[Baypiggies] [Python Job] Ouch

Glen Jarvis glen at glenjarvis.com
Tue Nov 3 20:37:59 CET 2009

I will say it time and again. If you put yourself out there, and genuinely
do service to a community -- without ever expecting to get anything back,
you'll get *so much* back.

My work and I negotiated through this problem and, although I'm making less
money than I've ever made as a Python programmer (including the first job
where I was hired -- when I trained in Python to do the job), they were able
to meet my minimum enough to pay the bills and keep me from panhandling on
the corner of Market and Hyde "Will Hack for Food."  But, it's a good place
and we're doing cool things...

I've gotten so many replies from so many people.. You guys are great. And,
I've gotten quite a few job leads -- and some good ones :)

However, since I'm still getting emails from very cool people like you, I
thought I should kill this thread off...  I signed the offer this morning
and am now morally committed to the place that I have been contracting...



On Sat, Oct 31, 2009 at 1:34 PM, Glen Jarvis <glen at glenjarvis.com> wrote:

> As many of you know, about a year and a half ago I lost my job and I
> struggled doing contracting to stay in the Python field (I loved it that
> much). I took anything I could get my hand on, and scrambled -- I was
> desperate and a starving hacker.
> Then, in July, I started a contract at a local research institution. It was
> *awesome*.. I still *love* the position and they *still* seem to love me. It
> was a perfect environment because it was stable. And, when I found a mess,
> they allowed me to fix it. It was a perfect match to what I'd been looking
> for.
> This is only in the past tense because of a financial situation. My
> contract was running out and they created several positions with the intent
> of hiring others and possibly myself full-time. However, I just got the
> verbal offer.. ouch!  I knew it would be low... but, Ouch!  It's lower than
> my first job (Help Desk)... before I finished my degree. And, it's less than
> 10 percentile of what general application programmers get for this area (or
> most areas)... It seems my minimum to survive, budgeting tight, is higher
> than anyone in the lab currently makes..  And, the funds for contracting run
> out in a week... Have I said it yet, ouch! :)
> I thought I finally had it made. I thought, "I have a few more years to
> continue building my skills, while still being an ideal employee in a place
> I love." If I saw a mess, I'd fix it. If someone asked me to do something,
> I'd do it. I wasn't fussy because I got to focus on things that I liked:
> Python, Postgres and Apache for this skill set -- along with some cool
> science. It was mutual satisfaction on all sides.
> With that said, although I had planned to take a hit with my salary, I just
> *can't* afford to take this big of a hit. I want to either volunteer for
> them a few hours per week, or work part time. But, I have to find another at
> least a part time position -- I'd take full time too. My rate is anything
> between the 25 percentile and 75 percentile of what an application
> programmer makes in this area (that's a very large range in the middle). I
> self rate in at about 50% of the curve (and have been paid at least that
> much before).
>  I'm out hitting the pavement again :(
> I don't think I have the skills (yet) to interview at Google and I don't
> want to play that card until I have a few more years of solid work/skills
> under my belt. I have a solid year plus (almost two) of Python programming
> under my belt, and things are starting to click. I do mostly OS/subprocess
> heavy lifting and Django work, but am far from an expert. I still have my
> own business and do a Django contracting on the side, but I am not as good
> as Simeon or others on this list. And, I haven't focused on building my
> client base because I was trying to get regular employment. I'm twice as
> good as I was last year when I was interviewing. But, I still have a long
> way to go -- at least another year -- before I would consider myself even
> close to an expert.
> If you know of something that would be part time and let me continue what
> I'm doing at the research institution, that'd be ideal -- This is a great
> fit for a very *small* start-up. If not, I gotta pay the bills and will take
> full time work... *begs on hands and knees*
> To keep the list traffic manageable... please respond off list unless it's
> directly Python related and will help the general community...
> Thank you *so* much for listening.. I *love* this community!!!
> Warmest Regards,
> Glen Jarvis
> P.S. To protect the privacy of certain institutions, I have not included my
> resume in this email. I can respond to you directly if you wish.
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