I just started working at a company and have been asked to take on some very non-trivial development projects. I am doing Visualforce and Apex development for their Salesforce CRM (this involves writing quite a bit of Visualforce markup, Apex code, HTML5 and Javascript as well as customizing objects and fields in the CRM) as well as assisting with a web development project for their new website and a plethora of other tasks ranging from equipment testing to running sales reports.

Before I could even begin developing the new features they requested in their Salesforce instance, I had to write an entire set of software in Python just to extract and clean up their data, which had been sitting in their system since 2008 with no validation rules and was absolutely riddled with errors (misspelled/inconsistent field values, field values in the wrong fields, etc)

I did a quick bit of Googling to see what the going rate for Salesforce developers/admins is and came across the following thread on the salesforce developer forums: https://developer.salesforce.com/forums/?id=906F00000008rOyIAI

According to what many of the people posted in this thread, it seems that the overwhelming majority are being paid anywhere from ~ $60 to ~ $250 per hour.

The place I am working at is only paying me about $22 per hour and I am working there full time (40+ hours/week). Because the pay is so low, I am having serious difficulty applying for apartments near my workplace as I do not even meet the minimum income requirements for shabby studios in bad neighborhoods. As a result, I am having to share a very cramped room with another person with no privacy and having to spend an enormous amount of time commuting to/from work from another city across the Bay.

It is not a small company. They have been around for a long time and generate a very substantial amount of revenue in sales each year. They also just completed an acquisition and merged with another company.

What should I do to convince my employer to increase my pay to something at least close to the minimum market rate for the work I'm being asked to do? I have already delivered on several of the projects they've asked me to work on which took considerable effort to complete. I am a skilled developer with many years of experience and I feel that I am getting the short end of the stick. Is there anything I can say/do or am I S.O.L?

  • Were you expecting this level of work when you accepted the offer, or were you blindsided by the additional complexity of the work you were assigned? If it's the first case, I expect you'll have a much harder time convincing your employer to pay you more. – Nuclear Hoagie Sep 21 '17 at 18:34
  • I was kind of blindsided. I came in thinking I would be working with their tech support department doing simple things like providing phone/email support and that I would be trained on the company's SOPs. I was never trained and instead thrown straight into the fire with very non-trivial development projects quickly piled onto my plate. – anon510 Sep 21 '17 at 18:36
  • The topic you link is about people who are doing consulting work; consulting fees are very different (read: much higher per hour) from regular salary. – Erik Sep 21 '17 at 18:36
  • I am actually a consultant at the moment Erik. They started me off with a contract position and said they'd likely switch me over to salary later. – anon510 Sep 21 '17 at 18:38
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    A raise above 20% would be hard to get, never mind getting 200%. For such a raise, it's almost certainly easier to just try to find another job (where you don't mention your current salary, for obvious reasons). – Bernhard Barker Sep 21 '17 at 18:47

High end pay is typically contractor / consultant pay, which rarely all goes to the person being paid. The person matching the consultant to the job gets a cut. The consultant having to pay all of his taxes (regular employees pay about half of what the government collects, the business pays the other half). etc. As a consultant, one typically has to double their hourly salary to get an equivalent "regular" take home pay.

Still, you're below the low end pay.

The primary ways this is solved generally involve people moving jobs. Sure, you can ask for (an maybe get) a raise, but it is a very rare day that you get a raise that doubles your salary. Typically they'll offer you a small-ish amount (how about $25 / hr) thinking that you'll be happy with the increase.

In order to argue equal pay, you typically also have to be equal in other non-task (but related) ways. I've known decent programmers that lack degrees from a University. They mostly get paid less. You can't compare your pay in cities with dramatically different costs of living. etc.

You might want to do a bit more research to ensure you really are underpaid, then you might want to have a fallback plan in case things go really wrong in asking for a raise. Then you want to ask for a raise presenting the best reasoning you have.

Even then, many just go the easier route, which is to take a job elsewhere, as it is always appropriate to discuss salary in an interview process, and always awkward to discuss it outside of an interview process.

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  • I am currently a consultant/contractor. I live in San Francisco which AFAIK is the most expensive place to live in the country right now. I don't have a degree and am entirely self-taught. I know Perl, Bash/sed/awk, Visual Basic, Python, Javascript, have a working knowledge of Salesforce's Apex and Visualforce languages and am familiar with a wide range of other technologies. I am 27 years old, have about ~8 years of professional experience and I've been writing programs and building websites as a hobby since the age of 7 – anon510 Sep 21 '17 at 18:50
  • @anon510 So, let the contract expire, and then resign at a reasonable rate. If you signed a bad contract, you chose to do so, and now everyone (including the legal system) will hold you to the contract. I'd read the contract carefully to determine how to terminate it appropriately, legally, and respectfully. If you are really an employee, but being treated as a contractor, then figure out how to quit, when to quit, and make sure you don't harm yourself in the process (have something better ready before quitting). Don't sign bad contracts, nobody forces you to do so. – Edwin Buck Sep 21 '17 at 18:57
  • Its easy to say "don't sign bad contracts" when you aren't facing the threat of homelessness and need to pay your bills/survive without any help from a family or friends which you don't have. I have no family, no support whatsoever and have been living on my own since the age of 18. Given that I don't have a degree and finding work is difficult for me, I have no choice but to "sign bad contracts" or else I won't have a roof over my head and food in my stomach. – anon510 Sep 21 '17 at 18:59

This might be expensive, but perhaps a bootcamp to get the professional network and certs might be an option you haven't considered.

The lack of an academic degree might be a barrier to some jobs, but not all. But given it is a significant time/cost investment that you may or may not be able to afford, the bootcamp would offer a halfway point in getting the job network you seek and a degree (pardon the pun) of traditional accreditation in your field.

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