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Thread: Language Worth

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Angry Language Worth

    Hi all,

    This is more of a rant than a question really.

    I have recently been asked to develop a web based application for a customer. After much negotiation everything seemed settled with how it should work.

    A while later I get a call stating that as a final condition to the project it needed to be developed in a specific language. As I did not know the required language I was then asked to have my price reduced.

    This has now got me thinking... does a line of code in one language have a greater value than a line in another, or is my time suddenly not worth the effort? Should I feel ashamed of what I know? I take great pride in my work and I felt like it was just being discarded.

    Does anyone else get this feeling, or should I just put concerns like this behind me?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Silicon Valley
    It's not a question of the value of a given language, it's a question of the value of a developer's experience with a given language. If you're fluent in PHP and don't know any Python and are asked to take a Python project, you will work slower than an experienced Python developer, thus your time is worth less and they should likewise pay you less per hour.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Thanks for the reply Kethinov, you are right at about the time factor.

    My issue is that I simply cannot delvelop in the language they requested at this stage. However the one I proposed to them I have years of experience in and a large library of code, but if I wish to do it in that one I have to sell myself short.

    I guess I should actually give them a "take it or leave it" situation as this is a project done in my own personal time.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    The economy sucks. Good and highly skilled people are finding themselves out of work, so any job can be a good job.

    I'm getting calls and emails every day from folks looking for work - people I would have had a very hard time finding just a year or two ago.

    If you have better offers, by all means be upset and perhaps reject their offer if you feel you have been treated unfairly.

    In this abysmal market - a BUYER's market - be thankful that you have managed to sell your skills and professionalism and simply grin and bear it. That's my advice...

    Unless of course, you do not need the work.

    I would treat it as an excellent opportunity to become proficient in another language on someone else's dime. You are being paid to expand your horizons and your bandolier of marketable skills will be greatly enhanced.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by donatello; 11-20-2009 at 07:24 AM. Reason: an=and

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by donatello View Post
    I would treat it as an excellent opportunity to become proficient in another language on someone else's dime. You are being paid to expand your horizons and your bandolier of marketable skills will be greatly enhanced.
    My greatest problem is my conscience always seems to get the better of me. If I do not believe that I can do the job to the best of my ability then I normally lose my objectives and focus very quickly.

    I am taking the initiative to learn new things, but by the time I feel I am ready to add it to my list of skills this opportunity will be long gone.

    Thanks for the excellent advise.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    The guy they might hire instead of you might not be half the programmer you are...

    Besides, he most certainly will not meet your ethical mark.

    The client appears to understand your proficiency concerns and have used it to your disadvantage in negotiations for price - fair enough. Business is business...

    Your professionalism and honesty must have sold them, to some it means more than ace skills - so take the work, times are tough.

    Good luck with the job.
    I'm certain you will make a fine Python programmer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Seems like a lot of companies are playing the "buyer's market" card lately. Look at each situation realistically. Use a contract and specify EVERYTHING!
    If you need the work - take it as long as your inexperience in the language won't affect your reputation.
    ...but stupidity is terminal.

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