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5 Yr Goals for 48 YO Programmer

I'm 48, been doing various computer related stuff for almost 25 years.  I need to do the employee part of my performance review this month and get the age old question "Where do I want to be in 5 years?"  I'm happy with what I'm doing now (bang out code on a variety of apps and languages), spend time with my wife and hobbies, etc.  I don't want growth in my career at this time, just to take my single digit yearly raises and coast through the next 10 years, then retire.

Is that so bad?  What do I wrote in that box of my review without sounding like I'm unmotivated?

5v3n
Thursday, May 06, 2004

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN FIVE YEARS?: Living in the Bahamas with a fabulously wealthy dumb sexy blonde super model who thinks I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, I’d like to be doing that now.

http://comic.ch/archives/000084.html

HTH,
Philo

Philo
Thursday, May 06, 2004

Sounds like you're VERY motivated.... to continue doing the same thing you have been doing.

Bear in mind that to get a single digit raise (even =inflation rate) you need to be adding that much more value to your company.

It's very difficult, I think, for companies to simply raise thier prices due to inflation and expect their customers to pay it.  It's too competitive.

Likewise, the company can't afford to pay you x% more unless they HAVE x% more.

Mr. Analogy
Thursday, May 06, 2004

Not that it necessarily looks good, but how about:

5 years from now I want to be approximately where I am now. I have worked hard to successfully achieve my original goal, which was to be approximately where I am now. I'm happy and, I think, productive. I will continue to learn new technologies as they become available and/or important to the company and my duties.

Ron Porter
Thursday, May 06, 2004

Speaking -> In General <-

Is that so bad? 
Yes, for a company.  Yes, for your future.

While I empathize, you are at the most expensive point of your career to a company.  What they want, from a bean counter perspective, is to reduce costs.  If you take your salary/2 and it can hire two new developers, then the important point is the next question:

What do I write in that box of my review without sounding like I'm unmotivated?
I would look at whomever your leader reports to and say that you wish to be there in 10 years.  Even if you don't want it.  While they can fault you for not making progress toward your goal, companies fire you for the preception of "marking time."  Even though you have years of experience, it comes back to the salary/2.  BTW for every instance >2, you should feel very afraid.  Very few people are better than five, new ones.  IF you are, you should be running the company, or leading its technology.

MSHack
Thursday, May 06, 2004

"""Very few people are better than five, new ones. """

I can understand how a bean counter wouldn't understand man-months, but find it appaling that programmers don't either. Please read Fred Brooks.


Thursday, May 06, 2004

"""t's very difficult, I think, for companies to simply raise thier prices due to inflation and expect their customers to pay it.  It's too competitive."""

If it's too competitive, then they won't raise their prices, therefore there won't be much inflation.

Inflation usually covers the meager single digit raise this guy wants to be happy.


Thursday, May 06, 2004

*sigh* trying to coast for 10 years before retirement is a quick road to having a few years of nail-biting anxiety when they lay you off 5 years before you were planning on retiring.

Flamebait Sr.
Thursday, May 06, 2004

"If it's too competitive, then they won't raise their prices, therefore there won't be much inflation. "

Competition does not prvent Inflation .  Inflation happens (in part) due to higher raw  material costs**.




"Inflation usually covers the meager single digit raise this guy wants to be happy. "

Ummmm... how does rising costs allow the company to pay thier employees more?
In fact, rising commodity costs (power, paper, etc.) will eat away at the profit that would pay a price increase.


(Remember, COMMODITY (raw material) prices, not software prices, are going up.

(OK, Microsoft O/S prices are going up, but that's because they have a captive market)




** Inflation will be driven by increasing costs for raw materials. Look at the price of oil, wood, etc. 
PPI inflation rate is about twice the CPI.

So, raw material prices were up 3% last year, whereas CPI was up 1.2%

http://www.gpec.org/InfoCenter/Topics/Economy/USInflation.html




I own a software company. I don't get an automatic raise every year.  I can't just arbitrarily raise my prices because of inflation. (I wish I could!). I make more when I sell more programs. I.e., my salary is tied to how many customers my software can help.

Mr. Analogy
Thursday, May 06, 2004

Off topic ...

The cause of inflation is not very well nailed down.  Probably it's a little of column A, little of column B.  Keynesian economics held to the the wage-price spiral theory (higher wages equal higher prices equals a higher demand for higher wages to pay for those higher prices, and so on); hence inflation and unemployment are theoretically linked.  Monetarists look at it from the top down: subtract the growth in population and the growth of real economic output from the growth in the money supply, and voila, there's your inflation.  The scene is complicated by the fact that there's more inflation in some sectors than in others, makes it hard to measure.

Alyosha`
Thursday, May 06, 2004

"I can understand how a bean counter wouldn't understand man-months, but find it appaling that programmers don't either. Please read Fred Brooks. "

Anon:  Fred Brooks said adding more developers to an existing project makes it late(r).  He did not say hiring on more developers for a new project makes it late.

Since we don't know 5v3n's professional roadmap, your statement is unfounded.

acm
Thursday, May 06, 2004

Sounds like Philo needs a copy of the latest sports illustrated swimsuit calendar on his wall.  :)

grunt
Thursday, May 06, 2004

<quote>
Fred Brooks said adding more developers to an existing project makes it late(r).  He did not say hiring on more developers for a new project makes it late
</quote>

The assumption is that more developers will be more productive. 9 women can deliver a baby in 1 month. Straight from Mythical Man Month.


Thursday, May 06, 2004

Mr 48, tell them you're looking forward to being able to share your considerable experience with your younger colleagues, to ensure the company continues to perform at maximum strength.

And also, you're looking forward to staying on top of emerging technologies, tools and techniques, using your considerable experience.

Must be a Manager
Thursday, May 06, 2004

>I own a software company. I don't get an
>automatic raise every year.  I can't just
>arbitrarily raise my prices because of
>inflation. (I wish I could!). I make more
>when I sell more programs. I.e., my salary is
>tied to how many customers my software can
>help

But your employees are not the in the same position. If you want them to stay around and create more software for you to sell then you probably need to pay them more so that they can cover their increasing costs. Putting it another way, you won't give them a 20% increase if you sell 20% more software, will you?


Friday, May 07, 2004

Mr. Analogy,

You aren't close regarding inflation.

http://www.dushkin.com/connectext/econ/ch11/inflation.mhtml

bill on hardware
Friday, May 07, 2004

Thanks for the input - I think I'll use something like Must be a Manager's response.  I'll explain that I love to program - writing Java/Swing and Perl in my own time for amusement - and that my current position is the work I love to do and want to keep on doing it.

5v3n
Friday, May 07, 2004

Philo

Does Microsoft provide free pot as well as soda? sounds like you have been smoking a lot lately.

Judas Priest
Saturday, May 08, 2004

Dear 5v3n,
                  Give them the idea you want to progress. Put down that you want to be in a position to help the company leverage your experience either in a senior technical or managerial role. You're in little danger that they will resign so you can take over their job, but you're all following the rules of the little game.

Stephen Jones
Saturday, May 08, 2004

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