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Comment A lot of it is driven by the engineers themselves. (Score 4, Insightful) 195

Yes, companies sometimes push employees too hard. Lately in engineering though, you can punch the CEO in the face and he/she'll say "Sorry, please don't quit", with the current market. Obviously not true of all IT positions, but in engineering, it almost is.

So there's really no reason to screw over your work life balance, aside for maybe a pager rotation for emergencies (but the company should have a level 2 or 3 support to handle he common cases...I guess those guys work/life balance is fucked. Sorry)

Engineers however, are arrogant as fuck, and want to be at the top of the food chain, so a couple of them will willingly fuck over their work life balance. Then they'll get promoted for it (which is a problem with the company...but its hard to say no to someone who delivered twice as much for the same pay, even if he/she screwed over their life over it).

Then, people will feel they have to do this to compete. And thus, the New York Times Pseudo-Amazon is born.

Employers should not reward those people, and other engineers should NOT worship them. You don't need a union to make things reasonable, but please for god's sake, don't encourage your peers who do that shit.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 166

Its kind of scary how when I google for an app for android, for reviews or something, I have to wade through all the pirate site links. Often, the legitimate links are several entries below the pirate links.

And yeah, there's a lot of people at this point (and not FOSS zealots), who will just not pay for software.

At the office, I'm always seeing people who make 150k+ a year balk at the idea of paying 10 bucks for a piece of software they use every day in their side projects, and they pirate it instead. Paying for a mobile app? Impossible!

Comment What happened to the green card forms? (Score 1) 305

Or do they not count the ones partially rolled out? I filled up my green card application online, and got my interview, etc, through it.

It wasnt rolled everywhere at the time, and there was a few minor hiccups while on site (my stuff was in the system, but the person doing the interview didnt have access to it, whoops!), but it seemed like they were pretty close to having an end to end solution.

Most of the rest of the process was online and worked fine though.

Did that go away?

Comment Re:H-1B is bullshit (Score 1) 178

For programming its pretty common. For a lot of the northern states, Canada is closer than going across the country. TN1 visa is okay, but people eventually want something more permanent for quality of life (TN1 makes it hard to own property, for example), so a lot of H1Bs go to Canadians.

And with all the startups in Cambridge, NYC, etc, its VERY hard to build a team of any significant size, even if you're allowing remote workers, pay for relocation, etc.

Comment Lack of skill update, and burn outs. (Score 1) 362

While there is age discrimination, there's 2 other things that probably matter as much.

First, people burn out in Software Engineering. Its rewarding, and extremely high paying, but the barrier for entry is low (you don't need a master or a PhD, and in many cases, you don't need a degree at all lately), and the job is hard. That means a lot of exit. This is a bit different from, let say, a doctor, who did a PhD...not something they'll walk away from at the drop of a hat.

Second, its a field where you need to keep your skills up to date. Some of it is just stupid hypes, but some things genuinely get revisited, and the commonly accepted "best way of doing things" change. If you don't keep up to date, you die.

Put those 2 things together, and no matter what, you'll have a steady attrition, much faster than in other fields, keeping the average age down. And well, the push to "bring more people in IT" means the input of new software eng today is a lot higher than the input a couple of years ago, so yet another reason you'd have more younger devs.

Comment Re:What are you people doing with your lives? (Score 3, Interesting) 153

I don't use much (3-4gb a month), but i can easily see how someone could do more:

1) watching movies in bed
2) tethering from a coffee shop.

When you have unlimited, some habits also change...I have an unlimited plan now (promotion, obviously I wouldnt with my usage), and I'll do stuff like download a large game while walking to the subway because....I can.

Comment Re:You can't allow Uber without allowing H1Bs (Score 1) 385

No no no.

If Uber was the same price, but with the current service, people would still go for it.

Did you forget how Uber became popular? With Uber Black. They scaled with UberX, but that was NOT their claim to fame.

Uber Black, a service that was -WAY- more expensive than a normal taxi, made a killing. Because taxis FUCKING SUCK.

Comment Re:Easy test (Score 2) 315

Thats not true though.

There's how much you can sleep, how much you need to not feel like shit, and how much you need for your brain to work at peek efficiently.

Those 3 things are very, very different numbers.

You can feel great but not have slept enough for your brain to be at its peek. You can be able to sleep 10 hour straight but feel bleeeeeeeeeeeeerg when you wake up, etc.

The former is usually what people "who only need 6-7 hours!!" say. "But i feel great!". Yeah, but you'd do better if you slept more.

Comment Re:Hewlett-Packard effect (Score 1) 167

in the SF and Valley areas, as well as on the east coast (Boston, NYC, etc), the average "half life" of a software engineer before they quit to go elsewhere is ridiculously low. Between 1 and 2 years depending on the city.

There's a lot of reasons and theories for it... "just because they can", "its easier to jump ship than wait for a promotion", "you get bigger raises that way", "seeing more companies make you a better engineer", etc etc etc.

Its almost an habit at this point. Not sure its great for the industry, but for the employees, its an environment thats hard to beat.

Comment Aren't those bonuses taxed? (Score 1) 262

I assume a large chunk of those bonuses are going to normal employees (tech companies often have 10%+ in yearly bonus as a normal thing).

Those bonuses are taxed. And then they're spent, and thus taxed again.

I dunno what's the income tax on that side of the world, but I'm going to go on a limb that it's going to be more money than corporate tax.

2 pints = 1 Cavort