The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is the ranking of UK universities. The REF replaces the older Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), which happened every four years. The last RAE was 4 years ago, and the current REF is just finishing. Established academics have to submit 4 research outputs since the last RAE / REF. These are usually papers, but can be other things (systems you've built and so on).
The REF is a really big deal in UK universities, because it directly impacts the availability of research grants. The CVs of individual researchers are taken into account, but the REF / RAE score of the department is the biggest factor. If you have 4 papers in top-tier publications (conferences or journals, depending on your field), then it's very easy to get hired in the run up to the REF, because a lot of second tier universities are looking to find people who will bump them up the rankings.
Conversely, if you don't have the 4 publications (or other impressive things), then it's very hard to get a tenured position, but if you're not averaging one good paper a year then there's probably something wrong with you as a researcher: part of the point of publicly funded research is that the results are communicated to the public, and if you're not doing this then you're not keeping up your end of the deal.
I don't know if I was as dumb, when I was in my 20's, as the person who questioned your choices. But having a family, and all that entails, I've met far too many 20-somethings that have no clue about how much it costs to fund a modern lifestyle.
People in this country don't keep tabs on how expensive things have become. Things that people once took for granted (specially college savings for one's children.) Unless something drastic change in this country, these 20-somethings will have a rude awakening when they try to set roots.
There used to be a time when it was ok for me live in a shit hole with no care in the world other than getting to work and eat pizza. With a family, things change (and so do the cost of living.)
It's not a valid argument to compare to downtown San Francisco, lumping that with all locations in the bay area within an hour's transit commute from the city.
Well, there is the thing. Unless I work across county lines, I don't need an hour of commute to get that house that I'm describing in South Florida. Same if I were in Seattle or Austin or even in a larger metropolis like Dallas/Ft. Worth. I did my research and I know that I could get a cheaper home far away from SF (say around Livermore). But it is not just about price. It is also about commute time, school districts, public amenities, and a lot of other conveniences (or the absence of significant inconveniences), all factors that one must take into account when we have family responsibilities.
Now just as you argue that one can get a cheaper house at a 1-hour-commute distance from San Francisco, I can get such a house for much more less than the SoFla price I described if I expand my house search off Broward country, and into either Homestead (at the southernmost corner of Dade county) or around Wellington, mid-to-north West Palm Beach county (either place resulting in a 1+ hour commute.)
But as it is, with the house I mention in Broward county, I get immediate access to the best school districts in the entire state, within 20-30 minutes drive to a major university and to the local community college and to two separate tech hubs that house most of the tech jobs in the county.
I know that I can make a similar comparisons in other tech (or semi-tech) metro areas like Orlando, Seattle, or Austin because I've been researching this for quite some time.
I cannot get *all of those things* in SF for the same price tag. So it is a valid argument to count the entire area about SF, which is a shame. The best companies operate there. Great if you are single. Not so great if you plan to have a new start there with a family. The ROI is simply not there.
If you put big house over location, then yes, I would definitely not recommend NYC or the Bay Area.
Not just big house, but actually *house*, like *house with a patio*. What you guys in NYC or the Bay Area call a *house* that can be afforded by one person (and only one person) salary, that is just a hole in a wall. If I had to put my family into that (that is, moving there and live in a micro-house because that's what a *competitive* salary can give me), I would move us all to Tokyo instead (I would much prefer to live in Tokyo than in SF and NYC.)
You couldn't pay me 2x250k to live in South Florida however.
Obviously that is your right to feel like that. For me, as a man of responsibilities, I cannot make such emotional decisions. It's not that I love South Florida. I actually hate a lot of it (and I'm still actively considering leaving somewhere else - that is how I came to research the crap out of my options in the Bay Area.)
But, as it is right now, it is a good ROI. We still have a few blue chip companies and other large tech employers that can pay decently. College education (undergrad and grad) is pretty much a fraction of what it would cost in the Bay Area. It is not as sophisticated as other metropolis, but it is cosmopolitan and diverse enough, which is what I want my daughters to be exposed to as they grow up.
It is not just *big house*, for otherwise, I would have moved to some cowtown a long time ago.
As a parent, if someone where to offer me 2x$250K salary to move to South Florida or just about anywhere (from, say, the Bay Area), you can bet I would take the chance.
Why? Because that type of salary would ensure I could pay a home mortgage in its totality and my children's college funds in just a few years. We would save enough to retirement shortly after that. I would guarantee us the financial independence to live wherever we want after that.
I wouldn't say no to such an offer. It would not be the responsible thing to do for a person with my responsibilities.
int class = 42;
There are numerous other examples. The interesting behaviour of sizeof() when you have a class and a variable of the same name is one of my favourites.
On the other hand, crowdfunding things like kickstarter make patronage a lot easier. You don't need to be able to afford to hire an orchestra to play, you just need to find enough other people who are willing to do so. There was an article a few months ago about an effort to do this and produce high-quality public domain recordings of a large set of classical pieces.
We're in a world now where a band can produce an okay recording of a few songs in their living room, distribute it for free, and ask for funding for doing a studio recording of the whole album. They can then distribute the album for free and ask for funding for the next one (and bookings for gigs and so on). They're free to set the threshold cost for the next album to whatever they want, and if they have enough fans that think it's worth chipping in for, then it gets made and they get paid.
VMS managed to get the idea of the platform ABI specifying procedure call conventions right very early on. It had quite an easy job though. C, BASIC and Fortran are all structured programming languages with basically the same set of primitive types. None of them have (or, in the VMS days, had) classes, late binding, or real garbage collection. BASIC is kind-of GC'd, but it doesn't have pointers and so everything passed across the language barrier from BASIC was by value, so the GC didn't have to do anything clever.
It's worth remembering that when VMS was introduced, other platforms were still having problems getting C and Pascal to play nicely together (Pascal pushing arguments onto the stack in the opposite order to C), so that's not to belittle the achievement of VMS, but it's a very different world now that we have Simula and Smalltalk families of object orientation, various branches of functional languages, languages like Go and Erlang with (very different) first-class parallelism, and so on.
Why should we trust someone who claims to "need" the amount of (250000 x 2) dollars just to stay happy? And I guess I'm really asking: What are you like to work with?
Either you are being deliberately obtuse, or you went through your school years without learning an iota of reading comprehension. Let me re-quote myself, with bold to help you deal with the complexities of middle school reading skills:
I needed to make $250K... and my wife had to make about the same just for the both of us to buy a house that I can buy in South Florida (not a cheap real state market) with just my salary alone.
In South Florida (Broward County to be more specific), a 3/2 home with a decent patio (say 5K square feet), in a good school district, with a two-car garage, could cost me approximately $250K tops.
A similar house in San Francisco will cost me NO LESS THAN $750K. No less.
Now, let's do the math since, you know, this is a site for geeks and shit like that.
A typical down payment could be about 5%. 20% if we go with a conventional loan.
Such a down payment on the hypothetical South Florida house would amount to $12K tops (or $50K with a conventional loan.) Those are median values, meaning you can be able to pay less.
Now take those percentages and apply it to the comparable San Francisco home. What do we get? The lower end of a down payment becomes $36K. For a conventional loan, it would be $150K. And these are no median values, these are bottom values.
I do not know about but I cannot make a $150K down payment, not unless both my wife and I make half-a-million combined a year. Considering I am forced to pay PMI insurance if I don't pay at least a 20% down payment, I don't think I want to make a $35K down payment just to scratch off %5 of the base price.
Regardless of whether I were to pay 5% or 20% off such a property, the monthly mortgage payment will be eating my paychecks. I would be living just to pay such a house. Forget about college savings for my two little girls (which is pretty much what my wife and I save for) and forget about sending my girls to see their grandparents over seas.
Either that or I have to give up having a patio for my kids to play. Heck, I would have to give up living in a house and rent a hole in the wall just to be able to save for a rainy day.
In South Florida, with my current salary by myself, on the other hand, I can make a $12k down payment (or with great sacrifice a $50K taking down 20% of the property and thus skip paying PMI insurance.)
Either way, my mortgage payments would not eat my salary, and I can save for college savings, pay for my kids's extra curricular activities, and I dunno, perhaps get a decent car for my wife to take my kids around to school and stuff.
So if you are too fucking stupid to wonder why I need that to make me happy, I guess my short answer is: shit, I want my kids to have a patio. Nothing fancy, just some patch of grass where I can put a swing or something, maybe a dog. A place where my kids can invite their friends to pay as they grow up. I don't want to live in a hole in a wall like in Tokyo (I've been there, I know how that is) which is what I will have to live like in San Francisco. And call me crazy and vain, but shit, I would like to live in a good school district. And to add insult to injury, I would like to buy a new car when needed, and I would like to retain my ability to pay shit in cash as opposed to live on a line of credit.
In other words, I would like to retain my financial independence and be able to save for my kids' college education, and my retirement, and a vacation here and there. Since I slugged my way through college while flipping burgers and driving forklifts at the Home Depot, I don't know, I feel I might have a chance to do so. Crazy, I know!!!
Nothing outrageous, just the normal shit one would expect to be able to attain with a college education in a 1st world country. I can do that with one salary alone in South Florida. We would need two salaries making up half-a-mill in San Francisco.
So banal and selfish, right, right, right? It's like shit, this dude is just kinda like totally untrustworthy, right up to Mardoff caliber. I'm what's wrong with 'MURICA!
So, as of what I'm like to work with? I will leave that to your imagination, using my oh-so-vain and despicable material wishes of not having to put the bulk of my income on paying for a regular house, not a fancy house, but a regular house with a white fence and shit.
Here is a quarter. Now go to a public phone and call Michael Moore so that he can make a documentary about how selfish and untrustworthy and pain-to-work-asshole I am.
This article is about the San Francisco Area.
In the tech-crazed San Francisco Bay Area, it exceeds $110,000.
IN SF, $110,000 is SHIT pay. For me to move to SF from Metro Atlanta and keep my lifestyle, I would need a minimum of $250,000 per year. Don't BS me about the cost of living or you can much cheaper living 90 minutes away.
And if it's a startup (I don't give a rat's ass about the "track record" of the entrepreneurs - one hit wonders), their doors will be closed within the year.
Stock options?! Ahahahahaha!
Of course, I have been around the block a few times and that's why the SF people prefer young and naive programmers - i.e. Less than 30 years old.
Bingo. That's the reason I decided not to move to SF. I was interviewing aggressively with several companies, but did the math. I needed to make $250K... and my wife had to make about the same just for the both of us to buy a house that I can buy in South Florida (not a cheap real state market) with just my salary alone.
Companies like Google and FB provide good perks, and they are great if one is willing to sacrifice a lot of other commodities like home space and such. It is too bad that the real state situation in SF is so absurd because it is a great place to work and live. But the cost is simply not acceptable. It is not an acceptable trade-off, and I rather move to Seattle or Austin, which though not as big tech hubs as SF/SV, they are good enough with much more acceptable cost-of-living trade-offs.
Things are a lot nicer in Silly Valley jobs. Sounds like you've been working in the real world, which is indeed a hellhole.
The real world is what you make of it. I work in South Florida which is a crappy place when it comes to tech jobs, but even here one can handle a career intelligently to avoid such situations. In 18 years of work in software, I've only had to deal with a horrible work environment once, and only for 6 months. And stayed there and sucked it up the horror of it because it was the expedient thing to do. By the time my contract was coming to an end, I was already prepared (again, pro-activity), and shortly after I got one of the best gigs of my life.
The key is to be proactive so that your average work experience is good enough, if not excellent, be it in SV or in, I dunno, Cowville, Montanalabama. Moreover, being proactive gives you the tools to graciously handle the odd curbs that one inevitably gets in life (even in SV.)
Question a deadline?! You're fired!!
Speak for yourself. There are jobs like that out there, but the onus is on "you" (the generic "you") to develop a career that avoids such situations. If you manage your career wisely, such jobs, while unavoidable, they become the exception rather than the norm.
Mandatory unemployment will cure your burnout.
Even during the dot-com bubble, if you really have (or had) to continuously suck it up like that to bad working conditions to avoid unemployment, in the field of software to boot, you are doing something wrong with your career buddy.
Is that line of communication open enough for you yet?
When that happens, you leave. If you are paying attention to your career, you have a professional network that you can count on. You regularly scout to see what options you have. You have been smelling something afoul at work for quite sometime (again, if you are paying attention) so that kind of "line of communication" does not catch you with your pants down unprepared.
So, unless you are managing your career like a drone going throw the employment options, facing that kind of "line of communication" is a non-issue because, at worst, you already have a bunch of options and can walk away without an unreasonable fear of unemployment, and, at best, you walked out before you even got to that point.
Good relationship between manager and slave?
Put down the victimhood kool aid. There is no manager-slave relation unless you are dumb enough to allow yourself to fall on one. There are good managers and bad managers just as there are good developers and bad developers. If you are a good developer, YOU CAN PROACTIVELY find good managers to work with.
What universe do you think you live in?
Certainly not in the same universe you live in, that's for sure.
So, full of shit it is.
You saying it does not make it so. I'm not saying that he is not full of it, but you simply do not know and his/her explanation of not giving details is as good as your own word in the realm of internet forums. If you want to assume that, then that's your right, but don't pretend to assume that your assumption is a (probable or absolute) fact.
There were a couple of stories by ex-googlers indicating some serious systemic problems in their work environment and culture (no pun intended but just google it). It is not all roses and bunnies in a geek bliss reaching nerdvana.
It is not to say it is a bad company or a profitable one. But it does have some serious issues in the way it operates that, if left unattended (and that is a big if), the will eventually come back to haunt the company in the typical bizness-101-what-not-to-do-list fashion.
Making money now doesn't mean making money in the future. Look at RIM for how fast things can change.
Comparing Google to RIM is a bit of a argumentative stretch. Google is making money now, in its "present". RIM was making money on it's "present". The latter flopped because of a variety of reasons, none of them present in Google's modus operandi. The allegorical causal-relation does not necessarily follow.