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In need of some career advice

web development ruby rails javascript html css career

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8 replies to this topic

#1 tomchinery


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Posted 20 March 2014 - 11:20 AM

Hi all, 


I do not know if this belongs here so I do apologise if it's in the wrong location.


I've been programming as a hobby since I was 14.


So basically I got a Job when I was 18 as a Web Developer (I'm 19 now). I had just finished my A levels and was doing freelance front-end design for people while in college. 


I work for a small company (they employ only 11 people) which has 6 main products (web apps). I have now been there for almost a year and have worked on all 6 products. I managed to learn Ruby/Rails rather quickly and have been doing a good developers worth of work everyday. 


Since being there I've updated all the web apps to use the latest coding standards in HTML5/CSS3, and made all the apps responsive. I have re-designed a total of 3 of the 6 web apps with a completely new frontend codebase. I have also added around 50 big features to the backend of the apps which involved using a Rails engine and some fairly complex programming techniques. Those features require a lot of skill and technical know how, from writing to YAML files to making Ajax calls. I know the Rails apps from the database all the way up to the frontend design. 


So what am I asking?


Well I am still on the same starting salary as I was a year ago (a mere £13,000). They justify this salary by saying that I am still a Junior Developer. I'm just curious if I'm being discriminated because of my age. I mean I know a few Junior developers in the area who are on a £30,000 salary, not only to mention that but we've had freelancers come in who charge £200 a day (I am just as capable of doing the job they were doing). 


You always hear Rails developers are on like £60k a year near london, why should my wage be so low as a Junior? (even though I'd say I'm fairly experienced with Rails now).


Also what would you advise me to do? Should I look for another job? 


Your responses are well appreciated. 




Tom Chinery.

#2 WingedPanther73


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Posted 20 March 2014 - 11:33 AM

I would start looking at the jobs in the area that match your education/skills/experience, as a start. If you look like you can make a lot more, and your current company isn't willing to pay, I'd look at getting a new job.

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 11:36 AM

13k is a low salary for sure.  there's a couple of things that work against you, one is that yes you're young and you've only got 1yr experience. The second is that you don't have degree level eduction.


Now the second isn't to bad, but qualifications open the door to the top jobs. So if you don't plan on going to university, then I'd suggest you keep an open mind to gaining other relevant qualifications.


In regard to your job. You are a Junior Developer, and will be for a few years - we all have to do our time in the trenches. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be given a pay rise; if your valuable they should be increasing your salary. 


So my advice would be to start looking for other jobs, maybe look for bigger companies with more career prospects. You're young, but don't hang about. Just remember that you won't get the top rate at the moment, but you will soon.

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#4 Sundance


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Posted 20 March 2014 - 12:04 PM

Like Evan and WP said, I'd start looking for a new job if I were you, you're very under paid and just because you've been there a "year" doesn't mean anything, time does not necessarily equate to experience, a developer who works one day a year for 5 years does not mean they have the same experience as someone who has worked every day for 1 year. :)

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#5 tomchinery


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Posted 20 March 2014 - 12:31 PM

Thank you guys for your input, 


Looks like the general advice is to look for a new job, I'll give you all rep and mark as solved. 




Tom Chinery.

#6 Vaielab


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Posted 20 March 2014 - 02:07 PM

If you have started at £13 000, and wish to have £30 000 like other junior dev, it will most likely impossible to get inside the same compagny. That more than the double, normally you can negociate a low percent raise every years, but not a 100% raise.

So if you want to get to £30 000, your only option is to change compagny.


But! When you are going to leave this compagny, always leave it correctly. Finish your project, give them time to replace you, and everything... a bad reputation can cause a lots more harm than a low salary!

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#7 BlackRabbit


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Posted 25 March 2014 - 08:37 PM

Another thing to say is whatever raise you get outside is good, why? Because as foretold, your company won't pay more for what they already got cheap.

But the moment you get an outside offer they will reassess your value, and probably give you a counter-offer.

Take that into account when informing your leave ;) If you really like the place you are working at, the "menace" of leaving will be your best negotiation tool for a raise. Still, don't say a thing until you find a new job.

#8 lespauled


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Posted 26 March 2014 - 05:31 AM

The first thing you have to understand is that this company is not going to be the last stop on your career path.

There are 2 sides to this:


1- If you are truly learning and the company is assisting you in gaining new skills, like training, etc., it might be worth staying for a while longer to gain a greater skill set.  Also, if you're really not working hard at your current job, you have a lot of time to be proactive and learn as much as you can.  Moving to a new company, you may not have that time and may actually lose out on true career potential.


2- Of course, you can fairly easily make more money, but at this point, money shouldn't really be your main concern.  Growth potential should be your main concern.  Not only in progressing within the company, but progressing as a developer. 


You may get lucky and possibly join a great company, with growth potential.  But the reality is that you're better off taking care of #1.  What you get out equals what you put in.  This means that you shouldn't rely on the company for training.  At this point in your career, you should be studying every chance you get.  Keep learning.


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The reality is that most companies are not really into making an investment and train a Junior Developer.  Junior Developers provide a service.  They do the mind-numbing grunt work that Senior Developers don't like doing.  It's so mundane (albeit no less important) that it might be looked upon as a a waste of Senior Developer's time.


Understand that the move to Senior Developer is on you, not the company.  It's your job to be so good that they HAVE to make you a Senior Developer with a substantial raise, or have to fill a void if you leave.   Make yourself the kind of person they don't want to lose.

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#9 algorithm


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Posted 27 March 2014 - 10:35 PM


Stop convincing the company, you are there for gaining experience.

instead, let them know that you got enough experience to lend for the company you join.

They will be inspired to take you into account /consideration seriously.

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