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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • A recruiter mailed me -- unlike the last 1,000 recruiter emails, it was intelligently written and persuasive. It earned a reply. But which reply... I don't want to just say "no". Any reasonable offer will be considered. But I don't want to flop back to full-time work again as my consulting is starting to stabilize again. Last time was a disaster. But I'm really not making a living wage now...

    Anyway, for posterity, here's what I have as a reply... I'll probably tone it down a bit before I send it, but first, I'm saving a copy.

    ---------------

    Sorry for the slow response. I wanted to mull this over a bit. But I felt
    that one way or another, you deserved a reply -- intelligently written emails
    are rare and should be encouraged.

    It's true. I'm spoiled rotten as a consultant. A company would have to make
    me quite an offer to lure me away from this. But I'm open to offers. I'm not
    interested in more money than I have time to use. What good is a fat salary
    if you can't ski on it?

    * Infinite vacation days at my descretion
    * Get my work done and I can "go home early"
    * Can make quirky rules, like I don't answer the phone without an
        appointment
    * Veto power -- no one's bad designs or run-away ambition can set me
        up to fail on a project
    * Hired for my expertise, not necessarily for my labor, so I can use
        my experience to save myself lots of pointless work and keep my
        client from wasting time and money, preserving my value

    But my rates are reasonable. Perhaps Xxx Company should hire me as a contractor.

    Seriously though, I don't mean to come across as *too* spoilt.
    Programming is a strange beast. Most programmers aren't lazy.
    Programming requires sustained intense concentration. It's hard.
    And there's a heck of a learning curve. But attempts to get it
    working factory style, 9-5, everyone working hard rather than
    being clever, just don't work and then the programmers get blamed.
    Managers *hate* clever. Non-geeks despite it. When programming,
    it's your lifeline. Every algorithm documented or improvised
    is a bit of cleverness. So, can you show me a work environment
    where I can be clever rather than just work really, really hard?
    Somewhere so resolved to hiring the best that they'll indulge
    unusual requests?

    • And now the reply looks like this:

      ------------------------

      It's true. I'm spoiled rotten as a consultant. A company would have to make
      me quite an offer to lure me away from this. But I'm open to offers. I'm not
      interested in more money than I have time to use. What good is a fat salary
      if you can't ski on it?

      Working in a company, there's no prospect of getting your work done and then
      taking the rest of the day or week off. The primary incentive is missing --
      finishing. You have no veto over ill-concieved
      • You are so right. Programming is *not* pressing the buttons on your keyboard from 8am until 6pm. Programming is creativity, thinking, and then a very small amount of doing. If your hands hurt from a day of programming, you are doing something seriously wrong.

        I call this process (of 40 hour typing sessions) "bugging", since the inevitable result is 10 hours to "bug" something and 100 hours to debug it.

        "Bugs are inevitable. All software sucks."

        Sure, when you have a bugger writing your software instead of