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- UK 1st class computing degree
- 3+ years working in software dev since graduation
- 1+ year Android dev (unofficially; as it's not my contractual role)
- Hobby android dev experience (one app on Play store; 2k+ downloads)
- 4+ years (fragmented) experience with my current employer
- 29 years old
- currently paid £22,300 PA, permanent contract
18 months ago I moved back to my home town, and contacted my old manager to see if there were any jobs going. There was nothing available that fully utilised my skill set, the closest job was Test engineer (hardware and software tester for an upcoming product release), which I accepted for 22k PA.
Long story short, the product suffered a major delay, resulting in a lot of 'free time', so I used the spare time to do R&D in Android development; I already do some programming in Android as a hobby so I was curious if I could interface with our products through the android platform.
This R&D has resulted in myself producing a driver and a software package to use our products on the Android platform. I showed it off to my manager and sales, and they liked it; so much that my role as shifted into 100% Android development - I have been doing this for about a year now. 6 months ago, I was also given a company apprentice to help in my development, who I am responsible for managing.
My efforts reached a pinnacle recently, where I went to a major trade show in Paris to demonstrate what I have produced to our costumers, which was received really well. This also garnered me a lot of internal notoriety as senior management were able to see my software in action for the first time.
Post trade show, I've been attending meeting where sales are developing their strategies to refine and sell what I have produced, so it's all starting to kick off.
Getting to the point:
Basically I want more money! When I initially took the testing role for 22k I knew I was getting underpaid, but I took it anyway as it meant I could conveniently stay in my home town and rework at a company that I like. But now my role has completely changed.
I love where I work, and what I do, but I'm getting old and want to be able to afford a mortgage etc which is not possible with my current annual take-home.
Other motivators are that I know graduates fresh out of uni who earn more than I currently do. I see my friends, some of which don't have degrees, earn more than me. Heck, I have a friend who didn't even go to college who got a job handling PPI calls for Barclays who earns the same as me. I really feel like I'm getting left behind, and damaging my future by not acting.
As you can probably tell, I get a bit clouded by emotion when I think about my situation! Which is why I'm here, I need some straight practical advice and opinions.
So, how should I approach this? I guess I'm not asking for a raise; it's more of a promotion, so I'm officially recognised as an Android developer, and paid accordingly.
Who should I talk to, to initiate this? My line manager, or go straight to the department manager? ( I have zero experience asking for something like this! little nervous, but definitely feel confident enough to stand my ground).
Given the context, my qualifications, experience, and proprietary domain knowledge, how much do you think I should be asking for? Personally I feel somewhere between 30-32k, does that sound realistic? Should I be more / less ambitious?
I'm also very interested in your thoughts of the situation!
Apologies for being so wordy! This has been on my mind for a long time :3