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Ask HN: Usually engineering jobs are plentiful – is this a time to stay put?
28 points by zanewill9 on Feb 8, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 16 comments
I've been passively looking for a new position for a year and have generally been (purposely) rather picky.

Maybe coincidence but 2016 seems like there's been less opportunity. I would guess Yahoo and Twitter (and others) are losing engineers which are hitting the market.

Is this a good time to look or better to keep a "safe" job?

Always look for a better job, always try to learn new things in your current job, never stop re-inventing yourself.

If you are not learning anything in your current job then you are wasting time. Figure out something to learn, it will make your job more interesting (and more fun) and it will help you in the future with knowledge.

Engineering jobs are always plentiful and scarce at the same time, they are plentiful for the people who know and/or have experience in the new hotness, they are scarce for people who have skills for things that people are not using in abundance.

There are jobs where everything is perfect except pay... This is when it's hard to risk and take a higher paid job.


I work in the NY area and engineering positions are still plentiful. I think what you're seeing in the SV market is in part a response to the venture capital crunch. That said, I wouldn't worry too much about finding a "safe" job. The only thing worth worrying about is whether the company you're joining is going to be impacted by how difficult it is to get venture capital. I don't see any companies or money completely pulling out ala 2000, but it has become more difficult to get vc money if you are a border-line success

> Is this a good time to look or better to keep a "safe" job?

No such animal as a "safe job", even the postal service is eliminating people.

As you evaluate a prospective employer-- consider their business model and markets they serve. Are they expanding? Does the senior leadership have experience and stability?

Relative to Yahoo/Twitter engineers-- some of those guys are getting fat severance packages and plan to chill on the beach for the next 18 months. Don't worry about them. Move when the right opportunity lines up for you.

I may offer an opinion different from other responses you receive...

If you're not unhappy where you are--adequate salary, good living conditions--then take things slowly...

Land the next job before leaving your current one, and only if it represents a step up in responsibility and seems interesting, or otherwise improves your "life"...

Look at the headlines on the worldwide economic situation just now...yes, things are a bit uncertain...do your homework before making a jump...

And don't undervalue having a job when things are uncertain...just think about the alternative...

The global economy has been showing signs it's slowing down for almost a year now: http://monetarywatch.com/2016/02/22-signs-that-the-global-ec...

It could very well be affecting the tech market.

I think it's important to stay "up to date" on technology. If you have an opportunity to work on something fun and interesting I would take the leap. With that said, I agree the market is probably tougher. I talking general market.

I would expect skilled technologists to still be in demand. Perhaps there will be a decline in new full-time hires, but that would likely be offset by increased demand for contract positions. I don't, personally, anticipate significant removal of existing full time positions. If you're more comfortable with an employment arrangement, it might be worth locking one in soon.

Overall, though, the American economy is continuing to improve. Greater world events are rattling the markets, and tech has taken a hit, but it doesn't seem out of the ordinary.

Not OP, but I'm wondering much the same thing... specifically is it a good time to look if one is underpaid?

It's always a good time to look if you're underpaid!

I suppose it depends on location. Now is still a fine time for engineers seeking jobs in Seattle.

Meh. Developers will always be in demand. Yes, unicorn startups like "Yo" might have a bad time but, aside from that, I'd feel safe in continuing to be a bit picky.

You should have shared more about your current rule, considering your question directly asks whether you should keep your current role.

Are you referring to the local SV market or more generally?

Sorry - good point.

My question is SV-centric, but broader viewpoints would be useful as well.

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