overtime, typical, bargaining for better hours
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Thread: overtime, typical, bargaining for better hours

  1. #1
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    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.

  2. #2
    DataMiser is offline Super Moderator Power Poster
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    Re: overtime, typical, bargaining for better hours

    I have no idea about bargaining for hours, I would think that depends on who you work for, the work load and staff.

    My first job in the programming field had me scheduled for a 40 hour week and most of the time it stayed pretty close to that, sometimes I would have to put in some extra hours to hit a delivery date but my boss would make that up to me by either letting me have time off on another day or work from home. The working from home was a bonus due to the 1 hour commute each way. Of course sometimes travel was required and sometimes that ran into extra time and overnight stays away from home.

    I quickly advanced through the ranks while there earning more money but the schedule stayed the same.
    Always use [code][/code] tags when posting code.

  3. #3
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    Re: overtime, typical, bargaining for better hours

    So DataMiser,
    When you had to put in extra hours to hit a due date how much was it? Because for me the extra hours about
    my regular 8.5-9.5 hours day is like 5 hours a weekend, but I've heard about people having to work till midnight
    to hit due dates. Did you have to do anything like that?

  4. #4
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    Re: overtime, typical, bargaining for better hours

    I meant "above" my regular 8.5-9.5 hours a day.. Didn't see an edit post option on this board.

  5. #5
    DataMiser is offline Super Moderator Power Poster
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    Re: overtime, typical, bargaining for better hours

    I don't remember ever having to stay at the office more than an extra hour or 2. There were a few times when I took some work home with me and worked late at home or a bit over the weekend but 99% of the time I was in my car and on the way home at 5:0x PM
    Always use [code][/code] tags when posting code.

  6. #6
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    Re: overtime, typical, bargaining for better hours

    Didn't see an edit post option on this board.
    At the bottom of each of your own posts when you are logged in there is an edit option.

    Quote Originally Posted by DataMiser View Post
    I don't remember ever having to stay at the office more than an extra hour or 2. There were a few times when I took some work home with me and worked late at home or a bit over the weekend but 99% of the time I was in my car and on the way home at 5:0x PM
    What's with the 5pm finish? I used to start at 8am and work until about 6pm Monday-Friday plus often a few hours on a Saturday - depending upon with what I was involved. If I was really involved in something deep I would sometimes work straight 36 hours.
    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on.

  7. #7
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    Re: overtime, typical, bargaining for better hours

    Quote Originally Posted by 2kaud View Post
    At the bottom of each of your own posts when you are logged in there is an edit option.
    Yes, but only after the user's total post count has reached a certain threshold (three, IIRC). And posts in the GD/CC section here don't count towards that total, so they probably don't contribute to enabling the Edit button either.
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  8. #8
    DataMiser is offline Super Moderator Power Poster
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    Re: overtime, typical, bargaining for better hours

    Quote Originally Posted by 2kaud View Post
    What's with the 5pm finish? I used to start at 8am and work until about 6pm Monday-Friday plus often a few hours on a Saturday - depending upon with what I was involved. If I was really involved in something deep I would sometimes work straight 36 hours.
    What's wrong with a 5PM finish? Our office hours were 9-5. Typically we were all out the door very close to 5pm. maybe 5 or 6 times over the course of 3 years I was there until 6 or after and one of those times was because I was the last one out the door and my car would not start

    I did have the flexibility to take work home with me if needed and could work from home from time to time. My main job was basically 9-5 but of course I did not stop there, at the time I was really into it and would work on other projects at home either for money, for work or just because I wanted to. For about 3 years my day was 12-14 hours on average during the week and another 10-20 hours over the weekend. After I left there I started working for myself so the hours were all over the place. For support I needed to be available 9-5 M-F but for my project work I did more in the evenings and at night than any other time.
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