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At Google, You're Old and Gray At 40

Wavicle Re:Not just Google (543 comments)

A EE degree averaging 17 credit hours/semester is slacking off? Who knew?

If you are looking for sympathy, you are not going to find it from me. I majored in computer science and mathematics, which meant I was doing things like taking operating systems and real analysis at the same time. I averaged 18 credit hours per semester (usually 1 or 2 of those lab) and graduated magna cum laude. All the while I had a wife and two small children at home with half an hour commute to campus.

There is a big difference between the EE who graduates with a 2.5 and an EE who graduates with a 3.5. The rule isn't necessarily hard and fast; if you're coming from Cal Tech, CMU or MIT I'll take your 3.0 far more seriously than the average university. But short of that, yeah the EE averaging 17 credit hours and doing just well enough to pass is slacking off and I don't want to hire him. I want the EE who averaged 17 credit hours and super-performed, even if he comes from India.

At a price you are willing to pay. Start coughing up $500k/year and you'll find a lot of native talent magically appears -- and the finance people will hate you. H1bs are all about the benjamins.

Yeah, we had a situation eerily similar to that 10 years ago. During the dot-com boom we were paying people $5K-10K if they referred us a candidate we hired. We were paying recent grads into 6 figures right out of college, sometimes we'd poach them before they finished their degree. The universities were pumping them out as fast as they could, all CS classes were heavily impacted; students knew this was the fast track to high pay.

And you know what happened?

A whole lot of bad hires.

We cranked up the pay, universities cranked up the classes, but the number of well qualified candidates barely inched up. All you had was a whole lot of mediocre students flooding into the CS curriculum. Now instead of the top quartile being the "good" pool, only the top 10% were. The good engineers were still good engineers; they generally weren't there just for the money. The number of degree-holding lousy engineers was ridiculous.

You might want to re-think pay as a panacea for a shortage of engineering talent. If H1b's stopped and we told companies to raise pay to stimulate more native students into STEM programs, what would the result be? I think there are two likely ones: large companies move all their development overseas to countries with less protectionist labor policies; large companies poach all the top talent forcing small businesses and startups overseas to countries with less protectionist labor policies.

H1b's pay local, state and federal taxes. An expatriate pays only a smaller amount of federal taxes.

more than 4 years ago
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At Google, You're Old and Gray At 40

Wavicle Re:Not just Google (543 comments)

Our universities are pumping out plenty of CS and MIS grads as well as math and engineering graduates to keep up with demand.

As someone who works for a large employer that recruits actively among recent college graduates... NO. This opinion is ubiquitous and ignores one important fact: most recent graduates are woefully less qualified than their college education would seem to indicate. There are kids coming out of college who are bright and can do the work, but they represent maybe the upper quartile of all bachelor degree grads.

I don't hire RG's without two letters of recommendation from professors or one letter from either the department chair they graduated from or the dean of the college. I rarely hire RG's who did not graduate with honors. If you had a circumstance like working full time through college, or an illness that no longer affects your ability to work, I would consider that in lieu of honors. However, if you have no honors and no record of having worked full time - then you slacked off. Statistically, if you slacked off and did just well enough to get the degree in college, you're going to do the same to me. Yes there are diamonds in the rough. Time is valuable. I don't go looking for those rare gems because making a mistake is too expensive.

Our university's are not pumping out enough well qualified engineers.

The companies that say there are shortages are just saying that to justify going overseas or to bring in H-1bs.

No, we bring in H1bs because there isn't enough native talent. Or at least not enough that knew how to balance partying and working for the degree.

more than 4 years ago
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IP Rights For Games Made In School?

Wavicle Re:not cool (128 comments)

Something I've always been curious about... Before I got my degree in CS, I was studying Real Estate (California, specifically) and one of the things that was drilled into us is that "A contract must be accompanied with consideration to be legally binding" or something close to that.

At the end of my CS career, my school required us to do a Senior Project in industry and in order to protect industry we had to give up all ownership we had in the project. This sort of set off alarm bells in my head because I was paying for the school's facilities, the teacher's salary, etc.. How could such a contract be enforceable if they weren't going to give a payment of consideration for the contracted work?

In the end the project I did was one which I had absolutely no interest in holding onto the IP, so it wasn't a bone of contention. But I really felt that the school couldn't deprive me of my creative works, even with a contract, unless they paid me something for it. So, can't a student ignore the IP claims by the school because the school cannot lay claim to the creative works of someone else without payment, regardless of the contract?

more than 5 years ago

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