Maybe Swiss firms have a real arrogance problem (not all, but many). If it makes you feel any "better", your country of origin is not the reason (I get comments like that while living in Switerland too).
They are mostly just clueless. Large Swiss firms even more so (Swisscom being the main offender).
EDIT: To clarify, I got lowball offers with some other bullshit reason like "but it'll help bootstrap your career". As if my multiple years (15+) of career in international companies doing a good job (as developer/architect/senior) was not enough for their position, somehow.
And a warning to non-western members:
"The cost [...] has been evaluated, taking into account realistic labor prices in different countries. The total cost is X (with a western equivalent value of Y) [where Y>X]
source: LHCb calorimeters : Technical Design Report
ISBN: 9290831693 cdsweb.cern.ch/record/494264
On top of the above, the usual package for prospective employees:
Resolution of the CERN Staff Council
- the Management does not propose to align the level of basic CERN salaries with those chosen as the basis for comparison;
- in the new career system a large fraction of the staff will have their advancement prospects, and consequently the level of their pension, reduced with respect to the current MARS system;
- the overall reduction of the advancement budget will have a negative impact on the contributions to the CERN Health Insurance System (CHIS);
Pensions which will be applicable to new recruits as of 1 January 2012; the Management and CERN Council adopted without any concertation and decided in June 2011 to adopt very unfavourable mesures for new recruits.
Given that cheap and disposable trainees — PhD students and postdocs — fuel the entire scientific research enterprise, it is not surprising that few inside the system seem interested in change. A system complicit in this sort of exploitation is at best indifferent and at worst cruel.
Swiss laws and wages don't apply to CERN (workers there also don't pay taxes, or contribute to Swiss social welfare).
La Suisse pourrait contribuer à améliorer les conditions sociales des travailleurs détachés du CERN. Le Conseil fédéral est prêt à évoquer la question avec l'organisation.
It often does sucks if you work at CERN for some university, the salary then depends on their rates, and often you don't know where you will be in 2 years, but you still get UNICA + no taxes...
Then the problem is that getting a staff or permanent position is very hard, then again CERN cannot hire half the world, it's a matter of needs, From what I witnessed most people just take CERN as a stepping stone and move on, unless you're one of the lucky few to get a staff (and you're ok with gambling 5 years to get a permanent).
I think you are verifying it.
It's exactly for this reason that big corporate software is generally shite: because they try to get it at a discount by paying low wages to consultants whom they think they can afford to underpay because they live in a poor part of the world (hint: India). Then they end up with horrible messes of software that nobody wants to work with, at which point they have to pay more money anyway to convince anyone to fix the mess.
It's just people thinking they're so smart when in fact they're short-termist and dumb.
I've met a lot of very bad german developers that command a decent wage, simply because there is a scarcity of talent, and I've seen lots of eastern european guys do a fantastic job earning much less, because thats how their local market is like.
I agree that it is never a good idea to pay less than the local average, though.
you find exceptions and cost of living in different places creates some disparity but as a rule "you get what you pay for" still holds water
you assume that getting a visa is easy. Often impossible or insanely difficult.
You can in fact get a Bulgarian developer which is just as good or even better than many Western European or American developers (I have hired a few) and for a fraction of the price.
Meanwhile they may still be paid very decent amount of money that allows for them to have a standard of living exceeding the one they would have had if they had been employed in Switzerland with Swiss salary, and Swiss living cost.
You don't always get what you pay for with developers or any other services or products. Sometimes, but not always.
But don't take my word for it:
A decent full stack developer in his early 20s with no or little college education and 2-4 years of working experience is paid out 25,000 dollars yearly after all taxes and social contributions are paid.
Adjusting for living expenses that's like being paid out some $70-80,000 in the valley.
Developers here don't have debt, easily save up money, live in nice apartments, drive German luxury cars, enjoy 5-6 weeks of vacation where they travel to foreign countries. They meet in at 10 AM and leave at 6 PM sharp. We eat lunch together at restaurants every day and take plenty of breaks. From what I have experienced living 5 years here, life as a developer in Sofia (the most expensive city in Bulgaria) is more comfortable than in the Valley or New York.
Professional opportunities in the US are probably better, no doubt about that, but that's another story.
I'm in love with the entire Iberian peninsula, particularly the southernmost bits. It's poor(er), beautiful in people and in landscape, the weather is nice most of the time, and things are affordable, even by the local sheep farmers. I won't be getting rich, but I'll be living and working on my own terms. Best part is, the wife is amenable to this after the children are out on their own. My wife is in the medical field. She can likely transfer her license and skills over. Heritage-wise, she's from the area, so this is a bonus as well.
You're comparing two of the most expensive places in the world to Bulgaria, it's likely that your statement is true of many parts of the US.
But median salary in Toronto is merely around USD 50,000 before tax according to payscale: http://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Software_Developer/S...
That leaves Toronto developers with significantly less than Sofia developers when you adjust for taxes and purchasing power.
I don't want to moralise, but in this case I don't see how I can avoid the conclusion that you're basically ripping them off. So I'll just stop here 'cause I don't like to moralise- but I'll just say that I'd never work under such conditions.
Feel free to moralise but try to live up to it yourself: Don't buy anything produced in parts of the world where people make less than you. Buying employees or services or products are the same, you know.
With virtually zero percent unemployment for developers in Sofia, need for programmers everywhere in Europe, no visa-requirement preventing anyone from leaving Bulgaria, and some 10-15 percent of the population already having left, I think it's fair to assume that nobody is getting ripped off.
Your position, however is different than mine. In your case there's noone forcing you to not share a bigger part of your profits with the people you employ. The choice is all yours.
You maximise your profit. Fair enough. But that brings us back to my original comment. In a free market economy, everybody is maximising their profits. For low-wage workers that means minimising the quality of their work, and I don't see any way out of it, if you agree that everyone is a rational player.
The alternative is that you're hiring complete idiots, which also works to your detriment, considering they're expected to work with their brains.
But back to your original point, do you believe that a shirt made in England that you would pay twice the amount of money for, would be 2 times higher quality than a shirt made in Bangladesh?
So I end up paying twice for each item I buy? Nice.
>> do you believe that a shirt made in England that you would pay twice the amount of money for, would be 2 times higher quality than a shirt made in Bangladesh?
My experience is that clothes and particularly shoes that I buy which were manufactured in Europe and are noticeably more expensive than the cheaper varieties made in SE Asia, are generally better quality and tend to last longer.
Not if you believe that you underpaid for it in the first place.
>> My experience is that clothes and particularly shoes that I buy which were manufactured in Europe
I was under impression that those were not available to you from your earlier posts. In that case, you can simply choose to pay more for European clothes of higher quality, so not sure what the problem is.
If you paid people a lot more money you'd get a lot better software.
You get what you pay for alright, regardless of whether you recognise it as such or not.
This is completely wrong, but it sounds nice.
'Please consider that your local living costs are much lower than in Switzerland. We incorporate those differences in our offered rate like every other company does. Thanks for your understanding.'
So the tone was—yes—unprofessional, the attitude not. And even if this attitude is debatable, you have to allow the other party to express reasons for a lower offer in a negotiation.
This is how much I charge. Thanks for your offer, it's way below of what I think I deserve for my services. Nah, I don't need a lecture from you on why I should find this generous. Nope, I don't care why you make me such a low offer. What does it matter if I can actually find people who pay the rates I charge?
The market will balance this out. Thanks for your time, have a nice day.
> The market will balance this out.
The employer can also and usually choose between different candidates and maybe there are some or many equally skilled professionals in country x offering their work for much less (because they can because of lower living costs). So, it's reasonable to ask for a lower price in such a context. It's not about disdain.
EDIT: why the downvote?
My argument is that "offer me whatever you want; I'll accept whatever I want".
I don't need a justification or a lecture on why I should consider your offer as a generous one. That's how much you can give for my services at a certain point in time. Even if I consider your offer low, I won't find it insulting. But I will find it insulting if you think that I should accept your offer because based on your opinion this is how much I should make because of where I live.
No thank you, I'll be the judge of that.
Otherwise yes, people are allowed to express silly things and one shouldn't prevent them from doing so, especially when they show their true colors.
Looks to me like they dodged a bullet.
When you call out someone trying to lowball you and they start ranting, they're really ranting about a narcissistic injury to their self-image.
Someone who does that will be a terrible client, because they're operating from a position of contempt for the people they employ. They do not see you as an equal, but as an inferior.
If the "inferior" challenges their default entitled one-up world view by expecting to be treated like a competent and well-compensated professional, they're absolutely going to have issues with that.
The difference here was that OP had the power to say no, and wasn't trapped by obligations.
I have the impression that some commenters resent them for having that level of self-determination and make excuses for the behavior of the employer.
If you can low one employee, why not lowball them all, and and up with only lowballed employees?
EDIT: funny as it is, my rates were probably a third less than what a local consultant would have charged them.
But I agree that basing salaries on costs of living in the worker's country is wrong. Salaries should be based on what your labor is worth, not what your perceived economic need is. It's exploitative, and it's also not fair to local workers who would get priced out by foreign workers willing to settle for less.
DO you also think it is weird that people who live in incredibly expensive cities like NY or SF should get paid more money then?
If you are looking at two remote candidates offering to do the same work, the fact that one lives in India and the other in Paris should not make a difference in what you pay them (well, timezone difficulties aside). You should pay well for good work, and if it's not going to be good work you shouldn't pay at all. 'Pay well' is not relative to where a person lives, it's relative to the market value of that work.
Luckily, the software development market is global and there are some really sane people out there.
Sure, wages are lower than elsewhere (especially Switzerland), but the quality of engineers in eastern europe is very high.
Case in point: Google Switzerland employs lots of eastern europeans with Swiss-level wages. That wouldn't make any sense if the only reason was money.
EDIT: My math and electronics teachers (both women, data point) in my Swiss engineering school were Russian and Romanian. Their shared theory was that during communism teaching material was not written by teachers, but was written by topic experts (expert mathematicians were forced to write teaching books). It sucked for the experts (they were forced), but was great for students to have a book written by a master to study. Their point, not mine.
1.You can't really use ideology to fight them. If a researches comes and says that 2 + 2 = 4, even the most fervent apparatchik (Communist party member) would have had a hard time spinning it into 2 + 2 = -1. While in other fields such as sociology or history... things are a bit more malleable.
2. They're practical and quite far removed from anything that might stir up anti-establishment actions.
3. The "1984" factor: if you need highly skilled mathematicians and physicists for your weapons, you really need them. You wouldn't want to issue your army 7.5mm rounds for their 7.62mm rifles because someone was bad at engineering :)
That wouldn't make any sense if
the only reason was money.
Fewer Swiss would work for tech wages, because they can more easily get jobs in banking, finance, law, medical that pay better and/or are easier. Or hail from old money, and are artists, musicians, run galleries ... A similar phenomenon is at play in tech in the US, which is full of foreigners from EE, India etc.
They have arrangements with authorities to get work permits more easily (it made a lot of debate in the press). They "import" qualified workers, paid Swiss salaries. If price was the only matter, that wouldn't happen - Google would open a development office there instead (they have smaller ones, but the Zurich office is the largest that is not in Mountain View).
Yeah, so I assumed.
Your "very much untrue" remark is very much off the GP's point then, which was that those considering remote outsourcing to Eastern countries do that mainly for the cost reasons. Not that these countries lack the talent worth paying for when onsite.
Thanks for showing me the problem with my argument.
And the mangers' attitude is that "they can shake any tree and it rains qualified programmer resumes". Here in Toronto, there is a company called Allegis and all major employers post their developer job here. The headhunters are plugged into Allegis and they call you based on keyword match. Have you ever seen poor people huddled outside HomeDepot, hoping to be picked up? Thats what it like to be a developer searching for a job in my town. Most enterprise dev jobs are focused on a very narrow set of skills; so it doesn't matter how good you are with designing solutions or algorithms you know -- what matters is do you know java/c#/angular(new) ? And thats all that matters for Allegis keyword match. You are probably thinking I can learn more technologies ; what I am pointing out is that enterprise s/w development process is based on the fundamental principle of getting barely skilled people who can put in the hours and keep their mouth shut. But these jobs pay a lot more than startup jobs and have a lot more security.
Disregarding a few years that was mostly WordPress consulting, my experience is largely enterprise C#. Lots of line of business applications, glorified CRUD apps, and some client work. Zero need for any ability to write a BST or radix sort.
If you're working for SpaceX, or Twitter, or a Big 4, of course you should know those things. But most developers don't work for one of those companies. The vast majority of programming is done to further a business other than programming.
For past few years I work (not full-time) on what is essentially a prototype of trivial line of business application: stock-keeping system. It is 3 layer and blahblah, with me implementing most of the server side. Amount of various hacks in the server to accommodate requirements of the "It is impossible to linearize a tree in C# without having local SQL database" kind is truly ridiculous (most of these involve few lines of generator-and-list-comprehensions-heavy python code on server).
Somehow there is whole large class of so called "developers", that can only directly transform input to output and anything that requires building some kind of data structure is impossible/unfeasible/whatever for them.
1) Programmers, who have solid coding skills that primarily work on building systems using existing modules and libraries.
2) Software engineers, who have algorithmic and systems level expertise along with advanced coding skills, and are capable of working on complex software such as operating systems, compilers, and other libraries / components used by others.
Let me hasten to add that that isn't to say one is better than the other. Both are needed, just like both regular doctors (in greater quantity) and neurosurgeons are needed (in lesser quantity) are also needed and all are highly skilled professionals.
Apparently (and unfairly), our society thinks otherwise - family doctors make $150K/year and neurosurgeons make $750K/year :-)
Not to mention tens of thousands of average developers that got lucky with stock options and became millionaires where a doctor of same age is still slaving away as a resident with 24-hour shifts and abysmal pay ($50-$60k year for surgical residents, according to google).
The market (not society) is treating us developers pretty well.
I am on the East Coast (outside of NYC, though), have been in the software business for 20+ years and know a lot of smart /accomplished people.
I don't know a single software engineer who makes more than $200K/year in a senior engineering role, as an employee. (We are comparing salaries, not consulting income or stock options here, which can disappear very quickly).
It would be nice for you to step outside of the bubble you live in SV, every now and then :-)
And even then, once the bubble pops, if you don't sell (there is usually a vesting period), they could be worth much, much less than today. Remember 2000-2001?
As I said: The rolling vesting offered by most companies means that you're selling stock every year after your first. So if you ignore the first year (or pretend that it's poorly compensated), it's not that shockingly bad.
RSUs in an established big company are much less likely become worthless overnight. Core part of your compensation at Amazon/Facebook/Google/etc...
I was just pointing out that, even though both family doctors and neurosurgeons go through long and arduous studies, the income disparity among doctors is very high.
If you really feel that you are living beyond your long term means, you should act: you can make more changes now than you will be able to later, and as hard as it can be to accept - this problem isn't going to solve itself.
And, think about the awful stuff like derivatives, taxes, etc.
But being able to adapt, apply and even create algorithms is a big part of what separates crappy CRUD/UI implementation dev jobs from real engineering and research roles. I don't imagine anyone wants to be stuck writing CRUD apps their entire career.
my experience is that this isn't the case, at least not where I am. Last place I was at, the guy who came in weekends was the first of us to be let go. (granted, the first guy to get promoted to direct-hire status also worked more hours than average, but he didn't come in weekends, and he certainly put in way fewer hours in the office than the guy who was let go first.)
There is quite often a correlation between my perception of a person not being very effective and staying super late.
>what I am pointing out is that enterprise s/w development process is based on the fundamental principle of getting barely skilled people who can put in the hours and keep their mouth shut. But these jobs pay a lot more than startup jobs and have a lot more security.
Eh, that's kind of the space I am in right now, only I'm more ops than dev (nearly every job is a mixture of both, most are tilted one way or the other.I am maybe 1/3rd dev, 2/3rds operations, my title is 'SysAdmin' at the moment)
The thing is about the corporate keyword jobs? You are right that they are looking for replaceable cogs, and it usually pays better than startup work, but it is very 'easy come, easy go' - expectations of contractors are super low, and contractor interviews are super short, so while you are very replaceable, so are they.
Where I am, in silicon valley, direct hire jobs at the places where you'd get those easy contractor gigs are kind of a different animal. They pay even more, really by quite a lot, and getting them is a combination of passing a bunch of IQ-test like puzzles and complex social signaling. Now, most of the people I know with those jobs are actually pretty good, so maybe the sorting process is better than I think? My problem is that first, I barely qualify, IQ wise, at least for the best of those companies, and then I am, well, I kind of am a capitalist, and part of the complex social signaling is pretending that you really want to be part of that advertising collective, which is super difficult for me, personally. I mean, I don't mind selling my sword to an advertising collective, but I am not the sort to 'drink the kool-aid' - Advertising is not making the world a better place, and I know that them hiring me is a transactional sort of thing. I'm not joining a collective, and I have difficulty pretending it's a collective.
this is exactly my experience. writing software really doesn't require any great creative mind or cleverness. i'm a pretty mediocre programmer. i got roped into programming as a kid by, first of all because i wanted to make video games, but then once i'd dipped my toe in i found learning new, exotic (seeming) ideas and making clever solutions to problems was a lot of fun in and of itself. but i can think of only one time i got paid to do anything that felt like that: working on a tetris game with bombliss, without the official tetris rules. the rules of tetris are surprisingly deep and refined, in case you didn't know, so that endeavor was utterly insane and disastrous, which was the general character of the company i was working for. but still, it was a lot of fun playing physicist from the tetris universe, trying to infer the rules through experimentation.
to write software, once you have the skill down, is really just about doing the work. it doesn't require any insight, unless you intend to write good software, but no one cares about good software. no cares about the software at all. they have things they want to do, and the software, the making of it, is, if anything an impediment. so is the person making it.
> it doesn't require any insight, unless you intend to write good software, but no one cares about good software.
This last statement is demonstrably false. Many people care about good software. Just like they care about good cars, good vacations, good hot dogs.
But still, grumpy developers will upvote this and believe in it. They then become a self-fulfilling prophecy. They see threats that don't exist, then at some point they call out those threats and in doing so cash in their chips.
I've seen many smart developers miss great opportunities in doing this. They could be learning to make their own terms and push back, taking advantage of high demand. Instead they become a plumber, landscaper, or Ph.D., thinking the grass really is greener over there. Well, maybe so. But that mentality has not changed, so what are the real chances?
i care about good software. i know plenty of people that do as well, so you're right that my statement was demonstrably false, but the point is people who pay don't care about quality software. that shouldn't be a controversial thing. obviously they care about their costs and the value they get out of the software, not the invisible quality of it. this is my experience, at least. like i said, i'm a mediocre developer. maybe my customers aren't as discerning, or they don't have very interesting problems to solve.
also, it's interesting that you characterize being a replaceable cog as the lowest of lows. let's be honest, that's life. of course i'm replaceable no matter what my position in a company. if i own a company, that company's replaceable. it's not a lowly thing to be replaceable, it's the nature of things. like they say, the cemetery's filled with indispensable men. that's not to make every living human being feel lowly, but to help keep perspective.
If allowing poor software means delivering on time, and thus being able to afford those cars, dogs and vacations, which do you think the people in charge of those things will choose?
I read this: http://quantjob.blogspot.com/2011/12/how-to-avoid-quantdevel...
And the description of being "sucked in" to a "housekeeping IT" rang scarily true. Match with this phenomenon: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B64WFyuCIAAjq3u.png
And you might realise there are shitty dev jobs with poor prospects out there, that bill themselves as more than they are. The whole "passionate about my job" thing then becomes a little sinister.
There are different classes of dev jobs. The bad ones pay little and lead to less, and will usually come painted with BS. The "passionate" dev will be happy with whatever they get, and they'll get very little to be passionate about - in-house housekeeping all the way.
But at least the market is good enough now that you can always realise this later and try to fix things. When the gravy train begins to wain, you might be stuck with what you have...
I'm really sad this is the top comment here. It doesn't need to be this way. For reference I'm been a developer for over 15 years and I know why some developers feel this way but they shouldn't have to and don't have to.
for what it's worth, i'm not sorry for me. i don't like my job, but i've never been satisfied with a job. i don't want to work a job, i want to do my own work, but that's very, very rare to do full time. maybe someday, if i'm incredibly lucky. in the meantime, i have bills to pay. my current job's pretty cushy, affording me a bit of flexibility on time, and enough free time to make progress on my own stuff.
So some unasked advice from a 40+ then which I wish I was told when I was 17 or something: a) believe in yourself; learn from others, but if you have strong opinions or think something is wrong then voice it even though others (are supposed to) have more experience b) fast typing and making long hours are irrelevant c) get out there and mingle with non coders a lot.
All of these 3 points (I learned them at different stages, in order of appearance above; c I only started doing 3 years ago) made me never having to need a job as such, always worked where/when I wanted, always made enough money and usually have enough spare time to do whatever while still performing.
Now it feels good to be in a real city with many different people, doing different stuff. It's much more fulfilling than living in a bubble with clones of myself.
Huh? I think you have the wrong year!
The web existed in 1991, but it was still . . . embryonic. No one had yet made any money on it.
The web existed in 1991, but it was still . . . embryonic. I think you mean 2001.
Thoughts on that?
In my area unless you want to be one of maybe two "IT guys" in an office, there's really only 8-10 employers within a half hour commute. There is no shortage of turnover or people bouncing around between them as positions open up. Sure it's not like SV where you can probably swing a dead cat and hit someone looking to hire a Go ninja rockstar, but there are plenty of coding jobs, especially if you're familiar with Java or C#.
Edit: it sounds a bit more negative than it was; I was always happy but now that I discovered this whole new thing I am more assured that the happiness will stay as I have a broader base now both emotionally and business wise if that makes sense
That being said the web revolution happened in the early 90's and was a huge shift in development. There where a lot of older devs around at that time who where doing desktop and had no desire to make the jump so 40'ish is also kind of a demarcation line of where an epoch changed in development, so the fact that you see few over 40 devs could be a) that the web was small back then and there where only a handful of us doing it and b) The developers that where doing web in the early 90's where all young, therefore it is kind of origin of a new type of developer.
40 years ago was 1976. We're talking about people who were born not too long after we landed on the moon (or even before). There's just not a lot of people that age who both went into programming and are still doing it, as opposed to management or something non-technical entirely.
So while it's not at all surprising to see an early- or mid-30s developer (I work with many), it is very surprising to see a mid-40s developer (I've only ever worked with two, and one had an almost violent aversion to anything except procedural VB).
When its not noteworthy for programmers to have an age distribution similar to the greater population, or for experience to be respected instead of being made fun of, then programming will finally become a profession rather than a semi-skilled labor.
Personally I don't mind being made fun of by the kids... I get a lot of money cleaning up their inexperienced mistakes.
Please. That's borderline insulting to people who have to earn a living through actual, physical, labor.
Every programming job I've taken has started with the "Do you see your future self as a senior developer or a manager?" discussion. It's absolutely a viable career path to stay a developer, or at least it is now.
And there's the tired "lol these 30 year old kids don't know what they're doing I'm getting rich fixing their mistakes!!" tripe.
As a coder who really dread interacting with people (especially non-technical people) in the context of work, I'd like to know how this advice would change my life.
A friend told me to go to a fintech event and because it was 'tech' I thought I would meet a lot of very technical people (so same as always). There were only business people instead; most of them had a (long forgotten) technical background but only few were practicing any tech at that moment. I met a lot of them and exchanged ideas, possibilities and contact info. It was in a friendly way as I didn't go there to get work/jobs/projects; I was there to see what this market was like.
I liked it so much I went to a lot of non-tech startup events and general events and talked to more and more people. After only maybe a month or two people started mailing with questions, projects, business proposals etc. One of them I am working on now full time and others I advice, have shares in or work with in some way as the tech adviser.
I dreaded the interacting part like you and I dreaded flying; I started doing both of them (as they are usually intertwined; I need to get to people obviously) a lot and now comes naturally and I sit talking to everyone; on the airport, in trains, in bars, wherever instead of staring into my phone or book. So when I got over this whole dreading sensation I expanded to a much larger circle of non work related friends as well as work related contacts & combinations of the above.
TL;DR the dynamic that gives me work and freedom is the fact that when knowing a lot of non tech people, acting and/or being 'senior' and being able to drop names of people/companies/projects they also know (hence the 'a lot' part) will put you in a position of adviser and tech-trusty. Which gives you opportunity and freedom as you do not need to prove yourself at all anymore.
I always had a feeling this was important. I remember reading about NEDs (New Economy Depression syndrome) and identifying with that, but it wasn't until I went and did a diploma in psychology that the rationality behind it all crystalised.
Across all fields that study wellbeing it's fairly conclusive that social support is one of the most powerful mediating factors. In summary the more friends you have the happier and healthier you will be.
How does this relate to "non technical people"? As a friend once said to me once, when I was going through a particularly kafkaesque work episode, "you need to get outside of your head". You need to engage with people on a plane other than the one you work upon every day - to give those parts of your brain a rest and to help you to develop others.
People are hard though. In many ways more difficult than computers but the key thing to remember is that unlike with computers there isn't a right or wrong thing to do at all times. People have empathy, they can be sympathetic, they can meet you half way and they can help you to figure out what you're thinking.
Start off with something small, where you don't have to have too many interactions, but where you can be around people. I don't know why but for some reason communal drumming classes comes to mind. The key is to be around people where they will get to know your face and you theirs.
I've always done this, though. I have a few friends that are very close, that I can count on for life, even if I don't "nurture" the relationships continuously. But making new friends is really hard.
Thanks for the advice, though.
Just to nitpick, it's more about the strength of the relationships that you have, not necessarily how many friends that you have.
I think bringing a friend is essential. It reduces the awkward times when you don't know anybody. In addition, it doubles the chance of meeting people because your friend meets people too. A wing men are helpful :)
Art is solitary.
When I go to planned meetups for drinks, it is just small talk or ulterior motives (ie. they are looking for work).
I grew up a military brat. We didn't have a lot of money. I wore hand-me-downs, had iron-on patches on my knees. My family could not afford to send me to college, so I served in the military to get the GI Bill and worked my own way through college.
I'm over 40, in IT and no one ever gave me hand out in relation to any job or education.
Like an earlier poster said, I'm under no obligation to do anything. I believe in hard work. No one should be given a free ride because they are black, homosexual, female, whatever. Work your ass off to get where you want to be. Full stop. No one is under a moral or other obligation to get you in the door or ensure fair play. I'm not an asshole to people, but everyone has the same opportunities. I realize the military is not for everyone, but young men especially can really benefit. You can do a four-year hitch and have your college paid for. If you like it, you could re-up as an officer and the sky is the limit.
The problem with people today is they have a sense of entitlement that is misplaced. No one owes anyone anything other than moral decency: please, thank you, that kind of thing. Work hard, play hard. Life is better without handouts. You have a sense of fulfillment when you pull yourself up by your bootstraps.
Take a step back and don't be so defensive: "white privilege" isn't a personal attack. It's only meant to raise awareness, awareness that you clearly need, based on your post.
Hell, now there are people talking about a basic income for doing nothing. I agree with scripture, work or don't eat. Granted, society has people who cannot work through no fault of their own. Take care of our less fortunate brothers and sisters, by all means. If you are an able-bodied adult, get off your ass and work for a living. Start of down low like everyone else and make something of yourself. This is where the military shines. A poor guy can rise to the top in the military. Get his college paid for. Make something of himself. Nothing stops these people. There is no such thing as will power. It's want power. How bad do you want to be better, different, not poor, educated. How bad do you want to work to ensure your children live a better life than you? My parents were not perfect, but damn if they didn't raise me right. I work for what's mine and want no handouts from others.
Yes, there are. And you know why? Because jobs are being more automated as we speak. What will people do? Where will they be employed? Instead of being happy for introducing driverless vehicles, automated machinery to maintain and harvest our food, we grow scared for our jobs and turn into Luddites. We should be thinking about improving humanity as a whole, not just going "me me me me!".
And I feel you are a bit blinded from your American standpoint. You know who paid for your GI bill and your ability to be in the military? The state - the working people. You most likely didn't produce anything of value in the military, nor did you likely protect anybody. Jose worked his ass off for the tomatoes on your tables, while you most likely stood around with a gun, if that.
>I agree with scripture, work or don't eat
There are many, many people on this planet, and in the US who DO work, but still can't find enough food to eat. Think about that.
Now the machines are doing most of the work. This is supposed to be a good thing! Ever more of us will not have to work in this new world. Do we let them starve?
White privilege isn't saying you didn't deserve any of that. It's just about appreciating that, despite how it may seem to you, you had some luck with the dice, some luck that you wouldn't have had, had you been black (once again, everything else being equal).
I'm not talking about a basic income (I do think it makes sense in today's society, but that's a whole separate issue).
"Sending the elevator back down" doesn't mean giving out handouts. It doesn't mean hiring people because of their gender or race. It doesn't mean discriminating against white men. It means acknowledging your biases and working to counter those. It's about giving others the same opportunities (specifically, the same benefit of the doubt) you had.
And yet, awareness of other issues and even the opposite side of the same issue seem to not be as needed.
> "white privilege" isn't a personal attack.
Academically not, but it ends up being used either as one or as ammunition for one.
>awareness that you clearly need
Case in point.
Is that stated in the article somewhere? I'm pretty sure it's not. It also doesn't say anything about "handouts". It only says that certain people have an obligation to recognize their advantages and to make some attempt at improving things. That's quite a bit different than suggesting anyone should get a free ride.
Not really. That's what it means. Being white makes it slightly easier to get some opportunities.
The poorest people I know are whites and I've lived and worked around the world. Yet, the same whites cannot roll into a university and be let in almost for nothing, yet the blacks and Hispanics do.
The concept of white privilege makes a lot of white people uncomfortable, including myself for a long while. It's not simple: white privilege is a result of centuries of structural oppression against non-whites. It doesn't guarantee that all white folks are better off than some POC, but the overall differences are stark. Nor does it guarantee that your life was easy.
Saying "I had a hard life and I'm white" is a single-data point of a very, very large structural problem. Maybe affirmative action isn't the answer, and I'm not certain that it is. But to say that all other things equal, a white person and a black person of the same economic status is equal in our society is blatantly false.
The uncomfortable truth we need to be talking about is that POC commit a disproportionate amount of the crime in the US, and so nothing you said should come as a surprise. The fact that we can't have an open and frank conversation about this is part of the problem. Promulgating white guilt and a perpetuating a victimhood complex in everybody else does nothing to move things forward. It keeps people from empowering themselves and fosters divisiveness. In fact thinking that these other cultures need our help because they are incapable of lifting themselves up without us is actually pretty condescending. It sounds a bit bigoted if you ask me.
But to say that all other things equal, a white person and a black person of the same economic status is equal in our society is blatantly false.
I never said they were equal. In this specific hypothetical I'm saying doors open more easily for the black person.
Notice I said "for similar, non-violent crimes" and "disproportionate" . It's true, poverty and crime are heavily correlated , and I live in a community where such crime exists at high rates (Downtown Oakland).
In fact thinking that these other cultures need our help because they are incapable of lifting themselves up without us is actually pretty condescending. It sounds a bit bigoted if you ask me.
The War on Drugs was created to incarcerate black people and hippies . For crimes that more than 50% of my classmates and myself, have committed (possession of marijuana, dealing marijuana, various other drugs), extreme disproportionate incarceration has occurred in the US to POC at disproportionate rates. Once incarcerated, getting back into society is an extremely difficult process, with voting rights being stripped away, with job opportunities scarce, with the mark of a felony on their criminal record. This contributes to a vicious cycle where these realities feed off of each other. It's no wonder then, that all these facts contribute to a never-ending snowball effect on these communities.
I really highly recommend the book The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander . It does an amazing job describing this cycle. It's not that "other cultures need our help to stop committing crimes", it's that we all need to be aware of the effects our criminal justice system has on everyone.
The article you linked said blacks were being disproportionately arrested because they were selling outdoors, whereas whites were selling indoors. Assuming it is true though, are we really going to pretend that it's simply the difference in skin color and has nothing to do with a culture that glorifies criminal behavior, disregards the rule of law and preys on larger society. If these antisocial subcultures were distributed evenly between the races then we wouldn't even be having this conversation. The unfortunate and uncomfortable fact is that they are more prevalent in specific minorities. But the fact that we can't even talk about this in a straight forward and rational way exacerbates the problem.
I'll give you that historical prejudice has played a huge role though. Historical being the key word. I am completely with you on ending the War on Drugs. If we spent a fraction of our energy on that as opposed to promoting these toxic identity politics, then maybe we would have actually made some progress by now. Despite all of our best intentions, race relations are getting worse and nobody seems to know why. Hmm.
Great to see u made yourself a good life in east java.
My grandpa lived in Solo and my dad in Jakarta.
I tried so much to move there. But couldnt make it.
I am still stuck at the hamsters wheel in London. Hopefully i can get a fully remote job and then move to Indonesia. I can only dream !
While neither Karl Marx nor Thomas Piketty have a great track record when it comes to economic policy prescriptions (Dean Baker's opinion on this might be interesting for people who share much of their world view with all three of these economists), will they teach me to better negotiate based on my "knowledge of my worth"? I rather doubt that they will, given that the punchline of much of their writing is that worker compensation necessarily trends towards the subsistence level over time, r>g, etc. etc. Certainly if the point is to "know your worth" in the sense of being able to negotiate a better compensation, a better source ought to be available.
Separately, it's an interesting turn of events that fairly politicized economists' writings are now recommended reading for computer programmers. The next logical step is a recommendation to join a political party (certainly joing the political party would help one's career in the USSR where Marx was required reading for people entering the professions.)
Time is the most precious thing you have, so don't waste it learning stuff you won't need. Even if it's shinny. Resist, and for the things you do need, don't become an 'expert' -- pick the things you NEED and scope it well. Then hop along on the new tech that came around...
I always see any new thing I take on as an investment, and I try to make it pay down the line...
I didn't use to do that, and I'm an expert in a few tech that I had fun learning, but have absolutely zero relevance today. See, I can write Altivec code without the scalar version for example. That was useful for about 2 years...
tldr: Banal, overconfident advice on the subject of a software career, devolving into political rants at times.
That was an eye-opener. For some reason I thought Switzerland was a worker's utopia with the relatively higher salaries.
Doesn't make it better (at all), but it's essentially just the threat of firing albeit with more weight behind it for the visa workers. Not the company calling the visa office about you or holding on to your passport, etc...
It has never been supposed to mean anything about an individual, and yet that is ALWAYS how it seems to be taken. We (as white and or males) can't help but see things from our individual perspective and take offense at the implication we ever had anything easier than anyone else.
I agree with others in the thread, we just need to throw away the word white privilege and come up with something else because it has been totally poisoned. I'm not saying there aren't overzealous "social justice warriors" that haven't contributed to the misunderstanding of the word.
Just remember, when people use the word white privilege, THEY ARE NOT REFERRING TO YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
This is a clue that perhaps your terminology is loaded, inflammatory, and should be changed.
I find that there's very little value in reasoning about race as a collective, since it's usually just a (overly) reductive variable for socioeconomic status, upbringing, or environment. If you mean those things, say those things. Attaching a racial modifier to a term and then expecting members of that race to not feel described or targeted by it makes no sense.
(And that goes double when that term is used, often, as an attack, not in the thoughtful way you describe, but that is a rant for another time.)
That is the entire point of the term. Because of your race, people do reason about your race, and do make assumptions about your socioeconomic status, upbringing, and environment. I'll grant you that there are (probably a very few) people who do get some satisfaction out of feeling like a victim but otherwise, nobody is more tired of reasoning about race in america than black americans (who are of course not the only discriminated against minority).
You seem to be implying that america is post racial and some of just won't let it go.
And you seem to have read your own biases into a very objective and clear point. That point being, stop banging on about how terrible it is people get defensive when you use offensive terms.
If your response to that is "but it's not", followed by yet another academic definition of "privilege" is.. stop. You've missed the point.
Offense is taken, not given. If your goal is to have a frank and honest discussion with someone rather than attack them, you do not lead off by using terminology that is racially charged (as if anyone can choose their race), minimizes someone's struggles in life (of which you necessarily know nothing), implies guilt (however slight), and which is frequently used in bad faith to shut down discussions anyways.
That may not be what you personally intend, but that is what the audience hears. Act accordingly.
Also, while perhaps not originally meant to be applied to an individual, that is the common experience with it. It is further compounded by picking only certain areas for privilege to matter and being very stereotyped. For example, one white privilege is going to a school where the majority of the student body was the same race. Except that isn't always true.
While the wording behind privilege is extremely toxic and needs to be done away with, much of the ideas behind it are what directly led to that toxicity to begin with.
>THEY ARE NOT REFERRING TO YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL FOR THE LOVE OF GOD
Yeah, if you ignore all the other times.
Challenge authority, but don't be an ass about it. Simply try to help them understand that you are doing them a favor by challenging them. Perhaps say, "Do you mind if I weigh in on that?" If they aren't interested in your opinion still follow up with "I understand you've thought about this, but I've also given this a lot of thought and I also have a lot of experience around this and I've seen it be a problem before."
It's an amalgamation of every Medium tech-post ever.
It's actually a pretty good point and is a decent way to always remain relevant. You can't be left behind if you're always on top of the latest thought trends.
EDIT: A missing piece the author points out too: don't be an early adopter of a thought trend (Point 1: Forget the hype). Only jump in when it becomes mainstream. If you adopt something before it becomes mainstream, there's a chance it can fail. If you wait until it is mainstream, but get in just as it becomes mainstream, you get the benefit of being an early adopter and the benefit of never being on the unpopular viewpoint.
Basically I told my then boss see you after Christmas - If I have followed that advice I would have stuck with Oracle and Java or spent my career in Mainframes
And last I heard, there are tons of job openings asking for experts in Oracle and Java.
So how exactly would that have been terrible in terms of getting a steady income?
Trouble is if your company pivots and you have been doing Mainframe COBOL for 20 years - you might find transitioning to a new language hard.
Now? I'm stuck working for a salary in a job that pays the bills. I live in Texas (I know, I know) where IT salaries are already low. Texas has that "right to work" mentality. My bosses are not real IT guys in the sense that they love IT. They're in it for the salary, whereas I'm in it because I still love it after a span of pushing bits over three decades. I would retire only if I won the lottery, but if I did that, I would likely buy a Z-Series mainframe and spend my days playing.
Then you are not following the advice discussed.
At least, that's my interpretation of the article's logic mixed with what appears mainstream to me. There's a lot of room for subjectivity, but it's difficult to argue that Java/Android isn't an extremely mainstream direction.
Very well summarized.
While I enjoyed this post somehow, maybe because I was thinking of the good old times, I didn't feel comfortable reading: I found his views having a touch of an ubiquitous negativity and slight frustration. I disagree with many of his points. And I miss one clear message.
The OP contains a lot of opinions about a lot of different subjects. An amalgamation.
And if you mean by amalgamating that he united or tied together a lot of different opinions on a lot of different things, how is that unpleasant?
That aside, a lot of the more generic points make sense.
As a Rails dev, this made me chuckle, yes, I've put a lot of hours into troubleshooting dev setups. But this is the wrong example. All of these are installed with one line on the terminal. And really, there are far simpler web stacks to pick up without even having to leave Ruby. Sinatra on system Ruby works just fine. All you do is 'gem install sinatra', open up a text editor and go.
Really, the complexity you have to watch out for is the complexity you impose yourself. Choosing the wrong tools for the job or the wrong abstractions. For many applications, Rails is overkill.
On the other hand, 30 year old C code will often compile right out of the box, because the people maintaining them weren't chasing the New Flashy every year.
The modern systems suck in terms of maintainability.
Paradoxically, I have been working on shared variable concurrency, using a partially ordered trace semantics. Until I retired, I was too frightened to tackle anything so difficult.
Definitely life after 40, 50, 60, 70, ...
I started my career as a software developer at precisely 10am, on Monday October 6th, 1997... I had recently celebrated my 24th birthday.
Especially Europeans have problems thinking like this. I always advise engineers to keep on looking for better offers / jobs the moment they take a new job. Instead many hibernate in a job for 3-5 years without thinking of their careers and hence miss opportunities.
Disclaimer: To help engineers finding jobs / working on their careers and support IT-firms to find people, I recently started a small headhunting agency.
So mail me, if you look for a tech-job in Zurich. Salaries here after [!] taxes start at 7000 CHF / month. Find my e-mail address in my hn-handle or check out my story "8 reasons why I moved to Switzerland to work in IT" https://medium.com/@iwaninzurich/eight-reasons-why-i-moved-t...
Also to start a corporation, you have no capitalization requirements and it's easy-ish to hire canadians, australians and people work who work in a foreign office for +1 yr on a L visa. The waiting times for citizenship in the USA are surprisingly less than switzerland if you're not chinese or indian, which is pretty bad when the USA beats you in citizenship waiting time.
And most important of all, there is a shit ton of VC cash to get investment dollars from.
Being in the top 30% of engineers or even mediocre means you will make a decent or very decent living in Switzerland. I am not sure, if this is true for the US.
You probably spent 4+ years of your life going to some sort of university to get a degree to help get something like 60k euro per year software job. So is spending a couple of months really getting good at cracking the coding interview and doing some practice interviews is definitely worth the $70k+ equivalent after tax salary bump. Even getting a job at a FaceGooSoft european office and later transferring to HQ in SF would be a good idea. Do realize though it's hard to change jobs with an L1 visa vs. H1B once you have one, so that should be your goal.
Now the USA has it's non-salary downsides for sure, but if you're just thinking in salary terms then the USA beats CH as far as I can see.
That is not true.
The false-negative rate at FaceGooSoft is very high, they have a revolving door of candidates, that is why they can afford it.
I am interviewing people for IT-jobs for over a year now and I met many engineers that are Google-material but did not make it into a tier-1 firm for some reason (they where scared-off by annoying recruiters, where asked unlucky questions at interviews, did not even try or even want to make it in there).
Hence, they have to work at mediocre companies and life at mediocre companies is better in Switzerland than in the US, I believe.
You can even apply to not FaceGooSoft, get in the USA with smaller company X and then try from a more comfortable position of having a work visa and being in the USA.
Look at this guy as another example:
Employers are obsessed with "acquiring talent". If you can show "growth potential" (as in, being able and willing to learn and extend your expertise), they will overpay you for the first 2 years or so. After that, they will feel entitled to recover their investment in you, so you will continue to grow, but your salary will stagnate.
Meaning, 3-5 years is the sweet spot for getting another income boost from the next talent acquirer willing to pay you to learn even more.
That said, I personally prefer to stay at a job for at least three years, given the opportunity.
That is even more incentive to come over now rather than in 1-2 years, when the immigration cap for EU citizens will be implemented as planned.
I can easily go thorough 6 books in a month one of the advantages of commuting by train.
Java is also a child of the nineties and 1.1 I believe was the first arguably "finished" implementation. I remember the computer magazines were going off on about it at the time and I got a free Java IDE off a cover disk and wrote my first 2D canvas app.
These were the two main "galaxies" I inhabited for the last 20 years with various holidays here and there. The benefit of inhabiting such relatively "open" galaxies is that they provide easily accessible conduits to other galaxies too.
Thanks for the 90s nostalgia - very nearly brought a tear to my eye.
Changing topics: that was a great read. The links were also great reads and rereads. What do people think of Joel's six mistakes from the "great software takes ten years", sixteen years later? http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000017.html
Stopped reading here because I assumed the rest would be equally as well informed. Shame too, I was enjoying the perspective.
Edit: Decided to give the author the benefit of the doubt and continued reading for the opportunity to have my perspective changed. With that said, I'm also not very fond of the anti-white male narrative quoted below, and I'll elaborate on why
> If you are a white male remember all the privilege you have enjoyed since birth just because you were born that way. It is your responsibility to change the industry and its bias towards more inclusion.
I don't think the real problem here is with being white, male or privileged. (Though, obviously our industry has a problem with diversity.) Programmers, for better or worse, typically aren't very sociable people, and thus become abrasive to dissenting opinions. (I'll be the first to admit that I do this, and will continue to do it as I try to improve and reduce this behaviour.) Whether that opinion comes from a transexual black 10x-er or a straight white female who recently graduated from college, or even a seasoned veteran with 25 years experience. Quite often, a difference of opinion for programmers defaults to "they're wrong because they don't think like me." I experience this daily, and I'm a straight white 21 year old male from an affluent community. So to the authors point, yes if we could stop being assholes to each other that would be great. However I absolutely disagree that the behaviour of my peers is racially motivated, and I resent the implication.
And I'm supposed to "send the elevator down" just to those who I assume to be the most slighted minority? How do you suppose that works? Should I just assume that all women need my help and support because they're women? What indicators would one even use to determine such a qualification, other than being systematically sexist and racist? Here's a thought: help everyone, as often as possible! Don't motivate your behaviour based on peoples' identities!
But yes, I do agree with the underlying sentiment that follows, I just wish it wasn't prefaced with unnecessary garbage.
> Do not critisize or make fun of the technology choices of your peers; for other people will have their own reasons to choose them, and they must be respected. Be prepared to change your mind at any time through learning.
Perfect. Why did we need the intro?
What I do when a new tech hype comes along, is allocate myself some time to it. Ok, Webpack? Let me give myself three days (around 20 hours) to check it out. If I don't understand it at first, keep pushing. If after 20 hours, I still don't get it, abandon it and move on.
Of course, 20 hours is just an estimate. If after a day, I feel like some magic has taken place (like what Backbone.js did to me), I'm hooked.
And yes, definitely gravitate towards a galaxy. Sometimes galaxies do merge and you will reap the benefits :)
I'm 38, programming for 15 years. And I still love coding and doing systems stuff.
I was reading about zeromq. From zeromq, I linked to iMatrix, OpenAMQP, GSL, and then Pieter Hintjens and Protocol of Dying. Indeed, history of software, including the people behind it, is no less interesting than the software itself.
This is from the Old Testament.
There's one of those in Hemel Hempstead. And surprisingly it works really well...
On a related note, if you have the chance to go to Hemel Hempstead, don't.
I must admit I used to when riding a bike round there chicken out and use the under pass.
I refuse to help someone just because they are female or a minority just because they are female or a minority. I also refuse to help people who won't help themselves.
Those who want to be great, I will help them every way I can. It doesn't matter gender or ethnicity. It's about work ethic.