How I tripled my salary in 3 years
Around 3 years ago I started my professional career in Systems Administration / Engineering / SRE, I was barely a junior, but I had (and still have) quite a lot of ambition and high hopes for the future me.
Prior to that, I was doing internships wherever I could to gain experience and learn as much as I could, acting as a networking (D-Link) teacher to the school I previously attended and other miscellaneous things to be of use.
I started out my first real job at Amaris (At the time it was about 1.5K employees worldwide), where I would spend a good year and a half working for Thomson Reuters Financial, Splendia and helping out some of my co-workers with technical challenges in their current projects.
The first 6 months where exhilarating, I finally had a job, which meant I could really show my real value and how eager I was to learn and be of real use to my boss, co-workers and client. I spent a lot of time learning as much as I humanly could, traveled around for trainings and visiting my clients.
The project was really interesting for me at first, because it involved big banks, self-developed solutions for them, everything was private, restrictive, secretive, it felt a bit like being in one of those Wall Street movies.
After half a year in, I kind of got bored of the challenges that were posed in front of me, I just learned everything I could in the first 3-4 months and then kind of lost the interest in the project itself. I spend as much time trying to automate my way out of the job and learning the new things that were big out in the industry, like VMware, Vagrant, Amazon Web Services, SmartOS (which I later on used) and a new thing that was ringing a lot of bells called Docker.
When I couldn’t take it any more I went to one of the most successful business Account Managers and talked to him about what opportunities were to appear in the company, after some successful conversations with him, he brought me to my new challenge in Splendia, where I wanted to try out the Project Management responsibility as well (on which I already was familiar with in my former position at Thomson Reuters, making sure the service stayed all functional in the Iberia north area).
There I had to face a few challenges that kept me going for at least 6 more months (I would lie if I said that the bonus earned for the hours of cracking my head did not help me).
All and all I was a bit tired of the highly profitable consultancy business and the things that it involved, so I took a peek at what was going on in the industry and what the big boys where up to.
From that point onwards my goal was clear: get out of there, but I needn’t be rushing things, I had to find a better job that took me closer to my goals; being in the software delivery business and helping out people in the process, apparently there was a lot of struggle from big companies, trying to reduce TTM and build better products while doing so, they called it DevOps
After 3 weeks of Jobhunting, I found a position that promised a lot at one of the biggest Media distribution company in the country with presence in a lot of countries: Mediapro. Taking that job offer meant turning down another promising offer at a company that builds one of the best search engines I have ever used, but at the time remote work sound and felt a bit intimidating altogether. Although being already familiar with remote work in the past, I just was not at the best personal moment at that time for not being every day at the office (Now I might look back and sigh, but it’s already a thing of the past).
The reasons I chose Mediapro were solid, I wanted:
- To do more engineering than support work.
- To have more experience with high-traffic sites.
- Experience with their RnD team with Software delivery techniques.
- Implement Alerting, monitoring and troubleshooting software.
There I learnt a lot about Configuration Management systems, changed a lot of stuff to better functioning systems and approaches, helped the RnD team fine tune their JIRA workflow, and integrate their systems to start doing Continuous Integration, built multi datacenter database clusters, read the awesome Phoenix Project by Gene Kim and much more.
At the end of my 6 months there, after I had the feeling I could not evolve and grow more there, also, another interesting thing happened: I experienced more than ever what being one of 5000 employees in a well established company is like, well… I wanted to get out of there.
At the time DevOps, CI and CD were starting to hit very hard on every single level, Startup or Enterprise company, it didn’t matter, DevOps was bringing so much value to who implemented it the right way that it could not be ignored anymore. That’s when I decided to go to CMP Group, a company that works in the adult industry, has quite a lot of traffic and even better conditions.
Third and current Job
It was my first day at the company, and I was kind of terrified to tackle the amount of stuff that we had to tackle, on the first day I already had from 10 to 25 tasks to tackle, but this was exciting! I had finally made it to a DevOps position, I could start helping people out for real and optimising to bring value!
After 3 years in the Industry I had managed to triple my salary following my principles:
- If you have done something one time and understand it well enough, you can probably do the same at greater scale.
- Always ask for the compensation that you deserve, it does not matter how much you were earning before, this specially applicable if you switch roles (even inside the same company).
- Don’t be scared to fail, or break things as long as they are fixable and it does not directly affect the revenue in a noticeable manner.
- Try to optimise bottlenecks for the business, it’s the most valuable thing you can do for your company.
- Always talk to your manager about how you feel and what your career plan is, the vast majority of them will help you as much as they can to help you accomplish your goals.
This was a rather unusual article following my post history, but I hope you liked it. If this was helpful to you in any way, do not forget the Kudos! If you have some feedback about it, don’t hesitate to contact me on Twitter or my email, thanks for reading.