Just one geek's opinions and epiphanies

#talkpay: 13 years of my professional life

#talkpay has taken twitter by storm. I wanted to go a little longer form because I want to get the whole story of how I got to where I am at out there, and documented for everyone to see. I will not disclose my current salary, because I haven't been approved (I haven't asked) but it is considered confidential at my company.

I graduated from ITT Technical in September 11th, 2002. I had an associates degree in Computer Networking Systems Technology. I had given up on networking and decided to pursue a paycheck (read: things were tight, needed a job). I landed my first post-school job at Overstock.com as Customer Service Phone rep. I was making $10/hour. I soon helped the company start their first email response team. Manually typing out emails with links to best selling products. I had known HTML since middle school (6th grade) and I had been friendly with computers from earlier in life. My training in HTML and small scripting allowed me to knock out hundreds of emails a day, where most team members were completing 20 to 50.

This gave me opportunity to move into the Affiliate Marketing department, with a small raise to $11/hour. I spent a few years working in this department. I started as part of a 2 or 3 person team. Our 3rd basically showed the 2 of us how to do things, and then went on to better things. While there I learned PHP, JavaScript, some JSP, some Java, SQL, MySQL administration, Apache configuration, some Linux, and how to talk tech. When I finally left the company I was earning $15/hour and had a small chunk of Restricted Stock Units (RSUs).

I left that company for a whirl wind of stops at other small tech companies, each time increasing my salary. First at GrabTakeOut.com (no gone), WebStats (they were purchased by Adobe/Omniture), Lantis Fireworks (mostly non tech related work), SOS Staffing Inc (now Elwood Staffing), Code Greene, and Progrexion Marketing.

Each time I moved from one company to the next I would go to the internet, and find the salary range that is expected for the titles I would be taking. I would determine if I met the requirements of the job, if I knew the technologies, how well I knew the technologies, and how much I would have to learn quickly, to earn what I was asking. Never did I take a job with a salary request that I wasn't certain I was worth. I always asked for more than I felt I was worth, so that when the dust settled I would have what I thought I was worth. This is probably the most important part of all of this... I always got what I felt I was worth. My self worth was my target salary.

Once in my 13 years as a professional, I took a job offer, and was backed into a corner with my salary negotiation. It soured the entire experience at the company, and as a result I only stayed with the company a short time. Their expectation of my worth, was not held to my requirements. I walked. I got a MUCH better job, with a company that respects whole-heartedly their employees.

In 13 years I went from $20,800/yr in customer service to roughly 7x that, by simply continuing to learn, grow and expand my worth. Today I program in Python, to asist in Infrastructure Automation, with the title Senior Infrastructure Engineer. To get where I am today I never stopped learning. Today I am learning new things. Tomorrow I will learn more new things. I will never stop learning, becuase if I do, my worth will decline.

If you want to #talkpay that's fine, I have things to go learn so I can continue to #earnpay

The Interview

Spoilers ahead, you've been warned.

I had the opportunity tonight to watch The Interview starring James Franco, and Seth Rogen. There has been a lot in the news lately about this movie, and the chaos surrounding the films release. If you aren't familiar with it all, well, this isn't a recap of all that. This is my thoughts on the movie.

The long and short of it is this, people are really hating on the movie. I am sure most of this conversation is because of all the hype the movie had, with the press, and actions in cyber security surrounding the film. Basically, it was another Seth Rogen and James Franco movie.

If you saw This is the End, that also starred Seth Rogen, and James Franco, then you basically saw The Interview. Except instead of rapture, it's Kim Jong Un. The two Americans are teamed up in an awkwardly homosexual relationship and they are thrown against odds to defeat some super power. They experience drugs and they ultimately conquer something.

If you are expecting an amazing film with a lot of laughs, then this probably isn't the film for you. If you are looking for a few laughs, some carnage and Seth Rogen being awkwardly persued by James Franco, then this is the movie for you.

I rather enjoyed the film, but I think it was because I was expecting it to suck more than it did. All in all, good film.

Fedora 21 Launched!

Well, Fedora 21 is in the wild... time to update my workstation. Back in a while

Seattle Social Experiment #1 Update

Seattle Social Experiment #1 Update

Well I have to say I am really surprised. I have gone two weeks with a 12-pack in the fridge at the office, and not once has a can gone missing. Color me surprised. I am impressed. I guess I was wrong in my hypothesis.

What shall I experiment with next?

Seattle Social Experiment #1


Back in September I took a position at Zulily, and I moved to Seattle. As I am sure is no surprise to anyone, in Seattle Coffee is king! I mean, it has it's own Wikipedia Page. Unfortunately I never really acquired the taste for hot coffee. Iced is fine. However, there are no iced coffee machines in my office.*

The Problem

So what is the problem? There is caffeine in the office, right? Yes, but as I stated I don't like hot coffee, I am more of a cold drink guy. In fact, my drink of choice is Mtn Dew.

Time to tldr this puppy. 1 set of vending machines, with 0 bottles of MtnDew (also those bottles are $1.50 a pop, screw that!) The closest store with MtnDew to the office is 50ft in elevation change (up hill) and they only sell 1 liter bottles, and those are almost $3. Safeway sells 12-packs for about $4. Some quick math:

  • 1 liter = 33.814oz = $3 = $0.08/oz
  • 12-pack of 12oz cans (144oz) = $4 = $0.02/oz

The rest of the problem is how to drink cold Mtn Dew. There is only 1 way to get ice in the office, it is 1 city block and 1 stair case away. Too far, and it turns off at 2pm, so there is no cold drinks after 2. Insane.

The Experiment:

Against my better judgement I have decided to bite the bullet and put a 12-pack in the fridge. I plan to take a few stabs at this with the following being the hypothesis:

Phase 1

A lone 12-pack will be raided (taken without payment or thanks)

If this happens, well it happens. I won't fault those who take my Mtn Dew, it is an amazing drink.

Phase 2

Phase two of the experiement will be a 12-pack with a sign that reads:

Please don't drink my Mtn Dew -- Bear

I figure this will lose less Mtn Dew, but it isn't as friendly to those craving the sweet nectar. Which brings me to phase three of my plan.

Phase 3

A 12-pack with a sign that reads:

1 Can = 2 Quarters ($50)

I will leave a small paper cup at the bottom. I will either earn a little coin, or lose coin and MtnDew.

Let the experiment begin.