and networking to get there.
I can help with your CV. That's something you can improve right now (besides active Twitter account/Github/Blog) to start shooting for jobs. I haven't been in your situation before but have dealt with such management, so I understand the feeling. Let me know if I can help. My contact is in my profile, or you can reach out to me via Twitter @rebyn.
It's kind of ridiculous that he was "cut out" from a job like some kind of child who was no longer part of the "club". It's grossly unprofessional to disconnect an employee without any due process or policy.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised given the events leading up to the situation.
In the US, it depends on what state the company is headquartered. Many are "right to work" states, which means any employee can be fired so long as it is not for reasons such as age, sex, weight, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation.
In those states, an employee literally can be fired for a reason such as "you upset the owner" with no further obligations.
Right to work means that you can work for an employer without having to join a union or pay union dues. Right to work is used in conservative states to keep unions from forming.
Employment-at-will means your employer or you can terminate the employment relationship for (most) any reason whatsoever. If you are an employer, you can fire someone for wearing the wrong color shirt (This really happened). If you are the employee, you can say "I quit" and leave with no notice for not having coffee available in the workplace (also, really happened at one of my previous employers).
The problem with employment-at-will is that the employer has more power because the employer-employee relationship is asymmetrical.
We need to teach this stuff in high school civics so everyone can see how disgusting employment-at-will really is.
You are right, I used the wrong term (Right to Work) where I meant "Employment at Will." Thank you for pointing this out as they are different.
While 22 states practice Right to Work laws, Employment at Will appears to be much more prevalent:
Virtually all states are employment at
will states, meaning that all states
uphold the Doctrine to some degree. To
what degree states uphold the Doctrine
regarding employers' rights to discharge
employees varies by state.
2 - http://employeeissues.com/at_will_states.htm
Professionalism is a concept that serves mostly to keep employees orderly. There's frequently no real professionalism in one-way relationships.
You can search for keywords like "remote" and "rails".
"That I’d been told $75k was reasonable, and that I would have to look for work elsewhere if it was going to be $44k."
That was a dumb move. Why tell the boss anything? He should have thanked the boss, gone back to work and started interviewing while he had a job. He let his pride get in his way.
When people promise something x in the future, without any official contract I automatically assume that its not going to arrive. It's just carrot. Expect the worst, and be a bit stoic. In many ways less gain now, is better than larger potential gain later because of the risk you take.
Don't try to forcefully negotiate, or use ultimatums without any BATNA. When he broke his promise, don't say anything. Find another offer, come back and say I have offer x now, bye. Maybe he will give a counter-offer if he really cared.
I've learned this from experience.
This was a painful realization I had to make, and I've pretty recently acted on it even though my employer probably had genuinely positive intentions. It was a short-term change that I'd have loved, but they wouldn't put anything in writing -- even an email -- about a long-term commitment that this would be my new job. I had to not believe them.
I really wish employers would stop talking about "our culture" also. "Culture" and culture-worship are just another attempt at enforcing loyalty in a world where everyone knows loyalty is dead.
A few notes
- Obviosuly, don't apply to jobs you lack skills for
- Similarly, don't apply to jobs you wouldn't be a good fit for
- Keep your Upwork profile up to date
- Use the Github, LinkedIn, etc accounts integrations. This helps clients verify your experience skill-set
- Don't be afraid to adapt your profile to the job you are applying for
- Be sure your rate matches your experience. If you're billing $100/hour but can't prove your skill-set, experience or the value you provide you won't get hired.
Since 2010 I've worked from a few hours a week, to part-time and in full-time capacity on Upwork. Its gotten me connected to a lot of great startups (mostly SF) and recurring gigs. However, it was very difficult getting started.
All this being said if you're based in the US and can verify your skills you have a lot better chance of landing quality gigs than your international counterparts putting in very low bids.
Any good lawyer in this area will give you a free consultation. This is not legal advice and I am not a lawyer. A qualified lawyer will be able to determine the possible merits of the case. It is not unusual to sue your past employer in these kinds of cases. In some areas it is very common.
1) You are good dev and teamplayer, as other respected you, just that other guy steal the day somehow. Who knows, maybe he is someone closer to CEO or he managed to sell himself really good (CEOs often think like this: this new guy is expensive, have shiny CV, hence it is good. BMW is expensive and shiny, hence BMW is a good car).
2) I'm sorry you used the word f* during the talk, but it's not bad, this is your first real work after all. To be honest, your destiny has been determined long time ago when CEO started to look for alternative, so no matter how polite, honest or hard working you were, you would get fired at some point.
3) As others mentioned here, don't beg for work. Make your profile/blog looking professional, remove that post we all read here and write about Rails tricks you learn on daily basis. Write about it in weekly or bi-weekly span. Use blog to write about life, your kids and family (under different tag), so recruiters can see how positive you are (also CEOs and recruiters looooove devs with family as they can be easily locked within the company).
4) Start your own small business. You do have experience with plastics plants, go to your previous employer and ask to create a web page or a management tool for him. Offer it for free or a small fee; offer free support. You will see that people will start calling you after some time.
Be patient and the work will come. And good luck!
Holy fuck. I work as a full time C++ developer with a couple years of experience now and I make $30k/year. And I have a first class Masters Degree in compute science. Games industry man.
It's a small market with a zillion people who want to work in it. They benefit from "paying" people with "working in the industry they love." That said, $30,000 for 40-hour weeks is now literally less than minimum wage in some states. Seems suspiciously low.
If you want a job fast use linkedin and recruiters to your advantage. There's loads of recruiting companies that are waiting for people like you. Getting a job with some IT skills is very easy, don't expect a well-paying job as a junior ruby tester though and make it clear to recruiters what you need.
I mean really, coming back less than a year later and demanding nearly TWICE the salary? Come on.
If brokedev really thought he was being underpaid, he should have tried to silently get another job while he was still employed. Then he could see the market realities for what a programmer with 8 months of work experience is really worth. If he could find a job that offered him $75k, then he could go back to the CEO and say: "I am worth $75k because someone else is willing to pay it, but you were the one who took a chance on me so if you can match the salary I would rather stay with you."
Then he wouldn't be in this mess in the first place.
It's sad how self-righteous some people are these days. No sense of honor or dignity for themselves or the people who try to help them out.
I agree brokdev did many things wrong, namely not communicating concretely what he expected his salary to be. I've been in that position before where, because of in my case were insecurities, I did not communicate clearly what pay I was expecting. Secondly, I agree he should have looked for another job before things came to a head like that. Thirdly, he may have been lucky to get that job opportunity initially, although I'm not too familiar with tech hiring markets.
However, you clearly say "EVERYTHING", and I think that the company too did things wrong. Just as he did not communicate, the CEO did not communicate what he was projecting. The CEO should have, in my opinion, given a ballpark range at least. I think that it is reasonable otherwise for brokedev to have expected comparable salary to his coworkers, unless something is missing from this story.
Secondly, for the CEO, I am bothered that he did not buy the equipment for the guy. How much is 1.5k for company to spend, consider they spend it on every other employee really? That in my opinion is very disrespectful of them.
Thirdly, and again I'm giving brokdev the benefit of doubt in how he portrayed the story, the way the CEO handled the firing was in my opinion very unprofessional.
Just because a person is in a situation where maybe they do not have a lot of options, doesn't mean that you should take advantage of them. I think brokdev was taken advantage of. Maybe you think same which is why you make throwaway account for your post?
to brokdev, my 2 cents:
- You should have communicated your salary requirements clearly, even though it might be scary to hear no. Better to get the no sooner rather than later.
- Doesn't do much for you but good luck! I unfortunately don't know any positions atm.
Because then he'd have been out of a couple of months of cheap labour. You got screwed. He set out to screw you right from the start. It sucks. Not the entire industry is like that, but your boss is clearly an asshole. And worst of it is that there's no way to get payback, because what he did is probably totally legal where you live.
E.g., for jobs in the US, fire
the fathers and mothers and
hire single men at maybe half
the salary and work them
maybe 80 hours a week.
It appears that maybe the situation
is better in the Scandinavian countries.
Still, in the more advanced countries,
e.g., US, England, Germany,
the Scandinavian countries, the native
populations are going extinct, i.e.,
not having enough babies. So, there's
no room for families, mothers, children.
Extinct? In Finland, the average
number of children born per woman
is 1.5 instead of the minimum for
a stable population of 2.1. So,
(2.1/1.5)^10 = 29
single men and fire
I recommend following
1. Get examples of your work online somewhere. Quick. It should be neat, professional. Easy to view. It means a real URL like yourname.org or something like it. Check out personal blogs/tutorial sites of other developers to get ideas.
I had a hardest time finding a linux support position, because I had been out of work awhile. I think what really helped me get current job was having a blog with examples of my work (scripts/howto) online. You should make it easy for the recruiter/manager/future-coworkers to accurately judge your skill, and resume is worthless.
Github is good. But for me, it was a hand coded html/css website. Didn't use wordpress either. Put it up asap but don't spend all your time on it. Put something up quick, go apply for jobs, and keep coming back every few days or once a week to check for typos/improvements to fix/add. The process is much like writing a paper or a book.
Remember this URL/website is like your brand. More important than your resume.
2. You mentioned working in a plastic factory before. Now this may sound weird/frivolous, but look at yourself in the mirror. Do you see someone who looks like a tech worker? Or a factory worker? Do you wear t-shirts like the other coders in the office wear? Rails T-shirt? Linux T-shirt? Near haircut? Shaved?
A lot of job matching is about image. Do you project the image of a Rails guy? Or a plastic factory guy?
3. You shared your story about your family and your living situation. I'd keep that story away from recruiters/managers/coworkers. Keep it vague. Nothing about shame or being poor. You just want to look like someone who can fit in. Weird but remember the whole culture-fit stuff at tech shops.
4. You said f* to the jackaxx ceo. Please don't do it. Sure, you were upset and he was taking advantage of you when you desperately needed the money for your family (not even for yourself). I know you were not trying to make big bucks to drive a BMW, but rather for your family. Still, no need to say f word to higherups. You don't have to go down to the gutter he's in.
Best revenge is living well. And being a Rails coder, it should be relatively easy.
If the author is reading this, you should know that your post was very lucid and engaging. Much better than most of stuff posted on Tumblr.
You seems very capable and determined, you should consider freelancing. Please keep us posted on your progress.
I just can't be sympathetic with the desperate tone -- yes, I get it, other devs earn more money, and a Ruby pro can probably get upwards of 70 or 80k. But making it sound like you're on the brink of poverty with 40k? You're spending too much.
The laptop cost keeps getting mentioned as a huge factor, but a MacBook is $2000 at most, and it can be had for a lot less, especially if you buy second hand.
Don't get me wrong, his treatment at that company was far from fair. And he could and probably should get a job elsewhere. But the drama is non-existent here.
He's living in a trailer with a wife and 4 kids, one of whom's severely autistic. At $44,600, his family is at 137% of the federal poverty level.
He should have not had any kids until he was stable enough, let alone four. With his previous job at a factory too?
$5k/mo rent exists in SV, but if you're paying that much, it's because you choose to, not because you have to.
I love this industry, but it sickens me when people on six figures moan about how they're 'so poor' or 'hardly make anything' and try to distort the numbers to make it sound bad.
So yes, "probably take home less than you" is definitely moaning and has no substance. It's playing to the "omg, I'm so poor" crap that's prevalent in some parts of our industry.
Living expenses are higher in first-world countries and that does need to be taken into account, but claiming to have less money than someone on a quarter of your wage "because tax and rent" is nonsensical self-pity.
1. Tell your wife ASAP about the job situation. No matter what stress she is under, learning about it later may cause serious problems. She can help you (emotionally and in trying to find answers to your problems). The better off you are emotionally, the better chance you have of finding a job quickly.
2. I've seen stories like yours a lot in my career. Some people are selfish. A disproportionate number of these seem to end up in management/entrepreneur roles (luckily, not all!!!). To your boss you were merely a source of cheap labour. Take the "cheap" out of the equation and he was not interested any more. I'm afraid that this is probably not the last time you will run into this, so be prepared.
3. This is locking-the-door-after-the-horses-have-bolted kind of advice, but if you find yourself in a similar situation (it happens a lot in this industry): get the new job first and negotiate for salary second. It's horrible, but that's the way you have to do it.
4. If you get the new job first, think hard about whether or not you really want to negotiate salary in the first job. If in doubt, don't negotiate -- just leave. I tell my employers up front that I don't negotiate salary, so they have to be prepared to offer me enough that I will accept. They won't get a second chance.
5. Remote working with no academic background and 8 months of experience means that the next job is going to be tough to find. Keep at it, even if you have to take another job doing something else in the mean time. Eventually you will make it, though you may be in for some difficulty for a couple of years. Trust me on this one.
6. I hate to say it (I really do), but depending on where you live, your salary expectations may not be reasonable. For example, $45K USD is very nearly $30K GBP. In London, I can get university graduates with intern experience lining up outside my door for that salary. In hourly wage it represents $22.50 per hour worked (8 hour day -- excluding holidays). That's 2-4x minimum wage in the US. If you are offered that salary again, I advise you to take it. Just do whatever it takes to keep working (easy for me to say, I know). Keep looking for the bigger payout and don't worry about "loyalty" for now. Once someone respects you enough to offer you a good wage, then work on building a good relationship with them so that you can grow together.
- It may take you some time to find another job. In the mean time, spend every free second you have writing code. Build an amazing portfolio. Some people don't care about it, but I have gotten good jobs from my side projects.
Again, the biggest thing I have to say is not to get too upset or disappointed. Just keep moving forward -- even an inch is enough. Whatever you can do right now is enough. Never give up. Good luck!
On the flip side, $45k may well be borderline questionable depending on where OP is located. In California, for example, the minimum that a programmer needs to be paid to be considered overtime exempt is $86k/year. It can become fairly expensive to pay for overtime, so that $86k tends to be roughly the starting salary for lower level jobs.
Definitely a case where OP needs to do their due diligence to find average salaries for their location to use during salary negotiations.
$70K may very well be a reasonable starting salary for the OP. I think my main point was that $45K is at least twice the base pay for the plastics factory work (although that probably pays overtime), so even if being abused it still might be worth it as a stepping stone.
I honestly wouldn't worry about having too many job switches at the beginning of a career path like this. You can always say, "I'm trying to get as much experience as possible, and accepted some jobs at a very low pay. I'm looking for stable work now, though."
Perhaps you are not worth 75k/year? Just because your friends mention that as a standard salary doesn't mean everyone (you) are at that level. Going in and demanding a 75K salary when you are being offered 40% lower seems to be a poor negotiation strategy in any case.
As others here mentioned, if you really want to improve your salary you do so by jumping around, not by forcing your employers hand.
Best of luck in your future, and hope you can bounce back from this.
After having kids and be broke myself in the past I really feel for you.
I feel for him too, but let's be wise.
Certainly not endorsing, just curious.
theres tons of sites where u can get freelance work easily (truelancer? not sure if it good ,but sites like that can be helpful), if you then get a reputation on there it's ok for some extra money. lots of requests for web/api work to, sounds right up ur alley! on the other hand, u can always look for a job outside of IT. it's perhaps not your dream job ,but money is money. if u need it there's lots of different ways to get it! (legally... not suggesting anyhting bad!)
what helped me a lot when i wasn't in IT yet was to get stuff like forklift licence etc. ,that kind of work there always is and it's enough to pay for food and rent for a modest living place. if u then get something 'steady' outside of IT you can start looking of that dream job again ,but this time with less stress which will yield better results. (stress is reflected in meetings job interviews etc. ,so going for that awsome job, you might want to get into a bit more relaxed space before you apply.)
If anyone asks I wouldn't go into all this detail and just tell them you were unexpectedly let go.
P.S. I made my first comment on HN because it is fucking criminal no one has emphasized this yet.
1a. Write a few small technical articles on some specific thing you know a lot about. (this is totally just a ripped patio11 recommendation)
2. There's this: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10152809 which I made a script for, and a number of people ran with (like http://hnwhoshiring.herokuapp.com/)
3. Lots of people recommend https://angel.co/jobs ... you can probably hit up a few dozen companies a day; it's ok, the worst they can do is ignore you. There's also http://crowdfunder.com/ --- look at the companies that were financed recently - they will definitely be in a hiring mood.
4. Try going to company-you-want-to-work-for.com/(jobs|careers) ... really. Send an introductory email and if you don't get a response, respond to your own email. Do it every 2 days or so until you get a response.
If this doesn't exist, then look at /sitemap.xml or the whois record and email that person. Also, typing in the company name followed by "HR" and "linkedin" can usually get you a name that you can find a personal email address to. Just hit them up during business hours and explain how you got the email. It's fine.
If they don't respond, change the subject line to "[follow up #2]" and then "[follow up #6]" etc ... stop when you get a "no". You may actually get a "let's set up a call". This does work, I've done it - and gotten the gig.
Oftentimes the people who are hiring have a lot of things on their plate. Sometimes you need to nag them to make your candidacy more of a priority.
5. Go to meetup.com --- find the tech-centric meetups with the most attendants and go to those. Arrive early and talk to anyone you can. Don't be ashamed to say "I'm looking for work." or "I just want to build things and get paid." along with "A regular job would be great right now." ... straight-forward, non-bullshit honesty goes a long way.
6. Don't dismiss craigslist. There's lots of ok short-term gigs at below-industry, but not-to-terrible pay. I also got a 120k/yr job through craigslist.
7. Use all the above methods in tandem. They all work together. Find out who the decision makers are, where they go, get to know them ...
If you make getting a job your full-time job it will come faster than you think.
Would I hire someone who swears and uses f* in a conversation with his boss? No.
Would I hire someone who creates a blog to make his boss look bad? No.
All of this with 4 kids I surely would not trust on you any responsibibility acting so irresponsible.
So everyone here who wants to hire this guy, a have nice time.
My advice: Try to understand why your boss only wanted you give $45k and work on yourself.
1. I didn't blackmail him. I had made it clear from the day I was hired full time that I wouldn't be able to afford living on that amount. And yesterday when I finally found out what I'd be making, it turned out he'd reneged on his side, and I called him out on it.
2. Technically I said fuck in a conversation with my ex-boss. This was after he fired me and called me disloyal. My conversations with him as an employee were more than respectful.
3. The blog was not about him, it was about my desperation. I don't care that he offered me the $45k, I care that he strung me along like it would be more. It might have been an overreaction, but if so I still feel like it's an understandable one given what state of mind anyone would be in, having the rug pulled out from under them like this.
And for what it's worth, I'm a really quiet, easy-going person. I don't blow up on people, but I also don't do weird passive-aggressive office politics. I work and generally get along with everyone.
Your BOSS sounds like a complete and utter douche bag and this experience may turn out to be a great lesson.
I take great offense at "try to understand why your boss only wanted to give you $45k and work on yourself". You're pushing the blame squarely on the OP. He has clarified that this salary is even LOWER than his intern pay. Now, wouldn't it be more reasonable to ask the boss why the pay is even lower than his previous salary?
You have made yourself look like the very kind of obnoxious boss that OP is talking about.
As anyone who has ever set salaries would know.
When someone comes to you for a raise, you try and sort out what the absolute minimum amount you can give them is, and go with that. It's on them to come back for more.
And once they do, you either explain why they're only worth whatever your max is, or you raise your max, or give them a list of things they need to do to raise your max and a timeline upon which you will re-evaluate them.
What you don't do is shock-and-awe fire them cause they threatened to leave.
EVERY negotiation for salary is prefaced with "if we don't agree, I'm gonna leave." Cause that's what will happen.
And yeah, I'd hire someone who writes a blog post like this. Because shit happens to people, and sometimes they write about it online.
His blog post doesn't make hiss boss look bad. His boss' actions do.
the action, treated as a criminal offense, of demanding money from a person in return for not revealing compromising or injurious information about that person.
Where are you based, out of interest? I don't think I've ever worked anywhere where saying fuck in front of your boss would be any kind of problem whatsoever (in the UK).
In general, I would expect tolerance for swearing at work in the US to vary significantly by region, industry, and role.
> As a manager if someone tries to blackmail me with leaving, I usually say "Then leave". Never let people blackmail you.
With the assumption that he fulfilled all his duties at work (i.e. good work performance), there is nothing wrong with asking to be paid close to / comparable to his peers.
Salary contention is the easiest to fix. If you let go everyone who asks for a raise, then either your company is paying way below market rate or it is simply an excuse to get out of the organisation.
> Would I hire someone who swears and uses f* in a conversation with his boss? No.
I agree, but what I get is that the conversation happened via email exchanges. It wasn't clear whether the f* was directed at the CEO / boss or something outside of the conversation (i.e. venting).
> Would I hire someone who creates a blog to make his boss look bad? No.
He's obviously desperate to find a way out of a bad situation, thus the cry for help.
While it is certainly possible that everyone else has the wrong attitude, on the chance that isn't the case, perhaps some introspection is warranted on your part.
They make a reasonable point: first stage of hiring is filtering out people; this blog post will to some emoyers be ideal signal to cause OP to be filtered out; it might be an good idea to try a different style when looking for work.
If you have no university degree and next to no industry experience, 40k is not that far off the mark. But if you're doing the work of a 75ker, you should be able to convince someone you're worth at least say 60k. I find it strange that you had kids before you were making the kind of money you need to support them.
I hate comments like this one. You're assuming far too much here: that he had children when he was in the same financial position he's in now. I very much doubt that's true.
(Or some combination.)
You don't write a post to call them idiots, even if they are.
> Responding to nastiness with more nastiness is the surest way to destroy HN. The way to help is to gently point out that we all need to follow the site guidelines.
But there are very many others.
Seriously, firing him for being "disloyal"? I do believe people were hung for less back in the old days.
The gist is you get paid to hear job offers, and with your development background you should be in demand.
Why? Pick one. It's like the other poster here said: you're doing it all wrong.
If you ARE a programming fool (like me for example) go out and find a new gig. Move it! Move it! That's what I tell myself.
Then I get my act together and make it happen.
What does that even mean, 'you don't have what it takes to be a software developer'? We work in a professional, respected industry where if anything the OP's boss should be pushed out, not the OP.
Yeah, none of that matters. The only thing that matters is that he was fired. Because clearly, his boss is an evil mastermind who delights in the pain and suffering of uneducated people with overpopulated families and no prior work history.
Bottom line: he thinks he's worth 75K. Let's see him get it.
Isn't that exactly what he's trying to do?
"If you ARE a programming fool (like me for example)"
You must have a huge penis.