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The Almighty Buck

Fewer Jobs, Less Pay In The IT Industry 577

Posted by Hemos
from the hitting-the-pocket-book dept.
dipfan writes "At last an explanation why you can't find a job: a report in the Washington Post says there were more than 500,000 tech jobs shed in the US during the last year, and (for the first time in several years) average IT workers pay is down by 11 percent - down from $71,000 to $63,000. There is some good news on the horizon - the survey of employers by the Information Technology Association of America says that more than a million IT jobs are going to be created in the coming year, taking employment back to pre-2001 levels."
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Fewer Jobs, Less Pay In The IT Industry

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  • by leifw (98495) on Monday May 06, 2002 @09:13AM (#3468999)
    concerning the Post report:
    I'll believe it when I see it.
    • by JPriest (547211) on Monday May 06, 2002 @09:29AM (#3469070) Homepage
      Programmers and IT geeks will be the factory workers of the future, Only that factory work requires a BS, a handfull of certs, and years of knowledge and experience. I should have gone to med. school.
      • Doctors (in America at least) are already factory workers. Medical school wouldn't have saved you from the drone farm.
        • Doctors (in America at least) are already factory workers. Medical school wouldn't have saved you from the drone farm.

          I'd like to know what you based this comment on, exactly. While I'm in technology, obviously, my girlfriend is a resident at a major hospital. She's got a Ph.D. and an M.D., and she's in training to be a surgical specialist.

          I don't know all doctors, of course, but most of my circle of friends is made of doctors, med students, medical scientists, and health-care pros; people my girlfriend works with. I don't know anybody who would agree with your assertion that doctors are (merely) factory workers.

          Docs train for between seven and twelve years after college. They work ten times harder than you or I do, and their work matters. If I screw up, somebody in QA will catch my bugs and no harm will be done. If my girlfriend screws up, a five-year-old girl will go permanently deaf. And, of course, docs get compensated in proportion, although maybe not as much as you might think.

          So, as you can tell, I'm just wondering where your comment came from.
      • by sphealey (2855) on Monday May 06, 2002 @09:40AM (#3469135)
        Programmers and IT geeks will be the factory workers of the future, Only that factory work requires a BS, a handfull of certs, and years of knowledge and experience.
        Most factory jobs today require a 2 year college degree, certification, and on-going education. So your comparison may not be too far off the mark.

        sPh

        • Most factory jobs today require a 2 year college degree, ...

          Some, certainly. Most might be a stretch. A couple of the factories I have worked at would accept anyone with two arms and a leg. A brain was optional, since brains tend to grow tired of the routine.

          It really depends on the caliber of work being done. The factories I cite above were small appliance assembly plants with hordes of laborers. Truly high-tech factories, such as specialized steel mills tend to have smaller workforces of more highly trained people. Which type of factory employs more people is something I really don't know.
      • by horse (70241)
        Factories are designed to make their workers into interchangeable parts.

        Having worked on many, many software projects, I don't think programmers are going to become fungable anytime soon. There is too much variation in talent.

        I can't say about other parts of IT.
      • Programmers and IT geeks will be the factory workers of the future
        As they were in the past. The first (female!) programmers were actually looked upon as a sort of secretaries, and AFAIK, working with computers has gained the little sex-appeal it has only in the 80's and 90's. I'd say it's rather remarkable that it has the status that it has now, more than that it's remarkable that programming work will be seen as run-of-the-mill work in a couple of decades.

        Enjoy while it lasts!
    • Deja vu? (Score:2, Informative)

      by mcguirez (524534)
      Well, for one thing I'd consider the source. The ITAA has a vested interest in hyping industry growth. While most of us smell unfettered bias in studies underwritten by certain other notorious associations (RIAA) we shouldn't be blinded by our desire for this projection to be true.

      If the results were different (say a 10% market reduction) would the study be getting this much attention?
      • Re:Deja vu? (Score:3, Informative)

        by Beliskner (566513)
        Well, for one thing I'd consider the source. The ITAA has a vested interest in hyping industry growth
        True, they're still going on about how *right now* there's a massive shortage of skilled IT workers. A top-end CS from Harvard/MIT/Berkeley apparantly doesn't count as "skilled enough". WTF? Explains why the CS courses at these places have less than half the number of applicants than before (from my AC academic contacts). Even if a recovery of this scale occurs, how could anyone know that these jobs won't be outsourced to India? Next ITAA will say, "Everyone with >15 years Java experience can get jobs easily", yeah right, except that the only one person with this qualification is the CEO of Sun.

        Reminds me of Star Trek Voyager when Janeway could see through most BS, except when an alien with a grudge built her a super-fast quantum slipstream starship that could bring her home in a few months, she believed that it was true *because she wanted to*. ITAA speaks more trash than that "Merrill Lynch analyst" that comes on Bloomberg everyday. I mean what the heck does he analyse? It's written on his face that all of his buddies have been fired, he hasn't just because he's on the TV.

  • We've been in "economic recovery" for years now.. Like another poster said, I'll believe it when I see it.

    You just keep telling yourself that, and eventually it will happen :)

    • Re:sure sure... (Score:2, Informative)

      where do you get years from?

      last year we had the smallest recesion ever. Companies and finacial institutions over reacted and threw away more people than needed, but Jobless rates do not a recession make.

      unemployment is a symptom of a recession, but you can have high unemployment with out having a recession of the economy.

      hell, economists would not call having 25% of the populus out of work a recession as long as the dollors were increasing.
    • > We've been in "economic recovery" for years now.. Like another poster said, I'll believe it when I see it.

      Funny, I thought the poster who said "I'll believe it when I see it" was talking about the salary cuts, not the recovery. I just got a nice bonus and another raise. (Of course, my company's profitable, which may have something to do with it. We're hiring judiciously, but having a hard time finding qualified folks because of the flood of dot-com refugees.)

      The old adage is still true: A slowdown's when you hear about job losses. A recession's when you know someone who lost their job. A depression is when you lose your own job.

      Whether you're in slowdown or recovery depends on who you ask, and where you're looking, and if you got hit, you certainly have my condolences. It's certainly sux0r3d to be in the dot-com and networking/telco world over the past couple of years, and it'll probably continue to sux0r for at least another year or two as the big telcos continue to implode beneath the crushing depths of their of their debt.

  • by Green Light (32766) on Monday May 06, 2002 @09:17AM (#3469010) Journal
    The job market suddenly became very tight here in Columbus, OH. When my last contract ran out five weeks ago, I didn't realize that it would be so hard to find another position, but here I am, still sending out resumes.

    Oh, and I am a decent coder with 18+ years of experience. I can imagine how hard it is going to be for the lackeys to find something...
    • It's been tight in central Ohio as with most everywhere else... I know people who are/were in the same boat as you are, and that dates back to the middle of last year. One Oracle DBA friend of mine is working as a server in a restaurant... no slacker either, she says the manager doesn't want her to leave if she gets an IT job!

      I think it's easy for the younger workers to assume that everybody who can't find a job are not looking hard enough (and they're wrong), that's the way these downturns go... but I'm sure that with 18+ years experience, you know the value of saving up for times like these. After all, some recessions last for many years.


    • Wow. Just down in the road in Dayton, OH, those of us on the air force base can't find enough qualified IT people. Have you considered working in civil service for a while? The pay's pretty good at the IT level.

      • Re:How odd (Score:3, Informative)

        by GMontag (42283)
        Part of the problem is so many of the folks that *think* they are IT folks really are not.

        Here in the Dulles Tech Corridore in VA, there are hundreds of out-of-work "IT" people, that barely graduated (or dropped out of) highschool, never got a certification, played all day on the 'net during the web boom, squandered opportunities to go to college, badmouthed everybody that bothered to go to school and get certified, know nothing about anything beyond being the admin of a few FreeBSD machines and are now on perpetual unemployment swearing that they know better than the folks that still have jobs at their old firms (if those firms exist at all).

        For one, I am glad that I stayed in the Defense sector as a functional, rather than jumping the fence to the true tech side. My background is military and finance, two things that seem not to "fit" very well with the techies, but I still get to go gadget and application crazy at home.

        Where I work, we need the techies for our proprietary apps and communications, but in our shop the functionals drive the system. Might have something to do with our being profitable too, since the focus is on the product (analysis and professional services) rather than on how many lines of code can be written in a month.

        Techs routinly get hired here for $50,000 right from college and are not normally required to be EE or CS, but it is preferred. More Sr. people get hired too, but we do not have a massive turnover (any more) in the tech side, so they promote from within and give decent raises.

        Now, we have a problem finding qualified functionals, but we do not have zads of people that watched a war movie or two claiming to be "military experts" out of work with an evaporating job market. Even an ex-private that was booted from the service knows not to apply here.

        Might want to carry that analogy to the "IT professionals" that are not qualified to compete in the industry, if they will bother to listen to you between online games and dumpster diving.
  • Hoopla and losers (Score:2, Insightful)

    by booyah (28487)
    I dont want to troll, but I feel the IT job cuts for the most part were a good way of cleaning out the underbrush so to speak. Good IT people are still finding jobs and getting work, the people who arent are for the most part not cut out for it. Now there are some examples, but look at me, I have no degree, 5 years of admin experience, 3 as a Unix admin, I went looking for a job, and it took a little while (I wasnt looking full time since I was still working) and I found 3 offers that I got to pick from...

    I dont think it has been that hard for those who belong in the positions, just for those who held positions they had no right, education, experience or mindset for.

    • by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworld@@@gmail...com> on Monday May 06, 2002 @09:41AM (#3469140) Homepage
      Right, those of who can't find jobs will simply have to wait a little until they die in the streets, and that will be a good thing because it will clear out the underbrush.

      And anyone with the right skills knows that they can get hired, because the managers who make hiring decisions are just utterly brilliant in their jobs, and know so much about IT that they can instantly tell who knows what they're doing. And if you can't find a job, that just means you're not as incredibly smart as the person who wrote the parent post.
      • by JordanH (75307) on Monday May 06, 2002 @10:18AM (#3469375) Homepage Journal

        I wouldn't want to be so insensitive as to refer to those who can't find a job as "underbrush", but really, can we expect the job market to be as good for IT people since the Internet bubble burst?

        One of the vital processes in market economies that keeps them working is something called clearance. Inefficient methods of operating, like spending venture capital for operating funds for years waiting for a bad business plan to turn a profit, are cleared from the market eventually, leaving room for things that make sense.

        This does lead to people being jobless. But, this also encourages everyone to keep their skills current and their pay expectations realistic.

        Clearance is something we have to attempt to apply to large Government bureaucracies constantly as market forces don't apply here. The fact that there's not regular market clearance to Government bureaucracies is what helps lead to all the gross inefficiencies there, IMO.

        It's business cycles. I don't think they've been abolished, contrary to what some were saying a few years ago. I liken it to winter. Winter does make it hard on a lot of life for awhile, but it sets the stage for Spring.

        It does seem unfortunate that those on top in market economies (CEOs and Board Members) are the most insulated from business cycles, with their golden parachutes and other benefits. But, this is like how mankind is more insulated from winter when compared to most of the animal kingdom. It's good to be on top of any food chain, I guess.

        • This does lead to people being jobless. But, this also encourages everyone to keep their skills current and their pay expectations realistic.
          Generally I agree with your description of an open job market. However, there is also an underlying assumption of the system not being rigged in favor of any specific group. What was believed to be true in a general sense prior to the recession of 2001 is now out in the open: the very top levels of various organizations have rigged the game so that (a) they skim off most of the profits (can you say Kenneth Lay? Bernard Ebbers?) (b) they do not pay the price of failure (I will leave it to you to dig out the details on the golden parachutes). So, what appears to be "clearing" is often just "covering up mistakes and preparing for my next jump to an even more lucrative CEO position even though I totally screwed up this company".

          sPh

        • Re:Hoopla and losers (Score:3, Interesting)

          by nabucco (24057)
          Since this whole topic pisses me off, I like to use the word bullshit a lot. This "market cycle" stuff is bullshit.

          Guess what? The ITAA (the organization funded by IT employers) has been riding both sides of this bubble. On the way up they were talking about the massive need for workers, and spent millions getting H1B legislation passed. We had 200,000 H1-Bs come in in the last year, despite falling wages and people being laid off - this is technically impossible with the law, but it has enough loopholes and lax enforcement to allow this.

          Now that we're on the downslope, the second strategy kicks in - employers cutting wages, unemployment rising and so forth. And the ITAA still issuing reports saying there will be 1,000,000 new jobs. Well hell, I guess we should raise the number of H1Bs from 200,000 this year to 1,000,000 in that case, the ITAA would never tell a lie!

          You talk about why they're rich - they're rich because they have been united in fucking us over for years. And here we are with our wages cut, unemployment up and people are smiling and just accepting that this is the market and super-genius, hard workers like them will not be unemployed (although their salary will be cut and they'll go from working 60-hour weeks with 24/7 oncall to 65-hour weeks).

          There's only one solution - team up like the employers team up in the ITAA. Most engineers I talk to don't want to collectively bargain like a union, so the solution is a professional association like doctors (AMA) and lawyers (ABA) have. The best organization like that is not IEEE who have sold out to the employers as well, but the Programmers Guild.

          My web page [geocities.com] discusses these topics in more depth.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You're absolutely wrong about that. You were very, very lucky to find something so easily, particularly since you don't have a degree. You don't say where you are, but in my area (Research Triangle Park, NC), tons of highly qualified people were laid off as the tech industry started tanking. Employers have gone from scraping around for the "underbrush" to rejecting a dozen perfectly qualified people for every person that gets hired. The situation may be more extreme here because of the relatively high number of struggling tech companies, but it is tough everywhere. Don't kid yourself that you can find a job just because you're good at what you do. That might have been true a couple of years ago, but if there aren't any jobs, there just aren't any jobs.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      What area are you in? I'm in RTP,NC and have 9 years exp in UNIX + BS + training and been looking since December of 2001. This area has been flooded with people like me laid off from all of the telecoms, IBM, etc. And most of these places are STILL laying people off!
    • ...I found 3 offers that I got to pick from...

      The article didn't say there were no tech jobs left, just that they decreased. I used to get a lot more then 3 a week from headhunters trying to lure me away from where I am now. I'm still here, and quite happy, but if I wasn't that 3+/wk headhunters have definitely decreased.

      There are jobs out there, but nothing at all near the level they used to be. It used to be if you could spell "computer" with a spell-check, you were hired. Now there is not only competition, but it's against other folks who are also good. Makes it a lot toughter to get a position.

      Companies don't have to spend the buck$ to try and catch the eyes of good talent - it's more readily available. Not that we're cheap now, simply supply and demand - when available techies were scarce, market price went up.

      =Blue(23)
    • From what I've seen, admins aren't having it too bad. Companies are trying to reduce costs, but there are limits to how many people they can downsize and still keep their machines running

      Developers seem to be much worse off. It's a lot easier to cancel new development, so new development has been cut down to the bone.

      Maintenance programming is still going on, but if you're a developer in new software and you're out of work, things are very very tough right now. There are still some jobs of course, but the competition is very intense.

    • Have to agree somewhat with this. There are a LOT of losers in the IT industry who don't belong here. They were lured to IT has a high-paying job from other, low-end technician positions.

      I'm hopeful that another 6-12 months of economic downturn will clear most of the cruft out. However, as I'm seeing in my own place of employment, the same management that put those people into their jobs is also the same management that is willing to retain some losers due to the usual PHB way of looking at the world.

      I'd personally like to see a slow expansion of the economy so that new people could be brought into the industry at a pace where there could be some sane considerations in hiring.

      I do think that development has been nailed much, much harder than admin. In the admin world you have to kind of keep people to keep systems running. In the development world you can cancel all but maintenance development and kill a lot of jobs, including bright people who "belong" there.
  • I currently am working in Dubrovnik, Croatia because the U.S. tech job market sucks so horribly.

    But I know several Indians at work in the U.S.

    Why am I here, and they're there?

    Talisman
    • No kidding, I don't wanna be racist or anything funny, but I live in Bellevue, WA (spitting distance to Redmond, WA and Microsoft) and there are literally *shitloads* of Indians (as in, India Indians, not Native Americans). I don't have anything against these people, but it disturbs me that they all drive around really expensive cars and wear *very* nice clothes, while silly ol' me got laid off from a bankrupt dot-com a mere two weeks after 9/11. (I was a 'Software Engineer'.)

      We're not talking about 5-10% of the workforce being Indian either, we're talking a good 50% or more in my area. You get on a bus in the morning and you can see every seat on it filled with Indians. It's crazy.
  • by Changer2002 (577488) on Monday May 06, 2002 @09:20AM (#3469028)
    While the article sees an upswing in the nearish future, I see a shift of a lot of technology jobs being farmed out to overseas operations. What this means for IT professionals in the US I don't know. But when you have US employees earning $63K yearly and foreign IT workers earning 10$ an hour to do the same work... things don't look so good.
    • Outsource everything to Elbonia.

      Savings: $10 M in reduced workforce costs.

      Additional losses: $50 M spent in hunting all the bugs from the software with your own workforce.
    • I used to work for a company that was a bit "ahead of the curve" in outsourcing work overseas. (that was about the only thing they were ahead of the curve on, to be sure!). consiracy theories abounded (such as getting rid of all regular employes with n years to be replaced with the overseas folks).

      All this, and now they are getting rid of most of their overseas contractors and staffing up a bit. They have found that the work is just not up to par. You spend more time cleaning up after these people than you save.

      And some of these people are better than others, but you have to pay more to get more. After you pay for better contractors, as it turns out, you can hire americans for not much more and get better software.

      This type of thing might happen a bit, but I don't forsee a large turn to overseas IT work.

      • Seen the same thing. The Overseas thing just doesn't seem to work.

        IT requires, in many cases, a team and team mentality. It requires contact with design teams, marketing, etc. Just tossing it to someone else won't work.
    • I agree...

      I'm part of the Sun Certified J2EE Architect Yahoo Group email list preparing for the 3 SCEA exams and I'd say that 50% or more of the people posting are from India judging by their names (which really signifies little, I know) and the constant requests for where to find specific books in differing parts of India... And these guys know a TON.

      A country like that with low wages, super-high education and English speaking is perfect for a world connected by the Internet. I've read that there are still a lot of problems with managing a team in another country, but I think those problems will go away quickly because the rewards for making it work are so huge.

      It's pretty obvious to me too that we're going to see a LOT of work moving overseas soon.

      -Russ

      • It's pretty obvious to me too that we're going to see a LOT of work moving overseas soon.

        Nah, I've seen the same thing several others here have already mentioned. Offshore development seems to fail in a large majority of the cases. Think of the "offshore boom" as the next "dot com bust."

        Right now, some companies may be trying to save every penny and may look at offshore development as a solution. The majority will more than likely get burned.

        I know of several companies that have been in the same boat. They got lured by very attractive proposals from India. "3 months and $300k". They said, "Fsck yeah!" 3 months later they were told, "It's a little more work than we thought. It's going to be at least another 6 months and we need to hire another 50 programmers, and it's going to cost 1.5 mil." The companies, having already invested time and money and believing they were now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, go ahead and do it.

        Offshore programming is not practical. Developing usually requires "close interface" with non-programmers and leads that intimately know the project including (ahem) salespeople. It's not easy to have this close interface when the developers don't speak English fluently, don't even share the same culture or underlying business knowledge, are 12 hours out of phase requiring that $1.50/minute conference call to be specially scheduled at 6am or 7am or so, and doing "on-site" requires the purchase of a $3k-$8k plane ticket and consumes at least 3 or 4 days when you consider the time zone differences, jet lag, etc.

        The failures of offshore development are demonstrated daily. And, as others have also mentioned, they will only be willing to work for $10/hour so long. As their salary increases the demand for their work from the U.S. will decrease even more--if the whole "offshore bust" doesn't kill that industry first.

        • As a programmer of Indian origin, I feel somewhat qualified to comment. Before I get to my main point, I need to provide a bit of a preface. Programmers from India that come with an engineering degree typically are much better at the problem solving and analysis that are required in IT than are folks from a sciences and the arts. The reason for this is that engineering and medicine are typically the higher (far higher in the case of compute related stuff) paying professions and the competition for admissions to these courses are fierce. In a process of evolutionary selection, typically the candidates better suited to problem solving and analysis are the ones that make it through to even getting admission to the professional schools.

          Granted, as in every other field, a percentage of those admitted to egineering are duds. But statistically speaking, the odds are really good that someone from an engineering background in India is Good at IT. Conversely, the people who dont get into engineering and medicine are typically less suited to IT.

          And now onto my point....

          Coming from an enginering background myself, and having worked for one of the companies that do offshore development, I noticed a curious phenomenon amongst my (then) colleagues. The vast majority of them had scorn for the skills and capabilities of the average IT worker. I didnt understand this until I came to the US myself. Then I realized that the average IT worker in the US is more likely to be a former third grade teacher who sought a better paying profession than a graduate of engineering. My (then) colleagues were falling into the trap of comparing apples to oranges. They were comparing themselves and their colleagues (who were mainly with engineering backgrounds) to people who werent, and of course, in that comparison, the US worker came out short.

          The correct way of comparing things would have been to look at where the people with engineering backgrounds (and in the US, this is only a rough indicator of problem solving and analytical skills, I know) went, and then, comparing themselves to the skill and efficiency of those workers. When I did that comparison myself, I found that there really was no inequity between the US and the Indian worker.

          You (and many others) seem to have fallen into a similar trap : you are equating all Indian offshore companies without recognizing quality differences. This would be something like comparing IBM to Poppa and Momma IT Inc. The company that I had worked for hired really good people. There are companies from India in the same field that hire predominantly from the Arts and Sciences fields and because of the competition I mentioned before, the people that they get arent (statistically speaking) as good as the really good ones. So, the conclusion is, you can get really good work done at really cheap prices, provided you pick the right company!

  • Of COURSE.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Havokmon (89874) <`moc.nomkovah' `ta' `kcir'> on Monday May 06, 2002 @09:21AM (#3469030) Homepage Journal
    IT salaries are down on average. It's about time the morons with the 2-week "Make $60,000 as an MCSE!" 'degree' were trimmed from the lineup.

    I really wish I could run into a good NT guy, just to change my perception.

    The last guy would reboot the NT server, because the mmc was crashing (He was installing a new Server App), and he didn't know how to kill it or something... "Umm that's the MMC crashing, why don't we just kill it instead of rebooting the server in the middle of the day?"

    The 2nd to last guy I worked with spent who-knows-how-long screwing with 3Com diags on an NT box, before I plugged the network cable in for him.

    Really fucking pitiful... And I don't even like NT. (I'm fucking cheap, but NT makes me want to run out and buy Netware)

    • Re:Of COURSE.. (Score:3, Interesting)

      I really wish I could run into a good NT guy, just to change my perception. The last guy would reboot the NT server...

      That's why you can't find any good NT guys. They're all working here at my corp, with 1800 NT4/W2K servers to support. There are 12 of us doing (internal) client consultation, need analysis, installation, config, app loads, support, patching, and monitoring.

      I just joined this group from a different area of the bank where I was the "NT guy" and we had 5 serves, All I wanted was a chance to get Win2000 MCP-test training. They said "not in the budget." New group says "MCP within a year is a requirement on your perf review." I am a happy man!

      And by the way, if you know what you're doing, and you have a group of solid people behind you, the environment stays stable. Security oversight is handled by our own security division, but we make sure everything is test and configured as it should be. We only see about 3 bluescreens / ASRs per month. Most from NT4 Compaq boxes slated for replacement anyway.

      So your yokel "NT guy" is the guy who applied for my job and said "I like to reboot servers when the MMC crashes." I don't profess to know everything, but I take the time to learn when I don't know how to do something, and I work with like-minded people.

    • Actually I think that salaries are dropping just because a bunch of people woke up, moved out of the valley where they don't need $75k just to afford a studio apt!

      As for MCSE's: I am a windows admin by trade. I've interviewed everyone coming into IT since my hire (except for my boss of course, who was just let go). Ironically enough, every MCSE that we've interviewed, we've not hired (except for my boss, who was just let go). They generally understand how to do things (think procedurally) not how things work (think reason-based).

      Simply put: people that can only think procedurally, and do not understand *how things work* do not make good sysadmins. The problem with windows, is it's very hard to find out how things work. Even then it's a pretty vague understanding, and spotty because of Microsoft's kludges and tinkering.

      This is why there are few good windows admins, and even then they will never be as good as the best *nix admin. [This is also why I've got 3 BSD machines at home, and also admin 2 solaris boxen at work]
  • This article [fawcette.com] says java developers are making more money:

    Our 2002 career survey sampled Java programmers' work and compensation and compared it against geography and gender, education and training. The results--starting with total remuneration--were perhaps surprising, given what we've come to expect from a squeezed economy and lowered expectations. Last year, the programmers we surveyed in the United States earned on average $83,000, but this year the average total compensation--salary and benefits--of our sample was $93,500--11% more than last year.


    I'd say the IT world is shedding the cruft. I hope I'm not cruft.
    • I'd say the IT world is shedding the cruft. I hope I'm not cruft.
      Sorry dude, but it's not your decision. Even the best kernel-hacker class coders get fired and on welfare because "management says downsize the department" and there is no way for an average hiring manager to tell this person's resume apart from the other ones with 10 qualifications for a dime e.g. MCSE, CCNA, ECDL, IRC-expert, ICQ-expert, AoL-certified professional web designer, Hershey-certified computing "taste" professional, Nestle-certified profit-maximising-employee.
    • Yes, but if you look at the quality of the analysis, there is no way at all to see who is actually making $90K.

      Magazine surveys, such as this one, are crap. I have yet to see one that normalizes the data based on cost-of-living indexes, years experience, or class of position. Just that simple step would make the data infinitely more useful. But the magazine people are lazy, stupid, and don't care; they just want to put out the numbers, even if they are wrong.

      $88K in the South...yeah, right. Who?? College graduate or senior manager??
  • "Tech-workers" is such a broad category, according to this JavaPro article [fawcette.com], Java programmers are earning more than ever and working less to get it.

    However, I'm a Java programmer and I don't have a job so you can't rely on everything you read.

    -Russ

    • by ProfBooty (172603) on Monday May 06, 2002 @02:01PM (#3471111)
      Heck I'm an electrical engineer, do I consider myself an IT worker? HELL NO, it would be nice if the general public (and /.) made the disctinction.

      to me IT isn't even programing, its the guys who do server/pc support maintenance, upgrades etc. Skills like that are more of a commodity, being a good programmer/engineer is not. For every design engineer you have several test/systems engineers who test their work(design engineers get paid more in general).

      When did IT equate engineering and programing? They are not the same! Repeat again! They are not the same!
  • Article Summary (Score:2, Informative)

    by umeshunni (37684)
    The article seems to be a summary of surveys !
    Here're the main points:-

    The number of U.S. technology workers plunged by nearly 530,000 in the past year according to a The Information Technology Association of America survey.
    The survey projects that employers will fill about 570,000 technology positions this year, based on interviews with 532 hiring managers.
    a research director at Gartner Inc., predicts that technology spending will grow by 2 percent to 4 percent this year, and increase more rapidly in 2003
    A separate study released last week by Information Week magazine said that tech workers' pay had dipped by 11 percent, to $63,000, compared with a median compensation package of $71,000 last year
    Ironically, unemployment -- and employee uneasiness -- often rises even as the economy begins to regain its footing, because cautious firms are loath to make commitments in the form of full-time jobs.
    Nationally, the most attractive job candidates are proficient in the C++ or Java computer languages, or they are familiar with Oracle database technology, according to the information technology group's survey.
    Employee referrals and the Internet continue to provide employers with a large chunk of their workforce, according to a recent report by the MMC Group,
  • Where I'm at, theres no job opportunity in IT, but then, I didn't see the help wanted section of the Sunday paper recently. I do have a contact in the staffing industry and she informed me that even people with MCSE certification, Novell certification, and CS degrees are still unable to find gainful employment. While I was looking for my current job (which only pays about a third of the national average for IT), I was given the suggestion of relocating. That was not an option for me at the time because I didn't have money or the resources available to do a relocation. Once I get my year or two where I'm at right now, I'll be ready to move on.
  • I'll believe it when I can afford to buy a copy of the newspaper.
  • The dot-bomb caused the wage numbers for It to be inflated though. Over-paid employees working for a upstart that is spending it's venture-capitol like water had wages that made no sense and were purely for bragging rights.

    we can expect to see IT wages to further drop on average to the $60- $62K with the bottom being around $38K and the top at $80K with some bizzare exceptions to the rule... (public Schol IT way underpaid with a few overpaid employees in the valley)

    I highly doubt the "explosion" in IT jobs though.. I see a higher demand for really-good and expierienced It people and much less for MCSE's or other certs. time in the field is starting to have much more weight, as you are expected to run a department and be a tech at the same time. (3 offices, 200 workstations and 8 servers... I am the ONLY IT person/manager. God help the poor soul that tries to fill my shoes if I leave.... as management will say, "what do you mean you need help? the last guy did it by himself for 5 years!")
  • bling bling (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SlamMan (221834)
    You guys do realize that $63k is still quite a bit of money, right? Think how much higher that is than, say, a teacher. I know I work awefully hard, but I can't be working as hard as some of my teachers seemed to, with as few benifts.
    • Re:bling bling (Score:5, Informative)

      by RembrandtX (240864) on Monday May 06, 2002 @10:06AM (#3469275) Homepage Journal
      Im a webmaster, my wife is a middle school teacher.

      I work for a a fortune 500 , she works for the county of a fairly well known city.

      I make a little under 70k a year .. she makes just over 30k

      I did the math once on how 'valuable' she was to society.

      she has about 300 students a day:
      and for argument .. lets say she makes 31,000 a full 12 month year (with no summer jobs or incentive teaching programs) [which .. by the way .. most teachers have to do to make ends meet .. having their summers off is a crock.]

      that makes her monthly (pre tax) salery about 2,583 - $646 a week - $129 a day [this is pre tax mind you] for a 5 day work week. that means she is paid $0.40 cents a student per day.

      she has 7 classes that are 50 mins long .. and we are assuming that she only has each student once.

      lets for argument say .. that she is geting approx $0.42 cents a child per hour (and forget all the decimal places)

      I can hire my 13 year old neigebor as a baby sitter for the premium price of $1.50 an hour.
      kids used to get $1 an hour when i was 13ish .. so i have to figure the going rate is probally around 2 .. but i get a break cause there are a lot of cool toys in the house ;) [www.remsbox.com]

      so .. the first insult is that my wife gets paid less than a 13 year old kid .. and needed a BA + certification to have that priveledge.

      NOW lets talk about her budget.

      She has an annual budget of $1000 for art supplies. thats $3.33 (ish) cents per child .. *PER YEAR* - that works out to $0.02 (rounded up) a day in art supplies ..

      so far .. all those wondeful taxes you pay to the government for "schools" is buying your 12 year old son $0.44 cents a day worth of education. (you can multiply that out for 7 classes yourself .. but keep in mind .. not all those classes have such a lavish budget.)

      Add into this the job descriptions of :
      - must argue with irate parents over their failing kids
      - must 'teach' class-sizes of 35+ students
      - must contact parents 2 times verbally and 1 time in writing before failing a child. [regardless of their performance , or even ATTENDANCE]
      - must police halls
      - must immediatly report any child on 'agressive profile' list (a-la colembine)
      - must pay for extra art supplies out of her own pocket or explain to children why they are drawing with water on bathroom tissue AGAIN.
      - must not call on 2 boys in a row, or two girls, or two children of the same nationality, may not correct a student's answer when they answer a question wrong. [ever notice how your teachers always asked at least 3 kids before correcting 'all of you?' they get in trouble if they dont.]
      - must not ever touch a child in any way. [a teacher in our county was sued by a family because she tried to catch a child who was falling (due to ironically , her twin brother tripping her) the child suffered a sprained arm where the teacher grabbed her as her head was rushing towards teh concreate)

      these are only the tip of the iceberg.

      I on the otherhand .. sit on my a$$ all day .. fill out some code .. then go home.

      are IT professionals overpaid compared to people who do other 'necessairy' jobs ? yeh . I have to say that we are.

      Its just a personal pet peve of mine that teachers, the folks who are RESPONSABLE for us being smart enough to do this work . get shafted .
      Baltimore County cant seem to find any $$ when her school's heaters break, but they found enough $$ to build a by-way that allowed a contracter to build 4,500 townhouses in a previously unreachable tract of land.

      to really throw injury on insult, they predict that the community raised by at least 6000 familys this year, and her school cut 7 positions.

      how's that for efficiency ?
  • by Badgerman (19207) on Monday May 06, 2002 @09:38AM (#3469125)
    I'm an IT professional with 6.5 years of experience, who lost his job in the great downsizing. It's been a pain, but I've also learned a lot, especially by talking to companies, recruiters, and my fellow downsizees. This is what I've found - though your millage may vary.

    First, even with the job cuts, IT is a huge and unavoidable part of the economy. It will inevitably recover because IT is too important. It will expand because IT has definitely not met the limits of what it can do.

    Second, some of the cuts done were extremely unwise and are backfiring on companies already. I hear stories of patches not being released, remaining staff members working on maintenance instead of improvement or expansion, etc.

    Third, one of the biggest barriers to hiring now is the HR department. Consulting companies, recruiters, and potential employees are confronted with slow processes, poor interviews, and HR departments that do not know what they're talking about technology-wise. Nothing like having someone ask you if you have two years of Windows 2000 or .NET. I've also seen companies lose people because HR moves to slow - losing people in THIS economy.

    Fourth, as the article notes, many companies have largely screwed themselves in their approach to IT. IT, in my experience, has a high turnover rate, and these recent activities only encourage people to leave IT and avoid IT. Without training, their employees won't have skills (while some of us hardcores will practice our code while we flip burgers or cash our unemployment checks). They'll have to break down and hire knowledgeable people.

    In my experience, the market has already started opening up, especially for people with 3+ years of experience. Give it another year and IT will be back to where it was and then some - because, even if people don't like it, they need us.
    • It will inevitably recover because IT is too important. It will expand because IT has definitely not met the limits of what it can do.

      That's a pretty twisted attitude to take. Yes, we do more with computers than we did ten or twenty years ago, but are we really doing it any more efficiently? IT staffing and spending had ballooned by a factor of 100 over twenty years; are we really delivering that much more value? Computers are thousands of times more powerful than they were twenty years ago; do we really need more computers than we did back then?

      Armies of IT workers to run around and reboot machines continually is *not* progress. Unfortunately in many organizations the "strength" of an IT department is measured by the number of IT staffers - and not by the value actually delivered.

      • The "armies of rebooters" are a byproduct of the cost-savings that came from the client-server revolution. Killing the big glass room had a price tag associated with it: We put way too much intelligence into the client side and then expected a dumbed-down OS to keep the whole thing running. OK, we learn our lessons and move on. A more stable OS, thin clients, platform independence, smarter servers, centralized storage of data -- the return of the glass room. Back in the early 90's I predicted that people wanted PCs (instead of ASCII terminals) on their desktops only to get a GUI interface -- that local CPU power would be mostly wasted and installing local copies of front-end software would prove to be more of a liability than an asset.
    • I agree.

      I just spend the last year looking for work. I was in a pretty bad situation, no HS diploma, only 2 years experience and 2 kids to support.

      I found the exact same results as you. It seems to be the HR people who make things difficult. Every company exec that I spoke to seemed to be really impressed with what I've done in my 2 years "industry experience" but all the HR people are like "Well your resume doesn't say development tool design and implementation" even though it lists "Designed and implemented scripting language interpreter, debugger, pre-parser" etc. It's a sad situtation.

      And I am also one of the people who are thinking of leaving IT. Not necessarily because of IT itself. I love coding but I've gotten a very bad taste of corporate america, new laws regarding computing and copyright etc. It's just not as fun as it was going into it.

      I do have a plan that's being implemented right now for finishing school so I think I'll choose a different degree and going into something different.

      --
      Garett
  • ITAA, huh? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Geek In Training (12075) <(moc.liamtoh) (ta) (893bc)> on Monday May 06, 2002 @09:41AM (#3469138) Homepage
    There is some good news on the horizon - the survey of employers by the Information Technology Association of America says that more than a million IT jobs are going to be created in the coming year...

    And, why, exactly, should we trust an entity with an acronym like ITAA? :D

    I think it's just a ploy by the RIAA and MPAA to get geeks to stop downloading music and movies and go back to looking for jobs, using the Internet for what it was designed for, like spamming resumes...

  • by NorthDude (560769) on Monday May 06, 2002 @09:45AM (#3469158)
    - down from $71,000 to $63,000.

    I hope those in this situation have enough decency to shut up. 63K US is kind of just a dream to me, I'm making 42K CAN and I think I am making good money. Hey, I'm making more then both my parents together! I have a little car, a digicam, my good ol' computer, what can I ask more?!? Yeah, I used to dream of making 1K US a week, driving an Audi TT and living in a big house. And I was mad that I was not earning enough, fast enough. Then, recently, things went bad around the world, I kept reading about unemployement. One of my cousin lost it's job last year and he is still searching a new one. He got nothing more then a few little contract of 2-3 weeks. It change my mind, that is the only good thing about all this (for me). Now I'm placing some money, I enjoy what I actually have because tomorrow it could all change. Honestly, I would accept 63K US any day, but I really don't need it...
  • The average pay of an IT worker is $63,000?

    Bl$$dy hell, I'm the best paid programmer in the company and I'm only on 2/3rds of that.

    I'd love to know where these 'average' jobs are available...
    • Where are you located? A $40K salary would be pretty comfortable in Iowa, and $63K is going to be tight in Silicon Valley. If you are not in the US, consider also the strength of the US dollar. Considering the exchange rate, cost of living and housing, things may not look so bad.
  • ...with no experience and a MCSE. They say that there are over 45 million unfilled IT jobs in my town of 250,000 alone, and for the measly price of $45,000, I can get an A+ and an MCSE and be the CIO of a Fortune 500 company tommorow. Golly gee willikers!

    That's a real problem -- too many unskilled entry-level folks are flooding the job pool. And most certifications are as useless as used Kleenex.
  • I've been jumping from one sinking ship to another the last couple of years. I've managed to spend less than 2 weeks total unemployed between jobs, but the pay has been unsatisfactory and I'm constantly aware of the fact wherever I am is not a very solid position. I finally found a pretty solid company, but I got in under a situation which will be resolved in a few months and therefore my services are no longer required, so I've started circulating my resume again... If what they said is true, maybe I'll have an easier time of it. Of course, we keep hearing this again and again, but maybe for once they will be right. I have noticed an increase in open positions and a couple of companies lifting hiring freezes.

  • While the market is certainly not as hot as a year and a half ago, when we were making $120K offers to some star candidates, the number of resumes we get for open position is still on the low side and quite often not one of them is qualified for the position.

    This in contrast with eight years ago, when you had your choice of which expert to hire at a very affordable $50-60K per head...

  • It never stops amazing me how many people in this industry can only do one or two things that they've memorized or who are generally one dimensional. Especially doing things that can be done by software already or can be done by software that was better.


    I understand getting Java certified or MSCE to get through the door but at the end of the day you have to deliver, you have to stay current and from the software side of things, this industry is about solving problems.


    I can't blame anyone for taking advantage of the last few years, more power to them but there are a lot of people who are going to make a lot less money in their new, non-IT, jobs and that's a bitter pill to swallow.


    Moore's law is a bitch. You think you can get a certificate, get a high paying job doing nothing and keep it? I'm a developer with a real degree and I feel like I need to put a huge effort into staying on top of everything and do my job. I enjoy it and that's why I do it but don't think it's just a cake walk or something. It's definitely more than 40hours a week.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    One thing that is often forgotten in IT jobs is that your non-IT skills actually make a difference on a job. You can be the greatest coder, but coding is not everything. You need planning and organizational skills, you need people skills, you need business skills in order to work within a company.

  • by Naum (166466) on Monday May 06, 2002 @10:13AM (#3469337) Homepage Journal

    ... at least for applications development and support ... American workers are being replaced with H1-B visa imports. It's more commonplace, and it's happened at the last 3 shops I've worked at, and in once case my position was replaced with an H1-B visa holder - the firm there doesn't like to use the term "outsourcing", they prefer to term it out-tasking. The bulk of the programmer team resides offshore (in India, or Maylaysia, or Indonesia, or Mexico ...), while a few business analysts and lead level (which are mostly staffed by H1-B visa workers employed by the contracted offshore firm).

    Here's a list of prominent Fortune 500 companies that have moved all or a significant portion of their application support and development programmer staff offshore, that I and/or friends have had firsthand experience with:

    • American Express is about to complete the movement of all of its IT application development and support offshore - it's a net loss of approximately 2K+ programmer jobs - to India (mostly), Maylasia, Phillipines, Indonesia, etc. although it can be buried through levels of "outsourcing" (i.e., Company A contracts with Company B which in turn contracts with Company C ... with less and less money going to the actual programmer).
    • Honeywell, is moving the majority of its application support and development offshore to Ireland, India and/or Mexico. The strategy is proudly pronounced by execs, as everyone wants to follow the GE "Be Like Jack Welch" model of outsourcing everything. They like to call it their "recsourcing strategy".
    • APS, Arizona's largest power company, has embarked on an effort to move support (and eventually development) of its customer information systems to India.
    • Motorola, Intel both have slashed FTE's and replaced with offshore imported programmers of the H1B visa variety - very few programmer positions are open to experienced American programmers at either place.

    The trend seems to be to move data center and system programming operations to the likes of IBM but to move the application coding development and support to offshore vendors. I can't speak for smaller/medium sized firms, but at the big corporate shops, this is a certainly a constant for contemporary times.

    Sorry if it appears that I'm ranting, as this issue has affected me personally and it sucks watching friends and colleagues struggle to find work, unemployed for entirely too long now, about to lose their house if their wife/husband don't have a good income and they can go back to school to learn another craft. It's really disguisting to see foreign labor still imported and populate the workplace when these experienced individuals go hurting. Especially when those brought in or those who work in foreign centers aren't even close as qualified - with unverifiable references and doctored qualifications. Yes, it's gets personal when you study and work hard to put bread on the table for your family and you are powerless to stop the curtailment of opportunity. Being programmers, it's our nature to be independent and introverted, and that works against us - as I couldn't conjure up a scenario where this would occur with um, let's say truck drivers. There'd be blood in the streets.

    But to hear all of the politicos du jour speak, it's simply a matter of education! Poppycock. In the new paradigms of globalization, it really doesn't matter, as "knowledge" jobs can be moved just as easy, if not easier, than manufacturing jobs. There's some deeper questions that need to be asked and answered in the new century. Else we end up in a universally feudalistic model, with a small fortunate few and the the rest of us left to fend off eachother for the few morsels tossed our way ...

    And the ITAA are nothing more than tech industry lobbyist shrills, who have only the interest of employers at hand, and care not for the tech worker.

    Here is an open letter to Mr. Harris Miller of the ITAA [optimizemag.com], in response to blatant misinformation propagated by him and other lobbyist shills [optimizemag.com].

    • It Works Both Ways (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hotsauce (514237) on Monday May 06, 2002 @12:51PM (#3470579)

      While you bemoan the growing dominance of foreign programmers, note that foreigners bemoan the dominance of American IT. "All these American computers when we could build our own, slap restrictions on their import!" America makes a lot of money exporting IT products abroad.

      So if we make money selling products and services abroad, is it so terrible that other countries do the same? That's the way the global free market works. If we try to restrict foreign programmers, you can be sure they will slap tarrifs back on our products.

      In general, I find most people have a very naive idea of the way things work: they assume America is God's Country (TM) and so we will always make tons of money and all the other nations will always be reduced to begging for scraps. The reality is that the rise of America coincided with a very strange period for others: colonization and WWII. As countries have rebuilt after the devastation of colonization and WWII, expect more competition for America and a more even distribution of capabilities and wealth.

      • by ronfar (52216)
        The reality is that the rise of America coincided with a very strange period for others: colonization and WWII. As countries have rebuilt after the devastation of colonization and WWII, expect more competition for America and a more even distribution of capabilities and wealth.

        There is so much wrong with this statement that it is hard to know where to begin. The whole arguement is appallingly bad economics. Maybe it is a troll, but I doubt it, so I'll respond to it. This is a big myth that it is going to be bad for the United States (or whatever other country is dominant) if countries that are currently mired in all kinds of third world problems manage to pull themselves out of that mire and join the "first world." This is completely wrong, in fact, if we look at the objections to the H-1B program, we see that what is causing the problem is that people are exploiting the disparity of wages between the United States and the third world. The reality is that the temporary immigrant labor situation is caused by this disparity of wages. If India becomes an economic powerhouse it will be good for everyone in the world, including the United States.

        This goes back to the old myth that the Japanese auto industry was harming Americans. In fact it was the corrupt and inneficient American auto industry that was harming Americans, the rise of the Japanese auto industry was good for Americans in general. (The same can be said of the video game industry, where would that industry be today if not for Nintendo. How many Americans does that industry employ? I don't think the Nintendo of America headquaters in Washington state is empty, now is it?)

        In fact, the best way to end the H-1B program would be for wages in India to improve enough that people there decided that the expense and hardship of coming to the US was not worth it when they could get a well paying job locally. (I'd prefer to see the H-1B program reformed before then, but it makes me fairly happy to know that eventually it will become economically unviable.)

  • Not a duplicate (for once ...), but a Slashdot article last week
    "Industry Standard" Paycuts in IT? [slashdot.org] makes good companion reading here.
    There are graceful and non-graceful ways for a company to handle a lack of cash flow. In the scramble for survival, especially in an economic downturn, many companies are caught off-guard and have to show their shareholders that they are doing something to get the company back on the road to profitability (which seems to be the issue, here). In many of these cases, the group most affected by such changes are the employees. It would be interesting to note how many of you have gone through this before and what you had to do to survive the shortfall.

    Sig: What Happened To The Censorware Project (censorware.org) [sethf.com]



  • Yeah but my old company (IT Consulting) is cutting all the people with degrees, and keeping all the losers who'll never be able to get another job like it. Granted, they'll be closing their doors by the end of the year with that strategy - but that's what they're doing.

  • by Skapare (16644) on Monday May 06, 2002 @10:17AM (#3469367) Homepage

    These are the same people who said that 450,000 jobs went >unfilled [itaa.org] last year because there were not enough qualified technical people. Let's get some truth on the scene [ucdavis.edu] here (previously linked from slashdot here [slashdot.org], here [slashdot.org], and here [slashdot.org]). The ITAA is an industry spokes-puppet which is trying to spread a misconception that there is no jobs shortage, and that there is no unemployment, so that the industry can beg Congress for more slave labor force called H-1B. And I'm not referring to merely having more people than there are jobs. The real danger of the H-1B program the ITAA is constantly promoting is the fact that employees under this program:

    • are forced to work longer hours
    • are forced to work unusual conditions
    • are treated badly and with disrespect
    • cannot complain for fear of being deported
    • cannot change jobs for better conditions or higher pay

    That last one is especially sinister because it means that the usual market forces, supply and demand, and competition for skills, is NOT allowed to function for H-1B workers, giving employers a windfall of what is essentially cheap slave labor. They are hired into jobs the employers claim require extended skills, and paid only the average programmer salary (not the near double amounts such skills would normally draw) because the H-1B law only requires the average to be paid based on all programmers (not specifically those with the required skills).

    In other words, what the ITAA is spouting is a bunch of crock.

  • Problem is, a lot of the businesses that have folded up over the last couple of years have been heavily tech-dependent (e-commerce companies and such) - when the shakeout came, IT jobs were disproportionately affected. In a way, it's been the opposite of previous recessions, where the jobs lost were at the high end of the food chain. Since the normal pattern over time is for economies and businesses to grow, ultimately jobs will be added, but at a more reasonable clip than happened in the bubble. That doesn't help a lot if you're out of work today, though.

    After all, they're called bubbles at least partly because they pop at some point.
  • Go back a few yuears, everyone is trying to get on "that Internet thing". High demand for programmers/web designers/sysadmins drives up salaries. Dot coms go bust, there's flood of new IT graduates into the market and companies are cutting pack on web presence. Demand for IT professionals drops and salaries begin to drop. I know a guy who did some very innovative work at Ask Jeeves who's about to be evicted because he can't find a job in his field.

    There's no grand conspiracy here.
  • by nabucco (24057) on Monday May 06, 2002 @10:49AM (#3469549)
    Well, thanks for your insight that the job cuts only cut out the losers as you say - now can you please give us some insight into why it's good that our salaries have been universally cut? I was working for a consulting company which placed me at a Fortune 100 financial company and they announced across the board pay cuts for every worker - I quit, but those who were married or who had just relocated or so forth were unable to do so.


    As far as the ITAA report which said IT jobs will grow - bullshit! The ITAA is the *enemy* folks, they're the ones who lobbied to bring in hundreds of thousands of H1B's, they're the ones that did away with overtime laws for "computer operators", they're the one fighting to keep section 1706 in tax code (which drives independent consultants into body shops) and so forth. The ITAA is lying - the ITAA is who was talking about shortages for years before the current glut. Don't you people see the commercials on TV talking about a technical career while everyone is being laid off or getting pay cuts? Don't you all realize there is a massive deception going on - wonderful careers in IT are being advertised for while things for the profession get worse and worse?


    I can't believe that the same BULLSHIT that that the ITAA has been saying for the past several years has made it to the front page of Slashdot. I know it is on dice.com's front page and other places - they made their bullshit report recently to counter things like Representative Tancredo's legislation that would tie H1B caps to the unemployment rate (which is the highest in 8 years).


    So you morons who think you're some kind of programming super-genius who is a "hard worker" and is some kind of socially retarted dork who puts all his self-value in how much computer skills he has - can you please explain why not only jobs are being cut but why salaries are being cut? It's called supply and demand, folks, and the ITAA has been at the forefront of raising the supply of workers, hours worked by them, and their mobility (especially that of H1Bs or those who would like to be independent consultants).


    Now, most IT professionals I talk to don't want to form a union (collective bargaining association) which leaves us with one solution - a professional association, just like the doctors (AMA) and lawyers (ABA) have. No, not the IEEE, they've sold out to corporate sponsors when they had efforts to lower the H1-B cap killed. The Programmers Guild is the best organization I've seen of this type. Joining together and fighting for our profession against the ITAA is the only solution.


    My web page, the Oncall Guild [geocities.com], has more information about all of this, mostly links to good sources of information about non-technically related things to our profession. If you want to be part of a million individual super-genius hard-working dork programmer lemmings headed off a cliff, be my guest, if you want to join together with other engineers and fight the employer-financed ITAA in a non-union association, join the Programmers Guild and read the information on my web site.

  • Never Again... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Baldrson (78598) on Monday May 06, 2002 @10:53AM (#3469573) Homepage Journal
    The ITAA was one of the leading advocates of raising the H-1B visa limits during the bursting of the dot-con bubble. [techlawjournal.com] Is ITAA worth quoting when they say "more than a million IT jobs are going to be created in the coming year, taking employment back to pre-2001 levels"?

    Never forget that:

  • After being in the business for over 10 years, and being on unemployment for the first time in my life, it's a VERY humbling experience. Especially the fact that I have mouths to feed, and a mortgage to pay. And, to top things off, The Labor board is requesting a meeting w/ me to make sure I'm lookng for work! Do they think I LIKE getting $375 a week instead of $1400 a week? Don't they realize that I do NOT want to be on unemployment? Jeez!
  • by jonnystiph (192687) on Monday May 06, 2002 @12:55PM (#3470615) Homepage
    I am seeing a lot of posts talking about people who went to college and grabbed a degree and talk about clearing out the underbrush. Did it ever occur to you that perhaps some of this underbrush are people that never had the chance, or even desire to go to college.

    Personally, I have never enrolled into college. However that does not mean that I have no spent the last three years of my life trying to read/learn/expirement with everything and anything I can.

    I feel that for someone with 5 years of Tech backround, three in unix, I have learned a lot. I usually have no troubles holding my own against a college graduate. But in the general sense, I fall into this "under brush" category.

    Think about this, people like myself, we do truly do this for the love of labor. There was no driving force of college, just myself and a box. My own internal drive to learn and educate myself. To me these are sometimes more often the people that will really excel due to the motivation it took to get this far in the first place and the remaining drive of learning everything you can in an industry that advances as quickly as this one.

    I just think that perhaps before you stand on your Berkely soap box, that sometimes you should appreciate there are more important things in knowledge/skill/education than college.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.

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