View Full Version : US Programmers Plight Psychically Linked to Amphibians
10-15-2004, 09:34 AM
This was stated a long time ago, but with a wider scenario of cause and effect: http://email@example.comVMfHb6dae.1@.6ae61001 I think to say that the total cause of programmer disappearance is the H1B visa program is over-simplification. Stating that the result will be extinction is alarmist. As a young(er) independent, I viewed the market as an open book. I could go anywhere, and do anything. Today as an old(er) independent, I view myself as a niche commodity, filling only certain gaps at certain times. The market has indeed been dramatically reduced, but the American programmer is no more extinct than the coal miner or steel worker. Still there, just not as visible. Dave
10-15-2004, 10:00 AM
Thanks for the link, Bob. I finally got my first interview a year after being laid off, and that in another city. I interviewed for three hours and was told two weeks later through the recruiter that I was too experienced and they thought I would be bored. Instead, they hired someone younger and less experienced. My salary request had been set by the recruiter based on what the employer said they were paying for the position, a shade below average. That would have allowed me to continue my career and make a living programming and was fine with me. I don't blame the employer. They were good people and that was unusually honest feedback. At 52 I have less years left than a younger person, and we AS/400 programmers are all Sr. Programmer Analysts after four years or so. The successful candidate was probably local although relocation costs weren't included or an issue, and local ties are hard to overcome as evidenced by the many locals only stipulation in ads. I can still write my own personal software to be able to to continue creating as a programmer. I'll do something else that pays a much reduced rent instead of a mortgage, I have no idea what, but I'm undoubtedly becoming one of the statistics in this article. It is only a matter of increasingly lessening time before we are no longer able to pay other people to do our work anyway, which is as it should be. When we are no longer able to, it won't be pretty but we'll all have honest work again. Maybe even some programming. rd
10-15-2004, 11:01 AM
Yes, programming jobs are being lost to offshoring, foreign workers, etc for US programmer and there exist problems with the Visa system as some visa workers actually are not ALL that talented, but... For someone in the technology field to believe that he/she will thrive will just programming skills, they are living in an unrealistic world. Much has been written that those employees that go beyond simply a programmer, more into project management, project analyst and design, will be grow more valuable to companies and cannot be so easily replaced. Technology is a service field, but each of us to stay in the field has to have more service skills than simply programming. Thank you - Lee.
10-15-2004, 12:28 PM
I haven't seen a person "simply programming" in quite awhile. The expensive consulting companies were notarious for bringing in armies of green beans and giving them specs to code to, and the results were horrendous. Except for junior level programmers, most programmers participate in the overall business solution at the large corporations I've worked for, and more assuredly so at small to medium size businesses. rd
10-17-2004, 05:08 PM
CDR, I can't tell how much of this ins tongue-in-cheek, but on the off chance that you actually mean waht you say in this post, I think I had better respond. You have a spreadsheet, not an application. You have no design, no analysis, no QA. You have no help desk, no bug reporting, no fix tracking. You have no business rules, no features list, no proposed enhancements. You have no interfaces, no security, no isolation of data, no auditing. You have no requirements review, no strategic planning for new technologies, no integration of heterogenous user interfaces. You have a spreadsheet. If all the programming you've ever done in your life can be matched by a spreadsheet, then you've really never done programming that would even equate to a junior programmer in an ERP shop. It's ironic that you are there to do cost analysis, and yet you clearly don't understand that the primary cost of software is not the hardware and the programs. It's in MTBF, support staff, bug fixes, time to market, auditing and all the other things that make an IT department something more than, well... a spreadsheet. And my mom likes Quickbooks, too. Joe
10-18-2004, 04:16 AM
"I have left the AS/400 world dut to its lack of interest in me and its insistence to become extinct." Simple question - Why do you bother reading,visiting, and participating in this fora?
10-18-2004, 06:01 AM
I don't hesitate to believe they were "really good people" but do you in all honesty feel the employeer gave you "unusually honest feedback" because "I was too experienced and they thought I would be bored"? Or, would it be possible the you are 52 years of age and their reasoning to you coverered their behinds? You were more than willing to spend three hours interviewing for the job which should have indicated to them you were a serious candidate (even though you were too experienced for the job), readily accept a salary below average (even though you were too experienced for the job), willing to relocate on your own dime(even though you were too experienced for the job) and on and on and on.... I'm 51 and could be in the same situation as you are should I lose my job. It is a shame but it's reality. Best of luck Ralph. I hope you find a company that will appreciate your dedication to the field.
10-18-2004, 09:36 AM
Kim wrote: Unusually honest feedback I don't hesitate to believe they were "really good people" but do you in all honesty feel the employeer gave you "unusually honest feedback" because "I was too experienced and they thought I would be bored"? Or, would it be possible the you are 52 years of age and their reasoning to you coverered their behinds? You were more than willing to spend three hours interviewing for the job which should have indicated to them you were a serious candidate (even though you were too experienced for the job), readily accept a salary below average (even though you were too experienced for the job), willing to relocate on your own dime(even though you were too experienced for the job) and on and on and on.... I'm 51 and could be in the same situation as you are should I lose my job. It is a shame but it's reality. Best of luck Ralph. I hope you find a company that will appreciate your dedication to the field. Thanks, Kim. So do I. That's what I meant by unusually honest. Most hiring managers wouldn't have acknowledged the reasons behind choosing a younger, less experienced person than myself. Saying that I would probably be bored is a back handed compliment, but it does acknowledge the reasoning behind their choice when they didn't have to give one at all. It was verbal to the recruiter who passed it on to me. In a way in that they do need to give feedback to the recruiter to continue working with them on future candidates, maybe it was not that unusual when a recruiter is involved. It did get back to me though. Thanks for the encouraging post, Kim. I appreciate it. Ralph
10-18-2004, 11:13 AM
cdr5000 wrote: "I have left the AS/400 world dut to its lack of interest in me and its insistence to become extinct. After 15 years of my participation, it decided to die out. " Don't be so easy on yourself.... There's a slight chance that it's Not All Your Fault. The relationship between your participation in the AS400 World and it's Extinction may in fact be coincidental. Unless of coarse, it makes a Big Come Back now that your gone. ;) Mike
10-18-2004, 05:14 PM
"I did clean out all my old postings a couple of months ago. Happy?" Indifferent. "it is really fun to get Joe Pluta worked up" That is what I figured. "What about you?" Solve problems everyday. Quite content (and quite secure) with RPG. Thanks for asking.
10-19-2004, 09:28 AM
Have a nice trip but...don't hurry back.
10-19-2004, 09:48 AM
Kim K said "Have a nice trip but...don't hurry back." Well, I understand your sentiment, but if we don't hear from the people who think differently from us we will only hear from people that think the same as we do. That's how a cult works. If we only talk to people who agree with us, any old argument will be met with agreement. If we talk to people who disagree, we have to have arguments that really work. If we convince them, then we are probably making sense. But more than that, it's necessary to make sure we aren't hiding our heads in the sand. I disagree with cdr, but I hope they'll stay in here and keep me thinking. -dan
10-19-2004, 09:57 AM
Agree to disagree....I'm all for it. It's all in the approach on how seriously one will take comments. Condescending comments do not convince.
10-19-2004, 10:07 AM
"Condescending comments do not convince." Amen.
10-19-2004, 10:34 AM
I had a big, long post ready to go that differentiated between a business application and a spreadsheet, and then I realized that CDR wasn't asking to be convinced, but was just content yanking my chain. Excel can't replace custom RPG code; they're two different tools for two different jobs. And if you can satisfy your IT needs with Excel, then you don't NEED an iSeries. There are companies that still suffice with calculators and pen and paper. But the fact that you can do something with pen and paper doesn't mean someone else won't do better with automation. Excel is a fine tool, I use it myself. And at the same time I'm not worried about it supplanting my clients' systems anytime soon <smile>. Joe
10-19-2004, 05:08 PM
<laughing> How many people can you insult in one post? You imply that phrases like "fussy" and "unprofessional" go hand-in-hand with RPG. As does "legacy". I see now why, in your own words, "all I had to look forward to was maintenance coding." It's probably because you don't know what RPG can do. For me, RPG means a wide range of things, from "asset protection" (yeah, that's legacy) to "efficiency", "speed", "innovation", "time to market" and a whole host of other great features. You might be forced to take Excel work rather than RPG work, but insulting RPG programmers is a pretty clear case of sour grapes. I mean really, if the best thing you can get out of this is yanking someone's chain, then maybe the list has outlived a useful purpose in your life. Final note: it's interesting; I can't remember the last time I saw a posting for a programming position that listed Excel as a skill. Joe P.S. The iSeries is still amazing. But only for programmers (and their end users <grin>).
10-20-2004, 03:48 AM
You win? I seriously doubt it. You're game playing is extremely unprofessional. Therefore, it doesn't surprise me that your enamoured with excel. My primary job is working on the iSeries however, I use excel, access, notes (an so on) on a daily basis. Excel is not brain surgery so quit patting yourself on the back. I find it amusing you spend your valuable time in this forum....use your basic search engine knowledge to find yourself a wonderful Excel Forum. Ha Ha...
10-20-2004, 06:45 AM
cdr5000 wrote: It has nothing significant to differentiate it in a positive way. How about these bullet points:<ul> A True 64 bit OS coupled with matching hardware. Single level store architecture unmatched by even other IBM systems. An integrated RDBMS at the hardware level. A separate I/O Processor. A secure object-based system impervious to virus attacks. JAVA benchmarks better than Sun's. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.[/list] It's a good feeling to be able to kick a field goal from the sidelines, and wonder why the most negative comments are often made by people who won't list their name. Dave
10-20-2004, 09:59 AM
Kim, OK, I apologize. I defended cdr5000. Silly me. You were right. cdr5000, There may not be much use for someone that only knows RPG, but I bet there's scads more jobs for someone only knowing RPG than there is for someone knowing only Excel. Like Kim, I use Excel, Access, Visio, Autocad, PSP, and I even have a reasonable amount of skill in using Notepad (though I miss edlin). But as much as I know those, they are just footnotes on my resume. RPG and iSeries skills are what drives my salary, not the little office tools I happen to know. -dan
10-20-2004, 10:15 AM
Now, that's the approach that gets one to take the context seriously. Very well stated. It is difficult when the Notes, Network, and Sequel servers are down but it doesn't stop my company from financial and production processing. In all fairness to cdr5000, perhaps he works for a small company that can tolerate downtime. No apology necessary ;-)
10-20-2004, 12:26 PM
David, you might want to take a gander at my column comin gup this Monday. It's on client/server architecture, but it's also a commentary on the phenomenon of "Technological Thuggery", which is related to the issue of anonymous trolling that you're touching on here. In general, the anonymous nature of the Internet allows people to give vent to their very worst personality traits, and that's why I tend to take anonymous or obviously pseudonymous posts a less seriously. Joe
10-22-2004, 07:17 AM
Ohhh...that was a good one.
10-22-2004, 07:21 AM
cdr5000 said: "Excel has become extremely powerful." In some ways that's true. But, like the machine it runs on, Excel is a personal language. It's impossible to have 1,000 users accessing and updating a single spreadsheet in real time simultaneously. So, while it's a great tool, it's only a tool, not a platform. chuck Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of my employer.
10-22-2004, 07:22 AM
As my hero, John Wooden points out, "It's impossible to antagonize and influence at the same time." chuck Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of my employer. "Joe Wells" <Joe_Wells@mcpressonline.com> wrote in message news:6b17e452.17@WebX.WawyahGHajS... > "Condescending comments do not convince." > > Amen.
10-26-2004, 06:24 AM
10-26-2004, 06:24 AM
I work for one of the largest casino companies in the world. We have 26 casinos, and in 18 months we will have over 50 (due to a pending acquisition). All of these are run from a series of centralized as400's hosting our critical casino floor management and back end software. The as400 isnt dead by any means. However, I havent seen a net growth in the number of our rpg programmers over the past 2 years. I do see us hiring more Java programmers. We even do significant Java deployments on the iseries. We are dedicated IBM customers. Most of our unix boxes are IBM. We use HATS, websphere, and db2. I mention this to show how we use the as400 and our trend away from RPG has nothing to do with preferring any other vendor. When people mention they are having to change careers cause they cant find RPG jobs, it matches what I see here. Those who stick with just rpg, in my opinion, are going to find a smaller and smaller pool of jobs. Last week I read a Gartner report dated Dec 2003 that pretty much said the same thing. The as400 is definitely still alive with 300,000+ active systems. However, they say only 25% of those are in shops that do active development. They say the as400 will remain a viable platform for another 5-10 years, however, they also indicate that coding rpg on the as400 is not a cost-effective option. When shops take this approach it is "...fundamentally, this is a decision to remain with a high cost solution." I understand one can find research reports that back almost any opinion, so take it for whatever its worth. If Joe Pluta will forgive me, take a look at him as an example. If Joe still only programmed in RPG, I wonder how employable he would be or if he would be a published book author? I see Bob Cozzi still makes a living writing rpg and writing about rpg, but Bob is, well, Bob. I am another case in point. From 89 to 94 I pretty much did straight RPG. After that I did a mixture of Java, RPG, and C++. In my case I believe moving to other languages has resulted in being more marketable, giving me some more choices of where to live and so forth.
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