I have been keeping this inside for long time and I need to rant it somewhere and hear your opinion.

So I'm working as a Team Lead Developer at a small company remotely based in Netherlands, I've been working there for about 8 years now and I am the only developer left, so the company basically consists of me and the owner of the company which is also the project manager.

As my role title says I am responsible for many things, I maintain multiple environments:
- Maintain Web Version of the App
- Maintain A Cordova app for Android, iOS and Windows
- Working with pure JavaScript (ES5..) and CSS
- Development and maintenance of Cordova Plugins for the project in Java/Swift
- Trying to keep things stable while trying very hard to transit ancient code to new standards
- Testing, Testing, Testing
- Keeping App Stable without a single Testing Unit (sadly yes..)
- Just pure JavaScript no framework apart from JQuery and Bootstrap for which I strongly insist to be removed and its being slowly done.

On the backend side I maintain:
- A Symfony project
- RabbitMQ
- Stripe/In-App Purchases
- Other things I can't disclose

I can't disclose the nature of the app but the app is quite rich in features and complex its limited to certain regions only but so far we have around 100K monthly users on all platforms, it involves too much work especially because I am the only developer there so when I am implementing some feature on one side I also have to think about the other side so I need to constantly switch between different languages and environments when working, not to mention I have to maintain a very old code and the Project Owner doesn't want to transit to some more modern technologies as that would be expensive.

The last raise I had was 3 years ago, and so far he hasn't invested in anything to improve my development process, as an example we have an iOS version of the app in Cordova which of course involves building , testing, working on both frontend and native side and etc., and I am working in a somewhat slow virtual machine of Monterey with just 16 GB of RAM which consumed days of my free time just to get it working and when I'm running it I need to close other apps, keep in mind I am working there for about 8 years.

The last time I needed to reconfigure my work computer and setup the virtual machine it costed me 4 days of small unpaid holiday I had taken for Christmas, just because he doesn't have the enough money to provide me with a decent MacBook laptop. I do get that its not a large company, but still I am the only developer there its not like he needs to keep paying 10 Developers.

- I don't get paid vacation
- I don't have paid holiday
- I don't have paid sick days
- My Monthly salary is 2000 euro GROSS (before taxes) which hourly translates to 12 Euro per hour
- I have to pay taxes by myself
- Working remotely has its own expenses: food, heating, electricity, internet and etc.
- There are few other technical stuff I am responsible of which I can't disclose in this post.

I don't know if I'm overacting and asking a lot, but summarizing everything the only expense he has regarding me is the 2000 euro he sends me on which of course he doesn't need to pay taxes as I'm doing that in my country.

Apart from that just in case I spend my free time in keeping myself updated with other tech which I would say I fairly experienced with like: Flutter/Dart, ES6, NodeJS, Express, GraphQL, MongoDB, WebSockets, ReactJS, React Native just to name few, some I know better than the other and still I feel like I don't get what I deserve.

What do you think, do I ask a lot or should I start searching for other job?

  • 10
    Sounds like you're doing at least 4 different roles. Even for one role you're probably paid about half of what you should be.
    Why is there no investment?
    How is the software monetized? Is there a monthly subscription? Start from there and work out how much should be put back in. If it's not enough then leave.
    Make it clear that if there isn't (continual) investment then the product will slowly die.
    They got very lucky with you!
  • 6
    Sounds like doing too much work for very little incentive. Time to get out.
  • 8
    This is not a good situation. It’s almost slave work. I could understand someone making sacrifices for a few months to get a startup up and running. But 8 years into the job?? No way. Tell the dude you’re looking elsewhere. I can guarantee you he’ll be giving you a significant raise in no time
  • 6
    IMO "underpaid" is an understatement in this case.

    Yes, you can ask for more €. But that will kill you.

    Instead, you should ask for more people in the club. Get some workload off your shoulders. Feel that sweet taste of life again! When was the last time you enjoyed living? Not working -- LIVING? :) When was the last time you said to yourself "Gosh! I'm so happy to be alive in this beautiful world, see and experience all those amazing things life has to offer!"?

    Ask for a minion rather than a raise.
  • 2
    Welcome to the club.
    Is there anything specific keeping you there?
  • 1
    @HitWRight No, but part of me probably feels sorry for him, as he is trying very hard for the project to succeed. And as I am the only developer there, me leaving would cause the development to stop.
  • 11
    @-unkn0wn- in a nutshell you let yourself be treated like a slave and behave like a dog that gets a snack every now and then.... Pretty loyal, but dumb as fuck.

    Pardon my rudeness, but get the wake up call, please. Don't throw your life away out of a false premise of loyalty or ""friendship"" when it's obvious someone is milking you like a cash cow.

    Even if said person doesn't do it intentionally (which is kinda hard to believe)...

    Get a nice decent job with a specific roleset and enjoy your life, you only have one.
  • 3
    Jeezes, unless you have shares in this company you are the sucker that does all the work for little pay and if it one day succeeds you get next to nothing for it.

    I have seen people in similar situations before, and the hardest thing for them is to realize is that you can't let a guilty feeling keep you from getting out.

    Just from what you have written you have a ton of arguments for why you should either get a share of the cake or get out.

    Don't be the sucker.
  • 8
    you do ALL THAT and you only get 2k€ gross *before taxes that you also pay*?!!!!! are you insane?

    you say you want to hear our opinions but just from the rant alone I can say that you already know the right answer... That's simply insanely bad. You should get that pay for any one of those roles that you cover. Backend work alone can get you that much money in a lead position! You're working as a fullstack for the pay of a backend... Even disregarding that fullstack development is somewhat of a scam, whatever you're doing is worse...

    I do understand if the company simply can't pay you, and it's up to you if you decide to stay... But in your position, I'd start looking for a new job. You don't want to burn out working slave hours if you can get the same pay (or perhaps very slightly lower or even higher) for about 3rd of the work and stress...
  • 3
    Just leave the hell hole

    If you feel sorry for him, I don't feel sorry for you

    Look up what Stockholm syndrome is. You may have it already
  • 2
    Some of what you mention would actually be illegal if the company was based in Sweden.

    And that salary is ridiculously low even for an entry position for a junior dev.
  • 1
    Do yourself a favor. Brush up your resume, go on some job sites and shove your resume towards anything interesting or similar and see what happens. Maybe you'll attend a few interviews and get to see what people are willing to pay. Go home and see if what you're being offered is better than what you're getting. I'll bet it is - maybe you'll get less money but full insurance, maybe you'll get more money, maybe the same with much less responsibility.

    Always keep your resume floating around in the market so that you know what your current value is in the market (even if you're not actually going to accept a job).

    Also maybe ask one of the people you did work with if they have any openings where they work?
  • 1
    Definitely a case where if it’s not worth getting paid well to do it, it’s not worth doing
  • 1
    @-unkn0wn- spill the beans regarding the company name. This is highly unethical, probably even illegal (tho I don’t know about Dutch legislation - but would be in Finland) and just outright plain wrong!

    Get the hell out of there and name the blame so others be warned of this shithole. Exploitation on this level makes me so fucking pissed off… especially from small companies (and why are they always Dutch?!)
  • 2
    You asked. WALK THE FUCK OUT. If you don't do it now, you'll die of a stroke. You are being held prisoner. Don't waste your energy on this, you're not the owner. WALK. NOW.
  • 0
    I agree with @dan-pud: you are doing 4 different roles for salary of one. Seriously?!

    I mean: its good to know your value. You want my honest advice? Just leave.

    If boss doesnt even want to invest money in tech-stack ( decent MacBook etc ), there is no way he would give you payrise.

    So, just leave.
  • 2
    @macfanpl correction: salary of less than one
  • 1
    Why have you been there for 8 years ?!
  • 3
    You're modern definition of slave. You somehow got manipulated to feel involved mentally to develop something for your owner that you think is good person. Contact psychotherapist immediately cause you need your life back instead of developing some crap for somebody that is clearly abusing you.

    You're not team lead cause you have no team. You're not working for company but for some manipulator. If you don't contact help you will wake up some day as a homeless person that nobody cares. Get up stand up, change job and contact with some mental help man.

    WAKE UP !!!
  • 1
    Sounds like your subsidizing the owners bad project skills with your time.

    I would stop. I think most would. Go shop around, you're in demand. You owe him nothing, it's a work agreement, and it's been one sided. If you leave him high and dry this second, he'll still be out on top hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • 2
    Thank you all for your comments I'm not sure why I've stayed until now, maybe I felled sorry for him I don't know really, it baffles me thinking about it.

    I've decided to quit next month, and look for other job in meantime.
  • 1
    @-unkn0wn- have some cookie and a hug if you want.

    Sometimes we just don't see what's right in front of us.
  • 1
    @-unkn0wn- @-unkn0wn- don’t quit til you have another job lined up. Don’t take a counter offer.
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