So as someone just starting out I can expect $20-25 / hr

This is for Chicago or near LA . According to a website the average front end developer salary is $103,000, which I don’t believe, so I am using $80,000. $80,000 a year is $38 / hr. I have to work at $20 / hr for a year ( maybe six months ) then get a job paying $23 ( and work that for six months to a year ) then $25 and it goes up until $38 / hr. Is this real life? Or is it more like work for $20 / hr for a year, gain the experience, then get a job paying $ 35 / hr ? If you’re a developer how did it go for you?

Which skills do you think are most important to move up in pay grade?

I realized I need about 1 million to 1.5 million dollars to retire. If I want to save 1.5 million it will take me 27 years.

Please reply.

It really depends on what your skills are.there are people starting out at 40k and others at 100k. Education? Experience? Portfolio? Do you know a full stack? All of the common supporting libraries for that stack? Have you done open source? Collaborated on a large project with a team? There are probably another dozen factorts.

Finding a job is tough. Even with a market like this, it is tough finding the right tech and cultural fit. I would recommend to keep learning and building things.

And don’t sell yourself short. Don’t ask for less than market value. Most of the time they probably know what they want to pay anyway, and you’d just be telling them you have no confidence. Research want ads and get an idea what comparable jobserved to idea what they pay. I’d take articles like he one you mentioned with a grain of salt - they tend to skew high, imho.

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About moving up in paygrade its the drive to keep wanting to learn new stuff. If you are front end, maybe learn backend and databases as well? A good full stack dev are more flexible and valuable to a company. And if you know the whole chain well you could even start your own company as an consult.

That’s what I’m saying Kevin Smith, what are the skills I should be learning?

The skills needed to build things. It will partly depend on your tech stack.When I interviewed, the biggest thing they were inerested in was seeing what I’d built. And that’s a big part of what landed me a job. They want people that can build things. So, learn, learn, learn and build, build, build.

I would also work on interviewing, a forgotten skill.

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Id answer this question, with another question.

What skills are jobs your looking at asking for?

I wouldn’t really worry too much about the $ per hr you get if your on salary. The calculation is more of a rough estimate, as if your on salary you could end up working more, or less than 8 hours a day for example and your still getting your salary. There’s also benefits, retirement help and other “perks” like free food, or working from home.

I wouldn’t also thing there is 1 single skill that magically gets you more money in a company. There are too many variables, like the company itself, your starting pay, the “perks” I mentioned, how well you work, what kind of work your doing, if there is even budget to pay you more (you could be doing great and get laid off). The list goes on and on.

Finally if your looking for a “quick and sure way to retire in X amount of years with X money” I would stop, and consider your motivations. If your choosing a “developers” path for just financial reasons it isn’t wrong, but it could be totally not worth it, and not for you. I’d only be a software developer if you like it, or at least tolerate the work. I believe everyone can learn how to code, but not everyone can code for a living. On top of that, the easiest way to “get more money” is to go into management, but that usually increases ones stress dramatically. All of this should be considered.

There’s a difference between fun and games coding, and bashing bugs on weekends because you like it. If you like what you do, and you put in the time, you will get a pay raise if you push for it. Even if your job sucks, you can push to get a better job. As long as you put in the time to get the skills necessary for “the better job” the sky is the limit. But as I mentioned, you gotta tolerate putting in the time, it isn’t a situation where you can learn X and achieve all your goals.

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Don’t forget about networking skills!

Don’t forget about networking skills!

That’s the part I’m most worried about when I start looking for jobs. I really need to practice my conversation and interviewing skills, as well as my networking. If I’m confident about a topic than I’m usually okay, but starting in a new field like this is somewhat daunting.

Do you have any tips for improving the non-coding skills?

Currently im a student at community college. I actually don’t know too many people in person that are also programmers, developers, or even into computers.
My current tactic is to build my online network with twitter, soloLearn, reddit, and my newest forum site freeCodeCamp.

I’ve also been watching more YouTube videos about daily lives of programmers, and job interviewing questions.
If it’s a new field for you and things feel daunting, its O.K! “The master in something was once a beginner”
Just spend time reading, learning, and practicing. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it!

You can also try adding people that are learning your languages online, and just try to create random conversations. You might even make a life long friend! (:slight_smile:


There is a price floor for developers. I try to get work for $15/hr and would be happy with that, but nobody will hire because they suspect you’re not worth their time. The only exception is if you try for various remote / freelance work that’s very low-paid. When I was hired before it was $25/hr with no experience, and this was in an area with lower cost of living.

The thing with development is experts can do most work much faster than non-experts, more so than in other fields. If you spend $100/hr for an expert to fix a problem in 1 hour vs. someone else spending 5 hours at $20/hr, it’s better to pay the expert since they’re more likely to understand all the ramifications and provide a better solution. Most companies would like to hire only those experts, but they can’t because there aren’t enough of them. I guess this is why people say developers are in demand, but it’s still hard to get a job for many of us.

I suggest thinking about the reasons why it’s not worth hiring someone under a certain amount (they take too much time training, they will take too long to understand the code / tools, they will commit code with mistakes without realizing it). A lot of these problems can be mitigated with good communication, and if you can get over that initial point and prove you can contribute, you will immediately be worth more.

I can’t speak for those areas specifically but around Boston it’s not uncommon to see entry level/internship/trainee type positions hiring for $15/hour. After 6 months at that rate it would position you to be able to get at least $20.

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