I'd love to see questions like this phrased to account for this:
"Opportunity for professional growth, to grow my future earning potential."
"Opportunity for professional growth, because I enjoy learning new things."
"Opportunity for professional growth, to reach a role I cannot fill with my current skills."
I know the article tried to address this with the responses, but that's sort of the default answer you give in this field. No one really says, or enjoys hearing, "I want to learn more so I can make more money".
And it's one of the unfair things in life that jobs that pay more often get other benefits as well. Making $40k/year? Chances are you get 2 weeks vacation, inflexible work hours, inferior equipment. Making $200K/year? I'll be you also have top of the line equipment, no one keeping close tabs on your hours, 4 weeks or more vacation, money to go to conferences, etc.
A mentor of mine once told me that I should seek to make more money, even if that's not my motivation. He said that more money is always nice to have, but also that when someone pays you more, they respect you more, so you get all the benefits that come along with that.
The counter-example to that could be that once you're senior enough, you are never 100% on vacation. If enough goes wrong, you will get called back to work.
I've yet to be called with this strategy.
> my brother is teaching his cat how to high five by giving her a treat every time she successfully taps her hand to his hand, which is all well and good, but now she thinks that she is entitled to food every time she high fives someone. i can’t eat in the same room as her anymore because she’ll just bap my hand rapid fire and then go nyoom straight in for my pizza like no Kelly that’s illegal go finish ur own dinner
I should have worded myself more clearly...
I do agree about unplugging, but I've never had a vacation ruined by having a work-related text or call steal my attention for 5 minutes. If me being reachable (not necessarily _available_) puts my employer at ease then it makes it easier for me to take the vacations I want to take because they're more likely to be flexible with my schedule during busy times.
I don't think the average <employer/line manager/assistant actually making the phone call> cares about it nearly as much as one might think they would:
Boss: "we need to reach $person urgently, get them on the line for me..." <walks back into office>
Assistant: "Sir, yes, sir"* <looks up numbers, calls $person's wife>
* or local equivalent
To give an extreme example, the President (of the US) is never truly unplugged. In the cases where the president is truly unplugged, SoP is for that person to temporarily stop being the President.
In your case why would you push for a higher role knowing the tradeoffs?
The second set of people can try but when shit hits the fan they will have to explain what happened and why it couldn’t be prevented.
To get to that level you will need to go through levels where you can’t do that without jeopardising further promotions.
A good way to measure this is look at how long it takes to do handover when someone leaves a project. If it is more than half an hour of showing someone where the repo is and a brief explanation then you have a problem that can be fixed with better processes. Ideally, someone should be able to pick up a project or a product very quickly as all the information they need should be in a simple, easily navigable format that they can consume and understand. I realise that is an ideal case but if you are senior enough to lead you can be senior enough to never make yourself a dependency and that callback never comes because it is never required. Ensuring management above you understands your value is another problem (anyone who can code themselves out of a job is worth keeping around and giving harder jobs to and good managers will understand that).
This has not been my experience either personally or by proxy to my more-senior colleagues. But it may be I have found myself in a particular niche which is non-representative.
The simplest response for both is to delegate: "<person y> now has temporary or permanent authority in the decisions <person x> used to have". That means you need to have a person y for each person x and there needs to be enough trust that person y will make decisions that x would approve of (even if sometimes different). If you're a single-person startup, there is no person y, but then these questions aren't really relevant. As the Pinboard FAQ says, the answer to what happens is the bus will be fine.
The regulatory demands in financial technology, and especially in those industries where both the regulators as well as majority of the players may not be technically literate, are effectively the anti-thesis of robust and reliable engineering. When the industry regulations demand that for every potentially disruptive action (recovering from an outage is very much potentially disruptive) there has to be a named individual - not even a role, but an individual - to sign off on every single release step... This is why an outage can last for hours. An engineer, or even a lead, is with high probability not allowed to sign off on an out-of-hours deployment. The fix might take 20 minutes to identify, 5 minutes to implement, 15 minutes to test, and 10 minutes to roll out. But until the organisation can get the named [supposedly responsible] person online, the fix must wait, unreleased.
And the irony? The wider dysfunction may be imposed by the regulations, but it has been requested by the industry at large. It is the result of the industry players, majority of whom are incapable (read: technologically illiterate) of interpreting prescriptive regulations. So instead of figuring out how to meet expectations and adapt their processes, they have been lobbying for the regulators to come up with highly descriptive playbooks and step-by-step instructions. These sequences then specify rules and requirements that allow technologically incompetent players to comply, even if they do not understand why they are doing the things.
And then these regulatory playbooks become the One True Way[tm], effectively forcing dysfunctional practices, but also actively preventing any process improvements.
It's cargo-culting taken to the extreme: "do this and you will not be found to be non-compliant, even if the quality is utter shite". The worst part of this all is that the descriptive regulations make every effort to strip engineers of their agency or decision power. Every "modern" best practice is explicitly ruled as non-compliant and hence effectively illegal. I use scare quotes around modern to highlight that these practices are by no means modern and have been known since ancient times. There are research papers from 1950's that explicitly endorse [rapid] iterative bottom-up approach as the only sensible way forward.
The finance industry regulations explicitly reject them because these studies assume that engineers can be trusted to know what they are doing.
So... to anyone wondering why finance industry jobs are generally thought of as soul-sucking: that's why. They are subject to regulations, expressly designed to deprive individuals of their agency.
You're right I haven't been directly exposed to such regulations (our emergency releases also require sign-off from management but there are multiple people who can approve and different people for different stages) and I don't ever intend to be. Even for something much lighter. At my current job I refused a request from my boss/boss's boss to go through the process of obtaining a Public Trust Position which would be necessary if I needed to debug my team's product for one of our government customers. Fortunately I didn't have to quit over it, and I still got promoted later. Other people on other teams just went along with it. So I guess I'd amend my thinking (aided by your comments on lots of the regulation in finance being self-requested) that for people who get themselves into a position where it's "not possible" to go 100% on vacation, regardless of the level of dysfunction at the org, many of them generally don't mind it. If they did, they could switch jobs, and anyone concerned about accepting such a deal should weigh that instead of imagining that there's nothing to be done.
The desired result of the regulations is, first and foremost, accountability. This includes, but is not limited to, audit trails and provenance. But because the regulations have been written to specify exactly One True Way[tm] of reaching an adequate level of accountability, they end up causing nasty second-order effects.
As sibling comment by PeterStuer mentions, the unfortunate end result is inventive interpretation to avoid the worst of the disruptions. So from my point of view, the rules put in place to _enforce_ accountability have created perverse incentives to _reduce_ proper accountability.
That can not be a healthy situation either in short or long term.
Interested in this... any links?
DOI: 10.1109/MC.2003.1204375 ; "Iterative and Incremental Development: A Brief History"
DOI: 10.1109/AGILE.2013.17 ; "Continuous Delivery? Easy! Just Change Everything (Well, Maybe It Is Not That Easy)"
DOI (with link): https://doi.org/10.1002/spip.344 ; "The agile professional culture: A source of agile quality" [the article itself is pretty light on useful material but it contains some of the strongest individual arguments I've seen, all in one package]
Direct PDF link: https://www.futureworksconsulting.com/perch/resources/pdfs/t... [the valuable material is on the first page]
DOI: 10.1.1.428.5843 ; "Evaluation of Quality AssuranceFactorsinAgile Methodologies"
There are plenty of other reports and papers on the topics, but they bring very little to the table on their own. These five have provided me with a decent starting point. The references to findings and reports from 1950's are in the first one, btw.
The most valuable sources have been just 5 (yes, five) research papers / reports. Luckily they sport citations, but sadly I haven't poured over more than a fraction of them so far.
If fecal matter hits the rotating turbines often that you are never 100% on vacation, then you have fecal hitting around all the time. It is not like seniors would be on vacation 50% time of year.
> Often times, theres an issue with this or that feature in production
You should not have often issues with features in production. You should have them once in a while, rarely. The situation that seniors are always desperately needed to fix crisis during their vacation requires workplace that is having crisis pretty much all the time.
Capable management does not generate projects that are in crisis all the time.
There being once a week release that needs senior involvement each time it happens so it surely hits also vacation? Badly organized.
True, but if you're good at your job, then this should be a very rare occurrence! It's still well worth the trade-off.
> CEO was near frothing at the mouth over my absence when shit hit the fan.
I'd be the one offended for having my vacation interrupted.
I can't stress this enough. The more I charged as a consultant, the more my clients would shut up and heed my advice.
When I went out on my own a few years back, it was a rush to sign any client at an hourly rate not that much higher than my previous salary rate. Those first clients were rough.
As you’re saying, I’ve also seen first hand the more I charge the more people take my suggestions seriously, and overall the better the clients are for my business. Go figure.
Work long hours? Develop additional tool during your free time? Help clients more than your job requires? You are a sucker.
Manage to shout enough to get a raise? Now you are a champion.
Doesn't need to be in my experience, both the employee and employer can respect each other even when they don't get along well on personal level. However it is actually quite interesting that it is a relationship that can be weird and toxic, while still providing (economical) value for both parties.
And yes, the strength of free market and capitalism is to transform greed and all the behaviors that come with it into a fuel that helps the economy for everyone. It does not transform these into virtues though...
"A Sociopath with an idea recruits just enough Losers to kick off the cycle. As it grows it requires a Clueless layer to turn it into a controlled reaction rather than a runaway explosion. Eventually, as value hits diminishing returns, both the Sociopaths and Losers make their exits, and the Clueless start to dominate. Finally, the hollow brittle shell collapses on itself and anything of value is recycled by the sociopaths according to meta-firm logic."
This realization has stopped me from trying to hire people. I don't think I have the shoulders to be the chief sociopath.
I've made 60k/yr at jobs where I've had awesome equipment and flexible hours.
People respect you more if you get things done and solve problems. Not because you have a big salary. How often do you think people respect management?
Just geography alone determines salary. I could make double if I simply moved to San Francisco for the same job. Doesn't mean I'm "more respected".
That's not what the person you replied to is saying. The above person is saying that companies which pay well also tend to respect their employees more, so seek out a higher salary because those companies also tend to offer better benefits/culture.
Some would say that Google, in all its free lunch glory, doesn't respect its employees that well consider they've had employees go on strike due to their policies.
The protests were mostly against sexual abusers/harassers and the arbitration policies. Are you implying that most other tech companies haven't had any executive-level sexual harassers? That most other tech companies don't have forced-arbitration policies?
How many other companies openly allow their employees to organize protests through company emails and forums? Not many. The open culture is what allows people to protest.
Disclaimer: I work at Google.
Most I got for mine (leading an actual strike) was a written reprimand -probably forced by the hr manger of a certain BT division (not the one I worked in)
Did mange to change company policy and get several k people a better pension later on.
Not saying that isn't a good strategy for some people (and I probably would have enjoyed that pace when I was younger), but it's not really what I think of when I think about respect and good culture.
I'd be very interested to know if this has changed.
It's kind of sad that in the US and Canada, 4 weeks vacation is special, and 2 weeks vacation is legal.
No one keeps tabs on your hours, but you better get stuff done!
Technical jobs that are well payed and well respected are found more often in companies that produce a product or service that is sold rather than in companies that sell your time, whether directly or under the guise of 'projects'. If your time-sheet impacts the bill to the customer, you are the product being sold.
The reason to avoid the latter is that all benefits to you, either salary or equipment/working conditions, are seen as expenses that impact the margin on the rate, while in a product company they are far more likely to written of as investments into the IP producing engine.
I was curious what made you pick your cities, though. Data availability? Boulder and not Boston surprised me.