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I have a question for you guys.

The story is this:

I got hired to make VBA Macros for a company, but when I joined this company they did not have any infrastructure in place to support the idea collection, rewards for employees that come with the ideas, etc., nothing done. I got proactive and started creating stuff and getting people moving and ended up creating the infrastructure for the company in as little as 2 months (I have 5 months now here), I had to learn how to code in VB/C#.Net to create an application for them and two more in order to collect ideas and show relevant data related to the ideas submitted or implemented.

Now comes the important part, this company has a 3rd party doing their RPA solutions for them and they are not happy with them, and they asked if I could search for an RPA software to adopt and try to do their work and replace them eventually. I presented UiPath and it was accepted and will be adopted soon in the toolset. I am now working on creating a hybrid-automation framework locally that users can send commands to in order to run the processes on a robots I make.

I am not required contractually to do this because I only signed up for VBA, how much should I ask for when I want to renegociate the contract to take on the new responsabilities? I also want to note I am their first and only developer that they have, I know their systems very well and am in a favorable position to ask for a renegociation.

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    "I am not required contractually to do this because I only signed up for VBA" Read your contact very carefully before trying this line - most will include "other duties as required" Jan 13 at 23:13
  • @PhilipKendall it includes the following line "vba and any other tools available for this programming language." Jan 13 at 23:14
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    "if they lose me they'll have a lot of recovering to do with another developer" - why? Do you expect the transition to take some time? is the framework you developed not documented or amicable with new users or someone taking over it? are you the sole person that know anything about the working of the framework? - "they might have to end up paying more and having them cost them more to understand what I've done here" - This somewhat confirms that the framework may be lacking good documentation or document on their use... but I'm assuming.
    – DarkCygnus
    Jan 13 at 23:28
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    Don't assume you are not replaceable. Everyone can be replaced.
    – Trevor
    Jan 14 at 14:21
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    @LaurianAvrigeanu - "the graveyards are full of indispensable people". Jan 14 at 14:28
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Generally, yes, if you were originally contracted to do a job with a certain scope and then because of your initiative and abilities took on a much larger scope (in this case spearheading an RPA integration project), you are totally justified in seeking higher compensation.

To do this successfully, the decision-makers need to be aware of your contributions. In a place where you are "the first programmer", they might not understand the work you do, nor see an increased value in "RPA" vs "more excel/VBA macros" (for example). It's up to you, in collaboration with your the people you're directly working with, to make the value of your work known.

Your core question of "how much" more you should ask for depends on the nature of the work and what the rate is for that work in your locale, so it's really not possible to answer specifically. You are in a better position than anyone here to figure out "how much".

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This is the nature of IT work.

My advice is this: Almost everything you build in your career will be specific to you and be marginally understandable by others. If you're great at commenting your code it will be easier for those coders in the future (and for you as well). If you are building systems without documentation expect it to bite you in the future - if not for your future work at this company then at a future one when your poor documentation is discovered and your reputation suffers everywhere. I also can't imagine a job where you only do exactly what is described in your contract unless it's a 1960s-era steelworker contract where lots of workers did nothing all day. Trying to claim that you're doing more than you should, especially when you obviously like doing it, is just a way to not get a new contract.

Every company knows this. Don't expect this company for your IT department of 1 to know it any better or worse. Do expect that when you do good work you will be rewarded, but if you try to mention how indespensible you are, you may get rudely reminded that you aren't. At your next contract, discuss what you've done for them, and in particualr what the results of those activities have been. That's all you need to do.

"Any person who sees themself as a fixed cost is at risk of becoming a variable one."

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  • This is very true, many times I have come across people who think they are so important the company would fall apart without them. They leave, and what happens ? Nothing, they are just replaced. No one person is bigger than the company. Jan 14 at 16:14
  • @TigerGuy, Where are you getting the idea that many steelworkers in the 60's "did nothing"? Steelworkers have ALWAYS had among the most physically demanding occupations imaginable.
    – teego1967
    Jan 14 at 19:27

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