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Top Talent Leaves Expand / Collapse
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Posted Saturday, February 08, 2014 12:28 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item Top Talent Leaves






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Post #1539524
Posted Saturday, February 08, 2014 2:25 PM


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I don't know if I'd prefer to see people in technology working only a few jobs during their careers, spending decades at each, or if we are better workers with the exposure to differing environments and businesses.


I think moving around and getting access to different environments makes better technologists in the long run. The question is how frequent is too frequent and when is it not frequent enough. Getting exposure to different technologies, different environments, different SLAs, and different people can really enhance one's abilities and tool belt.




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Post #1539529
Posted Monday, February 10, 2014 1:55 AM


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I think having teams of people with a mixture of longevity gives a company the best of both worlds: a breadth of industry experience and deep company experience. A key aspect to gain the most benefit is to give neither type of experience control i.e. don't blindly follow the embedded experts but also don't assume that the person bringing experience from the outside will know best. It is the combination that can provide the most potential.

In the context of the editorial, I suggest that there is not one best strategy or rather if there is then it is a combination of the two.


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Post #1539653
Posted Monday, February 10, 2014 2:10 AM


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Firstly hello, this is the first time I write in the forums, but I have been using SQLServerCentral as a resource for some time now.

I am currently the manager for the software department, but due to our size I also do a significant amount of development myself. I have to deal a lot with upper management as well as manage the rest of the development team.

I can certainly see great value at retention; I will certainly do not want to lose any of my people and I know that the company at the moment cannot handle any loss of personnel in the software department. From a personal perspective I think working longer at a good environment is highly beneficial; I am in that stage in my life where I am planning to start a family, which comes with expenses and possibly a hit on performance from having more responsibilities at home and a steady employer with understanding is what will allow me to feel safe about moving forward with my plans.

As a bottom line, I think that it is best for people to move while at a younger age until they find an environment that they will fit in to, but a stable environment (not necessarily one with no changes at all, but at least one with few changes and far between) is what will allow a person to mature socially. We are people after all.


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Post #1539659
Posted Monday, February 10, 2014 2:28 AM


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This editorial and the Forbes article were very interesting.

Whilst I'm not sure I'd call myself 'top talent' I think I've certainly conformed to the pattern of moving once a job gets boring. My moves have predominantly been a thirst for challenge although I've gained pay and responsibility as I've gone along. The clincher for my last move that was made 4 months before I'd originally planned to was caused by the final reason ('Failed To Keep Your Commitments') that led to me feeling like they didn't care about me personally - it's rare I do things in fits of pique but thankfully it was a sound decision I'd already pretty much made anyway and it's already paying dividends.

In terms of moving around - I'd be disinclined to hire someone who moved around between companies more often than once every two years, but I'd expect to see role changes within a company at least once every two years. A job title can hide a multitude of sins so some people may not necessarily get new ones as they progress within a company, but I generally want ambitious, competent people to work for me who are eager to take on more challenge and responsibility. I don't want a staff member who is content to sit on his laurels, I want one who will make himself and the company better.
Post #1539663
Posted Monday, February 10, 2014 2:58 AM


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I've left an unsuitable shop after a year - not a pleasant experience but certainly an elucidating one, I think I'd know the signs much better now. That's not to say any place is exactly perfect but I have some ability to judge the upside versus the downside.

I've tended to find 4 - 6 years has put me to the edge of (my perceived) the value plateau - I'm not feeling I'm adding anything new or getting anything interesting out of doing the job any more. I'm not sure why it gets to that point - but I have always seemed to find myself pissed off with doing the same old crap day in day out. I'm over 6 years now though not totally sure about whether that is the case right now or at least whether it is worth trying something else.
Post #1539672
Posted Monday, February 10, 2014 5:30 AM
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I have come to the conclusion that staying at one employer for more than five years leads to skill stagnation. Over the past 20 years or so I have run into numerous colleagues that stayed too long in one place and found their skills obsolescent when they went looking for a new position after a lay-off. I do not deny there are solid reasons for staying in one company but I believe there are more good reasons for planned career movement.

My career as a technology consultant in application architecture and development, and database development over the past 20 years has shown me that seeing how others accomplish development goals in varied organizations has helped me succeed on numerous individual projects. During this time, I have acquired several paradigms that I consider important in my support of client needs. First is security, I cannot tell you how many clients I have had that did not manage data or application security effectively. In many cases the technology management did not consider it important. Second is maintainability, I have worked on projects with OOD purists that took the abstraction to the point of ridiculous. These projects would need a developer with ten years experience to troubleshoot. Third is documentation, by documentation I do not mean inline code comments although that is important too. What I do mean is a description of how the application integrates with other applications within its environment. Technical blueprints describe how applications are to work as well as how they integrate with other systems.

If I had stayed in one place for ten years or more, I may never have seen these issues as important but because I have moved around in a number of client situations I understand more about what makes application development work.
Post #1539706
Posted Monday, February 10, 2014 6:28 AM
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Worked in too many companies that seem to keep the poor and ignore the talent (anything that is even slightly above average). Anyone given enough time ought to outgrow any company.

There does seem to be this strange 2 years expected in a company before a move becomes acceptable. A person who has more experience is , to me, more valuable that a lifer who doesnt want change and helps slow the company down.
Post #1539723
Posted Monday, February 10, 2014 6:36 AM
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I agree with most of the posts so far. There is some value in turnover. One post mentioned five years as the longest to stay, which isn't true for me, so I presume it isn't true across the board. You can stay longer and still learn as long as the company is growing and taking on new challenges.

I think the shortest time frame one should stay should be about two years. Anything less is unfair to the company and the investment they made in you. Unless there are really good reasons, staying less will affect your ability to find employment later in life.

As to the longest time frame, I don't see a limit. Not everyone needs to be a star, and some people don't want to be. There is a person who was one of our most valuable assets who retired after 45 years. He didn't outperform everyone technically, but he mentored every individual who has looked to improve their performance and skills. We are better off due to his leadership. He never rose above first level management, but he didn't need to. His leaving has left a hole that we simply will never fill.

As to causes of turnover, I believe companies cause this more often than not. There is a huge difference between an incentive to stay and an incentive to leave, but they don't get that. For example, we have had a large amount of turnover in the past few years, and the solution chosen was that you have to pay back any training you took up to two years after termination - any termination. Guess what happened as soon as they announced that idea.

All of us are willing to put up with a certain number of missteps, some more than others. A lot of people won't put up with much, and I think generally speaking the more valuable someone is, the less likely they are to put up with it.


Dave
Post #1539728
Posted Monday, February 10, 2014 7:19 AM
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Yet Another DBA (2/10/2014)
Worked in too many companies that seem to keep the poor and ignore the talent (anything that is even slightly above average). Anyone given enough time ought to outgrow any company.

There does seem to be this strange 2 years expected in a company before a move becomes acceptable. A person who has more experience is , to me, more valuable that a lifer who doesnt want change and helps slow the company down.


I agree with you that a lot of companies don't reward talent. That is NOT true everywhere, but sometimes it seems it is.

Some people enjoy their work place and have no need to move on. There is nothing wrong with that at all.

Your last point comes down to balance. People who don't want to change may be an issue, but sometimes older, more experienced staff has very good reasons for slowing things down. Sometimes the new guy thinks he knows everything when he is really quite clueless about reality at that company. On the other hand, people who have worked at a few companies do sometimes bring vakuable new ideas.

What it comes down to is this, just because someone thinks they know everything does not make it true, whether they are a long term staff member or a new hire. All of us can learn from everyone else, it is the lesson that we can learn which varies.


Dave
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