RE: We are looking for Scripters to higher (fwd)

  • From: "Chris Hofstader" <chris.hofstader@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2007 17:54:44 -0400

I enjoyed most of my six years at HJ/FS.  I think it is a good place to work
but a terrible place to have worked in the recent past.  

While you're there, it's pretty cool getting to "invent the future" for
about 80% of screen reader users, including yourself.  There are interesting
technical challenges and some people, like Eric, GG and a bunch of the
engineers who are a lot of fun and really try to do the best that is
possible given their budgets and such.

I just wanted people to hear a balanced story as I have good and bad
experiences as an FS employee and former employee.  I tend to use FS in
examples of software management and some other issues that come up and, I
think more often than not, we got it right.

cdh

-----Original Message-----
From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Matthew2007
Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2007 10:41 AM
To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: We are looking for Scripters to higher (fwd)

Wow, thank you CDH for the great insight into how these bullies work. ...I 
feel like I owe you some money.

What skunks!

Matthew
---- Original Message ----- 
From: "Chris Hofstader" <chris.hofstader@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, October 11, 2007 6:06 AM
Subject: RE: We are looking for Scripters to higher (fwd)


> Back when I ran the department, starting scripters got around $35,000 USD.
> I don't know what they are offering now but, if the things I hear from
> people who still work at FS, I doubt it is much more.
>
> JAWS scripting is an odd skill.  People can make a lot of money doing it 
> on
> a contract basis for big companies trying to adapt proprietary software to
> meet ADA requirements.  Guys like Frank DiPolermo, John Robichaud and Doug
> Lee do really well for themselves.  Once in a while, FS will buy a set of
> scripts for a popular application from someone who did them independently
> and, for this kind of deal, they pay pretty well and may contract with the
> author to maintain the scripts as they move forward.
>
> The full time scripters do most of the heavy lifting to make the JAWS user
> experience as good as possible.  All of them are blind so they have fewer
> opportunities than the mostly sighted C++ software engineers.  Back in the
> old days, scripting was a good place to start, learn and move up to the
> system programming portion of the department.  One guy to whom we had
> promised a promotion and raise is still in scripting as very few blinks 
> have
> been promoted in any department at FS over the past three years.
>
> Also, FS has one of the nastiest and most iron clad non-compete,
> non-disclosure and non-disparagement contracts in the software industry.
> Because Florida law (included in the agreement as the forum for disputes) 
> is
> one of the most business friendly in the nation, getting out of the
> restrictive covenants is nearly impossible.  Over the past three years, FS
> has threatened to sue me for doing some UI consulting for Code Factory,
> doing an occasional odd job for Serotek and, most outrageously, trying to
> help out on the open source screen reader project that Will started back 
> in
> 2005.
>
> One blind employee of mine who now works for Adobe was sued for trying to
> take a job on the screen reader team at Apple even though FS has no
> Macintosh products.  Another was threatened with action for trying to do
> scripting contracts after he quit his job in the FS scripting department.
>
> Meanwhile, Vinny Rapa, a sighted guy who knew the entire FS sales strategy
> was allowed to take on a VP job at Humanware without any threat of action.
> Other sighties have left and stayed in the biz but the blinks who moved on
> have been harassed.
>
> Finally, if you live in a place that has good public transit or is
> pedestrian friendly, I can say with absolute authority that you will find
> neither in this part of Florida.  Pinellas County, home of FS and me, has 
> a
> bus system that doesn't seem to go anywhere interesting.  Downtown St.
> Petersburg is reasonably accessible but is far from the FS buildings so 
> will
> cost you a bundle in taxi fares to get back and forth.  Also, downtown 
> rents
> are pretty high for this part of the country.
>
>
> cdh
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Ken Perry
> Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 11:46 PM
> To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: RE: We are looking for Scripters to higher (fwd)
>
>
>
> Hmm what do they pay a script writer?
>
> Ken
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:programmingblind-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Jamal Mazrui
> Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 10:46 AM
> To: programmingblind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; program-l@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: We are looking for Scripters to higher (fwd)
>
>
>
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Thu, 4 Oct 2007 16:37:43 -0400
> From: Eric Damery <Edamery@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: Jamal Mazrui <empower@xxxxxxxxx>
> Subject: We are looking for Scripters to higher
>
> Hi Jamal,
>
> We are in search of potential script writers to higher, especially those
> willng to relocate to St. Petersburg. If you could help spread the word, 
> I'd
> appreciate it. Interested parties should contact our HR department at
> Freedom Scientific.
>
> Regards,
> Eric
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