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Ask Slashdot: Does Being 'Loyal' Pay As a Developer? 735

An anonymous reader writes "As a senior developer for a small IT company based in the UK that is about to release their flagship project, I know that if I were to leave the company now, it would cause them some very big problems. I'm currently training the other two 'junior' developers, trying to bring them up to speed with our products. Unfortunately, they are still a long way from grasping the technologies used – not to mention the 'interesting' job the outsourced developers managed to make of the code. Usually, I would never have considered leaving at such a crucial time; I've been at the company for several years and consider many of my colleagues, including higher management, to be friends. However, I have been approached by another company that is much bigger, and they have offered me a pay rise of £7k to do the same job, plus their office is practically outside my front door (as opposed to my current 45 minute commute each way). This would make a massive difference to my life. That said, I can't help but feel that to leave now would be betraying my friends and colleagues. Some friends have told me that I'm just being 'soft' – however I think I'm being loyal. Any advice?"
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Ask Slashdot: Does Being 'Loyal' Pay As a Developer?

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  • Tacos for dinner (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 07, 2011 @10:57AM (#37638804)

    Always a shitty situation. Sometimes I think you can grow with a company.. they get bigger, can pay you more/give you better opportunities. In most cases though, it seems that eventually you outgrow a small company. You grow faster than they do, and gradually the outside offers get more and more tempting.

    This kind of thing is hard for me, because I have the same “leaving now would screw these guys” kind of thinking. You’ll be hearing from the “business is business, do what’s best for you, they’d drop you in a heartbeat if they could save a buck” crowd soon enough.

    The only thing I can say is that people are usually not as critical as would seem. I’ve been amazed on several occasions at how quickly someone I would describe as “if we lose him we are screwed” is replaced. People step up and figure shit out. It is rocky, and will cause headaches, but eventually people make it work.

    • Bargain (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Geoffrey.landis ( 926948 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:08AM (#37639006) Homepage

      Tell your current company about the offer, and see if you get a counter-offer.

      (and if they don't counter, you know how you're valued. Leave.)

      • Re:Bargain (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:14AM (#37639114)

        The problem is if they match their offer. Then they feel like that you now owe them one. And you will not get your raise or promotion anytime soon. Or they will now expect much greater things from you. Overall it is better to take the new offer and put in your notice. That way you leave on good terms, and don't do anything to disrupt the terms you are in.

        • This is woefully true. I had a coworker try this technique. He got the match, but afterwards the company was pretty bitter towards him.
          • Re:Bargain (Score:5, Insightful)

            by black6host ( 469985 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:44AM (#37639588)

            I once worked at a company and received a job offer with considerably higher pay. I put in my notice, and they offered to match it. Same story so far, however, there were no repercussions or bad feelings. Note: I didn't ask them to counter the offer, I simply said that the opportunity was too good to pass up and that I had to leave. The value of "something" is what people are willing to pay for it. In my opinion, this includes my skill set as well.

            I've managed many developers and my advice to them was that if they received a better offer they should go for it. I was more concerned for them, personally, than the company I worked for. Upper management controlled pay rates but they did not control my concern and care for those that worked for/with me. Of course, this was good for morale and benefited the company in the long run.

            That all being said, it could go either way. The outcome of how one might be treated depends on many things and is unique in most/all cases.

            • Re:Bargain (Score:4, Informative)

              by tripleevenfall ( 1990004 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:52AM (#37639746)

              In IT, you can't generally advance within a company as well as you can by switching companies. This is because a company with a current employee has (short-sighted, self-serving) incentive to minimize the increases in total compensation, while a hiring company must attract the person they want.

              It's also been studied that most people who accept counter offers to stay are still gone within 6 months to a year.

              You are but a resource to your company. If they thought it would save them a few units of your favorite currency in the long run, they'd fire you yesterday. They don't feel any human attachment to you. This is all just business. You work, and at the end of the week they pay you, and then you're even. You don't owe them and they don't owe you. Do what's best for you and your family.

              • Re:Bargain (Score:5, Insightful)

                by networkBoy ( 774728 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @12:10PM (#37640038) Journal

                Loyalty has paid off *very* well for me. Not in the short run mind you, but when it really counted (twice).
                First time:
                Stayed in a not very good job, for a very good manager, just because he asked me to. Once the project I was on was done he gave me an excellent professional reference and I went on my way. FF about 8 years and I was facing being laid off in the division of the company I moved to. He found out that I was in a group that was busy imploding as fast as it possibly could and hired me into his division, no questions asked.
                Couple years later he's climbed up the ladder quite a bit (as have I) and I found myself in an environment where I knew I was going to get myself into trouble (incompatible middle manager). Went to my old boss and had an "open door" meeting with him. Laid out my issue and told him that same as last time I'd finish the project I was on, but then it looked as if it was time for me to move on again. His response was to move me under a different manager, in a different job role, with a different position, just to make me happy and keep me there.

                I can't help but to think that had I not stayed around way back when, and had bailed at a critical juncture, things would be much worse right now.

                I think the main thing people miss, is that if you have a good relationship with your boss and upper management, while you can not count on that for more pay (never seen someone not burned on that front), you can count on them for fixing almost everything else, making the environment, and job you do, so enjoyable that pay is not important any more.*

                * obviously it is important, but there is a range of pay that applies to any job, if the job is awesome and the environment is awesome, then being at the lower end or middle of that range really isn't a big deal.

                • Re:Bargain (Score:5, Insightful)

                  by barc0001 ( 173002 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @01:01PM (#37640760)

                  That's a very different circumstance. In your cases you weren't being loyal to a company but to a person who reciprocates, which is just good networking.

                  • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                    by Tepic++ ( 221291 )

                    What was expected? Loyalty to a company is meaningless as the company is not anthropomorphic. It's always your relationships/loyalty to people that counts.

                    The relationships that really work are also far more than networking - they are not just business transactions.

        • Re:Bargain (Score:4, Interesting)

          by delinear ( 991444 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:25AM (#37639306)

          Agreed. If you take a counter offer and stay, the chances are those relationships that were previously good may well turn sour. The company may also see you as disloyal or a risk and they'll likely seek to recruit/promote someone over you as soon as possible to minimise the risk of you leaving. Once they've done that, it's actually in their interests if you leave, since they don't want to be paying two lead developers if one is all they need - at that point, welcome to being lumbered with all the crap tasks. This isn't always the case, but I've seen it happen enough that I wouldn't take the risk.

          Conversely leaving isn't disloyal, it's just natural - if they'd hold grudges agains you for wanting to move forwards then that gives you a good indication of how they really view you - fairweather friends at best. Be open and honest and do whatever you can to ease the transition (when I've been in this position before I've made it clear I was on the end of the phone for transitional issues after I've gone so long as they didn't abuse the offer) but be firm, and it probably helps if you make it clear this is not just about money but about expanding your experience/skills/better work/life balance etc (even if it is about money, you don't want to be seen as a mercenary dick - it's a small world after all). Of course, I'm biased as I hate any kind of commute - I'd probably take a 7k pay cut if I could work in walking distance from home rather than 1.5 hours :)

        • Re:Bargain (Score:5, Insightful)

          by InlawBiker ( 1124825 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:59AM (#37639892)

          If you leave everybody benefits. You gain a better commute, better pay and more opportunity. The old company's two junior programmers will benefit from new responsibility. The company will survive just fine without you believe it or not. If they really need you perhaps they can pay you a small retainer to consult for a few months.

          Bottom line, don't ever hold yourself back.

        • Re:Bargain (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Trails ( 629752 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @12:21PM (#37640196)

          Agreed, sorta.

          If you play brinksmanship with the company, you poison the relationship.

          I was in a similar situation though the other offer was lot more money but a slightly worse working condition. I approached my boss, told him about it, that I was conflicted, and pointed to some problems in the company. The company was a startup and not yet flush with cash so I told them upfront I didn't expect them to match the pay, and I just wanted to make an informed decision. I got a smallish salary bump, but some organizational issues got resolved and my boss had the ammo to say "our key guy is gonna split if we don't address this". In the end the company got better and I got most of what I wanted. More money would have been nice, but the company is a much improved place to work at, I'm happier for it, and have additional trust in my boss.

          The lesson I took from this is as follows: if you trust your boss, lay it out for them, including what you want. Don't play the "do this or I'll leave" card, or you may as well leave. Give them your POV and make it a discussion, not a negotiation. This hinges on you trusting your boss and being prepared to make compromises. If you aren't prepared to make compromise (which is fine), just leave. If you don't trust your boss enough to do this, just leave.

          • This.

            Also, if you DO decide to leave and the old company can't fix their problems, offer to stick around longer than normal.

            Typically, you'll give two weeks notice to the old company when you change positions. Offer them a month or two months notice to make the transition for the junior developers smoother. Your new company will like that you feel loyalty to your old company (they'll see that you'll be loyal to them in return) and your old company won't have hard feelings once you explain your issues.

            If t

      • by Anrego ( 830717 ) *

        (and if they don't counter, you know how you're valued. Leave.)

        Or more commonly, they can't afford it.

        This tends to be the problem, as was said, companies grow slower than employees. Eventually the employee is worth more than the company can pay.

      • Re:Bargain (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:32AM (#37639420)

        That's really risky proposition. The problem is that they might give you the raise to keep you... While they train your replacement. Then you've lost your current job and don't have another one lined up.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Tell your current company about the offer, and see if you get a counter-offer.

        Do not do this! This is terrible advice. As an IT manager, I would be pissed if someone came to me with leverage. Being forced to make a decision is not pleasant. I would much rather have the employee come to me with a business case for giving him or her a raise. If I am worth my pay, I know what the resource is worth and will come up with the raise if I can and it is within my budget. Do not accept any stalling tactics as you could lose both opportunities.

        One other thing to consider is that managers wi

        • Re:Bargain (Score:5, Insightful)

          by magarity ( 164372 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @12:14PM (#37640096)

          As an IT manager ... Being forced to make a decision is not pleasant

          The headliner on the list of job duties for "manager" is "making decisions". Perhaps you need to go back to technical work?

          . I would much rather have the employee come to me with a business case for giving him or her a raise

          The job market indicates this person is worth more by evidence of his new offer; it's up to you as a manager to make the case that you do or do not need to pay that increased amount for this person/skillset/experience level. It's not his problem that the market views his value as increased!

          • by s73v3r ( 963317 )

            The headliner on the list of job duties for "manager" is "making decisions".

            That just means he has to make them. It doesn't mean that they have to be pleasant to make.

        • Re:Bargain (Score:5, Insightful)

          by s73v3r ( 963317 ) <> on Friday October 07, 2011 @01:08PM (#37640838)

          As an IT manager, I would be pissed if someone came to me with leverage.

          Because you want your underlings to have no power at all at the bargaining table, right? You need all the power for yourself. How dare they try to balance that out a bit.

      • Re:Bargain (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tbannist ( 230135 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @12:10PM (#37640034)

        That's bad advice, you never take the counter-offer. Once you've admitted to considering an offer from another company you are now branded disloyal. Your boss will make sure he has someone else who can do your job ready for when you leave and if you don't leave soon enough they'll get tired of waiting and kick you out.

        It's a bad risk to take because it usually means you end up with neither job. It's better to explain to the new company that your current company is at a critical juncture and find out how much leeway you have on starting date, if they can give you an extra week or two you can offer that to your current company. But make it clear that your are doing this because you are awesome. If they offer you more money to stay it's either because they're afraid to lose you right now, or because they intentionally underpaid you previously. Eitehr way it's not good.

    • This kind of thing is hard for me, because I have the same “leaving now would screw these guys” kind of thinking.

      There's often a good answer to this: sit down with your boss and tell him about the other offer. If he or she agrees that you are that valuable, he or she may make a substantial counter-offer that lets them keep you and makes everybody happy. Ask for the 7k plus a day or two a week of working at home to compensate for the commute. Ask for everything it would take for you to feel like leaving would be crazy.

      The only risk with this is an evil boss that forever holds it against you. If you think that's a situ

      • The problem with this kind of thinking is that more and more the "evil boss" is becoming the norm. It might not be your immediate boss... in fact, it's less likely to be, but in my experience, it's more and more common that somewhere between your boss and the top, there will be some vindictive bastard with an exaggerated sense of self-importance who will make you pay for it. The same happens to people who voice a contrary opinion, no matter how diplomatic and constructive.

        Therefore, if you find yourself i

    • by randomencounter ( 653994 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:15AM (#37639136)

      Indeed, give fair notice and make the move if you think the new company is a good match for you.

      Loyalty is a good thing, but sometimes it also holds back the people you are being loyal to.

    • by tonywong ( 96839 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:25AM (#37639304) Homepage
      Talk to employees at your potential new place of employment first.

      You might get offered more but you might be the first cut as well. &pound;7k more is a huge amount but it won't help you if you're unemployed because the shop is one of those hire/fire cycling places. Unless you're the type of person who can find a job within a weekend based on your skillset and persona.
  • by CyberSnyder ( 8122 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @10:59AM (#37638826)'s the fear of the unknown. What if it's not as good as it looks? If you're making more money and gaining an hour and a half every day it's a no brainer.

    • by nschubach ( 922175 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:03AM (#37638934) Journal

      Agreed. I'm actually on my last day of my two weeks of notice (it's typical, gave me a little time to train my co-workers. If they can't pick it up, I wasn't being paid enough.)

      Give them plenty of notice, spend your last days passing on whatever knowledge you can to help (if you really care) and let them manage. If they really want to keep you aboard they may come back with a counter, but I think most companies understand that would be an awkward situation so they probably won't.

    • by forestgomp ( 526317 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:43AM (#37639566)'s the fear of the unknown. What if it's not as good as it looks? If you're making more money and gaining an hour and a half every day it's a no brainer.

      As my mother always said: "Never love anything that can't love you back." A company is a perfect example of this. And you're absolutely correct that fear of the unknown is a factor. That isn't necessarilly a bad thing -- because the new job might have unknown deficiencies (as well as benefits). Its a cost-benefit analysis without full information, rather than a no brainer:

      current job:
      negative aspects (less pay; long commute)
      positive aspects (friends, including among management)

      new job:
      negative aspects (no friends, others??)
      positive aspects (more pay, short commute, others??)

      The question is, do the known positives make up for the risk of the unknown negatives?

  • by gbrandt ( 113294 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @10:59AM (#37638834)

    You have to remember that your company has no loyalty to you. If their revenues drop and they have to save money, your job will be on the line!

    Always do whats best for you and yours (family).

    • by mla_anderson ( 578539 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:11AM (#37639066) Homepage

      That's not always true. I worked for a small company through some of the worst times that industry experienced. Our sales went below 50% of previous years and our net income went negative. Instead of laying people off the managers took cuts. When things got a little better, the managers went without raises so the rest of us could have small raises and larger bonuses (bonuses are cheaper in the long run). I would have never left if I didn't want to leave that part of the country.

    • by chispito ( 1870390 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:22AM (#37639250)

      You have to remember that your company has no loyalty to you.

      He works for a small company, and that's not always the case.

    • That depends on the company. During the recession in the '80s, the managers at my father's company were the first to take pay cuts. When they were still making a loss, they gave the employees a choice of shifting to part time, taking a pay cut, or having some redundancies. The employees opted for a mixture of the first two. When the economy recovered, there were bonuses for the people who'd stayed and the old pay rates were reinstated, with the management pay rate being the last to return to its pre-rec

    • On my first job out of university, I was loyal, stuck to a single company for about 4 years, at which point their product was purchased by another company and the dev team dropped like a hot potato.

      Few years down, I couldn't come to work on a weekend (after working 3 straight previous weekends without overtime pay), I was let go the following Thursday after I pissed off my boss after being threatened "I may not be fit for the organization", I'm glad I did, cause I wasn't.

      I started contracting and haven't lo

  • by ByOhTek ( 1181381 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:00AM (#37638836) Journal

    Ask for a raise, see if you get it.

    Loyalty is a consideration - but first comes paying the bills. Are you happy and satisfied with where you work, and your style of living? Would the 7k increase be worth it for you, to switch, and leave them where they are? Company is about risks and resources, if they don't manage their resources and take a risk at loosing something that is important and even key to what they are doing, it is their problem, not yours.

    • Yeah, I'd have to say, I'd confront my current employer, let them know about the offer, and give them a chance to keep me. They would have to take into account the commute too, so a 10k raise would be in order. If you really are needed, you'll get the money, otherwise enjoy the new job guilt free!
      • by cs668 ( 89484 )

        I would ask my employer for a raise - explain why you are worth it and see what happens. I would not tell them about the other offer, ever. They won't view your asking for a raise in the same way if they know about the other offer and they will not trust you in the same way again. Particularly if it is a tight nit group the way you described it.

        • by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @12:45PM (#37640554)

          When I was in this situation I didn't tell them of the offer directly.

          I talked to the office snitch (who thought I wasn't on to her) and mentioned 'in confidence' that I as 99.9% out the door, just finished the 3rd interview at the new place.

          Two days later they made me an offer better then the new place. By not telling them exactly what the other place was offering they had to guess.

          Then again you may not be as vital as you think. The nice thing about this is you don't tip your hand.

    • by ShadyG ( 197269 )

      I personally would not use the new job as a "bargaining chip", in that I'd bring it to the old boss and try to get them to match or beat the deal. IMO that has the potential to create bad blood. Instead, without ever mentioning any other opportunity I would just ask to open up negotiations for a raise. Focus on what your value to the company is and has been. You're training a couple of junior developers, so why not ask for a manager position with those two your first direct reports? No doubt such a position

    • by endikos ( 195750 ) *

      Yup. Give them an opportunity to make up the difference if you're more inclined to stay if the pay were right. If that doesnt work or if you'd rather leave anyway, give generous notice (I gave my last employer 4 weeks instead of the customary 2), and even offer to be available on a consultancy basis a few hours a week to help them through the transition. That'll also give you a bit of a further bonus in your pocketbook if they choose to do that.

    • by sfled ( 231432 ) <sfled&yahoo,com> on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:09AM (#37639036) Journal

      I was in a similar situation, and that's exactly what I did. A job opened up closer to my home and on-target with my then new-found interest in web development. I told my old boss that I would be leaving in two weeks, and that I was saddened but explained the circumstances: better pay, less commute, more job satisfaction. He responded by asking how much they were offering. He then matched the salary, told me he would pay for my time commuting, and asked me to use some of my time to develop a web site for the company. Win-win boss. Disclaimer: I did eventually leave years later to form my own company. We're still friends and he's a customer, so yeah, he's still in some ways my boss :)

      • by sgt101 ( 120604 )

        Worth saying that :

        1. If they don't match and give you compensation for the commute then it's a sure sign that they would get rid of you without a moments thought if they needed to.

        2. If they do match then it's a good bet that they will hang on to you in hard times.

    • Ask for a raise, see if you get it.

      It's often a lot easier to get a raise with a competing offer in hand -- if you like the company where you work and the people, that's what I'd do first -- ask for an $8k raise.

      Loyalty is a consideration

      The thing is, even if your first-level manager is loyal to you, the company as a whole isn't. What happens if there's a strategic shift in 6 months and they decide to shut down your department, or completely reorganize things so you're no longer doing what you want anymore

    • by Necroman ( 61604 )

      My old company trained their managers that they were not allowed to do anything if their employees came to them saying they had offers from another company.

      They didn't pay well and were bad at keeping talented people. Hurray for having a new job!

    • Negotiation: 101 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by petes_PoV ( 912422 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:40AM (#37639524)
      So you ask for a pay rise, almost certainly the response will be:
      "well, we don't have the budget to do anything now, but I'll <ahem> make sure you are rewarded when you review comes round in X months time."

      You're now in the worst possible situation. You've played your hand and got a commitment that almost certainly won't match the offer you have; either financially or in terms of commute, or wider opportunities in the new place. But it gets worse. You've also told your employer that you're willing to dump them - so you're now top of the list of people to sack - especially as the guy is at present training 2 more people (his replacements).

      Also, the "I've got a better offer" is only a ploy you can use once. So if you do stay, you are unlikely to ever get the chance to bluff for another payrise - and you can bet that in years to come any above-average rise will get brought back into line with below-par awards in coming years.

      • So you ask for a pay rise, almost certainly the response will be: "well, we don't have the budget to do anything now, but I'll make sure you are rewarded when you review comes round in X months time."

        You're now in the worst possible situation.

        No, you're in the best possible situation. The old company has rejected your very modest request and you move with a clear conscience to the new company for a nice pay raise and no more commute.

        [other nonsense snipped]

        Are you even reading the same story as the rest o

  • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:00AM (#37638852)

    It sounds like a deal you shouldn't pass up. And I admire your loyalty. Your new employer will appreciate your loyalty, too, when you explain to them how you still need to help your old company out.

    I am sure they would accommodate your working with your old employer until they can get on their feet once again. Perhaps telecommute some, or work at the old job a few days a week.

    If they had objections to that, I would question wanting to work for them...

  • Loyalty means nothing in the new corporate century.

    Believe me, they'll sell YOU out if/when they have the chance. Do what you think is right but make sure you don't hurt yourself.

    • They demand loyalty but do not give it. That's the way of things. They get pretty butt-hurt and surprised if you are unhappy with the way things are and are willing to leave to get something better.

  • No commute? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stoicfaux ( 466273 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:00AM (#37638860)

    plus their office is practically outside my front door (as opposed to my current 45 minute commute each way). This would make a massive difference to my life.

    The commute alone is worth switching for. That's an (unpaid) hour and a half of your life that you get back.

    • Re:No commute? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Fast Thick Pants ( 1081517 ) <> on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:34AM (#37639434)
      I very much agree. You can even repurpose that hour and a half to make yourself available on a consulting basis to the old gig. You know they're going to be calling you anyway, so you might as well get paid for it. You'll be saving money and time on the commute, and padding your income a little. Helping the old shop through the post-you transitional phase is good karma, and the unburnt bridge may come in handy at some point in the future.
  • Loyalty? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kimvette ( 919543 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:00AM (#37638864) Homepage Journal

    Loyalty to your employer? Are you kidding? They would fire your ass in a heartbeat as soon as the numbers exhibit a downturn. Our parents' generation could rely on employers to consider loyalty a two-way street; you don't job surf and they give you all kinds of benefits including pensions, profit sharing, and so on. Now, decision makers don't think twice about firing thousands of workers when the numbers take a temporary dip, just so they can show shareholders a temporary spike in profits to get their bonuses.

    Besides, do you live to work, or do you work to live?

    Fuck loyalty to your employer. Take the better offer.

    • Re:Loyalty? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by scamper_22 ( 1073470 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:09AM (#37639034)

      Loyalty to some nameless corporation? No.

      But ultimately, life is about the relationships you build.
      Your manage, that product manger, your director, your coop students, your underlings...

      These are people like any other who understand loyalty.
      Loyalty to the company and these folks is different, but intertwined.

      You don't leave the company without leaving all those individuals

      It's a complicated social world and you have to be smart about it.

      I would never leave a good job for a few thousand.
      1. Ask your employer to match the salary. A few thousand is nothing for a company. The sales guy probably drink that much in a month.
      2. In the grand scheme, do you enjoy the work? Do you like your colleagues?

      • Dude, in US dollars this guy is talking about somewhere in the ball park of $10,000. I don't know about you, but that makes things a little different. 10k dollar raise and a commute that is a fraction of the old one...I mean shit...that's hitting the jackpot. Quite frankly, I can learn to like my colleagues at the new place as long as there aren't warning signs of it being a hell hole. That's why you leave on good terms with the old employer. The act of leaving shouldn't burn any bridges if you aren't
  • Document (Score:5, Insightful)

    by David Gerard ( 12369 ) <slashdot&davidgerard,co,uk> on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:01AM (#37638874) Homepage

    Either way, you should document the hell out of everything so that if you were hit by a bus tomorrow they wouldn't be similarly fucked.

    • A good developer would warn them of this, but he can't take action on it until they decide to actually assign him the task of documentation. In the real world, they won't care about documentation until it's too late and the whole time he will have been working on some other undocumented code. They'll tell him to document things, but will never be willing to push back the schedule to deal with the extra work of creating the docs. At least that's been my experience.

      Of course if he's actually hit by a bus, he

  • by SuiteSisterMary ( 123932 ) <slebrun@[ ] ['gma' in gap]> on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:01AM (#37638876) Journal

    Assuming that all contractual obligations have been met, you've exchanged your work for their money. If you no longer wish to exchange your work for their money, that's no problem. Rest assured, if they no longer wanted to exchange their money for your work, they'd have no problem terminating that little arrangement.

    Besides, there are ways of arranging for exclusivity. In many fields, they're codified. Retainers, tenure, whatever. If they wanted to keep you for a fixed amount of time, they'd have entered into contractual negotiations with you.

    If you want to leave, leave. Just make sure you follow the legal and standard practices; two weeks notice or whatever it is across the pond.

  • You should leave (Score:2, Insightful)

    by UconnGuy ( 562899 )
    Why wouldn't you? You have no guarantees that after the two Jr Devs get up to speed, they don't get rid of you (surely they are making less). The company would also have no qualms about laying you off if they need to - it's only business.

    If upper mgmt were REALLY your friends, they would want what's best for you. If they are bitter about you leaving, then they are not really your friends.

    Ultimately, you need to do what's best for YOU.
  • The days of secure employment are long over, and management will eliminate your role if it makes financial sense to. You should stay "loyal" only insofar as that the employment is mutually beneficial and both sides get good value of the other.

  • Consulting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by XxtraLarGe ( 551297 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:02AM (#37638904) Journal
    Why not take the new job & act as a consultant on the old job?
    • +1 for stating the win-win scenario. Make sure the new job offer is firm and then explain to your co-workers / friends what the situation is, while offering yourself up on a consultant basis as a way out for them.
    • by rycamor ( 194164 )

      This has always worked out well for me at some level or other. If you make it clear that your reason for leaving is not a negative one (IE. hating your boss/job/whatever) and that you are willing to do whatever you can to help them make the transition, usually employers are quite reasonable about such things. One of my former employers (a branch of a very large company) still contacts me occasionally even 4 years after my departure.

      Never burn bridges, but never limit yourself due to feeling sorry for your e

  • Rule 1: Always do what is best for you. The company has no loyalty what so ever to you. Individual managers may have loyalty but the 'company' has none. Rule 2: Never burn your bridges. Leave on the best good will terms possible.
  • If they really mean something to you, offer them nice terms on a transition contract. Make sure the contract doesn't F you tho.

  • Does the company reward loyalty? If the shoe was on the other foot and times were tough, would they take into account your work and loyalty and try to keep you on?

    Honestly, I doubt they give a second thought to your loyalty. The times when it was a good idea to be loyal to an employer are by and large long since gone. They are only looking at their bottom line, you basically have to do the same.

    Company loyalty now really only comes back to bite you in the ass, there is no benefit for the employee.
  • by SkunkPussy ( 85271 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:03AM (#37638926) Journal

    this means they're not paying you enough; therefore you should see if they'll match what the other company will offer. dunno what you could do about the 90 mins travel time though

  • Loyalty never pays in the modern corporate world, the financial aspect of this decision is easy. It's a moral decision you have to make, so do whatever you feel is right.

  • They would show you zero iotas of loyalty if it was in their best interest. Walk away, take the better job, and don't look back. It's just business. Don't make the mistake of confusing it for something different.
  • I'd go into a closed-door meeting with management and say "I've been offered a position at another company making 7k more and with a much shorter commute, but I like working here. What can you offer me?" If they aren't willing to play ball, give notice. At that point, they may try to make an offer - unless it's even more than the 7k, don't accept; they'll always be looking to replace you. If they make you a reasonable offer, take it and enjoy your new old job.

  • If you have no doubt that your skills are worth the extra money and that 'big' company is unlikely to be in difficult financial straights the next few years, make the move. Try your best not to burn bridges and you are probably best off speaking about the quality of life issues rather than the money if pressed by your current employer who may well match or do some other nice thing for you. But this sounds like it is as much about money as it is location, and money will not offset 1.5 to 2 hours a day comm

    • by bsDaemon ( 87307 )

      If they could match the money, or come close, and trade a day of telecommute, it might be worth staying. 5k and monday or friday at home might well be an even trade for 7k and a reduced daily commute.

  • by Klync ( 152475 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:07AM (#37638986)

    I was going to side with you on the loyalty argument, until I read that your employer outsources (some of) their programming. What does that say about their commitment to loyalty? On the one hand, it helps to maintain a good network of industry contacts for the long-term good of your career. On the other hand, it *is* possible to maintain a good relationship with your old co-workers, while simultaneously "looking out for number one".

      Is you leaving going to be *difficult*, or will it break their entire business? That is, you can rest easy if you cause a bit of inconvenience, but just try not to screw them too badly: ask your new employer if you can have a couple of weeks before you officially start; or a "transition period" where you can remain on-call (e.g. a half-day a week when needed) to the old team.

  • by mikael ( 484 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:08AM (#37639000)

    This looks like the typical situation of company A trying to fuck over company B, just when company B is about to release a product. Company A won't be wanting to help you out, but simply get you away from company B. They probably won't treat you any better, if not worse.

    I'd stay until the project is complete - explain that to company B. If they don't appreciate that, then they don't really want you that badly.

    Seen this happen before to other people, and happen to myself. In the long term, having worked on a project from start to finish counts more than leaving half-way through. Who knows, it might be get bought out by a large company.

  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:09AM (#37639026) Homepage Journal
    Being loyal buys you being stuck at the same salary and benefits level for a decade. You'll see much better advancement if you're a whore. Back in the 90's during the tech bubble in the USA you could change contracting companies like you change your underwear (At least once ever 6 months!) and pick up a $10K a year pay raise each time. Since the tech bubble burst that's slowed down a bit here, and a lot of the incompetent ones fell out of the market. You could probably work that craze in India until the tech companies find some new outsourcing darling country (Greece and Iraq are who I'm thinking are next.)
  • However, I have been approached by another company that is much bigger, and they have offered me a pay rise of £7k to do the same job, plus their office is practically outside my front door (as opposed to my current 45 minute commute each way). This would make a massive difference to my life .

    Those last two words are the important bit. You need to decide what is important in YOUR life. Quality of life is very important. Rejecting anyone is a painful experience and that includes companies you work for.

    If you are going to burn bridges, think hard about whether it is worth it but then make your decision and don't look back. There are no guarantees for you or from either company. If the new job seems like a secure gig and it will improve your quality of life I'd consider it. Look VERY carefull

  • So you're loyal to your company. Great. How loyal are they to you?

    Do they pay you at or above what you could make elsewhere?

    Do they do their best to schedule things so that you're not constantly working death-march overtime?

    Do they respect you and your contributions?

    Do they lay people off only when they absolutely have to, or whenever doing so could goose their quarterly numbers?

    Loyalty is great. Loyalty is undervalued. But loyalty has to be earned, and while you've told us you're loyal to your company

  • Even a crap job is tolerable if the people are decent and the money is fair. Loyalty is due where loyalty is repaid. Granted, employment contracts and Non-Compete clauses always limit and grate, but is where you are now giving/getting you what you want? Will the green grass over the fence do better for you in the long run? Do you accept the burdens of those changes in the short run?

    It can be pretty cheesy to attempt to "measure" your friendship, much less deliberately test it, but if you feel you're
  • Does Being 'Loyal' Pay As a Developer?


  • by Pollardito ( 781263 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:11AM (#37639064)
    1. Tell the new employer that you'd like to give a longer-than-usual notice to your current employer
    2. Figure out between you and your new employer what length of time is reasonable
    3. Tell your old employer that you're leaving, but that you're giving them this extended notice
    4. Make the move

    Hopefully when you're looking for the next job after this one your current employer will remember that you did them a favor, because that's who you'll likely be using as a reference and not these new people you're talking to now. And even if they forget that you were nice to them on the way out, you'll still know that you did "the right thing" (and not "the sucker thing" by staying forever just because they weren't smart enough to make people slightly redundant)
  • You have to ask yourself: is the company currently worth being loyal to?

    All too often, people seem to think that loyalty is, in and of itself, something you should strive for. It's not. Being mindlessly loyal is just plain dumb; the things you choose to be loyal to should, in some way, be worthy of that loyalty.

    Your current company doesn't seem like it really cares about being worthy of your loyalty. I'm sure their flagship product was shipped out overseas against your recommendation, if they even bothered

  • by Courageous ( 228506 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:13AM (#37639100)

    My advice:

    Do what you love. Make sure that much is true, no matter what you do. More money isn't worth it.

    Pursue new opportunities, whenever you can. Mix things up. Internally at your current place, or externally if you have to leave to get the new challenge.

    Don't let yourself get idle and waste away with boredom for fear of the unknown.

    Exploit new opportunities.

    If the new place has a good reputation, GO. Don't take the counter offer. Just GO.

    Loyalty is mostly misplaced in the modern corporate world. However, it might be worthwhile to tie up your current project, and then go hunting. A bold move would be a nationwide hunt, and not just one next door.

    Some part of you wants to be comfortable, and the unknown is uncomfortable. Big changes are uncomfortable. Look that in the eye.

    Many people go through their entire lives not looking themselves in the eye.

    So to speak.


  • If your company could hire someone else equally qualified, experienced and competent to do your work for £7k less, would they have any qualms firing you? What about £15k? Outsource it to India for 15% of the cost?

    You are in a purely transactional relationship. You provide knowledge and hard work, and you get paid in money, prestige and satisfaction. That's it. It's your company, not your parent or sibling or friend or spouse - you 'owe' it no loyalty beyond that transactional relationship (and

  • But that said, it might mean something to you. If you feel better about yourself remaining where you are than you would leaving your current employer high and dry in exchange for a higher salary, then that peace of mind is certainly of great value, and the guilt you may feel at your new job if you were to leave your current one could even adversely affect your capabilities.

    It is, of course, ultimately up to you.... How do *YOU* feel about leaving your current job? Would you regret leaving if it turn

  • I can only speak about the US. Generally, companies work at retaining people through various means:

    1. Severance Package: You won't get a severance package at your new job until you are vested, in the US at least. That means getting through you probationary period. Severance packages are always much better than our pitiful US unemployment insurance, which they are always making more humiliating to access and more difficult to collect. How much are you giving up to change jobs?

    2. Perks: These can be t

  • When your immediate usefulness is perceived to have ended, your "friends" would grind you up and sell you as dog food for a few extra pounds if they thought they could get a way with it.

    Short answer? Don't be an idiot.

  • Have you gotten everything you need from this job, professionally, financially, and personally? Are you satisfied this move is the best choice for you to grow professionally?

    If you want this other position, give your current employer proper notice, and work with them to make the transition as smooth as possible. You can even discuss the possibility of being available as a consultant for a while if they need.

    On the other hand, you might look over the offer and decide the trade-offs aren't worth it. Sometimes

  • You think that your management is inside your circle of friends, but they would do anything for money. Maybe they wouldn't kill your grandmother, not sure. In business, this is called "making the hard decisions." You have to do it to manage people. In business, this is called "playing with the big boys."

    You must quit your job now, because you have an unhealthy relationship with your coworkers and bosses. You will be badly hurt if they ever have to let you go, and it will take a long time to recover from it

  • What you can do is this.

    Take the new job, but tell your current employer for a limited time, you'll support them after hours for up to an hour a day (the hour you're currently losing to commuting). Overall, no net loss to your life, and in the end you gain an hour you didn't have before.

    Losing the commute is very important. Not only do you get the hour of your life back, even if the new job had the same pay you're effectively gaining the money you'd have to spend on fuel and your car. Fuel prices are only s

  • That depends... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:19AM (#37639208) Journal
    Loyalty is considered to be a virtue for a reason(hominid life, up until the past few thousand years, and still in many places up to the present day has basically been a case of 'iterative prisoner's dilemma'. As it turns out, being a good guy by default, and only shafting the other guy if he has a history of shafting people works out for everyone fairly well.)

    So, here's the question: if you job, by virtue of size/holding structure of company, psychological profile of leader figures, etc. is still small enough that its behavior is largely governed by "human" heuristics, loyalty can pay off. They will know who their loyal people are, value that, and your long-term payoff(especially if the product launch goes well) is likely to be good.

    If the company is larger than a certain size, run by sociopaths, or otherwise no longer governed by conventional human logic, the management will still recognize "loyal" employees; but by "loyal" they mean "sucker who will stay around for more punishment, for illogical emotional reasons, until we suck him dry and throw his husk away". Bad situation...

    That's the real trick. Being loyal to people is usually a pretty good idea. Being loyal to an organization or sociopath who considers you a "human resource" and your "loyalty" to be a form of primitive emotional weakness that makes you easier to exploit is always a terrible, terrible plan.

    If your employer would(hypothetically), tell you to clean out your desk and instruct security not to let the door hit your worthless ass on the way out if you were to get sick and be expected to be less productive because of treatment/recovery for a period of time, then it is a fairly safe bet that you are just an "input" to them. If so, fuck-em. They'd fuck you over for money, and it looks like you've been handed the change to do unto them before they do unto you.

    If, in that same hypothetical situation, they would exhibit care, understanding, concern, accomodation, etc, it is probable that they are the sort of entity that will recognize, value, and reciprocate loyalty...
  • I always find that the best way to give advice is to repeat back what people say. You said: "This would make a massive difference to my life." Is that true? If so, then the decision is obvious. In that vein, I would interpret your loyalty question as an emotional one: you are attached to where you work, you have put a lot of time and effort into your work. You are very proud of what you have accomplished and what you know. Those are all good things, but going back to the massive difference in your life, i
  • Talk to your current employers, let them know the score.
    If you're happy where you are, then you may just be taking a leap to somewhere more stifling (larger companies have a different feel to startups when you work there). That's an 'if' though, it may work better for you.
    If they get shirty about the info, then you can always leave to the new job (no risk to you). If they really value you (and can afford it), maybe they'll match or exceed the new offer you have.
    That's the thing with conversations, you rar

  • I'm an employer. I've invested a huge amount of time and money in my people. Times are tough, so I'm not going around offering $10k raises indiscriminately. However, they are key people who I would pay that much to keep, and there would be bad blood if those people would have stayed after a round of negotiation but decided not to give me an opportunity to consider the situation.

    Us bosses are not all unreasonable. Many of us have had to make tough decisions leaving one place for a better opportunity.
  • Freakonomics Radio had a relevant podcast about this recently "The upside of Quitting". []

    But the longer you wait,the harder it'll be for you to quit, so if you're thinking of maybe quitting later, you should assume that you don't want to quit your job period.

  • Seriously, take it. You aren't as important to your current employer as you think you are.

    Oh, they will cajole and complain. But you will kick yourself for the years to come because you will wonder what would've happened if you had taken the job.

    And, if you say, the management are really your friends, they'll understand eventually. Good management understands the value of keeping even leaving people happy - because after all, the employees might want to come back some day.

  • by Xacid ( 560407 ) on Friday October 07, 2011 @11:56AM (#37639838) Journal

    Happiness is what I'd measure out. Also - something not mentioned is at what stage of your career you're in.

    As for happiness - is your commute time stripping you of valuable time with your family? I have a similar commute and I'm used to it - but I also have some flexibility with my hours and can work from home at times. Those little perks there make up for the commute for me.

    As for salary - is that 7k going to make a huge difference to you? After taxes&benefits (based on USA rates) that'll be roughly 400/mo or translates to a little over 3.36/hr before taxes. Huge difference if you're making 100k/yr vs 30k/yr.

    Another thing - does this new job open up any new doors for you? In my case - I've plateaued in regards to what I can learn and do here so that's my main motivation for wanting to look elsewhere.

    For me I'd measure out my priorities. I'm in my early-mid stages of my career so I still have a fair amount of momentum to be used up. Commute isn't a huge priority. Salary I can stand to remain the same. I'm just not learning/doing much else, thus not allowing much else I can add to my resume, and that's the kicker for me.

  • by Aquitaine ( 102097 ) <sam.iamsam@org> on Friday October 07, 2011 @12:08PM (#37640020) Homepage

    If you worked for me, I would certainly appreciate the opportunity to keep you, and I wouldn't feel bitter in the least if you came to me and said 'x company is offering more money to do the same thing and it's a better fit with my life.' Yes, if I'm a douchebag, I can agree to match or beat their offer and then quietly seek to replace you, but a company's reputation among its employees hits the toilet pretty fast the moment everybody stops trusting the boss. It's my job to make sure that nobody ever stops and asks 'would Aquitaine try to replace me just because I made him match an offer another company made?'

    When I hire somebody, I definitely want the opportunity to earn their loyalty -- but I know that they, like everybody, have an obligation to themselves and to their families to do right by all of them, and that's tough when they're in competition with one another. So I don't think you 'owe' your current employer any more than the customary two weeks' notice unless you feel that they've really gone the extra mile on your behalf in the past, which some small businesses will do. Even then, I'd rather have a valuable employee realize it's time to move on than regret not having done so and turn into a rotten, depressed employee.

Logic is a pretty flower that smells bad.