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Do You Want a Meritocracy at Work? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Friday, June 14, 2013 12:55 PM
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rclark-1124819 (6/14/2013)

The second is title inflation. Calling pc techs computer system analysts and the like.


In the USA this is done to avoid paying overtime. Certain titles fall into the exempt status.
Post #1463743
Posted Friday, June 14, 2013 12:57 PM
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It's hard to compare working in IT/DBA world and Football. football has easily defined metrics that can be measured (YAC, QB Rating, etc).
Post #1463744
Posted Friday, June 14, 2013 1:10 PM
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Not really. People think it does, but it is a violation as shown below:

Section 541.400(a) lists employees who qualify for this exemption as including computer systems analysts, computer programmers, software engineers, and other similarly skilled workers in the computer field. As explained in the preamble to the final rule, such job titles alone, however, are not the determining factor for exemption. See 69 Fed. Reg. at 22,160. An exempt computer employee’s primary duty must consist of those duties discussed in 29 C.F.R. § 541.400(b). As indicated in 29 C.F.R. § 541.401,
Post #1463752
Posted Friday, June 14, 2013 1:12 PM
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rclark-1124819 (6/14/2013)
Not really. People think it does, but it is a violation as shown below:

Section 541.400(a) lists employees who qualify for this exemption as including computer systems analysts, computer programmers, software engineers, and other similarly skilled workers in the computer field. As explained in the preamble to the final rule, such job titles alone, however, are not the determining factor for exemption. See 69 Fed. Reg. at 22,160. An exempt computer employee’s primary duty must consist of those duties discussed in 29 C.F.R. § 541.400(b). As indicated in 29 C.F.R. § 541.401,


True its the other parts of the job description that goes along with the title that helps determine it.
Post #1463753
Posted Friday, June 14, 2013 4:54 PM
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I would like to be paid based on my ability to deliver value to my clients. Football is a business. Players are paid based on their ability to deliver value to their team's owners. IT professionals should seriously hone their business skills in order to enter contracts that stipulate how compensation will be rendered for items listed in a statement of work. We all know way too many instances of complete idiots being rewarded for being anything but worthy.


Post #1463783
Posted Saturday, June 15, 2013 2:50 AM
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Hi,

I'm puzzled by the "Want" in the question, because where I work this is the situation, management have clearly said that there are no relaxed corners and if you don't perform the exit is clearly the only option.

Clearly tough talk, especially for us older people, myself being 42. But I also respect the standpoint, that payment is done on performance , and not years of service or other soft relations.

But for sure can be hard keeping up with the younger colleagues, especially keeping up with the amount of changes coming our way.

Best regards
Soren Nielsen
Post #1463834
Posted Saturday, June 15, 2013 9:02 AM


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fchen 34442 (6/14/2013)
If I was a business owner (one day!), I would want my development team to be younger, being guided by those who have the experience to prevent, to the best of their abilities as managers, the pitfalls of the young generation being too courageous (= dumb).

what an odd point of view. I guess you must be too young to have discovered that often the youngsters are the stick-in-the-muds who think that the only way to do anything is the way they were taught in college, perhaps because they don't realise that isn't possible to learn all the various ways to do something and the advantages and disadvantages of each way during a 4 year degree course. It's usually also youngsters who are very cautious, not willing to look for a new way of doing something, not ready to challenge "received wisdom". Some of us older types have learnt that "received wisdom" and "what everybody knows" are usually wrong, that we often can't know which way is best without doing quite a lot of investigation (and that we may still get it wrong even having investigated), and that if you are trying to do something that hasn't been done before you may have to throw away the book.
But we can't all be managers just because we have tenure.
I've never had the misfortune to work anywhere where there was a concept of being manager through having tenure. Do such places exist in the real world, as opposed to in bad novels, in staged farces, and in TV sitcoms?
So while there is definitely a push out there to promote the young who may be more in tune (and more flexible) to adopt newer technologies
In my experience, it was the older and more experienced people who were prepared to accept change and adopt newer technologies.

Actually, I think merit-based pay and benefits are a great idea. So is merit-based promotion when it's possible to determine the merits (in the context of the new job) of someone you are considering promoting; unfortunately, often you are guessing about those merits - how do you tell whether a developer will make a good team leader? Whether a developer will make a good system designer/architect, even? Whether a good team leader will make a good department head/programme manager/tap manager/division manager/CTO/CIO? If someone is a good developer, can write good technical reports, and can give decent presentations that doesn't necessarily mean that [s]he could lead a team effectively; even if [s]he can do a good job of mentoring one junior, can [s]he cope with a team of five? This is where the meritocracy concept breaks - it's easy to base rewards on merit, and merit can drive promotions that are really nothing more than job title changes, but promoting someone into a radically different job isn't going to be based on observation of merit at doing that job.


Tom
Post #1463858
Posted Saturday, June 15, 2013 9:34 AM


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DavidL (6/14/2013)
Richard Warr (6/14/2013)

Age is just as irrelevant as .... what football team you support.


That might be stretching it, but I understand the point you were trying to make


I'm pretty sure it isn't stretching it. My experience started with paper tape and ended up with windows 8. As I got older I found that more and more often I was the one who was happiest with new technologies and changes. Others of my generation lived through the same massive changes in computer technology (both hardware and software), without difficulty in coping with change and novelty. Age doesn't cause increased resistance to change. I suspect youth doesn't either, although the arrogance of a youngster with a shiny new first class honours degree (degree summa cum laude for you west pond types) sometimes makes him think that because he knows everything any old buffer like me who suggests anything he doesn't know must be incompetent - but not all youngsters think they know it all (and most of those who do soon learn that they don't).


Tom
Post #1463861
Posted Saturday, June 15, 2013 2:56 PM


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Good question, Steve. And I've read some of the responses (not all yet), and they're all great. I'd say that I don't believe I've ever worked in a place where they had a meritocracy. I work for a university now, and have been here for many years. Before that I worked in state government. It's been my experience that working in the public sector has nothing, or nearly nothing, to do with merit, except to get you the job in the first place. I've seen too many people just punching the clock, because they're got a couple more years to go before they retire with the civil service pension, and whether they bend over backwards to help anyone else, or merely do the minimum, doesn't make much difference. I think I'd like to work in a place where merit meant more and had more influence. Where I work now, everyone gets the same percentage pay raise (if there is any pay raise), so that tends to foster an attitude of not putting out 110%. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not saying that all people who work in the public sector just do a minimum to get by. I also know of many people, working in the public sector, who really bust their buns to get the job done. They go above and beyond the call of duty. It's just that I think there's more than the average amount of people who don't do more than the minimum amount to get a job done. Merit would be good to see, and may bring about change. However, in this I really feel like an outsider looking in, so I don't know if I'm correct about merit making a change or not.


Rod
Post #1463898
Posted Saturday, June 15, 2013 3:15 PM


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Doctor Who 2 (6/15/2013)
Good question, Steve. And I've read some of the responses (not all yet), and they're all great. I'd say that I don't believe I've ever worked in a place where they had a meritocracy. I work for a university now, and have been here for many years. Before that I worked in state government. It's been my experience that working in the public sector has nothing, or nearly nothing, to do with merit, except to get you the job in the first place. I've seen too many people just punching the clock, because they're got a couple more years to go before they retire with the civil service pension, and whether they bend over backwards to help anyone else, or merely do the minimum, doesn't make much difference. I think I'd like to work in a place where merit meant more and had more influence. Where I work now, everyone gets the same percentage pay raise (if there is any pay raise), so that tends to foster an attitude of not putting out 110%. Now, don't get me wrong, I am not saying that all people who work in the public sector just do a minimum to get by. I also know of many people, working in the public sector, who really bust their buns to get the job done. They go above and beyond the call of duty. It's just that I think there's more than the average amount of people who don't do more than the minimum amount to get a job done. Merit would be good to see, and may bring about change. However, in this I really feel like an outsider looking in, so I don't know if I'm correct about merit making a change or not.

I can see where that is. In the UK, we have trade unions which have traditionally tried to enforce a "no merit-related pay" policy and although those unions have lost all power and credibility almost everywhere else they are still extremely powerful in connection with working for government (whether national, regional, or local government). In fact it often appears that the trade unions whose members work for government want to enforce a policy that says (a) no matter how badly you do your job no-one can use that against you in any way, (b) everyone must have an inflation plus pay-rise every year, even if they are demonstrably incompetent, and (c) trade union officials must be paid amazingly large salaries and other benefits (far more than any dozen of their members could get). Public sector - merit: these are two things which, according to our trade unions, much never be associated.

edit: it occurs to me that with that avatar you may be a UK-ite yourself, in which case you already know all that I've said here.


Tom
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