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Advice for a new resident

I'm moving to NYC this summer and I will be looking for work and I wonder what advice people might have.

Currently I'm taking an extended break between jobs (8-9 months). My last position was at MS on the Excel team (senior program manager).

What types of opportunities are there in NYC? Will I have to work for a bank?

thanks

Paul
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Paul Davies
Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Paul,

A large propotion of IT jobs in NYC are with the Investment Banks. There are some interesting pure tech companies to work for - but they are few and far in between.

Tech is more of a "support function" in these banks in the sense that their core-competencey is banking not tech.

Culture might be a issue.

Also, are you planning to Consult or join a firm as an employee?

Good luck,

Prakash S
Tuesday, March 18, 2003


I'm not sure what I will do but my first look is not going to be the banks. My background is product development and I would like to stay there I think.

I am not a West Coast native but I wonder when you say 'culture might be an issue' - I mean - I do like to wear pants to work :)

I have never done consulting before - I like to be on the team.

Thanks

Paul

Paul Davies
Thursday, March 20, 2003

I meant work culture in terms of Microsoft vs the Invesment banks. :-)

Prakash S
Thursday, March 20, 2003

speaking from experience here...

As a former program manager on the Excel team, you're going to have two hurdles: (1) educating people what a program manager *is* and (2) getting a job.

The education part is a problem, most companies either think you just hire programmers, or they think that the programmer's bosses tell the programmers what to do. The concept of a program manager always sort of blows their mind.

Joel Spolsky
Thursday, March 20, 2003

I have always wondered if I made a bad decision working for Microsoft. The actual experience was really good and I learned a lot about making high quailty professional software. I learned a lot about product development. But...I did move from doing C++ coding to Program Management and  now I am not really sure what the 'next step' should be.

Paul Davies
Friday, March 21, 2003

I wouldn't say you made a bad decision at all, I consider it the best thing I did careerwise.

Joel Spolsky
Friday, March 21, 2003

Paul, I recently moved from Microsoft to NYC. I was a developer at Microsoft (working in the Windows client group), and am now working for a bank doing programming tasks. Joel's right, people here have no idea what a program manager is or does. If you want to continue in that career track I'd definately shun the banks and look for a job in software. I'd be happy to talk to you more about the MSFT/NYC transition.

Michael Davidson
Friday, March 28, 2003

So..... what does a program manager at MSFT do anyway?

punter
Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Program Managers manage the program. They are responsible for full cycle product development from long term business plans, new version themes, definition of a coherent set of features, definition of these features to a very small detail (including how buttons will look, order of menu items, programming model), proof of concept prototypes, making use of usability teams to proof new features and fine tune feature implementations, design changes as the product is developed, cut features that run over, day to day management of bugs and triage of bugs, co-ordination between teams (other development teams and things like the documentation or internationization teams), getting the product out the door. Start over again.

Paul Davies
Friday, April 04, 2003

I think a way to rephrase your question, then, is "What businesses in NYC have software projects big enough to require a Project Manager"?  I'd be interested in hearing the answer to that :).

Jim Rankin
Wednesday, April 09, 2003

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