I do not have a university degree, but I am self taught programmer with 3 years of commercial experience coding Ruby on Rails. I have voluntarily left my last job after PM called me some horrible names in response of me claiming that his code is wrong. One thing left to another and I didn't turn up at work on the next day. That lead situation where I had to leave voluntarily, I was told that the other option was me being fired.

I had six interviews since then, but didn't get a job. I am not entitled to have any help from the government and my savings will run out in couple of weeks. I was thinking about advertising willingness to work at or below minimum wage.

Before I left the job I was bombarded by phone calls from recruiters tempting me with jobs. When I left some members of the team contacted me on social networks and said that I was a good programmer and thought I would be able to find a job quickly. Also my https://www.hackerrank.com rank made me think I was not too bad programmer. But not I'm beginning to think that it all doesn't matter.

Looks like I will have to try to find some customer at the half of market rates in order to attract somebody willing to pay little money. If I really cut down my expenses I could be able to survive.

Has anybody successfully tried that? Did it work? How did you do it?

  • 1
    Duplicate of recent question.
    – keshlam
    Jul 25, 2016 at 1:27
  • 1
    @keshlam, link please Jul 25, 2016 at 1:31
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    Duplicate vote cast. Note that working for less than minimum wage is, by definition, illegal.
    – Lilienthal
    Jul 25, 2016 at 8:44
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    It is illegal to employ you for less than minimum wage. In a professional field if you price yourself too low, people will think you are unskilled and be less willing to hire you unless it is very bad company. Also six interviews isn't much, triple the number of companies you apply to rather than cut your salary down.
    – HLGEM
    Jul 25, 2016 at 14:40
  • At least under American law, it is illegal to pay you less than minimum wage, and, if you truly are "a good Ruby on Rails programmer," you'd never consider it. Nor would I consider offering such a thing, or accepting it, if I were on the other side of the desk. "Face it, you blew it." You burned a lot of bridges that day, and I hope-to-God you didn't then "get on Facebook about it!" You're just going to have to go out there and find another job, and, if I may bluntly but politely say, "clean-up your attitude." You shot yourself in the foot, that day. Jul 26, 2016 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


Getting a full time job is just not going to happen with any reputable company. They're asking for trouble employing people under minimum.

Working as a cheap consultant it could be done. 50% of the market rate is not a good idea though. You'd get snapped up by clients who know your work and like it, but for them there is no need to go half price unless you want to work for them full time eventually.

You don't have to beat what they pay their workers, you just need to beat what a company charges clients which is a heck of a lot more.

Unless you're living in some third World or war torn country 50% comes across as both desperate and unlikely to be worth the risk.

I broke into the industry in a new country at 80% of what big companies charged (I didn't have their overheads so it was a lot of money), about 4 years later I was one of the most expensive people in the country in my niche. But to be successful you have to be good at a lot of things, not just the tech. And first and foremost you need to have self confidence.

I'm not going to recommend it though. I've seen many try, almost all failed, a few of them managed to get full time jobs from clients. But the vast majority couldn't make it work and were worse off than they started..

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