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pchipchip
May 30, 2012, 08:39 PM
What was your first programming job? Like the absolute first time making money with computer programming? And how much did you make at first?



wgnoyes
May 30, 2012, 09:00 PM
Coastal States Life Insurance Company, based in Atlanta, GA, in 1977. Programmer trainee coding Cobol on a Sperry Univac 70/45 and a 70/35, having 256K and 128K of core (ram) respectively. Yes, I meant "K" of core. 80cc card in, print out, tape drives, and a string of 8 disk drives whose capacity is a cruel joke now, but was pretty damn good at the time.

lee1210
May 30, 2012, 10:44 PM
Fall of 2004
Software Analyst
Healthcare Informatics Industry
Austin, TX

Programming mostly C and Fortran, and eventually Perl.

-Lee

Nermal
May 30, 2012, 11:19 PM
I worked for my dad's company for a few years in the early 2000s. That was my first paid programming job. If you don't count the family business then I started at a "real" job in 2006. In both cases it was (and still is!) .Net development.

dejo
May 30, 2012, 11:21 PM
Chevron Canada Resources in Calgary, AB. 1988.

Yes, I'm old.

xStep
May 31, 2012, 02:18 AM
What was your first programming job? Like the absolute first time making money with computer programming?

What was yours?


My first paying gig was in 1988 writing Pascal for the first time on small Digital VAX systems. We wrote software to track paper roll creation, storage and shipping in paper mills.

Paper mills are an interesting and dangerous place. A interesting side note is that the mill near Snow Flake AZ was a practice run for U.S. bombers. No, they didn't actually drop anything near by.

knightlie
May 31, 2012, 04:27 AM
1989 in a UK Local Government Authority, writing DOS programs with Turbo Pascal and the awesome B-Tree Filer (the finest database engine known to man, RIP TurboPower). I still have a bit of the code we did back then, including a cluster analysis engine for finding cluster sites in georeferenced data.

Then onto Turbo Pascal for Windows, Borland Pascal, Delphi, then learned Java, then a couple of years ago started on .NET and C#. Now I'm coding ObjC and Cocoa in my spare time for my own business. And I've loved every damn minute of it...

jnoxx
May 31, 2012, 05:38 AM
Started out with learning iOS Development in Munich Germany in a company called Jenomics. this was in 2009

ArtOfWarfare
May 31, 2012, 06:54 AM
I haven't actually accepted it yet, but I have my first programming job offer... A start up in Cambridge, MA is offering me $1400/month to write an iOS app that will allow iOS devices to communicate with a digital assistant via Bluetooth.

Two questions:
1 - What is everyone's thoughts on $1400/month for a first programming job? It sounded really low to me... I was expecting it to be $2000-$2500/month. I have been using cocoa/cocoa touch for 4 or 5 years now, I've been selling stuff on the app store for just over a year now, and I'll be graduating with a BS in Computer Engineering in two years.
2 - Is it possible for a non-jailbroken iOS device to communicate with a non-iOS device via Bluetooth? If so, can anyone direct me to some good docs for it? If not, how should I explain that to the person offering the job...?

balamw
May 31, 2012, 07:09 AM
Given that you have not yet accepted the position I'd at least remove the name of the company from your post.

As far as I know it all depends on how the third party device identifies itself, i.e. which Bluetooth profile it uses. http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3647 If you can make it fit one of those profiles and encapsulate your data approprlately it should work fine.

EDIT: If they are serious about this, they need to apply for the MFI (https://developer.apple.com/programs/mfi/) program.

Otherwise, they've got some work to do: e.g. http://blog.makezine.com/2012/03/19/bluetooth-4-0-from-arduino-to-iphone-no-jailbreaking-no-mfi/

B

jnoxx
May 31, 2012, 07:23 AM
I haven't actually accepted it yet, but I have my first programming job offer... A start up in Cambridge, MA is offering me $1400/month to write an iOS app that will allow iOS devices to communicate with a digital assistant via Bluetooth.

Two questions:
1 - What is everyone's thoughts on $1400/month for a first programming job? It sounded really low to me... I was expecting it to be $2000-$2500/month. I have been using cocoa/cocoa touch for 4 or 5 years now, I've been selling stuff on the app store for just over a year now, and I'll be graduating with a BS in Computer Engineering in two years.


I am answering the matter of the money. I don't know how exactly it works in America with taxes, but if they are offering you 1400$/month, does it still need tax deduction or not? Let's say here in Europe, you can get 2400 Euro/month, but you only have 1550 after taxes (so in your hands). Therefore, I can't really make an exact point yet :).

balamw
May 31, 2012, 07:29 AM
I don't know how exactly it works in America

To make matters worse, it depends on how they plan to hire him. As a full-time employee with benefits, as a part time employee with no benefits or as a self-employed contractor.

If it's full time work as an employee it does seem like it is low averaging out to about $8/hr, which you might actually be able to beat working in fast food or the like.

:(

B

jnoxx
May 31, 2012, 07:42 AM
To make matters worse, it depends on how they plan to hire him. As a full-time employee with benefits, as a part time employee with no benefits or as a self-employed contractor.

If it's full time work as an employee it does seem like it is low averaging out to about $8/hr, which you might actually be able to beat working in fast food or the like.

:(

B

My first programming job was actually underpayed, but they gave me the chance to study (because I didn't went to school), and still 'survive'. In the meanwhile I grew alot, and changed companies. but if it's 1400$ in the hand, that's a tad low with your current experience.. (towards art).

ArtOfWarfare
May 31, 2012, 07:58 AM
My first programming job was actually underpayed, but they gave me the chance to study (because I didn't went to school), and still 'survive'. In the meanwhile I grew alot, and changed companies. but if it's 1400$ in the hand, that's a tad low with your current experience.. (towards art).

The offered amount is before taxes, but as I recall from my prior, unskilled jobs, the amount I lose to taxes is just under 10%. (So I'd take home about $1250 after taxes.)

I'm thinking I'll counter propose $1680/month (that's an amount my job advisor at school suggested... assuming $14/hour and 120 hours/month... after taxes it would be about $1500/month.)

Phil A.
May 31, 2012, 08:01 AM
My first paying job was in 1982 with a game for the Sinclair ZX81 (Timex TS1000 I think it was called in the states)

ScoobyMcDoo
May 31, 2012, 08:16 AM
My first paying gig was in 1989. I worked at NASA for Rockwell writing AP101-B assembly. The AP101-B was the space shuttle on-board computers - as far as I know, the only other place these computers were ever used was on the B1-B.

ixodes
May 31, 2012, 08:28 AM
Flometrics Corporation, Fluid Dynamics Engineer.

Specializing in Computational Fluid Dynamics and Flow Visualization.

whooleytoo
May 31, 2012, 08:52 AM
In Apple, '95 or '96. As a (paid!) intern, doing internal testing/validation tools, not exactly the sexiest thing. But at the time I thought I'd be re-writing the OS within a few years.

"Hah!" :)

jnoxx
May 31, 2012, 09:08 AM
The offered amount is before taxes, but as I recall from my prior, unskilled jobs, the amount I lose to taxes is just under 10%. (So I'd take home about $1250 after taxes.)

I'm thinking I'll counter propose $1680/month (that's an amount my job advisor at school suggested... assuming $14/hour and 120 hours/month... after taxes it would be about $1500/month.)

1500$ is 1200 euro, which is "okay" for a starter job, so for that i'd take it to start :) Good luck though

balamw
May 31, 2012, 09:13 AM
assuming $14/hour and 120 hours/month... after taxes it would be about $1500/month.)

Typical "full-time" work is more like 160 hours per month (40hr/week, 4 weeks per month ignoring vacation time, sick time, etc... giving ~48 weeks per year).

In a start-up environment you may also be expected to put in 60-80+ hour weeks , but may want to request some sort of deferred compensation. (stock options, royalty payments, bonus payments if the product/project is successful.).

There is nothing wrong with taking your first job at a discount, as long as it builds experience for your next chapter, and that you know you are going that way.

EDIT: Just be careful that you are an employee and not a self-employed contractor. As a contractor you may be responsible for the payroll taxes (http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/article/0,,id=98846,00.html) an employer would pay for their employee and this will reduce your take home.

EDIT 2: To keep this on topic. My first and only programming specific jobs were in the summers of 83 and 84 doing some combined data entry/database work for my high school. Since then, programming has only been a means to an end in my jobs.

B

trevorde
May 31, 2012, 10:55 AM
- 1992
- Turbo Pascal for DOS
- in-house design software for a company making conveyor belt pulleys for the mining industry

danwilliams
May 31, 2012, 12:38 PM
1993 - Radar work with Ada and I started out at $30,000 per year.

Boy, was I excited to buy my first car!

Macman45
May 31, 2012, 12:43 PM
Started out on a Data General Tape driven system...I can't quite remember the response time of the thing, but it was measured in hours. From there, a Dec PDP 11 running mumps (no, not a joke a coding language) From there some nifty Texas Instruments mainframes with disk drives the size of washing machines.

My how times have changed...:)

larswik
May 31, 2012, 01:29 PM
What is everyone's thoughts on $1400/month for a first programming job?

What! I saw on the news a couple weeks ago that in Washington they had to let 10% of their asparagus crop go because they could not find enough workers to pick it at $10 per hour or $1600 a month.

So now you can make more money pick asparagus then being an app developer :)

radiogoober
Jun 9, 2012, 01:07 PM
Yeah man, $1400/month,,,, you better find our how many hours or ask for additional compensation. That's really, really low. I hire unskilled labor and pay $10/hour, which is more than you'll make.

Senor Cuete
Jun 9, 2012, 04:44 PM
I was doing some programming for my job with a civil engineer. In 1991 a local firm was trying to use Microsoft Quick BASIC to get data out of a big data set. Interpreted BASIC was so slow that their fastest Mac would have to run full-time for three months to get the job done and by that time they would get a data reload. Also the data was unsorted so they would have to use the same horrible development environment to write a sorter. They asked me to write the same program in C to see if it would be faster. I wrote it with Think C and used every optimization I could. It ran in 1% of the time. I had a job. They paid me crap because it was a start-up and the deal was when they got going they would pay me what I was worth. They never did, I quit and went consultant and charged three times as much, including to them. Lessons learned:

Don't use a crappy language or IDE. Don't work for crappy wages. Don't treat your employees like crap especially in a tech company.

LaWally
Jun 9, 2012, 09:53 PM
My Junior year of college (1972). Wrote a PL/I program to automate curriculum reports for students. The program was a pretty straight-forward data retrieval and reporting tool. The data entry and encoding of a dozen 100 page volumes of curricula data was 90% of the project. Fortunately I did not have to do the data entry, only the coding.

The database used IBM's IMS, a hierachical database manager.

Got paid $200 for the job. Given that gas was $0.25/gallon back then, I was able to fill up for the rest of academic year with what I earned, including several trips home to visit the parents.

thewitt
Jun 9, 2012, 10:38 PM
Punch card programming in FORTRAN for an engineering firm doing stress analysis on preformed concrete bridge components. This was in the 1970s.

Pay was outstanding for the day, as there were very few engineers available with software skills.

The simulations were thousands of cards in several boxes that ran on an IBM mainframe and produced reams of paper that needed even more analysis when it finished running!

Problems with only one card aborted the run...

thewitt
Jun 9, 2012, 10:42 PM
Started out on a Data General Tape driven system...I can't quite remember the response time of the thing, but it was measured in hours. From there, a Dec PDP 11 running mumps (no, not a joke a coding language) From there some nifty Texas Instruments mainframes with disk drives the size of washing machines.

My how times have changed...:)

MUMPS is still in use today...

bulldoze
Jun 11, 2012, 08:53 AM
First Job was in 1983 on an Apple II. I used BASIC to interpret user input template dimensions and produce a punch tape output for CNC machines. Moved onto Turbo Pascal and Quick Basic and boring production control databases.

Stopped programming for a job 22 years ago; I am tempted to start messing around with Xcode just to see if I still got what it takes - in all probability the answer will be no!

Only got my first Mac 3 years ago, but lusted after one for many years! it's funny how buying them now seems to be a hobby :)

Macman45
Jun 11, 2012, 08:55 AM
MUMPS is still in use today...

:eek: Seriously?

notjustjay
Jun 11, 2012, 09:47 AM
I guess my first paid programming job was in the summer of 1996, I was a summer student at a local defense contracting company. Though it didn't actually occur to me at the time that that's what they were. Not that they were particularly clandestine, but they weren't obvious about it and the department that hired me specialized in "signal and information processing" which could have been anything. Though I guess the pictures of tanks everywhere should have been a giveaway...

I did some minor Java work (it was still an up-and-coming new language at the time and they wanted me to check it out) and some HTML work for their internal websites, which was also pretty cutting-edge at the time.

Oh, and the pay: $8/hour. :p

Cactus Dan
Jun 19, 2012, 10:43 AM
Howdy,

I don't know if this qualifies as a "job", but the first time I was paid for my programming was in 2005 when I started my own business of creating plugins for a 3D animation software, and selling them online. The pay is up and down (dependent on sales), so there is no fixed rate of income. But, to be honest, I wouldn't give it up for the world. ;)

Adios,
Cactus Dan

drsox
Jun 20, 2012, 08:34 AM
1967 on an NCR/Elliot 4120. Scientific analysis programmes in Algol60 for Chemical Engineering applications : Physical Property predictions, simulations of Distillation Columns etc.
1968/69 Univac 1108 and DEC PDP10. Same sort of stuff but applied to entire Chemical plants using Flow Sheet programming in Fortran.

iMacFarlane
Jun 20, 2012, 01:08 PM
Back in 2004, got paid $50/hr for a large database conversion project for a local historical society's geneology records. Their in-place system was a Paradox database, with 25,000+ records and no functionality. I wrote a pretty spiffy MS Access 2003 program that fixed and streamlined their data, provided powerful searching functions, and displayed family lineage. I was pretty happy with it, and obviously they were too, as the whole job took me about 40 hours, and they indeed paid me about $2000 for it.

I've written in Pascal, C, BASIC, and most recently Objective C. Getting serious about iOS app development, which I can post about when someone asks the question, "What was your most lucrative programming job?" ;)