Google Summer of Code

I have nothing but praise for Google’s Summer of Code initiative. This has been going on for a few years now. Basically, Google supports various open source projects by giving them a miniscule financial assistance, but paid developers for about two months in the summer. Everyone benefits. The mentors get project recognition and talent; the students get a well paid ($4500 currently) summer job and Google’s seal of approval for their skills.

I wish something like this existed when I was a financially struggling graduate student at a time when the economy was near its worst in the not-so-distant past. That would have saved me from slaving for unappreciative educators in the university system who take pride in misguiding their students with fake promises of an assistantship in the next semester. I could have used those summers, instead, to do what I love doing – write code, and get paid doing it.

Check out this year’s wonderful projects at Google Code.

‘Would you work for us?’

3 days on site with a company client, and I get asked this question. Not to be taken lightly, yet, with no reason to even consider the offer, seeing that I am happy with my current employment situation, I jokingly asked, ‘Sure, are you willing to offer me twice my current salary?’. The Director asks me about my current salary, but since I am not really even negotiating, I shoot back with ‘How about start with 1000x my current billing rate per year?’. At this point, they realize that I am not an IT consultant for no reason (for novices, the industry standard is paying an employee 1000x their current hourly rate a year; so if someone is billed at $100 an hour, they should be paid $100k a year).

I love my job.