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Posted: 7/24/2002 9:56:49 AM EDT
It all started in a cold, dark basement. A young computer enthusiast armed with a 300 baud Hayes modem and a CompuServe account. At thirteen years of age, he never dreamed of pursuing a computer job, just downloading yet another cool wargames BASIC program and customizing it a bit. Fast forward to college. His fellow classmates in electrical engineering school could barely use a personal computer. Most of the computer science profs. had little to do with those "desktop" PC's, perferring their "dumb" terminal and their newly acquired "time share" option. OHHHH the power! Fast forward to today. Every Tom Dick and Harry with a finance or econ. degree operates a computer and is an IT wizzard. VB? Yep no problem. Java? Yep, done it. Windows NT? No problem, a chimp could integrate 100 servers and run a large corporation. With the commoditization of yet another staple industry, what the hell are we going to do now? Engineering is going to China and Japan. Software is outsourced to India or better yet given to H1B folks here. I don't blame youngsters for not pursuing Hi-Tech careers. I'm thinking that a job at Home Depot is right up my alley right about now. Of course when I get layed off, I won't have a choice. Just my opinion. I could be wrong . . . [BD] Yes, I am have had a really depressing last couple of years as a "Business Tech. Consultant".
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 10:23:55 AM EDT
a couple of years into my Data Processing (that's IT for you post-early-80s C++/java/perl punks) career, a bunch of us hot CoBOL, PL/I and system 360 JCL coders sat around at a bar one night after a long shift shooting the bull. and the question finally came around to this: "what is the ultimate goal of writing computer programs?" and in our slightly sloshed state, we reached this conclusion: to put ourselves out of work. that's right, to unemploy ourselves by automating everything in sight. and we've done a good job of it. some of it was farming out the work to the end user with pretty user interfaces and report generators, and some of it is simply that there's so damn much software out there. nobody writes new word processors or spreadsheets or data base engines. it's all "enhancements" and maintenance and "sys admin" now. only one problem. nobody bothered to ask how we were going to keep food on our tables and wolves away from the door. in our idealism we just assumed that we'd all be rich and famous, and no problem. so now the corps are sending away the few remaining programming jobs out to india or russia, and here we are looking for min-wage work at mickey-d's while Mr bill contemplates which country to buy. ain't DP grand?
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 10:30:51 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 10:33:35 AM EDT
At one point last year, I considered hiring H1B people myself (I own a small T consulting company). Then I got pissed at myself for even having to think that way and refused to do it. I will load trucks on the night shift before I start doing that kind of crap just to keep the doors open. Here is a small positive bit of news. I have noticed at my clients a backlash from the users. They want IT people who speak the language and get it right the first time! Hang in there man. Turn off CNN and other "Bad news 24 hours a day" channels. Just make it to next year, things will be better. Can you do SAS or Peoplesoft?
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 10:43:42 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 10:44:55 AM EDT
Makes me happier than ever I picked a job in QA. As long as there are developers and stupid people using programs, there is QA work to be done. It isn't as popular as development work, I may not make as much money, but I have job security.
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 11:05:22 AM EDT
Ignorant question of the day: What is an H1B employee?
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 11:17:57 AM EDT
Beerslayer, Support desks?! Screw that stuff. That is a total commodity driven function now. So many shops are treating that like a neccesary evil and outsourcing to the lowest bidder. I am surprised how many don't even test stuff anynmore. Quality is shit these days. When I say users, I mean the end users we are developing new code for, such as PHD's at Eli Lilly or Engineers at various shops, or Marketing Directors for CRM systems. They are tired of paying big bucks for a systrem that does not even fit the original specs. Overseas competiton has the edge on price for volume projects that involve tons of code and little communications. But if they have to work local with the end users on a regular basis to develop specs and so forth, that is their weakness. The short timers in our business will be gone soon with this bad economy. Most of them have not been through a down turn before. The dotcom crap has settled down. The bad economy probably also means less IT grads in the coming years. This is very similar to 1990, only the econmy is worse and for a longer period of time. Just like the early 90's, those who stick it out will be rewarded. And some day when you are a CIO or in management, you can make sure you don't outsource the work to foregin nationals!
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 11:24:41 AM EDT
My wife's company is sub-contracting out application development on client/server platforms to India. Man, I find it was hard to communicate with my users when they were just across the hallway, now half-way around the world, across 12 time-zones. Good luck.
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 11:24:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/24/2002 11:25:32 AM EDT by rcsguns]
I think you are right Zoub. They are shedding managers like bathing suits at a nudist colony around here. If I could just hang on I might become what I hate the most: A MANAGER. [grenade]
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 11:26:25 AM EDT
Fatman, An H1B can be many things. An Ex-terrorist wanna-be turned Capitalist is one example. Most are just people who want to take your job for less money (or more if possible) Send the money back home, then retire to the their mother land a rich person who owns lots of land. Technically, an H1B is a work visa for foreigners. In order to work, you have to fill out an I-9 form with your employer. You have to provide information to legally fill it out, like a social security card and a photo ID. Foreginers must have a work visa. When you work in the USA and are not a citizen and don't have a work visa, you beome one of the millions of "Illegal immigrants" you hear about on TV. The ones the govt is talking about rewarding with visas. The same ones who come here illegally to give birth so their kids can claim US citizenship. Complete crap in my book. Just like NAFTA
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 11:27:34 AM EDT
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 11:34:37 AM EDT
Even more depressing is this: The CEO's, top kicks, fat cats, etc. are the ones doing this to us. I read another article where Mexico is loosing its work to China. Irony of all ironies. Maybe I need to focus on my inner child and accept the "one world" economy stuff. We have to do something or our kids will have nothing but service industry jobs to go to soon.
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 11:44:23 AM EDT
Originally Posted By rcsguns: Even more depressing is this: The CEO's, top kicks, fat cats, etc. are the ones doing this to us.
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You mean the golden parachute wearing even if the company goes belly up; I'll walk away with impunity and billions in my pocket fat cats???
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 11:51:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/24/2002 11:55:07 AM EDT by mattja]
rcsguns, there is nothing more dangerous than a business major with one semester of VB or Pascal under his belt who thinks he can program. Trust me, these are not the people you need to worry about. Like yourself, the greatest worry I have is that young people will chose not to go into CS. And why should they? All they have to do is look at their fathers, who are treated as commodities and then laid off so their employers can hire H1-B workers or farm the work out to India or Russia for 1/4 the cost. Many in the industry predicted this would be the outcome, and it appears to be happening. Thank the ITAA and those who listened to them (and certain Representatives and Senators from both major parties.) But in the end, someone has to know something. A lot of IT consulting companies were fobbing-off inexperienced H1-B workers with questionable skills and education to big business, charging over $100/hour for their services. That may have worked in the late 90's, but it will not work today. Budgets are being slashed and many companies are now finding it's cheaper in the long run to hire Americans. In fact, I was reading in the paper a few weeks ago that H1-B workers are being shown the door. I guess managers are getting tired or hearing broken English all day. As an American worker, I got sick of hearing Indian and Chinese at work all day myself. The only time I ever hired non-Americans was when management told me I must hire from a certain bodyshop, and that bodyshop happened to offer no one but H1-B workers. Anyway, looking back on my 17-year IT career, I don't really have any regrets. I enjoy the work and I like to solve problems. At this point, I'm not sure there's anything else I would like to be. And I'm too old to be a man-whore.
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 11:57:21 AM EDT
Originally Posted By The_Beer_Slayer: I asked them why they just don't go with a US based company and they said that they tried. Either the cost was double or the application they needed was not available without being customized at a substantialy higher cost.
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It's the bottom line, nothing more.
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 12:02:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/24/2002 12:03:27 PM EDT by Benjamin0001]
There are several fields in computer science which are still wide open for innovation. That is controller, Hardware programming, Robotics, Machine control. In other words to test your best abilities venture away from Bill Gates and Windows and the Internet and go into programming hardware where you are actually very close to the engineering side of things. And no I don't mean the (I am a software Engineer) titles that are handed out to everybody and their dog.. I am talking about an honest to god Hardware Guru. I am talking about Motorola HC6811 Microcontrollers, Robotic servo's, Flight control systems, Industrial control systems. Where you are programming for integrated analog and digital systems. All kinds of stuff where bill gates and the Cookie cutter language dare not step..
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 12:04:08 PM EDT
Beer Slayer, What is cosindered to be the primary language spoken at your office?!! I apologize, but I am still laughing at your last post. All of this crap is why my partner and I started our own LOCALLY OWNED company. You get the same great IT people, we pay them well, our turnover is low, we charge the client less, and I am convinced our quality is better. Our clients agree. Our focus is on low overhead. Everyone works, everyone contributes to the bottom line. I drive a truck and we don't have any bird baths or roman marble floors in our lobby. We are also still in business. Another IT fact, none of the Indians I know in IT shoot AR's. What is up with that? Maybe that comes from their previous close ties to England?
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 12:09:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/24/2002 12:12:57 PM EDT by Zoub]
Benjamin0001 is right. That is where I started in this business in the 80's, recruiting SW Engineers who can do Motorolla stuff for engine controllers (Delco & Cummins). For the past few years I have been trying to get us back to that area and those clients. Now we are. Death to windows! PS this is great! While typing this I just took a call from a chinese guy whio is the actuary that administers our 401k plan. My wife is an actuary, but her company was not interested in our business because we were to small.
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 12:10:53 PM EDT
Perhaps an alternate thread of equal interest would be: "What is it with computer/IT guys and guns?" I attended a class at Front Sight and Dr. Piazza took a cross section of the attendees. After about 3/4 the room raised their hands when he asked for "computer dudes", he asked the same question. Scary . . . Well edumacated and armed. [heavy]
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 12:21:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/24/2002 12:29:55 PM EDT by GodBlessTexas]
Originally Posted By rcsguns: Fast forward to today. Every Tom Dick and Harry with a finance or econ. degree operates a computer and is an IT wizzard. VB? Yep no problem. Java? Yep, done it. Windows NT? No problem, a chimp could integrate 100 servers and run a large corporation.
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No, every Tom Dick and Harry is not an IT wizard. If they were, I wouldn't have as much work as I do now. The problem is everyone thinks they're an IT wizard until they find that even integrating 100 systems in an NT network is not a walk in the park. After they properly screw everything up is when I get called in. I had a friend who recently attended an MCSE training class to upgrade his MCSE, as he was NT 4.0 certified. Unlike most MCSE's, he was actually really knowledgable about the NT innards, far beyond "Add a printer" and "Setup IIS." He said 3/4 of the people in the classs were not in a job that was even remotely IT related, at least 4 of them didn't even own a computer. That's scary. As far as VB and Java, those are high level languages. Lower level stuff like Assembly is still the domain of the true geeks. I fear any IT Wizard or "Power User," but they're generally the guys who keep me busy. Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 12:25:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By mattja: . . But in the end, someone has to know something. A lot of IT consulting companies were fobbing-off inexperienced H1-B workers with questionable skills and education to big business, charging over $100/hour for their services. That may have worked in the late 90's, but it will not work today. Budgets are being slashed and many companies are now finding it's cheaper in the long run to hire Americans. In fact, I was reading in the paper a few weeks ago that H1-B workers are being shown the door. I guess managers are getting tired or hearing broken English all day. As an American worker, I got sick of hearing Indian and Chinese at work all day myself. The only time I ever hired non-Americans was when management told me I must hire from a certain bodyshop, and that bodyshop happened to offer no one but H1-B workers.
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Man, I thought I was the only person who had problems with H1-b people from India. Actually those folks are quite bright and are really nice, but sh!t I couldn't understand a fvcking word they said. I wouln't mind teaching these folks English, but man with all those tight deadlines, I just flat out couldn't do it.
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 12:31:09 PM EDT
I first started into computers just over 30 years ago, so I've seen a lot of strange things but I have never figured-out why I hear so many companies complain about not being able to find people when I know more computer people than not (like me) that don't have a job in the field. It just doesn't make sense.z
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 12:33:02 PM EDT
As a recently "Job Eliminated" computer programmer, I know what H1B is. I wrote to my representatives Schumer, Clinton, and McCarthy (hey I didn't vote for 'em) asking that they vote to discontinue giving out H1B visas. There are a lot of unemployed US programmers and the H1B's will work for a lot less. I received a "canned" response from Clinton and McCarthy, and nothing from Schumer. Oh well. ________________________________________ If you can keep your head, while all around you are losing theirs, you obviously don’t know what’s going on. (Or you have an AR-15)
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 12:46:07 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/24/2002 12:48:01 PM EDT by warlord]
Originally Posted By zoom: I first started into computers just over 30 years ago, so I've seen a lot of strange things but I have never figured-out why I hear so many companies complain about not being able to find people when I know more computer people than not (like me) that don't have a job in the field. It just doesn't make sense.z
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I think a good analogy is, there is a shortage of gasoline in the world. I can't seem to find any gasoline for $.50 a gallon. Of course there is a shortage of gasoline at $.50/gal because the going rate in the USA is somewhere around a $1.50. Writing computer programs is not like punching out tin cans in a factory, a certain amount of creativity is involved.
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 12:53:10 PM EDT
Couple years back the manager of an A/C repair firm told me he couldn't keep good help because nobody wanted to work outside, in hot attics, etc. They all wanted to become dot.com millionaires....guess what...all of a sudden the A/C guys are back [:D]
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 1:00:01 PM EDT
There were 6 h1b programmers at the office I used to work at. They were laid off 2.5 years ago. 3 of them were extremely nice, interesting, and spoke excellent english. Folks like them. The other three were not so high on the US, didn't speak great english, and not so many folks liked them. All 6 were from India. The first three, after being laid off, immediately found new work. They wanted to stay here and become citizens eventually (and I, of course, worked on their pro-gun sentiments). They weren't looking for a handout, or help, they wanted to be a productive part of the US. So not all H1B's are bad, it depends on the circumstances and the people themselves. (the other 3 are home now [:)]) The best part was, about a year ago, the rest of the development team was going to get cut and the work sent to India. That decision was announced at 9:30am one morning. By 12:30, enough customers had called and said they'd drop us like a hot rock if we didn't change our minds. At 1:30 the development team's severance packages were retracted and they are still working there today. Home depot is starting to look like a new career choice. Anyone know how much they start at?
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 1:10:19 PM EDT
Dudes, relax! The IT and Development fields have been commoditized. It was going to happen! Only the absolute experts still have their road paved with gold. You have simply joined the rest of the working world at this point.
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 1:31:19 PM EDT
Originally Posted By GodBlessTexas:
Originally Posted By rcsguns: Fast forward to today. Every Tom Dick and Harry with a finance or econ. degree operates a computer and is an IT wizzard. VB? Yep no problem. Java? Yep, done it. Windows NT? No problem, a chimp could integrate 100 servers and run a large corporation.
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No, every Tom Dick and Harry is not an IT wizard. If they were, I wouldn't have as much work as I do now. The problem is everyone thinks they're an IT wizard until they find that even integrating 100 systems in an NT network is not a walk in the park. After they properly screw everything up is when I get called in. I had a friend who recently attended an MCSE training class to upgrade his MCSE, as he was NT 4.0 certified. Unlike most MCSE's, he was actually really knowledgable about the NT innards, far beyond "Add a printer" and "Setup IIS." He said 3/4 of the people in the classs were not in a job that was even remotely IT related, at least 4 of them didn't even own a computer. That's scary. As far as VB and Java, those are high level languages. Lower level stuff like Assembly is still the domain of the true geeks. I fear any IT Wizard or "Power User," but they're generally the guys who keep me busy. Remember the Alamo, and God Bless Texas...
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Hey! I know Assembly....'Course I hven't used it in years... You're right. The paper admins are FAR too common out there. That's why Apple is able to find one who complains that he has to 'struggle to keep his Windows machines running' and he 'doesn't see the BSOD with osX'.....
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 1:40:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/24/2002 1:41:53 PM EDT by BenDover]
Trench level coders are indeed a commodity item. There is ZERO tolerance for creativity at the coder level. You will be provided with a UML diagram, an ERD, a spec sheet, and a deadline. Creativity is exclusive to system architects. Incidently, there are absolutely not enough enterprise level architects. Prices have skyrocketed converse to the falling rates indicitave to commoditization of the pure labor efforts of coders. You want to make $300K next year as a techie without being a partner or owning the company? Learn UML or Rational Rose. Learn how to diagram object oriented systems and build a project development plan for the project manager. It's a multidisciplinary effort which requires expert knowledge in network engineering, hardware, database engineering, information flow, organizational behavior, human factors (UI), and last - but, not least - guru status programming in multiple languages on multiple platforms including old mainframe systems (since most data repositories are still housed in these). I sit around all day and develop $50 million project plans I will be nowhere near when they complete. I wear shorts and sandals to the office. I listen to White Stripes at full blast. I frequently will work for 30 hours straight with only short pee breaks. I am at the top of the IT food chain. I frequently get paid more than the IT manager or even the CIO. I am the envy of the programming world. I am hated by coders and loved by end users and project managers. I am half sales/half geek. I thrive on my bipolar disorder and feed my OCD. Yes, I am an enterprise systems architect and I love my job.
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 2:11:36 PM EDT
Originally Posted By GodBlessTexas: As far as VB and Java, those are high level languages. Lower level stuff like Assembly is still the domain of the true geeks.
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Call me a geek then because I love Assembler. It's probably the most overlooked language there is. Back in the 80's we had full-featured ISAMs written in Assembler that compiled down to 24k. Try than in C++. he he It still has its place. If you need optimized data copy operations and the like, Assembler is the way to go. Even the best optimizing compilers can't comes close to the efficiency possible through intelligently written Assembler.
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 2:17:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ProfessorEvil: They wanted to stay here and become citizens eventually (and I, of course, worked on their pro-gun sentiments). They weren't looking for a handout, or help, they wanted to be a productive part of the US.
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If this is the case, they should have applied for a green card, not an H1-B VISA. It is illegal to use the H1-B as an entry vehicle to obtain US citizenship. It's spelled out quite clearly in the law, but the INS ignores it because it isn't PC.
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 2:28:15 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BenDover: Trench level coders are indeed a commodity item. There is ZERO tolerance for creativity at the coder level. You will be provided with a UML diagram, an ERD, a spec sheet, and a deadline. Creativity is exclusive to system architects. Incidently, there are absolutely not enough enterprise level architects. Prices have skyrocketed converse to the falling rates indicitave to commoditization of the pure labor efforts of coders. You want to make $300K next year as a techie without being a partner or owning the company? Learn UML or Rational Rose. Learn how to diagram object oriented systems and build a project development plan for the project manager. It's a multidisciplinary effort which requires expert knowledge in network engineering, hardware, database engineering, information flow, organizational behavior, human factors (UI), and last - but, not least - guru status programming in multiple languages on multiple platforms including old mainframe systems (since most data repositories are still housed in these). I sit around all day and develop $50 million project plans I will be nowhere near when they complete. I wear shorts and sandals to the office. I listen to White Stripes at full blast. I frequently will work for 30 hours straight with only short pee breaks. I am at the top of the IT food chain. I frequently get paid more than the IT manager or even the CIO. I am the envy of the programming world. I am hated by coders and loved by end users and project managers. I am half sales/half geek. I thrive on my bipolar disorder and feed my OCD. Yes, I am an enterprise systems architect and I love my job.
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Dude, you're laying it on a little thick there. [rolleyes]
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 2:32:51 PM EDT
Call me a geek then because I love Assembler. It's probably the most overlooked language there is. Back in the 80's we had full-featured ISAMs written in Assembler that compiled down to 24k. Try than in C++. he he
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You can't get that tight of code without assembler. But you can get close with C++ IFF you are NOT programming for the Windows Object Class and the Windows API.
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 2:54:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/24/2002 3:01:22 PM EDT by BenDover]
Originally Posted By mattja: Dude, you're laying it on a little thick there. [rolleyes]
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Sorry man. I just get tired of hearing the techie whines about the job market. Even in the wake of a sluggish economy, 1.5 million IT jobs will go unfilled this year (source: Nat. IT Manager's Assn). The problem with US IT workers is that they are spoiled. The cush ride is over and it's time to separate the wheat from the chaff. Not just any Tom Dick or Harry can decide to be a geek and jump on the wagon anymore. There are 4 keys to succeeding in the IT arena. 1. Learn the dynamics of key business decision drivers as they pertain to IT in your company, specialty niche, and vertical industry. Even if you don't like or care about things like marketing, sales, operations, etc... You MUST understand the role that IT plays in your business as a whole. That way you will be better positioned to recognize key issues long before they hit. eg. I saw the writing on the wall in 1999 and realized the cottage industry .COM days were over. I needed a bigger partner so I merged with a much larger company for a smaller piece of a much larger pie. I saw the writing on the wall in 2001 (while the recession was in full swing) and left the .COM business to return to government IT contracting. It took me 1 day to put another gig together. Nearly every competitor firm I talk to is currently hiring just like my firm. 2. Learn to like (and even communicate effectively with) users and non-tech management. You communication skills with non-technical people will make or break your career. There are very few pure tech positions in the industry where you collaborate only with extreme geek. The extreme side of this is that there is a huge shortage of high comp tech sales people. If you are tech AND can sell? Damn! That's the shiznit there. $200K+ 3. ALWAYS TRY TO FIND A WAY TO ATTACH DIRECT REVENUE TO YOUR EFFORTS. That way it's harder for management to sever a direct revenue producing relationship between PEOPLE. People buy from people. When your only customer is internal to your organization (ie. you are overhead staff), it's a simple task to downsize you. When you are directly responsible for billable revenue, it's a tougher decision to let you go. 4. Get out of the hole and meet people. Networking will provide you with new ideas, collaboration, and JOB PROSPECTS. Go to the Linux users group meetings - even if they just sit around and talk about AD&D for an hour. Meet other pros in your field. That way you have FRIENDS and ASSOCIATES to call upon when you are in need of work... not faceless names and email addresses like careers@ibm.com. I know it is tough out there, but it's only impossible for people who want to stay status quo. True achievers will rarely be out of work for extended periods of time because they plan for and are ready for any abrupt work stoppage.
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 3:01:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Benjamin0001: There are several fields in computer science which are still wide open for innovation. That is controller, Hardware programming, Robotics, Machine control. In other words to test your best abilities venture away from Bill Gates and Windows and the Internet and go into programming hardware where you are actually very close to the engineering side of things. And no I don't mean the (I am a software Engineer) titles that are handed out to everybody and their dog.. I am talking about an honest to god Hardware Guru. I am talking about Motorola HC6811 Microcontrollers, Robotic servo's, Flight control systems, Industrial control systems. Where you are programming for integrated analog and digital systems. All kinds of stuff where bill gates and the Cookie cutter language dare not step..
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Embedded systems has got to be one of the few remaining sweet spots. The hardware intimidates the crap out of most folks except for EE's and warped CS's (like me). Some years ago I made the leap to doing Billware just to dabble in OOP after doing alot of embedded stuff. The experience has been good, but in hindsight, I think I enjoyed doing firmware more. I actually spent one year doing firmware for railroad locomotives at Morrison-Knudsen before they went TU (hopefully there's no correlation there). What a blast while it lasted! This career has been good to me; however, I don't think I'd recommend it now to folks entering college (like my daughter). Ultimately I think the next (and perhaps present) "Motherlode" for jobs is in healthcare. With us Boomers starting to retire, I think things might look brighter in some parts of that arena rather than in EE/CS. I could easily be wrong here, and I sorta hope that I am, but that's my take on it. Kevin
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 3:20:08 PM EDT
I would never set out to get merely a BSCS, I would get an EE and program if I had to. All Electrical Engineers can program but hardly any CS guys can do hardware. Plus you have got both fields covered to some extent. Ben
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 3:34:35 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Benjamin0001:
Call me a geek then because I love Assembler. It's probably the most overlooked language there is. Back in the 80's we had full-featured ISAMs written in Assembler that compiled down to 24k. Try than in C++. he he
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You can't get that tight of code without assembler. But you can get close with C++ IFF you are NOT programming for the Windows Object Class and the Windows API.
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You really can't get close with C++. It's the little things that kill you. For instance, every time you access a C++ object member variable, there is some form of pointer indirection involved, base address + offset and all that. Fine. In the 16-bit DOS days, in far data models (remember that?) that required a segment register load and then the formation of a 32-bit address using something like DS:[BX]. The problem is the compilers were not smart enough to load the seqment register once and then just use BX alone to access the member variable. And this makes total sense because compilers are not human beings and they are not smart enough to remember state. This same problem affected the addressing of arrays in loops, copying memory, etc. Modern 32-bit compilers have less of a problem simply because the machine language is more optimized and the issue of seqments and offsets in now a non-issue. But there are other issues such as setting up the stack before a procedure call, poorly optimized libraries, external components, etc. In the end, for most people in the Windows world, it makes no sense to use Assembler but for very specific optimizations, usually large data movement, drivers, etc., because everyone now relies on external libraries, and you have no clue as to how well they are optimized. You'd be wasting your time.
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 4:02:00 PM EDT
Spud, what college is your daughter going to? I'll be headed off to college too. I wanted to avoid CS at all costs, but looks like I'll be ending up in it anyway just because everything else didn't work out. I wanted to major in mathematics, but everything got screwed up and I ended up in engineering. Anyway, programming isn't hard, it just takes experience. The problem is that people go to 6 week training schools and come out "programmers". See, it takes years of programming experience to make a good programmer. Plus, programming is just essentially speaking another language, it takes time to gain proficiency, but once you gain it, why should anyone pay you more to write C than say to speak French? In fact, C has less vocabulary than French, so you should be paid less than a French speaker. Personally, I think I will try to go for research jobs. R&D isn't as easy to commoditize as programming. Something that truly require years of training will always be more difficult to commoditize than something people can claim to be able to do with 6 weeks of vocational training. But then again, R&D doens't exactly have the best job security, since it's usually the first cut in a downturn. I guess the trick is to make tons of money first, so I can retire and research whatever I want. Alternatively, I can study nano-biomedical engineering, and go into that field of research. Someone here said that healthcare is going to be big, so I was wondering about that. I mean the boomers are selfish bastards and they'll vote themselves all the wealth of this country just to keep themselves alive a bit longer at the expense of their children. So maybe I should go into research that would help lengthen their lives just long enough for them to pay for my retirement? Just considering my options, since I'm entering college and this is a very hard decision.
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 9:05:47 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Zoub: All of this crap is why my partner and I started our own LOCALLY OWNED company. You get the same great IT people, we pay them well, our turnover is low, we charge the client less, and I am convinced our quality is better. Our clients agree.
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Need a topnotch UNIX/C++ nerd? Willing to relocate. . . .
Another IT fact, none of the Indians I know in IT shoot AR's. What is up with that? Maybe that comes from their previous close ties to England?
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England suppressed all weapons ownership in India for pretty much their entire reign. After England pulled out, the Socialist government prohibited weapons. Indians are indoctrinated from cradle to grave that guns are bad and that nobody should own them -- except of course the government which is there to protect them.
Link Posted: 7/24/2002 9:17:13 PM EDT
Originally Posted By BenDover:
Originally Posted By mattja: Dude, you're laying it on a little thick there. [rolleyes]
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Sorry man. I just get tired of hearing the techie whines about the job market. Even in the wake of a sluggish economy, 1.5 million IT jobs will go unfilled this year (source: Nat. IT Manager's Assn).
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Oh yeah? Point me at one. Just one. I've been looking for a hell of a long time now, since April 2001. The "job posting" websites have a bunch of listings -- many of which are the same exact goddamn listings they've been "trying to fill" for the last year. Every week they delete the "old" one and put in a "new listing" so that it looks fresh, but it's the same job. They're just collecting resumes so that if they ever decide to fill it, they'll have some candidates to look through. Then there are all the places to which my favorite headhunter submitted my resume, and who subsequently decided not to do the project after all. Are those the "IT jobs" that you claim aren't getting filled? In all that time, I've had five calls returned (not necessarily going anywhere, just "well, your resume looks sorta interesting, talk to me") and two interviews. In fifteen months. Most of the statistics on the "crisis" are being generated by the lobbyists who want to keep the H1-B visa program running at full speed. Last year, despite the tech slowdown, H1-B hiring increased by some enormous amount, something like 40% if I recall the news stories. Yeah, there are a lot of positions that are going unfilled -- at $5.50 an hour, without benefits.
Link Posted: 7/25/2002 2:08:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/25/2002 2:10:17 AM EDT by BenDover]
Originally Posted By 71-Hour_Achmed: Oh yeah? Point me at one. Just one. I've been looking for a hell of a long time now, since April 2001. The "job posting" websites have a bunch of listings -- many of which are the same exact goddamn listings they've been "trying to fill" for the last year. Every week they delete the "old" one and put in a "new listing" so that it looks fresh, but it's the same job. They're just collecting resumes so that if they ever decide to fill it, they'll have some candidates to look through. Then there are all the places to which my favorite headhunter submitted my resume, and who subsequently decided not to do the project after all. Are those the "IT jobs" that you claim aren't getting filled? In all that time, I've had five calls returned (not necessarily going anywhere, just "well, your resume looks sorta interesting, talk to me") and two interviews. In fifteen months. Most of the statistics on the "crisis" are being generated by the lobbyists who want to keep the H1-B visa program running at full speed. Last year, despite the tech slowdown, H1-B hiring increased by some enormous amount, something like 40% if I recall the news stories. Yeah, there are a lot of positions that are going unfilled -- at $5.50 an hour, without benefits.
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[url]http://www.lexisnexis.com/employment/[/url] They've got a shitload of openings all over the US.
Link Posted: 7/25/2002 4:35:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By mattja: Like yourself, the greatest worry I have is that young people will chose not to go into CS. And why should they? All they have to do is look at their fathers, who are treated as commodities and then laid off so their employers can hire H1-B workers or farm the work out to India or Russia for 1/4 the cost.
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Mattja, what would be the going rate for a 20 y/o independent contractor doing basic software testing? Smart guy, prior computer experience (but new to testing)? Involves a 40-mile compute - would you go for mileage? What about reimbursing for a room if you had to work until 2:00 a.m.?
Link Posted: 7/25/2002 8:13:55 AM EDT
You really can't get close with C++. It's the little things that kill you. For instance, every time you access a C++ object member variable, there is some form of pointer indirection involved, base address + offset and all that. Fine. In the 16-bit DOS days, in far data models (remember that?) that required a segment register load and then the formation of a 32-bit address using something like DS:[BX]. The problem is the compilers were not smart enough to load the seqment register once and then just use BX alone to access the member variable. And this makes total sense because compilers are not human beings and they are not smart enough to remember state. This same problem affected the addressing of arrays in loops, copying memory, etc. Modern 32-bit compilers have less of a problem simply because the machine language is more optimized and the issue of seqments and offsets in now a non-issue. But there are other issues such as setting up the stack before a procedure call, poorly optimized libraries, external components, etc. In the end, for most people in the Windows world, it makes no sense to use Assembler but for very specific optimizations, usually large data movement, drivers, etc., because everyone now relies on external libraries, and you have no clue as to how well they are optimized. You'd be wasting your time.
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I remember Microsofts debugger and linker had problems , I think it was microsofts, doing far jumps I think the upper limit was 128 bytes. However having said that Libraries are written for wide use and generally not very optimized they are written to be bullet proof, not speedy. MFC is BULLET PROOF Code, very few tricks are used, Borlands OWL is somewhat faster but isn't optmized to any great extent. I always just pushed state onto the stack, but you can also store it elsewhere. In fact I think starting with the 386 there was an instruction to do so. I Understand you argument about LIbraries, I wasn't even thinking along those lines. And not really even about iAPX processors. I was thinking more along the lines of 6800,Z80's,6811's. I don't know how far cross compilers have come but I have seen C_2_xyz uPro compilers. I even have one for the 4096 processor around here somewhere. Some compilers , and I prefer Borlands compilers at least I did for many years. When it came to assembler I would just use debug or edit in dos. I have only seen one large game written in Assembler. Falcon3.0 was written primarily in Turbo Assembler.
Link Posted: 7/25/2002 4:18:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By jz02: Spud, what college is your daughter going to? I'll be headed off to college too. I wanted to avoid CS at all costs, but looks like I'll be ending up in it anyway just because everything else didn't work out. I wanted to major in mathematics, but everything got screwed up and I ended up in engineering. Anyway, programming isn't hard, it just takes experience. The problem is that people go to 6 week training schools and come out "programmers". See, it takes years of programming experience to make a good programmer. Plus, programming is just essentially speaking another language, it takes time to gain proficiency, but once you gain it, why should anyone pay you more to write C than say to speak French? In fact, C has less vocabulary than French, so you should be paid less than a French speaker. Personally, I think I will try to go for research jobs. R&D isn't as easy to commoditize as programming. Something that truly require years of training will always be more difficult to commoditize than something people can claim to be able to do with 6 weeks of vocational training. But then again, R&D doens't exactly have the best job security, since it's usually the first cut in a downturn. I guess the trick is to make tons of money first, so I can retire and research whatever I want. Alternatively, I can study nano-biomedical engineering, and go into that field of research. Someone here said that healthcare is going to be big, so I was wondering about that. I mean the boomers are selfish bastards and they'll vote themselves all the wealth of this country just to keep themselves alive a bit longer at the expense of their children. So maybe I should go into research that would help lengthen their lives just long enough for them to pay for my retirement? Just considering my options, since I'm entering college and this is a very hard decision.
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EE is nice because it has a number of sub-disciplines which are interesting, IMO. My daughter is very interested in Physical Therapy and I think she'll end-up at U of Washington if she keeps that as her major. Your insight into the retirement of boomers and the fact that they won't mind a bit when it comes to increasing taxes on workers so they can live a little longer is probably true. WRT to CS, I think you'd find most of your views to be poorly rooted in reality...so don't be so quick to write it off! Whatever you choose, make sure it's something that you find interesting. Good luck, Kevin
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 5:00:05 AM EDT
Originally Posted By BenDover:
Originally Posted By 71-Hour_Achmed: Oh yeah? Point me at one. Just one.
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[url]http://www.lexisnexis.com/employment/[/url] They've got a shitload of openings all over the US.
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Thanks. I looked, and there is nothing resembling what I have been doing for the last twelve-plus years. And, unfortunately, nobody I've talked with is even remotely interested in hiring someone who would have to learn anything in order to do a particular job.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 5:19:02 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 71-Hour_Achmed: Thanks. I looked, and there is nothing resembling what I have been doing for the last twelve-plus years. And, unfortunately, nobody I've talked with is even remotely interested in hiring someone who would have to learn anything in order to do a particular job.
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That's the real problem. The jobs are out there and the people with the skills to fill them are out there but not necessarily at the same place. And companies aren't willing to spend the time or money to train their own staff or hire anyone who isn't already a subject matter expert.
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 1:13:17 PM EDT
Crap, pure crap. The dot com boom and y2k created a speculative bubble. This lead to excess of investment capital which, in turn, lead to alot of companies hiring. This drove the demand way up and the supply stayed pretty much the same. The demand became so high that people were extremely over-paid and under-qualified. The bubble burst, and the toilet got flushed. A lot of workers were let go who had no business in IT to begin with and were only hired because the companies needed bodies. This situation is correcting itself, that is all. So the market is not a free ride anymore, who cares? The IT market is not going to be displaced by foreign workers. They may be cheap but they are not here, and they cannot communicate. Period. I think all of this doomsaying bullshit is ridiculous. The sky is falling, the sky is falling. You know what, shut the fuck up chicken little!
Link Posted: 7/26/2002 8:55:23 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Darin_Marple: Crap, pure crap. The dot com boom and y2k created a speculative bubble. This lead to excess of investment capital which, in turn, lead to alot of companies hiring. This drove the demand way up and the supply stayed pretty much the same. The demand became so high that people were extremely over-paid and under-qualified. The bubble burst, and the toilet got flushed. A lot of workers were let go who had no business in IT to begin with and were only hired because the companies needed bodies. This situation is correcting itself, that is all. So the market is not a free ride anymore, who cares? The IT market is not going to be displaced by foreign workers. They may be cheap but they are not here, and they cannot communicate. Period. I think all of this doomsaying bullshit is ridiculous. The sky is falling, the sky is falling. You know what, shut the fuck up chicken little!
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You try being unemployed for over a year, dick. I know two software engineers who have found new jobs after their old ones evaporated. Two. In the last eighteen months. That's out of a few dozen who've been unemployed that long.
Link Posted: 7/27/2002 3:57:21 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Spudgunner:
Originally Posted By jz02: Spud, what college is your daughter going to? I'll be headed off to college too. I wanted to avoid CS at all costs, but looks like I'll be ending up in it anyway just because everything else didn't work out. I wanted to major in mathematics, but everything got screwed up and I ended up in engineering. Anyway, programming isn't hard, it just takes experience. The problem is that people go to 6 week training schools and come out "programmers". See, it takes years of programming experience to make a good programmer. Plus, programming is just essentially speaking another language, it takes time to gain proficiency, but once you gain it, why should anyone pay you more to write C than say to speak French? In fact, C has less vocabulary than French, so you should be paid less than a French speaker. Personally, I think I will try to go for research jobs. R&D isn't as easy to commoditize as programming. Something that truly require years of training will always be more difficult to commoditize than something people can claim to be able to do with 6 weeks of vocational training. But then again, R&D doens't exactly have the best job security, since it's usually the first cut in a downturn. I guess the trick is to make tons of money first, so I can retire and research whatever I want. Alternatively, I can study nano-biomedical engineering, and go into that field of research. Someone here said that healthcare is going to be big, so I was wondering about that. I mean the boomers are selfish bastards and they'll vote themselves all the wealth of this country just to keep themselves alive a bit longer at the expense of their children. So maybe I should go into research that would help lengthen their lives just long enough for them to pay for my retirement? Just considering my options, since I'm entering college and this is a very hard decision.
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EE is nice because it has a number of sub-disciplines which are interesting, IMO. My daughter is very interested in Physical Therapy and I think she'll end-up at U of Washington if she keeps that as her major. Your insight into the retirement of boomers and the fact that they won't mind a bit when it comes to increasing taxes on workers so they can live a little longer is probably true. WRT to CS, I think you'd find most of your views to be poorly rooted in reality...so don't be so quick to write it off! Whatever you choose, make sure it's something that you find interesting. Good luck, Kevin
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Well the ECE program at Cornell for some reason include applied plasma physics and controlled fusion research (weird I know). Here's the stuff I'm interested in: Mathematics, Theoretical Computer Science (basically math), Physics, Economics, History. Plus I have a general interest in designing and building things. I'm conflicted over the priorities. On one hand, something that makes lots of money quick would free up the rest of my life from having to depend on a job to support myself. On the other hand, my academic interests aren't exactly lucrative stuff.
Link Posted: 7/27/2002 4:16:49 PM EDT
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