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

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the we're-all-in-the-same-chain-gang dept.

Businesses 235

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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err (4, Insightful)

Tsingi (870990) | more than 2 years ago | (#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 (4, Insightful)

lalena (1221394) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481248)

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 (5, Insightful)

frisket (149522) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481316)

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:err (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481654)

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 any more commitment to them? And once they've got these 20-somethings "trained", do they increase their pay accordingly? No, they just expect them to keep working for the original pay scale and for obscenely long hours without any reward or recompense beyond the pay cheque they agreed to a couple years earlier.

I have no sympathy for companies who treat their people so shabbily.

There are good companies to work for, and I lucked into a few of those over the years, but they're the exception, not the rule. When you find a company that treats you well, you treat them well and build a reputation for yourself if you're smart about your career. Money is a short term goal; a career is a lifetime.

msobkow -- Can I blame forgetting my password on age? :D

Re:err (4, Informative)

Xyrus (755017) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481714)

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.

Re:err (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481778)

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 explain why Windows is better than Linux, but they won't apply the same to staff.

Re:err (3, Insightful)

SonnyDog09 (1500475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481876)

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.

Re:err (4, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482044)

You can't exclusively forage. Sometimes, you need to plant.

Re:err (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482886)

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.

Well, I can understand the hesitation (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481720)

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 things is always a requirement.

So despite experience, you can end up having a less productive worker. This is particularly true because every IT system I've ever seen is unique. No matter what you experience, you don't come in at 100% on day one, it takes time to learn it and get trained up. If you are the resistant to learning, that can mean never getting up to 100%.

Just understand that with upsides there are downsides too. We just hired a new guy at work who's older, and he has these problems in a mild way. In general he's good but he's awful stuck on mainframes as being the end-all computer solution, since he used to work on them at IBM for years. That's nice, but we can't afford one and never will be able to so it is useless to discuss it.

An example of it in a more extreme capacity is our older professors. Some absolutely refuse to update their knowledge. I've butted heads with one of them over upgrading Cadence because the old version (9.2, like 11 years old) just flat out won't work on new systems. The new version is very similar, our student figured it out in about 10 minutes, but the professor just doesn't want to learn anything new.

Re:Well, I can understand the hesitation (4, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Well, I can understand the hesitation (1)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482086)

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.

Ok but here's the thing (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482088)

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 ten gigabit. I am not going to go and move back to 10 megabit thin-net and token ring.

Like I said the other part of the problem is refusing to learn new things in terms of the new to them system at a new job. Everyone does things differently. Every job has learning that needs to be done to do it well.

My point is just that older workers are not some wonderful boon of experience with no downfalls other than wanting more money. Like younger workers, they have downfalls as well, different ones, but they have them. Refusal to learn/being stuck in the past is a common one.

You are prejudiced (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38482478)

A workplace uses old technology A and it does it's job despite being old and dull. New guy doesn't like it and talks about how much better technology B is and how that should be used. Still "not a useful situation"?

Would you consider moving from gigabit Ethernet to 100 gigabit fiber (FDDI)? Even though that's "moving back"?

Face it: you are prejudiced and that's stupid. You think "new" is a feature to be counted equal weight with "does stuff" features.

Re:Well, I can understand the hesitation (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482908)

"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.

Re:err (2)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482010)

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.

Re:err (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481424)

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.

Re:err (2)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482524)

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.

Re:err (1)

twrake (168507) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482642)

From TFA,The young staff has told HFA to dump the legacy and start over. Given the decade of conflict with music industry challaging and the tech industry on rights issues TFA has it's hand full to get talented young programmers.

I think the younger staff see this type of organization as a dead end in an organization that has a single core business and has a difficult time adapting to change...and has a limited growth business model.

Take your money and the next offer (ANY offer) out of this place.

East Coast v West Coast? It is in the /. title not in the TFA.

Re:err (1)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482236)

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 point they cease to be "above market". It may be that this is the new reality for hiring managers. That is to say, even if they do everything right (e.g. above average compensation, developers are respected, good work environment, high quality hardware and tools, wise and effective management, scheduled pay increases, etc.) their developers will still "get bored" and bail after 2-3 years. Just plan for it.

Re:err (1)

pepty (1976012) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482940)

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.

I don't think you have to go that far. Say instead they will be happy staying at the ideal company, and furthermore be generous and say that 1 in 10 companies are ideal. 2-3 years from now that list of ideal companies has turned over due to changes in management, technology, and the market, so only 3 of the original 10 are still ideal. 2-3 years after that you're down to 1. At the 5 year mark only 1% of companies have remained ideal.

Re:err (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482502)

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.

It doesn't matter. Either is fine. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481220)

Programmers from the American East Coast are fine. Programmers from the American West Coast are fine. Programmers from Europe are fine. Programmers from Japan are fine. Programmers from Canada are fine. Programmers from Australia and New Zealand are fine. But don't bother hiring anybody else. Third-worlders just can't develop software.

Re:It doesn't matter. Either is fine. (2)

maple_shaft (1046302) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481282)

Do you realize how racist that sounds? Everybody you claim to be a good programmer is essentially from a predominantly Caucasian country. Third world countries have poor schools, desperate people who lie on resumes to get jobs they are not qualified for, and scummy managers who exploit big money contracts and give cheap subpar talent. It has absolutely nothing to do with people in Third World countries being poor programmers in general. They are just being exploited.

Re:It doesn't matter. Either is fine. (2, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481372)

I for one welcome our Japanese Caucasian overlords.

Why the false cries of racism? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481530)

Uhh, I saw absolutely no mention of race in the GP's comment. And have you ever been to any of those countries that were listed? They aren't "predominantly Caucasian" any longer. Maybe that was true in the 1920s, but times have changed. The American western coast is now predominantly Hispanic and black, with a large Asian minority. The American eastern coast is predominantly black, up until about NYC where it becomes a complete mix with no group dominating. The major Canadian cities are much like NYC, where everybody is a minority, especially whites. Western Europe has many Middle Easterners and North Africans these days. Germany has a huge Turkish minority. Australian cities have had a massive number of Chinese and Southeast Asians migrate in. Oddly, of the countries he listed, Japan is the only one that has a predominantly homogeneous society, and it isn't even Caucasian!

Why do people like you yell and scream "RACISM!" any time somebody brings up how programmers from the third-world are inferior, especially when it has absolutely nothing to do with race, but rather training and education? Do you feel guilty? Do you have a hidden, deep-seated racism boiling in your blood that you're trying to hide by taking a strong public stance against racism? That's the only explanation I can see. You're like the hardline conservative male politicians in America who rally against homosexuality in public, but then enjoy blowjobs from anonymous men in airport washrooms.

Re:Why the false cries of racism? (1)

maple_shaft (1046302) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482038)

You're like the hardline conservative male politicians in America who rally against homosexuality in public, but then enjoy blowjobs from anonymous men in airport washrooms.

Yes because rallying against racism is what comes to mind when thinking about hardline conservative male politicians... I stand by what I said, because I have seen real racism against an entire people because of corporate decisions from assclowns that have wet dreams about outsourcing as much software development as possible to third world countries. My neighbor runs a small website that he farms all the development work out to Vietnam. You should hear how he talks about these poor saps like he is doing them this huge favor for paying them essentially $4/hr. "Oh yessa massa! I sho is grateful!" It is slavery out and out.

Re:Why the false cries of racism? (3, Informative)

Shalian (512701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482112)

I'm not sure where you're getting western coast is predominantly Hispanic and black from. The two cities I'm most familiar with here Seattle [wikipedia.org] and Redmond [wikipedia.org] claim 69.5% White and 79.26% White respectively... I'd say that's predominantly Caucasian...

Re:It doesn't matter. Either is fine. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481980)

Indians are Caucasians.

Re:It doesn't matter. Either is fine. (1)

danlip (737336) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482096)

Programmers from 3rd world counties are fine, i.e. the ones currently living in the US. I've worked with many of them (I hardly even have any Caucasian co-workers anymore). Programmers in 3rd world countries are crap. I've seen a couple projects outsourced and when they came back is was completely unusable, we just had to throw it away and do it ourselves.

Re:It doesn't matter. Either is fine. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482500)

I'd say it depends on where they were educated more than where they're from. The Indian education system seems to be designed to actively prohibit thinking, so if it's an Indian programmer they're more likely to be competent the quicker they were removed from the Indian education system. If they got away before university then they may be okay. If they escaped as children then they're a lot more likely to be competent.

I'd also add Russia to the original list. Some of the most competent developers I've worked with recently are Russian.

Re:It doesn't matter. Either is fine. (1)

smart_ass (322852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482924)

The Indian education system seems to be designed to actively prohibit thinking

Possibly ... however having gone through university with a few people from India, I would also note that their education system does an excellent job of equipping students with the tools of HOW TO LEARN.

Perhaps it is just those who would have figured it out anyhow, but one fellow in particular had other students putting off taking a course because he was guaranteed to F up the grading curve ... every course, every time in the toughest (at our school) branch of engineering.

My experiences with the Chinese (I am one a couple gens back) and the Koreans and Singaporeans is more in-line with what you suggest of those from India.

Re:It doesn't matter. Either is fine. (3, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481712)

Programmers from Canada are fine

Citation needed.

Moral Quandary Perhaps? (2, Insightful)

El Torico (732160) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Moral Quandary Perhaps? (2)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481394)

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 control their own destiny to a degree.

Also, sadly, don't hire transplants to work in a place where only a small share of non-locals thrive. Make sure people have a reason to be where you are, especially if it isn't the center of where that business is. Help your team grow roots!

Also understand that kids right out of college have different needs than people in their 30-40's with children of their own.

Re:Moral Quandary Perhaps? (2)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481398)

"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.

Re:Moral Quandary Perhaps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481506)

Exactly. Like the old adage says, "You get what you give."

Re:Moral Quandary Perhaps? (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482544)

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.

It is more than just pay... (1)

maple_shaft (1046302) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481230)

When one thinks of NYC, the same stirrings of exciting bleeding edge technological progress does not come to mind as say, Palo Alto. People think about scummy hedge funds and ridiculous cost of living. Try making it in NYC or Boston with less than 50k a year. It's not fun.

Re:It is more than just pay... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481328)

More try making it in that filthy hell hole on less that $150K. I live in NYC and struggle like anyone else with $75K, spam and ramen noodles my friend!

Re:It is more than just pay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481734)

$75k is a bit more cushy, but most companies hiring fresh grads or recent (2 or less years) grads are offering $50-55k. Hell, even 3 years of experience will get you little over $60-65k in most places. With rent costs starting at $2500-3000 for a 2br apt, even splitting that with a roommate (plus other bills!), can get tough on that salary. Then add to that cost of living (food, transportation, generally higher prices on everything) and forget any degree of personal savings.

Your main viable choices with a $50k salary are to either live in the boonies and commute an hour each way, or to live somewhere in less reputable places where you cannot go outside after it gets dark, or to try cramming 4 people into a 2br.

It is no wonder younger people want to advance quickly or are opportunist about salaries - no starting salary is enough to comfortably live in that hellhole. NYC is not for young people. As a Senior level developer you can get those $150k in NYC and that's when you can actually pull it off (assuming you do not have your own family to care about at that point).

Re:It is more than just pay... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482518)

When one thinks of NYC, the same stirrings of exciting bleeding edge technological progress does not come to mind as say, Palo Alto

Remind me again where Google Research's main US site is?

IT guys working around the clock? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481232)

"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."

Your IT guys might need to be available around the clock to keep servers up, but why would you expect your programmers to be available around the clock? You don't expect your accountants or HR department to always be available do you?

Of course, if you have an organization where you do have HR and accountants on duty 24/7, then you could reasonably expect the same of your programmers.

Re:IT guys working around the clock? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38482194)

If I were a CIO I'd expect some of my IT admins to be taking turns/shifts around the clock to be _available_ to keep servers up.

But I don't expect them to _work_ round-the-clock, or even want them to. I want them to set things up so that they hardly ever need to work round-the-clock. Heck if they set things up so they hardly ever need to work, that's fine with me (If they really can do that I might get tempted to contract them out to other companies with similar IT needs to do the same thing for them ;) ).

If they need to work round the clock they're more suited for stuff like first-tier phone-support.

Highly competitive pay == Retention (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481244)

I've seen it first hand. If the company can afford to pay better than the industry or the market in general, they have staff that actually knows how things work, and how to fix things when they go wrong, because they have been around a while. It means that things get done and the staff is more effective. When it comes to technical people, the company needs to pay a wage that is competitive on a _national_ level, because people are more willing to move than in the past, and they need to pay competitive wages across all industries, since a Java developer for a manufacturer can also be a Java developer for a finance company without a lot of retraining.

Its a two edged sword though. At a company that pays well, people don't leave on their own accord. The power is in the company's hands. A strongly competitive salary means that very few other companies are going to be able to pull you away, and limits your choices when/if you want to leave.

Pay more and treat your staff better (1)

PT_1 (2425848) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481250)

From the article:

"HFA, which is the nation's leading provider of rights management, licensing and royalty services for the music industry. "

The article isn't talking about a small company, which simply can't afford to increase pay. We had a similar issue in our company a few years ago. The solution was to increase pay to competitive rates and ensure that junior staff members have a structured way to climb the career ladder in a reasonable timeframe.

the never ending "shortage of good people" lie (5, Insightful)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481274)

"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:the never ending "shortage of good people" lie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481324)

Employees are not loyal to companies that are not loyal. If you want a loyal employee, you should be investing in all of your people and treating them with respect.

Re:the never ending "shortage of good people" lie (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481768)

If you want a loyal employee, you should be investing in all of your people and treating them with respect.

They don't want "loyal" employees. They want cheap, scared employees. There are enough unemployed programmers out there that management just doesn't care about "loyalty".

Anyway, "loyalty" is not a concept that the modern corporation understands. There is no upside to "loyalty" in the minds of shareholders or board members (except their loyalty to each other and the CEO).

You want "loyalty"? Then be loyal to a union. In the workplace, you can't "expect" loyalty, you have to demand loyalty, and your demands mean nothing unless it comes with a big truncheon.

Re:the never ending "shortage of good people" lie (1)

danlip (737336) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482200)

There are enough unemployed programmers out there that management just doesn't care about "loyalty".

There are? I just got a new job, had multiple offers, and it took me 4 weeks from the day I started looking to the day I got the offer (during the holidays). And I am one of those old expensive programmers. All the recruiters told me it's really hard to find good talent now. The market is certainly hotter than it was 2.5 years ago, which is the last time I looked (still got 2 offers), and there are times it has been bad (2001, post dot-com crash, took me 6 months to find a job).

Management may not care about loyalty (if they did they'd give me raises, but that never happens) but it's not because of a glut.

Re:the never ending "shortage of good people" lie (1)

tdknox (138401) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482512)

I'm also an "old expensive" computer professional. It recently took me a total of 18 hours from the time I put my resume online to my first job offer, and 4 days to have 6 offers and to have accepted a new position.

The longest it's ever taken me to find a new position once I've started looking in earnest is 2 weeks. The shortest is 36 hours. Recruiters see my resume and my phone gets 100's of calls a day.

There is definitely a shortage of experienced talent in the marketplace here (Washington, DC).

Re:the never ending "shortage of good people" lie (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482552)

Depends on the level of competence required. I've had quite a few job offers recently, but I hear from the companies I work for that entry-level programming positions are very easy to fill but competent experienced developers are very rare no matter how much they're willing to pay.

Re:the never ending "shortage of good people" lie (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481518)

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...

Re:the never ending "shortage of good people" lie (5, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#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!

It's the pay, stupid... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481276)

No, its more like these 20somethings expect to get paid 100K a year right out the gate...as I hiring manager who would I pay a 6 figure salary to? Some kid who has been industry a couple of years or someone who has been in the industry longer than the kid has been out of middle school?

I realize that there are exceptions - but as a general rule NO KID is worth that...

Re:It's the pay, stupid... (1)

maple_shaft (1046302) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481926)

Where the fuck do you live that you run into juniors expecting 100k? The juniors I see would be happy with 45k a year and not being dumped on by superiors and bean counters that contribute NOTHING! Do you know how disillusioning it is to join a team as a developer with less than 3 years of experience, and to work for a bunch of guys who literally dick around on the internet all day and make 3 times their salary? Then they get talked down to, asked to work overtime, get ignored, and not appreciated. It is no wonder they leave.

Bay Area or NY? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481290)

Personally, if I were starting over, I'd go somewhere where I could keep more of my own money after taxes. NY has one of if not the highest departure rates for 20-somethings in the country.

Re:Bay Area or NY? (2)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481510)

Yes, Montanna has low taxes. Working there doesn't improve your lifetime after-tax income perspective much though.

In my 20's, I got to work in the Bay Area and Hong Kong, as well as retire for a couple years. One place I was a model employee, and the other I had very limited motivation, great pay, but only stuck around a year because it was a hostile work environment.

If you want financial success, you have to work hard, and smart. Getting some of our youngest employees to work (paid) overtime is like pulling teeth. Paid overtime (within rational limits) is the easiest way to turn a good paying job into a great paying job. People forget that their pay isn't just their salary rate.

East vs West is right (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481302)

In my experience, it's about goals and attitudes. The large east coast firms that pay well are primarily non-tech firms that have what can be loosely described as "east coast attitude" (must be well dressed, seniority over merit, established principles vs creativity). On the west coast we have tech firms that cater to engineers specifically and attempt to create environments where they thrive. On top of that there's the chicken-and-egg problem where engineers want to work with other good engineers, and many of them have gravitated to the bay area because of the companies there, which are there because the talent is there, and so on. I believe engineering to be a primarily creative endeavor, and I think west coast companies, for the most part, are more tolerant of the kinds of attitudes that might come with that (fierce ownership, perfection over production). Of course, these are loose generalizations arrived at through particular examples as well as stories from colleges, but I think this is roughly accurate.

Re:East vs West is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481484)

Sorry that last bit should be "stories from collegues," not "stories from colleges," and I'm not sure why it decided to double up on that last paragraph there...

Re:East vs West is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481666)

WEST COAST HIPPIE ELITE

NYC guy is an idiot (4, Insightful)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 2 years ago | (#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".

Re:NYC guy is an idiot (2)

Safety Cap (253500) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481586)

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 fire.

Gee - there's no loyalty? (5, Interesting)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:Gee - there's no loyalty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481446)

Exactly they have no loyalty to you why the hell should you have any to them. I have stayed at my company for 7 years but only because so far they have for the most part treated me well. Though recently there have been many signs its time to leave. Its mostly my bosses fault because he is weak and wont push for them to invest more in me. Even though he tells me "He is trying" well if he is trying and they dont want to invest then I will go find someone who will. Which is a shame I got them through a large part of their multi billion dollar purchase with a total revamp of their client management. Oh well.

Re:Gee - there's no loyalty? (3, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Not representative of NYC (5, Interesting)

palmerj3 (900866) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481406)

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.

Re:Not representative of NYC (1)

Kamoo (1935738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482148)

Sigh, no mod points. Good post.

That's fine, but make sure you consider everything (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:That's fine, but make sure you consider everyth (1)

Richy_T (111409) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482884)

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.

Re:Not representative of NYC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38482676)

Typical ignorance of a 20-something on full display here. Companies are built to serve their customers, not their employees. The goal of the arrangement is to make the customers happy, and subsequently bank enough profit to pay your sorry ass.

Welcome to reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481412)

A lot of programmers get into their trade because they actively don't want to understand the business side of things - if you want a car analogy, they want to work on the guts/engines of the company car fleet, not understand why the company has that fleet and what they do with it.

I've seen this before with managers - the mindset of not being interested in climbing the organizational ladder and wanting to stick with the technical side of things can come as a shock to them, and some simply find it utterly alien. The notion of the work being its own reward is literally incomprehensible to them, and they tend to cope poorly with the situation - for example:

"Third, as new developers come in, we are teaming them with a business partner to help them understand the impact of their system on the business. We're trying to get them more invested in the strategy. We're trying to engage them in where the company is going. "

No wonder the young developers are leery - they're trying to mousetrap them - or get them "invested in the strategy" if you like managerspeak - into something they don't want to do. That's another very annoying thing with managers - they seem to think in terms of trying to make people into things they don't necessarily want to be, rather than looking for people whose natural inclination is to do what they need them to do. Guess what - peoples' response to that might just be to go look for what they want, not be a good little re-programmable human widget in the cog of the company machine.

To be perfectly fair, there is a lot of good career sense (in general, not sure about this aspect of the music industry) in being aware of the larger picture - previous stories about career prospects for programmers have made the point that as you become more senior in a business (at least, if you're good at your job) you're generally expected to take on more responsibility and leadership roles - someone has to and the business will (hopefully) want its better people in those roles. But neither side is likely to get what they want if they try to pound square pegs into round holes using some sort of Employee Motivator System 3.1, new and improved method! instead of dealing with unique individuals on a case-by-case basis. If someone wants to be a career techie, is happy in programming and poor at dealing with people, and consistently gets productive work done while staying current, for heavens sake don't try to turn them into something they don't want to be! Or you might find yourself wondering why all your talent is leaving and your turnover rate is so high.

I also find it amusing that companies might be inclined to complain about loyalty, when the last few decades have been busy teaching workers that the world has changed and they can't expect to be at one company for their career. Guess what - people learned the lesson.

It's the mentality (2)

yerktoader (413167) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481458)

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.

Re:It's the mentality (1)

yerktoader (413167) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481502)

Shit, that should read "and management only has themselves to blame"

Career Advancement (4, Insightful)

Philodoxx (867034) | more than 2 years ago | (#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:Career Advancement (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481558)

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...

Re:Career Advancement (2)

Safety Cap (253500) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481628)

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. (4, Insightful)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481474)

You pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

ACTUALLY BOYS AND GIRLS, IT'S CALLED A CONTRACT !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481498)

And to make it worth its salt, in BLOOOODDD !!

Ghoooooolishly yours,
Satan

About that 5, 10, 15 year thing... (2)

CFBMoo1 (157453) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481526)

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 lines since their job isn't helping in that area like it once was.

I will say this, I'm thankful I found a job where I can do the 5, 10, 15 year thing. Maybe I'll get lucky and do it as long as my father did in his 42 years of service at one company. Who knows though in this day and age?

NYC treats engineers like crap (2)

eples (239989) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose (4, Informative)

Deffexor (230167) | more than 2 years ago | (#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]

they're getting wise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481662)

It may be the salary as others have said. I'm sure it's a big part of it - especially in New York City. However, I think more and more people are not buying the age-old corporate dogma. A lot have seen there is no more is there loyalty towards employees. As such, why should an employee feel any loyalty towards a company? If one receives a better offer, what's to stop him?

fri?st psot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481694)

And sling or TablKe

stats (3, Informative)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Re:stats (2)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481730)

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.

Life is too short to work for pricks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38481934)

I don't think you could pay me enough to live in the NYC area. Not interested at any price anyone is willing to pay. Sorry. Not for me.

California is the same deal. not for me.

High taxes, lower quality of family life, idiotic politicians, though we definitely have our share of those too - terrible traffic and don't get me started about New Yorkers. The 5% that suck make it so that I don't want to know the other 95% of really nice and interesting people.

Some of the smallest minded people I've ever met in my travels around the world are from NYC and California.

My $130K/yr job buys a nice lifestyle that $750K in SF or NYC can't touch. I don't think I'd have the same land, house, and easy ability to go hunting within less than an hour drive. My kids couldn't attend extremely good public schools in those locations either.

Like I said, not for me.

OTOH, if they allowed telecommuting and didn't make me visit either location more than a few times annually, perhaps .. perhaps, we could talk.

Oh, I'm not 20-something. I do have 20-something years of wide ranging software dev experience, however.

Life is too short to work for pricks. It isn't worth the hassle.

Re:Life is too short to work for pricks (1)

Gorobei (127755) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482286)

and don't get me started about New Yorkers. The 5% that suck make it so that I don't want to know the other 95% of really nice and interesting people.

Some of the smallest minded people I've ever met in my travels around the world are from NYC and California.

OTOH, if they allowed telecommuting and didn't make me visit either location more than a few times annually, perhaps .. perhaps, we could talk.

Life is too short to work for pricks. It isn't worth the hassle.

Bitter much?

You seem made for Houston, TX.

Ridiculous premise! (1)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 2 years ago | (#38481952)

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 out why they'd all leave after a year. (Answer: Any other company on the street would pay them $20k/yr).

P.S. Janitorial and domestic internships are still available at my house! I will reward you all with plenty of life-experience!! Any takers???

It's not just the money (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38482208)

Case in point: I took a pay cut to go work for Red Hat. I now get paid to work on Open Source software, have much better co-workers since Red Hat tends to hire Open Source enthusiasts and sane management. Corporate policies like "it's ok to disagree with a persons ideas, but personal attacks are right out" go a long way to making a good work environment.

luring candidates away from college well IT should (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482234)

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 highly theory based CS BA. Now even a BA is to much for school for most IT jobs. and I can see why some people may want to drop out at some point and start working why keep paying the high cost to learn more theory when you can start working a real job and lean real skills.

Now that is where we need to look at what is wrong about the college system. The Germany dual education system may be a good fit for IT jobs in terms of giving people real skills.

Focus on Pay Is Stupid (1)

smack.addict (116174) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482266)

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

Re:Focus on Pay Is Stupid (1)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482938)

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.

The manager is full of fail... (5, Insightful)

seifried (12921) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482270)

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

Hire older people (1)

wezelboy (521844) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482400)

There are plenty of qualified older folk out there. If you hire them, they probably won't go anywhere because for some reason no one else will hire them. There. I solved the problem.

stupid manager, techs aren't idiots (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38482410)

He wants to hire young people, not for their new ideas, but because he thinks they're cheap labor. He is correct, until they've learned a skill and have some experience. That's the universal training-experience trade-off of new workers. The real reason he is upset is because they don't stay. Here are the reasons.

1. When they have no other options, they'll compromise their values. As soon as someone with half a soul has a viable option, they're going to leave. "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."

2. He takes unqualified/untrained/inexperienced people, and provides them with low pay, poor benefits, and some basic training. A year or 2 later, these people now have skills, training, and experience, but he doesn't want to provide them pay and benefits commensurate with their skill and experience (e.g. that's why he's after unskilled workers to begin with).

3. He's stupid enough to complain about this to the WSJ. Whenever I had CIO/senior management this stupid, I saw the writing on the wall. They're pursuing a dying technology and a soulless business. Frankly, I'd rather have "porn web development" on my resume. From their site:

What does HFA do? (reordered by commentor for relevance)
HFA provides the following services to its affiliated publishers:
        Pursues piracy claims
        Conducts royalty examinations
        Collects mechanical royalties
        Distributes mechanical royalties, and synchronization fees for licenses granted prior to 2002.
        Issues mechanical licenses
        Investigates and negotiates new business opportunities

Not just the pay...it's the location. (3, Informative)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | more than 2 years ago | (#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.

Its not only the pay (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482636)

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 read it as positive. (1)

mrthoughtful (466814) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482748)

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?

Bell Labs OYOC (1)

Rick Richardson (87058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38482822)

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...
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