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Money vs. Perl

by cog (Parson)
on Mar 15, 2005 at 16:55 UTC ( #439672=perlmeditation: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

I spent two years at a company where I barely could use Perl on real applications.

I started on a new job last January. It is *only* Perl.

Yesterday I was approached by another company wanting to hire me. They made it clear from the start that my salary would be higher and that I would have everything I would need. (basically, they have 150 employees, and none of them is using Perl ATM; yet, they suddenly realized they need a Perl programmer for a project they've inhereted).

I'm turning down this offer, for a bunch of reasons (one of them being the fact that I just started this new job and it doesn't feel right abandoning it so soon).

But the main reason I'm turning it down is this: It's Perl related, but it's not just Perl (actually, I'd say only 50% of it is Perl and the rest is stuff I really don't care about) and I like what I have right now.

The fact that I'd be making extra money sure sounds great, and there is some chance that I'll regret this decision in the future, of course, but I'm actually turning money down for Perl.

I was wondering if there's anyone else here doing this, abdicating from money for doing what they like, that being Perl programming.

Comment on Money vs. Perl
Re: Money vs. Perl
by Tanktalus (Canon) on Mar 15, 2005 at 17:38 UTC

    There's more to a job than money. There's happiness. If you can get paid for what you like doing, that's something that you should be taking into consideration as part of the "total compensation" of the job. And also your current financial status, and where you want it to be. For example, if you had $50,000 in student loans to pay off, I'm betting you'd take the extra money. Most people probably would. Nothing wrong with that if you're taking into consideration the entire picture (which includes YOU).

    You enjoy your job. That's great. Keep it. Don't keep it because of some heightened sense of loyalty (they likely don't have this sense towards you). Keep it because it fits your life - right now, and the future. (That's not to say you'll be in this job for the rest of your life, but that it's an appropriate stepping stone or way point on your journey.)

    And don't do something you don't like for an amount of money that is simply not worth it to you. (Again, different circumstances may dictate that it is worth it, but that doesn't sound like your position.)

    It's all about priorities. You come up with a set of priorities for your life, and evaluate each and every opportunity against those priorities. Where an opportunity comes up which clashes with your priorities, turn down that opportunity. Where an opportunity fails to come up to further your priorities, go out and make that opportunity happen.

Re: Money vs. Perl
by cbrandtbuffalo (Deacon) on Mar 15, 2005 at 18:01 UTC
    I think you are proving the generally accepted rule that money alone is a poor motivator for technical people. Once tech people reach a basic comfort level (food, shelter, computers), higher levels of cash alone won't make up for a bad job or uninspiring work.

    Paul Graham talks about this in his essay on great hackers and I've heard it mentioned elsewhere.

    I too took my current job for reasons other than money and I have not regretted it. In fact, the company I left, who had offered me more money to stay, had a lay-off soon after I departed. I have no way of knowing if I would have been part of the lay-off, but I certainly felt like I had made the right move.

      What on earth makes you think that this is anyway unique to "techincal people"? To be slightly pithy: Money motivates most, but happiness motivates all. By which I mean: Everybody wants a job they enjoy doing. Everyone. Now this may or may not be possible depending on where the person's skills lie, but that in no way diminishes their wanting happiness. And of course, a large part of happiness in a typical job is making enough to feed, clothe, shelter yourself and so on, and obviously this desire for food and clothing is no way unique to anyone. So really, saying "techincal people are less motivated by money" is a silly, arrogant saying. Now you probably didn't mean it that way, but I wanted to point it out that your statement some how implies that "techincal people" (whatever that is) are some how better, because they're less interested in money. Which isn't true.
        I didn't mean to suggest this phenomena was unique to tech people--that's just the limit of my experience. I don't have enough data, anecdotal or otherwise, to comment on other fields of employment. So limiting my statement to technical people is purely a function of my limited knowledge of the workforce. I'm sure you're correct that people in many other fields feel the same way.

        Graham also limits himself to tech people because that's who he's talking about in his essay. I should also clarify that I don't consider myself one of the "super-hackers" he refers to--although I wish I was one. :)

Re: Money vs. Perl
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on Mar 15, 2005 at 18:12 UTC
    I like what I have right now

    That's the kicker. However, and I put this forward very carefully - as a developer, you need to make sure you're not typecast as a Perl person. I can program in pretty much any language you put in front of me, yet contract houses will never look at me as anything but a Perl developer because that's 75% of what's on my resume. I can also be a junior DBA (in both Oracle and MySQL) and a junior sysadmin (for at least 3 flavors of *nix and Windows Server 2003), but I'll never get hired as either.

    Now, this makes me very attractive as a senior developer in a small firm, but I'm still shortchanged as a technical person creating a career. Just be warned.

    Being right, does not endow the right to be rude; politeness costs nothing.
    Being unknowing, is not the same as being stupid.
    Expressing a contrary opinion, whether to the individual or the group, is more often a sign of deeper thought than of cantankerous belligerence.
    Do not mistake your goals as the only goals; your opinion as the only opinion; your confidence as correctness. Saying you know better is not the same as explaining you know better.

      contract houses will never look at me as anything but a Perl developer

      I am still trying to understand exactly *how bad* that might be...

      It doesn't seem bad to me at the moment, because I do have a job and the market doesn't look too bad. And, moreover, Perl is what I like to do.

      OTOH, I realize that the market won't stay the same forever... there'll be ups and downs (and hey, I'm only 26).

      Perhaps it won't be as bad if I aim at having more things other than Perl in my resume...

        At some point, you're going to have other people who depend on you to bring in a certain amount of money on a regular basis. This is usually spouse / children, but not always. At that point, the fact that a job is steady, stable, not life-threatening, and bearable is more important than cool or specific language.

        Case in point - I recently left what was very close to my dream job (complete autonomy and my vision created the entire web prescence of a $100 million company) in order to work at a drudge-type job. Reason? I needed the extra $10k/year to pay for what my family needs. Things like a fence, swingset, new clothes, extracurricular activities ... *shrugs*

        Another point that's more where you seem to be - you probably have a certain amount of debt. Maybe a few credit cards, a student loan, and a car payment. Now, those aren't crimping your style. It's only $800/month and you make an extra $1000 on top of that + expenses. Now, imagine what happens when you buy a house, get married, and have a kid. $800/month gets eaten up real quick. Now, imagine what happens if you suck it up for a year, take the sucky job, get rid of all the debt, and then get married/buy a house/have a kid.

        I know what I wished I had done 6 years ago ...

        Being right, does not endow the right to be rude; politeness costs nothing.
        Being unknowing, is not the same as being stupid.
        Expressing a contrary opinion, whether to the individual or the group, is more often a sign of deeper thought than of cantankerous belligerence.
        Do not mistake your goals as the only goals; your opinion as the only opinion; your confidence as correctness. Saying you know better is not the same as explaining you know better.

Re: Money vs. Perl
by talexb (Canon) on Mar 15, 2005 at 19:12 UTC

    It sure is weird the twists and turns that a career can take. And following the 'highest salary' carrot doesn't always lead to the best jobs (for your definition of 'best').

    For some reason I often seem to end up in a small company, doing a variety of jobs and learning lots of different things. For me this is much more stimulating that sitting in a cube for month after month and working on a monolithic application as part of a three year project.

    More money sure is nice -- five years ago when I was an independent contractor I was for a while making double what I make now. Then again, I was working long hours down in my basement home office, and I wasn't learning anything.

    Well, that's not true -- I learned that you can't be 'doing' all the time; you also need time to learn, and you also need time to think. It's important to stay in touch with the professional community, either virtually (like here at Perl Monks), in person (monthly Perl Monger meetings) and elsewhere (I volunteer at Conestoga College in Kitchener/Waterloo as a member of a Program Advisory Committee).

    And of course, I'd love to abdicate from money, but the house, cars, utilities, groceries and of course taxes still have to be paid for.

    Alex / talexb / Toronto

    "Groklaw is the open-source mentality applied to legal research" ~ Linus Torvalds

Re: Money vs. Perl
by b10m (Vicar) on Mar 15, 2005 at 20:02 UTC

    I find this a ridiculous node. What are you trying to achieve here? Do you want people telling you how good you are for following your heart? Of course everyone will tell you to "do the work you like" over a job that pays more and most people do exactly that.

    I just don't see what this has to do with Perl. I bet that if you take your post, subsitute all "Perl" words with "BMW", you get the exact same replies on a BMW-lovers forum. (Although this would sound strange: "where I barely could use BMW on real applications.").

    --
    b10m

    All code is usually tested, but rarely trusted.
      I find this a ridiculous node.

      You're entitled to that opinion.

      Do you want people telling you how good you are

      No, I'm trying to understand whether I'm making a correct choice.

      Of course everyone will tell you to "do the work you like"

      Actually, dragonchild didn't say exactly that in Re: Money vs. Perl, and believe me that his comment got me thinking a lot about it all.

      subsitute all "Perl" words with "BMW", you get the exact same replies on a BMW-lovers forum

      Probably so, but I *am* a Perl-lover, and not a BMW-lover, and moreover, this is the community I love and the one I trust. If you don't like it, or if this is not the sort of thread you're interested in, there's always the SoPW and several other interesting sections on this site.

      In my opinion, the node is not ridiculous at all. But the node title might have been influential: "Money vs. Perl", though meant to sum up the original poster's dilemma, contains the hidden premise that money and Perl are contradictory, which is fortunately not necessarily true!

      It might be interesting, but possibly not assessable anymore, if the majority of answers would have been different with a different title. But I doubt it. Unlike certain other online communities, PM is usually not a place where people just follow trends, it's a place for people who can think for themselves and express their genuine opinion.

      As for b10m, you might have a point, but I dislike the negative tone of your comment, I would have preferred a more constructive language here. Why insult the original poster when you could just have given a hint about the node being possibly influential.

Re: Money vs. Perl
by rinceWind (Monsignor) on Mar 16, 2005 at 11:37 UTC
    You are inviting feedback on your career decision. Let me give you my feedback from >20 years experience of commercial IT.
    I spent two years at a company where I barely could use Perl on real applications.
    It's sad but true, that Perl is perceived in many organisations as merely glue, or a 'scripting language'. You can write full scale applications in perl, and it's very good at doing the job. However, you may encounter cultural resistance, especially when introducing the concepts of CPAN and open source development.
    I started on a new job last January. It is *only* Perl.
    This clearly sounds good to you. It sounds as if you approve of and want a job that is 100% Perl. This doesn't suit everybody, as many people would view the programming language as unimportant, and would look to using the job as an opportunity to gain skills learning a new programming language - enhancing the resume.
    Yesterday I was approached by another company wanting to hire me. They made it clear from the start that my salary would be higher and that I would have everything I would need. (basically, they have 150 employees, and none of them is using Perl ATM; yet, they suddenly realized they need a Perl programmer for a project they've inhereted).
    Sounds like they're desperate. What is the future of that project? Do they want to migrate it away from perl, because that is how it appears.
    I was wondering if there's anyone else here doing this, abdicating from money for doing what they like, that being Perl programming.
    There are other considerations. In particular, what is the working environment like? How much say do you have in design decisions? Do you get the opportunity to work on and with CPAN modules?

    If you are looking to author CPAN modules in work time, beware of the intellectual property issues involved - this also depends to a certain extent on your country's laws - see tilly's experience for one unfortunate episode.

    --
    I'm Not Just Another Perl Hacker

      many people would view the programming language as unimportant, and would look to using the job as an opportunity to gain skills learning a new programming language - enhancing the resume.

      This is also important to me. Being able to use Perl all day long will clearly enhance my Perl skills, and working as a consultant, jumping from client to client, is giving me the chance to work with several Perl tools (ATM I'm using Bricolage and HTML::Mason, but in a month from now I'll probably be a DBI man).

      What is the future of that project? Do they want to migrate it away from perl, because that is how it appears.

      It sounded like they were trying to get a new client. The project had already been around for a while and it seemed as though it was here to stay (the client is an international telecommunications company, which is selling the project worldwide).

      There are other considerations.

      Regarding the working environment there, it probably wouldn't be bad, because they wanted me to meet the client before making a decision; as for CPAN modules and such... I'm not sure... the place I'm working at now surely approves of those kind of things :-\

      Anyway, they called me again yesterday... I decided to let the door opened for a future oportunity, so they might be calling me again some months from now, if they still have a need for Perl...

Re: Money vs. Perl
by jhourcle (Prior) on Mar 16, 2005 at 12:29 UTC

    I spent two years at a company where I barely could use Perl on real applications.

    I started on a new job last January. It is *only* Perl.

    Just trying to get a feel on the situation -- by 'last January', do you mean Jan 2004, or Jan 2005? If it's Jan 2005, I'd agree -- I've flagged short non-contract work as a reason for not hiring someone.

    Yesterday I was approached by another company wanting to hire me. They made it clear from the start that my salary would be higher and that I would have everything I would need. (basically, they have 150 employees, and none of them is using Perl ATM; yet, they suddenly realized they need a Perl programmer for a project they've inhereted).

    If they're coming to you, you might have more leverage than you think. And the company is small enough, that they might have flexibility in their benefits and other terms.

    I'm turning down this offer, for a bunch of reasons (one of them being the fact that I just started this new job and it doesn't feel right abandoning it so soon).

    I'm a firm believer in going with your gut feeling. I personally don't like leaving in the middle of a project. But, if someone is specifically coming after you, you might ask them how often the offer is good for, as they might be willing to give you time to wrap up your responsibilities. (and hell, they may even look at that favorably, if they're not in a time crunch)

    But the main reason I'm turning it down is this: It's Perl related, but it's not just Perl (actually, I'd say only 50% of it is Perl and the rest is stuff I really don't care about) and I like what I have right now.

    You've also made the assumption that the two aren't mutually compatable. If they're trying to recruit you, they might be able to bring you on as a half time employee, or for consultation, etc. (although, there are other issues with consultation, as you're a different class of employee), Obviously, working two jobs may not be practical, if they're located hours apart, and they don't allow telecommuting, and there might be issues with moonlighting at your current job.

    The fact that I'd be making extra money sure sounds great, and there is some chance that I'll regret this decision in the future, of course, but I'm actually turning money down for Perl.

    I was wondering if there's anyone else here doing this, abdicating from money for doing what they like, that being Perl programming.

    I've left well paying jobs, but not because of the tools I was using. (although, I did get fed up with the tools, and had even bought my own laptop, just so I could use my prefered editor) ... and I was later told I was getting paid less than the people slacking off in the department. As much as you like one tool, I don't think it's a reason to leave or stay with a job, as it's being short sighted, to assume that it's always going to be best thing for the job. (I like Perl, but I'm not going to do everything in Perl.) I would say most of the factors in my choice of jobs are, in no particular order:

    • comfortable level of pay. (not living paycheck to paycheck)
    • enjoying the work. (challenging, but not that sink-or-swim feeling)
    • belief in the company's goals. (I prefer to work for education/non-profit)
    • commute time. (which is part of the stress issue).
    • working with people I get along with. (I don't have to be best friends, but a dumbass manager or co-worker can ruin things)
    • learning opportunities. (a chance to learn new things, not just repetitive tasks).

    There are probably other things, but these come to mind. Personally, I've left (or been fired from) jobs for personel reasons (in every one of the 4 instances in the last 11 years). However, I'm currently financially well-off, so money isn't a major consideration. I would give up my current job if I could get out of consulting, even if it is long-term consulting, assigned to a government agency.

      Jan 2004, or Jan 2005? If it's Jan 2005, I'd agree -- I've flagged short non-contract work as a reason for not hiring someone.

      Jan 2005.

      you might have more leverage than you think.

      Interesting... :-)

      You've also made the assumption that the two aren't mutually compatable.

      Yes, I did, but I also thought that even if they were, that was going to take practically all of my time, and I still need some of it left for some other stuff I'm involved in.

      even bought my own laptop, just so I could use my prefered editor

      You... bought a laptop just for an editor? :-)

      As much as you like one tool, I don't think it's a reason to leave or stay with a job, as it's being short sighted

      As much as I agree, I still think that this (my current job) is an excelent opportunity for me to excel in this particular tool (Perl).

        You... bought a laptop just for an editor? :-)

        Yep. I bought a $3500 laptop, so I could run a $70 piece of software (educational discount, the price has since gone up). I was doing Solaris sysadmin work, and I had Solaris and Windows (just for Visio/Excel/MSWord) on my desk. I'm more productive in BBEdit, which is Mac-only. Oddly enough, I never saw a single Sun Professional Services person running a sparc-based laptop, and they seemed about 50:50 Mac:Windows.

        As much as I agree, I still think that this (my current job) is an excelent opportunity for me to excel in this particular tool (Perl).

        I'm guessing that even though you're saying it's just for Perl, that there are other, less tangible things, that even if you can't easily put them into words. But that's not bad. Go with your gut instinct -- it's normally right. (okay, I admit, I spend way too much time reflecting on the past, doing the 'what-if' thing, but it's unhealthy to spend too much time dwelling on mistakes, once you've identified what the problem was, and how to identify it and avoid it in the future).

        Likewise, even though I said 'personel problems', it was actually much more complicated than that, and there were many other contributing factors.

        I would still advise against using one, and only one tool -- it's more important to do it because you're comfortable and happy using it, rather than just because it's Perl. Learn some other languages, too, as you'll find that there are some things that are easier to do in other languages, and it can help you think about your problems differently. Change is not necessarily bad, and if you fight it just for the sake of change, you'll have problems. There are valid times to fight change, but you have to access each instance individually.

        Besides, if you know other languages, it helps you when you have to migrate other programs to Perl

Re: Money vs. Perl
by Paulster2 (Priest) on Mar 16, 2005 at 13:57 UTC

    As stated previously, there is more points here than just money and perl. Job satisfaction is another very large point. Another point about the potential job that you are turning down; longevity. If I am reading between the lines correctly, it seems that the new job would only be for as long as they need you, not for a permanent hire. Would the gaining organization just throw you away when they are done with you? Is your current employer going to do the same? I guess you really don't know until it happens, unless they tell you up front. I don't think that I would leave a sure thing (ie: year(s) of employment) for something that might end in a few months.

    Paulster2


    You're so sly, but so am I. - Quote from the movie Manhunter.
Re: Money vs. Perl
by johndageek (Hermit) on Mar 16, 2005 at 14:27 UTC
    What is your long term plan?

    Your career pay scale is a lot like compound interest. Since most employers you work for will give you a percentage raise each year. Below is an example that does not take into account things like pay jumps for changing jobs, or bonus pay. (remember bonus pay is a one time thing, pay raises keep on giving, because they are compounded)

    Start pay |Years worked |pay rate with annual 3% raise
    15K20$27,091
    20K20$36,122
    25K20$45,152
    30K20$54,183

    This is not to say you should forgo happiness for money, but if you can get your pay rate up earlier in your career, it will tend to stay higher overall.

    No amount of money is worth being miserable for. Also integrity means something, your choice to stay with your current job because you have just taken it is a good idea. At one point in my career I decided to move (due to a variety of reasons, low pay being one of them). Found a new employer agreed to terms and accepted the position. Turned in notice to the president of the company, he accepted it. 2 days later Corporate owners offered close to 30K pay increase to stay. I turned it down, and went to the corporate president to ask what the heck this was about, his statement: “I told them not to bother trying, because your word is good”.

    Some employers are better than others, some will take advantage of you every way they can, others will be more fair (but remember they are in the business of making money). Some also have integrity when dealing with you, others do not. You must choose how you will deal with employers in your life.

    Good luck!

    Enjoy!
    Dageek

      It is good that you turned down the counter-offer. Never accept counter-offers. If you accept one, sure it may look tempting, but now they know you're dissatisfied and will never trust you again. One way or another you'll find yourself gone within 6 months, under worse circumstances than if you'd left immediately.

        In johndageek's reply, he mentioned that he had already accepted the new offer before tendering his resignation. Since that acceptance usually involves signing something, I would agree - quitting a job you haven't even started is crazy.

        That said, does anyone have the converse experience where they have an offer, have not yet accepted it, tender their resignation and get a counter offer? I'd love to hear those experiences, how they worked out (whether taking the counter or not). Personally, I think my boss realises that I'm looking out for my own best interest1,2, thus would never trust me less just because I got another offer, and my current employer had to counter offer to keep me. But I may be deluding myself - stories to help convince me either way would be appreciated :-)

        1 I moved about 2.5 years ago. I don't mean a move across town. I mean a move two timezones away. It took us over 30 hours of driving to get to our new home. When I told my boss this was what I wanted to do, we worked out an arrangement to make both of us happy. He did raise one concern: that once I got here, I'd be looking for other employment. I told him that as long as I was getting a better deal with them, there was no point to looking elsewhere (I do work for a relatively large company). Of course, being 2.5 years later now, if he didn't trust completely at that time, he probably does now.

        2 I make no qualms that the only reason why I want to make high-quality software is not to make customers happy or ecstatic or any silly buzz term, but to keep the customers from calling for support. This, in turn, will reduce the amount of my time that support takes from me in solving customer problems. The more time I spend on support, the less time I have to work on the next version of our off-the-shelf software. The less time I have to spend on the next version, the less productive I am. The less productive I am, the worse my yearly review. And my yearly review translates directly (at least in this company) to yearly bonus and the yearly salary review. This is not about the customer. This is about my take-home pay. As of yet, my management structure has had no problems with this. In fact, I'm betting they wish others would take the same cause-and-effect view of their own contribution to the product. :-)

Re: Money vs. Perl
by steelrose (Scribe) on Mar 16, 2005 at 18:34 UTC
    My last job didn't use perl at all when I got there. I'm proud to say I changed that, and the experience I got with perl there allowed me to move to a job that not only pays better and has better benefits, but also allows me to continue to grow and learn new techonlogies. I realize this doesn't happen for everyone (just to get into the IT field I had to take a large pay cut, but I was looking at the LONG TERM situation). When it's all said and done, it's a personal decision. What is right for you may not be right for someone else, and what's right for you today may not be what you thought was right yesterday.
Re: Money vs. Perl
by cybear (Monk) on Mar 17, 2005 at 10:59 UTC

    Keep in mind you are talking about a job, not your life. Don't confuse the two.

    If you are single, do what you love.

    If you are married, or have children, consideration of their live-style has to come first. If you can provide them with the basics of life in a safe, peaceful environment, save for emergencies and their future, and still by the wife a diamond every so often, then ignore the money... but don't blow off an opportinity to improve everyone's life because you don't enjoy the less than 1/3 of your life that you spend at work.

    Keep in mind you are talking about a job, not your life. Don't confuse the two.

    - cybear

Re: Money vs. Perl
by kgraff (Monk) on Mar 17, 2005 at 15:41 UTC

    Dividing your resources between two or more job functions can be frustrating. What do you do if there is a simultaneous crisis in both? Managers don't like to think in those terms, but it happens more often than you would think. Especially beware of being sucked into the black hole of Windows support, which can expand to fill all the time you have! Programming takes concentration, so things like filling in taking calls at a help desk can totally destroy the ability to do what you love. It sounds like you are in a good situation where you are.

    Kathy

Re: Money vs. Perl
by scmason (Monk) on Mar 17, 2005 at 16:11 UTC
    You know what, in a way I am. My current position is for an R&D company where I get to work on multiple interesting projects simultaneously. Of course, not all are in Perl but all are interesting and cutting edge. Some are python, C++, or Java. Viva La Difference!

    I could have taken a job for more money, but I am happy/secure in this job. I look forward to work each day. I think that when you jump a fence for what looks like greener grass, you almost always regret it. That's not to say that one should not take risks and grab for the brass ring sometimes, but dont fall off the horse when it just a cheesey old plastic ring anyway.

Re: Money vs. Perl
by fraktalisman (Hermit) on Mar 19, 2005 at 22:49 UTC

    Work, money, ideals, interests, longterm development ...

    Every day you can read about globalization, jobless crisis, the rich getting richer, the poor getting poorer etc. It seems to be all about money.

    At the same time, some conservative business people try to remind us of the days shortly after WW2. In Germany, this was the era of "social capitalism" (soziale Marktwirktschaft), and those conservatives point out that there is more to business than just money, and that most people nowadays seem to have forgotten about it. There was a long-term relationship between employers and employees. You wouldn't just leave your job because someone else offered you a few bucks more. And also, as an employer, you wouldn't just fire any employee just because times were hard or to make more surplus even if there is no need to fire anybody.

    If you have a job that you think you could continue for years, being quite happy, developing your skills at work, while earning enough money for yourself, your family, for some pension insurance, that's a very good thing. That's a wonderful job! Why should you quit? Don't quit!

Re: Money vs. Perl
by Akhasha (Scribe) on Mar 21, 2005 at 06:39 UTC
    I've recently done something obliquely similar. I used to work for a company writing casino games in Java. At first it was good, the team was great and there were lots of interesting problems, but what got to me in the end was what we were making. I'm not fond of gambling. I can't help but zoom out and see it as a tool for the redistribution of money, generally from people who are already poorer to people who are already richer. Not that banning it and driving it underground would help, I've come to see the rise of gambling as a failure of the education system's statistics syllabus. (MIT Blackjack teams aside)

    My subsequent and current job involves a lot of Perl and Debian Linux sysadmin work. At first just the feeling that I was making something (network monitoring) of real use to somebody was good enough. But I'm learning that managment of software development is normally quite poor and this place is no exception.

    Recently I was offered my old job back for nearly twice the gross figure that I made before. I surprised myself by not turning it down immediately, but after a week of consideration I did decline the offer. Partly because Perl seems to embrace the environment it runs in while Java seems to shun or substitute it, partly because I like the small team size here, but mainly because of the ethical difference in what the two jobs end up producing.
      I was offered my old job back for nearly twice the gross figure that I made before.

      The way I see it, you were being underpaid :-) Otherwise they wouldn't offer you twice as much as you made before.

      Back in the place I was before, when I said I was leaving, they didn't made me an offer; instead, they asked me to tell them how much I wanted to make and told me they would give me that figure. Of course, the fact that they had been telling me they couldn't pay me more for so long and then the sudden change made me even more decided about leaving than I was before...

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