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Trade Group: US Software Developer Wages Fell 2% Last Year

timothy posted about a year ago | from the ban-farm-equipment dept.

The Almighty Buck 237

First time accepted submitter russotto points out the claim of industry group TechAmerican Foundation (reported by Computerworld) that "wages for the software industry are falling, not rising. Wages fell 2% to $99,000 in 2012." Averages are one thing; the article points out though that wages vary vastly within the industry, and that some jobs are harder to fill (thus, better paid) than others. An excerpt: "Victor Janulaitis, CEO of Janco Associates, a research firm that also analyzes IT wage and employment trends, cited a number of reason for the decline in wages for software professionals. First, technology is becoming easier to implement without having an IT professional, he said. Also, the option of turning to outsourcing creates less pressure to increase wages. As the recession continues, companies continue 'to look at productivity and will often look to hire individuals who are lower cost employees,' said Janulaitis. That could include displaced baby boomer workers who have been out of work for some time and 'will take a lower paying job just to get back into the workforce.'"

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237 comments

I blame corn (0)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about a year ago | (#43768287)

Corn is too expensive because of the corn monopolies! And corn is the basis of the American economy! And Slashdort is powered by corn, as is most of the internet! We need a nuclear internet to free our planet from the evil death grip of corn!

Re:I blame corn (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43769161)

Porn is too expensive because of the porn monopolies! And porn is the basis of the American economy! And Slashdort is powered by porn, as is most of the internet! We need a nuclear internet to free our planet from the evil death grip of my hand while watching porn!

--
UNITE with the Campaign for a Free Pornonet because today, porn!

crap I need a raise (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768291)

apparently I'm not earning enough

Sad, but true (2)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year ago | (#43768293)

Also, the option of turning to outsourcing creates less pressure to increase wages

WORKER: I would like to discuss a raise to my salary
BOSS: No, you aren't getting a raise. Hell, you should be HAPPY to get what you are getting. I could get 10 guys from Infosys for what I am paying you!

Re:Sad, but true (5, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43768357)

Worker was a fool for starting the conversation without an offer in hand.

Then next line should be:

WORKER: Hire those programmers, I quit. Best of luck to you.

Re:Sad, but true (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768407)

WORKER: Fuck you, you greedy greasy Jew piece of shit, go pinch your fucking pennies. Go hire your cheap-ass fucking idiots and burn your shop to the ground, I don't give a fuck. Greedy, greedy disgusting hooknosed fat fucking Jew. Go fuck yourself and die of Tay-Sachs.

That's what I would say.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Sad, but true (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768427)

Then you'd have no job and find it more difficult to find new employment, being a racist and an asshole.

Re:Sad, but true (2, Funny)

tqk (413719) | about a year ago | (#43768477)

... being a racist and an asshole.

I think most people would consider the "and an asshole" there to be redundant.

Re:Sad, but true (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43768583)

That's more or less what I said. 'Best of luck to you' is the polite way of saying that (less the Jew hate).

Re: Sad, but true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768621)

That escalated quickly.

Re:Sad, but true (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768771)

WORKER: Fuck you, you greedy greasy Jew piece of shit, go pinch your fucking pennies. Go hire your cheap-ass shit stinking dotheads and burn your shop to the ground, I don't give a fuck. Greedy, greedy disgusting hooknosed fat fucking Jew. Go fuck yourself and die of Tay-Sachs.

That's what I would say.

-- Ethanol-fueled

FTFY

Re:Sad, but true (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43768413)

If you start the conversation by expressing how happy you are at your current company, you don't even need another offer. Just say, "I've been contacted and I know I can make more, but I'd really like to keep working here." Nevermind that you've only been contacted by recruiters who talk to all of us.......

Re:Sad, but true (3, Insightful)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43768565)

Might work once, and not really all that well.

If you want a good raise you need to change jobs or be ready to.

Re:Sad, but true (5, Informative)

cranky_chemist (1592441) | about a year ago | (#43768635)

No, you need to change jobs, period.

According to this site: http://www.westportone.com/candidate/counteroffer.htm [westportone.com] :

"According to national surveys of employees that accept counter-offers, 50-80 percent voluntarily leave their employer within six months of accepting the counter-offer because of unkept promises. The majority of the balance of employees that accept counter-offers involuntarily leave their current employers within twelve months of accepting the counter-offer (terminated, fired, laid off, etc.)."

So, basically, if you go to your boss with another offer in hand and accept a counteroffer, he or she is going to screw you over simply because they can. And that's how the big sharks swim in the deep end of the pool. If you want better working conditions and/or more money, change jobs. The only exception is if you work in academia, where you have the protections of tenure.

See also:

http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/2012/03/26/why-you-shouldnt-take-a-counteroffer [usnews.com]

http://ask.slashdot.org/story/02/06/13/0615238/is-it-wrong-to-accept-an-employment-counter-offer [slashdot.org]

Re:Sad, but true (3, Informative)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43768725)

Your boss was always going to screw you over. His plan didn't change when he was forced to pay you more. They will play some sort of face saving game, give you a new title and claim they are paying you more for the additional responsibility. The end game for you is to take his job outright, then move on to greener pastures.

You certainly can't afford to relax. If you don't more or less have the employer by the short and curlies they wouldn't have counter offered. As long as that doesn't change, nothing has changed.

When you next go looking for a job, your current compensation will be higher and you will have a bigger war chest (unless you spend it all like a moron).

However, if after accepting a counteroffer, they start a new person as your 'understudy', they are already planning on firing you. Some companies are like that, others aren't. If your company is like that then you should truly _extort_ them while you've got them by the balls.

Re:Sad, but true (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43768953)

Yeah, I put in my notice one place, and was offered a "promotion" to supervisor. I politely declined the offer. A supervisor is salaried, and the workers make more than the supervisors from overtime and such. Neither job is desirable in a long term. If I'd stayed, I'd have been frustrated in a month, and still looking elsewhere. That, and I went up $10k/yr in the new job, much better than a pay cut.

Re:Sad, but true (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43769289)

A few years ago, a coworker in another department accepted an offer from another company in town. He turned in his notice the next day. Lo and behold, they gave him a counter offer. Seems that they really did think his specialty was worth more than they were paying him and it was just the economy limiting what they could do. After a bit of negotiation, he accepted the counter offer and told the other company he wasn't coming to work for them.

Well, three years later he was complaining about how he wasn't getting a pay raise that year like the rest of us. Turns out he hadn't gotten a pay raise since accepting the counter offer. He'd gotten so upset with it that he'd started looking for another job. But guess what? He couldn't even get interviews - especially at the company that he'd turned down (I wonder why...) which had two job postings that looked exactly like his experience. Seems the word had gotten out around town that he couldn't be trusted and other companies were treating him like poison.

Having accepted then changed his mind, he didn't realize what the other company had put into the process. They had spent hours screening candidates, performing phone interviews, calling people in for personal interview, etc. And then when they had offered him a job that he'd accepted, they had needed to call up the other candidates (some of whom were just as qualified) and tell them "thanks, but no thanks, we have someone else". That had left the company in a lurch as well as hurting their reputation with the other people involved - of course they were upset. And the people involved can carry long memories even as they go to new companies, talk to their friends down the street, talk to recruiters, and so on.

I left there over 2 years ago and still keep in touch with some of my former coworkers. Last I heard, this guy was still complaining about no pay raises and no interviews.

Moral of the story: be careful not to burn any bridges, you might need to cross them someday.

Re:Sad, but true (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43768689)

I can tell you from experience, it can work really well.

I had one coworker who kept doing it over and over. Kept getting raises. Of course, he was willing to go somewhere else if he needed to, as you mention.

Re:Sad, but true (2, Insightful)

Richard Dick Head (803293) | about a year ago | (#43768553)

Haha, depends on where you are at I guess. Maybe you need to move? Or just save some of what my grandfather liked to call "fuck you" money. Enough so that at any time you can tell your boss "fuck you" and you go find another job. Otherwise you'll just get bullied by your boss forever.

Anyway, more on topic, I hear there is a shortage of talent in the Bay Area. Although...since there are only so many LGBT software engineers who are good, software engineers who are good but who don't understand cost-of-living, single and straight software engineers that are good but don't understand that California girls are trained from birth to be cocaine-snorting psychotic leeches who will rob you blind (true story), etc.

Eventually you will see companies discover that they could move to tech hubs in places like Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Missouri, Arkansas, etc...and have far less trouble finding qualified people (although like anywhere else you still have to weed through the dunces) because these are places a normal, non-fucked-up person who is missing some critical piece of their logical reasoning would actually consider living. So some companies will move. And while the average income would decrease every time that happens, the quality of life would increase quite a bit.

You might disagree with me for hating on the Bay Area, but I doubt there is anything anyone could possibly say to change my mind, and there are a ton of people who think the same way :D You just can't live a normal life in a place like that. Otherwise there wouldn't be a shortage there, because I hear the scenery is nice and the weather is great...

Another move is that I'm seeing it is popular to move into consulting (especially baby boomers)....so their entire incomes wouldn't necessarily show up on "salary" averages. A savvy consultant will "pay" himself as little salary as possible to avoid donating good money to the bottomless pit of the IRS.

No, things are on the uptick. The smart engineers are collectively getting smarter. The dumb ones are are getting screwed, but that story hasn't exactly changed in the past decades. There was a small blip in the late 90's where any idiot could put on a software engineer hat and make money, and those same idiots have been camping out in the industry like fat squirrels around an empty bird feeder. Eventually they'll go away. :D

Re:Sad, but true (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43768727)

Anyway, more on topic, I hear there is a shortage of talent in the Bay Area. Although...since there are only so many LGBT software engineers who are good, software engineers who are good but who don't understand cost-of-living, single and straight software engineers that are good but don't understand that California girls are trained from birth to be cocaine-snorting psychotic leeches who will rob you blind (true story), etc.

Sounds like someone can't get a date.

Re:Sad, but true (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43768737)

California east of the coast range is a more or less normal place and retains access to tech centers in the south bay. West of the coast range is pure granola (fruits, nuts and flakes).

Granting the state is run by and for LA and SF.

Re:Sad, but true (1)

catchblue22 (1004569) | about a year ago | (#43768789)

I have an hypothesis:

# of libertarian slashdot posters = k / (average software developer salary)

where k is some real number.

And in other news... (2)

jacobsm (661831) | about a year ago | (#43768297)

CEO wages only went up 3.6%.

Of course their wage base is slightly higher than us mere mortals.

Re:And in other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768383)

Of course, the colleges have been turning out software drones by the thousands. Some percentage of them have to be good. When supply of competent enough programmers goes up past a certain point, wages are obviously going to come down. Simple High School economics of Supply and Demand.

Good managers are very rare. You can't train them. Colleges can't produce them. None of you will ever be them. CEO's who perform are very rare. The ones who are just good at the bureaucracy games are of course garbage, but still, most of them are worth the money because they can generate share holder wealth. No management talent, you get Detroit.

Re:And in other news... (2)

ehiris (214677) | about a year ago | (#43768491)

"Of course, the colleges have been turning out software drones by the thousands"

lol. That's like saying that Van Gogh was a "paint and canvas drone". Remember, just because an institution teaches a skill, the skill can be applied creatively or not.

Most "high tech" software I see these days is unimaginative and based on pointless corporate executive drone direction (ITIL, ...) It's written often in India by people with low creative angst and inability to tell their supervisors that they are full of shit.

Some of the best software I see these days comes from Israel. In the US people are mostly busy band-aiding low quality code that comes from "low cost" regions.

Unfortunately the truth over the past few years has been that the majority of corporations have lost their way in creating cool new products and the name of the game has become reducing cost by replacing people with contracts sold by people with an army of unmotivated drones who need to be given direction every step of the way. (paying for hands instead of brains)

Re:And in other news... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43769273)

That's like saying that Van Gogh was a "paint and canvas drone".

These imbeciles the colleges are pushing out their doors are nothing like Van Gogh.

Re:And in other news... (4, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43768747)

Good managers are very rare.

So we're told. Yet, the distribution of good and bad managers is almost exactly the same as good and bad line workers.

most of them are worth the money because they can generate share holder wealth.

Share value increases most when jobs are cut. Any idiot can cut salaries and jobs to get a quarterly bump in share price. The success of US corporations has more to do with corporate consolidation increasing pricing power than it does brilliant management.

We have a system where management success means the failure of everyone else who works for the company. Instead of an economy that is based on widespread prosperity, we have one based on prosperity for a very small group who succeed in a system whose rules they set, and misery for everyone else.

We actually have some historical experience with these situations, and it never, ever ends well for elite.

Re:And in other news... (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#43769219)

And that's what's wrong with the USA today. Working simply doesn't pay anymore. Not working and having others work for you does.

In earlier days, we called them spongers and leeches, but in today's world where everyone needs a title, it's CEO.

I'll Say (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768305)

There were layoffs across the industry. Personally, my wages were reduced by 100%.

Still Short-sighted (4, Interesting)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about a year ago | (#43768331)

From my own personal experience, you get what you pay for. Yes, you can overpay, but that is true for any employee. A few good programmers will outperform 100 mediocre "code-monkeys", and that holds true even if there are 1 or 2 good leads / architects. Why? Because a good design doesn't overcome bad code. I'll also note that there are some companies that just fill seats. The jobs here are not the kind that appeal to good programmers, unless they just want to pull a paycheck while working on something they care about. There are lots of these jobs, and most holding them are overpaid.

I personally know of several where the "programmers' don't know how to even configure their own tools, nor build their software locally (this would be on both .NET and Java platforms btw, and multiple cases for both). Sadly, these "engineers" are paid near the average, and barely can converse about basic language concepts. They've been employed for years, in some cases a decade or more, at a single company. These are the type of folks that make outsourcing seem viable, because you'll get about the same quality of people there, and sometimes, if you're lucky, better. It doesn't mean you'll succeed with either set.

In theory, theory and practice are the same... (1)

tutufan (2857787) | about a year ago | (#43768603)

I agree with you, in theory. But, in order for that 10x-100x to be achieved, conditions have to be conducive. It's like starting up that 600mph car to make a record run on the salt flats. If things are right, you can achieve phenomenal results. But, things usually aren't that optimal, and in a suboptimal environment, your gifted driver will be much less able to distinguish themselves from a merely good driver.

Having watched things play out many times over a (eek) long career, I've observed that it's fairly rare that skill and opportunity coincide. If you find yourself in such a position, revel in it, as it probably will not last.

Re:In theory, theory and practice are the same... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768783)

You (tutufan) and Gr8Apes make very good points. I can't tell you, in recent times, how often
I'm unable to apply everything I know to a task because the "Indians" won't understand it. No, really.
I don't write obfuscated code, either and I'm not an Einstein. Or told that condition/error will never happen,
so we don't want you to plan/code for it - and then it happens 2 weeks after it's deployed/released.

This has always been a problem in the industry of late because simple programming is easy to get into,
so everybody/management thinks that since they can add two numbers together, they "know" how to
program. And this is the level of a code-monkey. So funny in a sad sorta way.

C#/.NET is the best language for really FU**ing things up - there isn't a way to do decimal math in the
language! They use floating point! And the Indians think this is accurate! That's okay, send all of those
rounding errors to me - I don't mind pennys!

CAPTCHA = 'sugared' I didn't think I was sugar-coating anything!

Re:In theory, theory and practice are the same... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768875)

I was mostly with you until your rant about C#. I think maybe you are the person you describe.

Even in .NET 1.0 there was a decimal value type. For example - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/364x0z75(v=vs.80).aspx

Re:In theory, theory and practice are the same... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43769063)

Yup. I clicked the link like I did a thousand times before expecting a miracle.
They represent the numbers as a power of 2, if I read the link correctly.
Not a problem except that the number one hundred cannot be represented as an exact
power of 2, for example. They fudge it by throwing a lot of significant digits so as
to hide or lessen the effect of the "check" digits they have to carry to make things work.
I'd like to see a binary (or hex) dump of

protected decimal MyFortune = 100;

http://www.herongyang.com/C-Sharp/Floating-Point-Data-Type-decimal.html has and interesting breakdown.

Looks like a huge hack to get it all to work - look at how 1 at various powers of ten is stored!!!
(I'm not sitting at a C# "terminal", or I'd punch in his sample code and try a bunch of other numbers
to find the breaking pattern.) He comments that it's 1/27 the speed! Wow! Un-frekin-believable.
And people eat this stuff up thinking this is "real" computer science!

Ah the myth of amazing software tech (3, Interesting)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#43768647)

winning the day. Didn't work our so well for Corel did it? Or Novel? Or Sun?

Good enough is always good enough. Yeah, you're few good programmers will make better code, but my 100 code monkeys will make more of it. I'll have 10 products to market in the time you have 1, and I'll do it for less $. I'll take those savings and spend them winning bids in backroom deals. Eventually I'll buy up your company just to shut it down. Well, not unless Microsoft beats me to it.

Also, What's with this thing in America where we always, always blame the worker? Did it ever occur to you that you really can't compete in a global race to the bottom? Like clean air & water? Like health care? A steady food supply? Too bad. Somewhere in the world is a worker willing to live without it. You'll have to give up those 'luxuries' to compete.

As the saying goes: If you're so smart, why aren't you rich?

Re:Ah the myth of amazing software tech (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43768755)

You've never managed a software project. It's painfully obvious based on the claims you make.

Um.. I have actually (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#43768997)

For what it's worth read my sig :P. Moreover, I my point still stands. I can afford 10, maybe 20 failures for the 1 project that succeeds :).

Re:Um.. I have actually (1, Flamebait)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43769041)

Do you have staff? It sounds to me like you've never worked with air thieves? One 'bad one' can wreck a project schedule. A staff of only 'bad ones' will result in no useful work. You won't get 1 project that succeeds and you will go crazy trying to manage the morons and the projects they work on.

I've seen people trying to build SQL statements ending up with string concatenation operators in the the SQL and not understanding. He tried to say the database server was broken. Assigning him any work was insane. You could do it all yourself in less time then he was going to spend asking you stupid questions and in the end, you were more or less going to have to spoon feed him the answer so he could type it in.

The world is full of net negative workers. When you get a bunch of them together (e.g. US Senate) they produce far more work to be done then they actually do.

Re:Ah the myth of amazing software tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768797)

You'll have to give up those 'luxuries' to compete.

George B! I see they unlocked you account after that last "incident." Good for you.
Unless you were being sarcastic!

Re:Ah the myth of amazing software tech (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43769351)

Really depends on what software you are writing. If it is a vertical app that a company relies on and you screw it up then it could cost you a lot in both reputation and lawsuits. If you create a suite of products where each is dependent on the other (e.g. CAD/CAM/CNC) one bad one can scupper the others.

Re:Still Short-sighted (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#43768821)

My employer doesn't care about quality. Only price.

I do desktop support and if I have a ticket you can expect to wait 2 weeks before I will bother to talk to you. I am doing hte work of previously 4 people and they cut my hours. I am a cost who doesn't add value to the shareprice.

Same is true with developers. So what if your code only works in ancient IE. It is cheaper and as long as it still works the users can work around the bugs and restart your app when it crashes etc.

There is no value in I.T. only cost accountants who can raise the shareprice so the CEO can keep his job. That is the goal of business. It is not to make money but have everlasting money and less and less costs to go with it to make those magical financial ratios look better for trading computer programs.

If you want to be respected become an accountant or get into sales. They are not a cost but a profit!

Re:Still Short-sighted (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#43769243)

Agreed. For more than one reason, and from personal experience. I've had both, a crew of code monkeys and a small but incredibly efficient team of well paid but also very good programmers. To say that the latter were vastly outperforming the former (for less money in total, too) is an understatement.

Two people doing each 50% of work will not compensate for one person who could do 100%. Simply due to a lack of information. One person has, by design, all the information that person has. This is not true for two people who should do this one person's work instead. They have to synchronize and exchange information, and that invariably fails at some level as we all know, where you either lose efficiency by having to design an interface between these people or, lacking this, lose even more efficiency when their interface just doesn't work out.

In the end, you're better off with FEWER, but BETTER people than you could ever be with a truckload of code monkeys. Yes, even if they cost a multiple of the monkeys. A billion code monkeys with keyboards will never write the better OS.

Time for a union/guild? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768333)

I know we all like to be individuals but they are just playing us.

Re:Time for a union/guild? (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43768369)

Read the post immediately above yours. He's talking about you.

Re:Time for a union/guild? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768459)

Don't worry dog, I'm doing alright for myself. Doesn't mean I can't give a shit about the rest of you

Re:Time for a union/guild? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768481)

Unions are only helpful for those that are below average. If you're above average, you can't advance on your own merit.

Re:Time for a union/guild? (3, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year ago | (#43768503)

That's nonsense. What the union negotiates for depends on what the union members vote for, so you don't have to put things like "can't promote people to management" into the contract if you don't want it.

A example of the kinds of things a union could organize for programmers if one existed:
- Limits on and payment for overtime, after-hours and weekend work.
- Office conditions. Usually that isn't an issue, but if it is and your choices are "deal with it" or "quit", you may want a third option.
- Hiring standards that prevent a true idiot from ever working at the company.
- And yes, minimum pay agreements.

also a real apprenticeship system with mixed class (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43768691)

also a real apprenticeship system with mixed classroom / on the job training can come from a union and or guild system.

and a union hall hiring system can help to cut out at least some of the recruiter BS.

Re:Time for a union/guild? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768577)

Do you enjoy a 40 hour work week? You must be below average!

(I'm just curious if you're even thinking about what you're writing)

Re:Time for a union/guild? (1)

tjb (226873) | about a year ago | (#43768675)

I prefer to be able to set my own schedule, work from home when that is a reasonable choice and otherwise be marginally attached via email 24/7 to keep up on things. I like spending 25-30 hours/week in the office, I suspect a union would really fuck that up.

Clear evidence that there's a shortage (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43768353)

Zuckerberg and fellow tech billionaires: This is clear evidence that there's a shortage of people with the right skills, so the government needs to increase the H-1B visa quota from 65,000 to 180,000.

Politician with extended hand: Yes, sir! Are there any other orifices you'd like me to lick, sir!

Me: I have no idea how anybody will justify the first statement above and keep a straight face, but apparently there are people who are much better at it than me. Having read Zuckerberg's op-ed in WaPo, it's obvious that logic, consistency and clear exposition are not required in that endeavor.

Re:Clear evidence that there's a shortage (1)

tqk (413719) | about a year ago | (#43768769)

Zuckerberg and fellow tech billionaires: This is clear evidence that there's a shortage of people with the right skills ...

"... at the price we're willing to pay ..."

That's how. "We have shareholders, damnit! Have you seen what our stock is trading at?!?"

Re:Clear evidence that there's a shortage (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43768971)

falling wages can also be a sign of growth. We hired 50% more software developers last year, of course, most of them were with less experience than our current ones, so they were paid less, but our current ones got fat raises as well.

The math works, and often these numbers are more a trend of waves of new hires, rather than any one particular person expecting a pay cut.

Re:Clear evidence that there's a shortage (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43769035)

The math works

Not here. According to the sound bite statistics that are available without paying $175, the size of the workforce increased by 1.1% while wages fell 2%. Admittedly the source and exact definition of these stats is unclear, but frankly I wouldn't bet on your explanation.

What do you expect (1)

cyberspittle (519754) | about a year ago | (#43768391)

In a world based on inequality, people in other parts of the world are worth less than other places. We have global proce for oil, etc. but not on labor. If the world needs inequality and we have laws to justify it (ethics and morals aside), we will have inequal pay. All humans should have an interest in this. In the future, we will ultimately have 2 types of people: people who have robots, and people who don't.

Re:What do you expect (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768441)

You got it backwards: in the future there will be robots who have people, and robots who don't. You should start learning how to pleasure robots now, to ensure your place in the future.

The answer is obvious (1)

plopez (54068) | about a year ago | (#43768431)

More H1B visas. Only then can we increase productivity and innovation which will keep profitability and CEO salaries high.

Re:The answer is obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768505)

Your sig! It is so appropriate!

Re:The answer is obvious (1)

cyberspittle (519754) | about a year ago | (#43768861)

Actually, we need H1-B visa for management, upper management, etc. Once done we can then outsource that position to a country. If we paid a CEO 80K in US dollars for someone living in non-developed nation, we could save millions (maybe more) and make companies profitable.

Re:The answer is obvious (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about a year ago | (#43768949)

Speaking as a soon to be H1B... I'm raising your average, stop whining.

Re:The answer is obvious (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43769067)

How do you know you are not the exception that proves the rule?

Re:The answer is obvious (1)

plopez (54068) | about a year ago | (#43769321)

How do you know what my average is? Average what? Weight? Height? Days collecting unemployment?

Great! (1)

tqk (413719) | about a year ago | (#43768457)

'That could include displaced baby boomer workers who have been out of work for some time and will take a lower paying job just to get back into the workforce.'

I look forward to all the offers.

Original study (4, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43768461)

Here's a link to the original study [techameric...dation.org]. It's not clear where they are getting the "wages fell 2%" statistic, but in California, the average annual wage was $123,900.

Re:Original study (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43768571)

Last time I checked, California was only 1 of 50 states. While the most populous state, 88% of Americans live elsewhere. Admittedly it does have a disproportionately high number of "high tech" workers. However, if the higher employee compensation that results from state or local (e.g. Silicon Valley) demand for such people (and the high cost of living in such areas) is a problem, then businesses are free to locate elsewhere in the country, or at least open branch facilities there.

Bottom line: what's you point in mentioning an isolated statistic that anyone can read on Tech America's summary page?

Re:Original study (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43768673)

Because 20% of tech workers live in California. If it's an isolated statistic, it's relevant to a huge chunk of people.

Re:Original study (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#43768889)

I think it is much less. Regular programmers are still hired. Where I work 80% are Indians but that is because the owners are friends with all the politicians and has friends in offices to get the H1B1s to them first.

Not everyone is like that and I feel not everyone is competent or awesome at their job. Having so many programmers to me means more weeds to sort to find the wheat. The wheat will jump ship too as they are in such high demand.

If I had more experience programming I would move to San Jose and I would be hired fast. Would you want to hire me? Of course not ... well at least not in that capacity but I would do it because it pays well.

The point is normal companies still hire the majority of programmers even with outsourcing and not just Silicon Valley .coms. Many are more experience and have a home which is why they are not there and these are the ones you want that are good at their jobs without paying 100k+ a year.

Re:Original study (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43768925)

I really have no idea what you are saying.

If you are wondering why I said that 20% of tech workers live in California, I said that because it's in the study. Maybe the study is wrong, I don't know.

If you are thinking somehow you are not good enough to move Silicon Valley and get a job, I can tell you that there are plenty of lousy programmers in Silicon Valley making more than $100k. The skill you need to improve is your job search skills.

Re:Original study (-1, Troll)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#43768867)

California is a bubble that is popping.

For this reason when I start me .com I will not be based in California. I can get someone to work for less than half in Fargo and in Texas. Austin and Dallas are growing with new startups. South by Southwest is showing that and a market correction is beginning.

Old timers will tell you Silicon Valley started because it was dirt cheap land, wages, lower taxes, than the more popular New York City and New Jersey of IBM, GE, and Bell Labs of the 1960s high tech hub. Now the opposite is true.

Why go in California? Synergy my ass! Not everyone has a few million in cash sitting in the bank and even if I did I could cut costs by 50% minimum by going to lower cost places. After all the odds of surviving after 2 years are small as it is. Lower costs will greatly increase the odds.

This will piss off some slashdotters but no one but an executive is worth $123,000 a year! Fuck that. Maybe a few sales people but that is it. I mean that is how much a MBA director or lawyer gets and it is not fair that a regular worker gets more to them. A programmer does not add that much value to deserve it frankly.

Re:Original study (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43769141)

I can get someone to work for less than half in Fargo and in Texas.

Cheaper, yes. Half? No. BTW North Dakota is in the midst of an oil boom.

Old timers will tell you Silicon Valley started because it was dirt cheap land, wages, lower taxes, than the more popular New York City and New Jersey of IBM, GE, and Bell Labs of the 1960s high tech hub.

How far back are you going? I can tell you that at least as far back as the 70's SV was expensive, and I doubt it was ever that cheap, at least not after the gold rush.

BTW, NYC proper was never much of a tech hub, at least not post-WWII. It was Northern NJ, Long Island, and the northern suburbs of NYC and a little further (largely IBM up there).

I do get a laugh out of people debating why SV is where it is. Success has a thousand fathers and failure is an orphan. Sure Stanford is a good university, but it's hardly unique in that respect. HP was a good innovative company, but it also was not unique. The only explanation I've heard that is unique is that when Bill Shockley [wikipedia.org] founded Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, he chose to do it in Mountain View, because his ailing mother lived in Palo Alto (it's nice to know that there was somebody that Shockley wasn't a complete bastard to). People reject this for two reasons. First, they don't like the idea of happenstance instead of something more predictable and explainable. Second, nobody wants to admit that a blatant racist and all-around bastard like Shockley is the guy that was responsible for Silicon Valley.

Re:Original study (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768601)

California also has a higher cost of living than the average.

If a Fortune 500 company offers the same job in California and Texas, the one in California will pay 10-20% more.

Re:Original study (1)

ezelkow1 (693205) | about a year ago | (#43768745)

This

I hate it when they dont mention if these wage comparisons are adjusted based on cost of living. If I were a tard I would have accepted an offer in california a long time ago, but then again like alot of engineers Im not and understand that a 10% raise of my current salary means Im losing money by going to california

Its also odd that some new engineers dont understand this. We have interviewed and given out offers to software engineers who came back and either turned it down or had a ridiculously high counter offer for an engineer 1 position all because they were given a high offer out of a company in california

Re:Original study (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | about a year ago | (#43768823)

Here's a link to the original study [techameric...dation.org]. It's not clear where they are getting the "wages fell 2%" statistic, but in California, the average annual wage was $123,900.

Wherever you are living, if you are pulling a 6 figure income, you should be living happily ever after. Otherwise, I posit the question, "If you are rich, why aren't you smart?"

Re:Original study (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#43768897)

Wherever you are living, if you are pulling a 6 figure income, you should be living happily ever after.

Except for the fact that you still have to wake up five days a week and go to work for someone else.......

Re:Original study (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | about a year ago | (#43769025)

Yeah. There is that. I forgot about that aspect. I forgot how depressing it can be having most of the fruits of your labors going toward the enrichment of a boss or exec or some other higher up. I may not be getting "rich" doing what I do (haunting thrift stores, yard sales, and public auctions for a wide variety of things to resell on the 'bay and other sites), but I make enough to pay my bills and other living expenses, and stash away a bit each month for a rainy day.

It is well worth it to me to be able to do my thing, set my own schedule, and for the most part, be answerable to no one except myself. Now, time to shut down all time wasting Firefox tabs and get to work. These goods aren't going to photoshoot and write themselves up. :D

Re:Original study (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43769363)

The average wage in the UK is a lot lower and falling. The government is trying really, really hard to drive down wages at the moment. Businesses simply want to pay their staff less, and the government supports businesses. They call it "removing red tape" and "making it easier for businesses to employ people", which translated means "removing employee rights" and "making it easier for businesses to fire people or give them short term rolling contracts instead of a real job".

Not even including inflation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768473)

Plus inflation your wages actually went down 4%.

Boomers get jobs? When pigs fly. (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43768483)

From the summary and article:

lower cost employees ... could include displaced baby boomer workers who have been out of work for some time and 'will take a lower paying job just to get back into the workforce.' Maybe when pigs fly. If you've been out of work for some time or are old enough to be a boomer, you'll have a hard time getting a job. Put 'em together and you're probably toast. Hiring boomers who've been out of work for a while at lower pay would be a rational and probably a desirable response (not the lower pay part, but in a market economy that's how it works). In reality employers are horribly prejudiced against such people and will just scream that we need more H-1B's.

Re:Boomers get jobs? When pigs fly. (4, Interesting)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43768513)

Drat, forgot to check the formatting before posting. Should have been:

lower cost employees ... could include displaced baby boomer workers who have been out of work for some time and 'will take a lower paying job just to get back into the workforce.'

Maybe when pigs fly. If you've been out of work for some time or are old enough to be a boomer, you'll have a hard time getting a job. Put 'em together and you're probably toast. Hiring boomers who've been out of work for a while at lower pay would be a rational and probably a desirable response (not the lower pay part, but in a market economy that's how it works). In reality employers are horribly prejudiced against such people and will just scream that we need more H-1B's.

Re:Boomers get jobs? When pigs fly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768629)

In reality employers are horribly prejudiced against such people and will just scream that we need more H-1B's.

Because the attitudes are:

1. "you wouldn't be unemployed if you were any good."
2 ."If you got the skills then you can get a job." What if you do have the skills but have been out of work? Then back to #1.

It is very telling how employers who claim that they can't find "qualified" people never state exactly what qualifications they are looking for. They just make vague statements about "not having skills". That's the same as saying as giving a product review and just saying "it sucks".

Re:Boomers get jobs? When pigs fly. (4, Interesting)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43768669)

Because the attitudes are:

1. "you wouldn't be unemployed if you were any good." 2 ."If you got the skills then you can get a job." What if you do have the skills but have been out of work? Then back to #1.

It is very telling how employers who claim that they can't find "qualified" people never state exactly what qualifications they are looking for. They just make vague statements about "not having skills". That's the same as saying as giving a product review and just saying "it sucks".

Aren't prejudices wonderful? My favorite examples of how a tight labor market can force employers to overlook their prejudices are the World Wars. In WWI factories started hiring black people, and in WWII they added women. Neither group could get the time of day before that, and as you may have heard, they did just fine providing labor for the Arsenal of Democracy (historical note: we won both wars).

Re:Boomers get jobs? When pigs fly. (0)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#43768909)

The economy maybe improving but it is far far from the days of WWII or the 1990s. It maybe returning soon slowly but it will take a few years.

Older companies (as non .coms) are happy to hire such people when it is hard to find workers. It is the 20 somethings that think they are just as awesome as the those with +30 years extra experience like to swag around their d*ck size on being cool and feel threatened by those who worked there way up rather than had connections fresh out of school.

Re:Boomers get jobs? When pigs fly. (4, Funny)

KitFox (712780) | about a year ago | (#43768759)

It is very telling how employers who claim that they can't find "qualified" people never state exactly what qualifications they are looking for. They just make vague statements about "not having skills".

"To qualify in the US, you must have a minimum of 10 years' experience with Windows Server 2008, 30 years of experience with Windows as a whole; You must know C, C++, C#, Java, PHP, ASP, .NET, JavaScript, Python, Perl, ASM, Objective C, HTML, CSS, and at least five other languages of your choice, all at a guru level and never -ever- need to use any reference material; You must be able to code a full working 100,000 lines of code with no bugs within 40 work hours; You must be able to QA test the whole thing in another 40 work hours; You must be able to take every single feature request coming from marketing and implement it within that week of coding - even the features that are requested the day after the week ends; You must have a doctorate in Computer Sciences; And you must be willing to work for no more than $41K/year."

Re:Boomers get jobs? When pigs fly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768857)

You forgot a key element: you must enjoy coding in your off time. Only people who code as a hobby are good coders.

Re:Boomers get jobs? When pigs fly. (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#43768919)

I have seen jobs where they give you an IQ test and tell you they want a masters degree! Then hand you a headset to work at the call center and say "I am paying you $35,000 and not $22,000 a year/$10 an hour like the rest of call centers!! Why aren't you grateful to have a job?!"

That company just hired a bunch of Indians as they could not find any qualified workers.

Haven't we seen this before? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768493)

A company I worked for in the early 2000s paid salaries that were directly determined by a survey like this. When the news was filled with people being laid off, salaries went up. When hiring seemed pretty good in 2004 or so, the averages were flat to down a little bit.

The recession continues (2)

adam.voss (1854938) | about a year ago | (#43768567)

As the recession continues, ...

By what definition is the recession continuing? While, the job market has not recovered, I do believe we have been experiencing economic growth.

Re:The recession continues (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43768687)

By what definition is the recession continuing? While, the job market has not recovered, I do believe we have been experiencing economic growth.

We're operating on borrowed time with this many unemployed.

It's narrative (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#43768693)

We've always been at war with Eastasia. As long as the news media keeps telling Americans there's a 'recession' we won't start asking why we're not getting anywhere. I swear, Americans have the opposite of an entitlement complex. We don't believe we deserve anything.

The only thing we're 100% sure of is that somewhere is a minimum wage welfare queen that's the reason why we're broke all the time. Buddy of mine put it best after he was down on his luck and tried to get some help from the gov't: "If it's so easy to get on welfare and cheat the system why don't you do it?"

Re:The recession continues (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43768729)

By what definition is the recession continuing? While, the job market has not recovered, I do believe we have been experiencing economic growth.

By the technical definition of recession (IIRC two or more quarters of decreasing GDP) we haven't been in a recession in quite some time. But the colloquial definition is "the economy sucks". That would include a weak job market.

Misleading title (1)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year ago | (#43768607)

The article states outright that the category includes "computer facilities management" and "other computer related services" and mentions "IT wage and employment trends." Including so many tangentially related positions makes it hard to draw any conclusions about software development trends.

only average people worry about average (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43768651)

In other news, 95% of the human male population is sure of their penis length to be below average...

Good timing (2)

rsilvergun (571051) | about a year ago | (#43768707)

Sunday afternoon. Just after a few major Whitehouse scandals and some general nastiness in the form of an armature terrorist attack and a kidnapper. This won't even slow down the call for more H1-Bs, despite the fact that we're told over and over that a worker shortage should _raise_ wages.

Many jobs aren't really about "skills" anymore. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43769047)

They're often about acting as an obsequious, obeident slave and saying the right things to the right people.

What could be more ludicrious than thinking that the "skills shortage" will be solved by
inexperienced, non-english speaking people from non-technical countries?

Historians will laugh their asses off at that one.

H-1Bs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43769229)

This seems like good evidence there is no shortage of high-tech workers and the H-1B program is completely unnecessary.

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