I wrote the group a little while back and asked how the embedded job market was. The answers sounded pretty good, and I have a long history of embedded work (since the Z80... amazing that it's still around!) I decided to seek some embedded consulting work.
Looks like I'm about to land a job, if I bid well - I've got first crack at bidding. It involves some work with AVRs and wireless, should be fun. Only problem is that I don't know what to charge! I'd appreciate any info on what folks are billing per hour for embedded work, particularly in the US.
I'm no genius but I work for companies that expect to pay a reasonable wage. $35 an hour is only $70,000 a year with ZERO benefits. Not me. My salary is over $50 an hour and you want me to do side work for less?
I usually charge $100 C so that's about $70USD. As others pointed out you don't get any benefits,sick leave,paid holidays,etc. Look at it this way, the local plumber and auto shop get that and I'll put my education and tools up against any plumber or grease monkey anyday. You pay for what the other guy knows that you don't.
Yeah, but at least we know when the plumber or mechanic has finished the job and whether or not it works.
How many embedded developers provide firm estimates of the number of hours required before the job starts? Performance guarantees? What about the purported 10:1 efficiency variations among programmers? It can make $75/hour look more like $750/hour.
I believe some developers are worth more than $100 per hour (if you find one hang on tight) but I suspect that many are hacks who hide their incompetence, unsystematic tinkering and marginal results behind a veil of inscrutable code and diversionary bluster.
Joe Legris wrote in news: email@example.com:
Oh hell... spare us certification - after emigrating to Canada and starting an embedded software consultancy, I found it's only legal for me to supply my services to an Ontario company if I don't call myself an "Engineer" or "Consultant".
I can of course get PEO rating if I:
1) Work in a junior position in a Canadian company for at least a year with a "professional engineer" checking all my work.
2) Pass between 8 and 20 exams (depending on previous experience and qualifications).
3) Find three professional engineers to sponsor me and confirm that I'm a responsible designer.
To hell with that - I'm busy making American products more competitive for many times the hourly rate I'd get working in that junior software position in Ontario.
With one hand Canada is begging skilled people to immigrate, with the other they bash you over the head with a quasi-autonomous non-government organisation. No wonder 80% of skilled immigrants are asking "do you want fries with that?"
But it's very difficult to certificate coding efficiency. Just because someone can swot up and learn by heart a load of commands/syntax doesn't mean that they can use then efficiently in the field. OTOH, having certification by you previous boss only works if your previous boss' expectations are the same as the next person's. I worked with some pretty crap people that the boss was more than happy with, if it were my team they would have been out.
After a couple hundred thousand plumbers swapping a couple million toilets you get a good it idea of the scope, and hence the price, of the job, because you have seen all the variations. Pretty much every embedded job is a one off.
Daniel Kelley - San Jose, CA
For email, replace the first dot in the domain with an at.
That's awfully cheap. That's less than the going salary rate for an experienced embedded developer assuming they also get full benefits. When I was doing contract work 5 years ago $45 was about the minimum for long-term full-time work, and $60-65 was typical for short-term projects.
Grant Edwards grante Yow! I'm in a twist
at contest!! I'm in a
Richard Saunders wrote in news: firstname.lastname@example.org:
Wellll... I spent a couple of weeks working in Miami bringing up a GPS prototype from a dead board to a 12-satellite lock, and as a thank you the company I visited sent me a pc, which had a CD for its ATI graphics card containing a few tourist movies of Canada. Seemed like a nice place to live, so three years and a couple of visits later (carefully chosen to be in the grey days at the dog-end of Winter to see the place at its worst) we made the move - no family here, a couple of friends about
Oh - for anyone thinking of making the move from England, you no longer have to pass the driving test before being able to get car insurance and hence being able to buy a car, you can just swap your UK license for an Ontario driving license. Taking a driving test in a rented Chevy Blazer eight days after arriving in the country was lots of fun :)
Apart from a plethora of useless rules (which most people seem to ignore), we love the place - I was offered a job in California, but turned it down because I don't want to live in the US (I can see that opening a whole new flame war). I asked the kids once if they'd ever want to move back to England - the look of horror on their faces was priceless :))
To keep this almost on-topic, I'm currently charging somewhere between $90 and $95 per hour - its a bit vague because I've also added on a sum for expenses for 8 onsite visits of about three weeks, which may be out by a few percent.
My clients really like a fixed bid and generally I can give it to them. When I fixed-bid a job, I take all the responsibility for how long it takes. That means I get the same pay even if I finish in half the time. It also means I get the same pay even if I run into difficulty and it takes four times as long. When I finish a job in way under the expected time, my clients do not grumble about overpaying me. They are glad to have the results sooner rather than later. These are auto industry manuafacturing test stand makers.
-Robert Scott Ypsilanti, Michigan (Reply through this forum, not by direct e-mail to me, as automatic reply address is fake.)
Depenbds whether you are requireing certification of the developer or the resultyant code. I know which I would rather hanbg my hat on.
It is interesting to note that it is qyuite possible to get quite good and certifiable code from any average hack if you manage the project the right way. As Stephen Flowers says, software failure is management failure.
Paul E. Bennett ....................