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Best Places To Work In IT 2010

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the wish-you-were-here dept.

Businesses 205

CWmike writes "These top-rated IT workplaces combine choice benefits with hot technologies and on-target training. Computerworld's 17th annual report highlights the employers firing on all cylinders. The Employer Scorecard ranks IT firms based on best benefits, retention, training, diversity, and career development. Also read what IT staffs have to say about job satisfaction. How's your workplace, IT folk?" Read below for a quick look at the top 10 IT workplaces according to this survey.
1. USAA; 2. Booz Allen Hamilton Inc.; 3. JM Family Enterprises Inc.; 4. General Mills Inc.; 5. University of Pennsylvania; 6. SAS Institute Inc.; 7. Quicken Loans Inc.; 8. Verizon Wireless; 9. Securian Financial Group Inc.; 10. Salesforce.com Inc.

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missing from the list (5, Insightful)

mentil (1748130) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649654)

Independent contractor

Re:missing from the list (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650078)

That must have been ranked 0 and fell off the list.

Re:missing from the list (1)

Mipoti Gusundar (1028156) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650316)

INDIA!

soon will be only optian.

Re:missing from the list (2, Interesting)

bbbaldie (935205) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651130)

Couple of interesting points here. First of all Quicken Loans seems to make the list every year, while others come and go. Sounds like the real deal to me. However... Second, I can recall 8 years or so back that Walmart was up there. At the time, they had a strong anti-outsourcing policy. NOW, they outsource all they can. And they are missing from the list. Remember when Walmart also had a strong "Buy American!" policy? :-P I guess the moral is it may be great to work somewhere now, but brace yourself...

Re:missing from the list (0)

EriDay (679359) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651248)

I tried working for those guys before.

They suck!

Verizon? (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649656)

I'm stunned. You'd think given this earlier story [slashdot.org] they wouldn't be anywhere near the top.

Re:Verizon? (2, Informative)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649706)

I'm guessing it's an IT staff vs. Sales staff discrepancy.

Re:Verizon? (2, Insightful)

OneAhead (1495535) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652024)

UserFriendly's law: a company can be a good workplace for IT staff or a good workplace for salespeople. You cannot have both at once.

Re:Verizon? (1)

boog3r (62427) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649980)

There is also a huge difference between verizon's wireless, landline and longhaul divisions.

Outside the US? (0, Troll)

kickme_hax0r (968593) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649662)

What about for those of us that don't like the US and definitely don't want to work there?

Re:Outside the US? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649692)

if I had to guess, I'd say no one cares about you.

Re:Outside the US? (2, Funny)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649750)

You can get your own Computer World site ;)

Though it is odd that they consider themselves "the leading source of technology news and information for IT influencers worldwide [computerworld.com] " but only mention in a few places that this was "a random sample of their U.S.-based full- and part-time IT staffs. [computerworld.com] "

Re:Outside the US? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649762)

What about for those of us that don't like the US and definitely don't want to work there?

Then please don't read American publications and give us a favor to stay were you are!

Re:Outside the US? (4, Funny)

bendodge (998616) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649776)

(There doesn't appear to be a right answer here, so I'll go for vaguely funny.) Those of us in the US wonder why you're such a grouch?

Re:Outside the US? (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649832)

You're out of luck. According to this list ALL top 100 best places to work happen to be in the US! Or maybe this is a survey of US companies only.

I work in my mom's basement (2, Funny)

NoBozo99 (836289) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649670)

you insensitive clod!

Re:I work in my mom's basement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649690)

Oh yeah? Well, I work your mom in her basement. She always tells me how sensitive you are, clod.

Re:I work in my mom's basement (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650018)

Too bad it didn't make the cut, your mom's basement is #11.

The best place (3, Insightful)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649718)

In 2010, the best place is the place that will hire you.

In 2010, the best place chooses you!

Re:The best place (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650812)

In 2010 Soviet Russia, *you* can choose your employer!

What now? (1)

skam240 (789197) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649732)

I just looked at the map for a second but why on earth is Oakland 200 miles North of San Francisco when the two cities are basically right next to each other?

Re:What now? (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649774)

Probably the same reason Cleveland, OH and Columbus, OH aren't quite in the right spot either. Someone guessed? Threw a dart at a real map until they got "close enough."

Re:What now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649830)

I just looked at the map for a second but why on earth is Oakland 200 miles North of San Francisco when the two cities are basically right next to each other?

It has to do with the fact that the state of California is a geologically active zone, with magma underneath the Earth's surface pushing terrestrial ground in all directions. It is a process that geologists call plate tectonics, and is what causes earth quakes in California, and what will eventually lead to California sinking into the ocean when the catastrophic "Big One" finally occurs. So, in California, the ground is always literally moving beneath your feet, so one can never truly trust maps of California because, through the process of geological subduction and deep earth lava flow, the ground is always moving.

If you look at a map of the Globe, you will notice that the shape of the various continents are complimentary to each other, indicating that they were initially not only beside each other, but actually part of the same land mass. The continents have separated because of this very same plate tectonic phenomena. The same thing is happening with the cities of Oakland and San Francisco. Given enough time the two cities will eventually be on opposite sides of the world, just like North America and China.

I hope this answers your question.

Signed,

the Science AC Guy

Re:What now? (1)

skam240 (789197) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649974)

Awesome, so I'm looking at some kind of future map that defies what we know of current plate lines!? I was hoping something like this would be labeled with the locations of the human concentration camps so I could know where I will be living after the great robot revolution

Re:What now? (1)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649982)

Try driving it during rush hour, which in the Bay Area is "most of the time." Then you'll see that they're 200 miles apart, and the direction doesn't matter.

Re:What now? (1)

skam240 (789197) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649984)

Done it, I live in Sonoma County. Oakland still doesn't add up to 200 miles north by any sane measurement.

Re:What now? (1)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650086)

WHOOSH

This is clearly a bogus list... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649742)

No Google? Seriously?

Clearly, this is a list generated from companies who had to submit their own scorecard... I don't see any of the top tech companies on the list...

Re:This is clearly a bogus list... (1)

ArbitraryDescriptor (1257752) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649790)

I would not be surprised to learn that the top IT companies are soul-eating meat grinders as far as their IT grunts are concerned. The line of geeks lining up to work at Google, even at the cost of semi-useful organs, stretches around the block. No one dreams of a job managing a network for Kraft Foods.

Re:This is clearly a bogus list... (2, Interesting)

Antony T Curtis (89990) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650306)

Personally, I am very surprised that Google wasn't on that list.

When I worked at Google, it had a lot of stuff going for it: Reasonable pay, free food, free snacks, free massages, relaxed work environment (as long as you don't mind dodging the occasional finger-rocket or nerf dart), bunch of smart people and a lot more benefits not listed here.

I would say that Google is an excellent place to work for 99.9% of hard-core nerds.

Re:This is clearly a bogus list... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649872)

I have a on-site interview with Google this week so I will be really disappointed to go there and find the cafeteria closed.

Norton Healthcare (5, Funny)

ArbitraryDescriptor (1257752) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649752)

Pro: IT Staff is 75% Female

Con: 66% of IT Staff also claimed to be Night Elves

Re:Norton Healthcare (2, Funny)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649946)

Racist!

Distinction... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649756)

Does this include real engineers, or just "IT workers"?

Re:Distinction... (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649788)

It's been my experience that any fortune 500 company will have a diversified IT department. The staff ranges from network engineers, sysadmins, support, and development.

Re:Distinction... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32650166)

Betting it just means "IT staff", since quite a few of those companies have no engineering staff at all.

Oh, I am sorry, you meant software "programmer"? Your not an engineer unless you are willing to take responsibility for what you create.

Re:Distinction... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32650484)

Ok, you get to call yourself an 'engineer', meanwhile I'll keep taking home a paycheck about 4 times as big as yours! (lowly web dev consultant checking in)

Re:Distinction... (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651380)

You don't have to be a real professional engineer with qualifications recognised by an association of professional engineers, a four year degree or equivalent etc etc to work effectively in IT. Instead you can do a multiple choice test and call yourself an "engineer" (MSCE in the bad old days) or the even harder to attain title outside of IT - "architect". The title is not really relevant to the skill set or job description, most IT bears very little resemblence to any form of engineering.
So the answer is probably no "real engineers" at all unless they have wandered in from another profession or are the comparitative rare "computer systems engineers" of which there is probably one to every hundred in IT that call themselves "engineers".
But then again historically guys that drove trains were called engineers so call yourself anything you like. If you are going to do that just be prepared for the data entry people that write occasional macros to use the same title.
Anyway, back when I was studying to be a professional engineer I noticed that over in computer science more than half the students were female. Out in the workforce I eventually wandered into IT and most places had zero to two percent female programmers. Where did all those girls go?

Re:Distinction... (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651512)

Anyway, back when I was studying to be a professional engineer I noticed that over in computer science more than half the students were female. Out in the workforce I eventually wandered into IT and most places had zero to two percent female programmers. Where did all those girls go?

1950's answer: Didn't you know college is for finding someone to marry?
Today's answer: Every place I've been has had a 50% male-female split for programmers, and 75%male/25%female split for sysadmins. Maybe your businesses had poor benefits and/or inflexible hours?

Observations and Questions (2, Interesting)

BBCWatcher (900486) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649778)

1. This list looks like it only covers the United States. That's too bad.
2. Moreover, most companies on the list don't have much business outside the U.S. Interesting.
3. There's a very wide variation in IT's percentage of the total company workforce, and there doesn't seem to be any pattern to that variability. Considering that the biggest part of the IT budget is typically salaries and benefits, it would be interesting to know why some companies consume so much more IT labor than others, even within the same industries.
4. Do any of these companies' IT workers enjoy the benefits of a collective bargaining agreement, or are they "at-will" employees?
5. IT contractors and temporary workers aren't mentioned, nor are outsourcing agreements. Are those workers excluded from the survey? It looks like it. Some (or many) of the company's IT workers may not actually work for the company, and they may be miserable, while IT employees who get paychecks directly from the company might be thrilled.

US conditions have no international effect (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649904)

For example. Take Adobe. In the USA its an okay company to work for.
In India, its like a dictatorship.
Employees have to sign in when they enter, and every time they exit they sign out. The system computes their time in office, and employees who do not spend 40 hours in office every week are required to compensate by putting in long hours on other days.
Shortfall means bad hikes and low ranking. How much work you do does not matter.

Re:US conditions have no international effect (1)

Glonoinha (587375) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651112)

Time-in starts when they walk in the building, and time-out is when they exit the building?
They only have to clear 40 hours per week to be in the good graces of management?
And they aren't measured by the quality of their output?

Sounds like they got it pretty easy to me.

Re:Observations and Questions (0, Flamebait)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649932)

This list looks like it only covers the United States. That's too bad.

Well, it was written for a US audience.

Moreover, most companies on the list don't have much business outside the U.S. Interesting.

Not really. Lots of IT outsourced to India, China, Canada, etc. Lower salary generally correlates with lower quality of life, the main reason for outsourcing. Something is keeping them geographically or economically locked into not outsourcing.

it would be interesting to know why some companies consume so much more IT labor than others, even within the same industries.

Mergers. Work duplication. Poor management. Continually patching up existing infrastructure instead of investing in new infrastructure (creeping maintenance costs). Outsourcing. Lack of interdepartmental cooperation. Consultants.

Do any of these companies' IT workers enjoy the benefits of a collective bargaining agreement, or are they "at-will" employees?

Fuck no, this is America.

IT contractors and temporary workers aren't mentioned, nor are outsourcing agreements. Are those workers excluded from the survey?

Contractors and temporary workers are difficult to count, since there's contractors, subcontractors, subsubcontractors, and layers upon layers of tax evasion going on to keep that aspect of the labor market alive. Just about anyone who's a contractor or temporary worker will tell you -- any permanent job is better than this. So there's little reason to ask how they're treated: We all know the answer.

Some (or many) of the company's IT workers may not actually work for the company, and they may be miserable, while IT employees who get paychecks directly from the company might be thrilled.

Well, yeah. Been there, done that. You know why they're thrilled? Dental. Paid vacation. A cube that isn't shared with a smelly guy who sleeps in your chair every night. The list goes on...

Re:Observations and Questions (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650102)

This list looks like it only covers the United States.
Yes the elite coasts too, what have they got that the fly over states do not?

Re:Observations and Questions (2, Insightful)

jmcbain (1233044) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650874)

Of course it's for the US only. ComputerWorld is a US publication. Slashdot is a US website. If you want something for your own country, why are you even reading the articles posted here? Go to one appropriate for your own country. Use some common sense. That's like me reading a Japanese publication about best IT companies and expecting it to cover US companies.

Outsourcing... (1)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649782)

I wonder what they consider "IT"? As I know in the top 25, some of those firms outsource significant portions of their IT infrastructure out to 3rd parties such as IBM Global Services or EDS/HP....

Best? Why just best? (2, Insightful)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649784)

Next we need a list of Most Slack Places to Work in IT 2010.

Re:Best? Why just best? (1)

JustOK (667959) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650726)

no one would complete the surveys

Re:Best? Why just best? (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650832)

Who needs a survey for that? Just look for the BOB symbol on the entrance wall...

1# USAA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649812)

For a while I thought it meant United States Air Force Academy. Interesting I never heard of United Services Automobile Association, and I never guess there main product is insurance.

Re:1# USAA? (1)

pogle (71293) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652066)

As a customer of theirs, and having seen the level of superb customer service they offer, it comes as no surprise that they'd be a great place to work as well.

It'd be nice if I actually lived close enough to one of their locations to apply. I'm stuck in the morass that is the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area, where it seems all IT is either not hiring, or wants 80hr work weeks as the norm.

Bullshit criteria (4, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649886)

Wow - the biggest criteria of them all - typical salary - isn't even on the list.

I'd rather have a lot more bucks and crappy benefits than a bunch of 'great' benefits which I may never even use but also serve to tie employees to the employer and reduce upward career mobility.

Re:Bullshit criteria (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651956)

It's funny (to me) that you say this because I recently watched a video that told me money isn't a motivator [youtube.com] . I'm sure it's someone trying to pitch their ideology on me. I don't know about you, but I'll gladly take a raise. I have a house to buy and I don't want to go "cheap."

Bad places to work (4, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649896)

I worked at a company that was in the top 50 on the Fortune 500. They were renowned for their tolerance and diversity. I was fired from that place for being gay. Don't believe everything you read, folks. The best places to work won't be found through survey questions; The best place to work, is a place you can respect and that respects you.

Re:Bad places to work (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32650082)

I worked at a company that was in the top 50 on the Fortune 500. They were renowned for their tolerance and diversity. I was fired from that place for being gay.

Interesting accusation, even though you leave us with ZERO details.

How do you know you were fired because you were gay?
What company was it?
Did they TELL you that you were fired because you were gay?
Did you file and win a law suit against this company?
Did other non-gay girls complain that you were sexually harassing them?

Without these types of details, your anecdote is quite worthless.

Re:Bad places to work (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650114)

I'd mod you insightful but I already posted.

I find the best places to work are small companies, the big ones are often full of ignorant professional manager types, political types, and useless people who get promoted for hanging around for a long time.

Re:Bad places to work (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651496)

On the other hand if the company is small enough that you know the deadbeat forklift driver that is dating the bosses daughter is going to be head of engineering within a year - run!
Family companies can be horrible places to work if you are not in the actual family. They can expect you to put in a lot of time for free, delay paychecks for weeks for the hours you are being paid for and not even understand why their employees are upset, especially when it's no secret that the pay is being held up so the money can go into a lavish party for family members.
Somewhere between the two extremes is nice.

Re:Bad places to work (0, Troll)

TheCowSaysMooNotBoo (997535) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650344)

Yes, companies fire people for being gay so they can get sued. I'm also really really sure that your statement with zero context is 100% factually correct.

Re:Bad places to work (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32651176)

Yes, companies fire people for being gay so they can get sued. I'm also really really sure that your statement with zero context is 100% factually correct.

Sexual orientation is not a protected class in most states, and there is no federal statute, so you can't sue for being fired for being gay.

Poeple frequently get fired for trivial reasons (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651458)

There's two answers given as to why people get fired for such trivial reasons. There's the real trivial reason that the person with the power to fire doesn't like the person they fired because of x,y or z - then there's the official lie of incompetance, insuborbination or whatever comes down to one person's word against another.
You need truly incompetant management for it to be obvious to a court that they have fired somebody because they are gay or whatever the real reason is - but then again a definition of good management is to only fire people for good reasons because it's a pain to replace them.

Re:Bad places to work (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32650478)

And here the /. hivemind thought you were a ma'am, bro - or perhaps it's one of those 'complicated' identities :)

Re:Bad places to work (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32651390)

And here the /. hivemind thought you were a ma'am, bro - or perhaps it's one of those 'complicated' identities :)

You realize that the term 'gay' applies to both men and women, right? It's a misconception that 'gay' is always the opposite of 'lesbian'.

Re:Bad places to work (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650584)

You sure it was not because you were hitting on co workers?

Also I learned that companies are not one big thing. They are a lot of smaller departments and one department can be great to be working in, the other is a complete nightmare. It also depends from person to person. I have worked with a company where friends of mine would not be able to work under the conditions I had to work with. I loved it.

Re:Bad places to work (2, Insightful)

leomekenkamp (566309) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651078)

You sure it was not because you were hitting on co workers?

Assuming most workplaces have workers of both sexes: would you have asked the same question if gp would have stated to be straight instead of gay?

Re:Bad places to work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32651366)

Whether you want to believe it or not, gays tend to be more sexual individuals. Combine that with a straight person who isn't comfortable getting hit on by someone of the same gender and you have a problem. Gay men, at least, tend to latch onto and almost encourage straight women to hit on them.

People need to realize it's not always the same both ways and accept that.

Re:Bad places to work (4, Interesting)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650634)

I've been working as a freelancer in IT for large banks in London for a couple of years now and all of them have Charity programs.

The common thing to all those programs is that employees are expected to donate their own personal time and/or money to make the company look good. I have yet to see one in which the company donated worker-hours to charity.

It's all PR on the cheap: that's the way they work.

Thus I'm not at all surprised when their "Diversity" programs tend to really be about projecting an image of "forward thinking and hip" to attract young (and easilly impressed) employees and pre-emptivelly avoid anti-discrimination laws and lawsuits, not about being inclusive.

Where? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32651344)

Why don't you tell us where?

Re:Bad places to work (2, Funny)

HogGeek (456673) | more than 4 years ago | (#32652050)

Well, then stop being so damn happy!

Obviously you're too young to realize that organizations want sad and dreary workers. Thats why google is wrong [slashdot.org]

Bullshit (3, Insightful)

dlgeek (1065796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32649976)

I just can't take the article seriously. You would think the top 100 'best places to work in IT' would include Google somewhere near the top, but it didn't even make the list. The United States Postal Service is a better place to work IT than Google? Ya right. This from a survey that claims 93% of respondents say the most important factor is the work environment. It's missing all the top tech companies - Google, Amazon, Microsoft, any of the gaming companies, Sun, etc. etc. None of the top tech companies make the list at all? Complete and utter bullshit.

Re:Bullshit (2, Interesting)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650290)

Google provides a whole bunch of perks, but it also expects you to essentially never leave the office(which is part of why they provide all those perks in the first place. In addition, not everyone at Google is going to be a super genius designing new ideas, someone will be supporting their server farms, desktops, and all the usual crap. I would hazard a guess that the top tier Google employees are probably quite happy, but that their infrastructure IT staff are probably fairly miserable.

Re:Bullshit (4, Interesting)

Antony T Curtis (89990) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650358)

I wouldn't say that their infrastructure IT staff are miserable.

Overworked, maybe... Often frustrated... Over-ambitious but unable to effect change, frequently.
Occasionally awakened by their pager, repeatedly, from 3am for the 4th night in a row.... Been there.
But I wouldn't ever use the word miserable.

(Former Google SRE)

Re:Bullshit (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650904)

I dunno man, that description sounds like a crap job to me. But maybe Google manages to only hire masochists, so nobody dislikes it?

If nothing else, I think I would put "employer woke me up at 3am four nights in a row" somewhere on my list of: how you know you need a new job.

Re:Bullshit (2, Insightful)

pasamio (737659) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651172)

To be honest that sounds like any 24 hour systems support role to me, pretty standard fare. Not a great job but someone has to do it and for that line it is a fact of life. Given a sufficiently large organisation someone is in a position where they're going to be paged at weird hours and depending on how your on call works (different people for different days, different people per week, etc) four nights in a row doesn't sound that hard.

Re:Bullshit (3, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651266)

I suppose I've been pampered, but I've never really worked at or known people who've worked at an organization like that, except at very small startups (and there, you know what you're getting, because you know nobody else is on staff). At big engineering firms, there's generally enough staff that, unless it's a totally anomalous disaster (say, the current BP mess), normal operations staff should be able to handle any reasonable contingency. If you need 24-hour staffing, you hire 24-hour staffing: you have shifts of people set up so that someone is always in the office, on the clock, able to handle any likely scenarios. Occasionally, you do have to page people and wake them up when they're off work, but it had better be a genuine once-in-a-decade emergency if you do that, not some "oh the server is down" BS that happens every other month.

Maybe it's a difference between tech-engineering and real engineering? I know people with 40+ year careers in chemical engineering who've been woken up at night probably twice in their entire careers, and those were genuine emergencies. I think they would've been looking for new jobs, and considered their employers incompetent, if people were being woken up multiple times per year for supposed "emergencies". That's the sign of an engineering firm that doesn't know how to handle routine operations.

Re:Bullshit (1)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651434)

Maybe it's a difference between tech-engineering and real engineering? I know people with 40+ year careers in chemical engineering who've been woken up at night probably twice in their entire careers, and those were genuine emergencies. I think they would've been looking for new jobs, and considered their employers incompetent, if people were being woken up multiple times per year for supposed "emergencies". That's the sign of an engineering firm that doesn't know how to handle routine operations.

A tech firm that goes to the same lengths to ensure 100% problem-free operation would get out-innovated by every other firm. In chemical engineering, the cost of failure is very high. In tech engineering, the cost of failure is very low -- just restart the server.

Re:Bullshit (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651706)

Is that really the case with Google, though? It's not making do with a few employees, or slim margins. They have 20,000 employees on staff. Twenty thousand! Surely with that kind of payroll they can afford to keep their operations group staffed up 24/7?

Re:Bullshit IT innovation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32652096)

There is 100% problem free and there is "Let's try not to screw up the same way twice."
I've been woken up multiple nights in a row due to queue problems for a label printer. Management never saw the benefit of buying an extra label printer and loaning it to the company that did the printer software to fix the drivers. And management never saw the benefit of offloading typical queue maintenance to the 24x7 operations group. The problem was a failure to innovate.

I've been woken up multiple nights in a row due to an overflow of oracle transaction log archives. Noone would listen to "Maybe there needs to be a gigabit link into the backup server and there probably needs to be a gigabit link on the sap BW servers." Again, a failure to innovate.

I've lost the most sleep to problems that had existed well before I got there, and due to an unwillingness to innovate persist long after I've left.

Re:Bullshit (2, Interesting)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651438)

In a place as large as Google with as many servers as they have, you should really have enough people on call that you don't end up getting called that many days in a row(for that matter, your systems shouldn't go down that many days in a row) except on rare occasions.

I do not work for nor have I ever worked for Google, but the impression I've always gotten is that their top tier engineering talent practically sleeps there, can you imagine what they make the grunts do?

Re:Bullshit (1)

Johnzo (94306) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650360)

> It's missing all the top tech companies - Google, Amazon, Microsoft, any of the gaming companies, Sun, etc. etc

Why would Amazon be on such a list?

Engineering != IT (1)

jmcbain (1233044) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650892)

Of course Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, etc. are not in the list. Those are software and computer engineering companies. This list is for places to work in IT, which is not the same as engineering. IT is about system administration, tech support, and having your life sucked out of you. Engineering is about designing features, implementing products, and having your life sucked out of you.

Re:Engineering != IT (1)

rgrbrny (857597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651232)

Of course Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, etc. are not in the list. Those are software and computer engineering companies

...and yet SAS is on the list, the world's largest privately held software company.

Re:Engineering != IT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32651946)

I hope they die a slow, painful death in the coming decades.

Re:Bullshit (1)

Hollinger (16202) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650932)

I just can't take the article seriously. You would think the top 100 'best places to work in IT' would include Google somewhere near the top, but it didn't even make the list.

Well, the difference here is that you're looking at those that develop IT (Microsoft, Google, even Amazon to an extent) and those that leverage IT in non-engineering businesses (the article's list). A more interesting list would be the Top 10 or Top 100 places to work in engineering.

The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For [cnn.com] is probably what you're looking for. Several of my friends work at National Instruments for example, and every year for the last decade or so they've been on that list (they put a banner on the side of their headquarters proudly proclaiming it to all those that happen to drive by on a nearby freeway). You'll also find Google, Cisco, Adobe, Microsoft, etc.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32651056)

It's missing all the top tech companies - Google, Amazon, Microsoft, any of the gaming companies, Sun, etc. etc. None of the top tech companies make the list at all? Complete and utter bullshit.

You mean those gaming companies that are constantly getting sued due to their atrocious work conditions? Or Microsoft, who lost a court case for worker abuse of temps? Yeah, I can't imagine why those aren't on the list... *rolls eyes*

Re:Bullshit (1)

II Xion II (1420223) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651086)

Microsoft did not make the list simply because there is a distinct lack of places to sit for employees. Who wants a job, when you can't even have a chair?

Re:Bullshit, yes google is bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32651936)

I thought the place was bat shit insane after the first round of phone interviews.
"Hello, I'm the primary transport for the kids in my household. Due to custody reasons they stay where they are now. I'm not relocating any time soon." The concepts seemed foreign to them.

If you are very bright with OCD, or other mental defects, and don't mind management using your mental defects to take advantage of you, google might be a good place to work.
But I'll work for another commercial/retail bank before I'd work for google.

Interactive Map? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32649988)

It puts Oakland and Mountain View north of Golden Gate Bridge.
I guess Computer World is not in the Silicon Valley and definitely not cartographers.

One of the top 50 ?? (3, Interesting)

mikein08 (1722754) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650104)

I worked as a contractor at one of the top 50 companies listed in the survey. I will say that I respected my boss, but she was way over-worked and over-stressed and so far as I know her boss wasn't doing anything to alleviate that. No one was keeping an eye on the quality of coding being done. Program and system documentation was non-existant. The fairly new (at that time) Oracle database group was essentially non-responsive to the needs and requirements of the group I worked in, and they were not taking responsibility for their actions or lack thereof. There was an incredible amount of data redundancy between groups in IT, and an incredible lack of integration of different IT functions. Employees were working a lot of OT. The production support group bordered on incompetent. Very often, people working different projects were changing the same program, and keeping those changes straight bordered on the impossible. There were multiple testing environments and it is was often difficult to impossible to get copies of production data to test against. The same was true for QA environments, but the QA testers did their damndest to do a good job. Oh, and because the DOD was a major customer, it dictated how almost everything could be done - including the fact that you could not test program changes against copies of live data. But this is one of the top fifty best companies to work for? I wouldn't go back there for what I was making at the time. The stress, amound of overhead, lack of training, lack of documentation, lack of managerial support, lack of managerial foresight, highly rigid (unchangeable) environment make it a non-enjoyable place to work. If this company is rank between 40th and 50th on the list, I can't imagine how bad it must be lower down on the list.

Sigh of relief (1)

somenickname (1270442) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650150)

For every person that looked at this list to further their career, I wonder how many looked at it just to verify that, no, thankfully, their job is *not* as good as it gets.

So Then The Best Place To Live For IT Workers.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32650362)

is the Chicago suburbs or New Jersey.... At least according to that little map showing all the places on their list. Yea... somebodies on crack.

never trust these results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32650516)

Never trust these sorts of surveys... I used to work for a company that used to be always ranked very highly. When other people came to audit or investigate they would make sure that everyone who was even remotely negative about the organisation had leave those days.. A great way to skew the results of the people coming into assess what is going on. Of course by skewing it and making sure that only the people who they wanted spoke to the people it made the company very successful.

Bottom 10 (1)

pearl298 (1585049) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650524)

Actually I would like a list of the BOTTOM 10 or so! I want a job that leaves me doing NOTHING while I collect a paycheck until I get fired for no reason. That way i can take 7 or 8 such jobs and make LOTS of $$$ ROTFL LMAO!

Re:Bottom 10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32650800)

Working for the government (any country) should suit you.

The thing with these types of survey... (3, Insightful)

ewrong (1053160) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650568)

Is that they are really lists of: "The 100 companies that are best at convincing their staff to fill in the questionnaire favourably for some vague promise of reward".

Re:The thing with these types of survey... (1)

MadKeithV (102058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650630)

The 100 companies with staff dumb enough to fall for it.

Opinion from 15 years on the field, 10 companies (5, Insightful)

Aceticon (140883) | more than 4 years ago | (#32650820)

I've been working in IT as a Software Developer for 15 years now, worked for 10 companies in 3 different countries (i've been a freelancer/contractor for the last 7 years) and across 4 different industries (IT Services, IT Products, Finance, Publishing)

I can tell you that, if you're a really gifted Software Developer in the beginning of your career, the best places to work don't even appear in these surveys:
- In my experience, the best place to start in IT as a Software Developer is a small IT consultancy

In big companies, bureaucracy is rife and mind-numbing - things like getting access to a development Linux machine for example can take from several days (if all you need is an account on an existing machine) to months (if you need a new machine). In a small company you can set-up your own machine (dual boot ur desktop: no prob) or just have a chat with you friendly local sysadmin (often another developer) to get access to one - in a big company you have to fill-in one or more request forms and if it's only getting a new account in an existing machine if you're lucky it will end up in the queue for some guy in India to do at the end of the following week.

In small companies, if you're good you'll be noticed (you're not just another number in a ledger) and they'll give you all kinds of challenging stuff to do - in the beginning of your career this is the fastest way to get exposures to all kinds of technologies. In a large company you're stuck in a corner doing a limited number of things, probably working on an existing, long lived system, whose only educational value is to be an example of how not to design/code software and you won't easilly become known in other teams as being a really good coder and thus getting a chance to work on other systems.

Working in an IT company is better that in a non-IT one for a very simple reason:
- In an IT company (especially services) you are in a profit-centre: the group you are in contributes directly or in a very straightforward way to the company's revenues and profit. They'll be a lot more keen on best practices (including such basic ones as promoting code reuse) and actual development processes (for example Agile) usually with a much beter approach to preparing for a project before coding even starts.
- In a non-IT company you're in a cost-centre: the group you are in costs money and does not visibly contribute to the company's bottom line. There will much less emphasys in optimizing the software development process (since it's results are not as easy to measure) and, especially in large companies, you are much less likelly to find widespread code-reuse programs or any kind of formal or semi-formal software development process (large company's CTOs are often promoted from infrastructure groups - i.e. setting up networks, installing systems - or the business, and are better know for their self-promotion or golfing skills than for their strategic approach to IT).

As for the difference between IT Products and IT Services companies, the former just have a much smaller variance of technologies you might be exposed to (since they concentrate on a couple of products) while the later, having many projects for many client will have a lot more opportunities for learning new technologies.

I strongly advise you to keep away from large well know IT Consultancies since:
- They're sweat shops
- They outsource most of the low level work to India and as an entry level developer you will end up doing only local installation/maintenance tasks (that cannot be outsourced) and/or being trained as a Consultant (which is more of salesman than a techie).

Re:Opinion from 15 years on the field, 10 companie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32651758)

I couldn't agree more with this post. As a developer, working for a small consultancy early on in your career can do wonders for your upward mobility later as it will give you a good breadth of experience and help you lay a solid foundation of technical and client management skills.

As a rule of thumb it is a good idea to stay away from the big consultancies, but some mid sized ones (SunGard Consulting Services comes to mind) combine the comfort, relative safety, and availability of dollars for thing like training and conferences of a big consulting firm with the nimbleness and acceptance of new tech of a smaller shop. Also, be sure to do your research on the culture of different regional offices inside any consulting firm as they are very dependent on the management style of the managing partner in charge of the office and can vary wildly from one city to the next.

"diversity" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32650926)

Means not being white; in other words, another form of racism. So instead of a post-racial world dictated not by the color of one's skin but rather the content of their character, we have garbage like this reinforcing the notion of a racial pecking order.

Booz Allen??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32651200)

BAH is one of those places that is nice to have on a resume, but while you are there, they work you to death. Wearing suits to the office, drowning in "officialese" and 60 hour (salaried) workweek are the staples of the place. Great if you are straight out of college and looking for resume fodder.

At least in the DC area, BAH is referred to as a "nice place to have been from."

What are those "best benefits"? (4, Interesting)

LordKronos (470910) | more than 4 years ago | (#32651328)

When I read that the University of Pennsylvania has the best benefit, I said "oh really? like what?". So I went to look further. Does it say anything about typical salary? Nope. Vacation time? Nope. Retirement account (401a,403b) matching? Nope. Anything about how good their health insurance is? Nope. Do they offer free tuition for my family? It doesn't say. This article just says "best benefits" and then offers absolutely zero explanation of exactly why it got that ranking (other than mentioning free tuition for career related course, which is the norm for almost any college or university).

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