Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Ajax Web Developer: $240k per year… with only one catch

Category: Ajax

We recently got pinged about a job request that we just had to post about :)

If you like coding in Ajax, and know how to shoot a gun, this could be for you.

  • Title: Web Developer
  • Salary: $200K plus DOE
  • Taxes: No Federal taxes taken out for the contractors that accept a 12 month. (6 month contractors will have taxes taken out)
  • Location: Iraq
  • Start date: ASAP with 2 weeks training (one in Washington DC and another in Ft. Bening GA)
  • # of Openings: 1

Summary:A principal Department of Defense agency is looking for programmers, developers or coders to code, support field deployment and maintenance of a new database application which will be used by Army units in Iraq. Scope These are full-time positions (12/7) located at one of the major US Bases in IRAQ. Deployment will be period of 6-12 months. Training on the application software will begin prior to deployment and will take place in Virginia. These positions are available for full time employment or for independent contractors. These positions are available now.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 12:28 am

1.6 rating from 1303 votes


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That’d be something to tell the grandkids about!

Comment by Dave — July 26, 2007

Couldn’t they just draft an AJAX programmer?

Comment by Steve — July 26, 2007

Link please?

Comment by Chris — July 26, 2007

Link please!

Comment by Babak Fakhamzadeh — July 26, 2007

It’s on CareerBuilder:

Comment by halans — July 26, 2007

Can citizens of other countries apply?

Comment by Sergej Andrejev — July 26, 2007

And AuthenticJobs:

Comment by halans — July 26, 2007

“-A Department of Defense secret clearance within last 24 months”
“-US Citizen”

Hmm the AuhtenticJobs one talks about php, while the other is java…
Maybe two different positions?

Comment by halans — July 26, 2007

LOL :)
This is 10 times more that are paying in our country the best companies. I would consider applying for one year, but damn they don’t accept foreigners :S

Comment by Damir Secki — July 26, 2007

Same for me. Would fit perfectly before doing my master thesis…

Comment by Martin — July 26, 2007

Unfortunately, I’m not a US citizen and I don’t have relevant military experience: I would have loved to apply for the position and having the opportunity to shoot to some arabs during the lunch time breaks :D

Comment by Antonello — July 26, 2007

This makes me think of the technicians that would pop out of destroyed buildings in Command & Conquer. I used to create entire armies of them, because their guns sounded so wimpy.

Comment by Tim Cooijmans — July 26, 2007

I don’t think that this job offer was written by someone who has much knowledge about the job. They compare Java and HTML…

Anyway I would like take this offer, too. But I’m not an US Citizen :(

Comment by anty — July 26, 2007

Maybe Wolfowitz’s girlfriend can have this job? You can tell yer grandchildren about this only if you live long enough. If you take this job and profit from what is an unmitigated ‘kin disaster for millions of people and you get kidnapped and have your stupid throat slit, don’t come crying to me about it!

Comment by Sheriffof0 — July 26, 2007

An the insurance would be :)

Jokes apart. Pretty good job but need to pass up since not in the USA.

Comment by Software Ajax Developers — July 26, 2007

Sorry guys. Chuck Norris applied for the job and has been hired.

No luck.

Comment by Luigi R. Viggiano — July 26, 2007

Antonello, as an Arab, I find your remark extremely offensive. How do you think people would respond if an Arab posted something similar? ‘I would love the opportunity to blow up some americans’.

Comment by Hani Suleiman — July 26, 2007

Even as a non Arab, I found this remark deplaced and offensive …

Comment by F.o.G. — July 26, 2007

Chuck Norris does not apply for jobs, jobs compete for Chuck Norris

Comment by Alan — July 26, 2007

As a U.S. Army soldier currently deployed to Afghanistan, lets just say I think I qualify…

Citizen? You’d hope.
Secret? As in squirrel.
Military Experience? Let’s see here…
AJAX Experience? Check.

Unfortunately, the whole 12/hr/day, 7/day/week deal works out to only about $52/hour. But hey, buddies tell me they’ve got pools and stuff there now, plus I could be a civilian and do whatever the hell I want ;) I might just have to bookmark this. Anybody think it’ll be around for another 7 months? :)

Comment by Tom — July 26, 2007

yes, well paid, is it due for loosing both hands in a terrorist act?

Comment by devil — July 26, 2007

By Arab, I’m sure he meant, “Radical Islamist Extremist”…

Comment by iDude — July 26, 2007

Islamist = Islamic

Comment by iDude — July 26, 2007

Hani Suleiman finding a remark “displaced and offensive”… Wow, it must have been bad even for non-Arabs!

Comment by sh — July 26, 2007

Well one you thing you need to undersand I don’t care if your are US or not, or i don’t know how much they offer, but work in IRAQ where the dangerous place is! you really want to work there and get killed!

no wonder why they offer you $200.00 for just work in Iraq.


Comment by Alidad — July 26, 2007

If I were single, I’d be there in a second!

Comment by Andrew — July 26, 2007

That’s one web developer who’ll need to take security _very_ seriously :)

Comment by cosmin — July 26, 2007

Of course citizens of other countries can’t apply. Call me a cynic but one of the ‘perks’ of the invasion of Iraq was to help US companies get ahead with contracts for rebuilding the country.

Comment by Fraz — July 26, 2007

Antonello, if you you want to shoot people, you don’t have to go all the way to Iraq. I’m sure there’s plenty of people where you live, so go buy a gun and get busy!

Comment by mind — July 26, 2007

i think it’s DB where u put ALL citizens of IRAQ and set the status “SUPER DANGEROUS TERRORIST” and then design some algorithm that makes it practically impossible to remove the status to “normal citizen”

Comment by keepitarial — July 26, 2007

Not sure if this is the same job, but if you only know XHTML/CSS and not Ajax, maybe this one’s for you.

Comment by Grant — July 26, 2007

All jokes aside, I think it’s ridiculous that they’re using anything web-based for such a crucial thing as battlefield operations. It’s like using an easy bake oven when you’ve got 30 minutes left to cook a dinner for a head of state. It’s moronic.

Comment by mdm-adph — July 26, 2007

Did you just insult the easy bake oven? How dare you!

Comment by ben — July 26, 2007

If you’ve done any amount of work you know that one of the biggest challenges in getting a job done right for a client is overcoming communication barriers. Getting them to just accurately explain what they need being chief among them.

I can’t fully explain why, but it seems that accuracy (in achieving client’s goals) and clarity (in describing needs/etc) go up and complaints and problems go down when you can periodically have a face to face meeting.

It doesn’t surprise me in the least that there needs to be one or two developers near the “clients” in order to get the job done. And regarding using web apps… people use webapps for mission critical stuff all the time now (although mission critical takes on a bit of a new meaning when lives are at stake in the “mission”). Besides, I doubt they’re using web apps for missile guidance or anything like that. Although can you imagine adding that to your portfolio? Especially with a few screen casts to show how it works.

Comment by Matthew Nuzum — July 26, 2007

tee hee

Comment by Froggy — July 26, 2007

Hani, Not to condone Antonello’s remarks, but I don’t think most americans would give it a second thought if an arab posted ‘I would love the opportunity to blow up some americans’.

Comment by Haber — July 26, 2007

Damn should have learned Ajax instead of working with optics.

Comment by Ben — July 26, 2007

Can someone guess where all of our tax money is going?

Comment by Lawk Salih — July 26, 2007

“# Taxes: No Federal taxes taken out for the contractors that accept a 12 month. (6 month contractors will have taxes taken out) ”

This sounds VERY SUSPICIOUS and I believe it is incorrect. Anyone looking at this position should check with the IRS before breathing dust for 12 months.

This employer sounds like they are trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes, and that’s not a good situation when you’re thinking about moving to IRAQ of all places!!!

Comment by Mathew — July 26, 2007

Here is the original job posting, with the actual skills needed.
Found the hard way..

Comment by roy — July 26, 2007

Well, at least it is probably not SOX compliant.

Comment by NumNum — July 26, 2007

i wonder what happened to the former developer?

Comment by iz — July 26, 2007

What in the world is happening that ordinary words with definitions are replaced with overstretched and repurposed new ones? I mean ‘ping’ means something, and it generally doesn’t mean the sending of data, but checking for responsiveness of something. How about a word like ‘sent’ for what happened with that job info. Dear Holy Lord help us all.

Comment by gettit — July 26, 2007

Whoa… for a second here I thought I was on /.

I appreciate the political dialog, but let’s at least try to keep this site on topic and technical?

Dion – come on, you had to know this would start a flamewar! :(

Comment by Peter Mularien — July 26, 2007

It’s not suspicious at all. If you work for the government and are in a hazardous duty zone, your income is not federally taxed. A lot of our guys used to get deployments around reenlistment time so their reenlistment bonuses would be tax free.

The job requires a secret clearance and the employer is DOD. Sort of makes U.S. citizenship a pre-requisite. I don’t think it’s as dubious as it may appear.

Comment by Mike — July 26, 2007

I’m curious what is it about this job that couldn’t be done by a team stateside? What could possibly be the advantage of setting up a dev team in Iraq over the US especially if you’re going to restrict it to US citizens.

Comment by Richard White — July 26, 2007

Just proof that war really is big business. How absurd of them to offer such a salary. Seriously.

Comment by Kurt Ward — July 26, 2007

An absurd salary? Is it really? Would an experienced, skilled developer go to lovely downtown Baghdad to do “programming on the front lines” 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for $90k a year? Do they have some Eclipse plugin that makes them impervious to improvised explosive devices (IEDs)?

I have no idea if this is a legit job posting but they’re paying ridiculous amounts of money to get people to do something so crazy where there is a pretty good chance they could get blown up and/or shot.

Furthermore, contractors are always overpaid / the first to get dispatched when the going gets rough ;)

Comment by Ajaxian Sharpshooter — July 26, 2007

Why in the world would they need the fellow to be on-site to develop an AJAX app? Isn’t the whole point of AJAX and the like that it can be deployed via the Web from anywhere? Develop it in safety (in South Central L.A., say), then via the magic of FEDEX, send the code to Baghdad on a DVD+R or something.

“Your tax dollars at work,” indeed.

Comment by J Alabi — July 26, 2007

I would absolutely be happy to commute to Iraq for this job… telecommute.

Comment by Caleb Jenkins — July 26, 2007

Do they offer on-site childcare??

Comment by Patrick — July 26, 2007

Not worth it…

Comment by Fishin Dog — July 26, 2007

To the guy wondering about taxes:
Certain special contractor-work (almost entirely related to Armed Forces work in the field) can be tax free.

The tax-free salary is intended as an incentive to compensate for the dangerous nature of the work. In essence, it’s hazard pay.

Comment by Jorge — July 26, 2007

HAHA. Funny how most of the people saying that they’d accept (if they could) are non-US citizens.

Antonello is just sheep brainwashed by the US media and the politicians who rather keep their citizens stupid about the whole thing. He’s only prejudice by stupidity.
Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

Have you heard of this Intranet concept? It’s quite interesting, it’s like the Web, you can use the same technologies, but it’s in a private network.
Considering it’s an application created for military use with very sensitive data. As as network administrator, I’d want to put barbed wire between the minimum recommended 2ft of networking cable on a peer-to-peer setup in a building surrounded by guard dogs.

That’s how Chuck Norris would’ve done it.

Comment by Carlos B. — July 26, 2007

Chuck Norris would get his ass kicked so bad in Iraq he would come home in a bag. And the fool can’t code either. Bruce Lee kicked his ass so bad he should know better than to be fronting as some “tough guy”.

Comment by rico — July 26, 2007

Most difficult query:

FROM iraqi_citizens
LEFT JOIN terrorists ON (citizen_id)
LEFT JOIN terror_cells ON (terrorist_id)
LEFT JOIN weapons_mass_destruction ON (cell_id)
WHERE surname LIKE ‘%osama%’


I’m a US citizen, I’ve served in the military, and 240K sounds nice… but there’s no way in hell I’m going over there. Instead, I’m actually rather annoyed to find they want to give that much money to someone who doesn’t meet my hiring requirements… I don’t think we’d even offer that person a job in the first place, let alone @ 240K. Kinda makes me question the supposedly “top notch” support our troops get too. Top dollar doesn’t meant top quality.

Comment by Just smart enough not to — July 26, 2007

Ahh, the ajaxy gooye-ness they would develop,
Google Maps mashups, with real-time sat pics maybe?

Comment by halans — July 26, 2007

Dear Prospective Employer,

I have attached a sample of my introductory C++ coding knowledge, which I learned in a continuing Ed class. Please consider me for the post.

func Make240k;

for Days = 1 to 365 do [coding] while [dodging bullets]
if [not abducted] cout >> “Life is sweet! I’m making bank!”
cout >> “Oh shit. Please, Mr. Iraqi – don’t behead me. Here, take my 240k.”
while [shitpants] and [avoidThinkingABoutMidnightExpress]

Comment by David — July 26, 2007

bloody americans, i’d love this job.

i have quite a lot experience doing ajax hands on as tech lead, and i’m also 2nd lieutenant comm officer in us friendly northern eu country army reserve. with that pay i wouldnt hesitate getting this job, but i’m not us citizen.

i guess that’s the catch

Comment by polare — July 26, 2007

First of all, 240k for a programmer is rediculous. That’s just desperation or something seedy. Most coders pull in 70-140k and work hard for it. But 240? That means that the risks outweigh the benefits. Hey can I have the job…I’ll just code from home thank you.
What app are these people dreaming up? We need an “AJAX” programmer. That’s such a stupid buzz word. I know AJAX and it is simple once you learn the ropes. Theres something not right about this job posting. They are going to have 1000’s of applicants. Are they go to pay the recruiters 700k a year? They should for having to weed through 1000’s of idiots!

Comment by Jesse — July 26, 2007

It states that this is a 3 month contract (could be shorter) so it’s really only $60k and you may be on CNN with a bag over your head (if you know what I mean)

Comment by Drumminxx — July 26, 2007

First off its only equivalent to a 156K per year job, but your working two jobs so multiply by two

12h X 7d = 84hrs a week
8hs X 5d = 40hs a week

240K in 1 year for 2 years worth of work + tax free equates to 312K

The lack of taxes would be like a receiving a 30% bonus to your paycheck.
This would be an equivalent of getting paid 156k a year in the states.
120K + 36k (the tax money you would not being paying)

Plus working 12hrs a day on a major military base, you could pretty much get by without ever going off base… And if the threat-con ever goes up, your sure to be locked on base anyway.

Comment by Steven Moberg — July 26, 2007

hhhmmmm, when your at the airport waiting to board a plane and there is someone from Arab decent waiting to board the same plane hasn’t the thought crossed your mind “I hope he’s not a terrorist” at the same time how many white Americans get a gun and shoot a bunch of people but yet we don’t think anything about the white guy sitting next to you.

Does that make you a racists?

I bet alot of Arabs think the same thing considering what is going on in the world today.

Comment by Drumminxx — July 26, 2007

Waaa, How many people not fair of death, What a warrior!!
Just one a big hint, If you go, You must consider a thing at first, testament。 American soldier, or Iraq soldier, both maybe your enemy!
Be care!!

Comment by qinxian — July 26, 2007

mashups is the jargon for Ajax world, but this kind of job is a mashup into your head.. BBAAANNNNGGGG!! into your head… :))

Comment by Roycons — July 27, 2007

It’s amazing … money makes humatizen go away.

And people who claim to be smart enough to do such a job
are even not smart enough to not do such a job.

Well it’s not so amazing after all

Comment by frankly — July 27, 2007

I don’t mind bomb explosions while i code. There are some places with no war on streets, but still “shit happens” on regular basis, but hey 200K/year? And after all, what happened to previous guy? He got his head packed into plastic bag by any chance? Or it’s a brand new opportunity to be the first? :)

Comment by Evgenios Skitsanos — July 27, 2007

I think they’ve found another way to recruit people to the Army. Once you’re in a war zone and employed by the military, your boss is’nt going to leave you typing on a computer when he needs someone to guard it instead :p

Think of the money they’ll save on training, insurance, etc.. even convincing people to join becomes easier – and who’s to say your one year contract wont be extended by the employer or even altered?

Consider this, why do they need an AJAX developer to work from there when they have the tubes to just send it over… server’s don’t need to be on location and if they do, they can be deployed using scripts instead of humans.

I’m thinking conspiracy all the way ;)

Comment by Gautam — July 27, 2007

I agree with Matthew Nuzum and his comment “tee hee”. Some of these comments were definitely humorous.

Comment by David H — July 27, 2007

Thanks for your interest in the position. We have a candidate right now who I think is going to be our guy which is contingent on getting approval based on his health. If anything should change I will get in touch with you. In any matter I will keep your resume on file in case other similar positions open up.

Best Regards,

Comment by Matt D — July 27, 2007

I don’t get it: Antonello states that he’s not an American, then everyone rants on about he’s a brainwashed American. Talk about flagrant anti-American bigotry!

Gautam: Many employers prefer that their employees are on site.

Not a bad deal if they let you sit back in the green zone. Being the military, don’t expect that anyone would work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. It just means that you have to be on call that much.

Hopefully you don’t have to make remote housecalls, though!

Comment by Wait — July 27, 2007

My girlfriend would shit a brick, but if my ajax skills were better I’d take it. =)

Comment by D — July 27, 2007

I get this whole pay sky high amounts of money to people to work in a war zone. And for the money (not to mention the really good Falafel you can get in Bagdad) I would take the job in a heartbeat if my wife would let me (which she is not).
BUT I have just one simple question. Why would a sane human being plan on developing code, and front end code at that, on site in Iraq!?!? Why not send one poor admin guy to manage a remote desktop or something on the base, develop the code the air conditioned comfort of Virginia, and then deploy it when it’s done?
Has our government lost its mind completely? Or is there an office pool somewhere in the Pentagon to see who could spend the taxpayers money faster?

Any ideas?

Comment by Zeev Neumeier — July 27, 2007

For all of you talking about doing the work remotely, have any of you considered the (GASP!) possibility that the systems being worked on are not necessarily networked or that the persons giving the requirements may be front line soldiers who can’t sit down and do a con call with some developer sitting in his bathrobe at home in the states?

I mean seriously, there are plenty of reasons why doing a job might not be possible remotely.

And as plenty of others have pointed out, $240k isn’t that ridiculous when you read that you are working 12 hour days, 7 days a week in a freaking war zone and you’re a contractor who probably doesn’t get any benefits. And I’m sure life insurance for someone going to Baghdad ain’t cheap!

Comment by Ajaxian Sharpshooter — July 27, 2007

I know that there’s a correlation between tech jobs, money and conservatism, but I’m really surprised that there has been very little in the way of antiwar sentiment in response to this, or discussion of the fact that taking this job would further an unjust war that’s claimed nearly a million lives.

A quarter of a million dollars to be part of an unjust war machine? No thanks.

Comment by Trevor — July 27, 2007

Thank you Trevor,
at least one sane comment in this thread.
Can we call the job what it is…WAR PROFITEERING!!!!!

Comment by Andre — July 27, 2007

I can’t believe what sheep you people are. You are admitting you can be bribed to betray your country and planet. And so cheaply!

Comment by zobo — July 28, 2007

I agree with Trevor and the like on this one. Id rather spend the next 2.25 years earning that wage than profit from this war. Besides, I’m really not a gambling man . . . last I heard, Iraqis don’t like American’s too much, in fact, last I heard, most countries don’t like American’s too much. . . I’d rather earn a modest salary and keep my head intact, but thanks for the offer.

Comment by Gabriel — July 29, 2007


Comment by Tio Malandra — July 30, 2007

I work for a government defense contractor, and my previous company managed software deployed in Iraq. I also have several friends who are working in combat zones in technical positions.

Generally what happens is there is a development team back in the US, yes, they’re not moving an entire development lab to Iraq. They are looking for ONE person. That person will likely be the all around support person, config manager, trainer, user feedback guru, problem solver, etc., and it really helps if they know the technology — not that anything we did wanted people coding over there, but it did happen, in extreme circumstances. I’ll let you use imagination, I could tell you but I’d have to kill you, etc.

I seriously doubt they’re sending one person over to develop a big huge application in Iraq. Remember that it’s not like those people are running command and control systems on the Internet either. They’re on secured, classified networks. Sure, you can get some connectivity from a similarly secure environment in the US, but trust me when I say it’s not at ALL like telecommuting here in the US. There’s lots and lots of issues involved, technical and otherwise.

Finally, why Ajax? Don’t underestimate web-based technologies. There’s plenty of cases where a web site is great for the needs, especially if there’s more of a ‘live’ aspect to it. There’s tons of software and data moving around over there, and it’s everything from logistics to command and control, to people managing public relations, to folks making sure the mess halls have food, to everything. I mean, it’s its own mini world.

Web portals also are great in that they can simplify deployment of software. Have a browser? You can run it! Sure beats having no one tech savvy able to install your application or provide support, and hopping on a fuel convoy out to some remote base to do it yourself. Our particular piece of technology had a thick client as its primary client, but also had a thin-client portal to provide visibility beyond the number of users we could otherwise support, and to people who just need certain aspects of information.

I could go on, but anyway, it all makes sense, it’s legit, there are other jobs like this out there, the salary is within bounds of what you can find elsewhere, etc. You need a security clearance, yes. As far as the taxes, I think it’s not even a full 12 months, but it’s some arcane rules and very close to 12 months (basically I think if you time it right you can spend a couple of weeks on R&R and still get taxes waived). My friend did this, he got his income tax-free. Talk to someone who does know, though, I forget for example if it’s based on calendar years, fiscal years, or something else.

I qualify for the position, but I’m not keen on working in Iraq. I’ve turned down similar positions.

Comment by Jennifer — July 30, 2007

Nice job, shame about the salary in US Dollars. If the dollar keeps slipping against the Euro and Sterling, 200k would be about the same as what you’d earn in an normal job here. ;-)

Comment by Ian — August 1, 2007

Uh – Can you say telecommute?


If they can video conference the generals, then they can video conference me in my little cube.

onsite :P

Comment by Stelly — August 1, 2007

offer’s rejection or approval isn’t the issue here. i have read most of the comments on here. basically, its all about the money whether the salary or the taxpayer’s money. And, to be exact, 240K. funny thing is that most of the comments were about rejecting the offer, which i doubt any would refuse such offer “if” it was directly given to them.
on the other hand, many are talking about the taxpayer’s money and why it is being spent on the US army in Iraq, i know why!!!! hey,, its because We ,US, are trying to damn hard to spread the “democracy” in the 3rd world countries!!! Note: i guess most of you know what Democracy is. So, when we went to Iraq , we didn’t “invade” it, we just spread the democracy there, Iraq is all safe and stable. No dead bodies from our side or the Iraqis side!!! Well, I am talking about this based on the major News Networks, since they only show the bright side of the war, whether it is in the Middle East or in Mars.
thanks 4 StumbleUpon for this ride. Cya

Comment by S_O_S — August 1, 2007

I’ll split the salary 50/50 with a Marine… He can secure the web boxes, and I’ll code, deploy and administer them from thousands of miles away.

I’ve been watching my PBS documentaries:

Comment by Vijay Santhanam — August 8, 2007

DOE = Dead On Entry

Comment by Jeremy — August 9, 2007

Although it sounds interesting, you can earn about $160K in New York City any day at all as a J2EE developer.

Comment by Tom Hunter — August 16, 2007

What do you think about ? Is it good place for web developers?

Comment by teno — August 27, 2007

If I were a US citizen, I would take the job and spend about 10% of the salary and hire an iraqi private army for hire

Comment by olie — September 8, 2007

the last line can be
new Ajax.Request('');

Comment by Alexey Bass — October 10, 2007

wow looks really good

Comment by Computer Jobs — November 15, 2007

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