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davorg (18)

Yahoo! ID: daveorguk (Add User, Send Message)

Hacker, author, trainer

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Journal of davorg (18)

Thursday January 03, 2002
09:34 AM

Am I Setting My Sights Too High?

[ #1886 ]

I've just had a very strange meeting.

A company in London were looking for a Perl trainer so I went along to meet them this lunchtime.

They're looking for someone to teach a course (that the trainer will have to write) to a class of one person, for 15 hours a week (9am-noon, Mon-Fri), for 12 weeks, starting next Monday.

For this, you'll be paid £900 (that's in total, not per week).

Here's how they describe the course on their web site:

Perl is one of the most common programming languages used to interface with web sites. Our course will teach you the fundamental concepts of programming in Perl. You will be introduced to a text editor and an FTP program. By the end of the course you will know a series of Perl commands. These include sending email from a page, including separate files with Perl code, retrieving information about a web site visitor ("environmental variables"), and setting cookies.

So what do you think? Was I being ungrateful to turn them down? Am I being too greedy to expect more than £5 an hour?

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  • Is this serious? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ziggy (25) on 2002.01.03 10:02 (#2619) Journal
    A twelve week course? Fifteen hours per week?

    At my university, a 4-credit class was 40 hours of class time (with the expectation of 80 hours of self-study) over 10 weeks. If my math is correct, such a course would cost roughly $1600 today as a single course.

    At 180 hours, that would be a full undergraduate course load dedicated to nothing but Perl (oh, and how to use vi and ftp). That would be comparable to teaching 5 subjects.

    Sounds like someone is trolling for cheap (unemployed student) labor.

    • Standard rates for "real" IT training courses in London seem to be about £300 per person per day. The (one!) person who's signed up for this course paid £900 for 60 half days (or 30 days). That's 10% of the commercial rate.

      Apparently they have instructors for their VB and Java courses who are happy earning £5/hour. When they've proved themselves they get a rise to £10/hour.

      And they have someone to teach the Perl course, but they're a bit worried because "her English isn't very good". W

      • I find it hard to believe that they have found people who are happy to teach for £5 an hour - even with the promise of £10 an hour if you are a good boy.

        You didn't say what the company does - are they just selling cheap (and probably worthless) training to people who don't know any better?

        Where are they getting the trainers from? presumably they don't know they are being ripped off? or perhaps in their home countries it looks like a good rate..
        • You didn't say what the company does - are they just selling cheap (and probably worthless) training to people who don't know any better?

          That sounds about right to me.

          In London we have a large number of English language colleges for foreign students. It's impossible to walk down Oxford St without seeing people handing out flyers for them. They offer very cheap courses and presumably pay their teachers peanuts. This seems like the same thing, but with IT skills in place of English.

          Where are they getti

          • He also tried to play the philanthropic card by mentioning "people who wanted to give something back to community". It's a nice idea, but the mortgage still needs to be paid.
            Some places cough [] offer that benefit, but without the £5/hour rate. :-)
    • This is definitely way too little. I wouldm't do it for that price, and at any price I'd be very careful to make sure that they're not going to claim that the course is now "theirs" because "they paid you for it" as well.

      They definitely seem to be looking for someone with mre enthusiasm than business sense to do this job. I've taught a 40-hour, 1-week Perl course (the company provided the facilities, computers, etc. for 30 people) and got paid around $2500 for the week (not including meals, flight out and
  • Scary (Score:2, Insightful)

    I did some perl training once for £450 for a day's training. And that was Scotland (though I did have to fight for the rate). The rate quoted seems entirely unreasonable to me. It might be getting close if you multiply it by 5.