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Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.
 
Laptop-Head

August 25, 1999, 09:34 PM

Everytime I visit this website, I can not help but to wonder whether any of you are professionally working for some company. The question often comes to my mind because I can not predict(since I've never worked for someone) how the payment is made. In short, some programmers can do a lot of work in a short period of time without errors while others do not perform well. In that sense, hourly paid salary will be unfair. Next, what if the project fails in the middle of process? If the company pays you regularly and you have been working on it for several month till you realize you can not complete the task, that would be disastrous. Does this mean the programmers always have to bring the finished product in order to get paid? I honestly dont know the answer(that is why i'm posting this msg anyway) but can guess that in order to be hired, you need to 'finish' up at least one project regardless of its size. But that also brings up another problem. The demonstration does not necessarily guarantee that the programmer can handle the real huge project. For the real project requires alot of creativity as well as endurance.

 
Jaap Suter

August 26, 1999, 05:08 AM

Hi,

I'm not working in the software industry but I want to comment on you saying that hourly payments are not fair in the programming industrie. This isn't only true for the programming industrie but for every industrie. In every sector there will always be people who work less then you and people who work harder then you. I see it every week when I'm dishwashing again :)

Hourly payments are just the least not-fair. And since 100% fulltime evalution of every worker cannot be done, hourly payments are the best way to go. IMHO

Jaap


 
Tim Smith

August 26, 1999, 04:32 PM

In my experience most programmers are not paid hourly wages, they are paid a salary. This is because programming is considered a professional level job where it is understood that you will get the job done no matter how long it takes. So if you can get a weeks worth of work done in 40 hours, you are better off than the person who take 50 hours to get the job done. After all, he will only get paid for 40 hours of work. Right?

WRONG...

Life sucks and so does working for the man.

The truth is that a large percentage of your slow, less productive programmers are also the ones who won't work more than 40 hours a week. This means that deadlines will slip and management will get very annoyed. In the long run, management figures out who the people are who they can depend on to be professionals and get the job done no matter how long it takes. So, your faster and better programmers usually get assigned more work.

Yeah, I know that stinks.

If you work for a good company, the good programmers will usually get rewarded with a higher salary. After all, management has started to depend on these people's better skills and loosing them would hurt. The sad truth is that sometimes you have to find another job to get a raise in salary at your current job (the counter offer). This tactic can back fire and should only be used sparingly and only if you wouldn't mind working at the new place.

Or, if you want to loose all your savings...

If you really think highly of yourself, you can do what I did and quit your job to start your own company. However, this is VERY VERY VERY VERY risky. It is about as safe as taking out a second mortgage on your house and your marriage to bet on horses. It should only be done when you have a CLEAR idea of what you will be doing and how that will make you money (your in this to make money right?). The first couple of years will be VERY hard. (I can happily say that we have been in business now for 4-5 years.)

Tim

 
Rock

August 27, 1999, 09:42 AM

>>In my experience most programmers are not paid hourly wages, they are paid a salary. This is because programming is considered a professional level job where it is understood that you will get the job done no matter how long it takes. So if you can get a weeks worth of work done in 40 hours, you are better off than the person who take 50 hours to get the job done. After all, he will only get paid for 40 hours of work. Right?

But most of the time the question is, who determines what a weeks worth of work is? Usually its managment, and usually they don't know what they're estimating. I'm certainly not going to work 50 hours on a project that I know will take over 40 hours, yet only get paid for 40 hours. If I claim I can get it done in 40 hours and it runs over, then I might work extra. But if they say its a 40 hour load, and I say "no way, more like 60", than I'll never put in over 40 hours to try and meet their fake goal. If you do that, they will walk all over you. (If they can get 50 hours of work and only pay for 40 hours, they will do it continuously). Also, I would be more inclined to work extra time if I could take time off if I got the project done early. This is how my understanding of salary works, and I've only seen 1 company that does this (why didn't I take that job?). You get paid to get the job done, so you should get paid the same amount if it takes you 30 hours or 60 hours.)

>>If you work for a good company, the good programmers will usually get rewarded with a higher salary. After all, management has started to depend on these people's better skills and loosing them would hurt. The sad truth is that sometimes you have to find another job to get a raise in salary at your current job (the counter offer). This tactic can back fire and should only be used sparingly and only if you wouldn't mind working at the new place.

Hehe, this must be a REALLY good company, because I've never seen a company that thinks like this. Managment either doesn't know what's going on, or thinks that programmers are stuck there because they can't another job. If there is one industry that can and should job hop, its programmers. If you want money, you need to go through several jobs (from my experience).

Rock

 
Tim Smith

August 27, 1999, 10:15 AM

You usually are never able to take off early because if you finish a project early, there is usually always something else waiting to be done. Either another project or work needing to be done that the slackers aren't doing.

As far as being paid well for being a team player and getting the job done, I have never had a problem with that. However, I have also always worked in smaller companies where individual excellence tends to stand out more (6-8 programmers).

Tim

 
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