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Thread: Salary?

  1. #26
    SitePoint Wizard Wolf_22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    I this this is my final related question:

    What should I do while I'm employed here? Obviously I can't do this and attend college, so should I self-study?

    I've been thinking of learning PHP. I'm absolutely ready to learn it, just need the time and a good learning resource. (I'm not so good with learning from books...)
    Actually, you COULD do that and go to school. It would be tricky, but it can be done. I did it. I had an internship through college where I worked over 40 hours a week easy and still kept up with a 15 credit hour regiment.

    Get an idea of what kind of trek you wish to pursue in school, apply, get accepted, do the whole "new student roundup", then get your schedule of your classes. Tell your boss "here's my schedule for my classes" and simply schedule around that. Like I said, it will be tough, but it's not impossible.

  2. #27
    @alexstanford Alex's Avatar
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    For me, it would be impossible. Reasons vary from personal to lack of transportation. I plan to go to college without a shadow of a doubt, and this project is not indefinite.
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  3. #28
    SitePoint Wizard Wolf_22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    For me, it would be impossible. Reasons vary from personal to lack of transportation. I plan to go to college without a shadow of a doubt, and this project is not indefinite.
    It's your call, but I still think you could do it. What is the closest university to you?

  4. #29
    @alexstanford Alex's Avatar
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    Alex Stanford @alexstanford tumblog about.me in fb G+ K
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  5. #30
    SitePoint Wizard Wolf_22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    I looked at their website, and they offer some pretty cool degrees as well as an online associates program.

    The following programs is what I would encourage you to check out from there:
    - Computer Science and Engineering Technology
    - Electronic Commerce
    - Programming and Software Development

    The last one is mostly what you would probably want to get into. It looked like it revolved around things like JAVA and .NET and all that stuff. If you get serious about going to school, I also encourage you to check out the following:
    - FAFSA
    - FastWeb
    - Talk to a guidance counselor from that school.

    You'll have to pull teeth to get good answers about financial assistance, but you might check out the Pell Grant as well as those Staford Loans. The rest of the cash can be had through the various offered scholarships on FastWeb.

    When you do some of the things on FastWeb, answer honestly and factually. For example, if you choose to write a 500 word essay from FastWeb about "Why you wish to go to college", don't blab on and on about "because you want to be smart, etc...". They look for honest and realistic essays.

    Lastly (and this is the most important bit of info), DO NOT EVER let anyone dissuade you from pursuing your dreams. Take me for example... I had ambitions to become a web designer on the West Coast. I had plans of getting my M.S. in something from CalPoly, but got suckered into accepting a job offered through my instructor. He took me into his office one day after one of his classes and told me about a job developing COBOL programs. I wasn't too interested at first, but when he mentioned a starting salary of 45k, I couldn't turn it down.

    IT WAS THE WORST MISTAKE I EVER MADE. It was a year worth of PURE hell ranging from malicious bureaucracy to deciphering ambiguous project requirements from the various sadistic managers. The programming itself was asinine. Everyone walked around with a sour countenance like it was something that was going out of style! Needless to say, I was let go a year later. It said on my exit papers that it was due to performance. Of course it was due to performance! I hardly ever finished a project because nobody ever had the time or patience to sit down and teach me what I needed to know. Long story of course...

    Anyhoo, I'm now unemployed! Tomorrow I'm going to file for unemployment, which sucks, but hopefully it will keep me afloat long enough to find a new job.

    I blame all of this on me, of course, because I chose to pursue something that I not only had ZERO experience in, but also, because I sold out on my dreams. The good thing is that I'm now back at it, but it will be awhile before I see any fruition from my efforts with money being as tight as it is.

    ...Be especially reserved of companies that don't screen you. They never screened me and look what happened.

  6. #31
    @alexstanford Alex's Avatar
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    http://utoledo.edu/business/academic...are_devel.html
    I'm usually skeptical of school online, but I know UT is good. Do you think the above option would be good online? Also, it's only a 2-year associates. Would I need more? How would it work, transfer/do 2 more years?

    http://utoledo.edu/engineering/acade...ngineeri1.html
    Any good schools offering this online?

    Online school is one way I could probably handle work and school simultaneously.
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  7. #32
    SitePoint Wizard Wolf_22's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    http://utoledo.edu/business/academic...are_devel.html
    I'm usually skeptical of school online, but I know UT is good. Do you think the above option would be good online? Also, it's only a 2-year associates. Would I need more? How would it work, transfer/do 2 more years?

    http://utoledo.edu/engineering/acade...ngineeri1.html
    Any good schools offering this online?

    Online school is one way I could probably handle work and school simultaneously.
    Personally, I always advocate 4 years (usually 5 nowadays). What you need to do is get a phone number to the campus and get a hold of some sort of academic counselor, etc. Simply call a number and ask to speak with someone about classes and how you're not sure about a few things. They'll probably be able to patch you through to someone, but they may ask you a few questions and whatnot like address, name, phone, and what degree you're seeking.

    If they ask you the last question, that's when it's up to you. The link you provided about the engineering degree is pretty cool, so ask them if you can talk to someone from that program - once again, academic counselor (guidance counselor).

    Usually (unless you're applying to Harvard or something like that), getting into a school seems to be the easy part in all this. What you'll want to do is start applying for scholarships and grants. These you normally don't have to pay back at the end of your education at that school. Loans, however, you DO. Remember to use those links I gave ya, and as far as the online option is concerned, if all you can do at the moment is a 2 year gig, then go for it. I can't answer your question about transferable credits, though. You'll have to ask that when you call them.

  8. #33
    @alexstanford Alex's Avatar
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    I just got back from the university. I'm going to try to get in for the summer semester starting in 3 weeks, but may not be able to get financial aid in time. Any help would be appreciated, I'm not experienced with college at all, and I'll be the first in my family to go, so no help there.

    I am going to apply for the Programming & Software Development 2-year, but I think you can get a CS bachelors if you do 2 on top of that.. I'll be finding out more soon.

    Alex
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  9. #34
    SitePoint Member MyspaceMyprofile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf_22 View Post
    I can honestly say that anything you believe you're worth is worth it to them. I was hired onto a company known for student loan disbursement. It's number 1 in the country for this (I'm sure you can guess what it is here in the States). I had absolutely NO experience in COBOL 2, etc, and while this is a completely different field in IT, it IS along the same lines of scenario you speak of due to entry.

    Well, I only lasted for a year. The company is desperate for these developers because COBOL 2 programmers are all going through retirement and such. I hated it with a passion that Jesus wouldn't even know, so I'm happy I was let go. Regardless, they hired me with a starting salary above 44k a year.

    [Admins who see this post - I'm not discussing anything beyond means here...]

    Anyhoo, always shoot for what you believe you're good for. If this guy who is pitching to you believes you're valuable, then take him for all he's worth. In real life, nobody will fight for you, so you need to fight for yourself.

    Best of luck.
    I Agree with him. I would ask for 40k a year.....Thats $19.99 an hour if you work 40 hour weeks. Your 18 Hats off to you!

  10. #35
    SitePoint Addict Sgt. Baboon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    It's going to be really hard for anyone to give you an average like that. There are so many factors, and hardly anyone works remotely at age 18 with a history of $10/hr work! Even at $15/hr you are below market, but then again most people would dream of an entry level job that allows them to work at home!

    Go with your gut feeling and build from there - there really isn't a standard for this situation. Your pay will be going UP and that's a good thing (better the reverse!) so go with it and make the most of the situation...
    Actually for the Toledo area (I'm nearby), 30k/yr is about right for entry level. What are your skills? I don't think I saw that anywhere.

  11. #36
    SitePoint Zealot SEOCompany's Avatar
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    If you are looking for a bright future, that lets you earn more and spend a quality life, Then I will personally suggest you currently bare with your studies. Do the home-based jobs in your spare time. This way, You will get both together.

    I think Sagewing has clearly indicated every thing in details in his messages, being quite very generous.

    I will ask you to first of all have a think about <What do you really want> That is more important.

  12. #37
    @alexstanford Alex's Avatar
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    Lugman: I know without a doubt that I want to do programming. Web development vs. Software Development is the only argument - but I'll probably do software dev in school and learn web development on my own. I've been programming (well, coding html) since age 10, not much doubt where I belong.

    Sgt. Baboon: The job is located in NYC - I'm co-located. My skills are XHTML/CSS with focus on accessibility, usability, standards and functionality. In the process of learning more.

    Myspace: Thanks!
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  13. #38
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. Baboon View Post
    Actually for the Toledo area (I'm nearby), 30k/yr is about right for entry level. What are your skills? I don't think I saw that anywhere.
    30k/year is more than $10/hr... much more! If 30k/yr is right for an entry level job where you are, that would place you 25%+ below market. That might not be a big deal if it's an otherwise good opportunity, but it's pretty low.

    FYI: HTML markup is NOT really programing in the way that a full-blown software engineer would define it. For better or worse, software is largely revolving around .Net, Java, c++ and similar languages although all sorts of highly evolved frameworks and COTS applications (like Siebel) and popular as well. Something to keep in mind!

  14. #39
    @alexstanford Alex's Avatar
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    I understand that completely. I understand programming theory pretty well, and have some basic experience. I currently consider myself a coder or front end developer, but also an aspiring programmer.

    -Alex
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  15. #40
    SitePoint Addict Sgt. Baboon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    30k/year is more than $10/hr... much more! If 30k/yr is right for an entry level job where you are, that would place you 25%+ below market. That might not be a big deal if it's an otherwise good opportunity, but it's pretty low.
    Right, but he was talking about asking for around $15/hr, which would put him in the 30k neighborhood.

  16. #41
    @alexstanford Alex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. Baboon View Post
    Right, but he was talking about asking for around $15/hr, which would put him in the 30k neighborhood.
    Note also: I am currently considered an "intern" - although, I don't think anyone in the company knows more about front end development than me. I perform far more tasks than an intern would, usually, and I am responsible for the entire development process, in a way, because if I stop, so do many other developers. That is kind of why I've been told I'll be the first person brought on full-time after launch, because everyone working as 1099 like me was told the same - "if you wow us, it will be noticed, remembered, rewarded, etc" - and I've been very stable, responsible and outperformed the requirements. Once I am moved to full time, "within a couple months after launch," I will be considered entry-level, is what I have gathered.
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  17. #42
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
    Note also: I am currently considered an "intern" - although, I don't think anyone in the company knows more about front end development than me. I perform far more tasks than an intern would, usually, and I am responsible for the entire development process, in a way, because if I stop, so do many other developers. That is kind of why I've been told I'll be the first person brought on full-time after launch, because everyone working as 1099 like me was told the same - "if you wow us, it will be noticed, remembered, rewarded, etc" - and I've been very stable, responsible and outperformed the requirements. Once I am moved to full time, "within a couple months after launch," I will be considered entry-level, is what I have gathered.
    Whether you are called an intern or an entry-level person doesn't seem to mean much since either way you're at the bottom of the pay scale. Not much difference between being a paid intern and an entry-level employee.

    I would look at this for what you can gain from the job over time, in terms of experience and education, connections and skills.

    Whenever I hear anything that's scheduled based a launch ( like, 'after launch, if you wow us, you'll get hired!') it takes me back to 1999, and we don't want to go there! Do what's best for you!

  18. #43
    SitePoint Zealot ikjosh's Avatar
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    You're young and in the perfect situation to make the smart choice of NEVER WORKING FOR ANYONE ELSE. Pick up books and READ. I'm serious, read a new book every week, learn all you can, and make smart choices, you'll never have to work for anyone.

    Here is what happens. In the business world, a 1099 employee is going to charge hourly. So, as a business owner, I know you're going to bill me for each hour and minute you are working on my project. I know that each additional item I assign you you're going to charge me for.

    As a salaried employee, I can work you *** off and not worry about you charging me extra.

    If they're paying you $30k a year (the norm) and you only work the minimum amount of hours (yeah, right!) which minus 4 weeks of vacation and sick time (more like 1 week!) you're working 1,920 hours each year divided by $30,000 is $15/hr - Is that really worth it?

    You can charge $25/hr as a freelancer and be the cheapest guy in town. Build your portfolio, build contacts, and slowly raise your rate over time. Trust me, it's SO MUCH more rewarding working for yourself.

    Buy "How to be a Rockstar Freelancer" then buy "Secrets of the Millionaire Mind" - I highly recommend these two books. Then get yourself some marketing books, because if you don't know how to market yourself, you'll never get clients.

    It's not easy. But if you settle with comfortable, if you settle with mediocrity, that's exactly what you'll be. Just another developer.

    Good luck, and PM/Contact me if you need any other advise.

  19. #44
    Theoretical Physics Student bronze trophy Jake Arkinstall's Avatar
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    My first PHP job started at $15/hour, which was about 2 months after first learning it - in fact it started about 2 years ago.

    I now typically charge in about 3-5 times that for a typical job.

    If you learn development ontop of your design work, you'll probably be able to get a much higher paid job.
    Jake Arkinstall
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    Sometimes its enough to make that wheel more rounded"-Molona

  20. #45
    @alexstanford Alex's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone, amazing input.

    Josh: I'm sure I'll be in contact, you think like me! I'm just using the best options to keep me afloat while I learn. In fact, I learn at work. In fact, I'm learning from this thread while working right now! Do note, though: I only charge for about 80&#37; of the time I put in, in the end, as 1099...

    arkinstall: You already know my story...
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  21. #46
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ikjosh View Post
    You're young and in the perfect situation to make the smart choice of NEVER WORKING FOR ANYONE ELSE. Pick up books and READ. I'm serious, read a new book every week, learn all you can, and make smart choices, you'll never have to work for anyone.

    Here is what happens. In the business world, a 1099 employee is going to charge hourly. So, as a business owner, I know you're going to bill me for each hour and minute you are working on my project. I know that each additional item I assign you you're going to charge me for.

    As a salaried employee, I can work you *** off and not worry about you charging me extra.

    If they're paying you $30k a year (the norm) and you only work the minimum amount of hours (yeah, right!) which minus 4 weeks of vacation and sick time (more like 1 week!) you're working 1,920 hours each year divided by $30,000 is $15/hr - Is that really worth it?

    You can charge $25/hr as a freelancer and be the cheapest guy in town. Build your portfolio, build contacts, and slowly raise your rate over time. Trust me, it's SO MUCH more rewarding working for yourself.

    Buy "How to be a Rockstar Freelancer" then buy "Secrets of the Millionaire Mind" - I highly recommend these two books. Then get yourself some marketing books, because if you don't know how to market yourself, you'll never get clients.

    It's not easy. But if you settle with comfortable, if you settle with mediocrity, that's exactly what you'll be. Just another developer.

    Good luck, and PM/Contact me if you need any other advise.
    Those are some wild assumptions. There are plenty of people who work as salaried employees and do very, very well. And, there are plenty of independent contractors who do miserably and are 'just another developer'.

    It seems a little irresponsible to give such dogmatic and generalized advice to an 18 year-old who seems to be getting a decent start into the professional world. There is nothing wrong with him taking a job and getting some work experience before he decides what's next - this seems like a totally ridiculous time to decide 'never to work for anyone else' when he's not even sure what he'll be taking in college.

    Everyone is different, you advice is not applicable to all.

  22. #47
    @alexstanford Alex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    Those are some wild assumptions. There are plenty of people who work as salaried employees and do very, very well. And, there are plenty of independent contractors who do miserably and are 'just another developer'.

    It seems a little irresponsible to give such dogmatic and generalized advice to an 18 year-old who seems to be getting a decent start into the professional world. There is nothing wrong with him taking a job and getting some work experience before he decides what's next - this seems like a totally ridiculous time to decide 'never to work for anyone else' when he's not even sure what he'll be taking in college.

    Everyone is different, you advice is not applicable to all.
    I agree, though it may it may sound contrary to my previous post. I took his post with a "grain of salt" if you will. While he does make good points, he might have taken it too far. He does have a point about the benefits of self-employment, without a doubt, just a bad representation/mindset. My two cents (but then again, I'm just the 18 year old kid).
    Alex Stanford @alexstanford tumblog about.me in fb G+ K
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  23. #48
    SitePoint Zealot ikjosh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    Those are some wild assumptions. There are plenty of people who work as salaried employees and do very, very well. And, there are plenty of independent contractors who do miserably and are 'just another developer'.

    It seems a little irresponsible to give such dogmatic and generalized advice to an 18 year-old who seems to be getting a decent start into the professional world. There is nothing wrong with him taking a job and getting some work experience before he decides what's next - this seems like a totally ridiculous time to decide 'never to work for anyone else' when he's not even sure what he'll be taking in college.

    Everyone is different, you advice is not applicable to all.
    Some people are meant to follow the herd, some are meant to lead it.

    My advice will be taken by those who share the same goals and have the same mindset as I do - and not taken by those who don't.

    See, you're comfortable with being comfortable. Having a "stable job", getting a regular paycheck, etc. Some overcome the fear and rise to the top.

    You can take my advice or not, but I've reached success with it, and so have the others I associate with.

    Think big. Shoot for the stars - if anything, you'll catch the moon on your way down.

  24. #49
    Life is short. Be happy today! silver trophybronze trophy Sagewing's Avatar
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    When you say 'you' who do you mean? I have a feeling that I'm a lot more 'comfortable' than you, and haven't had a salaried job for a company that I didn't own in many, many years.

    Perhaps you are a self-made millionaire - have you reached the stars yet?

  25. #50
    SitePoint Zealot ikjosh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sagewing View Post
    When you say 'you' who do you mean? I have a feeling that I'm a lot more 'comfortable' than you, and haven't had a salaried job for a company that I didn't own in many, many years.

    Perhaps you are a self-made millionaire - have you reached the stars yet?
    I'm speaking from my experience, and what I would do as an 18 year old just starting out.

    When I talk about "comfort" I'm talking about the normal response of a person to settle with what they have, to get comfortable at a spot they've reached. Self-made millionaires never settle in to a comfort zone. Do you think Donald Trump is satisfied with a net worth of $1 billion? There is a drive and passion deep inside these type of people that will never let them settle. Trust me. If you think otherwise, you don't fall into this category.

    I have reached my goals and continue to set new ones. Yes, I have reached financial freedom.

    We've sidetracked this post - There is not reason to argue with what I've said - I'm simply telling the guy that he has an opportunity in front of him at his age to reach for the stars, and the skill set to do it.

    That's about all I have to say. Alex, please don't hesitate to PM me if you have any questions about how to get started or what to do next. Whatever you choose to do, good luck.


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