3

I would like to start off with the fact that I am not the smartest or greatest developer by any means, but I do have a good work ethic and finish my tasks, although it may take longer than others do. I have been with this company for almost 12 years, my first stint as a developer straight out of college at the age of 30.

We have grown is size and currently doing quite well to the point new hires were brought in. This infuriated me as my boss, just last year, acknowledged my efforts and shared that my salary should be way higher but it has to be approved by the board. Now I have heard this a lot and so have the others who started a long time ago. This increase would be life changing for me as I know my currently salary is lower than what new hires are starting with.

My question is do I bring this up with him on my next meeting and respectfully demand this increase? We all know that he has the final say on the increase, so why would he tell me I deserve it. It's not your typical increase; he actually stated I should be $20k higher.

I guess it may time to move on, or stick it out until I am let go. Considering a career change anyway; don't want to be a developer going into 50.

thanks for any clarity or advice.

closed as primarily opinion-based by gnat, GreenMatt, IDrinkandIKnowThings, Rory Alsop, jcmack May 20 at 18:07

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Has your boss submitted your salary increase to the board for approval? – sf02 May 17 at 15:43
  • Not that I know of; but we [original engineers] all know that at the end of the day, its up to him. He has the final say. I plan to meet with him in a few weeks. Trying to finish up enough projects to have an argument for me. – vbNewbie May 17 at 15:51
  • Ok will do; thanks. Now, why the down vote. The reason I posted here was because I saw a lot of these type of questions. – vbNewbie May 17 at 16:02
  • The question itself is not a problem, but a lot of what you're saying has nothing to do with the question really. – Jonast92 May 17 at 16:14
  • what do you have in writing about this? – aaaaaa May 17 at 20:00
2

Speak with your boss, in private, to ask him this:

"Sir, you said on (date) that I might be getting a raise. I could really use the increased pay. What can I expect about it?"

Don't bring up fairness or years of service or the size of the raise he promised or anything else. Believe me, your boss knows about those things already.

And, just for your own information, you may embarrass the boss a bit by asking him this. That's why you need to do it in private. Why might he be embarrassed? Some possible reasons.

  • He broke rule one of being a boss. That rule is Never make jokes or offhand remarks or promises about peoples' pay unless you are prepared to deliver promptly. People never forget that kind of thing.

  • He may have tried and failed to get you the raise he mentioned. That's a genuine failure on his part. When a board of directors refused to accept his proposed pay increases, it was humiliating. Ask me how I know this when you have an hour or two to spare.

  • You're calling him out on something he said he would do and then didn't.

A simple and respectful question about your pay is completely appropriate in private in the workplace.

As for finding something else to do, it's a good idea to try. Contrary to many young peoples' opinions, 50 isn't old. Many employers place a high value on experience. To prepare for interviews, you may want to study up on some open-source projects, or even contribute to one. You might also take some relevant online classes from Udacity or Free Code Camp or whatever, to sharpen your jargon and broaden your knowledge.

And, when you do get to be a boss, you'll remember this: Don't break rule one!

5

I finish my tasks, although it may take longer than others do. I have been with this company for almost 12 years, my first stint as a developer straight out of college at the age of 30.

While many companies look after long serving employees, length of service in itself doesn't necessarily provide values to the company. What matters to them is how quickly and to what standard you complete your tasks and how well you work with your colleagues.

We have grown is size and currently doing quite well to the point new hires were brought in. This infuriated me as my boss, just last year, acknowledged my efforts and shared that my salary should be way higher but it has to be approved by the board.

New hires have been brought in because you have too much work for the current team to handle on their own. While it does indicate that the company is in a reasonably strong financial position, it is unlikely to have any impact on your pay, unless perhaps you are promoted into a position of responsibility over some of these new hires.

Now I have heard this a lot and so have the others who started a long time ago. This increase would be life changing for me

What you would use the money for is irrelevant. What matters is how valuable you are to the company.

as I know my currently salary is lower than what new hires are starting with.

It may feel unfair, but ignore what the new hires are on, especially if you've not heard their salary through official channels. It's a useful indication that your company can afford to pay you more, but do not use it as a negotiating tactic.

do I bring this up with him on my next meeting and respectfully demand this increase? We all know that he has the final say on the increase, so why would he tell me I deserve it. It's not your typical increase; he actually stated I should be $20k higher.

Step back and consider your options:

  1. You could continue working in your current job at your current salary
  2. You could continue working in your current job at an increased salary
  3. You could find a new job

Assuming your manager values your work but is trying to minimise the company's costs then their preferred option is (1). They will only want to increase your salary if they think you're likely to find a new job because of money.

Research the local job market and find some jobs with published salaries that you think you would be a good candidate for. Then go to your manager and say "I really enjoy working here, but I've been looking at the local job market and can see that I would be able to earn $x if I switched jobs (show examples to explain why you've said $x). I can't afford to keep missing out of that extra money, what can you do that will allow me to stay here?"

This way you're saying that you're trying to be loyal to the company, but there's a reason that they control that is making it difficult. It's then up to them to consider whether they can justify your request and to come back with a counter offer. Ask for something that you think is achievable for your company (you can consider colleagues salaries to guide this, but don't tell your manager you have done so). If you ask for too much in one go your manager may struggle to justify that to his superiors.

I guess it may time to move on, or stick it out until I am let go.

If you think they want to let you go then all of the above is irrelevant. They are not going to give you a pay rise if you are not worth your current salary to them.

Should you move on? If you want to progress as a developer, then yes.

12 years is a long time in one role for a developer. By switching role you'll be exposed to new technologies and new ways of working. Should you be looking for another developer role in 5 years time, you'll be a stronger candidate if you can talk about how you worked in two teams and the different things you learnt in each of them. A new employer also doesn't know your salary history, so it's much easier to get a big jump, if you are underpaid by market rates.

If you want to pursue a role outside of software development then forget about everything above and work out where it is that your future lies. Don't just leave because you're hitting a number though. Leave because there's something else that interests you more.

  • 1
    The one comment I caught that might be part of the issue, and is not mentioned here, is that you are considering a career change and cannot see yourself developing after 50. If that statement is from being frustrated with the company you work with is different than if you really feel being a developer isn't something you want to still be doing at 50. If you really don't like developer type work it will get progressively more difficult to keep up the facade and you will get further "behind". You need to assess the true source of your frustration before you can make a change. – Friddy May 17 at 20:26
  • I would point out that "length of service in itself doesn't provide values to the company" should be "length of service in itself doesn't necessarily provide values to the company". Sometimes, knowledge of processes, etc. does help. – Robert Dundon May 17 at 20:28
  • @RobertDundon I'd argue that's covered by you completing your tasks faster/to a higher standard, but I've added the extra word. – thelem May 17 at 20:33
  • @Friddy +1. I definitely skipped over the "do I really want to be a developer" bit because I'd already written so much about asking for a pay rise. – thelem May 17 at 20:35
  • 1
    This is very appreciated, @thelem; I needed an outsiders perspective and your comments very helpful. Thank you – vbNewbie May 17 at 20:41
1

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

According to you: Your boss already knows you should be paid a lot more than you are. Your boss is paying new hires considerably more than you. Your boss either has asked for a raise for you and been refused, or hasn't asked.

You could make vague threats, but the company has shown they know how to hire new developers for your group, so why should they listen?

Instead, considering you are about 42 (12 years + first job at 30), you're in the window for age discrimination. This likely will impact any hunt for a new job, so you want to be hunting while getting paid, rather than hunting while your savings account runs dry.

What you need to do is find another job, ideally one with a career path upwards that you would be willing to follow. Manager at 50 is not unreasonable, if you're willing to pull on your grown-up pants and learn another field (management).

Twelve years in one spot is more than enough. Go looking for a new job, figure out what new things you need to learn in order to land a new gig, and learn them while you're being paid at your current company.

If new hires are being paid much more than you, then you can look forward to a nice raise at your new place. You can also expect to be a lot happier and to grow a lot after the job change.

  • Appreciate you being forthcoming. – vbNewbie May 20 at 14:11
0

I would recommend bringing this up with your boss. You've proven yourself effective and an asset to the company. You probably won't get 20k, but it will be something.

Also think about your position in life. Ageism is a thing in the programming industry which is something to consider at the age of 40+. You may not be hired at another firm again. May as well make the best of your last job.

  • 3
    I would cut the second paragraph, which is needlessly negative and counterproductive, and expand on the ideas in your first paragraph instead. – mcknz May 17 at 19:50
  • @persona-non-grata; I appreciate your comments, including the second paragraph. These things needed to be noted. – vbNewbie May 17 at 20:43
  • @mcknz thank you for the feedback – Skater-Boi May 17 at 23:48

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.