I used money as a “value” metric

Ahmed Musallam on August 13, 2018

A long story about how I more-than doubled my salary in a matter of 3 years. This story is very personal. I’m not trying to brag, or be insensitiv... [Read Full]
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I am at the point of your story that I have gotten the first small raise (22% on a very low starting salary) and now looking to move to another company because I feel I am not paid fairly for the amount of work I do. I am glad that worked for you and I hope I can say the same story in a few years! Thank you for sharing!


I hope things workout for you! Keep working hard and you will be rewarded!


I think I'm the anti-you. I started at a very low salary, almost immediately they gave me an extra $3/hr to be more competitive, then I got 3%, 14%, 10%, 4%, 5%. None of this was asked for and 3% is the best merit raise the company does as a rule (and 10% for promotions, which is why there was a 10 in there). To make sure I was being accurately compensated for my value, some strings were pulled behind the scenes around review time, but it was never started by me. I was just informed of it after the fact.


Hi Kayla, that is awesome! and sounds like you have a great employer that values you and really wants you to stick around! That says something about you and you should be proud of that!

That said, not every employer will do that. Businesses always want to keep costs down and salaries are part of that cost.


Thanks! It's a weird dynamic since there are a ton of articles that are like "You need to move companies every 1-2 years so you don't stagnate!" "Early in your career, move around to make your best salary!" but I'm 4ish years in at my first job out of schooling and am quite alright with my salary situation. Plus, my responsibilities have consistently grown, so it's not like I have nothing to show for it either.

It's an odd looking win in a sea of large employers that will certainly take any lowball offer they get. I can't tell if that will hurt my career long term, though, since it's not obvious on the outside that I have kept up with the market.

Good points! I dont think you need to move around to show your skills. You can easily do that with an online portfolio, or bu having a conversation about it during the hiring process.


I really wanted to become a better developer.

I worked really hard; teaching myself different things and most importantly, seeking advice from more experienced developers. I knew that the best way to force my self to learn was to step out of my comfort zone. I took several training courses on a variety of topics. I joined an internal project where we worked after-hours to develop a talent management system. At one point, I was putting 60-70 hour weeks. I wrote horrifying code, but I learned a lot and continued to improve.

This reminds me of Cal Newport's So Good They Can't Ignore.

  1. What other learning strategies that worked and didn't worked for you?

  2. In your experience, what do you think are the top 3-5 most important skills that a developer should develop to become a more valuable to an employer/client?



For learning strategies, I personally think each person has their own way of learning. I learn best by doing. I was extremely lazy and put things off as much as I can, but soon I realized that the more I did something, the better I got at it. I used that and basically pressured myself to learn. I purposefully put myself on projects I know nothing or little about, so that I am forced to learn something because I really wanted to be a top performer. That was it for me.

For skills employers look for, I think most employers look for communication, consistency, and skill (there maybe others im missing) Here is an explanation of each from my point of view:

Communication: basically the ability to explain technical things to business folks, and having a positive attitude while doing it. You can get better at this by writing posts, detailed documentations and by reading a lot of technical posts and understanding how others explain things.

Consistency: it’s all about leaving a positive impression and consistently delivering and keeping your manager/co-workers updated every step of the way. If they keep seeing that you are consistently delivering on your responsibilities, they’ll rely on you more and you’d make a name for yourself as a solid resource.

Skill: this is something you can keep building. Tell your manager and coworkers about your side projects. It shows initiative and aptitude!


You've worked really hard. You were unhappy, but you were not bragging, instead you determined and worked really hard. That's a quality tend to diminish nowadays.

You are an inspiration!! Just wanna say thanks for sharing this.

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