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FTE, Job and Career Discussion / Re: Temp work in Europe
« Last post by TechTalk on February 15, 2017, 07:09:10 AM »
In the USA, I believe Obamacare is partially responsible for the recent increase in part-time job openings while in Europe some of blame can be placed on labor laws which make it more expensive or difficult to fire employees.

Although laws/regulations can sometimes hurt the very people they are intended to help, by no means does that fact alone come close to explaining what has been going on in the American and European job market for the last 20-30 years.
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FTE, Job and Career Discussion / Re: Temp work in Europe
« Last post by ilconsiglliere on February 14, 2017, 08:24:25 AM »
My friends in the UK say its a cesspool of body shops just like here. There is a huge Indian/Pakistani population that get preferential treatment as minorities. Same as here in the US.
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I have been in several industries already: insurance (life and property), telecom, telecom DoD, investment banking, pharma. Every single one of them is full of H1bs except for telecom DoD. Though some companies are worse than others, it greatly depends on the company's culture.

For example: telecom IMO is the worst of all. They were were doing the H1B long before everyone else. There were large numbers of H1Bs there prior to Y2K. There are still large numbers of H1bs there. I have a friend that is involved with the layoffs, she does the financial analysis on it. She tells me they are continually laying people off even now. Never mind they have been laying people off continuously since the early 90s. Its a pit of a place to work and they pay shit.

Telecom DoD is a different animal. They are usually set up as wholly owned subsidiaries of the parent company and you need a secret clearance or above to work there. No H1Bs at all but there are quite a bit of foreigners who got go the Federal minority owned business gravy train. Lots and lots of so-called Indian-American owned body shops who place bodies there though the bodies all have to be citizens and have to be able to get security clearance.

Insurance is full of them but the environment is at least calm.

Investment banking is full of them but the environment is very stressful.

Pharma is also full of them except in research. All their routine operational stuff is in India and there are tons of Indian body shops that come in via another vendor. But the environment is at least calm.

BTW outside of DoD, pharma pays better than all of them.
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Discussions - Public / Re: Unteachable Ignorance
« Last post by TechTalk on February 14, 2017, 07:20:28 AM »
Quote
To get this interesting tangent back to the original example of the Craigslist ad

From an economic or business perspective it sort of is related in that creating a unique software program or software system for a particular customer is typically going to be very expensive. That said, I can see why you mentioned the word tangent because my example talked about aging technology which becomes obsolete over time and how the costs of replacing existing software must also eventually be taken into account.

Generally speaking, it is only economically beneficial to pay for unique or custom made software if that software genuinely aids that customer in differentiating themselves from their competitors in the marketplace. The problem with a Craigslist ad is that it is often anonymous. For all we know, this particular person could have alternative motives for posting that ad (e.g. a recruiter who is fishing for some talent or another programmer interested in checking out some of his competition). The software market is global nowadays, so maybe this guy has posted elsewhere online as well.
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Discussions - Public / Re: Unteachable Ignorance
« Last post by The Gorn on February 13, 2017, 08:53:49 AM »
To get this interesting tangent back to the original example of the Craigslist ad, that guy displayed an interesting pair of characteristics:

1) Completely sold on the value of the possible solution.
2) But profoundly in the reasoning mode of a custom solution being a commodity.

So he displays attributes from opposite ends of the spectrum.

That is extremely  common with small businesses fishing for technology service bargains. There's no real way to work with that. He's another tire-kicker.

Finally, there's a saying "you can't cheat an honest man." I've seen this play out in real life, multiple times.

I expect that if anyone succeeds in doing business with this person, it will be a con-artist who tells the advertiser whatever he wants to hear and (for instance) uses some cheap Indians to build a mock-up that appears to work... and takes the money and disappears.

You could probably drive a simulation "Mechanical Turk" wise to appear to be a small trading system.

Someone will lie to the guy, tell him what he blindly wants to hear, and extract a few thousand from him. I've seen that happen very often to unknowledgeable but pompous and arrogant small business types who want the world for a few thousands.
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Discussions - Public / Re: Unteachable Ignorance
« Last post by TechTalk on February 13, 2017, 08:18:05 AM »
Quote
They weed out most of the people out there as they are not able to think in terms of return on investment.

It often can be difficult to prove what the "return on investment" will be. That said, in the example that I used, a retail or service based company simply cannot function very well (if at all) without the computer hardware and software. In this case, a good salesperson might stress the features and benefits that the new system would provide instead of ROI.

Quote
But, to the regular "tire kicker", the sticker shock is just part of the interaction and why it is best to keep the interaction short.

From a sales perspective, I somewhat agree. I believe a good sales person should spend the time to find out why "tire kicker" is currently kicking tires (e.g. possible future business expansion, current system no longer meets their needs, etc.).

This is where the ignorance comes into play.  A decision maker rarely knows what their technology options are and a sales person or a particular vendor is rarely going to provide that type of information to them (that is assuming they themselves even know what the various options if any are).

In the example that I used a company could either:
• Do nothing at this time.
• Purchase a commercial software product that does NOT meet all of their needs but is the cheapest option.
• Purchase a commercial software product and then pay more money to have it tweaked/customized.
• Pay even more money to have something that is custom built from the ground up.
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Discussions - Public / Re: Unteachable Ignorance
« Last post by David Randolph on February 13, 2017, 06:41:02 AM »
This is why the best sales people use a simple "how long does it take to pay off this investment". They weed out most of the people out there as they are not able to think in terms of return on investment. But those that they sell to, this sales person will go through and show the prospect why investing that much money in a new POS system will be a good investment.

But, to the regular "tire kicker", the sticker shock is just part of the interaction and why it is best to keep the interaction short.
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Discussions - Public / Re: Unteachable Ignorance
« Last post by TechTalk on February 13, 2017, 04:46:58 AM »
Quote
...don't understand or respect the level of technical challenge inherent in what they want.

Yes, that. Since the majority of companies are not very large, I was thinking just plain old "sticker shock".

For example, instead of thinking about a technophobic, cautious, tight with the money small business owner think of a small company that owns say a dozen liquor stores or rent-to-own stores or coffee shops or some other type of thriving business, ... that needs or wants to upgrade their very old and outdated POS software and the associated hardware. The decision maker is probably saying to him/herself "What? I cannot believe these guys (i.e. a software vendor or software development firm) wants 1.2 million dollars just for some new hardware and one off-the-shelf software program!".
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Discussions - Public / Re: Unteachable Ignorance
« Last post by The Gorn on February 12, 2017, 02:10:09 PM »
Quote
Part of interacting with the general public is knowing when to not try to educate someone.

I believe that this attitude is common not only with big ideas type of people, but with many business owners/decision makers as well. I bet the folks that work in the point-of-sales software industry and other types of software niches encounter this type of ignorance/attitude on a daily basis from businesses that either they contact or with ones that contact them.

I agree completely with this.

I think this is why there's such an enormous cultural divide between sales/marketing and engineering in most technology businesses and why both sides disrespect the other so much.

- You have to sell things.
- The customers you're selling to generally don't understand or respect the level of technical challenge inherent in what they want.
- Salespeople do "whatever it takes" to make sales to keep everyone employed. To do otherwise would risk new sales activity. Customers won't appreciate additional clarifying information - telling them how much challenge is involved in a project would confuse and turn off customers.
- Sales people see handsome career rewards from operating this necessary way. This indicates to them that the world of hard, grinding work of an engineer is a stupid way to make a living. And that the better the engineer the stupider he is because he's throwing himself on a sword just to give the salesperson a great living.

Meanwhile,

- Engineers truly aren't appreciated for their hard work or occasional sacrifices. (witness the turd with the Craigslist ad.)
- Salespeople and marketers as much as possible segregate engineering into its own silo so that customers aren't offended by the frank talk and allusions to hard work coming from engineers.
- This is pretty much necessary because customers WOULD be offended to know that engineers felt that they worked that hard on something so trivial, self evident and menial that any stupid Indian could sling.  >:D

In short, the way businesses HAVE to manage engineers by shoving them to the back of the house and telling them to keep their God damned mouths shut and to not say ANYTHING unless spoken to. While the salespeople are dancing around with their high incomes and nice cars.

A rough statement of the way it is but that's the way it is.

Considering what we build for customers and our employers, engineering is truly one of the worst career-payback fields and one of the most demeaning work fields conceivable. Almost every other category of worker is at least marginally respected more relative to their contribution.

Yo yo yo, keeping it real!  :P
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Discussions - Public / Re: Unteachable Ignorance
« Last post by TechTalk on February 12, 2017, 09:24:46 AM »
Quote
Part of interacting with the general public is knowing when to not try to educate someone.

I believe that this attitude is common not only with big ideas type of people, but with many business owners/decision makers as well. I bet the folks that work in the point-of-sales software industry and other types of software niches encounter this type of ignorance/attitude on a daily basis from businesses that either they contact or with ones that contact them.
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