May 4th, 2013, 05:56 PM
overtime, typical, bargaining for better hours
I was wondering, how much overtime is typical for a computer programmer, and
how skilled and experienced does a programmer have to be to bargain for a 40 hour week?
How much do you work at your job and how much do most programmers have to work?
I'm not sure I trust what I read as a google search result that it's about "40" hours
a week because that could be a ploy by businesses to get more people to go into
programming. And 45 could be considered "about" 40, but an extra 5 hours a week is a significant
extra chunk of time out of a person's life. I wouldn't be surprised if, from what I have heard,
most programmers have to work overtime.
More importantly, will I be able to bargain for this given my ability?
I hope it doesn't sound like I'm bragging, but I want to give an accurate description
of where I stand as a programmer so as to get an idea of what my future bargaining
power will be for less overtime, or hopefully no overtime.
Here is a general idea of where I stand as a programmer, I hope it does not sound like
I'm bragging, but I want to get an idea of what my possibilities are and how much experience
I should have where I can expect to be able to bargain for a 40 hour week. Free time
is more important to me than money, although I still do prefer more pay obviously.
I have programmed since age 6, but I don't want to say that on an interview
because if I'm asked, in what language, and I say Basic, and they ask Visual Basic,
what do I say, because it was Basic on an Apple IIe which will reveal my age.
I am now 36 years old and I don't want to have to explain why I took so long
to get a degree. I started programming in C++ at age 13. That is what I feel
okay with saying at an interview.
I can write programs recursively, understand how to optimize algorithms for efficiency,
and have been able to solve programming problems well. In college I always was able
to solve my programming projects, every once in a while I asked for help from the teacher,
but it was only to understand how things were working more in depth because due to
absent mindedness I don't always understand what others are explaining. I was usually
the first person to finish my programming projects, even though in a class of about 25
people, in terms of programming project coding skills I was usually about #1-#5, it varied, usually I
was about #3. In one class I got the highest grade in the class for the programming project,
and there was no one tied for #1 with me. There were about 20 people in that class,
and even though I got a B in the class, I was #1 for the programming project.
In terms of getting right to work and being the first to complete, I was almost always
#1. Our college was quite rigorous as in our algorithms class (our hardest
class), the best programmer in the class, who could multiply 2 4 digit numbers in his head
in about 4 seconds, got about a 60%, which got curved to an A. I got a 36% which got
curved to a C, but again this was due to my attention span problem as I don't always
understand the meaning of what people are trying to explain to me. And our college ranked
about number 30-40 in the world in Top Coder in 1996 (Ohio University, not Ohio State University),
even though no one's ever heard of us and we're not in the rankings for top programming
colleges in Ohio, but I'm skeptical if those rankings are accurate, as usually in Top Coder
only about 5 colleges from the United States rank in the top 100 in the world at any one time.
At my current job, when I finished my first code my team
lead said I have a bright future. I was one of two people on a team of about 10 programmers
to be given the most difficult page. (the other person is a Senior level programmer)
I had to have an understanding of recursion to solve it as it populated trees, and I solved
that portion of it fairly quick.
And everyone is calling me the coded unit test expert, which may be an overstatement as
an expert is supposed to know most things in that field, but not having sufficient experience
and being there are still quite a few things I don't know, I don't think I can be called an expert yet.
Anyways, what do I say on an interview if someone asks my weaknesses? I have a hard time
giving the suggested BS line "I overwork myself". Especially if I'm shooting for less working hours.
Anyways, any insight into how much overtime I could bargain away after 1, 2, 5, 10 years experience..
What is reasonable to expect someone like me to get? I'm more concerned with free time than money.
I am fine with a 40 hour week and do not need less than that.
Any insight into these issues would be great.
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