asks: "I have just received two job offers in the same day. The first was for a job coding in Perl on Linux/UNIX platforms, for a small but very cool company around 120 miles from where I live. They play Half-Life together in the off-hours and the people I've talked to there seem very happy with the job and work environment there. I'd be making smallish web systems, and I'd basically have total control over the projects on which I work. They offered me 20% more than I make now. The second offer I received is for a huge nationwide company opening an IT office a couple blocks from where I currently work. They're an all-Microsoft shop — VB, C#, .NET, SQL200*, etc. I'd be a very small cog in a very large machine. They offered me 66% more than I'm making now. Benefits are essentially identical between the companies, so that's not a big factor. I'll also give the Perl company a chance to make me another offer, but what should the threshold be? How do you folks balance the desire for a fun job with the need to pay off debt?"
Most of my work experience is in Microsoft development, though not by choice. It was my first job out of college. In my own time, I run Linux, write in PHP, Perl, MySQL, etc. I don't like developing in .NET much, but I'm used to it, and the money's good.
How do I choose? The money issue is huge, of course, and I think I'd much prefer the Perl job in terms of development preference and work environment. However, I've got the impression that Perl web development doesn't have the future potential in the professional world that .NET has. A search of Dice shows a lot more .NET jobs. Would taking the Perl job hurt my prospects in the future?"