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Getting Over the Stigma of a Previous Job?

Cliff posted more than 10 years ago | from the my-boss-did-it-not-me dept.

Businesses 678

Subm asks: "Some friends-of-friends worked at a company with such a high profile downfall their past employer became a liability. They weren't involved in causing the downfall, but with the name 'Enron' on their resumes, interviews were spent defending their past employment. SCO is more focused in its industry than Enron, was and its reputation is in a downward spiral in that industry (Unix and GNU/Linux, not lawsuits, that is). SCO's staff will have to look for other jobs sooner or later, and most within the Unix/GNU/Linux community. Can good workers get over the stigma of an employer's reputation? How will working at SCO affect its staff's careers? Does anyone at SCO talk about this?"

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ha (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838542)



CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838659)


This one goes out to all my dead homies (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838543)

fuck taco

Love Always,
News For Turds

fp (-1, Offtopic)

rabbits77 (453747) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838545)


Industry? (4, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838548)

SCO is more focused in its industry than Enron

Which industry is that? scamming and defrauding people?

Re:Industry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838602)

Does one REALLY want to be employed by a company that can't figure this out for themselves?

It's about skills, 99.9% (3, Insightful)

LazloToth (623604) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838549)

If you can do the work, and do it well - - and you're reliable and honest and willing to take what's offered in the way of starting compensation - - many doors will open.

Re:It's about skills, 99.9% (1)

Nicholas Evans (731773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838612)

Honest and willing to take what's offered? Yep, SCO is honest as President Lincoln, and they sure took up that offer to get the offending source removed from the kernel. But I guess I can't blame all the employees.

Re:It's about skills, 99.9% (5, Funny)

chimpo13 (471212) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838622)

"reliable and honest" is exactly what SCO is known for. In fact, "reliable and honest" is exactly how my new Nigerian business partners describe themselves.

Re:It's about skills, 99.9% (1)

Nicholas Evans (731773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838667)

Windows also describles itself as reliable and honest. Guess the phrase 'reliable and honest' kinda lost it's honest and reliable qualities.

Re:It's about skills, 99.9% (0, Offtopic)

Avihson (689950) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838693)

Didn't Clinton say that about himself? I know that Nixon stated "I am not a crook".

Bullshite (1)

dacarr (562277) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838686)

If you're (un)lucky enough to work for an F500 company, you will probably have noticed that your tie is your most important asset in a job interview.

Perhaps the ones on Thinkgeek will get a few geek-flavored jobs....

With the current economy (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838723)

I'm having trouble finding any job, having the stigma of a citizen and registered voter.

Re:It's about skills, 99.9% (1, Flamebait)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838744)

Thank God someone said this.

Yeah, if you had a hardcore Linux Zealot interview you, you wouldn't get the job. But 99.999% of the people that will interview you won't be hardcore Linux zealots, they'll be phb and people down to earth.

SCO employees may have a hard time gaining employment at IBM and Redhat (and other Linux distro's), but in any other company employing Unix software, they'll have a shot.

Re:It's about skills, 99.9% (5, Interesting)

GeckoFood (585211) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838749)

If you can do the work, and do it well - - and you're reliable and honest and willing to take what's offered in the way of starting compensation - - many doors will open.

Not to be argumentative, but this is not necessarily always true.

A past employer can be an awful liability, especially in the case of a high-profile fraud situation or a combative company. Many times if you are a former employee you are "guilty by association."

It's somewhat similar to looking for a job and being overqualified. You have the skills, you can hit the ground running and you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are the best damn candidate for the job. BUT... You have a PhD. The employer will snub his nose at you because you're overqualified. Does it matter that you are willing to take entry level and 60/hrs a week? Not really, because then they'll wonder why you're willing to work cheap.

Yes, your past credentials and associations matter.

I Was In Prison (1)

deliciousmonster (712224) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838551)

Probably not that much worse than leaving the last two years open...

Re:I Was In Prison (3, Funny)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838625)

Probably not that much worse than leaving the last two years open...

ah yes. be careful about leaving that stint blank though (q: "what did you do for those two years?" a: "played cards. lifted weights") - i work for a company that's owned by americans and it was a bit awkward after a year of employment to confess that i wasn't allowed into the united states.

Not allowed into the US? (1)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838687)

Okay, Frymaster (if that is your real name): Why is it that you're not allowed into the United States?

Re:Not allowed into the US? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838750)

He played cards and lifted weights for two years, so he must have been in the Navy. Maybe he deserted or something ...

You're asking this here? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838554)

Based on the usual slashbot responses, I'm surprised you are asking about the stigma of a job here. Most slashbots don't know what a job is, let alone hold one.

The only ones that have to worry are... (1)

Chris_Stankowitz (612232) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838555)

the laywers, unless of course they win, in which case even Johny Cockran(?) will be kissing their collective asses. The tech folk won't haev to worry beyond the economic conditions that currently exist.

Anderson (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838557)

a friend worked at anderson accounting as an entry-level consultant. he's faced with a difficult choice-put anderson and his one year of professional exp. on his resume and explain his situation or leave it out and try to explain why he doesn't have any professional experience in his two plus years as a college grad.

oh, for the past year he's been trying to make it as a musician. that wouldn't help out for professional tech or business jobs.

No real choice (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838657)

In his case, he really only has one choice. He must put it on. If not, he will be quized about the time period. If he says nothing, then he is a worthless bum and will not get a job.
Worse, assume he is hired. Later on somebody finds out that he worked at anderson but lied. Now he is fired for lieing on resume.
Now his is a 2 time loser with NO chance at a job.

Re:Anderson (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838675)

a friend worked at anderson accounting

Looks like he fooled you too with his previous work experience. I thought he might have worked for Andersen Consulting for a moment.

First New Year? (-1, Offtopic)

Quietti (257725) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838558)


Industry defense mechanism (3, Interesting)

Pendersempai (625351) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838559)

Harsh as it may sound, perhaps it would be better if they couldn't get over having SCO on their resume.

Perhaps that would motivate employers to quit as soon as their company starts being vastly evil, which would in itself be a motivation for companies not to be evil.


Re:Industry defense mechanism (1)

jasonditz (597385) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838619)

That doesn't solve everything though. Suppose you'd been working at Caldera for the last 5 years. Even if you quit the minute they started the lawsuits, you've still got that name associated with yours.

Re:Industry defense mechanism (1)

urmensch (314385) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838724)

Do you really want to be hired by someone that doesn't bother to look at the dates of your employment? If they don't know when the lawsuit started but pass you by anyway, think about other baseless decisions they might make while you are working with them.

Re:Industry defense mechanism (1)

BigDumbAnimal (532071) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838677)

if they couldn't get over having SCO on their resume.
It would be ok if applied to coporate lawyers and CEO/manager types with real power to make major decisions. I don't think you should brand any low level grunt programmer/admin/etc. for the actions of medium to large corporation.

Perhaps they don't have the means to simply quit everytime their current company does something they don't like. You have to pick your battles.
Also, maybe the lower level people do not have any more knowledge than the general public before the cat is out of the bag.

my $0.02

Re:Industry defense mechanism (1)

switcha (551514) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838678)

Perhaps that would motivate employers to quit as soon as their company starts being vastly evil, which would in itself be a motivation for companies not to be evil.

Are you serious? You think Sally the Office Manager , Stuart the HR assistant, etc. should bear the weight of dip-shits on the top floors who nose-dive a company (morally)?

What kind of research could you do on a prospective employer (I'm guessing you think it's the employees responsibility) to know if they are crooked at the top?

"Well, Mr. Thompson, your references are impeccable and you appear to be just what we're looking for. Do you have any more questions about us?"

"Oh yeah. I was actually wondering is you or some of your higher-ups are a bunch of thieving, scandalous ass-wipes?"

Re:Industry defense mechanism (3, Interesting)

devphaeton (695736) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838732)

Perhaps that would motivate employers to quit as soon as their company starts being vastly evil, which would in itself be a motivation for companies not to be evil.

On first thought, that sounds quite plausible. But on second thought, i know and you know that if someone bails out of a $25/hr job, the company will be more than happy to try to hire someone into it (read: inexperienced newbs or immigrants) at $9/hr.

All and all, that will have a detrimental effect on everyone in the entire industry, as we see now. Plus, one of the first backlashes for this sort of thing would be to start an IT Union or something of that effect. Maybe in the 1930's Unions were a good thing, ensuring people didn't get literally worked to death in unsafe conditions for peanuts.

However these days, most unions are ridiculous beauracracies (sp, i know) that wince financial support from both employers and employees for their own gain, under the muse of taking care of both sides....

Re:Industry defense mechanism (1)

Stinking Pig (45860) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838737)

I think that's the most insane thing I've read in a while, where insanity is defined as doing the same thing over again and expecting different results. Show me an example in American history of employee welfare having one iota of influence on corporate direction? The only thing I can think of is the unionization battles of the 1880s through the 1940s, and there you're looking at a clear example of business being forced into action through bloodshed and sabotage. I don't think any one in this industry is desperate enough to strike yet, much less lay their life on the line.

First! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838561)

Ha ha, losers!

nope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838563)

stigma lasts forever.

break out your rabbits' feet and hope you get lucky.

Re:nope. (2, Funny)

kfg (145172) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838703)

stigma lasts forever.

A little soda water works wonders.


Just leave out that time period (5, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838565)

"Working for SCO? No, of course not. What was I doing during that time period? Heroin. Lots of heroin"

At least that's something respectable.

Just throw in the towel. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838568)

You're fucked. Shave your head and become a monk.

Daryl says: (0, Offtopic)

CheapScott (83584) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838570)

No, none of this is true.

In related news: George Bush was found cowering in a spider hole while encouraging his army of infidels to commit suicide in Iraq.

Possible (0)

k3vmo (620362) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838572)

I think it's possible to overcome the downfall of a former employer. I had one myself. As long as you don't badmouth the company and stick up for whatever you believe .. it shouldn't cause much difficulty during the interviews.

I do see a problem for a tech. (4, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838582)

With SCO accusing the OSS world of stealing their IP, many companies will be a bit fearful of hiring a tech. It is not beyond reason that evil axis may be trying to place programmers to introduce SCO (or someone elses) code.
The other issue that I see is anybody from Management should probably be avoided. These are the ones that took down Caldera, Unix, and SCO.

S.C.O (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838583)

Sound Careers Offered.

Re:S.C.O (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838717)

Having worked at SCO may be a liability but having worked on open source is also a liability at many commercial software companies. There are quite a few commercial software companies that don't hire programmers who have worked on open source no matter what.

People do open source for a lot of different reason but there are a good number of fanatics who wants to destroy commercial software. You don't want these in your company.

Don't know about SCO, but ... (5, Interesting)

brokeninside (34168) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838587)

I recall watching a news magazine program where they mentioned that certain former Enron employees were being snapped up right and left by other energy trading firms after the impending bankruptcy was announced. True, their salaries were much lower than at Enron, but they were still well above average for the industry.

I'd imagine that pretty much the same would hold for SCO employees. If nothing else, being a former SCO employee makes the question "why did you leave your last position?" very easy to answer.

Re:Don't know about SCO, but ... (5, Funny)

Chris_Stankowitz (612232) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838624)

If nothing else, being a former SCO employee makes the question "why did you leave your last position?" very easy to answer.

Would the answer: "What do you think dumbass!", cause me to *not* get the job?

Beat this! (1, Funny)

GrievousAngel (220826) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838588)

I used to work for a tobacco company.

Easy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838647)

*I'm* Michael Jackson's defense lawyer!

Re:Easy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838713)

*I'm* Michael Jackson (and I can confirm you're not my lawyer).


Re:Easy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838716)

*I'm* Michael Jackson's PR rep.

Oh yeah? (1)

Shut the fuck up! (572058) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838756)

*I'm* Michael Jackson's plastic surgeon

Re:Beat this! (1)

Ann Elk (668880) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838728)

I spent nearly ten years working for Microsoft. (It was slightly less than 10 -- I got "time off" for good behavior...)

Employment Agreement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838591)

Don't worry.

SCO's employment agreement bars them from working in the industry after leaving.

Similar article (-1, Troll)

the man with the pla (710711) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838595)

I recently came across an article about something similar (person working at septic system noc) over at tubgirl tech archive [] ...pretty interesting read.

Re:Similar article (0)

MrPerky (725437) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838639)

Mod this down as Troll, please. And for the love of your eyeballs, do _not_ visit this link.


proj_2501 (78149) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838666)

who in the FUCK moderated that as informative?!


Trolly McTroll-Troll (632114) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838683)



Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838763)

Who in the FUCK is so dumb as to click on tubgirl?

Can they be proactive? (3, Interesting)

khasim (1285) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838605)

There's a big difference between leaving when you can still claim moral justification and leaving when they finally kick you out.

I wouldn't have a problem with hiring someone who worked for SCO if they were looking for a job now. But I'd have a different opinion if they were looking after SCO goes broke (or whatever happens).

McCarthyism 2.0? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838606)

What a load of crap! If you come across any prospective employer who thinks that time you spent as a low-lever paper pusher at Enron, Arthur Andersen, etc means you are somehow "tainted," just walk out of the interview-- if they obsess over shit like that instead of your job performance, they'll go under soon enough and you'll be back out on the street again anyway.

I don't remember seeing any company clerks of the Wehrmacht on trial at Nuremberg.

Re:McCarthyism 2.0? (1)

kclittle (625128) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838701)

"Nein, Ich bin ein Brasilianerin."

Typecast! (1)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838610)

Wow, even corporate drones are being typecast.

"Sorry, I can only picture you in a corrupt company role."

Personally it would depend... (5, Insightful)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838611)

Granted I've done HR work in my past, I would think the following:
  • Chief Financial officer of Enron: Not hiring
  • Poor grunt at Enron who had no clue what hit him: Could look past that to his real experience.
  • Lower level accountant at Enron: My get some questions asked in an effort to determine their position in all the mess
Obviously many don't think that way and wouldn't touch an ex-Enron employee with a ten foot telephone pole and I really feel sorry for them.

However for every door closed there's a door open, consider writing a book about the mess or posing for playboy for example (they did a women of Enron IIRC)? You get the idea there...

IMHO there's always an opportunity for you...just look....

Re:Personally it would depend... (1)

chimpo13 (471212) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838733)

I can't wait for "women of SCO" in Playboy. Finally tubgirl will outshine goatse.

Actually... (1)

MarcoAtWork (28889) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838614)

I see that as an advantage if they quit before the company crashes'n'burns as it enables you to answer the 'why are you considering leaving your company' ( = 'why aren't you loyal?') question with a bombproof 'I don't agree with the ethical stance my company is taking'.

Now, if instead you wait till the company has gone bust, well, it gets much harder to defend yourself, you can always go the 'bills to pay, couldn't leave' route but it's not as convincing.

Companies like Enron where the rank'n'file probably had no idea about what mess the company as a whole was are not that big of a deal, OTOH nobody at SCO can plead ignorance about what their company is currently doing.

Employment stigma (4, Insightful)

miketo (461816) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838616)

I'd say it depends. I worked at one company, and then several years later was applying for work at its direct competitor. The stigma didn't carry over (they offered me a job); instead, they were far more interested in what I had done and how it matched up with the job opportunity. They went out of their way not to ask me questions that tread on possible NDA (non-disclosure agreement) territory.

Unless your friends-of-friends are actively involved in upper management (director level +), they shouldn't have problems. If they are involved in upper-level management, then they already know several executive-level headhunters who will find them new jobs in a hurry. Sucks, but that's how it goes when you play at that level.

Can I get over the stigma of my last job? (5, Insightful)

faust13 (535994) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838620)

It's tough moving away from a former employer. I recently left a position to pursue better opportunities. My former employer (really the owner) was furious that I had the gaul to leave. They threatened me with lawsuites, they harrased me. They just couldn't let go.

I gave that company three long hard years, and developed some absolutely killer applications for them. Now, if an prospective employer calls them, they make me out to be some malicious, spiteful Developer who left them high and dry. Three years of stellar work... down the drain.

With that said, I guess the best advice is that employment is like a marriage, you need to check them out, just as much as they do you. Else your left with stigma of the former employer, either you on them, or them on you. Either case, it's not good.

Depens on where you apply (1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838621)

Don't send resumes to places like this. []

former SCO employee (1)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838626)

SCO's staff will have to look for other jobs sooner or later, and most within the Unix/GNU/Linux community

I think it's safe to assume that (1) probably not many people at SCO have much expertise except legal, (2) SCO's former Linux experts may not want to try getting hired by IBM or SuSE, or they might become eligible for disability in very short order.

Re:former SCO employee (1)

hyperstation (185147) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838696)

I think it's safe to assume that (1) probably not many people at SCO have much expertise except legal

nope, sco never hired any programmers, admins, engineers, nothing. no one but attorneys and legal types.

McBride? (4, Funny)

SuDZ (450180) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838631)

So is McBride looking to get out while he can and using a Ask Slashdot article for tips?


Silly (2, Insightful)

KilobyteKnight (91023) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838637)

That is just silly.

It assumes prospective employers will look at a qualified job applicant and say, "No, I just can't hire this person because he used to work for a jerk. Even though he had no control over the legal matters of his employer, somhow I have to take it out on him."

Come on people, be realistic.

Oh yeah (-1)

Trolly McTroll-Troll (632114) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838641)

I'm full of pith and GOATSE! ROR!

easy (1)

penguin7of9 (697383) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838642)

You can get over the stigma of working for an employer like SCO by quitting your job as soon as the employer "goes bad".

If you stay with them for a long time, the obvious conclusion would seem to be that you either approve of your employer's conduct or that you are really desparate for a job. Either way, it is not a recommendation.

Sad Reality (1)

31415926535897 (702314) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838650)

I know this might not be a popular answer, or even a hugely insightful one, but do you really want to work for someone that looks down on you because you worked at a high profile place that they don't particularly like?

For instance, let's say you worked at SCO, but you quit because you didn't agree with their business practices. While it should be easy enough to portray this in an interview (if you're lucky enough to get one), it shouldn't even be an issue because the potential employer should realize that _you_ didn't make the bad business decisions. If they do make that link then that might be a place to stay away from.

If you worked at Enron and you're looking for another job because the place you worked at went out of business--I think it would be very irresponsible of other businesses to (even indirectly) blame you for bad executive decisions (unless you were an executive, then I have to bad feelings for you having a hard time finding a job).

I know I'm probably just reciting some fairy tale, a pipe dream of true equal opportunity for those seeking jobs, but have hope that some company will see you for who you really are and really appreciate your talent in your field.

Does SCO even still have technical employees? (1)

Kissing Crimson (197314) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838653)

Seems like they would have already replaced the technical staff with more lawyers by now.

"Worked at SCO" may not be a liability afterall. (0, Troll)

veldmon (595009) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838654)

I'm a kernel developer at a company that licenses embedded software to a few companies in EU member states Luxembourg and Ireland. I have extensive source code knowledge of [the discontinued as of Nov. 2003] specialized SCO Compact UnixWare 1.7 (CUW) and the 2.4 version of the Linux kernel.

In March of 2002, my company shifted three-fourths of our CUW Systems Team (kern-devs) -- which had been untouched, platform-wise, the previous two years -- onto a parallel development path with Linux 2.4.18.

This bold (in my opinion) decision was made despite Wind River International, the dominate embedded software technologist, matter-of-factly asserting at the time that they view Linux as inferior to their preferred platform, VxWorks, and would never include Linux in their product line. (They eventually changed [] their minds.)

Four months later, on July 19, 2002, my company, in consultation with our customers, announced that we were ending all new development for CUW, were placing it into maintenance mode, and were solely developing for Linux. On a personal level, myself and most of my team were ecstatic about the new direction the company was taking.

As we are all so evidently aware, the SCO Group began its grandiloquent and legal smear campaign against Linux in February, and March of 2003. Well almost four months ago, I was assigned the somewhat informal task of determining the validity of the SCO claims of ownership to Linux. Despite the seemingly preposterous evidence offered thus far by SCO, I'm saddened to reveal that they may have a solid case for copyright infringement in the 2.4 Linux kernel.

There are three code pieces that appear to be copied verbatim. The first is forty-two lines of packet handling code. Following the ip_vs_state_table variable is where most of the infringement takes place. Only the state transition handling seems to be original. The second is sixteen lines of VM allocation code. Five lines after CONFIG_DISCONTIGMEM, and eleven lines after VMALLOC_VMADDR. And the last is seven lines after SELFPOWER, USB specific power management code.

It's possible, some would say probable, that this is actually code that SCO copied from Linux. Not the inverse. I'm not knowledgeable enough of the history to determine that, but it definitely needs to be looked into. Nevertheless, it's still accurate to state that the vast majority of the Linux kernel code is original. And that's really the only fact that matters to the nontechnical mass media.

Re:"Worked at SCO" may not be a liability afterall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838752)

Nice try.

unless you were in mgmt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838655)

You're probably safe, at least in interviews with me. If you were in mgmt for SCO, Enron, MSFT, Stanley, Tyco, etc, you should do the right thing.
Go to the nearest hospital, fill out an organ donor card, and blow your brains out in the lobby.

The solution (4, Funny)

Henry V .009 (518000) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838660)

Do what everybody else does: Lie. They can't check everything. Half the employers that you work for shouldn't even know your real name.

will they want to (1)

trustedserf (700733) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838663)

we should wonder will they want to work in the computing industry again. why are they even at SCO? is it just that the industry is that bad, or do they have reasons beond that, and would they come here as ACs and tell us what's going through their heads, i'd be interested.

Good folk in bad companies will always happen (2, Insightful)

BubbaTheBarbarian (316027) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838664)

The initial reaction I always see from the zealots is "Don't hire any of them!" and that always makes me a bit sad to know that this will be the first thing that a person that has worked for a company like SCO will more then likely have to overcome.
Having been in a bit of this position, I can say that the best approach is to put things in the context of doing the job that is given to you to the best of your ability. While your job may not be popular par se (imagine trying to land something after having the tile of Asset Reclaimer at SCO), if show that you are doing it within the best of your ability in line with what the company is trying to do, then you will show that are willing to things that, while contrary to your nature (one would hope), you are willing to do the things that are necessary in a very ugly world to get the cash on the table.
And yes, I realize that in some cases these folk are evil and deserve to be shut out, and I agree with that, but for example I know a good man at SCO in a high position. He hates what is happening there, but was there before the shift to this current strategy last year, and so is doing the job. His job is of a nature that finding a new one and getting out in the name of being on the "side of righteousness" is a difficult item to do with many considerations, not least of which are small things like his house, cars, kids schooling and the like. I can see why he stays, and why he would try to keep everything on the downlow. He is also hella good at what he does, and shold SCO decides to redundant him, or they go the way of all good trash, then I would hate to see that a name on his resume would get in way of the fact that he is very competent and good at what he does.
Flame away boys!

This should be Ask Slashdot, Darl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838665)

I mean "Cliff"

Depends on who wins. (1)

Slack0ff (590042) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838668)

If SCO stops and conciders this battle a loss then I see no reason to hold a grudge. If SCO is capable of taking money from Linux then No former SCO employee has a decent chance at working in a high profile open source job. I hear M$ is hiring programers with questionable skillz and no ethics.

Depends... (1)

Lusa (153265) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838669)

I'd think the answer depends on when they left the job. If its before or even during the beginning phase of whatever nasty practice the company is in then they would have no problem explaining. However if they stay for a long time then I doubt they could get over the stigma (and I personally think they shouldn't) and I would have to ask why they did stay so long. Only so much time can be attributed to loyalty before other reasons apply.

What about non-compete clauses in contracts? (2, Informative)

downix (84795) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838671)

In most employment contracts found at such firms as SCO, these employees would be banned from working in a similar field for a specified period of time, correct?

What stigma? (1)

SamiousHaze (212418) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838674)

My question is, who would want to work for a company that wouldn't hire you because of a former employer? I mean, if I worked for enron as a network guy - and another company doesn't want to hire me for that.... that management of the second company probably isn't the brightest in the world.

It's SCO's case, play the name game (1)

955301 (209856) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838689)

Just change the name on your resume from SCO to Caldera. You'll probably avoid those conversations.

Remember, there is almost more than one way to say something, including identifying your previous employer.


I would gladly hire Darl... (2, Funny)

gooman (709147) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838694)

The toilets around here need a good scrubbing.

Stigma? Try Porn Star (1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838698)

(AC for obvious reasons!)

Last year when I was starving from my two dot coms killing over dead, I actually became a porn actor for a while. That's something I'll never get over. If my wife, family, or current boss ever found out, my life would be over!

I am in constant fear that somebody will notice me on the internet.

As "wonderful" as you think it might be, it really is not a good lifestyle. The producer had us guys taking high dose viagra to try to get as many "takes" in as possible. I walked around looking like a beet for days... I practically glowed red from the medication.

We guys really didn't even get paid that much. The chicks, however, cleaned up! My female counterpart would received 4 to 5 times more day than I would. The girls would mainly pretty but much, much older than they appeared. I worked with a couple of girls who looked 18-19 but we really thirty with several children between them.

I now worry about my health as well. Nobody would allow us to use condoms. All the actors received HIV viral loads looking for infection. Evidently this is much more sensitive than the routine HIV tests. We were also tested for hepatitis C, I think. A nurse would actually swab our various body parts once per week looking for the clap and other bugs. The swabs included our mouths and our tails as well for reasons I never quite understood.

Who cares about working for SCO or whatever! At least you were not degrading yourself for money. That is something that I can never get over.


Re:Stigma? Try Porn Star (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838734)

At least you were not worried about being poor. You had something to do to keep you busy.

not the worker's decision (2, Insightful)

jonathanduty (541508) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838706)

The employees of SCO (everyone except for upper management) really have nothing to do with how SCO operates. McBride and his board sets the tone and the direction of the company and the employees follow. A developer who works on SCO Unix is not to blame for the Linux/SCO battle. I believe most hiring managers know that.

Answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838709)

I vas only following orders! Now take me to your nuclear wessels.

Whorehouse Piano Player (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838718)

Simple. Replace "SCO" with "Whorehouse Piano Player".

When your interviewer asks you what on earth a whorehouse was doing repackaging and integrating AT&T SYSV code, tell him it you were actually working at SCO back when SCO was a software company with a mediocre UNIX distribution, and that you left when you saw the writing on the wall when its then-CEO said Linux would never amount to anything.

Then say "But there's still less stigma that comes with saying you were a whorehouse piano player."

Other stigmas with SCO (1)

MrChuck (14227) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838719)

With Enron/worldcom, you can say: "Yeah, the management really fucked up. I got screwed too - no retirement benefits, worthless stock and no job. Now lets talk about my qualifications."

With SCO, the problem is the qualifications. SCO's market mainly comes from people who have been locked into it forever. I know I moved several hundred of my customers machines off of it. Early on, Sun cost more to acquire, but it became clear to customers who'd insisted on cheaping out with SCO that the support, quality of software and features were bigger issues. In the late Xenix/UnixWare time (93-94), features like "NIS support" were added that required /.rhost access so the box could rcp the "Servers" files and join them with the system ones. No RPC, just a sad little hack.

When Sun/AOL bought the wreckage of Netscape, the Netscapees were, widely, admired as qualified and innovative.

No, were I dealing with SCO refugees, I'd be letting them defend excessively mediocre software. But I'd not hold them too responsible for the FiaSCOs of DARL and all unless they WERE closely connected.

Its our policy "NOT" to hire former SCO employees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7838727)

As Mr. Spock once said "constant exposure does result in a certain degree of contamination"

Under no circumstances do we want the slightest possibility of Darl McBride's "Mad Cow Disease" infecting our organization!

Why try (1)

Pionar (620916) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838731)

Would you really want to work for a company who looks so shallowly at candidates that they would raise questions just because you worked at SCO or Enron?

The only people who should have problems are Darl, the top execs, and the legal department. At Enron, I would only worry about Ken Lay, anyone in the financial depts. (CFO, accounting, etc.).

Having worked for a company that went down a less-than-reputable road before it imploded (a small investment firm that stopped investing in stocks and mutual funds and instead invested in the owner's Fla. vacation home), I've never found a problem, though that debacle was certainly lower-profile and in a different state than where I currently am.

Truly Fucked Company (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838743)

Enron eh? A money grubbing company willing to screw over millions just to make a buck?

I think those kind of skils are just what Microsoft is looking for

The simple truth is... (1)

dubdays (410710) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838748)

...that people should be held accountable for the companies that they worked for (provided they had some kind of insight into the shady practices in use). Once an employee has the information in hand showing that their employer is doing something wrong/illegal/immoral/etc., they should leave. Plain and simple. These stupid Enron people that hung around to the end should have a hard time getting a job, because they obviously have no business ethics. If they do get out of the company in a reasonable amount of time, the employer-to-be should recognize this by the dates of employment on the resume, and this should make the prospective employee look pretty good.

My 2 cents.

SCO Employees (1)

couch_warrior (718752) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838753)

I would guess that they all have jobs back in Redmond helping M$ to migrate the Linux kernel into Foghorn:Windoze. It would seem to us that M$ *must* have bought SCO under the table and ordered them to go down in flames doing as much damage to Linux as possible on the way down, with the promise of cushy golden parachutes at the bottom. If not, well, they could always follow the old army joke, and get drunk and sleep in the gutter for six months to get their self-respect back.

There's Hope (Enron != SCO) (3, Informative)

richg74 (650636) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838759)

I think the difficulty of getting over an unfortunate employment history depends a lot on the nature of the person's job, and the overall circumstances.

From what I can tell from the published reports, the "smoke and mirrors" approach to financial disclosure was pretty pervasive at Enron. I think anyone who has experience of that kind of trading business would regard someone who claimed to have known nothing about it with a rather skeptical eye. (I know I would. Although I'm a geek, I do also have an MBA and spent ~20 years working in IT on Wall Street. Had I worked at Enron, I feel certain I would have known something fishy was up -- there just aren't that many secrets in that culture.)

SCO/Caldera, on the other hand, did have a legitimate, although not very successful, business before they entered the litigation industry. If I were hiring, I wouldn't touch any of the management with a bargepole, but a Unix support tech who just did a competent job is a different story.

In any case, in any interview, all you can do is to tell the truth (emphasizing your good points, of course), and hope that the interviewer will take things on the merits.

The only problem is references... (1)

stienman (51024) | more than 10 years ago | (#7838760)

The only problem with a copany that went broke is getting in contact with a former manager who knew the individual in question and their work abilities/habits.

Perhaps for others it's difficult to not be cynical, but I doubt manager's care too much who you previously worked for, as long as they can see that you did good (ethical) work there, and you are a good fit for the new position.

This is a little like assuming that all French hate Americans. That's not true. Many hate the things the USA does, but they are able to (and do) divorce being American from the actions of the USA. Once they get to know a specific American, then they'll hate him (or her) for what he is, and not from where he came.

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