When someone says "oooh, I can't find qualified people" I don't believe them. If you offer people 2x what they currently make to do a job that isn't bad then you'll get them. If you don't want to offer that then you are offering to underpay them, and that's why they won't come.
You don't have to hire underskilled people and train them. You can just pay. Conversely, if you don't pay them, they'll leave. (well, some will stay to be exploited, sure)
 E.g. I disagree with https://twitter.com/lizthegrey/status/1021960484738629632
Then the girlfriend dumped me as I was moving. :-(
At least the job seems to be OK; I can't complain much about things like being overworked, the company doing poorly, bad morale, or anything like that. And luckily, the dating opportunities in my new location are far better than where I was, but it sucks moving to a new place with no friends and suddenly losing someone so close one by text message, without even the courtesy of a face-to-face meeting to talk about it. Between all the weight loss, lack of sleep, and inability to concentrate it's amazing I'm still employed.
The bad part is, I would have been sorta-OK with breaking up if we could have talked about it, and maintained some contact. We were having problems before this point, so it wasn't a total surprise. But she suddenly turned ice-cold. I've never had a relationship end so badly. I'm still friends with my ex-wife, for instance, and am Facebook friends and sometimes exchange some messages with the girlfriend I had before that, but this gf had a "personal policy" of basically deleting me from her life if we broke up, and she did exactly that. And the thing that really pushed her over the edge was when I complained that she wasn't helping with my move (which she wasn't).
Edit: deleted the rest in response to parent's deletion; I don't want to violate his privacy.
I would be interested to know how it turned out if you went back to them after your honeymoon to see if you could get a new contract then.
No I wouldn't go back, certainly not rightaway. It was a contractor role anyway, plus to be fair it forced me to have some time off i've not had in a couple of years, I don't like taking days off, and with the UK being the hottest it's been for ages it's actually turned out quite well. I've worn shorts for the first time in my life :D
I will say the company was awesome to work for, with great people, but the organisation/organisation was... lacking. Most places i've contracted at they've asked me at worst a month before "so, are you renewing?"
Jesus I can relate. I'm back on the diet/gym train again but it was so much easier when I was running away from life stress.
Almost 2 years in, never touched rails code, lots of ansible playbooks, dockerfiles, random ruby scripts, several company trips to Japan/US; it seems that I became the de-facto Big Data engineer on the company. Many would think it was something I liked. But I didn't. Executives, managers and engineers in the company relied on me to solve what was "sold" to current enterprise customers about "Big Data" and "Machine Learning". The pressure sets in. I couldn't in my nature pose myself as an "expert data scientist" and "big data guy" when I have 0 experience with ML, Python, Spark and Statistics.
I resigned. I thought the reason why I felt stressed because I was alone in this Big Data thing. Boy, I was so wrong. They counter-offered and gave me a high position + a 5-person team, 3 statisticians and 2 system administrators. I never should have took that counter-offer. This time, the pressure is higher since I'm officially responsible for the entire Product line. I needed to catch up to a hyped-up ecosystem of frustrated customers whose only chant was 'your company told me my Hadoop platform could do "Big Data + Machine Learning + AI" where is it?'.
After 4 months of trying; getting me and everyone on the team into Datacamp + Python training seminars, while writing an MVP for a ML-product I thought of, while building product roadmaps, being on meetings, handling internal politics and current customer support. I resigned.
I guess the real reason was; I didn't want this in the first place. Even if I tried to embrace the work, the climb was too steep with amount of runway I had. Customers are expecting ML-based products, now. I couldn't live up to the standards of a Big Data Lead when I have 0 experience on anything Big Data, no mentors teaching me about the proper way to write ML products, let alone run a team.
I left because the place was going downhill and morale was rock bottom. Weak management and funding shortfalls meant that non core departments were being starved of money. Staff were leaving or being made redundant and I was going to be the only one left in my department with little to do. I took the chance to apply elsewhere where they hopefully value the work I do and got in. I am taking a 20% pay cut to do so and I hope it works out. I might have been ok for another year but management turnover meant we have had 3 'staff reorganisations' in 4 years all of which seemed to be cost cutting measures and I can't see that it was going to go on much longer anyway. The latest set of management have come in and shown only slash and burn style; I think they could be aiming to cut back to core and then build from there. Perhaps it will work for them, but I was not optimistic about it.
I live near downtown, and specifically chose my job and house to be a nice bike commute. My nice 30 minutes by bike turned into 2 hours by bus and train. So I quit.
My current manager, one of the best I’ve ever had, is much the same. Technically not superb. But at least pretty good. Also a great listener, and really keyed in to what the team is up to, struggling with, contributing, etc.
The TL I had the issue with very much behaved like an IC, almost never met with me, seemed to be dialing it in most of the time, and just generally was very hard to explain things to. An absent parent, more than a bad parent.
Key points to bad team leadership: bad or no communication at all with your team members, no clear vision/direction, lack of ability to delegate.
What's a polite way of telling someone "Lead, follow, or get out of the effing way?"
Saying it during the exit interview would probably have the most impact.
I just couldn't take it anymore. I can't count the number of times I walked into 2 of my female colleagues sobbing alone in the office. The office is small so it is common to occasionally be the only one in the office. Management knows about the cause of this toxic culture but I just can't stand it anymore. My mental health is more important than whatever they have been paying me.
Now, while I have been teaching myself programming for sometime, I believe I can find my way in a Ruby code base. I also know some Elixir and Python. I am based in East Africa just in case someone here would be kind enough to adopt a 40 year old degree-less man. Just for the experience, I wouldn't mind accepting a non-paying software role. Well, thankfully, I can afford to pay the bills for a few more months.
First in Highschool I had 2 jobs in the summer working about 60 hours a week, parents made me drop one. I kept the one where management was nice. Other one just seemed angry all the time.
Second was the other HS job when I started college. But the new management had become a jerk and so I left a month early.
Third was from burn out. Too many long hours that were not appreciated. I wanted to take 2 months off to get my head straight but they thought I would not quite. I did.
<insert layoff #1 - 20% pay cut - glad to have a job>
Forth was at a place that treated me well, but was a bit of a drive, and the pay was slowly going up, but insurance was going up quickly. The kicker was it looked like my future was ADA. So when an offer came, and it came with more money, much shorter drive and Ruby On Rails ... I jumped.
<insert layoff #2>
Fifth was a softer exit. I was working for a contracting firm. Well they were a subcontractor and tended to try and squeeze people. But I nedded to feed the family. When the contract was renewed, they did a 15% pay cut on people. Tough times don't you know. Well the company I was doing the work for offered me a decent job, slightly less money but much better benefits.
Also to work on something that has more impact on people instead of only profiting big corps.
That wasn't great, but it was managable because everyone understood our circumstances. When I went on my own family leave as my daughter was born, and came back to new management, I shouldered a lot of blame for the project because I was the last one left (it was a series of bad technical decisions from before my time) and still overworked despite having a newborn at home.
After finally going live, even when I warned them it would be a bad idea, I was in charge of the horrible production website. I gritted my teeth and left when my daughter was 9 months old, with no job in sight because I just needed a break.
Best decision I ever made. They fired my problematic boss 3 days before I left (he was one of the new managers, not good at managing or doing his technical work) and it took months to get the production site working. No idea if the next phase went through or not.
I had a nice five month sabbatical with my family and educational projects while I interviewed. It ended up with four job offers, and I'm thrilled with the ones I chose.
I 100% believe they didn't want me there any more once I had a child. The new job is very family friendly (not overworking), pays more, and so far is very low stress. I'm sure the stress level will go up as I become more integrated in the company, but I couldn't be happier.
I hate them, refuse to play along, and the moment I can no longer keep the drama at least a meter away from me I start talking to recruiters.
Been at my current job for 1.5 years, and feel the same way. I'm looking around, but after being a "Software Engineer" for 4 years, employers look for a particular set of skills and experience I simply have not gained during my track record. Feels like a catch-22.
I'm thinking that you study the big picture stuff by reading HackerNews, and get good at the "interview questions." Then you build something on the side with a full modern stack and devops practice. That part is tough.
Then I think you (we'd) have the confidence and the experiences to fall back on during an interview.
What kind of stuff have you done so far?
I've done front-end & back-end on web applications, without ever specializing in either. These days, I mostly write single-page applications with a vdom JS library.
I was bored, not challenged, and completely disheartened to watch morale slowly evaporate. Teams were fractured and everyone went from moving fast with a common purpose to "meh" in a matter of months. New management was assigned, though they were 3000 miles away and showed a tremendous lack of experience in anything other than being a medium-sized cog in the big company machine. For example, the solution to being late on a release with no requires was to both rewrite it in a new language and build it for a completely different infrastructure, and with a 5 month deadline. Months later, people are still arguing about requirements.
I quit b/c we got bought by a corporation about a year ago. The purpose of this purchase was to integrate our technology and our customers into the stack of that corporation. So basically we got dumped with requirements to add features only relevant to that corporation. That totally overwhelmed the capacity of the IT team which already was working at a limit. Some days it all felt like a big house of cards just waiting to collapse due to a little inattention on our side. I mean if an IT department is forced to push the envelope all your best practices are being thrown over board. That just took a toll on me. So to protect my health I decided to leave this company I very much enjoyed working for and help building up for three years.
When it came time to turn in self-evaluations, I turned in a quitting notice. I couldn't bring myself to work through that self-evaluation.
Note well: I'm not saying the FDA was wrong. The steps they took were probably needed. I just didn't like working in the resulting environment.
The conditions were excellent (international first class, best hotels, fantastic restaurants, not much limits) and so was the pay.
But one day I realized that my baby was growing up without me and I quit on the spot (literally : I was in my way home from the office, turned around and resigned (very amicably)).
I moved to a job she I do not travel more at all.
To a much lesser extent, no matter how many times I asked for a new chair I got the same response - "I can ask. But there's nothing I can do about that". I would not have decided to find another job if they made this minimal gesture.
Really the chair thing! I sat in a 15yo hand-me-down desk chair that the leather was peeling off of. I brought in my $100 back support chair from home cause I started having back pain. They were like "huh, ok". I didn't ask for a $3000 herman miller with all the bells and whistles. I asked for some decent back support while spending 8hrs in a chair. If I were my boss I would have bought an amazon gift card for a few hundred bucks and said "pick whatever you like". I would have been forever indented to that guy and probably wouldn't have asked for anything else.
I still don't understand why people don't pick the low hanging fruit when they can.
Ended up getting paid more at a new company, so it worked out.
The second time it was because my partner needed to be outside of the country for an extended period and I wanted to stay with her. That time I asked if I could work remotely. They said yes as a contract manager but not as an engineer, so I left because my personal life is always more important to me than someone's business.
Both exits were on good terms.
Joined because I believed in the mission and thought writing code could really help in the initial vision. Then learned the dirty secret that most of it was marketing how great we were.
I decided to try it because money. Because even though my previous job was perfectly fine, I remain emotionally detached from all employers and coworkers, reducing the situation to a paycheck. One paycheck versus another, so I quit two jobs.
One perfectly reasonable job, in exchange for what I suspected might be a demotion to a telemarketer, and when proven right, I quit the second job, despite the better pay.
Wow. Gee. Oh well.
The one before that, though, I quit because I was getting married and was moving overseas. I gave a few months notice and trained my replacement. Best life change I've made.
I'm an app developer and I realized that I really want to work remotely.
Being in an office all day was extremely demoralizing for me. I would frequently "work from home" to be able to spend a full day focused and productive. That wasn't a great cycle though, because I'd have crunch days at home a couple times a week to get my work done, then hang out in the office and do very little for the rest of the week to get my paycheck. Management was mostly fine with this, but it was taxing on me because it felt like a stupid way to live.
I talked to my managers and let them know that I wanted to work entirely remotely. They weren't supportive of that, but I still don't understand why, other than a general not believing in remote work. I found a remote gig the following week and things have been great ever since.
Once I saw the remote job was working out, I moved across the country to a much cheaper area (well, what isn't, compared to SF). Now I don't pay state income tax, I pay 1/3rd the cost of living for 3x the space, and I'm happy to do my work for longer each day because I don't have a commute. I'm producing better quality software, with less effort, and I'm happier.
If this job eventually ends, I don't think it'll be difficult to find a new thing to do. But with greatly reduced expenses and no fear of needing a paycheck for SF rent, I'm also free to take risks like starting a company or doing consulting for multiple clients.
I chose the PhD.
The problem was deep and it ended up taking a lot longer than I expected to solve it, but that's the way of research. I did eventually discover some new things in the data, and got the PhD, and my thesis formed the basis of my new company.
You're right; I didn't get enough sleep. I got into the habit of working 13 to 15 hours a day. But I wasn't making progress on my thesis fast enough for the university's requirements, so I had to choose. I was still working 13--15 hours a day, seven days a week, but exclusively on my thesis. I finished in eight years. Without Lockheed, I would have been done in four.
Ironically, my day job for Lockheed was being the PI (Principal Investigator) for an Air Force research project that was essentially a whole other PhD thesis. [We took the Google Web 1T 5-Gram Corpus and inverted it; essentially we were doing adversarial ML (generators and discriminators) before that term had been invented.] That's why it took me eight years---because I was doing the work of two different full-time PhDs at the same time.
(Only one got me a neat robe to wear at the end, though.)
In the last couple of months the company was also bought by a bigger international player. Good for the company, but bad for the IT as this bigger player already has loads of dev teams in several other countries.
This was the final push I needed to quit. Fed up with the false promises and the bad outlook for my team I finally found a much better job. A decision I should have taken earlier.