Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

What you say makes sense, but I wonder: do the big, high profile companies intentionally have a high churn rate on employees, especially young hires?

I heard someone talking about how IBM/Intell/etc... hire PhD's right out of grad school, train them for 6 months, squeeze all the creative energy and effort out of the employee they can for 2-4 years, and then expect the employee to want to go work elsewhere b/c they're burned-out. The productivity they get in those 2-4 years is worth burning out employees.

This also happens in finance, where jobs right out of school are 60-80+ hour weeks for a few years. Then you land a nicer position (likely in management) once you've cut your teeth.

Is there evidence that a similar thing is happening at the Google/Facebooks too?

My experience in finance IT business is different (but it depends on finance business itself - the difference between writing systems for mortgage industry is different than what quants write and that's different from guys writing integration/real time market data/trading systems).

But what's the most important thing in finance IT business is to keep with business knowledge. Having only pure IT skills will get you nowhere. You need to understand a business side of your finance domain which means being able to easily communicate with your clients/customers in their language. It's pretty common to see IT guys in finance having Series 7/24/63 or CFA certificates on their resume (I'm one of them). Again if you want to be in finance IT business for a long haul, focusing on general IT knowledge only is not enough.

I don't know that the vampirism is intentional. Even in investment banking, the most evil non-war/oil industry on earth, the bad hours have more to do with a dysfunctional workflow (the real work begins at 4:00 pm and has a next-day deadline, but it's only an 8- to 10-hour day of real work) and secrecy (i.e. hire fewer people and have them doing less interesting work => reduce leak risk) than intentional malice.

I don't think that's happening at companies like Google and Facebook. Companies like that bend over backward to prevent their workers from burning out (massages, healthy cafeteria meals). When people burn out after 2-4 years, they leave behind legacy horrors (speaking of vampires) and that can easily cancel out any benefits you get by working people 60+ hours per week.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact