[Off-topic] What is the market rate for Ruby on Rails jobs?

Hello,

I’m currently in the market for a full-time position and saw a job
opening for a ruby on rails developer in the area (north-west US).
The position pays between $40k and $45k / year. This seemed pretty
low to me, but then, I’m not really aware of what the going rate is.
I can take other jobs (asp.NET, PHP, C, etc…) but would rather work
with ruby on rails. Am I setting my hopes to high expecting to earn
more than $45k / year?

Thanks,
Carl

On Sep 5, 2006, at 3:35 PM, Carl L. wrote:

I’m currently in the market for a full-time position and saw a job
opening for a ruby on rails developer in the area (north-west US).
The position pays between $40k and $45k / year. This seemed pretty
low to me, but then, I’m not really aware of what the going rate is.
I can take other jobs (asp.NET, PHP, C, etc…) but would rather work
with ruby on rails. Am I setting my hopes to high expecting to earn
more than $45k / year?

I’m a part owner in Quality Humans, Inc. and we have several positions
available around the country that pay far better than that, in great
locations around the country including Nashville, San Francisco, and
Santa Barbara.

Two things to note here:

  1. There is no “market” for Ruby on Rails developers. There is,
    on the other hand, a tremendous shortage of talented people
    that know RoR and get results using it. Our customers are NOT
    interested in this time at anyone below top-notch highly
    qualified individuals.

  2. Each individual is a market of one. While we find that rates
    for individuals with particular skill sets do vary over time,
    we find it ever increasing true that employers are focusing
    more and more on talented and productive individuals than they
    are on lists of skills.

The idea that I’m laboring to get across is that you are worth
exactly what you can convince someone else you’re worth. The
very core of the capitalistic society that we live in is based on
that very premise.


– Tom M.

Tom M. wrote:

On Sep 5, 2006, at 3:35 PM, Carl L. wrote:

I’m currently in the market for a full-time position and saw a job
opening for a ruby on rails developer in the area (north-west US).
The position pays between $40k and $45k / year. This seemed pretty
low to me, but then, I’m not really aware of what the going rate is.
I can take other jobs (asp.NET, PHP, C, etc…) but would rather work
with ruby on rails. Am I setting my hopes to high expecting to earn
more than $45k / year?

I’m a part owner in Quality Humans, Inc. and we have several positions
available around the country that pay far better than that, in great
locations around the country including Nashville, San Francisco, and
Santa Barbara.

Two things to note here:

  1. There is no “market” for Ruby on Rails developers. There is,
    on the other hand, a tremendous shortage of talented people
    that know RoR and get results using it. Our customers are NOT
    interested in this time at anyone below top-notch highly
    qualified individuals.

  2. Each individual is a market of one. While we find that rates
    for individuals with particular skill sets do vary over time,
    we find it ever increasing true that employers are focusing
    more and more on talented and productive individuals than they
    are on lists of skills.

The idea that I’m laboring to get across is that you are worth
exactly what you can convince someone else you’re worth. The
very core of the capitalistic society that we live in is based on
that very premise.


– Tom M.

Tom-

Just curious, what characteristics do you look for to identify
“top-notch highly qualified individuals.”

Joe

On Sep 5, 2006, at 6:06 PM, Francis C. wrote:

we find it ever increasing true that employers are focusing
more and more on talented and productive individuals than they
are on lists of skills.

Strictly out of curiosity, in filling positions for disciplines other
than RoR, do you find that your customers are interested in hiring
less-qualified, non-top-notch individuals? How would your answer have
differed had the OP been asking about Perl, PHP, Java, or anything
else
besides RoR?

We are highly focused. We used to be all about Perl, but RoR changed our
ways. We’ve been particularly well suited for employers seeking
employees
to help convert a Perl application into an RoR application.

To answer your question indirectly, let me say that we cut about 90% of
applicants up front. Now, I know those people are working somewhere,
but they’re just not working for our customers. :slight_smile:

The general sense that I get is that cutting edge employers that have
decided on Rails are really looking for those top-notch folks that have
always been desirable. Yet, they’re not looking for lesser folks to
fill in underneath those top coders. This time around, they’re going
for small teams of talented people who can go out an bury their
competition.


– Tom M.

Tom M. wrote:

  1. There is no “market” for Ruby on Rails developers. There is,
    on the other hand, a tremendous shortage of talented people
    that know RoR and get results using it. Our customers are NOT
    interested in this time at anyone below top-notch highly
    qualified individuals.

  2. Each individual is a market of one. While we find that rates
    for individuals with particular skill sets do vary over time,
    we find it ever increasing true that employers are focusing
    more and more on talented and productive individuals than they
    are on lists of skills.

Strictly out of curiosity, in filling positions for disciplines other
than RoR, do you find that your customers are interested in hiring
less-qualified, non-top-notch individuals? How would your answer have
differed had the OP been asking about Perl, PHP, Java, or anything else
besides RoR?

On Sep 5, 2006, at 5:49 PM, Joe R. wrote:

that know RoR and get results using it. Our customers are NOT
interested in this time at anyone below top-notch highly
qualified individuals.

Just curious, what characteristics do you look for to identify
“top-notch highly qualified individuals.”

Generally speaking, we find employers rate people on these points,
weighted highest to lowest importance:

  1. Enthusiasm and passion (within limits!) is highly desirable.
    No negativity allowed. If every place you’ve ever worked have
    sucked, and all the managers and co-workers you’ve ever worked
    with were idiots, you’ll not get through our screening. This
    is very hard to fake, by the way, as it comes out in millions
    of ways.

  2. General social fit and wide outlook beyond technology. They’re
    looking for people that get along with and communicate well with
    other people. Written skills are highly important. We do not
    ever pass people through who don’t know (or don’t use) punctuation,
    capitalization, spelling, etc. An ideal candidate could demonstrate
    killer technical skills during a technical interview, then be fun,
    interesting, and engaged in a current events discussion during
    dinner.

  3. Deep technical skill, rather than wide. Do you know 22 languages
    inside out, and use them daily? Thanks for applying. Have you used
    22 languages in your career but only 2-3 in the last 8 years?
    You’re what they’re looking for.

  4. Domain specific knowledge that matches the employers current need.


– Tom M.

Tom M. wrote:

We are highly focused. We used to be all about Perl, but RoR changed our
ways. We’ve been particularly well suited for employers seeking
employees
to help convert a Perl application into an RoR application.

With all due respect, you’re telling us more about yourself than about
the general state of the Rails labor market. I care about the latter,
but not about the former.

Tom M. wrote:

If every place you've ever worked have
sucked, and all the managers and co-workers you've ever worked
with were idiots, you'll not get through our screening.

But what if it’s really true?

:slight_smile:

Jeff
www.softiesonrails.com

Jeff wrote:

Tom M. wrote:

If every place you've ever worked have
sucked, and all the managers and co-workers you've ever worked
with were idiots, you'll not get through our screening.

But what if it’s really true?

:slight_smile:

What did you do about it :slight_smile:

Justin

On Sep 5, 2006, at 7:13 PM, Francis C. wrote:

Tom M. wrote:

We are highly focused. We used to be all about Perl, but RoR
changed our
ways. We’ve been particularly well suited for employers seeking
employees to help convert a Perl application into an RoR application.

With all due respect, you’re telling us more about yourself than about
the general state of the Rails labor market. I care about the latter,
but not about the former.

Sorry about that. I was just trying to answer Francis C.'s
question:

Strictly out of curiosity, in filling positions for disciplines other
than RoR, do you find that your customers are interested in hiring
less-qualified, non-top-notch individuals? How would your answer have
differed had the OP been asking about Perl, PHP, Java, or anything
else
besides RoR?

My point being that we’re focused, so I’m not a highly reliable source
of general Rails job market data, if there even is such a thing.


– Tom M.

Carl L. wrote:

Hello,

I’m currently in the market for a full-time position and saw a job
opening for a ruby on rails developer in the area (north-west US).
The position pays between $40k and $45k / year. This seemed pretty
low to me, but then, I’m not really aware of what the going rate is.
I can take other jobs (asp.NET, PHP, C, etc…) but would rather work
with ruby on rails. Am I setting my hopes to high expecting to earn
more than $45k / year?

Thanks,
Carl

+1 on the original question. I’ve been doing other types of development
for around twenty years, and now have become infected with Rails and
would like to make that my next career. I would love to hear from
somebody other than Tom about the typical rates people are making for
full time Rails jobs. I believe that Tom’s info is true in the same way
that it is true that most of the people reading this are more
technically adept than Bill Gates, so we all ought to be that
rich…right? Not all of us are skilled in marketing ourselves.

So, to get back to reality, what is the “going rate” for Rails Software
Engineers. Just looking for an accurate answer to a simple question. I
believe the OP was after the same.

best,
jp

On Tue, 2006-09-05 at 19:17 -0700, Jeff wrote:

Tom M. wrote:

If every place you've ever worked have
sucked, and all the managers and co-workers you've ever worked
with were idiots, you'll not get through our screening.

But what if it’s really true?


find a really positive spin on how you got out of a situation that was
less than optimal

Craig

Hi,

I believe the answers are ambiguous because there must not be an answer!
The answers given are true of any field. Tech publications publish
“median, high and low” rates for many programming languages. The OP is
trying to figure out if Rails has published numbers or if people out
here in the community would be willing to share what they are receiving
(roughly). I believe it is a fair question and hopefully someone will
give some sort of guidance.

I have the same questions, but from a consultant basis, not an employee
basis. I have spoken with a few consulting firms that do rails work and
when I throw out my rate they have kicked right back and said that those
aren’t what they are seeing. My expectations may be unrealistic, but I
desire over $100 per hour. This is probably low for DHH but high for a
good number of people. I can assure you that I’m less intelligent, less
creative and overall more high maintenance than probably 98% of the
people on this list. Regardless, I have my desires and when I don’t get
them, I do something different - which is why I’m now on Rails and
shipping cars instead of building claims processing systems for
insurance companies! :slight_smile: (www.crmonrails.com) BTW, shipping cars is
not nearly as fun as writing software all day! But so far, it isn’t
outsourced! :slight_smile: (read: my job went to … and I’m horrible at
marketing myself.)

That said, I believe the following to be true without a single ounce of
evidence:

  1. Full-time employment - Limited options for Rails only. Look at the
    37Signals board to find potential employers. Life will be easier if you
    have been in open source community for a while and have something in
    addition to Rails to offer.

  2. Consulting - ~50 to ~75 per hour for Rails projects for the “above
    average person.” Options probably unlimited for the guru’s out there.

  3. Make your own - Roll out your own product/website/etc… and enjoy
    the fruits of your labor. Rails has made it very possible for non-web
    people to build really cool web apps and there is a lot of opportunity
    for those with a little perseverance and skill.

  4. Two years from now we won’t have these questions. Rails will exit
    the early adopter phase and opportunities will be all over the place.
    The people writing rails based open source apps, plug-ins, helpers,
    etc… now are going to be very busy and have to turn down gigs.

The above points are opinion only and based on speculative beliefs that
I feel are true. I hope they are accurate because I am taking a gamble
on this framework based on my beliefs.

Finally - are you good? Are you worth more than 45K per year? Prove
it! Give something cool to the community. Take the time to build
something really helpful. Respond to questions. Do whatever to get
yourself known. This will support your resume if you even need a resume
to find a job.

Regards,

Michael

On 9/6/06, Jeff P. [email protected] wrote:

Engineers. Just looking for an accurate answer to a simple question. I
believe the OP was after the same.

best,
jp

It depends. For the most part, your going rate for Rails work is
how much you can successfully get paid for doing rails work. Its like
any other software job - it depends on location, skill set, supply and
demand, the type of work, the company, other benefits included, etc,
etc. There is no one true “going rate”.

Hey Folks:

Discussions concerning pricing for services should be avoided in public
forums such as this, due to the potential for them to be construed as
price-fixing under U.S. and Canadian (and perhaps other countries as
well) law.

Some links to other sites with more comprehensive explanations:

http://www.webdeveloper.com/forum/pricing_faq.html
http://www.hwg.org/resources/faqs/priceFAQ.html
http://www.sfwow.org/pages/join/pricingdisc.html
http://www.flightweb.com/staticpages/index.php?page=flightmed-rate-faq

I’m really NOT trying to be a downer here. :slight_smile:

c.

I currently make a great living at Rails development, exclusivly, and
have
been for the last 6 months. I personally provide a unique skill-set in
the
fact that I am a designer and artist that can code a few web languages.
I
ran into the same situation that everyone is speaking of and there being
no
real bar set for pricing and what not. How I went about it was by
looking a
geographic area and what I wanted from Rails work. The compromise was
this.

  1. I live in a geographic area that housing prices are not that high
    with
    regards to other areas of our country (I’m in SW Pennsylvania, US). I do
    own
    a house and have ambitions to improve both my investments here as well
    as my
    life-style in general. These thing weighed in heavily on where I set my
    prices.

  2. I did not want to have to travel every morning to get to a job. I
    have
    more computing power for development and staging of web applications
    here
    without the “job site” restrictions usually to be had in corporate life.
    Plus with a new renovated studio space for myself the surroundings and
    general comfort was a given for me. This, I knew would not allow me to
    command as high a fee than if I would be willing to consult on site.

  3. I looked at my recent background as a PHP developer and User
    Interface
    designer and what I made then (this was my last on site) and then looked
    at
    my background as an *NIX administrator and network designer. 12 years
    ago
    this is where my career started an is prevalent now as it was then,
    especially being that I had to be my own support staff.

Those points can be taken and modified as per your skill sets and
general
experiences, the best thing I was told way back in the days of the dot
bust
with contracting and career moves such as these what, “What will make
you
happy, and is it worth it for the experience to get you to where you
want to
be”. I don’t believe there is an ideal price nor do I believe there is a
wrong answer. But don’t forget to look at where you live and how you
want to
live, make sure you will be comfortable. I know guys that command $20 to
$30
more on a per hour rate than me in the New York and San Fran areas, but
know
a girl that gets less in the mid-west. I’m comfortable and happy with
what I
get.

One final point, raise your rates / ask for a promotion every year,
inflation sucks and will get you quickly, especially now with the fuel
crunches. That’s my $.02, take it for just that.

J “Brien” | HybridIndie Productions | http://hybridindie.com |
[email protected]

On 9/8/06, Cayce B. [email protected] wrote:

Hey Folks:

Discussions concerning pricing for services should be avoided in public
forums such as this, due to the potential for them to be construed as
price-fixing under U.S. and Canadian (and perhaps other countries as
well) law.

Hmm… I don’t know how it is there. But here in Iceland, although
price fixing is illegal, it is completely legal to say what salaries
you yourself are getting. It’s actually illegal to have a confidential
clause conserning your salary in a contract.

Jon Gretar B.
http://www.jongretar.net/

Hey All,

We compiled some data on Ruby on Rails trends that show some (hopefully)
very interesting info for individuals looking for job rates for Ruby on
Rails jobs. You can find some fascinating wage stats about our fellow
Ruby on Rails developers. Check our Ruby on Rails Developer Job Trends
from USA, India, Russia. Also, if there is specific data anyone would
like to know, ping me and I may be able to reach into our database and
pull them up for our forum readers!

Hope this info helps, if you are still looking. The link to the page is
<ahref=“http://www.odesk.com/trends/Rails” alt=“Ruby on Rails Developer
Jobs Globally”>

Let me know if you have any questions.

Eric Rivas

Carl L. wrote:

Hello,

I’m currently in the market for a full-time position and saw a job
opening for a ruby on rails developer in the area (north-west US).
The position pays between $40k and $45k / year. This seemed pretty
low to me, but then, I’m not really aware of what the going rate is.
I can take other jobs (asp.NET, PHP, C, etc…) but would rather work
with ruby on rails. Am I setting my hopes to high expecting to earn
more than $45k / year?

Thanks,
Carl

Carl L. wrote:

Hello,

I’m currently in the market for a full-time position and saw a job
opening for a ruby on rails developer in the area (north-west US).
The position pays between $40k and $45k / year. This seemed pretty
low to me, but then, I’m not really aware of what the going rate is.
I can take other jobs (asp.NET, PHP, C, etc…) but would rather work
with ruby on rails. Am I setting my hopes to high expecting to earn
more than $45k / year?

Thanks,
Carl

Carl, why don’t you knuckle up and start your own project written in
Rails? Some of my peers have done that very thing, and I am trying to
do the same thing. Don’t rely on some company to give you a job in
Rails if that is what you want do fulltime.

Get what ever fulltime job you can, and build up a project until things
tip far enough to go to work fulltime on your project. [That] is the
spirit of true capitalism, IMHO. It is a tough road to follow, but if
you are a smart, talented guy, you can find a way to do it, and you
won’t be reliant on someone else in the end.

You will also own what you are working on. That has its own rewards.

Cody

Seems my link didn’t work, here it is again:

http://www.odesk.com/trends/Rails

Thanks

Eric Rivas

Eric Rivas wrote:

Hey All,

We compiled some data on Ruby on Rails trends that show some (hopefully)
very interesting info for individuals looking for job rates for Ruby on
Rails jobs. You can find some fascinating wage stats about our fellow
Ruby on Rails developers. Check our Ruby on Rails Developer Job Trends
from USA, India, Russia. Also, if there is specific data anyone would
like to know, ping me and I may be able to reach into our database and
pull them up for our forum readers!

Hope this info helps, if you are still looking. The link to the page is
<ahref=“http://www.odesk.com/trends/Rails” alt=“Ruby on Rails Developer
Jobs Globally”>

Let me know if you have any questions.

Eric Rivas

Carl L. wrote:

Hello,

I’m currently in the market for a full-time position and saw a job
opening for a ruby on rails developer in the area (north-west US).
The position pays between $40k and $45k / year. This seemed pretty
low to me, but then, I’m not really aware of what the going rate is.
I can take other jobs (asp.NET, PHP, C, etc…) but would rather work
with ruby on rails. Am I setting my hopes to high expecting to earn
more than $45k / year?

Thanks,
Carl

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