Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses IT

Young IT Workers Disillusioned, Hard to Retain 853

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the your-special-just-like-everyone-else dept.
bednarz writes to mention that NetworkWorld has an interesting examination of young IT professionals and why many make unreasonable demands for their services. "'The issue managers are facing is with retention, not hiring. That means the work environment is not living up to the employee's expectation,' he says. For instance, many younger workers expect to get an office immediately or be paid at a rate higher than entry level."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Young IT Workers Disillusioned, Hard to Retain

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2008 @10:31PM (#22009564)
    participate in a job market by providing incentives!

    Economists around the world are stunned. Was Adam Smith right? Were there truly rational actors within an economy?
  • Spoiled (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Chlorus (1146335) on Friday January 11, 2008 @10:34PM (#22009586)
    "For instance, many younger workers expect to get an office immediately or be paid at a rate higher than entry level." And pray tell, what magical career instantly gives employees fresh out of college above-entry level rates? What next, are they going to start complaining they don't get a company car and an attractive secretary to take to Hawaii?
  • Pay your dues (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cb_is_cool (1084665) on Friday January 11, 2008 @10:35PM (#22009598)
    How many truly influential people (Torvalds, Gates, Jobs, etc, etc, etc) jumped to stardom overnight? For that matter, how many upper-level IT guys and gals in big firms got there overnight? Work hard and treat the other people in your office right and it will happen for you. And most of all, make sure you don't act like this [theregister.co.uk] guy :)
  • by wasted (94866) on Friday January 11, 2008 @10:37PM (#22009628)

    ...Was Adam Smith right? Were there truly rational actors within an economy?

    Yes, there are rational actors within the economy, but it seems that Young IT Professionals aren't among them.
  • Re:Spoiled (Score:3, Insightful)

    by User 956 (568564) on Friday January 11, 2008 @10:42PM (#22009672) Homepage
    And pray tell, what magical career instantly gives employees fresh out of college above-entry level rates?

    Perhaps the "entry level" rate for whatever position they're talking about is not in sync with the "market rate". Supply and demand affects the job market too.
  • by jroysdon (201893) on Friday January 11, 2008 @10:42PM (#22009684) Homepage
    In the IT world, in my personal experience, you obtain raises through adding on to your skillset. With more skills, especially cutting-edge, or hard to find skills, you're worth more to the company. Once you have that skillset, you can let your employer know at your next review (ask for quarterly reviews, or at least semi-annual reviews) that you've added those skillsets and feel you're more valuable to the company. If you're not at least given some hope of a worthwhile upcoming raise (typically at your year review, not sooner) start shopping around - but don't quit or burn bridges. Once you've found a good new employer and they're willing to hire you, go back to your boss and say you'd like to stay, but need to have things adjusted. It won't be out of the blue if you've already brought up your new skillset and expectation of more pay with it. Further, you can let your boss know that the new skills you've aquired is worth X in the market now. The key is to do it politely, not with an ultimatum. Even if they turn you down and aren't willing to offer a bump in pay, be polite, ask for a reference letter (not that you're leaving, just that should they or the company of a change of staff soon, you want to make sure you've got good references), and let them know you'll be seriously considering another job offer you have (don't bluff, you must have another job lined up for this to work, otherwise you'll back down and end up looking like a liar).

    Should they counter (it should be for more, not just matching), you could go to the company wanting to hire you and ask for a matching rate for what your existing employer is willing to go up to (don't ask for more than your current employer offered, that sounds greedy and doesn't leave much room for growth if you do jump ship).

    Don't forget to be sure of perks, number of paid holidays/vacation days, bonuses, like healthcare, cell phone, paid home internet, company laptop, company car, etc. You might have those now, but not if you leave.

    I've traded employers twice like this. As I didn't burn any bridges, I actually work for my first real major employer again, and each time I've traded up in position, title, and of course compensation.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2008 @10:42PM (#22009688)
    This is part of the campaign by businesses to talk down wages. Don't fall for it. Those who run businesses are the most familiar with supply and demand and are trying to con their employees. Labour supply is tightening while demand is rising. Times are good for workers. Make the most of it since it won't last for ever. Use the opportunity to demand as much as you can from your employers and drive IT wages up as high as possible. Build up some fat for the lean years that will inevitably come.
  • Re:Pay your dues (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Friday January 11, 2008 @10:43PM (#22009692) Homepage
    Well, none of those guys are IT guys, properly speaking. And all of them achieved their real success before the age 30. If the moral of your post is "you gotta pay your dues," those 3 aren't good examples of that principle.
  • Non-news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by strcpy(NULL,... (1089693) on Friday January 11, 2008 @10:46PM (#22009726)

    WTF? If supply for something is less than the demand, of course prices will go up.

    If a younger person wants, say, $60K for an entry level job and has negotiation power (i.e. another company that pays it), then that is the entry-level payment and it means that you're paying less than what they deserve to your existing employees.

    This is one of the content-free articles.

    I don't think an office is unreasonable for anyone. The industry took away employee's rights one by one when there was ample supply. Now it's drying up and the workforce is asking for what belonged to them.

    If managers stopped "managing" people like they are a herd and became a part of their team, I don't see why they shouldn't be able to hold on to employees as long as the pay is competitive.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 11, 2008 @10:47PM (#22009742)
    Let the little bastards have a house payment, car payment and utilities and not pay check. Bet that changes their tune. Hell I'm a CPA with a Masters and 30 years experience and I still don't have an office. But my check is bigger than the guys that do so I'll gladly give up an office for more pay.
  • Re:Spoiled (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shinehead (603005) on Friday January 11, 2008 @10:51PM (#22009776)
    I am in my mid forties working in IT and I must say that my team members that are in their 20's really don't seem to have the motivation to learn the technology as I did 20 years ago, staying up all night on bulletin boards, spending every free moment tweaking my config.sys or netx stack for better performance. I see kids today that learn their core responsibilities but make no effort to progress further. I don't mind though, I have noticed several local fortune 500 companies are targeting "older" people for open positions, stating that the younger aren't seasoned enough or lack the skillset needed to be successful in the data center. Go ahead kids, keep on playing WOW and put your VMware books aside, that helps me stay relevant for the 15 years until I retire.
  • by cortesoft (1150075) on Friday January 11, 2008 @10:54PM (#22009802)
    The survey question was which generation is the toughest to manage... meaning at least one generation has to be the toughest. The question wasn't "Are your employees aged 18-31 tough to manage?" Since most of the managers are probably older, it is natural that the generation furthest from their age would be the toughest for them to manage. They are the most foreign in terms of experience, lifestyle, life stage, and expectations. I am in fact surprised that it was only 50% who chose the youngest generation. Given the size of the generations listed in the survey, there is most likely only 4 generations at most who are working - 18-31, 32-42, 43-53, 54-65. Given the general youth in the IT field, most of the people who have to be managed in IT will be from the younger generations, making them more likely to be the most difficult to manage. In addition the article states that 'Twenty-three percent of respondents said retaining existing staff is the top concern, while 22% said they struggle to find new qualified candidates.' If this is the case, then clearly they AREN'T paying enough, as the demand out paces supply. I find the whole tone of the summary a bit misleading.
  • by prisoner (133137) on Friday January 11, 2008 @10:54PM (#22009804)
    Don't get me wrong, money is important but the environment is just as important. You have to allow leeway both in terms of environment and opportunity. I run a consulting biz and you have to allow room for the younger guys to experiment with new stuff. If you don't, they get bored no matter how much you pay them or what sort of office they have.

    The real key though is to migrate the desire of the younger guys from tearing apart every new technology to the skillset of an established professional. It might be somewhat less exciting but in the end it is what customers want and what pays the bills. As your guys/gals get older and move along in life a polished skillset pays the best.

    Oh, and if you're really smart, you'll achieve those long view items w/o crushing that natural curiosity out of your folks. That is, after all, what makes all of this exciting.
  • by ironwill96 (736883) on Friday January 11, 2008 @10:55PM (#22009812) Homepage Journal
    11 holidays a year (3 of which are at Christmas on years it falls on a Tuesday or Wednesday, 2 days other years). Stress is somewhat lower (i've worked in corporate world as well before) and time in the office is 40 hrs/week but overtime happens at least once a month usually and you don't get PAID overtime, you get "compensatory time off" later which you never have time to use because you are so busy. Most of us have months of vacation / comp time built up.

    The review stuff you're right, you basically have to be grossly incompetent to get fired, but at the same time even if you are the best IT worker ever you will NEVER get a pay raise from a performance review which sucks. There is zero incentive to do more work than the guy next to you because the slacker gets the same raise as you at performance review time - NOTHING. And, when you do get a raise it is state-wide and everyone gets it equally so how hard you worked doesn't matter. That is a bit depressing..
  • by wasted (94866) on Friday January 11, 2008 @10:56PM (#22009820)

    Many of us "millenials" may want more from our job. Is this entirely unreasonable? No. Because we have university degrees....

    If one is entry level in a field where a degree is now required, (such as IT), one is entitled to entry level pay and benefits, regardless of what one's parents generation received when they entered the field with its requirements at that time. If one thinks one is underpaid, one has the option of obtaining employment elsewhere. If all employers are underpaying, then one has misjudged one's market value.
  • by cb_is_cool (1084665) on Friday January 11, 2008 @10:58PM (#22009844)
    I dunno, seems to me there is a massive amount of foreign IT available to most any company. Someone will ALWAYS go cheaper than you..
  • BOOK SMART LOL (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bitbiter (632065) on Friday January 11, 2008 @10:58PM (#22009850)
    That's because you are what is called "book smart" right now. Anyone, in any industry can tell you that people fresh out of school, find out they learn more in the first months on a real job, than they did in years of school.
  • Ask for too much? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nikker (749551) on Friday January 11, 2008 @10:59PM (#22009852)
    I think just as it is the right of a company to set their prices I should be able to set mine. Maybe this manager doesn't have the resources to support the type of work he needs done. As a somewhat young worker in the IT / programming area this man proclaiming I am not worth what I am getting paid is outrageous. Especially now that retiring programmers and the legacy of code they leave behind. There will be fewer to replace them and more to do, these guys deserve to be able to set any price they please as far as they can find someone willing to pay it. So in short anyone who complains that the cost of what they need to function is too much I think they can't afford it to begin with.
  • Seen it first hand (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HangingChad (677530) on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:00PM (#22009862) Homepage

    Some of the younger programmers really don't want to work in an inflexible office environment. Absenteeism is pretty high where I am now, and that's a contract that pays pretty well. And they want their web mail, IM's and iPhones. Cut off internet services they want and you'll lose them.

    They don't do office hours, don't like cubicles and want their toys. But if you can work with them on those issues, they are capable of producing some amazing work. The best project I ever worked we set up an office in the corner of a warehouse, walled it off with fence panels and white boards, collected old furniture and used shelf grates for desks. We had a basketball hoop, frig, microwave, satellite TV and our own DSL. Plus we'd stay late and play games after hours. No one quit on that project and we worked some long hours toward the end.

    You don't really have a lot of options. You can deal with them or outsource to someplace that doesn't speak English as a native language and works in an office that's open in what's the middle of the night for you. They're not going to work in a cubicle so just deal with it and adapt. You're better off giving them an empty, unfinished room and give them money to punk it out to their own taste.

  • Lack of knowledge (Score:5, Insightful)

    by webmaster404 (1148909) on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:01PM (#22009878)
    I think that the root cause is lack of knowledge. In many pre-job situations, being able to install XP from scratch was a good feat, knowing your way around BASH was considered amazing and when you could set up a wireless router in 2 minutes people thought that you were a tech genius. Until you start working at a tech-job you don't know that the things that amazed your friends really made no difference in the real world. When you came out of college they knew Python and Perl along with C and Java and in the eyes of their friends they were 1337 Hax0rs, then they go get a tech job where either they don't code much, or everyone has a working knowledge of code. To some less-informed people, just using a non-MS OS such as Linux or knowing the command line on OS-X instantly made you some sort of star, you go to your job and everyone knows Linux and UNIX. Everyone thinks they have talent... Until they find someone who can do the exact same thing better then them.
  • by ucblockhead (63650) on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:01PM (#22009884) Homepage Journal
    1988 wants its story back.

    Seriously...the media trots out this "Younger generation wants more" story every 5-10 years. They certainly did twenty years ago, when I was one of those hard-to-please kids.

    Nothing's changed. Employers pay crap wages at the entry level, and treat young kids like crap. Said young kids then hop jobs until they find something better. Same as it ever was. When I was that age, I quickly found that without experience, jobs I could get were pretty sucky. I also soon found that it was much easier to get a raise by job-hoping. So I spent the first ten years of my career moving around until I got the experience to get a good job.

    The younger generation isn't any different. It's always like this, because entry level jobs tend to be the suckiest and companies that employ lots of entry level coders also tend to be the suckiest. If a company doesn't like their people switching jobs, they should pay more, and stop treating them like crap. Of course, so companies *do* do that. They're the ones people job hop to and then stop.
  • Disillusioned? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by GreyDuck (192463) <greyduck.gmail@com> on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:08PM (#22009954) Homepage

    "Young IT Workers Delusional, Hard To Retain"

    There, fixed that for you...

    Has nobody ever heard of "paying your dues" anymore?

  • by Epistax (544591) <epistax@gmail.LIONcom minus cat> on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:16PM (#22010024) Journal
    I agree entirely. Master's is the new bachelor's. Where I work, you normally start at the lowest level. Master's gets you at the next level. If you transfer from another company, even if you only worked there for two months, you're a level on top of that. Well, there goes THAT use for my master's. People younger than me with less experience and a BS get paid more at my company in the same job now.
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:18PM (#22010048)

    If one thinks one is underpaid, one has the option of obtaining employment elsewhere. If all employers are underpaying, then one has misjudged one's market value.
    And if all employees think they are underpaid, then employers have misjudged their market value. That's what happens when you off-shore and H1B the shit out of previous generations working in the same market. The kids aren't stoopid, they see the risk they are taking by staying that profession and they expect to be compensated for it.
  • by nick_davison (217681) on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:25PM (#22010114)

    "To reach a good working balance, Millennials will have to change their ideas somewhat, but the work environment will also change to appeal to these very in-demand employees," [Harrington] says.
    If there's more supply of workers than demand for them, only those who're willing to lower their requirements get hired. It's not perfectly dynamic but, over time, salaries and conditions will drop until the supply is low enough (people leaving) and demand is high enough (businesses realizing there's profit to be made at the lower rates) that things balance out.

    If there's more demand for workers than there is supply, those who're around can make more and more demands while companies wishing to hire them can either pay that or go out of business for lack of product. Again, over time, salaries and conditions will change, in this case improving, until equilibrium is reached due to increased supply (high salaries attract more people to the field) and reduced demand (companies can no longer make a profit at those costs and stop trying).

    Either way, though not a static equilibrium, basic supply and demand implies that salaries will generally regulate relative to the value society places on them.

    What doesn't make sense, is the argument, "Both sides need to meet in the middle!" If the young coders are asking too much, ignore them, they'll get hungry and come begging. If the young coders are actually asking a totally reasonable price, given how in demand their jobs are, what's the problem?

    And that, to me, is really the crux of this: It sounds more like bitching that, "It wasn't like that in my day! We were lucky to get paid six pence a week to write COBOL!" So what if it was? So what if you don't like how in favor of the young coders the market is these days? If it's such an issue, don't hire them. If you want them badly enough that you are willing to pay what they demand, don't have your actions show that willingness then bitch about that reality.

    The reverse is also true: If you're a coder and you think you're entitled to more than you're getting, you need to ask yourself why you're not getting it. Think you deserve an office, a car, expense accounts, 401ks and stock but you're not getting it? Well, if you merit it, why are you sitting here bitching about it rather than in the next job that'll apparently willingly reward you for it?

    It's a free country. Employers can [pretty much] employ at will. Employees can [pretty much] be employed at will. That's a pretty good sign supply and demand is allowed to work and everyone's getting roughly what they should get. Look at how fast the dotcom boom came (maybe two years) and how fast it went (six months) - that's another great sign the market regulates pretty quickly. Don't like it? Wait six months. The whining about how things should be is just that - whining.
  • by timeOday (582209) on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:27PM (#22010126)
    I think part of the reason younger works move around is simply because they don't have the experience to know what they want and what to expect, and little invested in their current position. I don't think moving around a little to gain that experience and find the right match is necessarily bad.
  • by 123beer (635607) on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:27PM (#22010128)
    The recurring story is that 'Millennials' have all these outrageous, inflated expectations and their 'reasonable' employers just don't know what to do about it. If their expectations are really so out of proportion, then eventually they will have to settle for what they're actually worth and employers have nothing to complain about. On the other hand, if that potential employee can find what he or she actually wants somewhere else, well then that employer is just going to have to compete for them! It's all supply and demand just like any other transaction.
  • If one is entry level in a field where a degree is now required, (such as IT), one is entitled to entry level pay and benefits, regardless of what one's parents generation received when they entered the field with its requirements at that time. If one thinks one is underpaid, one has the option of obtaining employment elsewhere. If all employers are underpaying, then one has misjudged one's market value.

    Conversely, employers having trouble retaining staff may well be underestimating their employees market value, and almost certainly made a utility misjudgment somewhere.

    It's certainly possible to misjudge one's market value -- there's a good deal of misinformation out there, most accidental, some quite possibly purposeful, however, by those attempting to manipulate labor supply.

    But consider this: entry level lawyers don't get paid what joe call center gets paid for his entry-level job. IT is, ostensibly anyway, a skilled and specialized field. There may not be arcane magic to every aspect of it, but experience and training count. Someone has to bear the cost for that training, and if employers want people who know their stuff and stick around, they'd best be prepared to pony up for it rather than trying to externalize that cost.

    No, IT isn't as hard as a law degree, but it's not janitorial work either. And I have heard, with my own ears, management complaining about how hard it is to find workers who accept "entry level" -- sub $30k -- and wonder why there's such turnover among those employees they do manage to land. This while rewarding new management talent (with questionable record of delivering, other than being able to keep labor costs down) $20k raises.

    The labor pool in IT, if it's actually shrinking at all, is shrinking for a reason and will continue to do so -- until it's opened to a pool of workers who consider prevailing compensation rewarding, or until the prevailing compensation rises.

    Or, more cynically, until someone manages to convince enough people that IT is in fact such a rewarding occupation that they'll sink enough resources into training that they're in little position to do much else.

  • With 30 years experience I'm sure you know this, but for everyone new to the idea: Offices are only for people who have a business need to have private meetings. No one else needs an office, that's just a waste of space and roadblock to collaboration.
    This is bullshit, especially when it comes to programmers who need concentration as much as collaboration (that can be handled by telephone, e-mail or messaging).

    No, the reason is plain management stupidity, that wants to be cheap and has to have something over the peons they manage just to show they are above them.

  • by rcw-home (122017) on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:37PM (#22010210)

    Offices are only for people who have a business need to have private meetings.

    Or, people who have a business need to shut out the world every now and then and concentrate, or people who have a business need to work with expensive or confidential stuff which they don't want to trust to a filing cabinet lock, etc.

    Collaboration is a really nice sounding word, but ultimately collaboration, distraction, and gossip are just different products of the exact same thing.

  • by Hao Wu (652581) on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:39PM (#22010236) Homepage
    How often do we here, "If you don't like your job - QUIT already!"

    So we do just that, and the six and seven-figure salaries in management still feel violated.

    I say f- them. Either pay more, or quit complaining about our right to leave.
  • by aussersterne (212916) on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:39PM (#22010238) Homepage
    by well-meaning educators, parents, and public figures for most of their youthful lives.

    College is your ticket out of the ghetto, means a higher income, better work conditions, more freedom, more control over your career, more respect, blah, blah, blah. It's true in a way, but the way a university education is described is often as the opposite of blue-collar work. That is to say that many kids are told (I know I was, all the way up through the end of undergrad) that I was going to college to avoid certain things:

    - Being poor
    - Having to get paid for what I "do" rather than what I "think"
    - Being stuck in a "dead-end job"
    - Having to "flip burgers," "answer phones," "make copies," or other "menial labor" work
    - Low pay (this is a biggy, and you hear it over and over and over)

    Well... all of these things are exactly what you confront when you finish your bachelor's degree. I know it was a tremendous shock to me after having been goaded on for years to get good grades in high school, then to go to college, then to hang in there—goaded using all of these reasons for sticking with it—only to find out that college doesn't provide you with wealth, the ability to get paid for what you think, a way to avoid dead-end jobs, having to start at the absolute entry level, or getting paid nothing for all of the above... The only way up the career ladder is to climb it, from the bottom.

    It's the "all kids must go to college" culture that we have—we even direct kids away from the things they're interested in in many cases using these kinds of arguments (which are really veiled threats in a way of what consequences await them if they don't go to college) and then they graduate expecting exactly the benefits that have been used as selling points for all these years.

    I can completely empathize. It took me a good five years to come to terms with the fact that I'd essentially been had and would now need to choose between going out and starting up the career ladder as if I'd just graduated high school with essentially no advantage, or going to grad school on the other hand (i.e. school for many more years and at great expense) to gain at least some measurable advantage for myself with all the hard work I'd done.

    I chose the latter, but I often reflect on the fact that I could easily have chosen the former as well... there was certainly a point in my life where it could have gone either way.
  • Re:Spoiled (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pete-classic (75983) <hutnick@gmail.com> on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:41PM (#22010254) Homepage Journal

    If young people were going to develop responsibility, they would need to have a connection to what they're responsible for, which means giving them real power in the world, which isn't happening.


    This statement captures the problem beautifully. The world will be yours one day, want it or not. And if you're a bunch of checked-out WOW playing crybabies it isn't going to be much of a world. Nobody gives anybody anything worth having in this life. You get it by earning it. And if you don't give a shit now, you certainly aren't going to give a shit when the next generation is crying that you don't do enough for them.

    I advise you to get your ass off your shoulders and act responsible first. You'll become elite within your generation.

    -Peter
  • by micheas (231635) on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:42PM (#22010258) Homepage Journal
    If your job included duties like programing where you you have to keep a lot in your mind at one time a private office would seem more of a work requirement than a nicety.

    I would clear out a large (or medium sized, the LCD monitor won't take up much space) broom closet for an IT worker that is expected to produce working code, even if it is just maintenance scripts.)

    If interruptions do not cause you to be an order of magnitude less efficient than you can happily do with out an office, many top producing sales people prefer not to have an office, or if they do have one they want a fishbowl (glass walls to the hallway).

    I don't get this idea of hiring people and then not giving the an environment that the can do the job you are paying good money for.
  • by Kihaji (612640) <lemkesr@nOsPAm.uwec.edu> on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:44PM (#22010284)
    Or perhaps before they start providing incentives, they start by treating their employees like humans instead of freaking line item expenses.

    Why the hell should I work 70 hour weeks, kill myself outside of a job to learn the latest tech, deal with idiot management and unreasonable schedules when the company would gladly lay me off to save $5?

    Treat people like cattle, and you get a bunch of people just biding time until the grass is greener elsewhere.
  • I don't think moving around a little to gain that experience and find the right match is necessarily bad.

    No only isn't it "necessarily bad", I think it is a positivly Good Thing (TM). Moving around gives a graduate a range of experiences on both the technical level (develop skills etc) but also a range of experiences with various people and ways of working & doing business. All of this helps create a well rounded and skilled professional when then start to grow up and remain longer in jobs.

    However, if you're an employer who wants to spend peanuts then you should expect to get either

    1. Someone with little experience (who will leave when they see they've developed skills someone will actually pay for)
    2. someone who can't get a better gig right now and promises to remain for ages (but won't)
    3. someone who can't get a job with better conditions because they are actually worth the little you pay, or maybe worth a little less
    4. A mixture of the above
    Bottom line is - if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. Some monkeys will develop well and you should treat their tenure as a bonus. The monkeys you wish would leave, won't; and then you've got to consult your local labour laws
  • Your innocent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iendedi (687301) on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:51PM (#22010328) Journal

    We don't feel that we should be expected to "earn" the right to be part of the important goings on in our culture.
    It should be handed to you? Some sort of divine right?

    We feel that, even if we do "earn" what rights are available, we will still be pawns in someone elses game, and we have no more love or respect for their game than they have for us, so we don't bother.
    We older people feel like that too. Very few people throughout history have been able to evade that feeling.

    We consume these "opiates" because we hate the real world we live in, we see no hope of changing it, and we have given up and fled to imaginary land. In our zoned out state, we do only what we must to exist, because we are not really here.
    And the inevitable result of your pathological lethargy will be the fading of America as a country of importance. Let us hope you are not all like that.

    Now, some of us haven't given up. But we still don't take jobs for employers, we become self-employeed.
    This isn't different than any generation that came before you.

    None of us are interested in taking these "entry level jobs" in the hopes that we might be blessed with something better some day. We know that someday will not come.
    Well, most people recognize that gaining experience makes you more valuable and more capable of starting your own business. There is no shortcut when it comes to experience. By definition, you must experience something to become experienced at it. GTA won't help you. There are no video games to put real-world business experience, real world technology experience or, ..., well, ..., real world experience into your brain.

    If young people were going to develop responsibility, they would need to have a connection to what they're responsible for, which means giving them real power in the world, which isn't happening.

    If young people do develop a sense of responsibility, they are still not going to take jobs. They are going to take over.
    It is every young generation's manifest destiny to take over from the older generations, eventually. But there are rites of passage. Those older guys know more than you do. They are tougher, meaner, smarter, more experienced, better talkers, better programmers, better negotiators, better strategists, etc.., than their younger colleagues. They are like this because they have been at it a lot longer. You will take over as they retire off and/or as you become experienced enough to outsmart and outcompete them. Again, there are no shortcuts.

    So stop being a spoiled brat and go do the grunt work. You aren't yet up to the task of the higher profile stuff. You will know when you are up to the task, because you will take over. Until then, you are just flapping your lips. And no, you aren't worth the same amount of money as someone that has been doing the job for 20 years. In all likelihood, if you disappeared, they would hardly notice - as a green kid, the company is investing in you - you likely add very little value, so you are being payed more than they are able to extract in value from your labor. You are likely being trained, groomed and given experience in the hopes that your value will eventually increase past the point where their investment is, making you a profitable employee to have on board. If the 20 year veteran disappeared, the lights wouldn't turn on, the database would stop working, nobody would be able to get a new release out, it would start raining blood, cats and dogs would be living together and the company would go into crisis mood. But you wouldn't know about that, because you haven't experienced it...
  • by Bandman (86149) <bandman@gmail . c om> on Friday January 11, 2008 @11:52PM (#22010330) Homepage
    Usually because if you don't, someone else will be willing to.
  • by Skreems (598317) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @12:02AM (#22010424) Homepage
    In a way, what was promised probably used to be true, but not because college was such a great training ground. If only the relatively gifted went to college, say, 50 years ago, then they would probably emerge to find a creative career in a respected field waiting for them. Now that any monkey with middle class parents can bum their way through, the group of college graduates is no longer self selecting for those who are talented enough to secure the things they've been promised.

    Now, I don't think this contradicts your point, but it may explain it. I think people may have mistaken the self selection in the last generation for some magical property endowed by the act of going to college. But I will contradict you enough to say that SOME new college graduates do find that those expectations are met. If you're at the top of your class, intelligent, and actually good at what you do, you're never not wanted. It may take a bit of legwork to find someone who's willing to pay for that, but they're always out there, because a lot of people are really really bad at what they do.
  • Re:Spoiled (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vorpal22 (114901) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @12:06AM (#22010462) Homepage Journal
    I worked for a company that was bought out a few years back. The new CEO came to visit us to "pep talk" us, telling us that we were currently number two in the marketplace and that we wouldn't settle for number two: we had to be number one.

    No one was enthusiastic in the slightest, and it wasn't because we were in a new company. No, we weren't pepped by his speech because it was clear to us that there was no advantage to us other than perhaps some prestige to being number one. All we would be doing is earning him and the stockholders more money.

    We're told that we have to earn our place in society, but from many of our perspectives, there really isn't anything *worth* earning. What is the very best that most of us can hope for? A middle class position in an ever poverty-increasing society due to the tremendous shift of wealth towards a small number of businessmen? A marriage where we both work long hours in order to fatten a tiny number of people's pockets, coming home so exhausted that we're barely able to tend to the children's needs and much less to each other's, so we compensate ourselves by the accumulation of possessions? Some world we've been offered. I'm not sure that it will be worse off if we're a bunch of WOW playing crybaby slackers.

    I'm frustrated that despite all of human innovation and technological advancements, I have to kowtow to an alarm clock that rings at 6:30 AM. Where are the promises that technology was supposed to reduce working hours and make our lives more pleasant? No, we're forced to work harder to compete with other organizations who also suffer the same fate as our own. I think many of us have realized just how much society *has* lied to us, about college, technology, etc. and we've grown apathetic and tired of the empty promises. I'd rather be a relatively poor slacker with time to myself to do what I want and to enjoy my family than a successful developer whose time is consumed with largely meaningless pursuits and whose life is filled with possessions.
  • Disillusionment (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OddlyMoving (1103849) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @12:08AM (#22010478)
    I was once a disillusioned IT worker. I oft wondered why my ability and all my raw potential weren't being properly compensated as I struggled through the first half of my career. Further clouding my vision was an early payoff in consulting where I managed to bill out more than what was probably justified when I was in my early 20s. There was a distinct lack of IT talent in the community I find myself in and got a lot of business via word of mouth.

    It wasn't till later on in my career I learned some humility and became easier to work with, and that's when the bucks started to roll in. When my can-do attitude started to shed the rampant contrarian in me. I see a lot of kids younger than me that go through this - I recently tried to give some budding superstars inside and outside my company some coaching in this regard; however, they didn't become open till they lost their jobs. It seems that this is a lesson the young continue to need to learn, and my dad had hinted to me that this would be my struggle with others as he saw me grow up to be a smart alecky know it all.

    So if there's one thing I can recommend to the under 25 crowd, it's this: a little humility and willingness to learn from others goes a long way. You'll find that people that don't always have all the top technical answers at their disposal are useful in other ways: managing chemistry with team members, negotiating with clients, directing personnel in certain directions and managing crisis before they get out of control.
  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @12:17AM (#22010528) Homepage Journal
    I dunno...I have to say "Welcome to the real world".

    We've done our young people a disservice the past few decades....in schools and society, we've taken away anything that might hurt little Timmy's self esteem.....everyone gets an award for 'trying', and everyone is taught they are all equal and will be treated that way.

    Parents who work too much....have tried making up for it...by giving their kids what they want. It leads to people coming out of this sheltered environment, and being shocked that they don't walk right into a job making the $$ their parents did....not instantly being a manager...and [shudder] having to work their way up from the bottom.

    I'll admit...my generation (early X) had a great deal of this too...but, not quite as bad as it seems the youth coming into the workforce now have.

    I'm not saying it is all of them...but, this attitude does seem to be rising. Unless you can start your own business....you're gonna have to learn that there is the golden rule...whoever has the gold, makes the rules. If you wanna work and make it...well, you're gonna have to sacrifice and work hard for awhile, pay your dues as they used to say.

  • Re:Non-news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Stiletto (12066) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @12:18AM (#22010548)
    So, did he get that XXX dollars at the other company? Because if he did, then I wouldn't call what he did a mistake. Sounds like the mistake was made by your company's management.
  • by MarcoAtWork (28889) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @12:29AM (#22010628)

    The programmers quickly learn to tune out the noise, and only attend to what's relevant, like someone calling out their name. Humans are good at that


    wow, really nice to hear that we are all the same and there is absolutely no individual variation for, say, folks like some I know who thrive in an open space environments, and folks like me who are 1000% more productive in an office with a window and a closed door.

    Also according to the same yardstick we could also all live chained to our desks 24/7, we'd soon learn to tune out everything else and attend to what's relevant, like somebody handing out some bread & water, or somebody else whipping us if we don't produce enough LoC during the 16 hour workday.

    Just because humans can adapt to abysmal environments it doesn't mean that we should be made to.
  • Re:Spoiled (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @12:33AM (#22010666) Homepage Journal
    "We're told that we have to earn our place in society, but from many of our perspectives, there really isn't anything *worth* earning. What is the very best that most of us can hope for? A middle class position in an ever poverty-increasing society due to the tremendous shift of wealth towards a small number of businessmen? A marriage where we both work long hours in order to fatten a tiny number of people's pockets, coming home so exhausted that we're barely able to tend to the children's needs and much less to each other's, so we compensate ourselves by the accumulation of possessions? Some world we've been offered. I'm not sure that it will be worse off if we're a bunch of WOW playing crybaby slackers."

    Wow...I wonder what has caused this extreme pessimism? If you go into young adult life with this attitude, and defeatist attitude, well, you will end up with a self-fulfilling prophecy. Life won't now, and never HAS given anyone anything, but, with work, motivation, and yes, some spots of luck...you CAN make it...have whatever is success to you. To me..it is money...I like what life it can give me.

    Some people never assert to be above what you described, but, you certainly aren't predestined to that life....life is what YOU make of it. Where YOU decide to go with your life. Sure, you generally have to start at the bottom, but, set goals for yourself....maybe to be your own boss....after all, most business in the US are small businesses....do that and you will be able to steer your own path through life.

    If money isn't your thing...well, figure out what is. Whatever you're looking for....no one is gonna give it to you....the world has NEVER worked that way. Nothing really is that bad now worse than any other generation has faced. Every generation has its problems....but, you work your way through it.

    Rather than give up before really even starting...start trying to be a little more positive...figure where YOU want to be in a few years....and start working towards it.

  • Re:Non-news (Score:4, Insightful)

    by marcsiry (38594) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @12:35AM (#22010684) Homepage
    Not necessarily. I'm a hiring manager, and the money I pay for employees is part of the cost of the goods my company produces.

    If an employee's salary demands exceed the profit my company can generate from the goods, then regardless of what other companies are paying, I cannot sustain that salary level. That either means my company is inefficient, or selling the goods at below market value, or that other factors (such as a surplus of VC money for startups) is allowing the other company to pay more to produce the same goods.

    There is also the chance that the employee wasn't actually very good, or was difficult to manage. Either of those cases have caused me to pass on a demand, despite putting me in a situation where I had to replace the employee because they walked.

    Those factors (and more) can take the negotiation out of the realm of straight supply and demand.
  • by SirLurksAlot (1169039) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @12:36AM (#22010708)

    With all due respect, you're comparing apples to oranges here. When all those defense industry programmers started looking for work they were still only competing with each other, rather than having to compete with someone who doesn't even live on the same continent and is willing to do the same job for a half to a quarter of what the job would pay here. Another point worth mentioning here is that when all of those defense industry programmers were looking for work again they weren't considered entry level anymore. I'm sure you had your work cut out for you during that time, and I can respect the fact that you've gone through hard times and you've earned the rights and responsibilities that experience brings, but there are market forces in effect today that simply did not exist during that period.

  • by Tsorath (1217848) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @12:46AM (#22010806)
    I don't know I have absolutely seen both sides of this having worked for a number of years as a database programmer and having operated my own company doing this I found when I sold my company I was absolutely stunned by the offers I recieved from companies when I went through the interview process. I cannot tell you how many times I was intervied for postions wanting 5 years plus experience knowledge in a number of diffrent areas including asking for things like CCNA MCDBA (both of which I have) wanting me availible for on call one week a month at night and 2 weekends a month and when it came down to money offering me far less then I was earning bartending in a club. It was apalling I worked my rear end off in school and in the industry to get to a point where I didn't have to work nights weekends holidays etc etc anymore and getting that kind of slap in the face was disheartening to say the least. By the same token in my current position I cannot tell you how many kids I run into that think they should have all the perks of the position and wages commensurate with years of experience while taking on none of the responsibilities that go along with it so in the end I'd say both sides are equally guilty for any issues that we are seeing now.
  • by HiThere (15173) <charleshixsn&earthlink,net> on Saturday January 12, 2008 @12:48AM (#22010826)
    It was never only the gifted that went to college. I *was* once mainly the wealthy and a few of the gifted. Strangely, the wealthy easily found good jobs waiting for them once they graduated, and the gifted became academics (which was also a good job, but one you needed to work at).

  • MOD PARENT DOWN! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by raehl (609729) <raehl311@@@yahoo...com> on Saturday January 12, 2008 @12:53AM (#22010890) Homepage
    I have a choice here whether to mod you down myself or post something and let others do it. I'm going to post.

    The problem here is you.

    If you work for the #2 company, that wants to be the #1 company, and they're going to compensate you the same whether the company is #1 or #2, QUIT!

    Nobody has to slave for a company to make the stockholders more money. Get off your ass and get a job at the #1 company, that's probably #1 because it rewards their employees. Or start your own company.

    Where are the promises that technology was supposed to reduce working hours and make our lives more pleasant?

    They're here! Move to BFE Nebraska, get yourself a high speed internet connection, and work from home 20 hours a week. You'll make more than enough to cover your needs, and probably have a nifty TV and computer to boot. Glamorous? No, but not possible in 1950 either.

    But even working full time, nobody is making you get up to your alarm clock at 6:30 every morning except you - because you're lazy. You have to wake up at 6:30 every morning because you want a job where somebody else guarantees you money every other friday, assigns you what to do every day, and keeps paying you as long as you don't fuck up too bad. THAT's why you get up at 6:30 in the morning.

    I'd rather be a relatively poor slacker with time to myself to do what I want and to enjoy my family than a successful developer whose time is consumed with largely meaningless pursuits and whose life is filled with possessions.

    You ever watching TV and they have those commercials for tech schools that teach auto repair? Sign up. Seriously. Work 9-5, make enough money to support the family and BBQ every weekend if you want to. Oh, and as a mechanic, you get paid by the job, so the better you are, the more money you get.

    Nobody promised you something for nothing. The problem is that if you behave like all the other people who just want to show up for a paycheck, you'll be treated like all the other people who want to show up for a paycheck. You just get more 0's on your check for going to college.
  • Re:Spoiled (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScentCone (795499) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @12:57AM (#22010906)
    A middle class position in an ever poverty-increasing society due to the tremendous shift of wealth towards a small number of businessmen?

    Way to buy the class warfare line, hook line and sinker, there. The prosperity pie isn't some fixed size, with the slices being re-arranged. Any increase in your standard of living is a result of your producing it. Do you REALLY think that you're not better off than someone 20 years ago, doing roughly the same amount of work with the same overall level of dedication and relative knowledge about a given area of work? What are you spending your money on? Video games, instant access to information from all over the world, three televisions, a new web-enabled cell phone every 18 months, fresh vegetables from all over the world at your finger tips year round...? The averge middle class person's standard of living HAS improved, dramatically. You're using the wrong measurements.

    From the Washington Post the other day: Economist Stephen Rose, defining the middle class as households with annual incomes between $30,000 and $100,000, says a smaller percentage of Americans are in that category than in 1979 - because the percentage of Americans earning more than $100,000 has doubled from 12 to 24, while the percentage earning less than $30,000 is unchanged. "So," Rose says, "the entire 'decline' of the middle class came from people moving up the income ladder."

    Try actually living with the same creature comforts, vehicles, entertainment, and quality of food and medical care that our parents and grandparents did just a few decades ago. You live like a king.
  • by gelfling (6534) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @01:00AM (#22010940) Homepage Journal
    My recommendation and this is dead serious, is to get out of IT by age 33 the latest. Not that it's a young person's game but because after that age they treat you like utter garbage. They want nothing better than to force you out and replace you with the next batch of freshly scrubbed young faces at half or less than what you will make then. They will stop your increases, your training until they start telling you to 'mentor' people aka train your replacement. And if you manage to survive that by being where the shit ain't, then you can look forward to a long boring tenure of ever more abstract advisory roles. And when you're chained to the machine at age 50 your economic options are a lot more limited when they just toss you out on the street.

    So get out, Make the Suits happy. There is no such thing as retention. Retention is bullshit. You leave and they'll replace you, or not, with a robot or a monkey and a robot.
  • by raehl (609729) <raehl311@@@yahoo...com> on Saturday January 12, 2008 @01:01AM (#22010948) Homepage
    30-50 years ago, if you went to college, chances are your parents were blue collar people who worked their asses off to save enough money to give you that opportunity, and you probably had to work your ass off to get more money and scholarships to make it. Yeah, there were a few kids of rich parents, but they were the minority.

    Now we have a LOT more people in middle-class office jobs. They don't have to pull double-shifts to get their kids into college. And their kids don't have to work their asses off for it - they can just get financial aid and student loans, WITHOUT having to join the army for 6 years. Yeah, there are still kids out there who work their asses off to get into and through school, but they're in the minority.

    30 years ago most kids who graduated college were thankful they didn't have grease under their fingernails when they came home from work like their parents did. Nowadays, more of the kids who graduate college are from families who never had to worry about anything. If your parents always had enough money, why wouldn't you?
  • Re:Your innocent (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HiThere (15173) <charleshixsn&earthlink,net> on Saturday January 12, 2008 @01:01AM (#22010950)
    So stop being a spoiled brat and go do the grunt work. You aren't yet up to the task of the higher profile stuff. You

    It must be nice to believe that such actions will be rewarded. From my experience the rewards will go to those who develop their skills in politicking rather than their technical skills. The only reward for developing one's technical skills is the self induced pleasure of mastering something difficult. If one has that, then it provides it's own motivation. If one doesn't ... it seems more rational to concentrate on the mastery of politics.

    Well, I can afford to be sanguine about this. I got in at the early stage, parlayed technical skills into a durable job, and was able to take an early retirement when I got disgusted with the MS EULA. But seriously, my choices were irrational. I knew bloody well that technical skills might keep me in my job, but they wouldn't earn a promotion. And I got enough pleasure out of technical mastery that I was willing to accept the costs. But don't lie to people. Technical skills are only enough to keep your job, not enough to earn much in the way of promotions. (I would have been a lousy manager, though. Managing people isn't something that grabs my attention.)

    Perhaps other places of employment are different. But I doubt it. (OTOH, I'll admit that I took the first job that I came to out of college and stuck to it like a burr. So all I know about other places is what I had learned in summer jobs. I think I lucked out...but if I'd been ambitious, or less technically introverted, I'd have left quickly.)

  • by i)ave (716746) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @01:02AM (#22010964)
    This is one hell of a different world than it was 50 years ago! America is not the place it was in 1958... Let's see, 1958: A college education was completely unnecessary for most well paying and secure jobs. This started someone in their career about 4-5 years ealier and saved them $30k-$40k in debt. In 1958 it only took 1 income earner in a family to provide enough to support the entire family. In 1958 most everyone could count on working for a big megacorp throughout their career and retire with a big fat pension to carry them through their golden years. Healthcare costs were a pittance compared to what they are today. Anyone could own their own home. Rents were also a pittance compared to what they are today. Anyone who thinks people under the age of 31 are too impatient are goddamned right because we don't have time to be patient, your generation has generously taken everything you could get for yourselves and left very little to us except your Medicare and Social Security debt. The company that wants to pretend it is 1958 without offering the same pensions, or unionization, without paying an employee enough to take care of the whole family on 1 income -- is being disingenuous to say the least. Talk about blaming the victims!
  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @01:08AM (#22011010)

    It isn't just IT, it can be seen in many other industries as well. It believe this is just one more example of what my generation is facing (19-30), the "something for nothing" problem.
    Many of my peers expect to graduate college and start off on the same level their parents are (who have worked for 30 years). I see this both in all my peers, from the construction workers to the computer scientists. I don't believe it is unique in I.T.
    I keep hearing that story and I don't see it. I'm sure there's arrogance amongst the youth, that's always been the case. But this is not your father's entry-level job market these days. It's a fuck and chuck employment market. Sure, there's always been disreputable companies and bosses who want to keep taking money out of the business while never putting any of it back in. But these days it seems to be the universal rule rather than the exception. Every business is operated with the maximization of wealth as the sole goal, to the detriment of all else. Slash staff to increase profit, slash benefits to increase profit, cut corners on quality to increase profit, screw the customer and ream the employee, all in the name of making the top man on the totem pole as much scratch as possible.

    Now I've been downmodded by the rah-rah business crowd for expressing these views before so fuck you in advance -- the man who said "the business of America is business" should be smacked. I'm traditional when it comes to these things: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. -- That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. There you go. Nobody says you're going to get what you want wrapped up with a red bow and sitting on a silver platter, but if you want it you can get in on the chase.

    What's more, no organization exists in a vacuum. Business exists in an ecosystem, the same as farmers and fishermen. You abuse the ecosystem that supports you, you suffer the consequences. A prudent farmer knows when to sow his fields and when to leave them fallow. Fishermen know if they take too much, the fisheries will collapse. The same holds true for the artificial ecosystems of American industry. The leaders these days are not satisfied with sustainable profits, they want to clearcut the forest and to hell with leaving anything for the next guy.

    You want to know why people feel discouraged? It's because employers demand as much labor as possible and tell their employees that they're lucky to even have jobs. Hard work is seldom rewarded. And in today's economy it's a cycle of shifting jobs and unsteady employment. There used to be a time when workers could count on a lifetime of working for a single company and a pension upon retirement. We're paying into social security now with no hope of ever seeing any of it. I'm 30 and I know I won't get any. Employers are getting out of the benefits business, cutting down on health care with pensions becoming a thing of the past. Because turnover is so rapid, it's hard to accrue any seniority in a company and the ageism curse is looking to bite us in the ass as we approach middle-age.

    Real wages are dropping, the government is lying about inflation, and parents today will be the first in the history of this country who cannot collectively count on their children being better off than they. With all these problems facing us, the presidential horse race is still about foo-foo bullshit issues. The media concentrates on superficial banalities and we continue on course straight into the shoals.

    So, what's there to be positive about?
  • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @01:12AM (#22011030)

    I say f- them. Either pay more, or quit complaining about our right to leave.

    There's more to it than that. Someone just out of college may say, regarding his first 2-3 jobs, "This sucks! I'm not getting the {respect | money | office | projects} I deserve! F*** this. Bye." But that person mistakenly thinks that he's getting a worse-than-standard deal. So out of ignorance, he leaves a perfectly good job, chasing the mythical perfect job.

    It's that pointless churn that I think employers might reasonably be frustrated by. (Of course, those employees might find that they can do less work and get paid more by working in marketing. In that case, the employers are themselves getting a bitter dose of reality.)

  • Re:Spoiled (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jollyreaper (513215) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @01:22AM (#22011108)

    Way to buy the class warfare line, hook line and sinker, there. The prosperity pie isn't some fixed size, with the slices being re-arranged. Any increase in your standard of living is a result of your producing it.
    You can call it class warefare, you can call it a buttered pineapple, but the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. For some interesting reading, check out the Grandfather Report.

    http://mwhodges.home.att.net/ [att.net]
  • by Danathar (267989) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @01:26AM (#22011142) Journal
    It was a question put to me by an MIT tenured professor while I worked at NSF. My position being strange, neither program officer or support staff but a contractor who helped program officers with evaluation of software grants. Seeing all those PhD's around me started me thinking of going for my masters and PhD.

    When I asked him for his opinion, he said "Why do you want it?". Money wise I'm making what college grads with Masters or PhD's made and he made the point that at my age, 35 that it was probably more headache than worth it..UNLESS my goal was to learn something rather than just to have the title "PhD" after my name. You don't have to have a PhD to do research, but having one will open some doors that otherwise would be harder to open (but not impossible).

    The problem is that many college students see college as a way to make more MONEY first and the love of learning about something SECOND (if at all). From their perspective college is something to be endured like a bad trip to the dentist and if they can make it through it the pot of gold waits at the other end. This is wrong! College is not supposed to be a stamp on a form you get so you qualify for an expensive car, house and trophy wife.

    If that is what your expectations are, then you should drop out of college NOW. You can make GOOD money, MORE money than many white collar college requirement jobs. Jobs like electrician, plumber, AC repair and believe me NOBODY looks down on the good plumber who has a BIG freaking house and expensive sports car.
  • Re:Non-news (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Senjutsu (614542) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @01:27AM (#22011150)

    If an employee's salary demands exceed the profit my company can generate from the goods, then regardless of what other companies are paying, I cannot sustain that salary level.
    Sure. But this is all very tangential to the article's talk of "unrealistic salary demands from young employees"; If a young employee wants 60k to stay with you because competitor XYZ is offering that, then his demands are not unrealistic. Rather, your belief that you can employee people of his calibre for whatever sub-60K amount you want to pay is unreasonable.
  • Well, it is called welcome to the reality of the real working world.

    I have news for you. 70 hour work weeks should not be a part of anyone's "real working world" unless they are the owner or higher level exec in charge of the business (and then that is done by their choice).

    What you're advocating is throwing away almost all of your waking hours for a job - something that doesn't love you, doesn't even care about you, can be done by someone else if you leave, and on the whole, you don't get any more out of at 70 hours than you do at 40.

    There is a lesson you need to learn, and that lesson is drawing reasonable boundaries. Trading your whole, active life for a paycheck is a bad deal no matter how you look at it unless you are only doing it for a couple of years so that you never have to do it again.

    You work in order to obtain the money needed to live your life. You don't live in order to work.
  • Re:Spoiled (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @01:36AM (#22011224)

    We're told that we have to earn our place in society, but from many of our perspectives, there really isn't anything *worth* earning. What is the very best that most of us can hope for? A middle class position in an ever poverty-increasing society due to the tremendous shift of wealth towards a small number of businessmen? A marriage where we both work long hours in order to fatten a tiny number of people's pockets, coming home so exhausted that we're barely able to tend to the children's needs and much less to each other's, so we compensate ourselves by the accumulation of possessions? Some world we've been offered...

    I totally agree that there's no motivation in making rich people richer. But...

    WTF do you mean, "Some world we've been offered"? In the U.S., we've hardly suffered the ravages of war, compared to those who lived through WWII. Most of us have plenty to eat, and don't go cold in the winter. We have cures for diseases that were death sentences 50 years ago. And much of this is because our parents suffered to make our world a better one than theirs.

    Sure our world isn't perfect, and there's a lot of ways that we can improve it if we're willing to shoulder the burden. But complaining about what we've been handed sounds like the tantrum of an early adolescent saying, "I didn't ask to be born!". Grow up, and become part of the solution rather than just whining.

  • Re:Your innocent (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kcbrown (7426) <slashdot@sysexperts.com> on Saturday January 12, 2008 @01:38AM (#22011238)

    We consume these "opiates" because we hate the real world we live in, we see no hope of changing it, and we have given up and fled to imaginary land. In our zoned out state, we do only what we must to exist, because we are not really here.
    And the inevitable result of your pathological lethargy will be the fading of America as a country of importance. Let us hope you are not all like that.

    And as one of the older people, all I can say here is that it's our own damned fault. These kids are living in the world we built for them with the expectations we gave them. But the expectations and the world in question aren't those of what we told them. No, they've seen their parents (my generation) work their asses off, and as a result be forced to be parents in absentia, without anything more to show for it in the end than their grandparents (my generation's parents) had. They've heard their parents and their peers' parents talk about how upper management and the executives have been making millions while working a few hours a day, while the parents in question worked 16+ hours a day for months-long stretches, and after doing all that had to suffer through the indignity and financial burden of "downsizing", "rightsizing", and whatever else the management buzzword of the day was. All the while that same management got unprecedented bonuses for "cutting costs".

    The people of my generation were constantly told by our parents that if we worked hard, we would be able to do better than they did. That turned out to be true for some of us (some of us got lucky in the dotbomb, for instance), but not nearly enough of us. The proof that we were lied to is that the middle class is, and has been, shrinking, while the distribution of wealth grows ever more topheavy. That has consequences. This is one of them.

    The people coming into the workforce aren't stupid. They're being asked to do the same shit that their parents were asked to do. But unlike their parents, they know what will happen if they walk that same path, because they've seen it happen to their parents. And they're apparently not having any of it.

    Good for them.

  • by ill_mango (686617) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @01:43AM (#22011270)

    Abysmal? Now who's not leaving room for individual variation? I work in a "pit" (I actually prefer the term bullpen) and I think it's a wonderful way to increase collaboration.

    Of course I understand why you might like an office, but for the kind of projects I work on, collaboration is much more important. Don't generalize what people want based on what YOU want.

  • Re:Your innocent (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DustoneGT (969310) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @02:01AM (#22011386)
    "If the 20 year veteran disappeared, the lights wouldn't turn on, the database would stop working, nobody would be able to get a new release out, it would start raining blood, cats and dogs would be living together and the company would go into crisis mood. But you wouldn't know about that, because you haven't experienced it..."

    Maybe this hasn't occurred to you...We don't give a damn about the company because the company doesn't give a damn about us. I'm not saying they have to give a damn about us. They don't have to. If they did have to give a damn it would be socialism and that's not what I'm advocating here.

    Many inexperienced IT workers start moonlighting when acquaintances from church, the bowling alley or the golf course want some service cheap. We figure out that by cutting out the middle men we can make as much money as the more experienced IT workers and charge less for our services than a big company can. When we get paid 2-10 times as much for an hour of work it's pretty easy to get disillusioned at work. There's the shortcut. Don't complain to us because we aren't dumb enough to put up with decades of mistreatment like your generation did.
  • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @02:39AM (#22011598)
    PhDs are actually really easy to manage if you aren't intimidated by managing people who are more intelligent than you.

    More *educated* to be sure, but not necessarily more intelligent. The two are not always related.

    I have fixed and re-written many a PhD's overly-complex and/or poorly-written code using only my little BSCS (and 20+ years experience). In fact, I would hazard a guess that experience almost always trumps education - something many of the fresh-from-school don't grasp.

  • Re:Spoiled (Score:3, Insightful)

    by B3ryllium (571199) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @02:42AM (#22011616) Homepage
    "VMware books"? What VMware books do you recommend? :)
  • Re:Spoiled (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jessta (666101) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @04:05AM (#22012018) Homepage

    I'm frustrated that despite all of human innovation and technological advancements, I have to kowtow to an alarm clock that rings at 6:30 AM. Where are the promises that technology was supposed to reduce working hours and make our lives more pleasant?

    We have that technology. The amount of work required for survival is much less than it used to be. I live in Melbourne, Australia and I can't easily survive and live a good life on 2 days of work a week. That would have been much more difficult 50 years ago.

    But most people don't want to just survive. Most people want a big screen TV, a car, a large house, an Ipod, a laptop, a mobile phone, eatting out every night, support five children and go to expensive concerts and sporting events.


    The techology for you to work less is already here, you just don't want to work less.
  • by 19061969 (939279) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @05:33AM (#22012436)
    As a PhD, I have to quote someone who told me something useful before my thesis was accepted: "A PhD is a test of endurance, not intelligence." A PhD doesn't show that you are more intelligent than anyone, but it does show that you can dedicate yourself to a single question over several years and persevere with it.

    But also, a lot of PhD work does count as experience. Quite often, it is everyday work, not study.

  • by sydbarrett74 (74307) <sydbarrett74.gmail@com> on Saturday January 12, 2008 @06:44AM (#22012770)

    ...we'd drop our present employer in a heartbeat if something was in it for ourselves.
    Erm, and this is a bad thing how , exactly? Oh yeah, it's not. Unless family or close friends are involved, 'loyalty' is a dead letter in the modern workplace. Might as well look out for #1, because sure as fuck nobody else will....
  • Re:Spoiled (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drsquare (530038) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @07:08AM (#22012896)
    I fail to see how the poor are getting poorer considering how many of them have subscription TV, brand-name clothes, takeout food every week, mobile phones, MP3 players, and god-knows what else.

    Once upon a time, being poor meant cabbage soup for dinner, outside toilets, washing clothes by hand, and smashing up the furniture to burn during winter just to keep yourself alive. But yeah, keep telling yourself the poor are getting poorer.
  • Clue for you (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 12, 2008 @07:30AM (#22013014)
    "Well, most people recognize that gaining experience makes you more valuable and more capable of starting your own business."

    Ah yes, the old "If you don't like it then start your own business" defense.

    Speaking as one who HAS run a business, let me state that getting a business started from the ground up requires a LOT more than experience in a job. People skills, for one. Something computer geeks are notorious for not having. Being able to recruit people and raise capital is a job skill in its own right. Managing the accounts and the resources and the legal needs and the various types of compliance - at least until you can use those people skills and capital to get someone else to do so is going to take a fair chunk of your time. Going out and selling your product is going to take another good chunk of it, and even with a sales staff, sooner or later the #1 person is going to get involved in the big deals.

    You can do this if you have the stamina. But after all the overhead time burned up, it's more than likely that your technical skill set is going to erode as you dedicate your resources to the business. If you enjoy playing with business more than you enjoy playing with raw technology, that's fine. But not all of us do.

    And as for companies going into "crisis mood" (sic), pretty much everywhere I've been since the Era of the Disposable Employee began blood rains from the ceiling on an almost daily basis. In 50 years we've gone from the idea of "Computers Don't Make Mistakes" to simply expecting our software to be perpetually broken and in constant need of rebooting, coddling, massaging or working around.

  • by ultranova (717540) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @07:39AM (#22013056)

    I have never aged so rapidly as when I've been working for some of the more truly abusive bosses. Sadly, employment in America is "by will" and there's no meaningful support for IT employees.

    The cure for all this is to unionize and negotiate contracts as a community rather than as individual replacable cogs in the machine.

    Unfortunately, nearly everyone thinks that they're better than average, and can thus get better pay than average (which is a false conclusion, even if the premise were true), and will consequently not support any such effort, especially since their "lazy coworkers" would also benefit from it.

  • by sammyF70 (1154563) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @08:45AM (#22013432) Homepage Journal
    Indeed.
    I'm part of a two developer team in a [gasp] marketing company. Until recently, we were in an open space with all the marketing and sales guys who couldn't grasp the fact that there is nothing worse for a developer than to be interrupted during a coding binge. They'd keep interrupting us and asking for our full attention at any time, no matter how concentrated we were staring at the screen. Using headphones was always received with contempt and remarks about "excluding ourselves from the team", and even interrupted us while we were actually discussing ideas about how to develop one thing or another.

    ME: "Hey listen! I think I found a solution! We could write a method which receives those arguments and ..."
    MARKETING GUY : "aeh .. guys. I need one of you!"
    ME: "Give us a min. okay .. we're discussing something."
    M.G.: "Come on ... It's not going to take long, and it's very important!"
    ME: "[sigh] ... okay .. what's the matter?"
    M.G. : "You told me a few times, I know .. but how do you create bookmarks in IE again?"
    ME: "gahh ... in the menu? where it says 'bookmark'?"
    M.G. : "ahh .. right. nice. thanks. you coming along well on the project?"
    ME: "we were ... [turning toward colleague] aehm ... Where was I?"

    Not to be mistaken, those guys are actually nice and we even spend time with the rest of the team off-hours, but they just have no idea how much concentration is required while coding, and for the most part, they have no interests in computers whatsoever. It's just a fancy typing machine and organizer for them, and sometimes I suspect they think they are doing us a favour by pulling us back to the ~real world~ when we look particularly intense.

    Since our boss moved us to a small cramped cabinet in which we are undisturbed, both our code and productivity increased tenfold.

    So, to get back on topic : each his own office is not a necessity, but at least separate the devs from the rest and throw them all together wherever there is enough room for the monitors and the computers.

  • by Oligonicella (659917) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @09:10AM (#22013588)
    "However, there is a huge amount of bright young people who have every right to ask more of their employers. More money, better conditions, not to be treated as children just because they only started working in last year or so. It takes forever for a young person to advance, even if he/she is more productive and better educated."

    You say they have a "right" as if that were true. Please give a cogent reason.

    The employer has a "right" that more productive, better educated Johnny prove they are more productive and can friggin' work, too.

    In my 35 year salaried life, I've seen a large share of worthless new folks claiming they're better.
  • Re:Your innocent (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Oligonicella (659917) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @09:31AM (#22013702)
    'You' should be actively handing it down to the next generation.

    Well yes, Sparky. And you know how that's done? By watching to see who the hell deserves it. You know who gets to decide? Those doing the handing, not those with their hands out.

    You people are the ones watching Brittany, not the ones in control. They smirk at the fool and feed you what you will tune in to. Turn the channel.

    "Adapt or die."

    Now I know you're lying about how old you are.
  • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @09:47AM (#22013788) Homepage
    They're here! Move to BFE Nebraska, get yourself a high speed internet connection, and work from home 20 hours a week. You'll make more than enough to cover your needs, and probably have a nifty TV and computer to boot. Glamorous? No, but not possible in 1950 either.

    Uh, what kind of job can one do from the comfort of their underwear, for 20 hours a week, and make ends meet - short of an Internet pornographer? Because if this could be done, I assure you, I'd do it. (Yes, out here in BFE ND/SD/NE.)

    But even working full time, nobody is making you get up to your alarm clock at 6:30 every morning except you - because you're lazy. You have to wake up at 6:30 every morning because you want a job where somebody else guarantees you money every other friday, assigns you what to do every day, and keeps paying you as long as you don't fuck up too bad. THAT's why you get up at 6:30 in the morning.

    So what's the alternative? Working the gas station? Getting up at 6:00 to milk the cows?
  • I'll call bull (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Moraelin (679338) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @09:56AM (#22013844) Journal
    I'll call bull. If it were just being pampered and having unrealistic expectations, you (or they) would soon discover that. You have to earn a salary _somewhere_. If you had unrealistic criteria, soon you _have_ to adjust them to more realistic levels, or starve. It's that simple.

    So basically when we see half a generation starving rather than working anywhere, _then_ I'll believe your point.

    Until then, it seems to me that you're moaning about simple supply and demand economics. If those guys leave, surely somewhere else they found a job more to their liking. Either it's more money, or it's better quality of life, or whatever. The fact is, _somewhere_ else they got a better offer. It means that the demand is there.

    The fact is, "Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it." That, by the way, comes from Publilius Syrus, circa 100 BC. So it's not even something invented by the new pampered generation.

    If they can get someone to pay what you consider to be a fair price for their work, the fact is, it wasn't an unrealistic expectation after all. It was exactly worth what its purchaser is willing to pay for it.

    And let's get into another aspect. The golden rule, much as I've noticed it being the darling of some of the most obnoxious PHBs I've ever met, is just wishful thinking and misses the point. Some idiot unilaterally having the right to make the rules, that was 1000 years ago. Now the whole market theory says it's a negotiation. One side might have more leverage there, but at least ideally _both_ sides make the rules.

    You may have the gold, but that doesn't give you the right to go to a store and say, "I want that computer for 1$. I have more money than you, so I make the rules. My rule is that everything I buy costs 1$. Now obey, you peon." Well, it doesn't work that way. You may have the money, but the other side also gets to decide what their product is worth. You might be able to negotiate a price that's good for _both_, or they might decide that your price isn't worth their product, and not deal with you at all. You don't just get to tell someone to suck it up and give you whatever you want, for whatever price you want, just because you have the money and you make the rules.

    The same applies to the workforce market. You're buying someone else's work. Either you negotiate a price that both can live with, or maybe you don't deal at all. But saying that anyone gets to unilaterally make the rules because they have the money... just doesn't work that way.

    And let's get into something else: even the gold alone isn't everything. Everything extra someone wants from me has its own price. If he want me to program, ok, that costs X dollars a month. If he wants overtime, that'll cost extra, one way or another, because if you ask for more work you should also pay more. It's just like trying to get two litres of milk instead of one: no, you're not getting the second one for free. Unless the job did pay twice as much as a similar 40-hours-a-week job, then the payment might not be worth the work after all. If he _also_ wants me to humour his wannabe-dictator "who has the gold makes the rules" ego-trips, well, that costs a lot extra. If he stresses me more than strictly necessary, that costs extra too. Etc.

    It's give and take. Different products have different prices. If you want more from me, it costs more. Or to put it the other way around, the more undesirable you make that job, the more it will cost to keep me there.

    That's another aspect that wannabe PHB's don't seem to get. They pretend that money is everything, they paid the standard entry wage, now surely their acting like arseholes shouldn't enter that equation too. Well, it does. It changes the product they're trying to buy, hence it changes the price.

    I see a lot of people moving to other jobs completely because they reach the conclusion that, frankly, it's not worth it.

    Again, you could lament their being pampered pansies, but the fact is that they end up doing _some_ job. So
  • by pyite (140350) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @10:12AM (#22013940)
    The cure for all this is to unionize and negotiate contracts as a community rather than as individual replacable cogs in the machine.

    Hahahahahaha. Come on. Tell me another one! You're good. Hahahahaha. Unions are the most worthless devices on this earth. They serve to inflate the value of the unskilled and devalue those with extra skills. I will never take a job where I have to join a union. They're demeaning and only beneficial if you can't get work you want on your own merits, in which case, it's your problem.

  • Re:Unionize! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pyite (140350) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @10:23AM (#22014006)
    I have really wondered why net admins didn't want to join the Electricians union, or even the Teamsters. [...] There would be no Draconian employment contracts and you would be treated with respect.

    Maybe because unions only protect the weak and those who can't negotiate good employment on their own right? Yep, that's it. Some of us, on the other hand, are actually skilled enough to get a job at a firm that cares about their employees, treats them well, pays them well, and recognizes their value, oh and doesn't make them work 60 hour weeks, let alone 70 hour weeks. And go figure, I work on Wall Street.

  • by ill_mango (686617) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @11:01AM (#22014282)

    Before I worked in my current job, I had roughly the same view as you. But it's not just a matter of using a catchphrase to justify a crappy office environment, I actually do enjoy it much more.

    Sure if we had offices, I could just walk down the hall to ask a question or something like that, but losing the walls brings much more than just being able to stay in your seat while you talk to a coworker. It's also brings about a feeling of equality, and yes, even teamwork.

    At my current job, I feel comfortable talking to ANYONE, people who are 6 or 7 levels above me in the hierarchy sit in the same kind of desk as me, everyone is totally accessible. There are no secretaries acting as door guards, there aren't even any doors to guard. People ask me my opinion on technology, projects, even strategy.

    Everyone in the office feels like we're in the same boat, and we all feel like a team. That's something that has never happened to me while I had my own office. It could just be my specific company, it's the first one I've worked at with an open concept, but I can tell you I prefer it to the ones where I never even saw the CEO, let alone was able to pick his brain.

  • by blahplusplus (757119) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @11:28AM (#22014532)
    "The problem is that many college students see college as a way to make more MONEY first and the love of learning about something SECOND (if at all)."

    The problem is TOO MUCH WORK, I think the culture we've created is a culture of over-burdening students (most of whom are not capable of keeping up at a steady pace to the top %20 of the students).

    By the time I got out of highschool I hated school, the teachers were incompetent, they frequently assigned meaningless work, the curriculum was god awful, and many of my classmates were pricks. The teaching environment and the environment these kids grow up in have profound effects on them, you can't expect them to like learning when frequently it is society that doesn't know enough about how to teach or learning itself.

    Most everything of value I have learned, is from other people, not teachers, nor curriculums, but other intelligent people. The problem is intelligence and wisdom can never be all inside one indivdual or even school. This is what I like abou wikipedia and wikibooks so much, you have all this hidden amateur talent that's often times just as good if not better then professionals, because in our culture we assume that just because someone has a higher IQ or higher marks that they are *globally* better, when it's not the case at all.

    Peoples intelligence, ideas and learning is like alphabet soup, some peolpe get A's, others get P's, some get W's, etc, etc. People on programmers and slashdot should know about the concept of *scope*, people have the wrong framework for learning - distributed intelligence and co-operation (all working together) is vastly superior in many ways to the old model in getting things done, the only way the old model works is if you find the "superstars" of talent that know

    1) How to communicate and
    2) Don't bastardize their language with academic jargon

    Most problems in education today stem from badly formed "expert groups" that work on a textbook or curriculum.

    The best curriculums and knowledge bases I have seen were from

    1) Crowdsouced (wikipedia, etc)
    2) Works of a few people who are superstars (they know how to conceptualize and take what they're thinking and translate it to words and concepts in a way that is aesthetically pleasing and also at the same time, clear, concise, and so well written that even a teen or pre-teen can pick it up and start learning because of hte 'beginning to the end' mentality of the authors)
    3) Too many authors unconsciously conceptualize something at a jargonistic level of abstraction (compressing complex ideas into one or two words).
    4) Academic language is usually one of the largest barriers to teaching today, its not a sign of intelligence to keep your ideas only understandable or circulating in your own circles, it limits the potential of the idea and the potential benefits of having it be spread.

  • by Dogtanian (588974) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @12:47PM (#22015356) Homepage

    The 'retention' problem is not because this generation wants the kitchen sink; it's because these companies don't have any money to buy kitchens.
    Companies which claim they "can't afford" to pay people more often mysteriously can when they need to, or when it suits them. Bottom line, it may be true in some cases, but I suspect it's also very often either a deliberate bargaining chip or reflex behaviour from companies who can't (or rather, won't) pay the true value of something until they're forced to do so.
  • by MarcoAtWork (28889) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @01:25PM (#22015712)

    agile and pair programming


    agile and pair programming are just like open spaces, some people thrive in them, some people (me included) can't get any meaningful work done in that situation.

    I wonder when people will start figuring out that programming is an art, like making music: some people thrive by composing with all their bandmates (say, guitarists starts a riff, drummer joins in, singer starts noodling, there you go, a typical bullpen/open office), others prefer a duet (say, simon & garfunkel, here is paired programming), and others prefer to write in their room with a piano or a guitar (say, sting, and here you go with a private office).

    An enlightened boss would realize this, and have a flexible working arrangement where everybody could choose the environment they are more productive in: if people stopped seeing 'having an office' as a status symbol, then everybody would naturally pick what they need instead of what they think they should.

    Managers should start by giving the example, as any manager should be right in the middle of the bullpen, using an office/conference room only during 1-to-1 meetings and phone calls, but guess what, 99% managers will get an office and then go on about how 'my door is always open': if your door is always open you shouldn't have an office, and leave it to somebody who will use it with the door closed to get some work done instead of losing concentration every 5 minutes because somebody is talking to somebody else about an unrelated issue to what you were thinking about.
  • by Glomek (853289) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @02:02PM (#22016206)
    IT workers are able to do things that most people cannot do. IT workers know this.

    IT workers are needed everywhere. IT workers know this.

    Managers have managed to keep IT salaries low due to downward pressure on wages from immigrants and offshoring, but these pressures are temporary. As developing countries develop their own IT infrastructures, the worldwide demand will continue to outgrow the worldwide supply, and this will eventually be felt at the local level.

    When a worker manages a system which costs an employer oodles of dollars per day of downtime, but is paid peanuts, the worker knows that the worker is giving more value to the employer than the worker is being paid for.

    It is time for an upward market adjustment. The IT workers know this. The employers are trying to avoid it, but in time the difficulty hiring and retaining good IT workers will force management to acknowledge it.

    Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe someone will come up with a great technology that allows managers to get the benefits of technology without the headaches of IT workers. However, if history is any indicator, most inventions that hold that sort of promise at the beginning (SQL, the GUI, the personal computer, automatic program generators (remember The Last One?), the web, and so on) usually end up creating a requirement for more IT workers than before.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 12, 2008 @04:30PM (#22017866)

    IT isn't as hard as a law degree

    uh? In most places taking law in college is not really considered getting a education. Most of the work is root memory, with IT you need to understand at least some math.
  • by ciggieposeur (715798) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @06:14PM (#22018882)
    30-50 years ago, if you went to college, chances are your parents were blue collar people who worked their asses off to save enough money to give you that opportunity, and you probably had to work your ass off to get more money and scholarships to make it.

    Actually, at many state schools such as the UC system once you got in tuition was free. See here: [berkeley.edu]

    Douglass said that after his election in 1966, [Ronald] Reagan proposed cutting the UC budget by 10 percent across the board. He also proposed that, for the first time, UC charge tuition

    In general, college is MUCH more expensive now than 25-30 years ago, and also much more necessary to land a job that pays a living/family wage. The result is that graduates are necessarily much more mercenary in their career aspirations to pay off those debts (averaging now about $30,000 at a public school) yet also far less likely to agitate collectively for a political solution -- since they can be fired so quickly for their activities outside the workplace.
  • by Dire Bonobo (812883) on Saturday January 12, 2008 @07:09PM (#22019420)

    PhDs are actually really easy to manage if you aren't intimidated by managing people who are more intelligent than you.
    More *educated* to be sure, but not necessarily more intelligent. The two are not always related. I have fixed and re-written many a PhD's overly-complex and/or poorly-written code using only my little BSCS

    You appear not to have understood what the OP was saying.

    He didn't say they were better programmers; he said they were smarter. If you're hiring someone with a PhD to crank out code, you're wasting their time and your money.

    A PhD is a research degree; that means they're trained in solving problems. It is, typically, a high-level degree, in the sense that details like code matter only insofar as they represent ideas. If you want someone to come up with ideas for tackling a viciously-hard problem, the guy with the PhD is your man; if you want someone to implement a mostly-known solution...say, one that the clever PhD just hacked up a prototype of...then the experienced coder is your girl. If you mistake one for the other, you're woefully misusing your staff's abilities.

    A PhD is training for a particular type of work, and it's a mistake to assume they should be like BSc degreed folk only moreso. It's a common mistake, but it's a big one.


    (General disclaimer: on average, exceptions exist, blah blah. We're talking generalizations here, so it's pointless to respond with an anecdote about an exception - we all already know they exist, so chill.)

  • by jsebrech (525647) on Sunday January 13, 2008 @08:42AM (#22024132)
    You'd think they'd be _thrilled_ to see the younger generation apply the same kind of capitalism all the way. I mean, surely, if cut-throat capitalism is good for us all, then people using the same principles in their job hunt are, well, nothing short of _patriotic_, right?

    This is an evolution in general that's happening throughout western society as far as I can see it. People are catching on that you're naive if you expect any corporation to act in your best interest, and it's led to a generation of "asshole customers" who have no loyalty to their employer, bank, phone company, utilities company, shops, and so on... I get a better deal at my bank if I walk in there and pretend I'm not a customer than if I remind them that I've been a profit-generating customer for over a decade. Since my bank doesn't care about customer loyalty, I feel no obligation to provide loyalty in return, so I'm in the process of transitioning my savings to another bank.

    The lesson here is that the free market cuts both ways. If you treat your employees and customers as commodities, then they in turn will treat you as a commodity. Well, boo hoo to that. You reap what you sow.
  • by Moraelin (679338) on Sunday January 13, 2008 @10:06AM (#22024586) Journal
    Well, yes, that's just the thing: loyalty was never supposed to be a one way street. It always cut both ways, and was _supposed_ to cut both ways.

    E.g., a medieval vassal had an obligation to be loyal to his liege-lord, _but_ conversely the liege had a formal obligation to defend his vassal to the full extent of his possibilities too. E.g., a medieval knight was supposed to be loyal to his lord even in the face of death, but conversely he was assured of employment until death. You could take a knights land for treason or such, but otherwise you couldn't go "you're fired. I found a turk who'll do your job for less land." E.g., heck, even the serfs, in exchange for that being formally tied to their lord, could expect the lord's protection. (Though how seriously some lords took that obligation, that's a whole other story.) That's how the whole manorial system was formed in the wake of the crash of the Roman Empire. Etc.

    So it's kinda funny to see people nowadays trying to turn it into a one ways street. See, you have a duty to be loyal to us, but we have a duty to not give a damn about you. It never worked that way, and it wasn't supposed to work that way.

    Which is why I say they should choose which they want. Not both. Either it's all-out capitalism, they treat you like a replaceable commodity, but then accept that equally the theory is that they're a replaceable commodity too. Or the demand unconditional until-death-do-us-part loyalty, but then they're supposed to provide exactly the same loyalty in return.

    I'm not even saying which they should use. Either could be argued for or against, and whole economic theories and apologies have been written about both. Pick one. I may disagree with one or the other on a theoretical level, but I can respect someone who actually is honest in picking one and living by what he/she preaches. Right or wrong, at least it's living by one's principles. I can respect that.

    And, yes, just to agree with you some more, it does seem pretty clear which they chose. And they're just getting the other side of the coin they chose. The least they could do is stop moaning about it.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

Working...