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What was your first programming job?

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by pchipchip, May 30, 2012.

  1. pchipchip, May 30, 2012
    Last edited: May 31, 2012

    macrumors regular

    What was your first programming job? Like the absolute first time making money with computer programming? And how much did you make at first?
  2. macrumors 6502

    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.
  3. macrumors 68040


    Fall of 2004
    Software Analyst
    Healthcare Informatics Industry
    Austin, TX

    Programming mostly C and Fortran, and eventually Perl.

  4. Moderator


    Staff Member

    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.
  5. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Chevron Canada Resources in Calgary, AB. 1988.

    Yes, I'm old.
  6. macrumors 68000

    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.
  7. macrumors 6502a

    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...
  8. macrumors 65816


    Started out with learning iOS Development in Munich Germany in a company called Jenomics. this was in 2009
  9. ArtOfWarfare, May 31, 2012
    Last edited: May 31, 2012

    macrumors 603


    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...?
  10. balamw, May 31, 2012
    Last edited: May 31, 2012



    Staff Member

    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 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/

  11. macrumors 65816


    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 :).
  12. Moderator


    Staff Member

    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.


  13. macrumors 65816


    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).
  14. macrumors 603


    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.)
  15. macrumors 68040

    Phil A.

    My first paying job was in 1982 with a game for the Sinclair ZX81 (Timex TS1000 I think it was called in the states)
  16. macrumors 65816

    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.
  17. macrumors 601


    Flometrics Corporation, Fluid Dynamics Engineer.

    Specializing in Computational Fluid Dynamics and Flow Visualization.
  18. macrumors 603


    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!" :)
  19. macrumors 65816


    1500$ is 1200 euro, which is "okay" for a starter job, so for that i'd take it to start :) Good luck though
  20. balamw, May 31, 2012
    Last edited: May 31, 2012



    Staff Member

    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 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.

  21. macrumors newbie

    - 1992
    - Turbo Pascal for DOS
    - in-house design software for a company making conveyor belt pulleys for the mining industry
  22. macrumors member

    1993 - Radar work with Ada and I started out at $30,000 per year.

    Boy, was I excited to buy my first car!
  23. macrumors G5


    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...:)
  24. macrumors 65816

    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 :)
  25. macrumors 6502a

    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.

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