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I'm I being screwed at this company?

Hi everyone,

I'm reaching out for some advice regarding my career in software development. I graduated with a first-class degree in computer science four years ago and landed a role as a Junior Software Engineer in a company that took a chance on me despite my lack of experience in the field. Since then, I've been primarily working with WordPress, PHP, Bootstrap, and various front-end technologies like Ajax, CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. I've been responsible for custom coding project without using frameworks, and I've seen my responsibilities grow over the years.

Recently, the company I work for was acquired by a larger corporation, and although we were promised better pay and opportunities for advancement, I've only received a modest pay rise and additional responsibilities without a promotion. Despite my efforts, I've been struggling to find new opportunities elsewhere. Many positions require experience with Laravel, a framework I haven't had the chance to work with extensively. I've been trying to learn Laravel in my spare time, but it's challenging to balance learning new skills with my current workload.

I've also started exploring other technologies like React and TypeScript, and I'm considering transitioning to roles like QA testing, as I'm feeling increasingly undervalued and underpaid in my current position. Recently, the company has even asked me to learn C++, which feels like a significant departure from my current expertise and presents a time management challenge given my existing workload.

I've tried discussing my concerns with my superiors, but I was essentially told to work harder and wait for potential opportunities in the future. I'm now faced with the dilemma of whether to voice my frustrations in the upcoming work survey or continue silently applying for new roles outside the company.

When I joined I was getting paid £26k and now £30k 4 years later!!! Location Northampton

Old contract i'm a junior but on this new company i'm just a developer FYI so they promoted me without payrise?

I would greatly appreciate any advice or insights from those who have been in similar situations. Thank you in advance for your help.
Original post by johnathanReid
Hi everyone,

I'm reaching out for some advice regarding my career in software development. I graduated with a first-class degree in computer science four years ago and landed a role as a Junior Software Engineer in a company that took a chance on me despite my lack of experience in the field. Since then, I've been primarily working with WordPress, PHP, Bootstrap, and various front-end technologies like Ajax, CSS, HTML, and JavaScript. I've been responsible for custom coding project without using frameworks, and I've seen my responsibilities grow over the years.

Recently, the company I work for was acquired by a larger corporation, and although we were promised better pay and opportunities for advancement, I've only received a modest pay rise and additional responsibilities without a promotion. Despite my efforts, I've been struggling to find new opportunities elsewhere. Many positions require experience with Laravel, a framework I haven't had the chance to work with extensively. I've been trying to learn Laravel in my spare time, but it's challenging to balance learning new skills with my current workload.

I've also started exploring other technologies like React and TypeScript, and I'm considering transitioning to roles like QA testing, as I'm feeling increasingly undervalued and underpaid in my current position. Recently, the company has even asked me to learn C++, which feels like a significant departure from my current expertise and presents a time management challenge given my existing workload.

I've tried discussing my concerns with my superiors, but I was essentially told to work harder and wait for potential opportunities in the future. I'm now faced with the dilemma of whether to voice my frustrations in the upcoming work survey or continue silently applying for new roles outside the company.

When I joined I was getting paid £26k and now £30k 4 years later!!! Location Northampton

Old contract i'm a junior but on this new company i'm just a developer FYI so they promoted me without payrise?

I would greatly appreciate any advice or insights from those who have been in similar situations. Thank you in advance for your help.

If you left the business tomorrow, what would be the impact? How easily would they cope with your departure? If they'd just get another graduate in, start them on £26-30K and accept that it'd take them a few months to get up-to-speed, then you're not really being screwed - your situation simply reflects your (lack of) value to the company.

There hasn't been much uplift in pay generally over the last few years, and it's not uncommon to "reward" people with a job title change, but without any accompanying pay rise.

You mention that you're "considering transitioning to roles like QA testing, as I'm feeling increasingly undervalued and underpaid in my current position". What makes you feel that a role in QA would make you any more valued or better paid?

What sort of company is your employer? Are they an IT company, providing software and services to their clients, or are they in some other market and simply need IT to support the "main" function of the business?

If I were you I'd both voice my frustrations in the upcoming work survey and continue silently applying for new roles outside the company. Good luck!
Thanks for your response. Your insights mean a lot to me.

You asked If I left tomorrow, how would it affect the company? It's got me thinking. Considering the custom project I'm on and the skills needed, finding a replacement might not be so easy. We've seen a few folks leave, and their roles have not been replaced just swollen up by the team.

I'm also keeping an eye on industry trends and packages and what i been offered before i'm extremly getting underpaid. Last year I was offered QA postion for £40k and a php dev role for £45k but here i am on £30k It seems salaries haven't seen much uplift lately. But it's not just about pay—it's about feeling valued for what I bring to the table. I spoke to the colleague and they got like £3000 bonus and are on complete different salary compared to me

I'm pondering a shift, maybe to QA testing, maybe something realted. It's not that I'm unhappy, but exploring new opportunities feels right. Plus, if it leads to better recognition and pay, why not?

I been applying 🙂 regarding the survey its anonymous but they will know who said what. Do I just say how I feel? what is the worst thing that can happen they sack me?

Thanks for being a sounding board. Your advice has given me some clarity.
Original post by johnathanReid
Thanks for your response. Your insights mean a lot to me.
You asked If I left tomorrow, how would it affect the company? It's got me thinking. Considering the custom project I'm on and the skills needed, finding a replacement might not be so easy. We've seen a few folks leave, and their roles have not been replaced just swollen up by the team.
I'm also keeping an eye on industry trends and packages and what i been offered before i'm extremly getting underpaid. Last year I was offered QA postion for £40k and a php dev role for £45k but here i am on £30k It seems salaries haven't seen much uplift lately. But it's not just about pay—it's about feeling valued for what I bring to the table. I spoke to the colleague and they got like £3000 bonus and are on complete different salary compared to me
I'm pondering a shift, maybe to QA testing, maybe something realted. It's not that I'm unhappy, but exploring new opportunities feels right. Plus, if it leads to better recognition and pay, why not?
I been applying 🙂 regarding the survey its anonymous but they will know who said what. Do I just say how I feel? what is the worst thing that can happen they sack me?
Thanks for being a sounding board. Your advice has given me some clarity.

Northampton is quite a cheap place to live - you might find a better paid role in MK.
Original post by johnathanReid
Thanks for your response. Your insights mean a lot to me.

You asked If I left tomorrow, how would it affect the company? It's got me thinking. Considering the custom project I'm on and the skills needed, finding a replacement might not be so easy. We've seen a few folks leave, and their roles have not been replaced just swollen up by the team.

I'm also keeping an eye on industry trends and packages and what i been offered before i'm extremly getting underpaid. Last year I was offered QA postion for £40k and a php dev role for £45k but here i am on £30k It seems salaries haven't seen much uplift lately. But it's not just about pay—it's about feeling valued for what I bring to the table. I spoke to the colleague and they got like £3000 bonus and are on complete different salary compared to me

I'm pondering a shift, maybe to QA testing, maybe something realted. It's not that I'm unhappy, but exploring new opportunities feels right. Plus, if it leads to better recognition and pay, why not?

I been applying 🙂 regarding the survey its anonymous but they will know who said what. Do I just say how I feel? what is the worst thing that can happen they sack me?

Thanks for being a sounding board. Your advice has given me some clarity.

Why did you turn down the "QA postion for £40k and a php dev role for £45k"?

Also, if you can land a PHP file at 45K, why would you be looking at a potential switch to QA, given that pays less (in this example)?

I completely understand that it's about "it's about feeling valued for what I bring to the table". How would you want the company to express that you're valued, other than by paying you more? A better job title, perhaps? :wink:

Regarding the survey, you can't pull any punches. You need to tell they how you feel. How are they supposed to know how you feel if you don't tell them?

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