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Google and Yahoo Creating Brain Drain?

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the slipping-googleward dept.

Google 307

Searchbistro writes "Software-engineering talent is flocking to Google and Yahoo. Business Week explores the possibility that the big two search companies are creating a brain drain on the rest of the industry. Google snapped up about 230 engineers last quarter. Some stolen superstars are Louis Monier, director of eBay, advanced technology research, and Kai-Fu Lee, a top-flight researcher at Microsoft. Yahoo hired dozens of top engineers, including Larry Tesler, former vice-president at Amazon.com. 'While the Internet leaders snatch up top tech talent, that creates headaches elsewhere. Some startups, for instance, say the talent drain has made their own hiring more difficult.'"

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First Post? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200817)

First Post

Re:First Post? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200821)

second post

Re:First Post? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200826)

Sixth post!

Re:First Post? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200836)

posting itt

ik beecock this shit please (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200859)

MUTTON TIME

It's totally a friday night... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200822)

... and even the geeks are out at play. Longest I've seen an article with just an FP and nothing else in a long time.

Re:It's totally a friday night... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200842)

Everybody is watching Battlestar Galactica.

Re:It's totally a friday night... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200861)

Longest I've seen for an M1 to mod down an obligatory fp, too. Ahh, good fun. That was my first FP.

Re:It's totally a friday night... (1)

wilsoniya (902930) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200905)

The industry must have BRAINS... must EAT, er HIRE BRAINS!!!

Re:It's totally a friday night... (0)

calzones (890942) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200923)

In Soviet Russia.... Brains eat ...

did I get it right comrade? first SR post I've ever attempted. Maybe I should wait until I have a better sense of the /. pulse

Fortunately none of those drained post on /. (4, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200823)

So the standards won't drop around here.

Re:Fortunately none of those drained post on /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200858)

back when I was 16, I could draim my brain 5 times a day.

Re:Fortunately none of those drained post on /. (1)

Temporal (96070) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200869)

Indeed. We have much more important things to do than post here.
 
...

Dammit.

Slashdot needs more Google stories. (1, Funny)

snafumedia (867993) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200824)

I can't get enough.

Yahoo! is an "Idea Factory" (1, Informative)

BorgGates (903785) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200832)

Where employees are rewarded [zdnet.com] for thinking up something new. Like this [overheardintheuk.com]

Re:Yahoo! is an "Idea Factory" (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 9 years ago | (#13201055)

Bollocks. Here Yahoo is paying 10% under the market average. That is not a reward. That is pittance pay. Dunno about G, their UK op is very small and even more secretive then the US one.

In other news. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200835)

Commander Taco comes out of the closet and admits he likes to have his ass pounded daily... One might conclude that all this ass pounding has led to the down fall of slashdot.

Great news for those not in the top percentiles (5, Interesting)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200837)

Hey, with these top-list people out of the running, doesn't it make it a bit easier to be hired if you were further down the list?

In short: Good news if you're a B-rank engineer
                    Bad news if you're trying to diversify the industry

Re:Great news for those not in the top percentiles (5, Insightful)

FireballX301 (766274) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200877)

More precisely, it's good news for the quality engineers that haven't made huge discoveries, or the engineers looking for their break.

Brain drain only truly occurs when there's a lack of brains flowing to the industry or region, not simply because of a 'cornering of the market' on brains.

Re:Great news for those not in the top percentiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200907)

Good news if you're a B-rank engineer in India, anyway.

Re:Great news for those not in the top percentiles (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200915)

This article presupposes that there is a large gap between the elite engineers and the plebes. It seems to suggest that there are a handful of really great programmers, and the rest are a bunch of retards. In reality, there is a large population of very talented engineers who do not have the PhD's from the big schools, and who do not have the impressive pedigree that places like Google look for. These people are just as likely to come up with the Next Big Thing (tm) as the MIT PhD's are, but they're far less likely to be taken seriously by the likes of Google.

Re:Great news for those not in the top percentiles (2, Interesting)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200936)

Well, there is a big gap between the top performers and the average. From the impression I had of Google, there not looking for an Ivy League degree, just raw smarts.

Re:Great news for those not in the top percentiles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200973)

I got that impression too -- which is why they (i) put me through two phone interviews (I'm hardly Ivy league and am not working anyplace glamorous, I can *assure* you), and (ii) decided "thanks but no thanks."

Re:Great news for those not in the top percentiles (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200976)

From the impression I had of Google, there not looking for an Ivy League degree, just raw smarts.

Well... Google has visited Cornell at least once, to take job applications, since I've been there.

If you log in from the CS department computers (or, at least the ones in the Masters of Engineering Lab), you get a link that says "Graduating? Come work for us!"

So, actually, they're at least looking for Ivy Leaguers from my school. That said, they also had a booth at AAAI. They're, essentially, looking for the best people, wherever they can find them, from what I can tell.

Re:Great news for those not in the top percentiles (2, Insightful)

Triones (455073) | more than 9 years ago | (#13201021)

Well, there is a big gap between the top performers and the average. From the impression I had of Google, there not looking for an Ivy League degree, just raw smarts.

The best engineering schools are MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, and Caltech. None of them is Ivy League.
So obviously Google aren't that interested in Ivy League degrees, as they're class "B".

Re:Great news for those not in the top percentiles (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13201016)

haha, so funny.
you really think that you're as smart as MIT PhDs?
or you really think that smarter people are not more likely to come up with big things?

Re:Great news for those not in the top percentiles (4, Informative)

Temporal (96070) | more than 9 years ago | (#13201023)

Most Google engineers do not have PhD's, as far as I've seen. All I had was a BS from the U of MN and some open source projects, and they took me quite seriously.

Don't be afraid to submit your resume. If you have talent, Google knows how to recognize it.

(Oblig: These are my words and opinions, not Google's.)

Re:Great news for those not in the top percentiles (1)

Triones (455073) | more than 9 years ago | (#13201032)

These people are just as likely to come up with the Next Big Thing (tm) as the MIT PhD's are, but they're far less likely to be taken seriously by the likes of Google.

This is not the point. Google is not venture capital. They don't hire people for the probability of coming up with the "Next Big Thing". But they need people to perform at the 'great' level to maintain their edge (maybe 10x more productive and creative than an average engineer?) Getting MIT PhD's will also eliminate the biggest risk of hiring .... an 'average engineer'.

Brain Drain = good for workers. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200840)

When employers are finding it difficult to hire because there aren't thousands more workers than there are positions to fill, that's good for employees

Want a job? Suddenly you're not being selected from one of 1500 applicants, and it's not a case where employers can put any old conditions on work because everyone is just desperate for any old work.

Now employees are the ones who can pick & choose.

Re:Brain Drain = good for workers. (2, Interesting)

AbraCadaver (312271) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200885)

Exactly right! With a good demand for knowledge workers (CS/Engineers, etc), the employee isn't forced to accept rediculous contractual terms as much either. Companies get away with too much as it is with regard to how they treat their workers ( I'm looking at YOU, EA), so I don't feel much sympathy if they have to pay a bit more to compete for employees. It's about time. Again. :P

Re:Brain Drain = good for workers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200974)

I must admit at first I thought your comment ridiculous, and more than a bit socialist, but at the extreme competitive levels things are at now, companies can take their pick of people in the 99.9th percentile.

That leaves perfectly employable people at the 90th percentile and above jobless, because there's no work. What you said is correct, workers who are perfectly capable are missing out. It's not like workers with an IQ of 80 are suddenly being pulled into tech jobs, rather it's making employment of the smart people more balanced.

Re:Brain Drain = good for workers. (1)

phobos13013 (813040) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200996)

I will have to say that this situation will actually create the opposite of what you suggest. The thing is Google and Yahoo are accused of taking the best talent, which is most likely going to be in smaller proportion than the lesser talent if not much more so. So unless you are the cream of the crop its only going to get worse for you. This because from being lesser, you most likely wont get in at the top two choices (Google/Yahoo) and the rest of the other choices out there become more competitive since everyone is vying for those spots. Of course its arguable that other than the coolness factor, and the huge paychecks from Google/Yahoo that they are any better or worse to work at then a startup or a lesser tier company.

Not that much of a drain... (4, Insightful)

afra242 (465406) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200841)

There are more than, say 500 good engineers in the US (supposing Google and Yahoo hired 500 people). Sure, not many VPs of big dot-coms are easy to hire but would a startup be able to afford the salaries/perks they demand?

I don't think it's that much of an issue....

Re:Not that much of a drain... (5, Insightful)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200874)

There are more than, say 500 good engineers in the US (supposing Google and Yahoo hired 500 people). Sure, not many VPs of big dot-coms are easy to hire but would a startup be able to afford the salaries/perks they demand?

I don't think it's that much of an issue....


When you are talking about engineers generally, 500 is a drop in the bucket. When you are talking about the top notch engineers, that's a massive brain drain.

Most engineers go about their lives, doing more/less commodity work, often of high quality, and live un-notable lives producing good works.

But there are a few, a very, very few, that have what it takes to really upset the apple cart. These are the top notch folks - those who change not only industries, but ways of life. For millions of people.

It takes a very small number of these guys to change the world. And, right now, they're all flocking to google/yahoo.

Re:Not that much of a drain... (4, Insightful)

serutan (259622) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200904)

A few years ago there were similar claims that Microsoft Research, which is several times the size of Google and Yahoo search combined, was creating a brain drain in academia. During the ensuing discussion somebody pointed out that the number of technical PhDs earned every year was like a hundred times the MSR hiring rate. It seems like one of those ridiculous themes that get revisited in business news every few years, like whether we are about to see another tech stock bubble.

Re:Not that much of a drain... (1)

marmite (79819) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200933)

There is a limited pool of *good* engineers in the Bay Area. There are plenty of companies out here with a bunch of bad engineers, there are very few engineers who are really good at what they are doing.

I have no trouble thinking that the pool of good engineers out here is only 500 - 1000 big.

Re:Not that much of a drain... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13201050)

I think you ment to say that the pool of good engineers that are available out here is only 500 - 1000 big.

There are many more, but many of them have stable jobs in less fluctating industries like pharma, finance, .gov, .mil and utilities. And if you add on all those that have families etc. that are unwilling to move, 500-1000 sounds like a decent estimate.

Um... okay (4, Interesting)

Cantide (743407) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200849)

It kind of seems to me like they mentioned Yahoo for a lark in this article. The actually interesting and insightful section was about how people want to work at Google because--well, because they're Google-- but then they also sort of passingly mention "Oh, I guess people want to work at Yahoo too?"

Maybe they want to work there because they're competing against Google.

You're Kidding... (4, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200850)

I remember in the old days before computers that you have to haul your butt down to library, search a card index, find the books, and look page-by-page for the information you're looking for. That required a bit of brain work to avoid wasting your time. It's a no brainer today to find what you're looking for on Google or Yahoo. Anyone who say that there's no brain drain going on haven't looked past their search bar in a while.

Re:You're Kidding... (1)

snafumedia (867993) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200856)

What's a library?

Re:You're Kidding... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200866)

It's a building where they store all the paper blogs that was popular in your grandpa's day. :P

Re:You're Kidding... (1)

Virak (897071) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200898)

What is this 'paper' you speak of?

Re:You're Kidding... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200975)

Whys that? I thought making information easily findable and ready would be a good thing because:
1) You spend less time doing useless work and more time focusing on what you're meant to be doing
2) Anyone can find the information, you might overlook it in a book
3) You get a small preview to see if the information is relevant

Success in business! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200853)

For Shame! This isn't America, you don't just get to do whatever you fucking want to do or anything. Oh wait, it is....

Microsoft can hire anyone but their product sucks (5, Insightful)

loggia (309962) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200854)

You can hire almost anyone and still create crap, just as Microsoft does.

Apple has good pull to get people, but even better management. There are tons of talented people - the whole superstar thing can be folly. It's about a culture that permits creativity and innovation.

When you've got people at Microsoft worrying about uttering the word podcast, you can see that they are losing their relevance by the moment. It has happened to many giant companies - as they phase from entrepreneurial and flexible - to arrogant and rigid.

Layoffs (4, Interesting)

Vicissidude (878310) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200855)

IBM and HP both recently laid off 14,000 workers each. There should be plenty of brains out there, available for work.

Re:Layoffs (4, Insightful)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200920)

IBM and HP both recently laid off 14,000 workers each. There should be plenty of brains out there, available for work.

IBM and HP didn't fire their top engineers.

Re:Layoffs (5, Informative)

BlueYoshi (670106) | more than 9 years ago | (#13201041)

not at all: HP Fires Father of OOP [slashdot.org]

Re:Layoffs (2, Informative)

robbyjo (315601) | more than 9 years ago | (#13201046)

HP? How about Alan Kay [slashdot.org] ?

Re:Layoffs (1)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 9 years ago | (#13201047)

No, they let go of their highest compensated engineers. To a bean counter, we are all the same.

Re:Layoffs (3, Insightful)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200987)

IBM and HP both recently laid off 14,000 workers each. There should be plenty of brains out there, available for work.

Considering the huge number of layoffs over the last five years, that was my thought, too. There is no shortage of software engineers, and there hasn't been one for well over a decade.

What there is a shortage of is American developers willing to work for the same wages as receptionists. Every time large companies start bitching about a shortage of tech workers, it's a lead-up to increasing the H1B quota.

Re:Layoffs (1)

ms1234 (211056) | more than 9 years ago | (#13201069)

Atleast the Zombies have something to feed on.

Brains Not Draining (3, Insightful)

lousyd (459028) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200860)

google:// define:brain drain

The emigration of a large proportion of highly skilled and educated professionals...

The emigration of highly educated workers...

The migration of skilled workers out of a country...

depletion or loss of intellectual and technical personnel...

A "brain drain" is caused by the depleted organization. In all of these definitions the emphasis is on the loss of brains. Where they go and what they go on to do isn't specified. An oppresive communist regime could see its top intellectuals flee the country, and have those intellectuals go somewhere free and just live normal non-intellectual lives and it would be "brain drain". What's described in this story isn't so much about companies losing out on talent, "brain drain", rather it's about the companies gaining it, i.e. Google and Yahoo. Besides, brains aren't in limited supply. It's not like one's gain is another's loss. If anything this means that brains become more economically in demand.

Re:Brains Not Draining (1)

Trejkaz (615352) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200941)

Oh, you're right...

So what's the problem exactly? (3, Insightful)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200862)

If Google and Yahoo are doing the leading-edge research, and these top brains want to do this kind of research, and these companies are paying them top-dollars to do it, what's the problem? The article does mention that research at other companies are restricted (MS doesn't want researchers doing stuff that might impact their OS/Office sales, HP is doing less R&D)

If Google and Yahoo can attract the nerds, and you can't, that's your problem, isn't it?

Re:So what's the problem exactly? (2, Insightful)

n3xu5 (205312) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200901)

I could not agree more. If Google and Yahoo want to spend all of their money hiring these top talents, good for them. They both seem to be churning out new services by the dozen lately. I would expect that eventually they will reach a point where the law of diminishing returns will kick in and they will stop hiring so many big names.

This, of course, depends on how they are making use of their new talent. If they give each one a project to lead that is in their specialty, they will likely keep hiring as they need new ideas. If, however, they are trying to coordinate more and more brains on a handful of ideas, they'll eventually find that throwing more brains at the problem may not work out as intended.

Getting back on point, I expect there is still plenty of talent in the United States (and abroad) to fill the positions at start ups and other companies. A business complaining about not having any talent to hire because the "top" 500 or so talented people are taken by the search engine giants likely just means that there is a real problem with their business plan and that it is doomed in the long run.

Just my 2 cents.

Re:So what's the problem exactly? (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200986)

Rereading it, I wonder if the businesses aren't so much complaining about not able to hire the "top" 500, but that they have to actually pay the engineers top dollars to even consider working for them. They rather have researchers for cheap, and it would be much easier if there weren't other companies out there paying top dollars.

Yeah right... (5, Insightful)

boomgopher (627124) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200863)

Retranslate this as:
"Some companies bitch about some other companies who are paying more than they want to pay their own employees, employees leave, and outsourcing to India doesn't work that well. MBAs have to double their prozac dose to cope."

Re:Yeah right... (0, Flamebait)

putko (753330) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200929)

Thanks for summarizing the article so well. It does basically come down to, "Oy weh! So much money for talent I must to pay. These geeks, they only want to work with other geeks."

Many smart workaholics want to work with other smart workaholics. Geeks with no social lives want to goof around with other geeks with no social lives. They don't like stupid frat boys. No shit?

Outsourcing to India is the dream of the MBAs: replace the arrogant, irritatingly smart and in-yo'-face engineers with a bunch of compliant, diaper wearing yes men. But then it turns out the Indians lie a lot and are unqualified, so its a big bust. Ha ha!

At my last job they hired a guy and thought they were finally free of their dependence on me. E.g a replacement for the asshole. Then they realised, "oh shit, that crabby mofo is really much better than everyone else. Crap. Not free of him yet. Still have to put up with his demands and KMA-attitude."

Re:Yeah right... (0, Troll)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200956)

Lying, incompetent, diaper wearing yes men vs the arrogant, irritatingly smart and in-yo'-face engineers.

You know how America gets over this outsourcing thing? By stopping the kneejerk racism and xenophobia and realizing that India is actually huge numbers of smart, educated, and driven competition.

Or you could just move to Detroit and bitch about shitty cars made by incompetent, raw-fish eating yes men.

Re:Yeah right... (4, Interesting)

putko (753330) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200992)

Most "Japanese" cars sold in the USA are made in North America by North Americans. More and more they are designed by Americans. The Japanese have imposed a system of management that leads to ever-better, higher quality products at lower and lower prices. The workers are North Americans.

Also, Japanese engineers can impose technically-motivated decisions on the MBAs. This has happened with auto features: the engineers insisted on certain features, while the Japanese equivalents of the MBAs said "they cost too much". In Detroit it goes the other way.

So I'm missing your point about "incompetent, raw-fish eating yes men." The Japanese car companies are better run companies (and better to work for) than Detroit.

And I suggest you try working for/with a bunch of Indians (or greasy American MBAs who see them as the way to get away from crabs like me). Maybe you'll sing a different, less-PC tune. India has around a billion people. There are many smart, driven ones in there. And there are a lot of striving liars who will say anything to make a buck.

Re:Yeah right... (5, Insightful)

boomgopher (627124) | more than 9 years ago | (#13201028)

BTW, is anyone else amazed at how much fucking money it takes to have a half-way decent existence in tech-heavy areas? I mean seriously, even renting a moderately okay 3br in the Silicon Valley costs like $2300/month.

To keep your rent below 40% of your takehome pay, you need to be making 70 grand a year after taxes, so like 100 grand gross.

And heaven help you want to want actually buy a place...

So yeah, you're damn tootin' I'd hop on to a higher-paying, more successful company under these circumstances..

Civilization Quote (1)

lousyd (459028) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200867)

It is better for civilization to be going down the drain than to be coming up it. --Henry Allen

That's about right (4, Funny)

Animats (122034) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200876)

Well, of course Google is getting all the good people in Silicon Valley. Who else is left? DEC SRL and WRL are gone, Interval is gone, PARC has been spun off and is looking for work, HP just canned their R&D operation, and SGI is in limbo.

So provide equality (4, Interesting)

redwiregmail (841822) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200881)

If the bitching companies provided an equal work enviroment techs wouldn't be flocking in such massive droves to a company that treats them right. Even the simple things such as:

- Free high quality lunches instead of reducing lunch hours etc as many presently try to do.
- Gave something comprable to the 20% personal project time.
- Treated techs that "keep the $100'000 network thats critical to the business from screaming to a grinding halt" with respect at least equal to the tool with the MBA that just tossed 100 blue collars out on the street after 40 years so he could get his xmas bonus.

Re:So provide equality (1)

Temporal (96070) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200928)

Free high quality lunches instead of reducing lunch hours etc as many presently try to do.

Don't forget breakfast and dinner! I do so love the omelets...

Re:So provide equality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200970)

The smoothies, man! The smoothies!

I can also heartily recommend the zucchini bread.

Frankly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200882)

Who gives a shit. It isn't like anyone else is seriously hiring smart IT people right now, or like these people would have anything but a gnat's chance in hell of finding a place where they'd be appreciated in the current economic and intellectual climate if this yahoo/google thing weren't happening. Who the hell are google and yahoo supposedly brain-draining from? The unemployment lines? Oh no.

I don't and do feel sorry for these companies (2, Insightful)

betelgeuse68 (230611) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200883)

I don't because of the rampant unemployment in the tech sector... I do because mediocrity *is* is rampant in tech.

-M

aw... (3, Insightful)

portscan (140282) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200887)

hiring is difficult? boo fucking hoo. give me a job. the last thing i want to hear is that companies are having trouble hiring people.

Is Google the next Microsoft? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200889)

Fast-forward to 2014.

Google the offers most popular network features, the OS, and the applications.

Every time something new comes along Google ties its version of that into its vast array of other services, and people gravitate towards it by default.

How is this different then Microsoft bundling IE?

Consider that others had map systems before Google. In the future, will Google get criticized for abuse when conglomerating new services into it's site?

I ask this because the line between application and website is getting blurred, and it seems to me that popular opinion on slashdot is that a monopoly should not bundle applications. How will we reconcile this in the future?

Re:Is Google the next Microsoft? (4, Funny)

myukew (823565) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200944)

but, but... it's google! they aren't evil, you know!

Re:Is Google the next Microsoft? (1)

Propaganda13 (312548) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200972)

I've never had a problem with Microsoft bundling applications with its OS. I have problems with Microsoft actively trying to make other applications not work properly.

But that is a good thing.. (1)

Evilhomer2300 (900004) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200892)

It's a good thing that its harder to find people. That means better pay, better benifits, and MORE RESEARCH in finding emploees and acctually know their stuff, Versus just hiring someone that with a peice of paper that says they know what they are doing. But in reality, they bought the degree from some website. They have to work harder, not a bad thing so they appriciate you more when you sign your life away.

At risk of being modded a troll... (5, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200900)

We're talking about the great vast wisdom of a company that has to buy other companies to get new products, and a company that patents the clicking of links for shopping.


As for start-ups, well, it seems just that tad unlikely that many start-ups could afford the former Vice President of Amazon.com. So it's hard for me to cry too hard.


The other important thing to consider is that most IT folk do their best work young and fresh out of college. They're not "old hands", they're "young minds". The real innovators are almost invariably people who haven't learned yet that what they're coding is impossible.


There ARE coders who know something is impossible, but code it anyway, but they are relatively rare. If a start-up wants the absolute best (and at rock-bottom prices), then it needs to go after the recently-graduated. Better yet, the start-up should find hot talent prior to University and sponsor them through it in exchange for part-time work during University and a contract at the end.


The reason youth is important is that old-hands tend to get stuck in a rut. They get used to doing things a particular way and loose the ability to step back and see what it is that is really going on. Look at any online resume of an experienced coder. Odds are, most such folk have a very few skills they have honed to perfection - with the consequence that they can do next to nothing with them.


Now, look at the people who are experienced but who are ALSO doing some damn good work. Odds are high that they'll have a much more diverse range of skills, are much less in some mould or other and likely have a more "Classical" background or education, where diversity rather than finesse was appreciated.


Also, America's work habits burn people out very quickly. No real vacation, no time to recharge, the ideal is to "produce" not learn and the Corporate Culture is king. It is doubtful America's high-tech industry can take much more of this kind of abuse. Something has to give.

Re:At risk of being modded a troll... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200997)

What a bunch of stereotypical horseshit. You sound just like a fucking PHB. This was my favorite line:
Odds are, most such [old-hand] folk have a [sic] very few skills they have honed to perfection - with the consequence that they can do next to nothing with them.
Yah, now that makes some real sense, that some old coot is just so good at some things that he just can't get anything done with them! Asshat.

Re:At risk of being modded a troll... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13201013)

Well, that attitude expains why I've been out of work for three years at the age of 54. Umm...how is this going to help me get a job again? Oh, I can work for MickyD flipping burgers. Ok, thanks.

Re:At risk of being modded a troll... (1)

pdamoc (771461) | more than 9 years ago | (#13201035)

Man... I have some mod points but I'm too late. 5 already...

I remember the drive I had back in highschool, I begged teachers to let me work extra, and when they got tired, me and a friend of mine bribed the person taking care of the computer room at another school to let us use them.

We coded not for grades nor for status nor money, we coded because it was fun.

I often wondered what would have happened if I owned a PC back then, or if I had a driven teacher like this guy [slashdot.org] or access to internet....

google+yahoo hire 0.1% of talent pool (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200902)

The premise of this article is silly given the tiny number of openings filled by Google & Yahoo relative to the pool of engineering talent worldwide. Many great engineers never apply to either company, and those that do are likely to be overlooked due to imperfect filtering. Perhaps this "brain drain" story originated with the rumblings of some disgruntled manager at Microsoft. We all know google has a hardon for softies. Nonetheless, this article is ill-informed tripe.

It's Not Brain Drain... (2, Insightful)

JohnPerkins (243021) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200906)

It's just the free market economy at work. If someone else thinks Google and Yahoo are hiring too many of the best and brightest, then someone else needs to offer better pay, benefits, or working conditions.

this is good (3, Insightful)

mr_burns (13129) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200922)

So, there's demand in the market for talented people. This is a good thing. I'm a talented people. Most people here are talented.

And CS enrollment is declining too. And interest rates are low.

This is better than a bubble. Companies in the black are in a bidding war for us and the competition 5 years out is evaporating. Interest rates are still at "OMG if we hike it we die" levels.

Good times man, Good times.

I survived the last bubble and I'd have to say that the waters are chummed. Prepare yourselves for some forced coding marches and invest the spoils for the long haul.

I smell bullshit (1)

Phleg (523632) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200937)

Some startups, for instance, say the talent drain has made their own hiring more difficult.

Yeah, this goes in the same bucket with folks who say they only hire the top five percent. NEWS FLASH: everyone can't hire the top five percent. I'd say a good 99.9% of startups wouldn't know a good tech guy if he rewrote the Linux kernel as a Perl one-liner. This is just a scapegoat for the fact that they have no clue how to hire talented people.

Re:I smell bullshit (1)

Rob_Warwick (789939) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200969)

Some startups, for instance, say the talent drain has made their own hiring more difficult.

Yeah, this goes in the same bucket with folks who say they only hire the top five percent. NEWS FLASH: everyone can't hire the top five percent. I'd say a good 99.9% of startups wouldn't know a good tech guy if he rewrote the Linux kernel as a Perl one-liner. This is just a scapegoat for the fact that they have no clue how to hire talented people.

I was under the impression that startups happened when you got a bunch of talented people grouping around an idea.

I'll admit that I've got limited experience with startups, but do people really start a business, then try to figure out why they can get to produce the product?

Re:I smell bullshit (1)

Rob_Warwick (789939) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200991)

Of course I mean "who they can get to produce the product?"

Perhaps its time to sleep. I previewed that three times before I hit "Submit".

Re:I smell bullshit (2, Insightful)

Phleg (523632) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200995)

Most times, those who create a startup are under delusions as to how talented they are.

Re:I smell bullshit (1)

Phleg (523632) | more than 9 years ago | (#13201006)

To clarify, one of them usually thinks he's a hot-shot coder and lets all his friends know it. Same goes for all the other positions. Unfortunately, none of them are in any position to realize that it's all bullshit: not only is their opinion of themselves clouded, but they have no clue that their friends are full of shit, too.

Same exact thing: (1)

raventh1 (581261) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200942)

Supply and Demand.

Thank you Google and Yahoo! (1)

gebner (696029) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200949)

Now the rest can more easily find a job, and if it's really a "brain drain", look forward to earning more. Some good news.

Lets Face Facts (3, Insightful)

Kiaser Wilhelm II (902309) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200950)

The IT field is full of idiots and charlatans. The days of the dot bombs are gone - just having a CS degree, or worse, a MIS or similar stupid psuedo-CS degree, is not enough to cut it.

Now days, companies are looking for competent people. That means you will often have to prove that you are what you say you are.

The hordes of people, on Slashdot even, who sit here and balk at having to take relatively simple CS proficency tests and claim that there are no jobs for CS at all are the ones who got their CS degrees without really learning anything or having any actual proficency in the first place. On the other hand, the real geeks are getting jobs left and right and companies want more people like them - they can't find enough! The only people who need to worry about outsourcing are those who don't make the cut.

This is the market at work. It is a great time as ever to go into CS. Its just that this time, you will not be able to slack off and make it. You're going to have to prove yourself.

Re:Lets Face Facts (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200978)

Well not everybody can be as smart as Kaiser Wilhelm II!

It's GOOD (0, Flamebait)

melted (227442) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200954)

I'd rather see tech companies compete for quality engineers again and offer increasing salaries, perks and interesting work to those who know what the heck they're doing.

Departure of a high-quality engineer hurts an org that needs to get things done A LOT. This means employers will be willing to pay more, because quality engineering is not something you can trust to a bunch of Indian dudes in Bangalore.

Brain drain or not enough superstars? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200960)

Is there really a lack of talent out there, or are companies just lazy to make an effort to find them? Or take a risk on someone green? From the article it seems like startups are just looking at who's heading existing companies in hopes of luring them away.

endless junk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13200962)

230 - what percentage is that again of the population of talent? And this is the best as measured by what? The fact that Google or whomever hires them? No, that isn't a good test: let's try something objective. Also, lets assume that a significant portion of those who are best won't start their own companies or research initiatives: an assumption that doesn't make sense. I mean WTF: this article is written not to inform but to acquire readers. I have an idea: www.criticalthinking.org.

Try that "reporters".

Nothing a start-up can do (3, Insightful)

KrisCowboy (776288) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200965)

In addition to high-paying salaries and perks, Google/Yahoo/M$ also provide a better work environment. Since a startup can't beat these big shots with money, all it can do is to search hard for guys with enough motivation to join a startup and make his own mark.

Anyone who does't want his own talent product marked with "Google®" or "Microsoft®" should go for a start-up. That's all anyone can do about this brain-drain.

In India, M$ is paying a fresh graduate around Rs. 7,50,000 which is way higher than the average of Rs. 2,80,000. Not to say anything about extremely flexible work hours, relaxed/no dress-code etc etc. Now, which one would you chose? A start-up with no guarentee to see light in next decade or a high-paying software giant?

Not to worry.... (2, Funny)

tktk (540564) | more than 9 years ago | (#13200977)

Humans make new brains all the time.

Unfortunately, it's with unskilled labor, takes 9 months to produce and over 20 years to even start being useful.

How do you spell horseshit? (2, Insightful)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 9 years ago | (#13201008)

Some startups, for instance, say the talent drain has made their own hiring more difficult.

boo fucking hoo. If there's only 250 competant engineers in the US looking for work then there's a much bigger problem than a 'brain drain' between companies.

There was a time when companies actually trained people out of college. Actually, now that I think about it, there was a time when companies actually hired people out of college.

New engineering logo of america:

Build us a bomb, or live with your mom.

Get over yourselves (0, Troll)

NimNar (744239) | more than 9 years ago | (#13201038)


Hey guys, software engineering is not the most intellectually demanding thing (modern math, bioengineering, and like a hundred other things come first) on the planet. Yahoo and Google are hiring now and they'll fire later. Big deal.

Just a natural cycle (2, Informative)

Samir Gupta (623651) | more than 9 years ago | (#13201043)

Before Google and Yahoo, there was Microsoft Research or maybe PARC, DEC, SGI as the "hot place" to work in industry for Ph.Ds who didn't want to go into academia. Before THAT there was Bellcore, IBM Research, etc getting all the brains and publishing all the papers.

Empires rise and fall... I don't see anything usual about the hiring practices of Google or Yahoo snatching up the best talent.

Another player will come along in due time...

Hire me (0)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 9 years ago | (#13201056)

I still have a brain
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