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Career Path for Programmers.

There are people with varied years of experience in this forum; I would be interested in all your answers.

What kind of path has your career taken from the time you took up your first job (programmer/ support/ any) to where you are currently, in terms of:

a.) Number of years you have been working?
b.) What were you initially working on, and what are you
    working on currently (technology & industry)?
c.) What is your position (Project Manager/ Architect/
    Intern)
d.) Increase in salary over the years (% amount would be
    fine:-))

Thanks,

Prakash S
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

a.) 6 years
b.) Initially: web page development for Faculty Student Association at the univeristy I attended.
    Now: Windows application development for a company that creates public safety software.
c.) current title: Sr. Developer
d.) 460% increase

apw
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

a.) 4
b.) Trying to find my own ass with both hands... Trying to find it with just one hand
c.) Owner/Developer
d.) 1/0

Brad Siemens
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

a.) Number of years you have been working?

8.

b.) What were you initially working on, and what are you
    working on currently (technology & industry)?

1995 - mathematical visualization software and 3-D simulation software (C++, OpenGL, unix)
1996 - scientific data processing software (C, unix)
1997 - didn't work, finished college
1998 - web software, database (oracle, unix, perl, java, etc)
1999 - web software, database (oracle, unix, perl, java, etc)
2000 - web software, database (oracle, unix, perl, java, etc)
2001 - web software, database (postgres, python, C++ etc)
2002 - web software, Mac OSX, (postgres, python, C++, java, Obj-C, R)
2003 (predicted)  - no more web software, OpenGL, Cocoa, python, C, R, lots more matlab than I ever predicted (moved into biomedical research support)

c.) What is your position (Project Manager/ Architect/
    Intern)

I don't have a job title, and never really have.  "Programmer" if someone asks, I guess.

d.) Increase in salary over the years (% amount would be
    fine:-))

1995 (in college, math degree) $20/hr
1996 (in college, math degree) $20/hr
1997 didn't work, finished math degree
1998  $60,000/yr (salaried)
1999 $85,000/yr (salaried)
2000  $120,000/yr (indy consultant)
2001  $120,000/yr (indy consultant)
2002  $70,000/yr  (salaried, back in school again (PhD program  in quantitative biology))
2003 (predicted) $100,000 (in school still, salaried, side consulting)

p135
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

a) 1.5 years
b) Start with: Lotus Notes/Domino Development
    Now doing Notes/Domino, web app dev, .NET
c) Application Developer @ Consulting firm
d) $30k to start (1 year before graduating)
    $38k today.

23% increase in a year and a half.  That sounds alot better than the story my paycheck tells ;-)

GiorgioG
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

a.) 5 Years
b.) Started out doing websites and CD-Rom work. Now doing software app created with Macromedia Director and it's internal programming language (Lingo). For the next version I will be moving on to C++.
c.) Senior Developer
d.) 250% salary increase

SS
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

a) 10 years

b) Then: test software for manned-flight systems; Jovial, 1553 Assembly, Turbo Pascal
Now: Systems Engineering for a shuttle upgrade project

c) Systems Engineer

d) ~250%

tchaos
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

a.) 5 years
b.) white-box QA then jumped the fence to Win32/C++ app dev
c.) Software Engineer (not senior, they tell me)
d.) 86% increase (over three jobs)

cold
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

27 years in a really big communications company

5 years writing accounting programs in assembly language and writing accounting methods and procedures.

5 years managing programmers and "systems analysis" for accounting programs and procedures.  This was my burnout period for dealing directly with programming.

5 years managing personal computing (beginning in 1982, until whatever was needed by 1987 - that was a wild ride) survived a downsizing

5 years in writing and managing computing standards (how we did things and what tools we used) survived 2 more downsizings

7 years as technical architect (An inside IT bureaucrat/consultant who goes to a lot of meetings, whose value, in theory, derives from breadth of IT and business knowledge) survived 2 more downsizings This was a truly great, yet scary job.

Got a retirement "offer" during a downsizing and took it.

On to the next thing.

tk
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

1). 19 years as an Electrical Engineer.
2). Projects:
RF and microwave hardware and test systems. 1983-1989
Digital Video ASICs 1990-1992
DirecTV embedded client software 1992-1994
MMDS embedded client software 1995-1997
DOCSIS cable modem embedded software 1997-1998
MSTV 1998-2000
Linux device driver development 2000-present
3). Member Technology Staff.
4). 440%

Nat Ersoz
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

a) Almost 5 years.


b) Initially working on small scale web sites/applications (Java, Cold Fusion, SQL Server, HTML).

Then work on web-based content management application (Java + DHTML).

Then technical non-programming role for "new media" in the music industry.

Now working on web applications (Java, XML, SOAP).


c) "Application Programmer" -> "Software Engineer" -> "New Media Technical Manager" -> "Software Engineer".


d) +33% -> +40% -> -15% (overall +80%).

Walter Rumsby
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

A) 3
B) Started as a Tech Writer for a Windows Server Application. Now I develop VB desktop apps as well as Java Server apps and Java servlets.
C) Software Developer
D) orignalSalary*1.75

Giampiero
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Degree in mathematics, 13 years developing software, the first 5 in the airline industry developing in C, Clipper, Mapper, Fortran.

8 years as a contract developer, C++, VB, Oracle, SQL Server, stuff that I forget, avoided the web like the plague.

The web was, and still largely is, a wank.

Moving forward, I'll be doing .NET development, possibly some web stuff as the web and associated development tools are now almost mature enough to bother with.

1989 (about $30k p.a)
2001 (about $120k p.a)
2002 (about $90K p.a - stinking bloody market)

Alberto
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

a) 2+ decades

b) Then: FORTRAN programming for science applications.
Now: C++ for satellite network control systems.

c) Sr. Software Engineer

d) +85%  with inflation taken into account

e)  Effect of the bubble: still employed but had to find new employer.  Effectively about a 15 year setback in career advancement.

mackinac
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

(a) 17 years

(b) Started from solid state physics, simulation, numerical methods, etc.  Spent 5 years of my life on Ph.D. in EE (it was hard; not sure if I would do it again), and finally moved away from physics to programming.

Now: Client/server solutions for digital imaging industry.

In between, worked on many other things, like industrial control software, mobile agents and even e-commerce.

(c) Most recently: Architect / Engineering manager.

(d) I moved from country to country many times. In USD equivalent, my salary increased about 50 times, but it means nothing. These countries had very different cost of living  / life style, so one can't compare salaries directly. Settled down in Silicon Valley in 1996, my position was Sr. Software Development Engineer. Since then, my salary increased approximately 2 times.

***

Now,  à week ago a part of our company was sold to a new owner and I got laid off, as a result of reorganization. So, at the moment, I'm unemployed, for the first time in these 17 years...

Well, the carreer path takes many interesting turns :o)

Igor K.
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

a.) 26 years

b.) Initially programs for DOS; currently .NET and cool new stuff

c.) Currently Architect for company

d.) Initially $10,000, from memory. Nowadays most income is from stock. Total remuneration about $2 billion per annum.

Call me Bill
Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Really Interesting guys, thanks.

Prakash S
Wednesday, December 18, 2002

a) 8
b) The first project I ever did was in Borland Object PAL, the database scripting language used in Paradox. Blowed if I can remember anything about it! Nowadays doing a mix of VB and C++ with a bit of databases thrown in. Oh, and documenting other people's code....
c) Never been anything more than "engineer" or "programmer"
d) 300%

Better than being unemployed....
Wednesday, December 18, 2002

a) I've been working for 4 years full-time; 7 years if you include part-time work.
b) I started as the webmaster for an online business, so that'd be web-based IT.  I'm now a technical writer, so I'm still in IT, though right now I'm working on a flight simulator project (a physical simulator, with motion control).
c) My current position is as chief technical writer, managing two other technical writers.  It's sort of management, but I do all of the actual documentation of the system (the other writers do formatting, cleanup, tweaking, etc.).
d) I went from $10/hour part-time, to $41K at my first full-time job.  I'm now making about $43K, though that's a fluke (I mis-estimated the difficulty of this job, and quoted a lowball figure; I can't change that until my current contract ends in February).  I should be making about $60K, based on my skills and the current job market.

Brent P. Newhall
Wednesday, December 18, 2002

A) 8 Years

B) Started developing small VB apps for my company (label printing, signage, etc).
I'm current working with Progress (4GL/DB). I will be moving to more .NET (VB/C#) in the next year. Yes I know, you've never heard of Progress....

C) Director of Development

D) 7 years ago: 18,000, 4 years ago: 38,000, Today: 80,000

marc
Wednesday, December 18, 2002

a.) Number of years you have been working?

uh, 7

b.) (technology & industry)?

Started out 1995 doing vertical market C/S software for the medical sector. Oracle & Delphi used. From 1999 Oracle stuff, first web-based things now in-house bank systems.

c.) What is your position

No title really, but Lead programmer / Architect type guy I would say looking at my current work tasks.

d.) Increase in salary

In 7 years I tripled my salary

Patrik
Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Are you nosy kinda guy?

wiser
Wednesday, December 18, 2002

> a.) Number of years you have been working?
>

7

> b.) What were you initially working on, and what are
> you working on currently (technology & industry)?

Originally: COBOL/DB2/CICS on mainframe
Current: C#, VB6, SQL Server

>c.) What is your position (Project Manager/ Architect/
>    Intern)

Developer

>d.) Increase in salary over the years (% amount would
> be fine:-))

424% from first job to current job.

Anonymous Coward
Wednesday, December 18, 2002

"Are you nosy kinda guy?"

VERY.

Prakash S
Wednesday, December 18, 2002

So perhaps you should choose to be detective as opposed to programmer.

Have you done any programming at all?!!

wiser
Thursday, December 19, 2002

Investigators are hired on a freelance basis by insurance firms.  You do "stakeout" type of work.  Good if that's the lifestyle you want.  It pays a respectable rate also.

Bella
Thursday, December 19, 2002

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