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Do You Want a Meritocracy at Work?


Do You Want a Meritocracy at Work?

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Steve Jones
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Craig-315134 (6/17/2013)
Steve Jones wrote:

It may mean that the newest, youngest person at your company might rise much faster than you simply because they're a better DBA or developer.

Sounds a bit like ageism to me. Since when does 'younger' necessarily equate to 'better'?


It doesn't. I said might, because the traditional ways of growing your career involve time. By definition, youth haven't had time in the company, or anywhere for that matter. If someone younger rises faster because of merit, it can be a shock, since many people view their time in a job as having value. This could be true for older, but new-to-IT people, but that's less common.

Far too many people are not self aware with their careers. They often think they've gained 10 years of experience in a job when they've really had one year 10 times, or often six months experience 20 times over.

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GoofyGuy
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djackson wrote:

It would have been equally acceptable.

There is nothing at all wrong with the statement. We as a society really need to stop all the PC garbage.


Or it would have been equally unacceptable. Part of the reason 'all the PC garbage' (as you put it) exists is because some people are indeed insensitive to the disadvantages other groups have endured in past and present.

A meritocracy is to what we all should aspire, most certainly. And whilst youth and age confer their own particular advantages and disadvantages, I do think it was in poor form to single out older workers as an editorial example.
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Steve, I understand your clarification and in fact agree with it.

I took exception only to the phrasing in the original editorial, which I understand you to have corrected through your clarification, thank you.

I consider the issue closed.
djackson 22568
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Craig-315134 (6/17/2013)
djackson wrote:

It would have been equally acceptable.

There is nothing at all wrong with the statement. We as a society really need to stop all the PC garbage.


Or it would have been equally unacceptable. Part of the reason 'all the PC garbage' (as you put it) exists is because some people are indeed insensitive to the disadvantages other groups have endured in past and present.

A meritocracy is to what we all should aspire, most certainly. And whilst youth and age confer their own particular advantages and disadvantages, I do think it was in poor form to single out older workers as an editorial example.


There is nothing wrong with stating a fact. When people attempt to portray that as discrimination they are in fact engaging in discrimination, and decreasing the value of any gains made against discrimination in the past. As I said, humans are all different, and that is one of our greatest strengths. Ignoring our differences is causing more issues than acknowledging them.

Sorry, we will have to agree to disagree.

We can agree on what you said about it being equally unacceptable, but I view the level of unacceptability as absolutely zero, and you don't.

Dave
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@djackson, I would refer you to my response to Steve's clarification. I understand and agree with it, and feel his post explains his views much better than did his original editorial phrasing.
TomThomson
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Steve Jones - SSC Editor (6/17/2013)
Far too many people are not self aware with their careers. They often think they've gained 10 years of experience in a job when they've really had one year 10 times, or often six months experience 20 times over.

Yet employers are always looking for a large number of years experience doing just one thing; to me, it seems that a competent developer can learn a new language and development tool-set well enough to be effective (albeit slowed down by frequent reference to the book) in a fortnight, and become fluent and capable of developing software rapidly within 6 months. Of course with complex horror stories like C++ and its assorted template libraries or Java and its run-time packages that assumes that the developer learns the bits he is likely to use, not the whole foul mess, while with something like T-SQL it's comparatively to learn it all in a fairly short time, so in some cases an employer may be justified in asking for more experience of a particular development technology, but there's no justification for asking for five or ten years experience with a particular development setup. A DBA of course isn't just learning T-SQL but learning the way SQL-Server does recovery, what is available in the way of features that reduce risk of data loss and/or time for recovery, and so on, but there's no real reason for asking for five years experience with configuring log shipping. What a DBA or a developer really needs is lots of experience of doing lots of different things, and the difficult part of the job is choosing algorithms, data structures, modular structure, and error management and security mechanisms, not churning the coding or configuration handle. But what HR departments and recruitment agents generally ask for is lots of experience of doing the same thing over and over again, and t is almost always trivia that they choose to ask for years of experience of. If some developers and DBAs are deluded into thinking they are gaining useful extra experience by repeating the same 6 months of activity twice a year for ten years that's more the fault of the recruitment process which asks for candidates with that repetition of the same experience than of the poor deluded DBAs and developers.

Tom

Miles Neale
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L' Eomot Inversé (6/17/2013)
Yet employers are always looking for a large number of years experience doing just one thing; to me, it seems that a competent developer can learn a new language and development tool-set well enough to be effective ...


Very well state Tom and I appreciate it.

I also have like experience to what you have. And that experience has shown me that there is a point where the understanding of IT theory and science take priority over syntax and punctuation, and logic becomes the language and the code is just a dialect. At that point languages can be learned quickly. Should we pay people like this what they are worth, or should we pay them the same as the first year grad from Junior College?

And conversely, should we pay the more experienced employee who has given up ten years ago and is working for rocking chair money the same as we would the second year employee with a degree from MIT in Computer Engineering who is all but performing miracles?

Appreciate the question Steve!

M...

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Craig-315134 (6/17/2013)
David Tennant. Tom Baker a close second! ;-)


Probably because I've been watching for so long, I still prefer Tom Baker to David Tennant. But I'd say Tennant is a close second. He played the Doctor brilliantly (as his Doctor would say). :-)

Rod
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Greetings, Rod! I've been watching Doctor Who since William Hartnell played the Doctor.

It seems the Doctors keep getting younger. I'm hoping the next one is someone older and more cynical!

Hugh Laurie!
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