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Up or Out Solving the IT Turnover Crisis - interesting read

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by Jiser, May 1, 2008.

  1. Jiser

    Jiser Kilobyte Poster

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    http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/Up-or-Out-Solving-the-IT-Turnover-Crisis.aspx
     
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  2. Crito

    Crito Banned

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    Some of the comments were very interesting. First time I've heard of Maslow's hierarchy
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Sure, giving a two-week notice is sometimes awkward. But I've never had an employer terminate my employment on the spot. And in all cases, I either transferred my knowledge to co-workers or hired and trained a replacement.

    Perhaps I've just been lucky with the companies I've worked for. Each has given me great experiences that always enabled me to take the next logical career step.

    That's typically been my experience - I've always left on good terms, and it's always been me who initiates the separation. I've had two former bosses hire me up two times each, and one former boss hire me THREE times (every 7 years, in fact - I'm about 2 years overdue for hiring opportunity #4). :D
     
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  4. Crito

    Crito Banned

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    Programming is a dead-end job in the corporate world. If that's what you truly enjoy doing then you're better off staying in the academic world.
     
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  5. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Huh? Why do you think that? :blink I know plenty of successful programmers with years of experience who continue to advance in their IT careers. Some are running their own companies now. 8)

    I daresay that there are some programmers on this very forum who would also disagree with your assessment.
     
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  6. kat731
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    kat731 Megabyte Poster

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    Whats up BM? cant sleep??:biggrin
     
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  7. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Like me.... :p

    Harry.
     
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  8. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Its very hard to advance and stay programming in my experience, as you progress you are required to go to meetings and develop soft skills. It virtually impossible to maintain a programmers workload and attend meetings for hours on end and network etc. A lot of companies do not allow you to progress above a certain point on an engineering track, you are forced into management.

    Look at any board of directors, how many business people, managers, accountants, lawyers, then look at how many engineers or programmers ?

    Look at CTO/CIO positions, how likely is it for a programmer to attain this level ? Its arguably more likely that a manger or accountant will assume the position than your average programmer.

    The article is exactly right about mediocre people advance and good people leave in my experience. Most companies are incapable of recognising and rewarding talent, the end result is dead mens shoes, feet under desk, bums on seats. The person who stays longest gets promoted regardless of ability.

    I think good people realise that they should at least try to leave things better than when they started, the continous improvement mantra, or hipcoractic oath, 'do no harm', unfortunately our industry has more than its fair share of cowboys and often the management and processes in place are not good enough to detect this until the damage is done. Good people want to feel their efforts have an impact, corporate politics can wipe out the efforts of whole departments.
     
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  9. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    What an awesome article, finally shining a light on a problem that I have witnessed at all bar ONE role I have had
    it hits the nail on the head, of course that's how it works, its human nature, kiss ass get promoted, demand a challenge, demand to be ahead of the curve and your a trouble maker
    I have labelled a number of my former employers as Cesspools of mediocrity, harbouring the very cultures that breed poor results, and actively seek to remove genius and high yield workers from the culture over time

    The sad fact is it will be difficult, nay impossible to fix, as there are FAR TOO MANY mediocre employees, by definition being talented, excelling in something, being genius etc, is a RARITY not a norm, and thats why that segment of the work force jump from ship to ship, not because they are picky or have high expectations, but because they are bored!

    I think I'll forward this to a few former bosses ;)
     
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  10. Crito

    Crito Banned

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    Truly good programmers are hard to find, so management likes to pigeonhole them. It's also difficult to maintain programming skills -- an adept COBOL or FORTRAN programmer is worthless today. So you constantly have to invest time and money in upgrading their skills. A lapse of as little as two years means you missed an entire generation of new developments. Can't do AJAX and web 2.0? Then you're going to find yourself playing catch-up to some snot-nosed brat fresh out of the university. And lastly, programmers are typically introverts who spend many hours by themselves staring at a screen. Managerial positions are usually occupied by extroverts who spend all day flapping their lips. Of course, I'm speaking in generalities and there are always exceptions.

    Anywho, that's the reality of it... believe whomever you like.
     
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  11. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Busy writing. :) Chasing a self-imposed deadline.
     
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  12. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    How to fix: change jobs. A manager who you don't work for can no longer pigeonhole you. 8)
     
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  13. Rover977

    Rover977 Byte Poster

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    Very interesting article, thanks for sharing it. I used to be a 'programmer' for a large manufacturing company (NCR) - and I know what goes on in the 'corporate' environment. Those 2 graphs of Value v Tenure were chillingly accurate. I know from experience that being too idealistic can be detrimental to a career in programming. By following new technology and maybe changing jobs or projects to get involved in it, you can end up with a worse job.

    Sometimes who you work with and for matters much more - for example better to work with good engineers/programmers on older established technology than to work on newer technology on a project which doesn't really know where its heading. (Its a fact that in the software development world some projects can cost millions, and run on for years, but still ultimately be cancelled and declared a failure).

    I have seen some horrendously written code in my time - totally unbelievable - and it certainly looked as if the programmer was a bit crazed, or was seriously trying to future-proof his job in maintenance. A lot of the time though its just that somebody is a good software engineer/technician but just isn't cut out for programming.
     
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  14. Crito

    Crito Banned

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    By some estimates 70% of software development projects aren't successful. At best it's a 50-50 proposition, regardless of your skills/ability. In fact, usually the only indispensable person in a software project is the project manager himself. Everyone else is just a job role on a Gantt chart that can be replaced/reassigned.

    Some articles I googled to support those numbers:
    http://www.infoworld.com/articles/op/xml/01/10/29/011029opsurvival.html
    http://www.softwaremag.com/archive/2001feb/CollaborativeMgt.html
    http://www.codeproject.com/KB/work/WhySoftwareProjectsFail.aspx
    http://www.articlesbase.com/software-articles/software-project-failure-causes-247075.html

    I really hate to be so pessimistic about it, but a successful career depends on a history of successful projects and, IMVHO, programmers in the corporate world have the odds stacked up against them from the start. At least in academia you'll be judged on the merits of your code, not on your ability to finger-point and blame others. :ohmy
     
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  15. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Those figures seem accurate to me, and I think you are pretty spot on. Unfortunately life for a programmer doesn't seem much easier outside the corporate environment. The corporate environment is defined by politics and progression has everything to do with who you know and how you can paint your last project, I've seen people promoted off the back of 'sucessfully' completing projects which were still in development.
     
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