Author Topic: Sold Out: How High-Tech Billionaires & Bipartisan Beltway Crapweasels Are Screwi  (Read 2482 times)

David Randolph

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Historically, the trades have had three levels of workers: apprentice, journeyman, master. There is a very good reason why it is called "journey man" - because the person has to be always on the move to the next job. No one town has enough work for them to do. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journeyman_years for a fuller description and images of the uniform they must wear in order to not be treated as tramps.

In today's IT market, trying to make it in small towns will be very challenging. The cities are far more likely to be able to support you. The reason is that it takes contacting about 100 possible clients to find one ready to spend the money we need them to spend.
Note: I didn't say have the money to spend. There are a lot more potential clients out there with the money to spend than those with the willingness to spend.

TechTalk

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The cities are far more likely to be able to support you. The reason is that it takes contacting about 100 possible clients to find one ready to spend the money we need them to spend.
Keep in mind that this thread was suppose to be about the original poster's desire to help his daughter find a sustainable job once she graduates from high school and possibly college.

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In today's IT market, trying to make it in small towns will be very challenging.
My brother (a journeyman electrician) lives in a medium size city and he often has to drive quite a distance for work. Sometimes this requires him to stay in a hotel for several days or weeks.

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Historically, the trades have had three levels of workers
The following is the difference.
The work might differ when my brother (a journeyman electrician) goes to a different job, however, the tools that he uses are essentially the same. In software development a firm/client often starts by dividing people by programming languages and technologies used and then by experience levels with those programming languages and associated technologies. By the time someone reaches the journeyman level, the programming languages and technologies have often become obsolete or not very popular.

When that happens whom do you think you are competing against? The answer is "various body shops". Sure you can go work for one of them in order to stay employed for a time, but those firms may decide that it is more profitable for them to use a less expensive employee or to off-shore most of the work.

The Gorn

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(a LOT of stuff that I absolutely agree with...)

... By the time someone reaches the journeyman level, the programming languages and technologies have often become obsolete or not very popular.

When that happens whom do you think you are competing against? The answer is "various body shops". Sure you can go work for one of them in order to stay employed for a time, but those firms may decide that it is more profitable for them to use a less expensive employee or to off-shore most of the work.

Here's the bottom line about IT or computer technology as a career path today:

Your experience as a IT professional means absolutely nothing. It's disposable and not considered important. In fact it's a competitive liability as you age.

The only exception to this is if you pivot into VC sponsorship and entrepreneurship, or you own your own software business. (Management doesn't count because you're leaving the tech track.)
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TechTalk

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Your experience as a IT professional means absolutely nothing....

I believe experience is going to depend on the specific situation. That said, the following website is an example which backs up your statement:

Why Hire F-1 Students?  http://hiref-1students.com/

It was made by universities and immigration lawyers, to encourage people to hire visa students. If you look at their short sales pitch you will see that they are not selling experience but servitude. They implicitly state "hire a visa holder they will be stuck in the job you give them for many years longer than an American citizen will and you can dangle a green card in front of them to chain them to their job for many years". This makes visa holders much more attractive to those employers who are actually looking to hire full-time employees who will stick around no matter how poorly you treat them.

I D Shukhov

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Your experience as a IT professional means absolutely nothing. It's disposable and not considered important. In fact it's a competitive liability as you age. (emphasis, mine)

That's actually funny in a black humor sort of way.  It's true, though.
Be Prepared.

TechTalk

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It's true, though.

Well, what he stated is both true and false. Within many/most technical niches, people are roughly viewed as being interchangeable/disposable.

I think what people really mean when they say something such as "programmers are not interchangeable cogs" is that you typically cannot take someone from one niche and just plop them into an unfamiliar one. For example, someone who does not have a math background or a CS degree can be adept at building CRUD applications for the desktop or the web, but I doubt they would be very successful if they were told they needed to immediately stop what they were doing and start working on building things such as compilers, infrastructure tools, operating systems, certain video games, libraries, frameworks, etc. That said, I do not believe that the latter type of work which might require someone who has a CS degree was ever plentiful.

I D Shukhov

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I had to do it again I would have become a plumber or electrician. Most that I know are minting money. Plumbers where I live charge $75 to just show up and look at something. We had external power supply line run out to our garage which is about 75 feet from the house. This is so we could plug our house into the generator. It was about 2 hours work not including digging the trench which I had to do. All they had to do was the wiring and hook the switch into the main panel.

Want to take a wild guess how much?

Ready and be prepared to sit down - $1500 in cash. Out of that about 800 was for the switch, the wiring and boxes. $700 for 2 hours work is not too shabby. Do any of us here make $350/hour? NOPE.

I'm retired, I can't afford $350/hour for labor.  Last week, part of a circuit went  out in my house, but not everything controlled by the breaker, which was not thrown.  I troubleshot it myself despite my wife's pleading to "call an electrician", eventually finding a wire with damaged insulation in a ceiling light.



Be Prepared.

unix

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$700 for 2 hours work is not too shabby. Do any of us here make $350/hour? NOPE.

I am not sure he makes 350/hour *every* hour 40 hours a week, 2000/year.

I think considering the hours he works i.e. the downtime the career entails, I think the hourly rate is far more down to earth than this. I think it's the case of the grass is greener on the other side.

Although maybe I am completely wrong, I am just guestimating.  Maybe they do work 40+ hours a week at those rates.

Brawndo. It's got what plants crave.

The Gorn

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I think considering the hours he works i.e. the downtime the career entails, I think the hourly rate is far more down to earth than this. I think it's the case of the grass is greener on the other side.

Although maybe I am completely wrong, I am just guestimating.  Maybe they do work 40+ hours a week at those rates.

Nah, you're completely correct. Electricians don't gross $700K/yr from direct hands-on work.

It's *exactly* the same deal as when expert consultants who have visited here have told us that you need to bill out at $150+ per hour if you work directly with clients.

Your rate has to reflect downtime, training, and marketing. Mine never did, of course, which is why I'm no longer an IT consultant.
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ilconsiglliere

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I think considering the hours he works i.e. the downtime the career entails, I think the hourly rate is far more down to earth than this. I think it's the case of the grass is greener on the other side.

Although maybe I am completely wrong, I am just guestimating.  Maybe they do work 40+ hours a week at those rates.

Nah, you're completely correct. Electricians don't gross $700K/yr from direct hands-on work.

It's *exactly* the same deal as when expert consultants who have visited here have told us that you need to bill out at $150+ per hour if you work directly with clients.

Your rate has to reflect downtime, training, and marketing. Mine never did, of course, which is why I'm no longer an IT consultant.

What you say about them not billing all the time is true. But with that being said the average plumber/electrician still does very well. Most here in NJ own multiple houses, have boats, multiple cars. I would say they are doing ok.

Code Refugee

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I recently needed to hire a mason to come and do some repairs to a brick wall, perhaps a day's work. After calling all around the closest appointment I could get was February. The masons all said they were completely booked for months in advance. One guy said next summer was the soonest. Not sure if the February guy was more available because he was no good or because he charged more than anyone else.

This is some real skilled work too especially when you have to do the repair stuff.

I was thinking damn I wish I knew how to do this stuff so I could just do it myself. But then a better thought is, I wish I knew how to do this stuff so I could be booked for six months in advance and charge a thousand bucks a day.

What I could use is an actual bootcamp for skilled high level masonry. That would be a very lucrative boot camp.

joeb

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What Code Refugee has demonstrated is so basic:
SUPPLY vs. DEMAND
Stone masons are in short supply relative to demand.
Software developers are in large supply relative to demand.
This explains the pay rate disparity.
It's really simple to understand.
Today, If an IT director needs developers, he can call any number of agencies and have a half dozen of them in his office for an interview tomorrow.
Contrast this with the calls to the stone masons.

The Gorn

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What Code Refugee has demonstrated is so basic:
SUPPLY vs. DEMAND

This is exactly why I exited stage left from software development. No matter how much you hear that GTD really matters, it really doesn't. What matters is if you fit into the software developer clique at the employer.

It amazes me that people I've run into over the age of 35, including several who used to be on this board but whom I guess were scared of me as a boogey man, are stupid and uninsightful enough to have argued with me about this decision.

It's been rough but I need to work, and wishing that tech were back to the way it was and being denigrated for my abilities and experience were killing me.

For me software developers were once a tribe I was happy to be a part of because it meant I could find work. Now it's a collection of either prima donna assholes in seats of power, or it's the sad semi-employed over the age of 40.
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joeb

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Now it's a collection of either prima donna assholes in seats of power, or it's the sad semi-employed over the age of 40.
The latter would be me. The former is all of the IT managers and CIO's I've met recently who truly were a-holes and didn't give a shit about their contractors.
They just treated me like I was a nobody....when in fact I knew as much or more than them.
People in power just don't liket to have smart people in their presence for fear their shortcomings will eventually be exposed.


unix

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People in power just don't like to have smart people in their presence for fear their shortcomings will eventually be exposed.

That is the precise situation at my workplace right now.

Mediocrity runs everything and sees brains as a threat.

Brawndo. It's got what plants crave.