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Businesses Programming The Almighty Buck

East Coast vs. West Coast In the Quest For Young Programming Talent 235

Posted by timothy
from the we're-all-in-the-same-chain-gang dept.
McGruber writes "The Wall Street Journal is reporting that tech interns are in high demand in the Bay area. According to the author, 'Technology giants like Google Inc. have been expanding their summer-intern programs, while smaller tech companies are ramping up theirs in response — sometimes even luring candidates away from college.' Meanwhile in NYC, CIOs lament that they are unable to retain 20-something techies according to a report in Network World. Says one CIO, 'It puts us in a really uncomfortable position to have this kind of turnover because knowledge keeps walking out the door. We invest in training people and bringing them up to speed to where they need to be, and boom they're gone. That has been my biggest struggle and concern.' It's the pay, stupid!"
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East Coast vs. West Coast In the Quest For Young Programming Talent

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  • err (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tsingi (870990) <graham@rick.gmail@com> on Saturday December 24, 2011 @09:33AM (#38481218)
    You get what you pay for. If you aren't keeping trainees, you aren't competing on salary. You would think that obvious, I guess it isn't.
    • Re:err (Score:5, Insightful)

      by lalena (1221394) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @09:39AM (#38481248) Homepage
      Or maybe find a non 20-something that can program Java. They do exist and are more likely to stick around. They might even require less training. From TFA, it sounds like the CIO created his own problems by treating the web/java development team differently:

      It's been very mixed because I have two different development teams. I have the core developers, the RPG and LANSA developers, and they have five, 10, 15 years with the company. They are very well entrenched, they understand the music business, they understand the technology, and they understand how we relate to the music business. On the Java side, everyone right now has been here less than a year. We have excessive turnover for my Web-based team. It's a younger workforce. They have different needs, different requirements and different desires than our slightly older workforce. I'm seeing them being much more [transient.] It's much more challenging to get the newer generation of folks interested in trying to understand the business vs. looking only at the technology.

      • Re:err (Score:5, Insightful)

        by frisket (149522) <peter@@@silmaril...ie> on Saturday December 24, 2011 @09:52AM (#38481316) Homepage

        They do exist and are more likely to stick around

        They certainly are. Hiring older people (assuming you pick the right ones) is a treble whammy: greater depth of experience, much lower training requirements, and no desire to be heading out the door in a few months (unless you dump on them). Downside: you have to pay them more. Upside: they'll probably be 100x more productive from day 1. Plus they know shit that the younger ones (and the CIO) simply have no clue about, which can save the company from making silly mistakes out of ignorance, if they're smart enough to take advice.

        Most CIOs, however, don't think like this. They lose. Game over. New game?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          The IT industry in North America has screwed the developers at every turn for the entire 30 years I've been in the industry.

          Post Y2K? Cut everyone's pay scales because the crisis was over.

          Florida in the early 90's? Cut everyone's pay because an Indian IT consulting firm moved into the region.

          Project over? Cut everyone's job instead of rolling them over to the new projects.

          With such an insulting lack of commitment to the employee by the IT industry, how can they imagine that their new employees would have

        • Re:err (Score:5, Informative)

          by Xyrus (755017) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @10:52AM (#38481714) Journal

          The only reason why they're aiming for young people is because they are dirt cheap compared to an experienced programmer. Once someone gains experience they look at the 60+ hours they're working for half the average salary and decide to look for greener pastures.

          The turnover is so high because only the young are exploitable enough to take crappy salaries and long hours in order to get some relevant professional experience on their resumes. Only an idiot or someone incredibly loyal (also an idiot) would continue to work in that position once they had gained the relevant experience.

          If your company is having high turnover, it's most likely because your company is doing something wrong.

          • by gbjbaanb (229885)

            but are they, if the "cheap talent" walks out the door taking all that knowledge with them, leaving you having to hire someone new, then train them up. It can take a long time to get someone up to speed with a product, and even longer to get them to really know its ins and outs. I'd say a year easily for most of the complex apps that are undocumented and chaotically developed by the last guys who walked away from it.

            The TCO of staff should not be underestimated by the management, they use such bullsh*t to e

            • Now how can you believe that.

              It's clear to my management that all programmers are like a grey glorp which can be poured on any programming project and be equally productive.

              In fact, when someone is MORE productive, management feels uncomfortable because they are now dependent on that person. So they want to externalize that person's knowledge and put in a new person to force the process.

              But once the body of knowledge is large enough, it takes time to read, comprehend, and understand the documents around th

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by SonnyDog09 (1500475)

            The only reason why they're aiming for young people is because they are dirt cheap compared to an experienced programmer.

            The most expensive thing in the world is cheap help.

          • The whole point here is that they AREN'T cheaper. You train them, they leave. Because they want MORE money.

            But for that more money, you could have hired someone with experience in the first place.

            It still amounts to managers wanting to get something on the cheap... then bitching when they can't find what they want, at the rates they want to pay.
        • Part of it is simple shortsightedness with regards to cost and all that. However another part is you have a greater chance of getting a worker that doesn't do a good job working with your system.

          A problem I've noticed in some older tech types is a real "stuck in the past" kind of mentality. They want to do thing they way they used to do them, not the way they are done now, or the way they are done at this location. Resistance to learning new things often increases with age and in computer work, learning new

          • by gbjbaanb (229885) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @11:07AM (#38481852)

            and the other side of that is that new stuff isn't always better by a long way.

            I mean, look at the tools we're using to connect to this site - still using ethernet? surely we should have scrapped that ancient technology by now.... and the move towards thin clients with all the data held on the 'cloud'. Isn't that just mainframe style development all over again?

            A lot of the old guys will tell you that something is better, not because they're "stuck in the past" but because the techniques they're talking about really are better. There are too many 'latest fads' in IT today, often they become the biggest hyped up thing ever, and after a year or two everyone recognises that they were just bull.

            Ok, sure there are old guys who do reminisce about the past too much, but by the same token there are too many young guys who think that everything the currently exists is rubbish because they can do it better.

            The industry really needs to grow up and understand that building on what has gone before is beneficial, not to (continually) scrap it and start over again.

            • and the other side of that is that new stuff isn't always better by a long way.

              I mean, look at the tools we're using to connect to this site - still using ethernet? surely we should have scrapped that ancient technology by now.... and the move towards thin clients with all the data held on the 'cloud'. Isn't that just mainframe style development all over again?

              A lot of the old guys will tell you that something is better, not because they're "stuck in the past" but because the techniques they're talking about really are better. There are too many 'latest fads' in IT today, often they become the biggest hyped up thing ever, and after a year or two everyone recognises that they were just bull.

              Ok, sure there are old guys who do reminisce about the past too much, but by the same token there are too many young guys who think that everything the currently exists is rubbish because they can do it better.

              The industry really needs to grow up and understand that building on what has gone before is beneficial, not to (continually) scrap it and start over again.

              Change it by 10%, label it new and improved, watch the sheeple line up.

              This is how mature consumer focused industries work. Industry isn't about producing high quality products, it's about keeping production infrastructure in operation.

            • When your workplace uses something, it isn't really up for if we should use something else. A workplace uses new technology X and it does its job, despite being new and shiny. Old guy doesn't like it, talks about how much better technology Y is at his old job and how that should be used. Not a useful situation.

              There's a big difference between not moving to a new technology and moving back to an old one, particularly if what you have works. For your Ethernet example yes we use it, gigabit and probably soon t

            • “There are two types of fool. One says, 'This is old, therefore it is good.' The other says, ‘This is new, therefore it is better.’" --Twain

          • "Resistance to learning new things often increases with age and in computer work, learning new things is always a requirement."

            It's no more a problem in computer work than it is in any other industry. It's a people problem, not a profession problem.

            Some people will keep learning. Some people will not.

        • by Ihmhi (1206036)

          Most CIOs, however, don't think like this. They lose. Game over. New game?

          Executives never lose. Even when they fail, they win. It's called a golden parachute.

      • Or maybe find a non 20-something that can program Java. They do exist and are more likely to stick around. They might even require less training.

        Nah, they already fired them to hire cheaper talent.

      • by Vellmont (569020)

        I think you're exactly right. Who wants to stay on a team that's not valued, and is thought of as "not interested in trying to understand the business"? The mind creates what the mind sees. What he should do is integrate his teams, and not create two cultures. Ultimately it's just people, and if you want the new to learn from the old you need to put them together. Otherwise it's just a self reinforcing dichotomy.

    • I generally agree with you, but allow me to play devil's advocate on one point. It may be there's been a shift and today's developers differ from their predecessors in that they aren't going to be happy staying at even the ideal company for more than 2-3 years. If that's the case, then it's not simply a matter of paying them more. "Everybody has his price," you might say, but not when the competition is offering the same thing. It is not possible for every company to offer above-market wages; at that po
    • That's why they want young 20 somethings who hopefully are new to the workforce and hopefully don't realise they're being shafted. But they do eventually find out and the company gets upset the person realises they're being bent over.
  • by El Torico (732160) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @09:37AM (#38481228)

    This is from the article,

    No sooner does he hire a Java programmer and train him in the company's music industry niche, than the programmer is recruited away for a higher salary. Indeed, everyone on Trebino's six-person Java development team has less than one year of experience with HFA, which is the nation's leading provider of rights management, licensing and royalty services for the music industry.

    There's only so long you can compromise your principles.

    This is another gem,

    "They are looking for much more aggressive career development opportunities and the ability to learn new things quicker," says Lily Mok, vice president at Gartner for CIO Research. "Traditionally, it took two or three years for a person to move up into the next level in an organization. They want to be on a faster track than that. They don't want to stay in one spot for more than 12 or 18 months."
    Even when CIOs promote 20- and 30-somethings, they often don't have loyalty to the organization, Mok says.
    "Don't expect them to stay with you 15 or 20 or 30 years...That's not going to happen," Mok says. "They will stay with you as long as they see certain things, including personal growth or personal value enhancement, whether that's financial reward or career aspirations. But only think about being able to retain them for two or three years. If nothing happens, they will leave after their first year of employment."

    Of course Gartner has always had a gift for stating the obvious.

    • by aaarrrgggh (9205)

      Some of it is less obvious than you might think. Everyone wants personal growth and development, as well as feeling appreciated. Some people are on two-year tracks, and are destine to change jobs every 18-24 months. Don't hire those types if you need people to stay 5+ years; they have internal performance issues and/or a misguided sense of self worth. Treat people right-- you don't have to pay *top* dollar for good top talent if you maintain a solid career path, show appreciation, and make sure people can c

    • "They are looking for much more aggressive career development opportunities and the ability to learn new things quicker," says Lily Mok, vice president at Gartner for CIO Research. "Traditionally, it took two or three years for a person to move up into the next level in an organization. They want to be on a faster track than that. They don't want to stay in one spot for more than 12 or 18 months." Even when CIOs promote 20- and 30-somethings, they often don't have loyalty to the organization, Mok says. "Don't expect them to stay with you 15 or 20 or 30 years...That's not going to happen," Mok says. "They will stay with you as long as they see certain things, including personal growth or personal value enhancement, whether that's financial reward or career aspirations. But only think about being able to retain them for two or three years. If nothing happens, they will leave after their first year of employment."

      Of course Gartner has always had a gift for stating the obvious.

      No, their gift is getting paid well for stating the obvious.

    • So many people hear how hard it is to get a job as a developer when they're an "ancient" 35-40 years old so everyone feels they must be constantly learning or moving up to increase their value.
  • by decora (1710862) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @09:44AM (#38481274) Journal

    "We invest in training people and bringing them up to speed to where they need to be, and boom they're gone"

    as opposed to, say, employees who spend 30 years at a company, and then have their electronic ID turned off one day without anyone telling them, and someone sends them a text message saying 'we will mail you your stuff'.

    you just FIRED all those old people in order to make room for the 20 somethings, so that you wouldn't have to pay health insurance or deal with their maternity leave or, you know, ability to understand their rights as employees.

    you think the 20 somethings didn't see this happen? you think they don't know what you did? you think they don't understand how the game works?

    where did these kids learn to be disloyal? they learned it by watching you!!!!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There is no such thing as "shortage" of anything. There is imbalance between bid and ask prices.
      "Shortage of specialists" = employers want too much work done for too little compensation, employees have a choice.
      "Unemployment" = employees want too much money for too little work, employers have a choice.
      Kinda symmetrical...

      • by hedwards (940851)

        Not really, at the end of the day businesses hire when they can't shift work loads around to handle the work load. But in some cases there generally aren't jobs because they're shrinking. Take drafting for example, that's a career that's more or less extinct because all those jobs moved to CAD. Likewise longshoreman are only in demand as long as there are things to unload from ships, if there aren't things to unload then there isn't any reason to hire or retain them.

        Agriculture is probably the ultimate exam

    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @10:36AM (#38481594)

      I'm in my 50's and I got 'told to leave' my last job due to age, my high salary and of course, there was a nice annual reorg to help managers oust people with a clean excuse.

      I know what's going on. insurance costs are high, people my age are not willing to be abused and we know our rights and our place in this world. we don't exist for mr. bossman or the company; family and home life DOES come first. so people like me get ousted.

      I have no loyalty to companies anymore. none. they put up with employees because they have to, not because they *like* us. we are simply an expense. and when it suits them, they exit us and march in some new kids that are more easily abusable and overworkable.

      that is, for jobs that are still IN the US. I've had to personally train indian replacements. not a good feeling knowing you are being pushed out, pretty blatantly.

      no loyalty to companies or ceo's. and they wonder why!

      reap what you sow, you bastards. but don't DARE complain about the mess YOU created!

  • by Bogtha (906264) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @09:53AM (#38481330)

    He's got a > 100% annual staff turnover, and practically everything that comes out of his mouth screams "I have no clue about what people want even if it's common sense and even if they tell me to my face".

    • What would happen if he asked his current employees what they needed to make their jobs easier, and actually implemented those ideas?? Three things that, if not present, will make an employee unhappy an eventually leave:
      1. High enough pay so living expennses are not an issue
      2. Autonomy - what to work on, how to do it, etc.
      3. Meaningful, challenging work

      Also, your HR dept has too much power. If you're still doing Theory X stuff like "annual performance reviews," you're doing it wrong, and deserve to die in a

  • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @10:05AM (#38481384)

    OH, the horror. People don't appreciate that we give them a job and a paycheck. They should be grateful.

    Of course, the first time the market slows or we can hire someone cheaper, we can show them the door. After all, we're the employees. We only owe them a paycheck for as long as we need them.

    Somehow, I can't garner much sympathy for the poor CIO/CEO/CFO/CPHBO that can't keep staff. They've seen what's happened to their parents, older siblings, and friends at companies, and learned the lesson well. Watch out for number one. Your company, despite all it's statements about loyalty, only looks at the bottom line. That's fine, but loyalty is a two way street, and company's are discovering people care as much for them as they do of their people.

    I've seen loyalty - in the military - but it's a loyalty because you know the person next to you would die for you and you'd do the same for them. Most company's have no idea what loyalty is, and will learn, as we used to say "Payback is a MF."

    I anticipate, once the economy picks up, a lot of companies are going to be crying about how they can't keep employees despite all they "did for them in the recession" (like layoff people with 3 days notice, demand pay cuts, etc) and how horrible it is.

    We're fast becoming a nation of hired guns - which is fine, and as things like health insurance and other "benefits" provided by companies become more portable you see more and more people selling themselves to the highest bidder and moving on whenever a better gig comes around. I'd almost see a return to the guild system - where individuals band together to get group discounts and find work but essentially are freelancers; a modern version of a union hiring hall.

    • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @01:40PM (#38482988)
      The guild system -- followed by early trade unions, which were an extension of the same idea -- was a horrible, abusive system. I would not wish it on anybody.

      Guilds were not created to help workers. Guilds were created to keep tradecrafts secret and expensive. They drove prices up, were terribly abusive to apprentices (that was part of the point... THEY got cheap unskilled labor) and kept common workers (who would have brought prices down through competition) OUT.

      If you think guilds were good, for anybody but the master craftsmen, you haven't read your history very carefully.
      • The guild system -- followed by early trade unions, which were an extension of the same idea -- was a horrible, abusive system. I would not wish it on anybody. Guilds were not created to help workers. Guilds were created to keep tradecrafts secret and expensive. They drove prices up, were terribly abusive to apprentices (that was part of the point... THEY got cheap unskilled labor) and kept common workers (who would have brought prices down through competition) OUT. If you think guilds were good, for anybody but the master craftsmen, you haven't read your history very carefully.

        While I agree the guild system as it original was setup would not be desirable; I think the concept of skilled labor banding together to improve their bargaining power is valid today. we need to shift from the concept of 'we work for a comp[any" to we sell one raw material - skilled labor - to a buyer and want to negotiate the best deal we can for our product. To the extent you can increase labor's bargaining power you will be able to extract higher wages - the result of the guild system worth replicating.

  • by palmerj3 (900866) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @10:07AM (#38481406) Homepage

    I am one of the 20-somethings who have followed this similar career path.

    Simply put - I stay at a company until I feel there is nothing more to learn and/or another company offers a greater challenge & opportunity to learn.

    Money generally comes with greater challenges, but it has never been my ultimate driving force. This is the reason why I've never (and will never) accept a counter offer.

    So how do you keep 20-somethings from leaving? Build a company that constantly researches & implements new technologies. Build a company that contributes to open-source so developers interact with other (better) developers. Send developers to conferences and maybe arrange for them to speak at conferences if appropriate. Allow them to expense tech books. You get where I'm going here. Nothing is stopping your employees from leaving your company for another hot tech company so it's your job to create an environment that attracts good engineers. A boring Java shop with a CTO that is doing nothing to retain talent is only going to be used as a stepping stone to better jobs.

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @11:58AM (#38482176)

      In particular, be willing to keep up that sort of thing your whole life, including when you are older and it is harder to do. The reason is there ARE environments that value loyalty, and they'll look at your resume and see you have none. That won't automatically be a "no-hire" but it'll certainly put you behind others that don't job hop.

      The university department I work for is big on retention. Major pain in our ass every time we lose someone so we do what we can to hire people who will stick around. It is a good work environment. Pay isn't as good as private sector, of course, but benefits, hours, culture, all very good. I love it and I could conceive staying with it my whole life.

      So when we are hiring people, one of the things we look at is length of employment. If I see on your resume that you worked at one company for 10 years, that is a plus. Says to me you may stay put. If I see every job being two years or less, I'm not so interested. I don't want a new co-worker who will get all trained up, start to take on some real projects, work a bit on trying to improve things, and then leave for the next big thing, leaving us to find someone else to try and pick up the pieces.

      I have no ill will for people like that, I just don't want to work with them, not in this environment.

      Just consider things like that long term. Are you going to want to job hop when you are 40? 50? Because the more job hopping you do, and the longer you do it for, the harder it will be for you to find work at a place that doesn't care for that.

      Just remember there ARE work environments that value keeping people around, but they want to hire people who will stay around.

      • by Richy_T (111409)

        However, even at those companies, a change of management, a buyout or even just a shift in the market can change things completely and you can be out on your ear in no time. Simply put, expecting anything to long term is not a good survival strategy and let's not forget that landing a job is a skill in itself.

      • by Rakishi (759894)

        I don't want a new co-worker who will get all trained up, start to take on some real projects, work a bit on trying to improve things, and then leave for the next big thing, leaving us to find someone else to try and pick up the pieces.

        Sounds like a boring place to be frank. I just started a new job, if I'm not running at 100% within two or three months then they consider me a bad hire. I'm expected to give my first recommendations of how to improve various products within a month while working on an infrastructure rebuild. They hired me because of what I learned at my last position and they expect me to use it here before my knowledge decays into worthlessness.

        Just consider things like that long term. Are you going to want to job hop when you are 40? 50? Because the more job hopping you do, and the longer you do it for, the harder it will be for you to find work at a place that doesn't care for that.

        You assume I can't slowly switch to longer stints at a place as I get older.

  • by yerktoader (413167) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @10:14AM (#38481458) Homepage
    As far as these people are concerned, if you're not in sales, you're losing them money. They're so focused on stocks, margins and anything short term that they are willing to cut and shortchange anything they can. Even if you're essential, or if your job entails customer retention such as tech support for commercial/residential internet service. New professionals might not have the loyalty that older generations once had, and they only have themselves to blame for engendering such attitudes - I sure as shit didn't vote for free trade and globalization.

    Far as I'm concerned, with the pay, the studying, the hours and the human factor, I'm done. With the hard work they want from me, focused into another career, I'll hopefully be doing what I really want in the next five years or so. Screw 'em.
  • Career Advancement (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Philodoxx (867034) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @10:15AM (#38481462)

    I worked as a software engineer for 4 years at a fairly large software company after graduating university. The depressing reality is it's much easier to advance your career by switching jobs than it is by being loyal. I got a glowing review my first two years but did not result in a promotion. Meanwhile there were people who would leave the company, and come back a year later at +1 seniority level.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The depressing reality is it's much easier to advance your career by switching jobs than it is by being loyal. I got a glowing review my first two years but did not result in a promotion. Meanwhile there were people who would leave the company, and come back a year later at +1 seniority level.

      Of course - if they promoted you they would have to find someone else who could do your job, and they probably wouldn't find someone as good. OTOH, if they recruit from outside (even if it is a re-hire), they are leaving a hole in someone else's organization...

    • The depressing reality is it's much easier to get a real pay raise by switching jobs than it is by being loyal.

      FIFY ;)

  • Nothing is new. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slasho81 (455509) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @10:16AM (#38481474)
    You pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
  • That sounds like something from my parents generation where you could get a job and feel like it was stable. Business these days has proven over and over again that a job is not stable like it used to be. The norm is to move on more then it was back then and people have changed. If you want people to stick around longer then the norm needs to swing back to long term with good pay and benefits. Otherwise enjoy the turn over rates staying high as the people you try to employee look out for their own bottom li
  • by eples (239989) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @10:33AM (#38481582)
    Maybe it's because you've got a bunch of C+ business majors running the show, continually fucking up simple projects.

    And then on top of that, treating your software engineers like 2nd class citizens.

    Fuck that noise. I left after 6 years and don't plan to ever go back.
  • by Deffexor (230167) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @10:37AM (#38481602)

    Once salary is satisfied, what drives us all are 3 things: Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.

    I get the sense from my friends who work on the West Coast that they get these things from their jobs. On the East Coast, it doesn't seem to occur as often (or at the very least is harder to find.) I'm not surprised that young 20-somethings bail as often as they do in such an environment.

    Here's a TED talk about it: http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation.html [ted.com]

  • stats (Score:4, Informative)

    by buddyglass (925859) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @10:49AM (#38481696)
    I'm a senior dev working in Austin. Just ran my salary through some cost-of-living calculators vs. NYC and San Jose. One says I'd need to earn 1.55x my current salary to live comparably in NYC. A second calculator says 2.27x for Manhattan, 1.90x for Brooklyn and 1.66x for Queens. The second one also claims 1.63x for San Jose.
    • Second thought on loyalty: I've worked at very large companies (IBM) and 8 person startups. IBM is the only place that actually gave me a raise. The startups seem to assume you're only going to be there for 2-3 years max so they don't bump your compensation. On the other hand, every time I've switched positions (including after having been laid off) the new place paid more than the old. At this point it seems like the only time I ever get a raise is when I change jobs.
    • by Rakishi (759894)

      You should adjust how you live based on the location which is why I find these calculators BS to some extent. In NYC I don't have a car and don't care about a small apartment. Why? It's NYC, if you're staying at home often enough to care then you should move somewhere else. I also never cook, too many good $10 places on the way home from work. In Silicon Valley I had no need for a garage workshop, I just paid techshop $125/month for access to a 100 times as much equipment.

      And yeah you may get paid 40% more

  • If you interpret the OP with some fuzziness - you can read between-the-lines and summarize it as:

    "We're trying to hire lots of [free] interns - but are unable to retain them [once they're worth something]."

    First off, that's kind-of like me trying to hire a lot of domestic/janitorial interns to work at my house, and I'm surprised at no one is jumping at this "learning opportunity".

    Yea - our company had the same problem with are Philippine division. We'd hire young people at $10k/yr, and couldn't figure

  • luring candidates away from college well IT should not even have college. They should have tech schools mixed with apprenticeships.

    Now some internships do have learning to them others are more about getting free work or having a office boy. Now this is where unions can help in setting up real apprenticeships / internships with out abuse.

    But we don't need unions to have a good tech schools mixed with apprenticeships. As with that you can get people with skills at the start and not people who just have a high

    • by mjwalshe (1680392)
      You know some of us in IT don't want our profession to be pushed down to just a vocational level. It and engineering are treated like shit so why are you colluding with the enemy. From my understanding of the German system it limits you if you get put into the lower quality school enjoy your career of changing the paper and fixing printer problems.
      • but then how does 4 years CS help you on the help desk? or doing system admin no maybe no college need at all is better as there are people who can do IT work with out a high cost Piece of paper that does not give you the skill that a tech school does at least there you have real skills with that piece of paper.

  • There's always someone willing to pay more. Companies that pay gobs of money at the expense of other factors have high turnover.

    • by JustNiz (692889)

      Its true that to have a good work environment is nice, but the reason I go to work at all is purely for money. More == better.
      I suspect most think like me. For all those that dont agree, the changes are very good that they just need to be more honest with themselves.

  • by seifried (12921) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @12:13PM (#38482270) Homepage

    Quoted from the interview:

    Years ago, when I was first out of college, IT guys worked round-the-clock. My guys work basically 9 to 5, so I find it interesting that people are complaining. The other big reason that people have left is flexibility. We have moderate flexibility. We do not have work-from-home arrangements all the time, only occasionally. The younger people want full flexibility.

    So essentially they're not willing to work unpaid overtime, and they want flexibility, which you won't give them, but other employers will. So they leave. And the manager is shocked. He even admits he knows all this. He even goes on to say:

    They don't have the same notion that you go to one place and you stay there for five, 10 or 15 years. But the incentives to do that aren't there anymore because there are fewer pension plans and less profit sharing.

    So he's also aware that profit sharing and pension plan improvements would help retain workers. These are easy things to implement (they require some paperwork but it's not like making a massive cultural change level of difficulty). In summary: the manager knows why his people won't stay (they want to work sane hours, be able to work from home, have pensions and profit sharing), but he is unwilling to make these concessions, so people leave after one year. He tops this all off by saying:

    The biggest point is to get them aware of and engaged in the new business opportunities here.

    How is it a business opportunity for the worker if they don't have profit sharing or a pension? And are expected to work unpaid overtime?

    The amount of fail here is staggering

  • by Cutting_Crew (708624) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @12:43PM (#38482534)
    I know people on here will say NYC is a great place and all but just because you make $150,000 a year doesn't mean anything. If you are an engineer in the New York area you are going to be working downtown. That means either you pay $3,000 a month for a one bedroom closet or you live 1 hour+ away so you can hope to afford a big enough place for your family. I've driven the hour ONE WAY before for 3 years and let me tell you - it's a drain on your body, your mind and everything else. I am in Florida and get calls and email asking me to move to NYC, Chicago, Minnesota, etc etc. The guy in NYC thought I would be thrilled to make $150,000 a year since i was only making about $85K but once you run the numbers you figure out quickly that i would be LOSING money by taking the job. I make about 70% more but housing is 3 to 4 times more on average for the same sq footage and that is like an hour away from city. Why in the world would i change jobs where i would lose money and have to travel 1 hour each way every day for the hassle of a city environment. 1 hour each way = 2 hours a day = 40 hours a month. A whole extra week that i would lose to do ... well.. anything that i wanna do that i am doing now. No thanks.

    So its just not about the pay. its about the location.
    • Been there, done that.

      I am from a mid-sized city in the west. I took a job near a major eastern U.S. city, because it had good (so I thought) advancement opportunities and much better pay. I was not prepared for the sticker shock of actually living there. My pay went up about 75%, but my standard of living actually went down, and the people in the company treated me like a peon. I eventually saved up enough to move back west.

      Today, there are LOTS of companies in San Francisco, Palo Alto, New York, Chi
      • thanks for your story. as the poster said below why don't these companies set up shop in smaller places and by small i mean in places like 150,000 - 300,000 people. lots of talent but MANY MANY MANY (and i know them) choose not to move because of wife;s family, kids rooted in school, church, activities or whatever. But they are talented. Telecommuting would be awesome. work from home with the very and i mean very occasional, trips to the office in D.C. or NYC or whatever. I might even go for that.

        and no
    • I have no idea why these jobs are even located in places like NYC. Wouldn't there be a ton of savings for a corporation if they moved these jobs out to smaller towns.
      • I can give you one good example: MENSA.

        U.S. MENSA is entirely supported by membership fees. But the membership fees were pretty high, and the only benefit the National organization really gave the members -- other than registration itself -- was a monthly newsletter.

        Turned out that the National board and their office were located in NYC, and that's where the vast amount of expenses were. When asked why, the only answer was that it was "a prestigious address".

        The membership basically forced them to
        • by mjwalshe (1680392)
          Depends if you want to be taken seriously you do need a proper address both for image and also to keep the City happy. I used to work for a big telco there was an idea to move the head office from the City to some crap office block near Heathrow. That was stopped when apparently the CEO said "world class companies don't have head office in a FUCKING shed at Heathrow".
          • He was wrong. In fact they do.

            True, if you're a high-roller on Walls Street then you need an office on or near Wall Street. But other than that, you're just being pretentious. The businesspeople you really want to do business with will see through that in a heartbeat.
      • by mjwalshe (1680392)
        In a small town you get a much smaller pool of developers and your often far away from your target market
  • Loyality is a two-way thing. If my employer is commited to me then i can be commited to my employer. If my Employer essentially gives me the feeling that he would replace me by anybody walking in, if the guy works for less, then i may go quickly.

    I work for a good employer, and i would be willing to accept a lower payment.

  • I thought that US programmers (regardless of the coastline) were all being laid off thanks to outsourcing to India, or is that last year's IT gripe?

    • It's last year's gripe. Lots of companies have been bringing IT (or programming in particular; for the most part IT never left) back home. For a couple of good reasons: by and large, they have discovered that the "cheap" outsourcing is unreliable (often dowsn't deliver) and of poor quality.

      Being a freelancer, I have fished the international programming job boards a lot over the last few years. And a growing trend is for those hiring to post: "North American or European programmers only."

      They would not
  • I did Bell Labs One Year On Campus 1979-1980.  IF he/she came back at all: first year LOSS, second year BREAKEVEN, third year GAIN.

    Nothing has changed...
  • Ford had the same problem.

    His solution was to increase the pay of the worker, so that his profitability increased over the long run.

    Seriously, it's the same exact problem (numbers are made up here):

    It cost Ford $2000 to train a worker over the course of a month, and he earned back $500 / month per worker. The turnover rate was 2 months. So, if a worker stayed less than 4 months at his company, he lost money; if a worker stayed for 4 months, he broke even; and if he stayed for more than 4 months, Ford showed

    • The U.S. economy saw its most productive years when it employed almost exclusively U.S. workers and their wages were, on average, THE HIGHEST IN THE WORLD.

      Coincidence? I doubt it very much.
  • The sad thing is, nearly all upper management at most companies seem to be as clueless as the CIO guy in the article.

    It makes me wonder how it is that all these monkeys get upper management jobs in the first place, and worse yet, don't ever get fired.

    Who keeps hiring these clueless morons and why?

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @02:20PM (#38483344)

    I remember reading that Google was getting as many 75,000 job applicants in a
    week. And yet Google is struggling to candidates?

    I have been in IT over 30 years, and in my experience, employers are always shortage shouting. They
    are shortage shouting while they are laying off thousands of US workers, they are shortage shouting as wages stagnate. They are shortage shouting when doing so completely defies all logic, and evidence. Asking employers if there is a
    shortage is like asking a ReMax agent if you should buy a house, the agenda should be obvious.

    Worth nothing, objective studies never determine that there is any great shortages.

    • by Korin43 (881732)

      I remember reading that Google was getting as many 75,000 job applicants in a
      week. And yet Google is struggling to candidates?

      I have been in IT over 30 years, and in my experience, employers are always shortage shouting. They
      are shortage shouting while they are laying off thousands of US workers, they are shortage shouting as wages stagnate. They are shortage shouting when doing so completely defies all logic, and evidence. Asking employers if there is a
      shortage is like asking a ReMax agent if you should buy a house, the agenda should be obvious.

      Worth nothing, objective studies never determine that there is any great shortages.

      Number of applications != Number of good applicants

  • by Stiletto (12066) on Saturday December 24, 2011 @11:09PM (#38486258)

    Pay peanuts, get monkeys.

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