I started doing sensitive web coding maybe 3 years ago. At the time I was getting paid 21.5k as a graphic designer (i was desperate). This was a small company
I had not done any real web coding- but the company had some intereting opportunities.- and .. hiring a real coder was out of the question.. you might as well have suggested 'why don't we blow up our cars in the parking lot?'
So.. I took to doing some stuff. Latern on it got to bigger stuff... and then people appeared with little budgets and serious needs.. and the company was happy to provide.
The boss harassed to no end - saying if a project was not complete soon - it would be given to some macromedia flash designer.
I tried to explain . .. look.. this is what can go wrong.. I'm debugging because it's a little harder to do this the right way. This really happens out there.. no.. seriously.. is it working? yes.. can we make it live? oh god no.. it's just for testing. - things would chill out for a bit but then.. the pressure as if nothing had been discussed.
Where is it? are you done? Why does it have to be perfect? they are not paying for perfect! we don't want perfect! what's taking so long, it should be a 5 hour project! --- and you try not to lose it and say 'we're taking online payments here from people, we are handling financial data, this is not a 5 hour project- we are doing this from scratch - why did you quote for 6 hours before you let me see the scope of the project?'
I almost lost my job and certainly lost my reputation - and any kind of references - working at that kind of place. There was tremendous pressure to do a quick dirty job on some potentially dangerous stuff.