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I've been in my current position in a non-IT unit for about a year. I was hired mostly to do content management and simple web master type tasks. Due to a mix of diminishing IT support and expanded unit/productivity expectations, as well as my own motivation to acquire new skills, I have slowly taken on what I would describe as a front-end web developer role. Nothing I would describe as 'mission critical', but certainly things you wouldn't hire a non-programmer to do.

I only took a few CS classes in college and although I do some freelance web designing and developing, I'm growing concerned about getting in over my head without the appropriate grounding. I would like to ideally have IT support, guidance, code review, programmer-level pay, etc. Unfortunately, I'm finding that organizational and semantic divisions really won't allow me to be a 'programmer', since I don't work for an IT-related unit.

Management is roughly aware of the issue, but I don't feel they are taking it seriously, so I'm planning on addressing it with them. When I do, I want them to hear the: "I'm a motivated employee looking to take on more responsibility" instead of "I have limited and untrustworthy skills, I need IT's help!"

What suggestions do you have for me to address (to management) the issue and articulate a solution?

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1 Answer

Step 1: Take on the responsibility and prove your value.

Step 2: Ask for more money.

You have to do step 1 before step 2. It's not enough that you've been tentatively taking on additional responsibilities. Now is the time for you to prove that you can teach yourself skills, make them valuable to the business, and generally kick ass. If you need support, there's a huge programmer community out here waiting to help you.

Make yourself a goal: In the next 6 months, you'll achieve X Y Z results for the website. Once you've done that, you can go to management and explain why you're worth more and deserve greater support.

Also, while you're doing this, keep a log of why your activities add value to the business. Ideally, if you can quantify the value that's even better. You need solid evidence to prove to management why you're more valuable.

Good luck!

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