[tpm] Wondering about fair wages

Digimer lists at alteeve.ca
Sun Oct 12 20:41:35 PDT 2014

On 12/10/14 11:33 PM, Adam Prime wrote:
> On 10/12/2014 12:25 PM, Digimer wrote:
>> Hi all,
>>    I'm not sure if this is on topic or not. If it's not, please let me
>> know.
>>    I'm co-founder of a small but growing business in Toronto. Up until
>> now, I've done all of the development work myself; architecture,
>> sysadmin and software development. The last one being all in perl,
>> save for a touch of jquery. We're getting to a point where I can't do
>> it all myself, so I have to start planning, and budgeting, to hire a
>> proper program/web developer.
>>    The reason I am posting here is that I have to balance available
>> resources against what is fair to pay for a given skill-set. Just the
>> same, I don't want to offer an unreasonable pay, either. I would very
>> much appreciate your input on what you think would be a fair pay
>> package for someone with these skills;
>> * Very comfortable with perl and writes clean, readable code.
>> * Can convert "traditional" HTML UI into a proper AJAX UI.
>> * Making an existing program properly testable/write unit tests.
>> * Familiar, ideally comfortable, with RHEL/CentOS 6+ system calls.
>> * Diligent about writing self-documenting code and proper comments.
>>    This is the front end for a high-availability cluster. So more than
>> "X years for experience in Y" or some such, the number *1* thing I
>> would need is someone who is slow, steady and careful. I would still
>> be closely involved with the systems side of things, so someone would
>> not need to know about HA clusters, but they must understand the
>> caution needed and be diligent about their work.
>>    So, given this description, what would you guys consider a fair
>> compensation package to offer? What conditions/trade-offs might cause
>> you to consider in exchange for a reduced direct pay package?
>>    Thanks for any input!
> Some kids are doing 4th year co-ops at or above 50K/yr these days. You
> could conceivably find a kid fresh out of school with a good chunk of
> your requirements there aside from 'very comfortable with perl'. If you
> actually want someone with existing perl chops that's going to limit
> your ability to hire immensely, and drive the salary up significantly as
> well. I'd be surprised if you could find someone that fit all of you're
> requirements for much less than 75K/yr.  If you drop the perl chops you
> might be able to find someone for 60, maybe.  I might have no idea what
> I'm talking about though.
> Adam

I appreciate your insight, and freely admit that I am new to this side 
of the hiring desk, too. :)

The main thing with the perl side of things is that everything is 
already written in perl[1]. Mainly because it's what I knew and a couple 
of years ago, hiring was just not in the cards. If someone wanted to 
redo everything in a new language, I would not be against that 
(budgetary concerns aside). Whether it was redone or not though, the 
current program needs to be maintained and improved.

So perl chops, not necessarily expertise, will have to stay a 
requirement. Particularly because we have a set of features that will 
need to be added in the next few months. After those requirements are 
met though, we will become a lot more flexible and could consider a rebuild.

So again, thank you for your insight. A number of $50~$75 is something 
to start with. :)


1. https://github.com/digimer/an-cdb

Papers and Projects: https://alteeve.ca/w/
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