Originally Posted by yakmerchant
I'm about to go completely go off topic, as I'm not going to offer an advice on "negotiating salary", other than to make sure it's what you want to do before you do negotiate anything.
As to whether it's a good move? In my opinion it depends on a bunch of things.
Will you be learning new things/technologies?
Do you work in a niche (or outdated) technology?
Is there more room for advancement at the new company? (or do you even want to manage developers?)
Do you like where you work? Would they freak out (i.e. fire you ) if they found out you were working on a side project?
Are there other considerations? (i.e. Debts?, Upcoming babies? )
If I could get into a time machine I would definitely do things differently with trading hours for dollars . The way I look at it is this. If you make a 100k and work 40 hours a week, you are making $50 an hour. You bump that up to 50 a week you need to either be getting 125K or experience that you can turn into atleast that much in short order. Now that may sound like "money" is everything, but I'm not even suggesting that you need to make more than you do now, but the more hours you work, the harder doing anything outside of work becomes. Whether its' learning new technologies, starting a new company, or playing golf. It's real easy to do whatever you want when you work 35 hours a week. At 55 it becomes hard to do much outside of the weekend. Find one of those great paying jobs were you work 70 hours a week, and you can't do anything except eat, sleep and work and when you work that much you end up spending extra money on stupid crap you don't need anyway.
Used to be developers tried hard to get into "management" to make a few extra dollars, but lately it seems that good developers are in pretty high demand and the salaries I hear from the good developers I know are getting pretty high (and with the projected shortage of developers in the US in the next 10 years I assume it will only get worse). But with all the open source projects/ frameworks and they way the landscape changes so rapidly now the best way to keep your salary "up" is to keep your skills "up". If you take a job in a slow to evolve shop and grind on something for a year using nothing but one technology and build some proprietary software (i.e. some Winforms app build on .NET 2.0) and then think you are going to be in a great place to go interviewing next year think again.
I know quite a few really good developers and I'm always amazed at what they spend their free time on. They either
A.) Kill themselves working themselves to the bone for a software company that doesn't give a crap about them.
B.) Work at a normal job and spend all their spare time playing HALO or something else similar.
C.) Work at a normal job and keep coming up with terrible ideas for side projects with their coworkers that they spend a year coding on the side. Even if they do ever produce a product there is usually no way to monetize it.
I also have no idea what technologies you are working with, or where you live, but I know a developer on the top of his game (C# .net guy) that got offered stupid money. Granted he's 40 and been around the block. But he got a lot of experience with different frameworks etc floating around on 2 to 6 month project for the last couple of years. Obviously everyone handles work life and risks definitely, but I would be asking lots of questions about technologies and roadmaps in every one of my interviews if I was you.
I wouldn't trade 10 to 20 hours a week for an 10% raise unless I really needed the money or I was getting a great opportunity to learn something new. If you take the 10 to 15 hours a week and actually use it productively on your own, in one year you can be an expert in just about any technology and or get a really good start on a product to sell if you have an idea. I'm 40 and trying to get my work week back to reasonable (I'm an ERP architect/consultant) so I can work on my development skills so I can start on a "software" project I want to write. If I was 30 and single again, I would find a decent idea (a monetizable one), probably find a like minded developer and attempt some "Side Project" with a one year time line. If it fails try find another like minded developer and try again. Rinse repeat and by the time you are 40 I'd bet one of the 10 projects succeeds and even if one doesn't you'll have all kinds of crazy experience you can flaunt in job interviews.
What you posted was intelligent and helpful, and the kind of advice I was hoping to get. I suspected what you wrote, but just didn't know for sure because I don't personally know anyone of your stature(architect) to ask.
I've thought of the marginal rate and the upper range of what I ask for is proportional to that. The reason I didn't make my lower range proportional to that is because this company doesn't know how many hours I am capable of working. I think that at my current job, my 35 hours would produce the same perceived quantity/quality of work as 50 hours at the new job. A major reason is due to the quality of people. I am definitely a good engineer, but I'm no genius. Not to be arrogant, but comparatively, I seem better than I really am because my co workers are not very good. Compared to them, I am awesome, but at a place like, say, Google I'd be average. Another reason I'm thinking about leaving is the growing hostility I receive from coworkers that is bred from pettiness and jealousy.
As for the technologies and potential for growth, I'd say it's OK. I'm learning stuff, neither old nor cutting edge. At this new company I would be learning slightly more and it would be better for my resume.
Living in San Francisco, I am lucky to be able to go to many tech meetups and meet a lot of people. It is a little hard to get gigs though because there is a lot of competition.
In conclusion, working with the level of people I do has pros and cons. The pros are that I look great, which is good for job security. I also don't have to work very hard. But the cons are by working with weaker people, I am not staying afloat with the tech market's competition. Also, it's a pain to deal with these people.
Both have huge pros and cons. I love being able to take advantage of my dwindling 20s, especially because I haven't before(in terms of being young, socializing, etc). But I also love money because I grew up without it. I love being able to do a good job without having to bust my ass(I know this sounds terrible but it's because I've busted my ass for the majority of my life and failed plenty of times). But I don't like dealing with office politics.