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Author Topic:   Question about job offer
coffee_addict
Member
Posts: 3645
From: Indianapolis, IN
Joined: 03-29-2004


Message 1 of 19 (759261)
06-10-2015 10:24 AM


For the past couple years, I've been working for an engineering firm in the Chicago area. Well, recently, I was approached by someone from a multi-billion dollar company with about 10k engineers strong asking me for my resume. I've always had bad luck with job applications, so I thought what the heck I gave him my resume.
Gave them my resume Friday morning, got a call from hiring manager Friday afternoon saying he wants to interview right away. Got a call from recruiter scheduling me for my first interview Monday afternoon after work. Got a call on Tuesday for a 2nd interview, this time with the hiring manager and a couple project managers. Went to interview after work on Thursday. Got offer over the phone Friday morning. Got offer letter Friday afternoon. Received a couple text messages from the hiring manager asking me to sign and send back the offer letter on Saturday and Sunday. I signed it and sent it to him on Sunday. He promptly said thank you via text.
Here's the thing. I spent a large chunk of the 2nd interview demoing to them my engineering software that I've been working on. There's no other like it on the market. They specifically asked me to show it to them. It's made my work a lot more efficient. For example, an assignment I had last month normally would take about a week to do. I used the opportunity to test out my software, and I finished it with 100% accuracy in less than a day. During the interview, they mentioned that they could have people help me develop my software further. And because they are a big company, they have the resources to help me market it and perhaps even buy it from me.
They offered me a 50% pay raise and a dodge SUV to use for whatever purpose I want. They're bringing me on board with full benefits and everything. When they asked when I can start and I told them after I finish my current project, which will be in August, they said their only condition for their offer is 2 weeks for the 2 weeks courtesy notice to my current company.
The whole thing came rather quickly. I'm still taken aback by what just happened this past week. I've already sent in my resignation letter to my company.
The question is should I be worried? Life hasn't been this kind to me ever before, so I'm suspicious. Are they just trying to get to my software? Is there some devious plan I'm not aware of? Do you think I should be worried?
Edited by coffee_addict, : No reason given.

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by jar, posted 06-10-2015 10:32 AM coffee_addict has replied
 Message 4 by Percy, posted 06-10-2015 10:46 AM coffee_addict has replied
 Message 8 by RAZD, posted 06-10-2015 11:29 AM coffee_addict has replied
 Message 12 by PaulK, posted 06-10-2015 11:53 AM coffee_addict has replied
 Message 15 by subbie, posted 06-10-2015 4:00 PM coffee_addict has not replied

  
jar
Member
Posts: 33958
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004


Message 2 of 19 (759263)
06-10-2015 10:32 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by coffee_addict
06-10-2015 10:24 AM


Look carefully at any employment contract and make sure that it does not give ownership of your ideas and software to them but even if it does, could you make more without their support?
But if you have already resigned and accepted their offer why not give it a go? The worst that happens is you end up having to look for another job but now with a much higher past payment history.

Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by coffee_addict, posted 06-10-2015 10:24 AM coffee_addict has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 3 by coffee_addict, posted 06-10-2015 10:45 AM jar has not replied

  
coffee_addict
Member
Posts: 3645
From: Indianapolis, IN
Joined: 03-29-2004


Message 3 of 19 (759265)
06-10-2015 10:45 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by jar
06-10-2015 10:32 AM


Yeah, I'm going to the corporate office in Chicago to do the paperwork and stuff in a couple weeks. I'll be reading very carefully everything before I sign.
I'm a civil engineer. Software is 100% self-taught. And I've been told I'm completely lacking in sense of UI design aesthetics.
They have about 10k engineers of every field, 30k technicians, and like 100k workers. In other words, they really do have the resources and brain power to help me make this software a hit.
I've been talking with my current boss. He and I are close and we talk about everything professionally and personally. He's been using my software at his office and so far he really likes it. He's been advising me to retain all the rights to this software as it could be very profitable in the future.
Could they put something ridiculous in the contract(s) I'm going to sign when I start working for them?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by jar, posted 06-10-2015 10:32 AM jar has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by NoNukes, posted 06-10-2015 5:00 PM coffee_addict has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 21344
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 4 of 19 (759266)
06-10-2015 10:46 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by coffee_addict
06-10-2015 10:24 AM


Hiring you is one thing, acquiring the rights to your software is another. Keep them separate. Until there is a legal agreement do not put your sources on their machines.
Their legal department will tell the hiring manager the same thing. The corporate entity understands the need to avoid placing itself in a vulnerable position regarding a legal claim of stolen software.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by coffee_addict, posted 06-10-2015 10:24 AM coffee_addict has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by coffee_addict, posted 06-10-2015 10:51 AM Percy has replied

  
coffee_addict
Member
Posts: 3645
From: Indianapolis, IN
Joined: 03-29-2004


Message 5 of 19 (759267)
06-10-2015 10:51 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by Percy
06-10-2015 10:46 AM


I've been reading a lot of your posts, Percy. I think you work with software, right?
Here's a scenario. Suppose they don't have to take my sources. Suppose I work for them for some time and during that time their people get to see me work using my software. Then a couple years later they magically came up with a software of their own that looks different but does exactly what my software does? You and I both know that what makes a software valuable is not the UI. It's not even the behind-the-scene code. It's the idea that matters.
Added by edit.
Can I install my software on their machine without legally giving them any right to it?
Edited by coffee_addict, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by Percy, posted 06-10-2015 10:46 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by Tangle, posted 06-10-2015 11:15 AM coffee_addict has not replied
 Message 7 by Percy, posted 06-10-2015 11:23 AM coffee_addict has replied

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8883
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 6 of 19 (759268)
06-10-2015 11:15 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by coffee_addict
06-10-2015 10:51 AM


There's all sorts of ins and outs to this sort of thing - lawyers will tie you in knots over it - but as you possibly have something of value to both you and them, it would be best to get a written agreement from them BEFORE you start doing anything with it with your new employer.
It could be as simple as describing what it is and what it does and getting them to sign to say they recognise this was pre-existing copyright owned by you to which you hold full rights. If they won't do that, you'd best not use it or show it to them.
One niggle - if you developed the software whilst being employed by your ex-company in their time and/or using their resources, they may have a claim to it, not you. It depends on the circumstances and what is in your contract of employment.
(It would in the UK anyway - I believe not all workers in the USA have contracts?).

Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.
Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android
"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by coffee_addict, posted 06-10-2015 10:51 AM coffee_addict has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 21344
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.5


(1)
Message 7 of 19 (759269)
06-10-2015 11:23 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by coffee_addict
06-10-2015 10:51 AM


coffee_addict writes:
I've been reading a lot of your posts, Percy. I think you work with software, right?
I retired last year after 35 years in the EDA industry, but software is also my hobby and I'm still programming, like the software for this discussion board.
Then a couple years later they magically came up with a software of their own that looks different but does exactly what my software does? You and I both know that what makes a software valuable is not the UI. It's not even the behind-the-scene code. It's the idea that matters.
Unless they're patented, any ideas can be copied. There's another category called "trade secrets," but I don't think that fits your situation.
Can I install my software on their machine without legally giving them any right to it?
If you do that then both you and the company are entering legally ambiguous territory. Legal agreements like NDA's and so forth provide protections to both parties because they spell out commitments and responsibilities.
It is not uncommon in the software industry for someone with existing software to be hired with the express purpose of either productizing it or developing it for internal use. In such cases the hiring and the acquisition of the software are separate.
Here's one option: Forget the commercial value of your software. Join the big company at the great salary, install your software on your machines, then use it to your best advantage and have the best career possible. You won't have any of the worries associated with commercializing your product, like adding a decent UI, testing, releases, customer support, new features, etc., and your software might find itself somehow eventually available to everyone in some way, but you'll have all the best aspects of a large company, like health care, bonuses, stock plans, stock grants and raises.
But if you love your software too much to just let it go then make sure to get a legal agreement that covers its acquisition, including compensation to you. If you decide to go this route you should seek professional legal advice and commercial advice about the value of the software.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by coffee_addict, posted 06-10-2015 10:51 AM coffee_addict has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by coffee_addict, posted 06-10-2015 11:51 AM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 893 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(1)
Message 8 of 19 (759270)
06-10-2015 11:29 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by coffee_addict
06-10-2015 10:24 AM


What is their turnover rate? If they turn over a lot of engineers that might be bad.
Make sure you get patent rights on your software -- you developed it before you worked for them. If they want to use it to make improvements then they should pay you royalties.
It is your intellectual property, don't sell yourself short!
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


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This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by coffee_addict, posted 06-10-2015 10:24 AM coffee_addict has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by coffee_addict, posted 06-10-2015 11:45 AM RAZD has replied

  
coffee_addict
Member
Posts: 3645
From: Indianapolis, IN
Joined: 03-29-2004


Message 9 of 19 (759272)
06-10-2015 11:45 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by RAZD
06-10-2015 11:29 AM


Their turnover rate is almost nill. This company's yearly revenue is about $2B. It's like caterpillar for mechanical engineers. You join such a company to stay with for life and they take care of you and your family.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by RAZD, posted 06-10-2015 11:29 AM RAZD has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Jon, posted 06-10-2015 11:51 AM coffee_addict has not replied
 Message 14 by RAZD, posted 06-10-2015 1:06 PM coffee_addict has not replied

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 19 (759273)
06-10-2015 11:51 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by coffee_addict
06-10-2015 11:45 AM


Then I guess the only real decision is which is more important: You and your family or your software?

Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by coffee_addict, posted 06-10-2015 11:45 AM coffee_addict has not replied

  
coffee_addict
Member
Posts: 3645
From: Indianapolis, IN
Joined: 03-29-2004


Message 11 of 19 (759274)
06-10-2015 11:51 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Percy
06-10-2015 11:23 AM


Percy writes:
It is not uncommon in the software industry for someone with existing software to be hired with the express purpose of either productizing it or developing it for internal use. In such cases the hiring and the acquisition of the software are separate.
This is another possibility, to make this software a line of business.
My current boss late last year suggested that my current company could use this software as a line of business software and use it internally by our engineers. The goal is to have an advantage over other engineering firms in this area. Because most of my current company's contracts are with the department of transportation, having an engineer being able to do a week's work in a couple days would be a huge advantage and therefore would give us more contracts in the future.
He tried to convince the corporate heads this, but they (mostly old men who have been doing everything with a hammer and chisel for the last hundred thousand years) thought it was too idealistic and impractical. Myself and my boss even demonstrated to them how much more accurate and how much faster the work was, but, again, they thought it was just a toy.
So, I had to go to the DOT and asked their special permission to use it while I'm working for them. Been showing it off to random people at engineers' seminars. I think that's how I got the attention of my future employer. I haven't asked.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Percy, posted 06-10-2015 11:23 AM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17394
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 1.8


(1)
Message 12 of 19 (759275)
06-10-2015 11:53 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by coffee_addict
06-10-2015 10:24 AM


My first advice is to make SURE that you own your software. Take a VERY good look at the employment contract with your old job. There might be a nasty surprise lurking.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by coffee_addict, posted 06-10-2015 10:24 AM coffee_addict has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 13 by coffee_addict, posted 06-10-2015 11:55 AM PaulK has not replied

  
coffee_addict
Member
Posts: 3645
From: Indianapolis, IN
Joined: 03-29-2004


Message 13 of 19 (759276)
06-10-2015 11:55 AM
Reply to: Message 12 by PaulK
06-10-2015 11:53 AM


PaulK writes:
My first advice is to make SURE that you own your software. Take a VERY good look at the employment contract with your old job. There might be a nasty surprise lurking.
Oh crap! I forgot to look at this angle. Let me check it.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by PaulK, posted 06-10-2015 11:53 AM PaulK has not replied

  
RAZD
Member (Idle past 893 days)
Posts: 20714
From: the other end of the sidewalk
Joined: 03-14-2004


(4)
Message 14 of 19 (759281)
06-10-2015 1:06 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by coffee_addict
06-10-2015 11:45 AM


Their turnover rate is almost nill. This company's yearly revenue is about $2B. It's like caterpillar for mechanical engineers. You join such a company to stay with for life and they take care of you and your family.
So where can you expect to be in 10 - 20 - 30 years? Management? Or still cranking out at your entry level? Where do you want to be in 10 - 20 - 30 years?
Message 11: My current boss late last year suggested that my current company could use this software as a line of business software and use it internally by our engineers. The goal is to have an advantage over other engineering firms in this area. ...
I did that at one company -- improved processing of designs to the point that the work could be done by 4 engineers instead of 5. Then they let me go because they only needed 4 ... (that was a learning experience).
Enjoy

we are limited in our ability to understand
by our ability to understand
RebelAmerican☆Zen☯Deist
... to learn ... to think ... to live ... to laugh ...
to share.


Join the effort to solve medical problems, AIDS/HIV, Cancer and more with Team EvC! (click)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by coffee_addict, posted 06-10-2015 11:45 AM coffee_addict has not replied

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 743 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


(1)
Message 15 of 19 (759309)
06-10-2015 4:00 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by coffee_addict
06-10-2015 10:24 AM


The only person who can fully answer your questions, and adequately protect your interests, is an attorney who specializes in intellectual property. If you think the software has the potential to be something big, it's probably worth your time and money to get advice from someone who knows what they're talking about.

Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson
We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat
It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate
Howling about evidence is a conversation stopper, and it never stops to think if the claim could possibly be true -- foreveryoung

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by coffee_addict, posted 06-10-2015 10:24 AM coffee_addict has not replied

  
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