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The Shortage of Programmers Expand / Collapse
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Posted Saturday, May 03, 2008 11:45 AM


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Post #494660
Posted Monday, May 05, 2008 4:50 AM


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Everyone has their piece of the pie that they are pursiung. For some their piece is the big bucks and the prestige. For others it is using their skills to aid a smaller company to be the big company of tomorrow. For another group it is contributing to the development of the Developer Community.

This variety is important in the continuity of our industry.
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Post #494846
Posted Monday, May 05, 2008 6:13 AM


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Don't forget - along with the perks come the risks. Not all that long ago a lot of people thought that working for IBM was a guaranteed gold watch and comfortable retirement. Then all of a sudden IBM had to run leaner and a lot of people got pink slips. IBM is still a major player in the software field, but it's surprising how good things can come and go. It's likely only a matter of time before Microsoft (and eventually Google) will have to have the make the same kinds of decisions.

Unfortunately, until the day that the west dumps capitalism and replaces it with socialist central planning (and I don't think that day is coming any time soon) we all have to live with the ups and downs of the market for our jobs.

As a general rule, I find it's best to realize that there are certain places where you get pools of employment for your field - find the one you like best and hang around. While you're there, work hard to make yourself valuable. It's not a perfect approach, but it works for me...

P.S. to the editors - "Google" is not in the spell check dictionary of the text editor for your site. I got a message that it should be changed to "Goggle". oops!


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Post #494895
Posted Monday, May 05, 2008 6:24 AM


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Steve - "Being the "Voice of Microsoft" has a nice ring to it "

Thou blasphemer! May the mighty Bill smite thee with a pox!


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Posted Monday, May 05, 2008 6:54 AM
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I worry that we're going to tip over in some weird way. You've got kids with very little real experience making $75-100k right out of high school/college. No doubt some are very good, but when you start out at the level you're just looking to go higher, and outside of MS/Google going higher is very hard. In addition, the bigger challenge is that you've the experienced people making about $5k a year more than the beginners. I'd like to think they should command a bit more of a premium. It's long been a challenge in corporate circles and it's not gettting any easier.

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Post #494916
Posted Monday, May 05, 2008 6:55 AM


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In Canada, there has been a decades long "brain-drain" south to the United States. People get paid more and pay less taxes (generally). But I agree with Steve ... if someone from the US wants to pay me more money so that I can program from Canada, I'll sign up. Until then, I am pretty happy living where I am.

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Post #494917
Posted Monday, May 05, 2008 6:56 AM
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Whine all he wants, and make no mistake it is whining, developing an architecture and/or tools that millions of people, other developers included, will use is far more 'heady' or significant a task than developing software for some two bit clerk to enter sales invoices more efficiently. Why would you not want to work in that role for those two companies? But of course, Hailstorm is the only product MS has to work on!

However, that wouldn't be as good as peddling jobs on my blog.....jobs.joelonsoftware.com.
Post #494919
Posted Monday, May 05, 2008 7:55 AM
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I agree with your philosophical points and also the comments about Joel. As a long time reader of his column, I was really surprised. It definitely sounds like a rant in all respects.

Architecture astronauts or not - Google is getting bigger and bigger by offering web based software for the masses. I think a better point to explore would be that Microsoft has taken a follow-ship position, and how it has happened.

I also tried to listen to Joel's new podcasts but boy are they ever boring! The title of each podcast is "podcast #1", "podcast #2" and so on - pretty clear they didn't have a clear topic to explore intelligently.

Also, I've come to expect suits to denegrate and deminish the contribution of SW developers, but not Joel! I am sure that Joel has at least a few past columns in which he explained the economics of SW on the side of SW developers, such that one good, cheaply distributed and properly marketed product can bring in a great deal of money, which is why a SW developer can justifiably make more than a doctor or accountant. (The SW developers contribution is effectively spread to lots of places at the same time, doing lots of work not easily done otherwise.)

Not to mention that breaking into 6 figures isn't that much any more: taxes go up, gas goes up, hopefully starting salaries for in-demand fields go up.
Post #494976
Posted Monday, May 05, 2008 8:39 AM
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Steve,

Actually, there are very few baseball players making $200K to $300K per year. The major league minimum is over $500K, and minor league salaries are very low.

David Morrison
Post #495019
Posted Monday, May 05, 2008 8:52 AM


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Being the "Voice of Microsoft" has a nice ring to it


I dunno. I just can't picture you with a hair line moustache, thick glasses, and a hat with a little silver skull on the front. I'm not going to start calling you "little Joe" just yet.

You can tell I'm jerking you around here, right?


ATB

Charles Kincaid

Post #495031
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