[Baypiggies] [Python Job] Ouch

Glen Jarvis glen at glenjarvis.com
Sat Oct 31 22:34:55 CET 2009

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  

More information about the Baypiggies mailing list