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180,000 programming jobs in the US 147

At the moment there's a high demand for programmers in the US, especially female ones (why would an employer pay a higher recruiter's fee for a woman? Is this a "team-work thing"?) And with only 25-30 thousand new BSc's a year in IT, it may last. However, I wonder how much of the demand is temporary, related to fixing Y2K or in Europe the conversion from national currencies to the Euro. What do you think?
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180,000 programming jobs in the US

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  • There's only one criterion for employment, and that is the ability to do the job. That is a combination of technical skills, communication skills, attitude, and other acquired factors. It doesn't matter if the applicant is a man, a woman, from another country, or even some sort of smart robot. All that matters is, can the job be done?

    In the USA, they have affirmative action, the silliest system of quotas where companies are pressured to hire minorities. What makes more sense is the system that we have in Canada, called employment equity. Employment equity works a different way; companies have to make sure that they are not -denying- employment -simply- because the applicant has a non-acquired factor such as gender, race, and 11 other factors determined by human rights.

    Employment equity works especially well if it is combined with a good education program. Society needs to make sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve success. Misconceptions about gender and race (e.g. the sillyness about what men and women can and cannot do) must be addressed.
  • My kind of company. Of course, I'm still in college (only 2 years left)!

    Anyway, if you want to wait, you can see my resume at the above URL.
  • I notice that you "not in it for the money" folks are posting from .edu addresses. Not to be the grizzled old veteran but I've seen so many "go bad" after being in the real world for a while. You need another $200 a month to have an apartment with its own laundry, and pretty soon the "not in it for the money" turns into employer resentment. "Hey, I could work over *there* for another 20 thou a year!" This effect doubles if you have a family, wherein most people adapt some sort of policy whereby their entire life is devoted to their children and they are stuck in the shittiest job just because it pays well.

    The most important thing is that you're happy in your work. Never take a job just for the money. You will absolutely regret it.

  • H-1 visa. But since it's hard to get a job while sitting outside US, you can get there by different type of visa, then ask for employment and visa change -- it's more or less a standard practice.
  • Yeah, I don't get that. When you're doing stuff on the computer that is obviously just for fun, it's an "internet addiction" (even when you're not on the internet). Then when you get a computer-related job, it's automatically assumed to be "for the money" - people conveniently forget that you were doing stuff for fun on the computer back when they were trying to get you to quit.
  • Posted by tdibble:

    Getting a degree in anything shows that you have the determination to do it. Getting a degree in an engineering discipline can teach you how to solve problems, how to efficiently implement solutions, how to engineer. If you don't let it teach you, you won't learn, of course; a degree says very little about your abilities.

    Personally, I got a degree in chemical engineering, learned how to program during finals week to get my mind off the finals, and decided I loved programming more than chem eng. Switched careers when the difference between futures was about $20,000 minimum (in favor of chem eng), but now make what I would have expected to be making in chemical engineering ten years from now. I'm not so much an oddity; the best programmers I know do it because they love it, and persued a degree to educate themselves.

  • This may be true where you're from; I did my CS degree in Edinburgh, UK, and I have certainly found the degree to be a good grounding in CS principles and useful for doing real work. I think this is true of many CS degrees in this country.
  • Go out and buy that book (it was reviews here about augest). By Fred Brooks. Read it. Then you will know what is going on.

    I've seen it before, will see it again. I think half the shortage is people hear about internet years and think they should devolpe software that fast. CAn't work, never has, probably never will. Never will without major advances in management theory.

  • To a point that is true. On the other hand if you have enough work to keep 100 people busy for a year (in a well designed system, one of the mistakes of the S/360 was too many architects who didn't know what they were doing) and you only have 13 months, and 50 people, you need more people. You need to hire 50 people, and get them up to speed in one month or your project goes out the window. Putting them each in a seperate room with the documentation and what not is fine, but only a few will really come up to speed in that time, and your project becomes late.

    Linux has a large number of devolpers, but many people contend that the xBSDs are better even though they have less devolpers. Granted that is a religious topic, but they are keeping up with linux rather well with less people. I think this is due to the mentality, linux encourages you to get something done, xBSD wants it done right.

  • You still don't understand. You need to be interesting. I know what all my officemates do for a living. I know many of the gorey details. We talk about that on work time. We talk about it over lunch ONLY when something interesting happens.

    The rest of the time someone talks about something. There are a few musical people here, sometimes over lunch they discuss the music scene. The unmusical people would rather listen to that (not in large quanties like the music people) then think of work most of the time. The next day the FreeBSD geeks are talking about something in -current, and the music people (who are mostly linux geeks) listen. The day after that it is a different group and politics. We don't want to be bored, and all computers bores most people.

    The more extroverted you are the more important it is that you have something to say that won't bore everyone else. Even the introverts need to do something though.

    You don't know the programing language we use in house, but if you can demonstraight basic programing skills we can teach your our language in just a few days, no big deal. You don't know our hardware, but again we can teach that. You probably don't know fibre channel or scsi, but after a couple weeks here you will. Of course we want to make sure you can learn all of that. Now we have a problem: you know enough about computers to convince us that you might work out, and not even Linus Torvals (sp?) has any advantage on you. (work on Linux, even scsi work is nice to see, but it won't apply directly) Management has to go on to the next steps. Important things for them is that you get along with your co-workers. If your going to fight with your co-workers I don't care if you have done the same thing for linux (and we hire you because you can port it to our hardware in no time) your not hireable. The people I have I know are compitent (or I'm in the process of firing them) Your an unknown. If you have a hobby, you are at least less likely to burn out. At best a hobby gives you something to relate to everyone else about, and indirectly imporves productivity.

    BTW, if you go to an interview and don't talk to several people who you are likely to work with on the same level don't take the job. Half of an interview is for them to convince you to work there. I know several people who were called to an interview and it soon became clear that they were already selected for the position and they were the only one to convince. If they aren't trying to sell you on the job at the same time your selling yourself on them, how do you know that you will get along with everyone. If your co-workers are likely to go postal why would you take the chance?

  • Your bound is correct, and easily provable. All one needs to do is observe that there is a finite number of people, ergo a finite number of good people. QED. :-)
  • Just not many are majoring in CS or getting BSc's and ABC's in it. I know a lot of PhD. Biologists who can program a Linux kernel in their sleep and throw up beowolf clusters in their labs but can't get paid for it. Then there are the B.A. graphic designers who develop their own 3D software that crushes 3D Studio Max but can't even get winked at by employers.
  • It's easy to get some job, but to find the right one (uhhh... what's that?) is hard. Ok, that's so general I didn't need to post it. What I wanted to say is another aspect:
    While I was in the Bay Area from 9/97 to 10/98 for a German company (no need to get a visa for working) I had some offers for jobs there. Now I'm trying to get back there - and I find it extremely hard. I have not changed, so what's the reason? And I present a lot of stuff on my web page, so it's not like hiring someone you don't know a thing about. Not that there are no offers (everybody who can spell 'computer' gets some), but everything's in Germany.
    By the wa (off-topic, but only for the discussion at hand, not for slashdot), one of the reasons I'd like to switch to another company besides leaving the country is my NAT project (see hoempage). There's still a lot of interest although I haven't done much since 97, simply because I don't have the equipment and no network to try stuff (and it would be great if the employer needed that stuff - my previous one did, that's where I coded it, it just feels different). So much for some open-source developer psychology ;-)
    Also, Americans forget that the Internet is a world wide medium. Lots of job offers posted in the news and on websites forget to say 'working permit for the US required', although that's what they really mean.

    Michael Hasenstein; Siemens SBS []

  • err, loads of people i know hate programming too. basically, writing code is just data entry, or monkey work once you've been doing it for a few years. the interesting stuff is the design and analysis. and that's where the $$$ are too. you might dis VB programmers, but they are moving beyond mere code and into real development. saying that you want huge salaries for just writing code is like an artist wanting to spend the rest of their career mixing paint.
  • You must be confusing C with BASIC.

    Malloc is a *function* (technically it can
    be also defined as a macro in , but it
    must also exist as a function), and a call to malloc is an *expression*.
  • Yeah, there are plenty of jobs as long as one doesn't look too old in the eyes of the interviewer. For many people in their late 30's and early 40's, it doesn't matter if they have a kick-ass resume or if they update their skills over and over. Jobs for the young, that's the hiring philosophy now.
  • Maybe, maybe not. If it was only one incident being mentioned by the media, I wouldn't worry about. But when one reading personal testimonies of individuals that are EXPERTS and that they can't get a job for months, that's worrysome. Plus, I've seen a couple of managers or interviewers making bold statements such as "that guy is too old to work here. he is a dinosaur. there are younger people with equivalent expertise and cheaper". Besides, we live in a society where it's not uncommon for people to make career changes in their mid 30's or 40's. When Pan Am went down, I knew several people that worked there, and who decided to study computer sciences. They completed their studies, they have a degree AND they have prior working experience in other fields (administration, accounting and so on.) Clearly they (should) have more knowledge and greater potential than a 23 year-old man-teenager with no working experience at all. Yet these "old" people may be denied a chance to make a living since we keep thinking that "at 40 you got to be an expert." Life doesn't end in the mid 30's. Why should we end their professional lives, then? If an older person has the potential, he should not be denied just because of his/her age. Hiring should be done based on credentials and personality. Doing otherwise is no different from discriminating based on one's race. We cannot possibly generalize over these people, nor make conclusions about their job performance and capabilities just because they are "old" or because they don't know the latest stuff. Whatever new hype language or technology there is, it can be learned regardless of age. It is true that being an expert is valuable, but I think it is more important to be an expert in being adaptable, in being job resilient. There has been this old stereotype that programmers in their 40's are stagnant or unable to update their skills, who keep holding on COBOL as a falling monkey holds to a branch. I just wonder how much of that has influenced current ageist practices. What kind of logic it is to not hire a programmer in his 40's because he may not know C++ for instance but hire a youngster fresh out of college that has no experience, and whose C++ programs are just C programs with cout's instead of printf's? For the record, I'm not in my 40's; I'm 29 and concerned about these trends;)

    Peace too;)
  • OK, I agree that this is false. I've seen it over and over again, and even experienced it first hand: "There's a skills shortage - why then can't you find me a contract???"

    So. Why do these companies want to create this false impression? I've got the following, but I would like to know more if someone knows:

    - To artificially raise wages (I have no problem with this <g>)
    - To lobby the US govt to allow more green cards. (I don't know why they would want this if the shortage really is artificial!).

    Anyone got any good explanations?

  • OK - these people aren't stupid. It's not working. Wages are rising, the skills shortage claim isn't saturating the market - the market is the same as it's always been.

    I agree with the bit about contractors though - they can vary hugely in skill levels. Sometimes that makes being a contractor very difficult, and it certainly puts companies off hiring them. I'm a contractor, but I don't think I've been at a job yet where the permies knew more than me. I hope to be surprised one of these days though!

  • My mum is a COBOL programmer on a 6 figure (UK pounds) salary. Doing y2k work.

    Of course, she's a contractor.
  • Unfortunately a lot of people who have these "non-acquired" factors (as you so eloquently put it ;-)) abuse the system. I've heard a gazillion storys from my maw-and-paw-in-law (Canadians) about people who threaten to sue when turned down for a job/education/whatever siting the equality laws as reason. The employer/educator/whatever almost always back down - they rarely have the guts to go to court because Canadian citizens have so many rights (a good thing and a bad thing).

  • Is this the land of the free where the dream is to work hard and become a self made man?

    1. A country where higher education sucks royally. profs suck, tutors suck, and 'programming' classes suck in especially.

    2. CS majors don't know shit and therefore the really good people are self trained and management suck for not realizing this.

    3. Because everything suck so much we need to have govt hold our hands and protect us against those evil foreigners that will work for peanuts (i.e. we won't get rich quick if we have competition). We all know foreigners don't need as much food as the rest of us and therefore can take minimum wage happily (oh, and of course moving to a new country with a different culture is only an advantage for those bastards).

    Now, lets all take our pity wages and go to Taco Bell for lunch. "Hi, Jose, how are the kids? No signs of immigration fascists, eh?! Heh heh." "Yeah, that Jose guy is a true trooper moving to a new country getting below minimum wage (he is an illegal immigrant after all) and still manages to support his family in Mexico. Not like the wellfare moms here in the USA that won't get off their lazy asses and get jobs. We are the only ones moving this country forward even though we meet fierce competition we pull through thanks to hard work."

    ..and the story continues..

    I welcome any of you to come to work here in Sweden for ~$27,000 that the likes of Ericsson and ABB give a MSc&E fresh out of college. That's before govt take all your money through taxes, btw.

    I find it appalling that you who sometimes show up as fighters for freedom of speech, software quality, end-MS'-reign-we-want-competiton, and etc, want to work in a sandbox free from competition from the rest of the world. You should be very happy that the top talent in the world still want to work in your country, generating jobs for the rest of you, despite being viewed as ones who take job away from good 'ole Americans.

    If you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen.

    Btw, I find my teachers/tutors/profs to be good at what they are doing. Are they perfect? No, and I don't expect them to be. When I get my Master in CS and Engineering I know I won't know everything, but it is a sign that I have the qualifications needed to acquire the knowledge necessary to solve a problem. Or I maybe I get help from someone else (mathematician, physicist, etc), but in the end I will do the part I do best - implementation.

    Beware, I will take the job away from YOU. You will be working at Taco Bell competing with the Joses getting a lower and lower wage. Then you will realize that competition is everywhere and that you will somehow get a safe haven in IT/CS is ridiculous.

  • by mill ( 1634 )
    Or rather that a mixed working environment reduces the "huh huh babes" attitude which is kinda easy to fall into in an all male environment.

    At least I find it easier to work in a mixed environment. The all male one I got enough of in the service and sure it was fun at that age (18), but earning my living in it? No thanks.

  • It's really funny that everyone here thinks I'm a programmer for the money, since my parents put as much effort as they could to stop me playing "with my addiction" that "won't get me a job" and takes my time away from "more productive activities" like reading, cramming ,etc.
  • It is easy enough to demonstrate that the "shortage" is a hoax: look at what people are actually being paid.

    There are some stories about COBOL programmers with six-figure salaries but I have never met one or known anyone who has met one.

    A data point -- the COBOL programmers I know make in the upper 30s and low 40s. They have more than four years of experience (each) writing financial software so they have practical experience as well.

    Another data point -- I know a female COBOL programmer with twenty years of experience who was "downsized" and has had trouble finding a new job. Why?

    On the other hand, I know of manager-types who couldn't code their way out of a paper bag who get six figures for playing solitaire.

    Look at something else: if there is a surplus of lawyers and shortage of programmers, why do lawyers get paid so much more? (HINT: ABA)

    People like to delude themselves and think that the world is "civilized" and "fair". It is not. At a company of any size, your boss is not your collegue, he is your opponent. His interests and yours are diametrically opposed.
  • BASIC is bad. Sure, all your friends will say, "Just try it. It's a rush. It really isn't addicting." So you try it. Just a little at first-- a few "PRINT" statements, maybe a "FOR..TO" loop to print your name 30 times.

    And that's when you're hooked.

    Next thing you know, you're doing HIRES graphics and "GOTO". And then your "friend" offers you Pascal. "Why not?" you think-- BASIC didn't hurt you.

    So now you're doing "DO..WHILE" loops and using procedures. And you can't help yourself-- next thing you know, you're doing C and assembly.

    Finally, you end up doing hard stuff: C++, Java, LISP. And once you start down that road, there's no turning back.

    So Just Say No to BASIC.
  • I've been searching for a month and a half now. I have about 2-3 years of Java and am prefer UNIX systems. Mail me at

    Help, I can't find a job at all... arghh.

  • I just graduated with a degree in Math at Berkeley and have worked my way through school for three years now, but this time when I started to job hunt, it has been the worst *ever*. I have been searching for over a month now and have had two phone interviews this week and that it all. I don't know what people are looking for, but I don't seem to have it... arghh... $$$ is getting slim and I NEED A J-O-B.

    Annoyed by te hype,
  • January is pretty slow so far, too. But after talking to a few people, December is just a shitty month, but some even say that January is too, since it is the quarter before taxes and companies don't want to look bad on paper so they refrain from hiring alot.

    Arghh.. job hunting sucks.
  • I've been a unix programmer/admin for over 12 years and its very tough to find good people. I'm not talking about Knuth quality. I'm talking about writing C code that doesn't have one bug for every hour a programmer worked on it. When I interview people I ask them some of the most basic questions and they flub them. I had a guy come in saying that he wanted to get into networking. I thought that was dandy. I asked him what he knew about TCP/IP and his reply was "Huh?". I asked some dude who claimed he had five years unix admin experience (Solaris, Unixware) where the printer configuration information was kept. He didn't have a clue. One joker, when told some of our programs use shared memory to pass information, asked if it was EDO or the SDRAM. He was not joking. These stories all happened in the last year. That is a sample of bad US talent.

    Bad Imported Talent. Yes we hire people from half way around the world. You would think if we were hiring people who have traveled thousands o miles then we would be getting the best the world has to offer instead of the best locally. WRONG! I cannot believe that people would come all the way here and be so very terrible. Awful. I try to get them fired or at least off my team. I had a guy who came in as a UNIX kernel expert to help us with our device driver issues. He didn't know a UNIX editor, he didn't understand permissions and he didn't know C very well. (And no he didn't know kernel work either.) He stayed for three months! Upper management would not get rid of him. When he was finally out of there he was going to a job were he was a "MS C/C++" expert. To "practice" he tried to install Turbo C on his PC. I kid you not. And this goof traveled thousands of miles w/o a clue?

    It is my theory ("Ron's Programmer Bound") that here is a finite number of good people for any task be it programming or physics or acting. No matter what the demand or how much a social fad it is there is going to be a finite number of good people in it based on the size of the population. Computers are invading every aspect of our society and yet there is going to be only a few good people to do all the work. No matter where you look.

  • There's no secret involved in getting a job; you just have to work hard and phone everyone, then ask them for a lead if they don't give you a job. Leads, persistence and references.

    If you're young, untried, and willing to work hard, then people will say good things about you. If you've worked at several jobs and been lousy, no amount of degrees or genius will make up for that.

    Best of luck...

  • I agree with you to an extent...

    I have met a few 40+ technical folks (mainframers mostly...) and they still go on and on about their killer JCL and their COBOL. COME ON, keep learning new technologies like networking, HTML, SQL....(or even PERL)

    I think that the folks that don't want to learn current development and/or networking technology *OR* how to manage folks are setting themselves up to be maintainance programmers only. When their maintaince responsiblity ages out, so will they.
  • 3. Because everything suck so much we need to have govt hold our hands and protect us against those evil foreigners that will work for peanuts (i.e. we won't get rich quick if we have competition).

    If you are a foreigner and are being recruited to come to the USA then you should aquaint yourself with our job market.

    If you desire to be taken advantage of and paid "peanuts" for the in-demand skills you have worked so hard to obtain then you should resign yourself to being resented by those of us who have worked just as hard if not harder to achieve the pay scales we now hold.

    You speak of "jose" working in Taco Bell. Consider the "Joses" that work in our fields picking lettuce for "peanuts", living in squalor waiting for immigration to catch up with them. If you take a "peanuts" job in the USA doing in-demand high tech work then it is YOU who are remembling "Jose", the migrant farmworker.

    Apologies to those named Jose, in fact I have a very good friend and former colleague named Jose who comes from El Salvador. Jose makes good money. And so should YOU if you come here and work hitech.

    Until then, work for 27k and pay 50% to taxes and flame those of us who have been able to get a decent chunk out of corporations who care not about us, but about the bottom line.

    btw, My wife is an IS manager for a large insurance firm, she hires out of college to do IBM Mainframe work starting at about $55k US dollars + retirement and insurance benefits.

    Why would you consider undercutting a good market?
    Why not join it, instead of working to wreck it?

    Free software, not free labor!
  • COBOL programmers making 6 figures? I know at least 10 people who do COBOL/DB2/CICS who make that EASY as consultants. not even Y2K, just normal maintentance tasks. amazing yes, and very cool for those making it.

    on the other hand, I also know many, many more COBOL programmers who make the 30-40k. to be honest, some of them are lucky to have a job at all (thanks to large beaurocracies who never seem to be able to fire anyone), as they have zero initiative to learn anything new. they wait for their employer to drop something better in their lap. it doesn't work that way.

    As a former COBOL programmer who "got out", I did it on my own with hard work, late night classes and personal education via tools like linux/apache/perl/gnu. I know others who have no initiative, but just bitch and moan because their manager does not magically advance their careers/skillsets. (they also tend to not enjoy hearing me tell them this).

    and if a magical contract to do COBOL appears, I can do that if I choose (although unlikely). :-)

    I agree, the world is far from fair. it's up to us to carve out our own living. i have found that if you work hard, smart and ethically, things will work out.

    as far as the "hoax", I think there is a HUGE shortage of experienced quality people. there is more to IS than coding. People, communication, analysis skills and adherence to proven development and design disciplines are much more important than just the ability to create "cool code".

    Most of the very best "programmers", while showing deep appreciation for, wouldn't necessarily be winning any perl obsfucation contests. :-)
  • There is a shortage of qualified software engineers and system administrators, at least in the midwest. Six years ago we ran a newspaper ad for programmers and received 300 resumes. Two years ago we ran an ad and received 30 resumes. Last year we ran an ad and received 9 resumes. And those numbers are the total number of resumes received, not just those left after filtering.

    Right now I'm trying to find a junior-level Unix system administrator and an intermediate-level Unix software engineer. Last month I ran ads in a half-dozen appropriate newsgroups and contacted three local recruiters. To date I've received a grand total of three resumes, all blatantly unqualified for the positions.

    If there isn't a shortage then where are all of the candidates? Given the exploding popularity of Linux I can't believe the shortage is limited to Unix-savvy people.


    P.S. If you're from outside the U.S. and you're looking for a job here the absolute most important qualification is near-flawless spoken and written (english) communications skills. You may be an incredible programmer, but unless you can communicate effectively with your co-workers your productivity is going to be hampered from day one, and any knowledgable potential employer is going to take that heavily into account.
  • Anonymous Coward writes:
    > There might be other reasons for your "shortage".

    Since it's currently about 15 degrees F here I can empathize with your enjoyment of the California climate, however I don't think the locale is one of the reasons for our perceived shortage. (We're in Madison WI, which was rated the top city in the nation by Money in 1996 and remains very highly rated by pretty much anyone who tracks that sort of thing.)

    As to salary and work environment, ten years ago there may have been a noticeable discrepancy, but today most software development companies in this area are paying better than west coast firms (adjusted for cost-of-living), and the standard uniform is jeans or shorts and a t-shirt. (Our company is actually headquartered outside of San Jose, so it's easy for me to compare at least Madison and the Bay area with some confidence.)

    I also know that our situation is not uncommon in this area because of the number of calls I regularly receive from recruiters trying to hire me, and because of the number of acquaintances I have at other local companies complaining of similar difficulties. Qualified people are really in short supply.
  • > I find your experience interesting. I have had trouble getting bites on my resume. I live
    > North of Boston where you can't help bumping in to software weenies all the time. I sent my
    > resume to a head hunter (admittedly he was somewhat clueless)...

    I suspect "somewhat clueless" is a big part of the problem. There are a couple of recruiters in our area that I won't deal with (as potential employer or employee) because they don't know how to match candidates to jobs. A recruiter is supposed to save everyone time by putting the appropriate people in contact with each other, but some seem so desperate to fill a position and collect their commission that they'll tell you anything to place a candidate.

    When it comes to filtering through resumes, buzzwords are everything, so I'd suggest taking whatever steps are necessary to gain some hands-on experience with C++ or other newer technology. Since you've been around long enough to have a substantial body of experience you might also want to take the time to tailor your resume for each potential job you're going for, to hilight the aspects of your background that are important for that position.
  • How then to get employed?

    Target a few companies that you'd like to work for (Ok to dream a little). Research a company using the web, and by inside info: make a call to somebody who works there, who can help you understand the job and what work needs doing. Then talk to the manager and show him you can do the job.

    I know it sounds laborious, but you'll have better luck doing this than sending out a thousand resumes. For more info, check out the headhunter []

    Good Luck.

  • I've probably interviewed over 100 people for
    development positions over the last 2 years. Out
    of that 100 I'd say less than 10 were top quality.
    I work in Houston where there is a lot of work
    that is neither database nor VB nor Y2K related -
    (hint: its "real" programming). Companies are just looking for really sharp people, experienced or not. The demand here is just staggering and believe me - it is only going to increase from here. Though there may be naysayers, I've easily seen the productivity and quality ratio between "top notch" versus "decent" developers be five to one. Being a superior programmer takes brains and a lot of hard work and I certainly don't see these traits suddenly increasing in the general population.
  • I welcome any of you to come to work here in Sweden for ~$27,000 that the likes of Ericsson and ABB give a MSc&E fresh out of college. That's before govt take all your money through taxes, btw.

    At least in Sweden you won't have to afford a house with a big fence or risk being shot in the streets.

    And you get to be paid in Euro's soon...

  • I used to work for a company of on-line scientific publishers in London. They ripped me off so I started looking for another job and was fired when someone else answered a call to my desk from a headhunter. In the year-and-a-half since I left I have doubled the salary they paid me.

    What's interesting is that while I was there I watched their recruitment policy in action. They didn't state salaries in advertisements, but asked applicants to state their requirements with their applications. Despite this, they always had a specific maximum in mind when they placed an ad. Any application asking for more that figure was instantly binned. Usually the only ones left were women as they tended to have lower expectations/demands.

    I was replaced by two women (one less well qualified) each working for 5000GBP less than I was. God knows how they could afford to eat. Employers claim to like women employees because they're "flexible", i.e. easy to walk all over, happy to earn a second salary etc etc.

    My sister teaches employment law and is a union representative in her college. Her catchphrase is: "Women are their own worst enemies".
  • Wouldn't want to find out that my up and coming degree will be worthless in the future.

    What I'm sick of is all of the people who assume that I'm in computer science because of the money. Assuming we're all nerds in good standing here, I'm not in it for the bucks and I don't think many other people here are either.

    I could be wrong though...

    The big difference between CS and IT majors - the CS majors are the creators and the IT majors are the doers or the users of what the CS majors create. You may take that as either an insult or a compliment to IT people depending on your temperment at the moment of reading this post. :)
  • I've read in some press issue that the Y2K effect would last until 2005 or so. it was told that the main application would be ported for the 1st January 2000 but the second hand application would have to wait and work blindly after the date. moreover, we european people (i'm french) will have another meeting in year 2001 where all the cuurencies will have to definitely disappear for the Euro.

    In France, we are said to lack about 10K engineer, and i only know of about 5 french schools that have a real strong course in computer science (Nope, knowing how to reverse a string in basic or C or whatever doesn't make an engineer of ya... sigh...). each of the school makes from 100 up to 500 engineer a year (150 is, IMHO, the average).

    Oh well, anyhow, no one need to know how to programm to do cobol stuff :)
  • I consider myself a "natural" programmer. I take to it very easily and learn quickly. However, that doesn't mean squat to a recruiter... I have a Associates degree in programming/systems analysis, with a 4.0 GPA and have coded a couple freeware apps (not to mention countless for school and tutorials on my own), but I have no professional experience.
    To a recruiter, it seems, you're worthless without experience. But how can I get experience? Sigh, I guess it's back to college for a B.S. and an internship ( I wanted to get a real job first ). Or maybe I'll just go door to door... forget the clueless recruiters.
    If anyone reading this in the North Texas area (Sherman, Dallas) wants to give an "inexperienced" natural a chance, send me mail
    P.S. Yes I run Linux, yes I write my own scripts, secure my system, compile tarballs, customize everything. In short, yes I have a clue :)
    P.P.S. I know Windows and MFC too
  • Here in New York (and I hear all up and down the coasts) plenty of recruiters place inexperienced people, even without the 4-year degree.

    Maybe it's your location. This seems likely.

    Or maybe you smell bad. Or you show up to interviews in a Rammstein t-shirt. Or your resume is printed with ugly TeX fonts.

    Or maybe you not only advocate Linux (fine) but badmouth Microsoft in pre-screenings (probably not a good idea at that stage).
  • It sucks when you see people who don't have the same passion for the work as you do making huge salaries. I have seen this a lot. I am in computer engineering, and it pains me to know that my education won't take me as far having some idiotic "certificates" will. One must realize however, that IT can make you old before your time, and if your heart isn't in it, you are already on that path.

    Just my $.02
  • I think one of the things that is most frustrating to me is the fact that though I have over 20 years of coding and computer experience "most" people who interview me have no concept of what I can actually do.

    Most of my interviews basically break down into a situation of purely political BS in order to get a job.

    The problem is that if the people that are doing the hiring don't understand what a good programmer can do and what a good programmer is worth they tend to lump everyone together and use certificates rather than certifications to determine whether someone can do the job.

    I could be wrong on this, but I just don't see a CS or IT professional who spent 2 maybe 3 quarters actually doing beginner coding, comparing to someone that has worked in the field for years, even if just as a hobby.

    Just a little frustrated at the moment, currently I work as a UNIX troubleshooter and I want to move back to developement. Biggest problems for me of course is the fact that when I head back to programming it's a significantly harder job than I currently do and I loose 10-20K a year.

    I do think that the good developers should be paid more than "market" rate, however as long as CS and IT majors who know nothing and are thus promoted into management control who is hired and fired... Well...

    I've been looking for a position for over a year and I'm starting to feel that honesty is not the best policy when applying for these positions.

  • I've read several articles claiming that there's actually only a shortage of young computer programmers, and in fact there's a whole load of experienced older programmers out there without a job.

    Probably made up statistic: for every year you are over 22(?) it takes an extra 2 weeks to get a job...
  • Don't sweat the school choice. I know of several good people who went to DeVry. One of them is now a VP at a very very large bank client of ours, who is definetly the most competent client contact we have. I also have an aquaintence who went to DeVry, and now has a sweet job traveling around the world doing installations of wireless networks, a few months in Thailand, some time in India, jump over to Hawaii.
    Definetly a sweet gig.
  • I really kind of get sick of the fact that people seem to spout off about the lack of "geeks" in computer science programs in college. For better or for worse not every persons life revolves around the profession that they are going into. If someone does a good job programming or is a good lawyer or whatever and finds more personal satisfaction out of their personal life, I say more power to them.

    If a person is having a difficult time finding satisfaction in a job or a coarse I would suggest actually talking with the person and finding out why they feel this way rather than just brushing them off as a money hungary lamer. It can be a very rewarding feeling when you share your wisdom and passion over a specific subject with a disenfranchised or material grabbing person. Sit down with the person and say "why are you doing this and if you are having problems with this programming language or career choice maybe I can help it seem a little bit more attractive". I really believe that this is much better than this huge amount of "elite, geek pride" that I see on here so often. Stop looking down upon people who may not have as much insight or a clue as you. Just lend a helping hand and ear. :)

    Working in the IT industry for a few years now I know that there are job shortages everywhere. This is a fast growing field where you can find so many different types of jobs. You can find the creative, technical, managerial, etc. I really don't believe that the stats we are seeing from the article are at all overexagerated. I think this is a real issue and that our education system needs to ramp up it's efforts to churn out more product. Because, we need to train some people in those pillars of academia sometimes. Not everyone is born a geek. But, sometimes a geek can be created.. :)

  • Isn't it the sad truth: supply and demand... :)
  • Wow, that's a horrible attitude. I don't think that everyone views foreign workers as a threat. I wish people would stop being so damn competitive and vengefull. God, your comment is just rude.

  • Darn. I guess we should all go tell Linus Torvalds and Donald Knuth that they doesn't know anything about programming.

    Come on people. Having a CS degree does not automatically make you clueless. Sure, there are many CS majors who are completely clueless, and there are many self-taught people who are very good at programming. But don't generalize like you just did or you'll just sound like an idiot.

    BTW, I'm pursuing a math and CS degree, so I must be in some state of limbo between geekdom and cluelessness, right?
  • Most software engineers actually don't have a CS degree - it's more than 75% of the profession.
    Others like me don't have degrees at all and still are very successful in the industry.

    If there is indeed a shortage, it's a shortage of people who are good at software - not those who hold CS degrees. I don't believe these groups necessarily intersect that much.

  • they're not hiring someone who teaches him/herself Java. That's what the poster is complaining about. I also have never understood this attitude: they want to hire someone who is doing now exactly what they need. If you are interested in learning new things, where does that leave you?
  • There is only a shortage of programmers willing to work for peanuts.
  • The Mythical Man-Month

    i've been involved in enough commercial software projects to take brooks very, very seriously, but i've started wondering lately about the "diminishing returns from increasing staff . . ." thing . . .

    . . . major advances in management theory.

    the linux devlepment model seems to actually gain from mongolian-horde-ing, up to a point, anyway. look at where brooks sees the overhead form adding new programmers: communication. training and coordination. well, the solution is just not to train them and not to talk to them! seriously! i'm not kidding. i know somebody at a large corporation who got a hardware project in on schedule by using a similar technique. he may have been very lucky, of course, but brooks' thinking in that area presupposes that it's not acceptable to pay engineers to sit around staring at the documentation, beating their heads against their desks and getting nothing done -- and that may not be a valid assumption. if they're being trained, you still paying them to learn, but you're also paying somebody else to teach. so let 'em teach themselves. the downside is that this can be brutally painful for a new employee cast adrift without any support.

    certainly it's no skin off linus' ass if 20,000 programmers out there in the darkness are staring at the kernel source trying to figure it out. when those poor bastards become useful, they'll make themselves known. so be it.

    am i fulla shit? probably!

  • Still being in college, I don't have any experience to compare with yours, but hey, it sounds right to me. :-)

    Well said.
  • Also, what do you do when Microsoft Crack v3.0 comes out? Sell out?

    "It's Brazilian"
  • k/

    What do you think these "more likely to be loyal" and "grateful" women will require as far as pay and benefits?
  • I cannot say for sure if there is a shortage in IT professionals / programmers. What I can say for sure is that no IT professionals / programmers
    whom I know are unemployeed. I started working full time my sophmore year in collage and since that time I've had my salary doubled twice. Now I cannot say for sure if this trend is nation wide, but I'm not hurting.
  • We are always on the looking for object-oriented programmers--especially Java. We don't care about your degree or your age--but you do need a green card--we don't sponsor H1b's anymore. We only care that you know how to program and can proudly wear the tshirt "plays well with others". If you're interested email
  • My friend claims he yells "Asshole alert!" into the receiver, then slams down the phone every time he gets a call from Aerotek/Maxim... My personal experience has been that any time I spent talking to Aerotek was a waste of time, and I felt that at least one company thought that being submitted by Aerotek was a major count against me, since their previous Aerotek consultant had walked off the job after 2 weeks. Your mileage may vary...

For large values of one, one equals two, for small values of two.