March 03, 2006
Halcyon Days

i wish i could remember where i got this from

“I went back to graduate school as a form of entertainment (at the time I was making $750/day as a Lisp Machine programmer -- that dates me, eh?”—Philip Greenspun

Posted by jjwiseman at March 03, 2006 12:31 PM

He also flies his own planes, what a cowboy! Trivial to us now, yet we'll never earn more than $50 an hour. Kinda how you spend your whole undergraduate CS career repeating old PhD work problems. You do the work of 100 people and still get paid as a single expendable cog in the machine...

Posted by: vanjulio on March 3, 2006 12:59 PM

Awww. So sad. Only $50/hr? Makes me want to cry. I get a pretty good salary as a programmer, and it'd work out to a bit more than what you quoted as a contractor, but I feel this is tenuous at best. Why don't you apply to Google? And what are you other than an expendable cog in the machine if you are writing code for the machine? Good lord. Form a band or something.

Posted by: nobullshit on March 7, 2006 08:27 PM

eh.. That $50/hr I meant as an UPPER LIMIT today. I feel like "Lisp Machine programming" would be relatively simple compared to the demands one has today, for salaries nowhere near $750/day. In fact, the alleged $750/day would be much more if only adjusted for inflation, assuming Greenspun was doing this work in the 80s. Probably this kind of "specialized" work would bring in $1200/day today. But in fact, the demands and pressures of today's economy, you'd be hardpressed to achieve $200/day for CS work like this, because it is rote already. Yes maybe I am a little bitter and should join a band as well. Thanks for the advice.

Posted by: vanjulio on March 13, 2006 01:34 PM
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