Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
IT

The Coming Tech Gig Economy (infoworld.com) 177

snydeq writes: The rise of contract and contingent work is shaking up the traditional IT career path, with the days of decades-long careers in corporate environments dwindling for many IT pros. "And it's not only nonstop cost cutting that has businesses favoring IT contractors they can bring on — or scale back — as necessary without paying benefits. Emerging platforms, in particular around the cloud, have many organizations shifting their staffing models toward project-based, contingent work in hopes of landing the key skills necessary for their businesses to stay competitive in a constantly evolving technical landscape. ... How should you adjust to this shifting employment landscape? Should you broaden your skills or specialize? Should you develop a plan to strike out on your own or double-down on the skills that will remain invaluable for retaining long-term, full-time employment?'
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

The Coming Tech Gig Economy

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 26, 2015 @05:33PM (#50806057)

    Organizations willing to take on itinerant contractors instead of hiring employees will soon learn a painful, and very expensive lesson in the dollar value of organizational memory.

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday October 26, 2015 @05:48PM (#50806147) Journal

      value of organizational memory.

      I agree. Most rotating-contractor-made systems I worked on were a fricken mess.

      It seems contracted work is best for easy-to-define "grunt work" (for lack of a better way to describe it). For example, data entry, simple back-end CRUD ui's that don't have to be pretty, researching an easy-to-reproduce bug, formatting documentation prettier, etc.

      Domain knowledge is under-valued in IT. My work is often far better after I learn the domain, often because I ask better questions or present better alternatives that simplify things rather than interpret initial instructions literally.

      It's true that some permanent IT staff are also screw-ups. But, the solution is either better management of them, or get more disciplined staff, NOT outsourcing.

    • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Monday October 26, 2015 @06:00PM (#50806215) Homepage Journal
      The days of a lifetime job at one company have been over for at least 3 decades really.

      Best advice...get your first jobs out of school. Work, network....make business contacts and friends, and hone your skills to become marketable.

      While doing this, incorporate yourself. This will prepare you for contract work when you are ready. Remember all those business contacts and all? Well, those will help lead you into contract jobs or even direct ones as you move from job to job.

      But if doing contracting...INCORPORATE yourself. Learn to budget and plan. You have to save money while making it, for the down times...and retirement.

      But for all that extra effort, there *IS* benefits. You are your own boss. You get to call the hours you work. And you can write off a shit ton of stuff perfectly legally...write those expenses off. And eventually, get a CPA to help guide you.

      There are many ways to do it, I prefer the S-Corp method.

      With this, yes there is more paperwork (CPA helps here, and their fees are reasonable and deductible)....but you can keep more of your hard earned money.

      It can work like this. Let's say for simplicity...you bill $100K a year.

      With the S-corp, you pay yourself a "reasonable" salary....the IRS is vague on this, but let's be reasonable and say you pay yourself a salary of say, $40K. Now, on that $40K, you pay out of that SS and medicare, employer and employee....and your state and fed taxes (if you state taxes you).

      The rest of the $60K...at EOY, falls through to your personal taxes (assuming single person business)...now, take all your deductions from that....and what's left, is only taxed for state and federal....you save the SS and medicare taxation this way.

      What's left is all yours.

      100% perfectly legal, and if you just keep records...and play by the rules, you can save enough money to keep things worth the effort.

      Also, don't forget, you have your own insurance. That's no biggie, especially if getting into this young. Get yourself a "high deductible" insurance policy, which today is I believe $1500 (I don't have my files handy right now for exact numbers)...with this, you can open a HSA (Health Savings Account) into which you can sock away $3500 pre-tax, which also decreases your taxable income. Out of the HSA, you pay your routine meds...Dr. visits, optical, dentist...etc.

      The nice thing about a HSA..is that it is NOT use or lose like a FSA (Flexible Savings Acct. offered with some W2 jobs)....with HSA, any leftovers can be rolled over year after year. You can even invest monies in an HSA..and eventually excess can become retirement $$ for you.

      So, yes, you have to be responsible.

      Yes, you have to manage your money.

      Yes, you have to learn your worth and learn to NEGOTIATE...so that you can cover your expenses, money needed for retirement and insurance, and vacation time off. But this isn't rocket science, you just need to learn to become an adult and take care of yourself and learn how to protect your interests.

      One last piece of advice....if you are an American citizen, try to get into Federal Contracting...you can do LONG multi-year contracts that offer much more stability. If you can make sure not to have a lot of skull bong moment pictures of yourself on social media while growing up, you can pretty readily get a clearance....and then, you are really SET for profitable, long term money making with at least as much stability as today's W2 worker.

      Yes, the days of steady employment and loyalty from a company have been LONG over...if you're gonna get treated like a contractor and not have any more stability than a contractor...you might as well get the BILL RATE as a contractor to make it all worth while.

      That and you can save more of your hard earned tax $$'s this way too.

      • All this is fine in a place where you can make enough to do this...

        I live in PA and work in IT (I have over 15 years in the field) and when I see say... a 6 month contract. They are paying 10-20k. Figuring you get 2 of those back to back to fir perfectly in a year your take home is 20-40k for a year. Unless you live in your parents basement living on that and then incorporating on top of that is going to be pretty insanely expensive. Certainly it is without benefits. Simple health care is going to run you ~

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The days of a lifetime job at one company have been over for at least 3 decades really.

        Wrong. It's just less likely at bigger commercial concerns for work requiring less brainpower. But if you show yourself as invaluable to the survival or steady growth of a small firm, well, your boss will be as keen to keep you on as they are keen on the survival of their business. Ditto in academia, or even many larger non-profits. And most people aren't even working for big boys.

        network....make business contacts and friends,

        This is a way to get all the wrong sorts of jobs, though. "What qualifies you to be here?" "My friends put in a good word." This

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        The days of a lifetime job at one company have been over for at least 3 decades really.

        The days of a "lifetime job" NEVER happened. It is a myth. Average job tenure is higher today that it has ever been in the past. Sure, back in the 1960s, there were some people that worked at the same company for 40 years, but not as many as you may think, and there were a lot more that did day work and odd jobs.

      • Best post I've seen on here in ages. Watch and learn kiddies. This is the road map to success.

      • The trouble with that is after the ACA even the high deductible plans have sky high premiums in most states. Unless you make little enough money to qualify for subsidies you wind up subsidizing everyone else on the plan.

        • The trouble with that is after the ACA even the high deductible plans have sky high premiums in most states. Unless you make little enough money to qualify for subsidies you wind up subsidizing everyone else on the plan.

          My insurance is about $570/month.

          That's pretty easy to cover in the bill rate.

      • That is not long, someone must be used to "tweeter". 8-)

        Good description, some good ideas, thanks

        And I didn't see any tax fraud there, it is legal to deduct expenses. And most businesses have more expenses than they realize.

    • by LDAPMAN ( 930041 ) on Monday October 26, 2015 @06:11PM (#50806263)

      The "gig" economy is not about replacing in-house workers or saving money. Organizations are doing this to bring in specific skills and domain knowledge they could never hope to hire as a normal employee. I'm brought in as an addition to the team, not a replacement. I also usually provide training to the normal employees as well.

      • I'm brought in as an addition to the team, not a replacement. I also usually provide training to the normal employees as well.

        This, precisely, has been my experience. Although TFS points out (properly, I think) that "cloudiness" is a big influence, it's actually going the other way--the local IT staff have enough on their hands without having to learn all the ins and outs of the latest shiny toy that management has acquired, but didn't realize needs a lot of work to make operable.

      • The people complaining about stuff like this don't have 'specific skills'.

        I like:

        1) Doing something once

        2) Showing someone else how to do that so I can do 'something once' again.

        The 'gig' economy is great for workers like this.

      • The "gig" economy is not about replacing in-house workers or saving money. Organizations are doing this to bring in specific skills and domain knowledge they could never hope to hire as a normal employee. I'm brought in as an addition to the team, not a replacement. I also usually provide training to the normal employees as well.

        Good point.

        The problems mentioned are often because the person has no unusual skills, so they are competing with many hungry others.

        Hint: Study the hard stuff, that others don't want to bother with. Find a field where this seems to you to be fun. When people (who do not have your welfare at hart) tell you this is a waste of time, smile and nod and ignore them. 8-)

    • The cost of downtime is part of the contractors rate.
      120-240 an hour is to help pay for the weeks or months between jobs.

      If the company likes the person they renew his contract.

      Or you could charge half the amount and have a full time employee.

      Now these companies just need to realize that their employees are valuable and can bring more to the table, and not hire consultants to shift the blame of bad management

    • Not really.

      organizational memory doesn't matter as human resources are best strip-mined and cast aside. If you stop using dedicated company specific processes and use open processes the goal becomes easier. simply easy to train software, and organization processes, means that the company doesn't have to train people to do thing the right way, or the company way and still get things done.

      As a point of reference my companies regular accountant and financial advisor left 4 months ago, his responiliblites got

      • stop using dedicated company specific processes

        It makes me cringe every time I hear of another over budget, behind schedule, massive software boondoggle that some government bureaucracy or another has blown, and is now "starting over"... Really? You can't outsource payroll? Sheesh.
      • The question is: What does the company actually sell? Could it be those specific processes, that require special knowledge?

        If so, then outsourcing will destroy the company, because it will, in effect, have nothing to sell... 8-(

    • by imac.usr ( 58845 )

      Sure, but if every project gets replaced with something brand-new every couple of years as management chases tech trends, what's the value of institutional memory anymore?

    • That depends on the complexity of the system and how specialized it is for the business. Some things can and should be outsourced. Email? Easily outsourced, it's a commodity. Security? Chances are it should be outsourced for your typical organization, who isn't going have qualified staff and therefore poses a risk not only to themselves to but the whole internet. That custom application at the core of the business? Not so much.

      • by dablow ( 3670865 )

        Outsourcing your e-mail isn't quite the deal it looks like it is.
        In some scenarios it's cheaper and in some it is not. It all depends on your situation.

        For example: I managed IT in a school. M$ licenses cost almost nothing (due to school pricing). So right off the bat I get Exchange & Windows server for approx ~$260. I have a simple 2 server+ SAN setup with vmware & HA enabled on it. System is pretty redundant and solid. Never gone down except due to my own stupidity. If I outsource our e-mail, last

        • So as long you get your licenses practically for free, ignore other related infrastructure costs, along with cost of administration, it makes more sense to do it yourself? Yeah, I can see that.

          • by dablow ( 3670865 )

            Ok, I'll bite.....

            What other infrastructure costs am I ignoring? Like I mentioned in my post, I still need to keep it all around for the other servers I host (and to move those to a cloud provider would require a lot of time & $$$ to make things work), and last I checked the students & staff's computers depend on you know network infrastructure. As for the administration, I would still be the one doing the administration regardless it's clouded or not. In every possible scenario I can conceive of cl

    • by pfg23 ( 132876 )
      Organizational memory isn't valuable, viz. Sturgeon's Law.
    • >...will soon learn a painful, and very expensive lesson in the dollar value of organizational memory.
      Citation? My experience is that they haven't yet and I would not expect them to start now.

      • >...will soon learn a painful, and very expensive lesson in the dollar value of organizational memory.
        Citation? My experience is that they haven't yet and I would not expect them to start now.

        It's simple enough. If they are successful, then it was not needed. If the company disappears and most employees lose everything, then they were wrong.

        But there is a delay effect, and the bigger the company the longer the delay. Beware of joining a company where the delay has already started.

  • basic health insurance for all is needed maybe even basic income.

    • Freedom works better than socialist feudal states.

      • by rednip ( 186217 )
        As a nation we pay more for healthcare than any other country, yet we are the 'least socialized' of all the major counties. Perhaps some day you'll understand your place in the self sucking machine of right wing outrage that the GOP has tapped into.
      • by rcase5 ( 3781471 )

        Oh, you mean like the United States of America?

      • Being ill with no way of affording the treatment is freedom? Your dictionary must be very different to mine.

      • Freedom works better than socialist feudal states.

        But apparently repeating propaganda slogans about how well off you are works too, at least for a while longer. Just like in the old Soviet Union.

    • Because socialism has worked so well in all the countries it has been tried in.
      • Seems to work pretty well in Norway, Switzerland, Germany, the Netherlands and many others.

        • Parts of it work well, the rest tends to create all kinds of problems over time. The parts that work well are the ones which ensure equality of opportunity rather than outcomes and involve low amounts of bureaucracy.
      • by jsepeta ( 412566 )

        It actually has (sweden)

    • basic health insurance for all is needed maybe even basic income.

      Well, if contracting, all you have to do, is put on your Big Boy pants...and learn to negotiate your bill rate to be enough to cover your salary needs, vacation/sick day needs...AND you healthcare needs.

      It isn't rocket science. That is why contractor rates are so much higher than W2 rates. You take the matters into consideration.

      And as I mentioned before, there are advantages, get a high deductible medical insurance...which is about $1500 a

  • by Joe_Dragon ( 2206452 ) on Monday October 26, 2015 @05:41PM (#50806095)

    IRS and others need to crack down on 1099 abuse.

    1099's are ok when used right but lot's of places want the control of a w2 worker but don't want the ACA, taxes, labor rights, worker comp, overtime, etc that comes with them.

    • by zlives ( 2009072 )

      you clearly don't get the "disruptive" economy/business model.

      also i am now going to be creating a airfreshnerbnb to rent out my toilet.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        i am now going to be creating a airfreshnerbnb to rent out my toilet.

        Your first review:

        After an 'All you can eat Taco' bar I challenged this throne to the test. Sadly it did not pass and while the (once) white 'wall to wall' shag carpeting was nice, it is now 'not a plus'. Also, the blinking red light was a bit of a distraction.

        • by zlives ( 2009072 )

          heheh truly disgusting... but i did get to monetize the video so i guess thats something.

    • 1099's are ok when used right but lot's of places want the control of a w2 worker but don't want the ACA, taxes, labor rights, worker comp, overtime, etc that comes with them.

      Well, there is NO abuse if you as the contract worker know enough to adjust your bill rate to cover taxes, benefits, etc. You still get them, but you manage and pay them rather than some HR person.

      And as a contract worker, you damn sure get paid EVERY hour your work. They want 80 hours that week...you get paid 80 hours of your billab

  • "organizations shifting their staffing models toward project-based, contingent work in hopes of landing the key skills necessary for their businesses to stay competitive in a constantly evolving technical landscape"

    really!! organizations follow constantly evolving technical landscape rather than their business? if so... probably jump ship post haste.

  • the days of decades-long careers in corporate environments dwindling for many IT pros

    Those days never existed. Hiring and layoffs have always been based on skills needed this year.

    • by Groink ( 887306 )

      the days of decades-long careers in corporate environments dwindling for many IT pros

      Those days never existed. Hiring and layoffs have always been based on skills needed this year.

      You could potentially stay with a company for a while if you demonstrated the ability shift roles and learn new technologies as they emerge. The death knell for any IT worker is when they proclaim "I only do [this speciality]!" Work on your IT jeet kun do and you are likely to preserve your longevity with a company that keeps in-house IT. I'll admit to having worked in non-traditional technical roles at non-traditional companies, so YMMV.

      • You could potentially stay with a company for a while if you demonstrated the ability shift roles and learn new technologies as they emerge.

        Or, you can do what one of my friends did: specialize in maintenance programming in the one language (COBOL in her case) that her company uses. She's been there for over thirty years, and expects to stay there until she retires. Of course, in her case it helps that everything she works on was developed in-house, and it would cost way, way too much to migrate to som
    • by rcase5 ( 3781471 )

      That's not true. My grandfather worked at IBM for 25 years as an Electrical Engineer, designing and building computer hardware. He retired with a pension and everything. But he started working for them in the 60s, and retired in the 90s. He was the tail-end of the old-fashioned IBM where you worked there "for life".

      Even when I started in the IT industry in the early 90s, there was still some degree of companies making commitments to their employees, investing in their success and striving to earn their loya

  • Software is eating the world, as the saying goes. Organizations that refuse to invest in building and maintaining software that defines their businesses will simply fail. You can't wish away the incidental complexity of creating software, and it takes YEARS of experience to learn how to minimize the accidental complexity. Until the singularity comes and Skynet puts us all out of our misery; software is here to stay, and only getting bigger.

    So: I say, keep your technical skills sharp and go into consultin

  • There will always be contract workers and automation. It is generally a business's responsibility to profit as much as possible. Time and human resources are often the most expensive assets on the books. As an IT worker you can't, or probably shouldn't, help to change these behaviors. Instead focus on what you love. Get as good as you can at what you find the most natural. If you work 45 to 50 years, you will find that unless you enjoy what you do your mental state will suffer. That may bleed into your pers

  • It seems to me like finding qualified, full time IT talent is next to impossible. There are too many tech jobs that need to be done and not enough people with the skills to do them. Therefore the people who have the skills that companies need turn into consultants and earn considerably more than they would if they were to work in house.

    On the other side of the equation, companies do not seem to want to invest in training employees when they can simply outsource the work (and the risk). They hang on their

  • The longer view (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MountainLogic ( 92466 ) on Monday October 26, 2015 @05:58PM (#50806203) Homepage
    Please excuse someone from outside of IT as I work on embedded systems (who could possibly need more than 640 bytes of RAM), but at some point IT really needs to mature and stop making every application one off in-house prototypes. Some applications have stabilized and are expected to be delivered as COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) products, for example word processors and spreadsheets. Far too many business products have to be (or needlessly are) customized to death. ERP, HR, accounting, etc. Seriously, does a HR program have to be more flexible than a spreadsheet? Should an ERP program require more expertise to setup than a workprocessor? Someday someone in charge is going to catch on that all of this flexibility and customization if far more expensive than any promised gain and just work with a cloud product out of the box. Sure there will always be a super user in every dept/company who is the goto person, but that person really should not be in the the IT department. Everyplace I've worked the most knowledgeable Excel folks are the MBAs, not dev engineers or IT. When this happens you can expect to see a quick death to many IT departments. At one time every factory had an electrical engineer to run an engine to make electricity. With very few exceptions, those practicing EE jobs are now at utilities, architects or electronics companies. It is not that folks working in IT departments may not be doing good work, the problem is that the same problem is being solved in a thousand different companies. At one time IT excellence was a competitive advantage, for example Fed Ex, but now it is a common commodity base utility line like water or power. Why can't it be a something bought as a commodity?
    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      The problem with standardization of biz practices is that marketers and MBA's are always dreaming up gimmicks to allegedly stay ahead of the competition, both for external sales and internal "management practices". A lot of it is probably just useless fads; but, if they want to computerize a fad, you have to supply what they want, or they take their biz elsewhere.

      Automating stupidity is job security, I guess.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I guess the point you're missing is that those MBA's are looking at the investment in ERP and realize that they sometimes make sense. We can pay 20k in software development to customize something, but it saves a minute every time we run that specific transaction. With high usage, that makes sense pretty quickly, so eventually the whole ERP system is custom and we aren't using much "standard" functionality anymore.

    • by agaznog ( 642529 )
      "Why can't it be a something bought as a commodity?" If a business model, and supporting computational models, become a commodity, then that business had better move on, evolve or die. So just as business must evolve, so must its supporting applications. "Seriously, does a HR program have to be more flexible than a spreadsheet? Should an ERP program require more expertise to setup than a wordprocessor?" You clearly have never worked in a sufficiently complex business environment where spreadsheets and wo
      • The legal environment also changes. Good luck propagating all your change requests through to 2000 staff members through Excel spreadsheets when the government passes a law that changes your wage payouts.
  • This isn't really all that new. Back in the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's I did "Consulting". Back then it meant something different than how I see people use the word now. What I did was come in to a company, solve a problem for them such as organizing something, writing a custom application, training them, setting up systems. I was a contract employee in effect except I wasn't an employee, there were no benefits and I didn't expect any. I worked for myself. I got the job done. I billed. I got paid. Worked fin

  • by roca ( 43122 )

    It seems very risky to me to have contractors set up a very complex system (i.e. any software system) and then move on. They will not be able to write down all the information you need to maintain it properly.

    Of course this happens all the time already, but that doesn't make it healthy.

  • adjusting (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gravis Zero ( 934156 ) on Monday October 26, 2015 @06:12PM (#50806277)

    have many organizations shifting their staffing models toward project-based, contingent work in hopes of landing the key skills necessary for their businesses to stay competitive in a constantly evolving technical landscape. ... How should you adjust to this shifting employment landscape?

    the "gig economy" actually isn't new. this happened with blue collar work and they got abused badly until they formed unions. why do you think this will end any differently?

  • I have several IT friends who are unemployed and they're noticing that companies have notes on the job description that goes along the lines of "We will not hire those with large amounts of contractor work". I'm not anywhere near the IT business; does anyone know why companies are going this route?
    • by waspleg ( 316038 )

      I don't know about the will not hire part, but from the (admittedly small) circle of people I know this isn't limited to IT at all.

      Companies are in a race to the bottom in the insatiable lust for more quarterly profits. This means cutting people off just under the legal limits where they would otherwise be considered full time employees and entitled to "benefits" such as health insurance.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Because people who work as contractors are the type that don't stick around. Contrary to Slashdotters opinion, companies want people who will stay with the company for years. Really all the stuff posted here is complete bullshit. Companies want long term workers. If workers leave, the company loses institutional knowledge and has to spend more training the new hire and it takes time for them to be productive.

    • Anecdote != data, but here's my experience from having to interview candidates as a small part of my job:

      If all things were ideal, companies wouldn't want to burn through employees. Having a revolving door of people who work for 6 months then disappear is detrimental to productivity. There's a magic balance to walk in this case -- hire someone who wants stability for the right reasons. Some people want stable work because they want to coast. Others who are otherwise great employees have a family to support

  • by Berkyjay ( 1225604 ) on Monday October 26, 2015 @06:25PM (#50806351)
    Why just sit back and let these new Robber Barons screw the hell out of you just so they can improve their profit margin? How about refuse to work for anyone who doesn't offer you a full time job with benefits?
  • Whether you contract or have a W2 job, learn to live on half of your net-pay-after-taxes. Yes, this means at least a decade or two of cheap housing, a cheap car, and hardly ever eating out or going to a movie.

    You'll need the savings to get you through periods of unemployment, pay for education if you need to do some major re-training because your skills are too "niche" to get you past your current job, and pay for an involuntary early retirement or chronic under-employment if you are unfortunate enough to

  • Bingo!! (Score:3, Funny)

    by aXis100 ( 690904 ) on Monday October 26, 2015 @07:11PM (#50806567)

    I call buzzword bingo!!!

    Doing this non-anonymously because karma hardly seems worth it if this is the standard of writing these days.

  • Everything old is new again - we've finally ditched a whole lot of Virtual Basic shitty little applications by developers that did them and vanished, so now we need a new wave of things where bugs have to be worked around instead of fixed?
    Even perfect software can become unusable due to changing circumstances around it. Unless the software is only for short term use there is a need for someone to maintain it for longer than the short term.
  • I'm thinking I'll be employed until i'm 50 then fuck it all to hell

  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Tuesday October 27, 2015 @10:00AM (#50810009)

    We're not at the point yet where every single tech employer is a sweatshop that operates a revolving door of contractors instead of full time staff. I would say we're heading that way, simply because IT services companies advertise their outsourcing/contracting services to the executives as a complete solution to their problems. No matter how much development is Agile and divorced from the actual business process, or how commoditized the systems everything runs on are, there will always be some institutional knowledge that gets lost. I've worked for companies that have gone down the outsourcing road, and some are actually coming back to in-house IT for some aspects of their operations. I think the pendulum will come back to some kind of middle ground soon. Not everything will be an in house function, but you might not have to string 5 or 6 short contracts together into a full year of employment.

    Not every employer subscribes to the "contract everything" theory. Most large public ones have no choice because they're under so much pressure to reduce cost (at least on paper) by any means necessary. But, most businesses that value IT even slightly know that losing an employee can be difficult and they try to keep them. My employer, at least for now, has employed people for very long stretches and prefers people who will stick around and contribute for the long haul. The problem is that when you start dealing with rotating contractors, no matter how well things are documented, things get missed. It's the difference between writing down a sterile operations procedure for some offshore person who doesn't know anything about your company, and knowing how that process affects operations locally.

    I do think that if we do allow employers to divorce themselves of their employee responsibilities, something needs to fill the void to provide stability. A professional guild is the best fit in my mind. There's just no other way - IT and programming in particular is a creative skill set. You have a wide range of personalities and negotiation abilities. I see several serial contractors responding to this thread telling people to put their big boy pants on and negotiate their bill rates...I think they fail to realize that most people don't want to do that, nor have the skill, and would rather do the work they're good at. I think that someone who's 24 now, with zero responsibility and bouncing between 3 month contracts that they feel are effortless to obtain, will feel very different when they turn 40, have kids, and need to wear the big boy pants both at home and at work. Suddenly stable employment starts looking like a good option.

  • Same thing happened in the 1990's for tech workers as part of the DotCom Boom. It works for a short time, but only in a very strong economy. The economy isn't good enough to support it like it did then; it's being promulgated for othe reasons right now.
  • From the first exchanges of pooling foodstuffs via tithing to unionism to wall street, pooled cooperative effort has been the great society game change mechanism. It is time the worker begin the cooperative effort to control their own destiny in the gig economy. I have written a white paper on what a work exchange could look like that has the worker as the owner not just the product. http://www.metier.com/the-demo... [metier.com]

Computers don't actually think. You just think they think. (We think.)

Working...