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Deep Cynicism


Does it hang in the air forever?

Is the economy still sluggish?  Is the bubble still looming behind?  Why can't I sell my losers and move on? Can technology look ahead again? Can we get back to dreaming up products that are going to Change The World (tm) and stop apologizing and feeling silly for the last time we were promising to Change The World(tm)?  I'm not sorry. What's wrong with the bubble? What's so bad about a little enthusism? It beats this.

Are the best and brightest no longer interested in the whir of the silicon machines?  This is the job I always wanted.  I love to put together the {electronic[1] levers() and pulleys()} that make up the #lightspeed <modern world's plubming.>  Are the salad days behind us?  Can I still get rich writing code? 

Can I still get fed writing code?
All the jobs are going to India? 

SUNW is doomed?  MSFT is going grey and paying the big dividend.  G$$gle is ca$hin$ in (and getting soft? and giving up the dream?)

Why all the long mopey faces in my workplace? When do the cubes fill?  Are we forever scarred by the greed and white-heat of the bubble, or can we learn to live and love and code again in the new-new world where tech is a tool, options are underwater, and the dow is a lazy dog?

Love to know what people are thinking -- best days ahead? best days gone by? live and learn? 

I dream in digital.

Zack J.
Friday, July 30, 2004

Sure, it's just harder than it looked.


Friday, July 30, 2004

Have a drink and shut the hell up.

anon-y-mous cow-ard
Friday, July 30, 2004


Just thinking aloud, apologies to seem glum. but it seems the last two years have been cast in the limited vision of post-bubble. Too much joy or ambition is too much like the bubble and frowned upon? 

Do you guys hear a drumbeat of optimism?

Thanks!

Zack J.
Friday, July 30, 2004

I don't necessarily hear a drumbeat of optimism, but I believe I can play my own drumbeat of success.

This is still America, and I still believe smarts and ambition and hard work can bring you success.  Just as long as you don't get success and greed confused.

Clay Whipkey
Friday, July 30, 2004

"I'm just passing through here on my way to somewhere civilized."

"Love, peace & harmony?
Very nice, very nice, very nice...
Maybe in the next world."

Moz / The Smiths

Genx'er
Friday, July 30, 2004

Yes, I believe the best days are over for many.

Remember it wasn't just silicon valley and the dot-com boom that fueled all the new development work that took place during the mid-to-late 1990s. The Y2K crisis (we gotta replace those legacy systems) also played a very big role.

While there might be plenty of maintenance work taking place, there are only so many of those type of jobs that are available and they tend to be career killers.

Granted greedy WallStreet folks hurt many people, but so has piracy and the abundance of willing workers. It is pretty difficult to compete in an industry where the cost of entry is so low. In many instances all you need is time, enough money to buy the proper computer hardware, and an internet connection.

One Programmer's Opinion
Friday, July 30, 2004

"In many instances all you need is time, enough money to buy the proper computer hardware, and an internet connection."

Add in "and a very specialized way of thinking". I realize this will be viewed as elitism, but it isn't (at least not in the manner perceived) -- everyone is good or great at different things. Some people play baseball really well, or the piano, or they paint, or they cook, or they are great compliance professional (i.e. sales). Other people have the knack for IT -- just having the money to buy a computer and an internet connection doesn't make you credible in this profession, just as buying a bat, or an electronic keyboard, doesn't necessarily make you a professional ball player or musician, respectively. Employers have caught onto this which is why the hiring game is an incredibly rigorous jumping through hoops - they have a lot of false negatives (leading to a lot of resentment), but probably very few false positives.

In fact let me take that further and say that a lot of the bright people have left this field now that it isn't the infinite growth field it was, and a lot of the bright people changed their major (or their hopes as expressed to their guidance counsellor) -- the number of people who can jump through those hoops has seen a drastic decline. If this is really the career for you, and if you have the passion and dedication, and if you can couple that with some other periphery skills that are necessary in the field today (interpersonal skills and communication - if you smell and are obnoxious you're not going to cut it anymore), there are as many opportunities or more.

Dennis Forbes
Friday, July 30, 2004

Hum, you have to separate certain things here. I don’t see much, if any possibility that someone with a 3, or 6 week html course is going to walk into a high paying job. These kinds of things are just silly, and should have never happened.

As for the stock market? Well there as a great post here a few days ago to an link that pointed out that to sell your stock, someone else has to jump in. It is basically a marry go around that you hope to step off by selling to someone else (this is nothing new, and I understood this concept years ago). Unless more money is going in then what is going out, then you are in trouble.

The Japan index was at one time at 38,000. Now, it hover around 11,000. (it has been that way for years and years, and I don’t see it going anywhere).  The same applies to the dow..and it likely will be stuck at current levels for years to come.  However, I would not bet my income on the stock market.

However, right now I have NEVER been more busy. In fact, I at the point where I may have to resort to hiring and farming out work again (I don’t want to do this, and will hog as much work as I can). I am content to bill out 10 hours a day in place of giving up that billing income to hire someone right now.

If I get too burned out..then I will have to hire!...but untill then, I going to sock as much away as I can!


Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. Kallal
Friday, July 30, 2004

Dennis wrote, "Add in and a very specialized way of thinking."

Granted, not everyone in the world can be a great/good graphic designer or software developer. However, I believe there are enough people on this planet who are capable of doing the basics at a "good enough" where management can't tell the difference level and when they do get stuck on some problem they have a vast universe of resources at their disposal (i.e. ask for help on the internet, grab source code from sourceforge, read a book, etc.). The simple fact is the barrier of entry used to be a lot higher than it is nowadays. When I got into this field PC hardware was new and very expensive (same with PC software), the public Internet didn't exist, and I didn't have access to a mainframe from home.

Dennis wrote, "Other people have the knack for IT -- just having the money to buy a computer and an internet connection doesn't make you credible in this profession..."

True, but being able to make Windows sing using C++ doesn't necessarily make someone credible either. The examples you used -- a baseball player, cook, painter, piano player, singer -- these are all professions where it is pretty simple to tell the difference between someone who is good and someone who isn't. While I can place any JOS forum member into an I.T. work environment of my choosing and make them look incompetent, this isn't something you can do with say a great baseball player. You can place great baseball player on any ball team you want and most people will recognize his talent. Having said this, there are people who have been able to specialize within the I.T. industry and they have been doing quite well for many years.

Dennis wrote, "..a lot of the bright people have left this field now that it isn't the infinite growth field it was..."

A lot of the bright people have left this field for many reasons that have nothing to do with the lack of infinite growth. The fact is competition for work is fierce nowadays and each company has specific and changing needs which makes it very difficult for a talented programmer to find and keep a job. Some companies want to hire corporate ladder climbers, other want coding geniuses, and many seem to want people who can do everything except for leaping over tall buildings.

One Programmer's Opinion
Saturday, July 31, 2004

Isn't it about time that you chaps pulled up your socks and realise that the U.S. of A. is not the be all and end of all of mother Gaia?

Bad times, eh! Feeling down and out? Pack your bags and move to where the action is. My grandpas and my uncles did that a century ago. They survived and made the U.S. of A. Time you spoilt brats paid back.

.
Saturday, July 31, 2004

>A lot of the bright people have left this field for many reasons that have nothing to do with the lack of infinite growth

I agree. I will say that I have often commented that we likely still have TOO many people in the IT business right now. I do think that more have to leave. (many have seen my posts here for several years mentioning this idea).

I know of several people who were considering (or looking) for software jobs. Of about 3 of them looking for the last 3 years, virtually all of them have wound up in help disk, or tech support jobs at some of the larger companies in town. In these cases, the people just realized that high paying software development jobs were NOT going to appear. Further, lack of software development jobs, and the needed "high" skill set also have stopped most intelligent people with a brain to stay away from software development.

We are not getting those folks that would normally choose dentistry, or the medial field choosing software now. A family often makes a lot of sacrifices to put members through school, and software stuff is now rather far down on the list of desirable careers. I mean, people can only take so many stories about the dot bust thing. Further, those stories about software people loosing their jobs and moving back home (with a wife and kids too!) is not exactly the kind of stuff that makes people want to be in our industry). Hey, I am making good money, hey..I just found a cool wife....hey, I just lost my job!! This story has been repated over an over. It is quite easy to get married when you got the doe!

So, finally, after about 3 or 4 years, I FINALLY see people moving on to other areas of the economy (some are staying in the IT indusrry..but not developing software). This speaks VERY well of the situation for software developers that ride this storm out. So, right now, I continue to see people leaving the development side of our industry. In addition, I see very few coming in now.  So, in a few more years, the job situation should be ok. We still have a ways to go to get things down to the pre-99 levels, but we are now finally moving in that direction.

As a result, some companies can’t find contract workers very easy anymore, as so few remain (people have to eat…they have moved on!).  So, the pickings for jobs seems a lot better right now (there are less jobs being offered, but also less people trying to get those jobs).

On the other hand, Dell computer just announced a support center in our City…and they are looking for 600 support people in MY city! There is a job fair this week I believe..they are opeing soon! Check out:

http://www.recruitingsite.com/csbsites/Dell/Joblist1.asp?supercategorycode=13692

So, there does seem to be jobs in the IT industry, but a larger portion of them seems to be service type jobs. None of the above dell jobs is software development for example.


Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
kallal@msn.com
http://www.attcanada.net/~kallal.msn

Albert D. Kallal
Saturday, July 31, 2004

---" It is quite easy to get married when you got the doe!"---

Oh Deer!

Stephen Jones
Saturday, July 31, 2004

Very punny.

.
Saturday, July 31, 2004

It really looks like the way it was in 1993.

Phil
Saturday, July 31, 2004

"Bad times, eh! Feeling down and out? Pack your bags and move to where the action is. My grandpas and my uncles did that a century ago. They survived and made the U.S. of A. Time you spoilt brats paid back."

Huh.  Like your gampa, we're still kicking ass and taking names.  'Cept I forgot your name.

hoser
Saturday, July 31, 2004

The name's Kazinczy, if you really want know.

.
Saturday, July 31, 2004

This is especially tough on entry level software engineers like me who REALLY WANT TO GET IN but can't because of the difficulty ATM.  (I'm not in it for the money.  I'm in it because I like to code.  Always have and always will).  I see a lot of people talking about how they got in but none of them had the chore of getting in NOW.  They all got in before or during the boom or perhaps a little bit after (but not much).  (I won't be so naive as to say that there aren't entry level people getting jobs as software engineers/programmers it's just a hella fight to do so and me graduating in 2001 right before 9/11 and the recession and the .COM bust didn't help either.) 

AND FOR GOD'S SAKE DON'T TELL ME I NEED TO WORK AT THE DAMN HELP DESK OR BE SUPPORT TECHNICIAN BECAUSE GUESS WHAT?  I have done these things and the programmers that are at the companies are either contract or they like their jobs and don't want to give them up to a "help desk guy with a programming degree".  Then when you go to interview the interviewers have a problem with "how does help desk relate to programming?" and no matter what you say they seem to put you down.

My rant for the day.

Zip
Saturday, July 31, 2004

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