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Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Got a New Wage Slave Job!

After much searching, I finally found another wage slave software engineer job.

Hopefully, that's the end of my personal recession. My unemployment rate dropped from 100% to 0%. In the past few weeks, I've been getting more interviews, so the overall recession may be ending.

If I can keep the wage slave job for 6-12 months and I don't get sick again, then hopefully I'll be able to get my own apartment again and start working towards practical agorism.

This also means that most of my energy will now be devoted to my new job. I still have some time for blogging. I might have to cut back my posting frequency. I still have 2 weeks of queued drafts.

The job contains the usual clause "Everything you do belongs to us, even if not done at work." There was a condition that it has to be work related, but they could redefine "work-related" at any time. For example, if I write an RSS reader, they could decide to enter the RSS reader business. Then, they can claim that the RSS reader I wrote actually belongs to them.

I didn't bother hassling them to make the clause less restrictive. It's a good job otherwise. It's not enforceable. They'd only bother suing me if I did something that wound up spectacularly successful.

Of course, there's a workaround. I could just wait until the next time I'm unemployed to publish anything software-related. Besides, I don't have the free time to work on personal projects. Even while unemployed, I didn't get much progress made towards writing and releasing my own software.

My direct coworkers seem to have the "productive" personality type, so it should be decent for awhile. Of course, if they're successful, their VCs might demand they bring in an external "expert" to manage the software group.

It's not a super-awesome job, but it's good enough for now. My first goal is to recover my physical freedom and get my own apartment again. Then, I can start working on other things.


fritz said...

I am glad to hear it FSK..Good job with the job. I hope this one ends up being a good fit.

Best of luck..Fritz

Mathias said...

Congratulations on finding work. I hope things go well for you, but I also hope you keep writing (even if at a restricted publishing schedule).

Financial freedom is a step towards overall freedom. Sometime sacrifices have to be made in gaining that goal. Stay entrepreneurial, even if it's just looking for opportunities.

Master Doh-San said...

Good for you! Now get out there and start prairie-dogging! :-)

Sasha said...

Congratulations, FSK! I hope this "wage slave" job gives you money and satisfaction.

Oh, and keep up the good work:)

gilliganscorner said...

Glad to hear it FSK!

Anonymous said...

In the UK case law states that the employer only owns the copyright for work DIRECTLY ORDERED. Other case law states if the work is done at home, during the evenings or weekends it suggests the employee owns it. I found this information on the Internet, but my leafing through textbooks on law seems to confirm this.

I guess though you are working in the States where the law is different.

I always found it strange that there should be restrictions on what you do in the privacy of your own home on your own computer equipment. That someone can try to reach into your domain and steal the software you create.

Anonymous said...

The enforced belief by employers that they own all work that you do even if it is done on your own time and on your own computer equipment is truly evil.

I did hear of one guy that launched an online game a few months before he left his job. His old company was bought out by another company (one that wasn't a software one) and that company decided to sue him. The game reputably made a lot of money.

Effectively if a software developer is mediocre or incompetent and never puts too much effort into anything he/she will be OK. But a creative, intelligent software developer that wants his/her projects to succeed and puts the effort in will be at risk.

Lawyers don't help the matter. Some will take on cases regardless of their own personal belief into their validity. They always want someone to sue so they can make money.

Anonymous said...

If you are one of the slightly older software developers you might have grown up with the generation that had Vic20, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum and BBC home computers. This generation of young and budding computer programmers would have written a lot of software from home cutting their teeth.

If any of this generation now works as a software developer today, they would be shocked to find out that if they continue to write bits of hobbyist code from home some lawyer will be hunting them down trying to shake them down for money.

How did this bad situation arise?

Are journalists subject to such crazy restrictions? Suppose a war historian writes an article for a daily newspaper on World War II. Then he writes a book on World War II. Does lawyers hunt him down for illegal activities?

Actually a university lecturer once wrote a book that covered the same subject as his lectures. His university decided to sue him for the copyright of his book. They failed.

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