Are programmers underpaid?

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43 Replies - 28116 Views - Last Post: 14 April 2014 - 02:25 PM

#16 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are programmers underpaid?

Posted 20 July 2012 - 08:20 AM

View PostAVReidy, on 19 July 2012 - 04:32 PM, said:

...

Or... make $50-110k/year no matter where you work.

...


Sounds pretty good to me...

Dafuq I need more than that for? I'm a college drop-out, taught myself to program in my garage, ex drug-addict, alcoholic, son of a bitch... and I make in that range you just cited.

I own a nice 3 bedroom house, drive a brand-new Toyota, vacation, drink, buy all the electronics I desire, and work on creating video-games in my spare time.

I love my job, I love my career, and I don't need 300K a year to keep me going. Sure 300K a year would be pretty freakin' awesome... but I don't need it, desire it, and I know first hand what kind of person it would make me.
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#17 111027  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are programmers underpaid?

Posted 20 July 2012 - 08:43 AM

View PosttlhIn`toq, on 20 July 2012 - 07:43 AM, said:

Companies expect someone to develop entire retail point of sale systems for $300 - AND PEOPLE AGREE TO DO IT, lowering the expectations of the client further, lowering the average acceptable price for all of us.


See, the problem is: most programmers sell themselves short.

P.s I understand your entire point of ,,this used to be a country that manufactured our own goods", and all, but DIC is an international, not USA, site. Could I please ask you to keep discussion also international?
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#18 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are programmers underpaid?

Posted 20 July 2012 - 09:04 AM

Quote

P.s I understand your entire point of ,,this used to be a country that manufactured our own goods", and all, but DIC is an international, not USA, site. Could I please ask you to keep discussion also international?


I am pretty certain people can discuss how they want to. Let's not dictate there champ.
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#19 111027  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are programmers underpaid?

Posted 20 July 2012 - 09:17 AM

Pardon if I sounded a bit ,,cowboy"-ish there. Didn't mean to.
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#20 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are programmers underpaid?

Posted 20 July 2012 - 09:18 AM

I don't know what 'cowboy"-ish' means.. but okay.
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#21 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are programmers underpaid?

Posted 20 July 2012 - 09:22 AM

It means his girlfriend walks bowlegged.
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#22 Aphex19  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are programmers underpaid?

Posted 20 July 2012 - 12:13 PM

Quote

But I guess programming is just too fun to give up for such trivial things as money, especially when it's something you love to do and would be doing anyway.

That about sums it up for me. Programming is something I will always do, I know it. It's simply something I love doing. All I want from life is a chance to make a moderate living and be able to practice my hobbies.

This post has been edited by Aphex19: 20 July 2012 - 12:14 PM

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#23 AnalyticLunatic  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are programmers underpaid?

Posted 20 July 2012 - 12:42 PM

Seems to be a lot of good information posted here. Being a recent A.A.S. graduate, my own yearly figure does not touch the aforementioned 50K mark, but I am just starting out, and I am at the lowest of the low for my position's value range. In all reality my current position doesn't pay quite as well as other places in the area, but I am going to stick around here at least until I get my Bachelors, plus I will have several more years of experience built up by then.

Currently: M-F, 8-5, 1Hr Lunch, NO evening or weekends, 12 Yearly paid holidays, good amount of annual and sick leave build-up, and an excellent benefits package.

Really the only thing I would like more right now is if I could work from home, but being the new guy, I myself even feel I don't quite deserve that privilege just yet. One nice niche is that in my department I am one of 2 Developers, so there are plenty of opportunities to stand out.
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#24 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are programmers underpaid?

Posted 20 July 2012 - 05:06 PM

View PostAnalyticLunatic, on 20 July 2012 - 03:42 PM, said:

NO evening or weekends, 12 Yearly paid holidays, good amount of annual and sick leave build-up, and an excellent benefits package.


These are worth a whole lot. Bummer about the nine hour day, which is essentially an eight hour day with an unpaid lunch. Otherwise, excellent. I would value that at least around 20k, depending on the benes.

My 50k was a pie in the sky figure. It's what a big tech company (like Google) might offer if you're lucky, not what I'd expect the average starting position to get. Note from the quote, Apple pays around 40k.

Again, do not look at the numbers! They are a lie.

I was once in an Oracle training class. My fellow students were mostly from Fortune 500 companies. The instructor put a number on the board from a recent salary survey. The room was quiet for a moment, everyone looking around at everyone else. Then someone bust out laughing and the room lost it. It was clear that no one was in the ball park of that number. If anyone should be in that bracket it was some of these guys. Hell, the training class alone cost $1200 a day. Your company sends you to that kind of thing, it's an investment.

Program because you love it. If you're looking for money, please find some other line of work. We only want programmers who want to program and would do so regardless.
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#25 CJ Siege  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are programmers underpaid?

Posted 21 July 2012 - 01:18 AM

It's all about what you, the individual, are worth, and what you're willing to accept. An experienced programmer with degree(s) and a great body of work could hold out for a higher paying spot, while an entry level guy with a B.S. and nothing else might be forced to take what he can get. That's really the same in any career field, too - you could make more as a plumber and less as a doctor, it just depends.
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#26 Duckington  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are programmers underpaid?

Posted 21 July 2012 - 05:34 AM

I think you'd have to be really top of the range to earn that sort of money. Well especially in this country.

If you look at various job websites, the highest I've ever seen for Expert Lead developers, is around 80,000-90,000.

In my experience of browsing many many different job sites and employers sites looking for vacancies, the pay brkacet in this country tends to be something along the lines of:

Graduate/Junior Developer: 14,000-19,000
Junior/Mid Level: 20,000 - 29,000
Mid Level/Senior: 30,000 - 40,000
Senior/Lead: 40,000 - 60,000
Lead/Expert (for the lack of a better word): 60,000 +


Then again, maybe i'm looking in the wrong places, and maybe other countries are very different, but that's roughly what I've found over the last few years of searching around for jobs.

I myself am firmly in the lowest category there, and I don't make enough to have my own place or anything like that.


One problem that does arise, which has been touched on in above posts, is that quite a lot of programmers/developers/trained chimps tend to undervalue their worth. FOr example, there are jobs I could apply for that are 20,000+ but realistically I don't really think I'm good enough for them. Even some junior/graduate jobs with relatively low pay seem to want years of experience in about 100 different technologies, so it can be very difficult to actually move up that ladder.

Maybe where you come from 100,000/year programming jobs are much more common, but I personally wouldn't hold out hope of ever having one even remotely close to that.
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#27 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are programmers underpaid?

Posted 21 July 2012 - 07:38 AM

I am the entire development department where I'm at now.

I work 8:30-4:30 M-F with a 1 hour paid lunch.

The company pays $15,000 worth of benefits on me annually (life, medical, dental, vision, and prescription coverage for me and both my children).

I get 16 paid holidays, 12 sick days, 3 personal days and 4 weeks vacation per year. I also get paid snow days and a fabulous 2 paid weeks off over Christmas and New Years every year.

This gig also comes with a state pension and tuition reimbursement for me and my children all the way through grad school.

I don't make anywhere near $100K/year. In fact, the pay scale for my position maxes out at $87K - and I have to have a Ph.D. and 25 years of service to ever see that kind of paycheck.

But I make adequate money. I'm not getting rich, but I'm a far cry from starving.

I think you need to readjust your concept of a "nice, round number".
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#28 CarDriver  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are programmers underpaid?

Posted 21 July 2012 - 03:26 PM

I definitely have an inflated view of the skill involved in programming, mostly because out of the students at a good public high school there are maybe 3 programmers including myself. To everyone else I know who even has the slightest understanding of computers, it's a very esoteric skill. One of the 3 programmers at my school is a former senior who's going to Berkeley. He got a 1550 on his SAT, and has a 4.9 GPA. And he wants to become what is comparable to a car mechanic (not that there's anything wrong with that).

A while back I asked my dad what he thought of programming as a career (he was one right out of college), and he told me something along the lines of "it's easy to be a good programmer, but very tough to be a great programmer." I think that has some truth to it.
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#29 Utael  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are programmers underpaid?

Posted 21 July 2012 - 04:02 PM

I think programmers are overpaid... They sit at a desk all day, all there work is in one spot.
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#30 sharkbowman  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are programmers underpaid?

Posted 21 July 2012 - 04:07 PM

all work is through the mind though. and that could drive you crazy. so they should get paid more for risk of insanity.
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