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Software Development Employment Rises 45% In 10 Years

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the this-means-less-if-you're-not-part-of-the-trent dept.

Programming 118

dcblogs writes "Software employment is rising at 4 to 5% a year, and may be the only tech occupation to have recovered to full employment since the recession. Other tech occupations aren't doing as well. In 2001, there were more than 200,000 people working in the semi-conductor industry. That number was less than 100,000 by 2010, according to a recent study by the Economic Policy Institute. Darin Wedel, who was laid off from Texas Instruments, and gained national attention when his wife, Jennifer, challenged President Obama on H-1B use, said that for electrical engineers, 'unless you are in the actual design of circuits, then you're not in demand.' He said that much of the job loss in the field is due to the closing of fabrication facilities. Wedel has since found new work as a quality engineer."

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118 comments

45% in 10 years != 4-5% per year... (4, Insightful)

Racemaniac (1099281) | about 9 months ago | (#44360791)

seriously, this is slashdot -_-
if you take a growth of 4% per year, that already reaches over 48% over 10 years (you know, it's accumulative, this nice little exponential growth) -_-

Re:45% in 10 years != 4-5% per year... (2)

Chris Pimlott (16212) | about 9 months ago | (#44361163)

More precisely, ~3.785% annual growth would compound to 45% over ten years.

It's nice to know I managed to remember my logarithms [wolframalpha.com] .

"Keep 'Kickin a$$'", Mr. Spock! apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361523)

That's not a "rib" - I actually respect that!

* "Fight the GOOD Fight, every moment..." as the great tune goes -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sp3zhgXDDSs [youtube.com]

APK

P.S.=> Reminded me of Mr. Spock on Star Trek TOS whenever figures came up, he'd mess with everyone's head pretty much as you have, with "exacting data"...

... apk

Re:45% in 10 years != 4-5% per year... (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 9 months ago | (#44361763)

1.45^(1/10) is simpler 1.0378552826828714822268271657159

Re:45% in 10 years != 4-5% per year... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361845)

I am glad someone else pointed this out so I didn't have to feel foolish in doing it.

Wages? (2)

danbuter (2019760) | about 9 months ago | (#44360805)

I'm betting average wages haven't risen that fast, especially over the last four years.

Re:Wages? (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 9 months ago | (#44363095)

I was just about to ask that: What about the wages? It's worth jack for me as a programmer to know that more people are now filling slots. If it would at least mean less overtime and more sensible deadlines, ok, I could dig that even at same wage level, but not even that's the case. Where the hell are all those programmers?

Or did we not get programmers but code monkeys who got a fast breeder course on "programming" (read: Writing code according to exact specifications that will work at least in ~70% of all cases), which means that we now have MORE work since we not only have to code our projects but also rescue those that have been FUBARed by those 5 bucks an hour "programmers"?

The latter sure feels right, when I look at the projects that were dumped on my crew in the past couple years. Usually it was code that makes you go "please, whoever wrote that, break the idiot's fingers and turn him into a consultant, maybe he will do less harm that way!"

Re:Wages? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364827)

Wages have risen faster. I don't know about the whole 10 year span, but the past 2 years both had ~6% salary growth for software engineers nationwide, and much higher in some metro areas.

too, many, dependent, clauses, in, summery (1)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 9 months ago | (#44360807)

Darin Wedel, who was laid off from Texas Instruments, and gained national attention when his wife, Jennifer, challenged President Obama on H-1B use, said that for electrical engineers, 'unless you are in the actual design of circuits, then you're not in demand.'

Re:too, many, dependent, clauses, in, summery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360977)

What about people in the Southern hemisphere? It's quite wintery for them.

Re:too, many, dependent, clauses, in, summery (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 9 months ago | (#44363089)

Why is Quality Assurance, the new frontier for those of us that are generous to the H1B's?

"recovered to full employment" (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#44360853)

What is OP's definition of "full employment"? Not sure it's the same as mine.

Re:"recovered to full employment" (5, Informative)

Xest (935314) | about 9 months ago | (#44360927)

An industry average of unemployed people as would be expected pre-recession.

i.e. if under normal economic conditions the unemployment rate is 3%, then software development is at that level.

If you're expecting it to mean 100% employment for all software developers then no that's not the case, because in every industry there'll be a few percent of incompetents who are just always unemployable no matter how desperate that industry gets.

Re:"recovered to full employment" (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#44361107)

Yeah, pre-'80s there was a Keynesian notion of full employment which meant a certain degree of central planning to ensure that people were trained up competently for roles they could fill. While 100% employment (within the labour pool) will never be a thing, as some people will always be moving between jobs, this goal seemed more laudable than what we have now.

Re:"recovered to full employment" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361367)

Why is it laudable?

Wasting millions of dollars training incompetent boobs to do a half-ass job, making everybody they work with have to work longer hours to make up for their bullshit, just so they don't have to take responsibility for their own incompetence and fix it?

Barriers to entry in software engineering are vanishingly small. Don't start crying poor-mouth because you can't find a job - if you can't find a job, there's a reason, and it's not that you're a great engineer who just can't catch a break.

Re:"recovered to full employment" (0)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#44361507)

Thank you, John Galt. Now please return to adolescent fantasies, where you belong.

Re:"recovered to full employment" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361595)

You're welcome, James Taggart. Now please return to your magical fairy land where nothing costs anything and money falls from the sky for the price of a wish.

1) There are already numerous job training programs.
2) There are billions in student loans floating around.
3) There are jobs to be had in the IT / Software Engineering space.
4) You can learn to program with a book, an internet connection, and a fairly cheap computer. 2 of the 3 you can get at nearly any public library these days, the 3rd may be available at the library, or you can buy your own laptop for a few hundred bucks. Github is free, open source projects exist, so you can even build your resume.

What more hand-holding is needed? At what point does it become the "unemployed guy's" responsibility to take charge of his own life? This idea that some government program is needed to hand-hold people into finding jobs they're unqualified for is ridiculous - we HAVE training programs already, if you're not taking advantage of them, that's your own fucking fault.

Re:"recovered to full employment" (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#44361857)

What more hand-holding is needed?

Whatever it takes to grind virtuous self-reliant people like yourself into the ground. What fun is Evil Statism if you can't do that?

Re:"recovered to full employment" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361995)

Whatever it takes to grind virtuous self-reliant people like yourself into the ground.

a) The approach you're taking doesn't grind those people into the ground; and
b) It's pretty sad that you feel you have to do whatever it takes to grind someone else into the ground.

Re:"recovered to full employment" (2)

pwizard2 (920421) | about 9 months ago | (#44362571)

How does somebody get over the arbitrary "5-7 years work experience" hurdle if they are trying to get their first development gig? We all know it's boilerplate horseshit. To the HR zombies, it doesn't matter if you have a stunning portfolio and cut your teeth on open source projects over the years; you aren't getting an interview unless your resume matches all the keywords on their grep list because they have no idea how to qualify what they're looking for.

Mod parent up (1)

BigDaveyL (1548821) | about 9 months ago | (#44362831)

This is the biggest hurdle many people face.

It is not easy to move to The Next Big Thing(tm) unless your current employer is actively working on New Tech (tm) - i.e. If you wanted to move from Java into .Net or whatever, even though the theory behind algorithms, oop, if statements and loops generally remains the same.

Re:Mod parent up (1)

Shados (741919) | about 9 months ago | (#44363283)

The issue is that the basic theory, algorithms, oop, and everything the languages have in common is the trivial stuff that can be outsourced. The differences is where things get interesting. They look insignificant until entire system designs revolve around them.

Of course, currently these developers are in such high demand that no one cares. Java shops hire .NET devs, .NET shops hire Java devs, and you end up with a clusterfuck of people ignoring edge cases of the platform.

Re:"recovered to full employment" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44363455)

how about volunteer your time to help some small entities with some simple projects.

eventually you'll volunteer for some more complex stuff, having made some connections, and proving one's self.

then that morphs into some paying gigs, and/or an entry level job.

which morphs into a more serious job.

or don't do any of that and cry about how unfair it is for people who sit around with their thumbs up their ass can't find any good opportunities.

Re:"recovered to full employment" (1)

pwizard2 (920421) | about 9 months ago | (#44363925)

Except volunteer experience (seriously, what do you think open source projects are, if not volunteer?) doesn't always translate to work experience (doing dev work for pay). You learn the skills either way and both routes give you equal competence but no one in business seems to care if you do it for free (even if you have something good to show off during an interview). Recruiters are especially bad at this. That's the whole point I'm trying to make.

Re:"recovered to full employment" (1)

lgw (121541) | about 9 months ago | (#44364403)

Big companies hire developers fresh out of college constantly. Small exploitive companies hire people with no experience to pay the crap and abuse them till they wise up and leave (hey, you gotta start somewhere).

If like me you took a non-traditional path to get started, it's gonna be the shit job with the abusive employer at first, but those guys do need to keep hiring constantly because of turnover.

Protip: once you have some experience, look for all the bullshit keywords in the job details of 10 or 20 jobs that you'd think you'd be qualified for and add all those bullshit keywords to your resume.

Re:"recovered to full employment" (1)

pwizard2 (920421) | about 9 months ago | (#44364871)

Big companies hire developers fresh out of college constantly.

Sadly, it didn't work out that way for me when I got out back in 2008 (right before the economy went bad). I wasn't a seasoned veteran but I wasn't a green developer with no experience either (I even had a small portfolio at the time).

Re:"recovered to full employment" (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 9 months ago | (#44363235)

I think your wisdom is beyond question. I would watch you on CNN orate your convictions on any street corner in the U.S.

Re:"recovered to full employment" (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#44362179)

Pretty sure you've missed entirely: A good state educational infrastructure (necessarily but not exclusively part of any Keynesian economy) is precisely to avoid training "incompetent boobs to do a half-ass job" merely because they or their daddies have access to a combination of money and cluelessness about the nation's needs. Instead, entrance eligibility and graduation depend on technical merit in light of national requirements.

For the alternative, see the previous US president.

Re:"recovered to full employment" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361829)

If you're expecting it to mean 100% employment for all software developers then no that's not the case, because in every industry there'll be a few percent of incompetents who are just always unemployable no matter how desperate that industry gets.

It's not just about incompetents. There are also highly capable people who find themselves with outdated skills who then need to retrain or transfer into something else. While they figure that out, they'll count for the unemployment statistic. It also can take a while to set up interviews and negotiate a new position after your company goes belly up, and the time spent doing that counts for the unemployment statistic too, even for people who can easily find new jobs. You also get people who are competent and highly in-demand, but the demand is for positions in a different geographical region.

Re:"recovered to full employment" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44362451)

It is surprisingly easy to find decent coders who cannot interview well or communicate their abilities to a potential employer

In many cases they get employed by some oppressive douche-bag who further sabotages their nascent job hunting skills and you end up with a decent 'potential' employee who is unlikely to land and/or keep a job

btw, I have never understood 'full employment' to mean 100%, particularly due to churn between jobs

Re:"recovered to full employment" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361881)

Or could we say the incompetents running the industries. For every incompetent as a developer I have seen 3X that in project management and execution of any given project. Developers are not the issue, it is the management of the developers that has become the issue.

Re:"recovered to full employment" (1)

rundgong (1575963) | about 9 months ago | (#44364151)

If you're expecting it to mean 100% employment for all software developers then no that's not the case, because in every industry there'll be a few percent of incompetents who are just always unemployable no matter how desperate that industry gets.

There will also be competent people working for companies that go bankrupt or the local office gets closed or are for other reasons looking for a new job.

I read somewhere that 1.5-2% unemployment basically means "everyone" is working.
As an example, 1% unemployment means on average people are unemployed approximately 1 month every 10 years

Re:"recovered to full employment" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 9 months ago | (#44363121)

If I am not mistaken, "full employment" today means "at least 20 hours unpaid overtime per week".

Lots of fabs have closed (4, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#44360855)

A lot of companies that used to maintain their own fabs have closed them over the years. Trying to keep up with the leaders in process technology is very expensive. It has been a long time since it was even as cheap as $1,000,000,000. Not many companies can afford to build one.

Semi industry fab costs limit industry growth [eetimes.com]

By 2020, current cost trends will lead to an average cost of between $15 billion and $20 billion for a leading-edge fab, according to the report. By 2016, the minimum capital expenditure budget needed to justify the building of a new fab will range from $8 billion to $10 billion for logic, $3.5 billion to $4.5 billion for DRAM and $6 billion to $7 billion for NAND flash, according to the report.

It used to be that companies could leverage their own fabs for competitive advantage in process or design technology, or simple scheduling. Not any more. Now you outsource the fab to one of the big providers and get in line. More and more of the fabs are outside the US.

Some of the smaller old fabs get retargeted to specialty products, but even that tends to die eventually.

Re:Lots of fabs have closed (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 9 months ago | (#44361003)

Perhaps that's a problem to some extent. But saying that "semi industry fab costs limit industry growth" when someone else's factory can offer a better value for your buck today than your own offered you ten years ago seems quite hypocritical to me.

Re:Lots of fabs have closed (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 9 months ago | (#44361635)

Going to someone else's off-shore fab may save money, but it still costs jobs. From time to time it also endangers product rollouts.

Re:Lots of fabs have closed (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 9 months ago | (#44364675)

Well you are going to have less process engineers working if you have less fabs open. Plus the escalating costs of semiconduction manufacturing plants are a well known problem. See Rock's Law [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Lots of fabs have closed (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 9 months ago | (#44361887)

Most of Intel's new fabs and upcoming fabs are in the USA, but they aren't work for hire.

Re:Lots of fabs have closed (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 9 months ago | (#44362905)

A lot of companies that used to maintain their own fabs have closed them over the years.

That is part of the "problem". But I think a bigger part is the rise of SOCs and FPGAs, which have become far more powerful, while falling in price. Many applications that would have required an ASIC in the past, can now be done by configuring a SOC or programming an FPGA.

Yeah it sucks to be in EE (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360871)

The irony is that the electrical engineering requires more talent and education than run of the mill software development jobs. But by the time these guys are laid off, they're usually age 40+ so they have a tough time getting a job in software even after retraining themselves.

Re:Yeah it sucks to be in EE (3, Interesting)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#44360935)

I always thought it was about EE requiring a *different* mindset rather than "more talent". There are lots of "run of the mill" EE jobs too, which don't require the full gamut of skills learnt e.g. during your degree programme - just as most software jobs won't require most of what you learnt at school.

My academic background is in mathematics. I found anything from the purest mathematics to the underlying physics relevant to EEs a lot easier that did the EEs I bumped into, yet I find circuit study entirely unintuitive. I keep thinking that I'm missing something when trying to design/troubleshoot some electronics (always merely for fun). Even something as simple as the various designs for an oscillator, I think, "OK, how come you immediately know it does this [assuming you don't just recognise the circuit from a textbook]? What prompted the original designer to try this particular circuit?" EEs I've met - unlike a lot of mathematicians, I think? - don't seem so keen on explaining their thought processes. This may sound weird, but I'd love to have one as a social friend, who would just lead me through building shit for fun.

Re:Yeah it sucks to be in EE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361241)

In my experience, circuit design is mostly stuff pulled from a recipe book and adapted/adjusted for the specific need. Very little circuit design is new and innovative. Where things can get touchy feely and really technical all at once is managing special problems that arise on a board design.

Re:Yeah it sucks to be in EE (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361351)

In my experience, circuit design is mostly stuff pulled from a recipe book and adapted/adjusted for the specific need. Very little circuit design is new and innovative. Where things can get touchy feely and really technical all at once is managing special problems that arise on a board design.

But this is similar to programming, no?

Re:Yeah it sucks to be in EE (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#44361419)

In my experience, circuit design is mostly stuff pulled from a recipe book and adapted/adjusted for the specific need. Very little circuit design is new and innovative.

As an EE, I agree. There are very few Bob Widlar's. I also think that's true of most things though.

Re:Yeah it sucks to be in EE (5, Interesting)

inasity_rules (1110095) | about 9 months ago | (#44361279)

To understand circuits "intuitively", you need to train yourself to visualize both the voltage, currents and frequencies at any point in the circuit simultaneously. When you can look at a diagram of a filter and "see" the waveform or frequency comming out, then it is intuitive. It sort of comes with experience. And you start to recognise patterns which simplifies things. It is a lot like learning to read, or program a computer, just more complex in that something further "down" the circuit can have an effect on something further "up".

The trick with most oscilators is to realise that noise starts them. In a perfect world, they'd need a kick to get going. Most things are tried because, like with any engineering, when all the components are understood, all it takes is a bit of intelligence to combine them into useful modules.

Re:Yeah it sucks to be in EE (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#44361401)

For someone with a mathematical background, I'm surprisingly un-visual - I see everything in terms of *connections*. But it does not harm to try new techniques. Yes, it's quite a challenge to know when there will be relevant feedback to an earlier part of a circuit.

So, for someone who is a complete butter-fingers, what would you recommend as simulation software sufficiently advanced that I can get to building and experimenting virtually at a faster rate than I have in the past with a board and/or iron? Ought I to spend some time sitting down with a book or two to teach me more formal techniques for circuit analysis? Cheers.

Re:Yeah it sucks to be in EE (1)

inasity_rules (1110095) | about 9 months ago | (#44361681)

Formal analysis is always helpful, and worth doing to build your intuition. It is well worth spending some time on that. A deeper understanding of how and why components behave as they do, is very useful. Simple things people often seem to forget (for example, the Emitter -Base of a PNP transistor is essentially a diode) or don't realise make all the difference. Sure it seems obvious, but only if you understand what a transistor is, and how it is constructed. Like anything you learn, it is worth digging deeper into the underlying physics of why the components do what they do. The math with help you there a lot. Also semiconductor design is helpful to an extent.

As an engineer, my intuition is almost always visual, so I don't know how else it could be. I see a voltage level at most junctions in a circuit and current flowing in and out of it. Frequency more resembles (to me anyway) current then voltage, although it isn't quite the same. That's just my way of internalizing things though, and there may well be others. The nature of the problem doesn't lend itself to a purely numerical approach though - the magnatude of, say current is possibly a touch less important than where it is going and what it will cause to happen elsewhere. What is it biasing? Is that transistor now on? Off? Partially on? A voltage casuses a current, and a current causes a voltage accross a resistance. You need to be able to switch between the two and keep in mind what the other was doing.. Hard without "seeing" for me at least. When you get any information out of a circuit it is always visual anyway - a trace on a CRO or a voltage on a meter (OK, I did start with analogue meters...)

I use CircuitMaker a lot, but I later found a silly little program called Crocodile Clips very helpful when trying to teach people, as it instantly shows the currents and voltages (though it is all but useless for frequencies, or complex waveforms and has a very limited component selection). I have not used crocclips since I quit teaching this stuff... It may have improved, and is probably worth a look. Once you have simulated something, it is normally worth building too. There are other tricks simulators can't teach...

Good luck!

Re:Yeah it sucks to be in EE (1)

Joining Yet Again (2992179) | about 9 months ago | (#44362077)

Yes, I'm very much a first principles and "reduce it to something we've seen before" sort of person, but I too commonly get overwhelmed with increasing higher level complexity as I find it hard to know when to stop thinking at too low a level.

Thank you very much for the tips.

Re:Yeah it sucks to be in EE (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360943)

The irony is that the electrical engineering requires more talent and education than run of the mill software development jobs. But by the time these guys are laid off, they're usually age 40+ so they have a tough time getting a job in software even after retraining themselves.

It won't be long though, the future is analog. Software and programming is a fad for children and halfwits. The return of the mighty analog circuit is nigh, hang tight brother, we have the op-amp on our side.

Re:Yeah it sucks to be in EE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361079)

It won't be long though, the future is analog. Software and programming is a fad for children and halfwits. The return of the mighty analog circuit is nigh, hang tight brother, we have the op-amp on our side.

The future is quantum. It's where typical EE is useless.

Re:Yeah it sucks to be in EE (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#44361385)

The future is quantum. It's where typical EE is useless.

Quantum has been an important part of EE since 1947.

Re:Yeah it sucks to be in EE (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about 9 months ago | (#44361619)

It's been an important part since the beginning of EE. It's just that no one realized it until 1947.

Re:Yeah it sucks to be in EE (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#44361455)

Software and programming is a fad for children and halfwits.

More like a practical joke. As an EE I apologize for my intellectual ancestors having taken this thing too far, but originally it was just an innocent joke. I have been wondering though when the rest of the world will realize that.

Re:Yeah it sucks to be in EE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364039)

Ah yes... have fun continuing to re-work a x-point FFT with your harwardware for every application while I just jump on over here to change a few lines of assembly/c/vhdl.

Re:Yeah it sucks to be in EE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44365483)

Hi all,

I'm looking for others to join my Analog Supremacist Movement. We will flood the forums, take out ads etc.... mocking software and programmers. Essentially creating a public distrust for anything not analog, raising the EE to that of god-like status who saves the world from the dangerous and shady land of software and the miscreants who flourish in its evil chaos.

Please join me,
Acting Commander Diode (actual command structure to be decided democratically)

-website to be announced

includes hourly contractors? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360883)

I wonder if these numbers include hourly contractors, which are increasingly in demand. Our software company has used offsite hourly contractors exclusively for the last 15 years, which is much better in so many ways, particularly our ability to get very skilled labor for project length gigs.

Handhelds (2)

Oysterville (2944937) | about 9 months ago | (#44360891)

I would venture to guess that without the smart phone market taking off the way it has, that we wouldn't see as good of recovery in the software development sector. Thank goodness something came along. Oh, and here's the full article on one page [computerworld.com] .

Re:Handhelds (3, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | about 9 months ago | (#44360949)

It's not just that, as companies have been cutting staff they've also been looking for ways to do more with less staff and turns out that that's where computer automation comes in. The reality is there are some jobs out there whereby you can hire one developer and have him/her write software that will automate the job of 10 people or whatever. It's cheaper to hire a developer and automate, than to keep paying people to do an easily automated job.

That's why software has been fairly recession proof. There have been redundancies of course, but for each redundancy there's been plenty of other companies looking to hire to automate.

The mobile boom has helped as well of course as you say.

Tech bubble (3, Interesting)

internerdj (1319281) | about 9 months ago | (#44360907)

I'm curious, what does the data look like for 12 or 15 or 20 years?

Re:Tech bubble (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44364887)

Who cares? Predictions more than a year out are not reliable. We can't foretell the future. I'm sure the 10 year forecasts during the dot com boom were overly rosie, and I'm sure the 10 year forecasts after the bust were overly bleak.

quality engineer (5, Funny)

JavaLord (680960) | about 9 months ago | (#44360937)

Wedel has since found new work as a quality engineer

He's checking the accuracy of the drive thru orders at McDonald's.

not quite mcdonalds... Re:quality engineer (1)

Fubari (196373) | about 9 months ago | (#44361343)

Not quite mcdonalds (though clever); from tfa:

Wedel has found new work. He has been employed for about a year as a quality engineer for a large eye care/pharma company.
Ask about outsourcing, Wedel said it has "affected just about anyone with a technical degree -- it's purely business getting its way with government. Lobbyists have bamboozled our politicians into thinking we have a shortage of qualified engineers and that we need to import more via the H-1B -- simply not true.

Re:not quite mcdonalds... Re:quality engineer (2)

T.E.D. (34228) | about 9 months ago | (#44363315)

A triffling difference. Its still part of the health-care-industrial complex. Its just that McDonalds is at the front end (making you sick), while pharma is at the back end (treating the symptoms so you can still go eat McDondalds).

S/W dev Employment in INDIA rises 45% in 10 years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360965)

There fixed it for you....

It seems to me that the only growth of S/W is in places like Bangalore and Chennai and not in the US or Europe.

Re:S/W dev Employment in INDIA rises 45% in 10 yea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361501)

Let me see if I get what you're saying:

"I got my BS 10, 15, 20 years ago and learned stagnating or dying technologies, and refused to update my skills or spend any time learning something new or keeping my skill set current. Now somebody's gotta pay for my laziness! I can't be held responsible, I had a reasonable expectation that I would be able to coast for 40 years in a career based on half a dozen undergrad courses and my charm!"

Is that about right?

Re:S/W dev Employment in INDIA rises 45% in 10 yea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44362693)

Ok you make a good point.

So when I advertise for a skilled S/W dev the only people who reply are Indian? Most originate from Chennai, Bangalore or Mumbai.
Then I get companies trying to sell me 'A fantastic resourse just waitting to do the developent for you'. The bad news is that they are the likes of Mastek and other Indian oursourcers.

See the pattern here?

I graduated in MechE in 1975 so I am just thankful that I only have 5 years before I retire. By then I fully expect that 90% of all S/W dev will be done either in India/China or over here by INdian/Chinese expats.
I went to a local school to talk to pupile about careers a couple of years ago. Not one person was interested in a career in Science, Engineering or IT. They all wanted to work in the media, be a professional footballer or didn't have a clue.
The general concensus was that those courses were 'too hard' and didn't pay a £1+ a year.

My Alma-Mater stopped doing most Science courses a few years ago citing not demand and a very high drop out rate.
Now they are shutting down many of their Computer related courses. So where are the devs of the future going to come from? India & China.

Re:S/W dev Employment in INDIA rises 45% in 10 yea (1)

AaronW (33736) | about 9 months ago | (#44363319)

Here in Silicon Valley I see a huge demand. My company has multiple positions that have been open for some time. We prefer to hire locally, but if we can't we will hire people where we can get them. Friends of mine at other companies are reporting the same thing.

Oh no! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44360979)

How will we complain about offshoring and H1-Bs now?!

I'm observing a spike in demand right now. (1)

Qbertino (265505) | about 9 months ago | (#44361021)

Personally, after being in the developer/IT rat-race for 14 years now I'm recently experiencing a spike in 'bugging by recruiters' myself, just now when I'm ready to ponder a career change. I don't know what to make of it, most are lazy recruiters who want me to do their data entry job for them - nothing new here - but just these weeks I've had recruiters come back to me and actually report on the status of a given occupation (that's a rare one).

This is all just anecdotal and probably has to do with me adding a few buzzwords to my online profiles, but it's interesting none-the-less. The ratio of clueless/lazy/crappy-paid recruiters hasn't changed much though.

Re:I'm observing a spike in demand right now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361069)

Where do they usually find you, may I ask?

Re:I'm observing a spike in demand right now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361309)

You need to update your online profiles at least once a month. This keeps you at the top of their lists.

Re:I'm observing a spike in demand right now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361449)

LinkedIn.

Fuck Dice. Fuck Monster. If you're not getting fairly regular contacts through your network and from recruiters, then you're either unemployable, or need to revise your profile.

Re:I'm observing a spike in demand right now. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 9 months ago | (#44362757)

I get quite frequent calls from recruiters too. Most of them find my name through Google, a few through Ohloh.net. I don't do social networking (and my mail client has finally learned that any mail from LinkedIn is spam), so it's absolutely not necessary to buy in to corporate buzzwords.

Re:I'm observing a spike in demand right now. (1)

Shados (741919) | about 9 months ago | (#44362587)

Its not so much a spike as a steady (insane) increase month after month.

Its been going on for a few years now, and it just keeps on getting more and more ridiculous, with employers offering crazier sign on bonuses, vacation packages, and better conditions every day to outbid each other.

I for one, am not complaining. I just hope it lasts until I'm done paying my mortgage.

Re:I'm observing a spike in demand right now. (1)

AaronW (33736) | about 9 months ago | (#44363257)

I can attest to this. In Silicon Valley this has been happening for some time. My company has a number of open positions and it's hard to find qualified engineers. It's amazing how many screw up basic C programming questions or computer architecture questions. I have friends at other companies who are reporting the same thing... open positions that they can't fill. If you can do embedded programming and/or Linux kernel work there is a huge demand.

Re:I'm observing a spike in demand right now. (1)

TroubleMagnet (529417) | about 9 months ago | (#44364257)

Full time or contract? What are the posted requirements? How much do they pay? Might be the boom hasn't hit Texas yet I guess.

Re:I'm observing a spike in demand right now. (1)

AaronW (33736) | about 9 months ago | (#44364809)

My employer generally only hires full-time at the standard going rates around Silicon Valley. We're looking for people with networking experience, embedded processor experience (especially multi-core 64-bit MIPS and ARM, though 64-bit ARM is new), multi-threaded/multi core experience (most of our CPUs are multi-core, our next major chip will support 4-way NUMA with 48 cores per chip). We're also looking for Linux kernel engineers and application optimization engineers. I don't know what salaries are being offered, but it should be competitive. Most positions are fairly senior level though we're also looking for FAEs and test engineers.

We're hiring hardware engineers as well.

http://www.cavium.com/careers.html [cavium.com]

Out of curiosity I also looked at Tesla Motor's web site to try and get an idea on what they're doing. They too have a lot of openings for engineering.

http://tbe.taleo.net/CH07/ats/careers/jobSearch.jsp?org=TESLA&cws=1 [taleo.net]

Re:I'm observing a spike in demand right now. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 9 months ago | (#44365371)

I can second this. Not only that, all the startups I've looked at recently are having trouble finding decent programmers.

Spike in demand, or spike in unfillable jobs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361323)

So is this a genuine across the board spike in demand, or is it a spike in jobs that can't be filled? I see a lot more pseudo-demand than in the past, but it's for bizarre niche skills in vertical market packages, CMSes, and just plain off-the-wall stuff. (eg Drools - never heard of it - it's Prolog in Java with Scheme syntax!) And I never see the same job twice, so there's no across the board increase in any specific area. It's one random job after another with no pattern.

My guess is that the cost cutting of the past 15 years or so is coming back to bite companies. They've thrown out their in-house software, fired their programmers and most of their system admins, and they are stuck with a vertical-market package no one has heard of. The managers who did this got their bonuses and moved on. Now the upgrade cycle is starting to hurt, and they need experts in these vertical-market packages, but there just aren't that many to go around and the company is stuck. They want to hire someone for six months to come in, do an upgrade cycle, and go away. But they only want someone with 5-10 years experience, so there aren't many people out there at all who could fill the job, and those few people aren't necessarily available.

Unless you already have 5-10 years experience with some niche technology, there's no point in learning it, because (1) you never see the same job twice, (2) if you applied you would be ignored because you don't have 5-10 years hands-on project experience, and (3) the best you could do is a temp job even if you had the experience.

Will the pain get so bad for companies that they would actually hire someone who knows software development and train them on a vertical-market package?

Re: Spike in demand, or spike in unfillable jobs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44361433)

unions can fix that.

lets see pos software that IT can't make work rhe way the phb wants so they get layed off and then years down the road they can't find someone with 5 years hands on with it

Chemistry, the New Art History (3, Insightful)

methano (519830) | about 9 months ago | (#44361495)

I have a PhD in organic chemistry from a pretty good school and used to have a pretty good career. Most of the people like me, over 50, are out of work or grossly underemployed. And it's very bad for new grads, too. And not great for the rest. We're not so happy about that H-1B and STEM talk coming from everywhere either.

Re:Chemistry, the New Art History (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 9 months ago | (#44363011)

Well, unlike the last 50 years, most chemicals and combinations are well-known now. And very few new ones are being discovered. Formulas are simpler to create because the raw materials are more complex and sold for a purpose.

Re:Chemistry, the New Art History (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#44364709)

Well, unlike the last 50 years, most chemicals and combinations are well-known now.

And we've filled out the periodic table, so I guess chemistry is a done deal. Remember to cross it off the STEM list - we don't need no more stinkin' chemists.

Formulas are simpler to create because the raw materials are more complex and sold for a purpose.

In the past raw materials were sold without a purpose?

Re:Chemistry, the New Art History (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44365469)

You have no fucking clue what you're saying. Meta-materials alone are an exploding thing industry-wise. You must be in PR because you're too fucking stupid to do anything else.

Re:Chemistry, the New Art History (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44363165)

What happened bro?

Re:Chemistry, the New Art History (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44363843)

If you are smart enough to get a PhD in chemistry, you are smart enough to program. Pick up a book and you can teach yourself. When we say not everyone can be a software developer, we surely don't mean someone like you.

Re:Chemistry, the New Art History (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#44364951)

If you are smart enough to get a PhD in chemistry, you are smart enough to program. Pick up a book and you can teach yourself.

If there was a genuine shortage of programmers and no H-1B program, that would be excellent advice. Employers would be forced to look beyond their prejudices, and get more "creative" (i.e. open minded) in their hiring. Hmmm, Ph.D. in chem, so probably not a complete dunce :) Taught himself this tech, so shows some initiative. Let's hire him!

Currently though employers will just whine to nanny government to increase the H-1B quota (nearly tripling it is in the immigration bill that passed the senate). They'll continue to indulge their prejudice not to hire anyone over 30-40. The proof that genuine labor shortages cause employers to look beyond their idiocies is the world wars. In WWI black people were hired to work in factories where previously they wouldn't have been given the courtesy of a bum's rush, and in WWII it was women.

Dice's campaign for H1-b's continues full blast (1)

echtertyp (1094605) | about 9 months ago | (#44361849)

I take it that Dice Holdings has a quota, every week a story must appear to support the astroturf campaign wailing about "a shortage of STEM workers in the United States".. Check the box for this week! What will it be next week?

I can confirm this. (1)

AaronW (33736) | about 9 months ago | (#44363049)

My employer has multiple open positions that we just can't fill. There aren't enough qualified engineers for the positions open. Friends of mine at other companies are reporting the same thing. This is true for both software and hardware engineers. I'm constantly being contacted by other companies and recruiters to the point where they sometimes call me at my work number (which they must be getting from some of the mailing lists I've posted to).

Re:I can confirm this. (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 9 months ago | (#44364965)

My employer has multiple open positions that we just can't fill. There aren't enough qualified engineers for the positions open. Friends of mine at other companies are reporting the same thing. This is true for both software and hardware engineers.

Where?

Re:I can confirm this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44365083)

You are obviously lying or a shill.

You see, college kids who have at least a year with PHP arent getting jobs (even when so blatantly overqualified), so what this means is that all the work is going to India - at least before the whole economy collapses because college grads cant get a job making what they know theyre worth.

Oh, and college grads shouldnt have to compete with/like lesser mortals - I mean why go to college if youre just going to have to deal with the same things everyone else does? Whats the point of being special if you dont get special privileges?

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