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2010 Salary Survey Highlights IT Woes 332

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-what-happened-to-my-toy-budget dept.
CWmike writes "Trapped between flat salaries and ever-increasing workloads, IT professionals are about to explode. That's the top takeaway from Computerworld's 2010 survey of nearly 5,000 IT workers. 'Bonuses and benefits are way down, and workloads and work hours have increased. Meanwhile, salaries are stagnant (rising just a microscopic 0.7% on average), and — not surprisingly — satisfaction is on the wane.' Another finding of note is the shrinking female IT workforce. Have a look-see at how IT fared in your neck of the woods with this smart look-up tool."
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2010 Salary Survey Highlights IT Woes

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  • by alain94040 (785132) * on Monday April 05, 2010 @02:10PM (#31737274) Homepage

    career experts say you have to take a strategic approach to your job search and application process. The best candidates are always taking steps to manage their careers...

    I fully agree. If you sit passively and wait for your next raise, you may be waiting for a while... But if you are proactive, good things eventually happen to you. Contribute [github.com] to an open-source project. Become the co-founder [fairsoftware.net] of a cool iPad app or whatever cool idea people are trading nowdays...

    It doesn't pay off instantly, but a year or two later, your resume stands out from the crowd, and more importantly, you may not even need a resume anymore to get a great job!

    • What?!? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05, 2010 @02:18PM (#31737464)

      Really?

      What jobs are you talking about?

      Most of the jobs that actually pay a salary don't give a rat's ass about any F/OSS projects you've worked on. Recruiters want to know what your paid experience was. If you're applying for your typical corporate IT department (read a MS shop), no one really gives a shit. They want their laundry list of skills and at least 2-3 years experience with each.

      I would be astounded if someone post a job description that says FOSS experience a plus.

      • Re:What?!? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Sarten-X (1102295) on Monday April 05, 2010 @02:46PM (#31738210) Homepage

        From the listing for the job I now hold (emphasis mine):

        BS in Computer Science, MS is preferred.
        Knowledge of data structures, algorithms, and complexity analysis.
        Fluency in two or more of: Java, HTML, JavaScript, AJAX.
        Strong analytical and troubleshooting skills.
        Working knowledge of Microsoft Windows and Unix (preferably Linux).
        Working knowledge of SQL and data warehousing principles.
        Knowledge of PHP, Perl or Python a plus.
        Open source experience/contribution with any Linux or open-source projects.

        The company uses a lot of open-source projects in their work. Being familiar with the open-source community (especially the self-managed, team-oriented development and the community-driven support system) is practically required for the job.

        This is what happens when you stop looking for just a "typical corporate IT department" and start looking for actually decent jobs. With no previous paid employment, I'm starting at a salary roughly equal to the average given by the linked search. You may now be astounded.

      • Re:What?!? (Score:5, Informative)

        by jdunn14 (455930) <jdunn AT iguanaworks DOT net> on Monday April 05, 2010 @02:51PM (#31738332) Homepage

        Actually as a person currently look to hire F/OSS experience would be a definite plus. It shows that an applicant is really interested in the field and the work. Granted, we're not the corporate IT office you refer to, but if an applicant for our software position (if anyone is curious and interested in north central FL.... http://tdt.com/news/jobs/softwareengineer.htm [tdt.com]) was actually interested enough in programming to do outside projects that would be a positive.

        In general you need something to make you stand out, and contributing to or starting a project is a reasonable way to stand out. I interviewed some current master's students and was optimistic until it was clear that they did exactly what coursework required but weren't interested in exploring for their own interest.

      • Re:What?!? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by tsm_sf (545316) on Monday April 05, 2010 @03:06PM (#31738680) Journal
        If you're applying for your typical corporate IT department (read a MS shop), no one really gives a shit.

        Agreed, but if you think this ends with their hiring practices you are probably in your early twenties. An IT shop that isn't excited about an applicant's FOSS experience will never be a positive work environment.

        Caveat mancipior.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        My Current company: http://www.onehippo.com/en/company/career/senior+consultant?backpage=en/company/career [onehippo.com]

        (...)
        Qualifications:

        * University degree
        * Extensive knowledge of Java, Spring, JSP, JSF, Wicket, SpringMVC, or other (Java) frameworks;
        * Familiar with content management systems and portals;
        * Standards like JSR 168,286/170, REST;
        * Application servers like Tomcat

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TooMuchToDo (882796)
        I just finished up working for a year at Fermilab on the data storage/reconstruction (the IT side) of the CMS detector at the LHC. My background is heavy in open source technologies, hence the reason I was chosen. Open source tech experience may not get you in the door at Ma and Pa shops, but it gets you in the door at more.....interesting places.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by minus9 (106327)
        This is why IT salaries are down, people equating MCSE monkeys with IT professionals. Not all IT is asking if you've tried turning it off and on again.
    • by khasim (1285)

      In addition to developing your skills for your current job, you need to focus on your NEXT job.

      Where do you want to be and how do you plan to get there?

      • Re:Exactly. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday April 05, 2010 @02:31PM (#31737848) Journal

        On the other hand, after a year without a job, I decided to just take whatever was offered (i.e. $30,000 below my former salary). In 2011 I'll look for something better but for now, having a job is better than not having a job.

        I'm also working lots of paid overtime to make-up some of the loss.

        • Re:Exactly. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by wmbetts (1306001) on Monday April 05, 2010 @02:48PM (#31738264)
          What's paid overtime?
        • Same with me- just trying to hang in there at this point. In an effort to get more hours working on a project that is viewed by consulting company management as "non-billable hours", have even offered to cut my hourly just to get more hours.

          And the stress level on my billable project is way up, as Fortune 500 company expects 40 hours worth of work a week on a project that I'm limited to only billing 20 hours a week on. I'm being stubborn on that one though- sooner or later they'll notice that I'm only hit

    • by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday April 05, 2010 @02:19PM (#31737520) Journal

      I still find something trouble about the notion "take your happy pill and be glad you have a job..." It's certainly true, but it allows companies to railroad over employees, and not just IT departments specifically. But these companies will suffer if they can't find a way to make up a lack of salary increases with some sort of compensation when the job market opens up.

      The bigger point is that IT is not alone in this. All sorts of departments are basically being told to do more with less, and expect no monetary compensation in the short-term for it.

      • by PPH (736903) on Monday April 05, 2010 @02:44PM (#31738166)

        Its not just money. In my last job (as an engineering grunt in a large corp.), I was paid pretty well. OK, I'll be honest....very well. But they had that attitude; 'be happy we're handing you piles of cash and shut up'. So I left. For less money (initially). They just couldn't figure it out when they tried to get me to come back. Its not just about the money, its about the culture at the company. And theirs stank.

        This is why women steer clear of a lot of IT jobs. They have a much greater sensitivity to interpersonal factors. And when a company, or industry, starts playing behaving like assholes, they leave (or just never show up). Women are like canaries in coal mines.

        • by Grishnakh (216268) on Monday April 05, 2010 @03:02PM (#31738590)

          This is why women steer clear of a lot of IT jobs. They have a much greater sensitivity to interpersonal factors. And when a company, or industry, starts playing behaving like assholes, they leave (or just never show up). Women are like canaries in coal mines.

          Exactly. And then various people start hand-wringing, asking "why aren't more women in IT or engineering", and trying to "fix" the problem, when in fact there's no problem at all. Women have seen that these careers mostly suck, and have decided to pursue other careers instead. I'm an engineer, and I wouldn't recommend this job to anyone unless they're the type of person (like me) who simply can't see themselves doing anything else in life. I know I never would be any good as a manager or really any job where I need to interact with people a lot, so basically for me it's either engineering (as an individual contributor) or some type of skilled labor like auto mechanics. Engineering obviously pays better (though it's debatable how much), so that's what I went with. If you have any people skills at all, I'd recommend doing something else for a living. However, if you live outside the USA, this advice should be ignored, as things are very different elsewhere. Germany, for instance, is still very strong in engineering, and I doubt companies there treat their engineers as poorly as American companies do.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05, 2010 @03:03PM (#31738608)

          This is why women steer clear of a lot of IT jobs. They have a much greater sensitivity to interpersonal factors. And when a company, or industry, starts playing behaving like assholes, they leave (or just never show up). Women are like canaries in coal mines.

          There are good or at least decent companies to work for so I doubt this explains the gigantic sausage party that is IT. By and large, most women look at the world in terms of relationships both with people and with objects such as tools they use. By and large, most men appreciate the relationships they specifically want to participate in but view the rest of the world in a more utilitarian fashion. IT is all about utility and pragmatism. It's not a surprise that most IT folks are men while i.e. most teachers are women. Women either don't have the IT skillset or don't wish to do that kind of work and that's why many of them don't choose IT as a career path.

          Honestly I don't see what the big deal is with this issue. Not every demographic disparity is because of racism or sexism, though that idea appeals to people who just refuse to admit that women are different from men and tend to have different preferences. I think they refuse to admit this because they think that saying "women are different" is the same thing as saying "women are not our equals" and that just isn't true. If anything, refusing to appreciate their differences is a disservice to them, a denial of the way they want to be. I think you'll find that actual discrimination against women is rare, that most men prefer a co-ed environment over a sausage party and would be glad to see more women who share their interests.

          This reminds me of the absolute lunacy perpetuated in the name of feminism. Professors and others have been fired merely for suggesting that a woman's brain is "wired differently" than a man's brain, nevermind that this is demonstrably true. I think the same people who can't deal with such realities are the same ones who would automatically assume the scarcity of women in IT must be due to sexism. If some kind of discrimination is really going on, it's probably not sexism. It's probably discrimination against obesity, as the few women I've ever seen who were highly skilled in IT were all rather chunky. It's a shame this is so important to people because the bottom line in a workplace is whether they can do the job, not whether they make good eye candy, but this does happen.

        • by couchslug (175151) on Monday April 05, 2010 @03:15PM (#31738860)

          "Women are like canaries in coal mines."

          If I find them passed out or dead around the office, I'll be sure to evacuate!

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by cayenne8 (626475)
          "Its not just money. In my last job (as an engineering grunt in a large corp.), I was paid pretty well. OK, I'll be honest....very well. But they had that attitude; 'be happy we're handing you piles of cash and shut up'. So I left. For less money (initially). They just couldn't figure it out when they tried to get me to come back. Its not just about the money, its about the culture at the company. And theirs stank."

          Interesting..for me is only about the money. I mean, let's face it...if I didn't have to wo

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MBGMorden (803437)

      That's basically what I'm looking at. I've spent enough time working with enough types of obscure proprietary apps to have all sorts of ideas on how to do the concept of them right. There are tons of things that there are niche markets for out there that you'd never think of, and that reality alone is why the existing apps cost a fortune often for old buggy software written in VB6 (or worse). These programs cost tons of money not because they're really any good, but rather because often times there's jus

    • by RichMeatyTaste (519596) on Monday April 05, 2010 @02:28PM (#31737754)
      The article is fairly accurate, as is your reply.
      If you are working your way up the tech ladder you should really be living as transient a lifestyle as is possible. This means renting rather than buying a home, not buying roomfulls of furniture (harder to move all of your stuff), limiting debt, etc.
      If you are able to be mobile and local opportunities are limited you will always have options elsewhere. I am fortunate that I live in an area that is still growing (Raleigh, NC) so I still have plenty of opportunities locally; I would be in trouble if I had to move right now (house needs work, would need to hire a mover, would probably lose a little money, etc). I know some guys who are stuck in areas like Boston, NYC, Michigan (multiple cities), etc who can't sell their house (not only is no one buying, they owe more than it is worth) which means they can't afford to move at the moment. If I could get them down here I know of multiple jobs they could get but they just can't make a move.
      • by Grishnakh (216268) on Monday April 05, 2010 @03:10PM (#31738772)

        If you are working your way up the tech ladder you should really be living as transient a lifestyle as is possible. This means renting rather than buying a home, not buying roomfulls of furniture (harder to move all of your stuff), limiting debt, etc.

        Don't forget not getting married, or if you do, marrying a housewife and not a woman with any career aspirations beyond perhaps working at the mall.

        would need to hire a mover,

        Moving isn't quite as hard as you make it out to be; I've done it many, many times. These days, the best way to do it is to use a freight shipper. I used ABF when I moved cross-country in 2000, and it worked out quite well: you get some friends and move all your stuff into a trailer, close it up, and then the company comes with their semi-tractor and takes it away. 10 days later, your trailer shows up at your new home, ready for you to unload it.

        Whatever you do, NEVER hire a full-service moving company like Mayflower. They'll hijack your stuff and hold it hostage, demanding extra payment for you to get it back. If you don't have any friends to help with your ABF move, then you can hire local movers (like from Craigslist) at each end to do the work for you. With locals that don't have any connection to the trucking company, you don't have to worry about anyone hijacking your belongings.

        I know some guys who are stuck in areas like Boston, NYC, Michigan (multiple cities), etc who can't sell their house (not only is no one buying, they owe more than it is worth) which means they can't afford to move at the moment.

        They can, but they'd have to walk away from their homes. They really should look into this; if they're underwater any significant amount, and don't want to be stuck in their current location for the next decade or more, then they NEED to walk away. House prices are NOT going to go up significantly for 5-10 years; it'll take them decades to recoup what they've paid for their homes. It's easier to just walk away, take the credit hit, and buy a new house in a few years (or at most, 7). Also, they can try to do a short-sale, which has less of a negative effect on your credit score.

    • If you want to be a business person, not an employee, then why learn software development? Just hire some dirt-cheap offshore bozo from rentacoder for next to nothing.

  • by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Monday April 05, 2010 @02:17PM (#31737456)

    Maybe they are going into a better paying industry.

    http://newsone.com/nation/news-one-staff/more-women-considering-stripping-in-struggling-economy/ [newsone.com]

    • by shemnon (77367) on Monday April 05, 2010 @02:37PM (#31737984) Journal

      Maybe they are going into a better paying industry.

      http://newsone.com/nation/news-one-staff/more-women-considering-stripping-in-struggling-economy/ [newsone.com]

      Or maybe they are running away from an industry that considers jokes like that acceptable.

      • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Monday April 05, 2010 @03:04PM (#31738640) Homepage

        How is that an unacceptable joke (or even a joke, necessarily - it's an extrapolated guess based off of disjointed but related data)? I know of a guy who left IT to become a Chip'n'Dale stripper because it paid better and was less stress (go figure). Woo, nakedness - big deal! If it's acceptable to say "men are leaving IT for construction jobs" (some are) why is stripping (physical labor for work) any more offensive?

        If you want equality, then you better want it equally. People are sick of this "equally better" PC bullshit the women's lib movement has been pushing for the past 50 years. If you can do the work, great: step right in and pull up a chair, etc.

      • I'd guess that it takes at least a hundred employed people to support one stripper.

        If the economy continues to be bad, this will not end well.

        Plus- 2 of the 3 strippers I've known were messed up by the work and the 3rd skitters along the edge and may lose it at some point.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by GigsVT (208848)

          I'd guess that it takes at least a hundred employed people to support one stripper.

          That's kind of silly logic. I guess it's based on some misconception that economics are zero sum, or that some services are inherently worth more than others. Being a stripper is employed. It's providing a service that people want, just like an auto factory or an amusement park or a grocery store.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Zerth (26112)

          I'd guess that it takes at least a hundred employed people to support one stripper.

          So? It takes about 80 employed people to justify my job. Without them, my company would need one less full-time geek. And each of them requires a client with dozens of employees to buy the stuff they make. And each of those companies presumably has hundreds of customers, etc.

    • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Monday April 05, 2010 @02:46PM (#31738224)

      Possibly, but maybe not to where you are expecting.

      The thing is, if you're in IT, you're probably smart. You understand basic math. For example, you can easily see that [(weekly pay) / 60] [(weekly pay) / 40]. If you're expected to work longer hours for less pay, you'll understand that you're getting paid less. There's a reason overtime is supposed to be time +; it's because it's shitty work that makes you neglect your Real Life. Women are just as smart as men, and they are surely aware of the same basic math. Why end up as a slave with worse pay than retail sales? It's not worth the hassle. I'm sure a lot of folks are moving into management, HR, and other fields that don't have 3am emergencies.

      For what's it's worth, my pay is 165% of what I made at my first post-grad job in 2004. I've left a job that wanted me to work 60+ hours a week "because I'm a computer guy" (I'm an EE). Now, I never work overtime. I've also got an 8% raise coming up this summer. If you look for better work and hold the same level of loyalty to a company as they do to you (i.e. none at all) then you can be more successful at home and at work.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by K. S. Kyosuke (729550)
      Good that I still have my trusty /usr/bin/strip. But those poor blondes in Iceland will have to deliver unstripped binaries anyway, because their /lib/eral government has forbidden it.
    • by TooMuchToDo (882796) on Monday April 05, 2010 @04:01PM (#31739716)
      Having worked with strippers and porn stars before (long scary year in Las Vegas handling the IT for an adult film org), *everyone* comes out of it messed up but the pay is fantastic. I can not even describe in words how sad it is when you see it in person (and one of the reasons I never go back to Vegas).
  • Rate of inflation (Score:3, Informative)

    by Lord Byron II (671689) on Monday April 05, 2010 @02:18PM (#31737478)

    What was the inflation rate last year? Zero? Slightly negative? As long as your wages increase faster than inflation, then your purchasing power is going up. And .7% is better than the 0% raise I got.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by ckblackm (1137057)
      According to the BLS, the annual rate of inflation for 2009 was -0.4%, whereas Jan '10 was 2.6% and Feb '10 was 2.1%. (Dec '09 was > 2% as well).
    • Inflation in part depends upon where you are and speaking purely from the stand point of the United States, the national average was -0.4% for FY2009; however, for FY2010 we are already sitting at 2.35% so any nominal raises have already been overtaken by inflation [Source [usinflatio...ulator.com]].
    • by smooth wombat (796938) on Monday April 05, 2010 @02:34PM (#31737920) Homepage Journal
      As long as your wages increase faster than inflation, then your purchasing power is going up.

      Not quite. While your salary might beat out the rate of inflation, other things need to be considered. For example, I was notified my rent is going up starting next month by 9.8%. The actual amount happens to coincide with the exact amount of my monthly pay increase. In other words, I'm treading water because my pay increase will now go towards my rent increase.

      On top of this, mother nature decided to force my decision on replacing my 12-year old car, I'm taking classes to (hopefully) get out of this urine-soaked hell hole (thank you Krusty) which are costing me over $1,400 per class and whose prices are also going up in the coming semester and my electric rate just rose by 30%.

      So, while my pay increase was higher than inflation, it is completely overwhelmed by everything else that is going on.
      • Correction. That should be (thank you Sideshow Bob) and not Krusty, though one could argue that it was because of Krusty that Sideshow Bob was the way he was.

    • by jellomizer (103300) on Monday April 05, 2010 @02:34PM (#31737922)

      Not really...

      If your pay goes at the same rate as inflation it means your value in the company even after an other year of experience hasn't increased. Normally you should expect a 10% increase in your pay per year until you reach 15 years of experience then it will slope down as your years experience is having a slower rate of return.

    • If you're counting the US only, maybe it was.
      I am living in a totally different country (somewhere in Eastern Europe). I got hired by a large multinational company (a very large one indeed) in June 2007. I got promoted twice. My responsibilities tripled (I was a Helpdesk Analyst, then a Team Lead, now I am a Service Delivery Manager and in couple months will move to another position, or so they said), my salary raised 0% in all this time. I mean ZERO. No raise. No compensation. Nothing.
      I am paid in local
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by causality (777677)

        I got hired by a large multinational company (a very large one indeed) in June 2007. I got promoted twice. My responsibilities tripled (I was a Helpdesk Analyst, then a Team Lead, now I am a Service Delivery Manager and in couple months will move to another position, or so they said), my salary raised 0% in all this time. I mean ZERO. No raise. No compensation. Nothing.

        There needs to be a Web site with a well-maintained registry of companies that treat their IT workers this way. It could be modelled after

    • by Znork (31774)

      What was the inflation rate last year?

      Most measures of inflation are highly politicised; what may be a somewhat useful simplification in a local economy is far from reality in a situation with global wage arbitrage.

      The largest deficiency IMO is the failure to account for asset price inflation, a failure which is inherently connected to the boom/bust cycles (most politicians don't want to see interest rates raised, which the central bank would be force to if any of the more 'real' inflation measurements were

    • by GigsVT (208848)

      The CPI has been gamed and tricked out so much that you can't believe it.

      For example they have this idea about cheaper substitutes. Basically as the price of something nice goes up, you'll use a cheaper substitute, so they change their baseline to include the cheaper substitute instead.

      The classic example here is "hamburgers for steak". Which the BLS has responded to:

      http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpiqa.htm#Question_3 [bls.gov]

      Their rebuttal, if you read it carefully, actually admits that they do substitute less desirable

  • If anyone wants a good Java programmer in the Bay Area email MillionthMonkey at gmail...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 05, 2010 @02:22PM (#31737600)

    This is exactly what happens when you have non-technical accountants and marketers making technology-related decisions. Look at the executives for nearly any American company. You'll find the number of technical people at or near the top is virtually none.

    Accountants are concerned with one thing: the next quarter's numbers. Software and IT infrastructure, on the other hand, often takes longer than that to properly implement and to see their benefits. So these accountants ignore IT, and often do what they can to deny funding, especially if it won't result in a near-immediate balance sheet gains.

    In the past, when America still had some manufacturing base, engineers often had a prominent place within the leadership of most companies. They could think beyond the next quarter's financial results, and saw how technology could make their companies more efficient in the long run. Unfortunately, these people have retired or been forced out.

    America now generates its "wealth" not through the creation of tangible goods and improving productivity at existing enterprises, but rather by creating and selling a variety of bullshit financial instruments. Things won't improve until technical folks are making the calls, rather than accountants and marketers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Orne (144925)

      I'll let you in on a secret, since I'm in a Management of Information Systems class right now as part of our MBA curriculum... We're being told not to worry about being intricately familiar with XYZ technology, since XYZ tends to have a useful lifespan of 3-5 years... we're there to learn how to focus IT to best provide a service to the other parts of the business, and how to manage people. We learn what relational databases are, not how to do an installation of SQL Server 2008. What SOA represents to st

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Samalie (1016193)

        I agree with you completely.

        I'm an IT Manager, but I'm very hand-s on as part of my position. So I can easily fill the role of whatever IT Skillset we need at any given moment.

        Although, even then, my programming skills suck. I can build a relational database system complete with functions, triggers, etc as needed. I can setup and manage routers, VPN's, etc. I can handle the helpdesk...but if someone needed some C# written, I'd be fucked LOL.

        Now, progress to my boss, who happens to be (as is most of the

  • But on the plus side, I get to work from home where naps are a daily event and pants are optional.
  • Marketing (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Prien715 (251944) <agnosticpope&gmail,com> on Monday April 05, 2010 @02:31PM (#31737856) Homepage Journal

    I love this survey. I write software; it's what my degree is in, and it's what I do.

    I can choose "Software developer", "Software engineer", or "Programmer/analyst". I like engineer. It sounds fancy; that's what the concentration was in school.

    Salary went up in my region by 6.3% -- that's better than I've seen in 3 years. But what if I choose developer. That's what I call myself on my resume. My salary went down 1%.

    That's why this survey is laughable. And they use average. Everyone else in the statistics community switched to median years ago. Where's your sample size per category? And seriously, 10 years experience as the first hurdle? No standard deviation either?

    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      And they use average. Everyone else in the statistics community switched to median years ago.

      Median IS an average, as is the mean, which is what you're probably thinking of. If they simply state "average" though, then it's possible that they went with the median over the mean (or not - it really doesn't indicate either way).

    • ...and don't forget that "Web Developer" is still another choice. For some reason writing programs that happen to get executed by a web server puts us into totally different territory.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by iamhigh (1252742)
      They do include exactly what the sample size is if you use the tool to lookup your specific area. It tells how many in that area and how many nationwide. It even noted that my area had few responses, and told me not use this number for much past "huh, neat". So it wasn't that bad.
  • I dunno mang, (Score:3, Insightful)

    by melted (227442) on Monday April 05, 2010 @02:36PM (#31737946) Homepage

    My pay nearly doubled in 2010. Maybe it has something to do with me working on my skills portfolio for over a decade and pent up demand for those skills.

    One thing for sure - if you want to make more money, you need to ALWAYS be thinking on what skills you could acquire to achieve that goal. Any retard can poorly code up a web page - why would anyone pay a pretty penny for that?

    Another life's lesson - if you want to grow, you need to move. Don't sit on your ass in the same job for a decade. Change teams, companies, industries, roles. If you don't do this, the best you can hope for is a 5% merit raise, and that's in a fat year.

    • Re:I dunno mang, (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Itninja (937614) on Monday April 05, 2010 @02:44PM (#31738182) Homepage

      if you want to make more money, you need to ALWAYS be thinking on what skills you could acquire to achieve that goal.

      Well, that, and working for one of the few companies that can afford large pay increases. Ones level of skill really has very little to do with ones salary. I had a job working as a one-man IT dept making something like 30K/year. I wanted more money. My boss said 'you're not worth it', so I quit. Seven month later, after a string of weirdos and losers who would work for that salary, I was offered my job back for nearly double. Three years later I was at 66K/year. But I quit again for another job offering more. Now I am at about 80K/year. New skills needed to 'climb' in this way? Zero.

      It was all timing, luck, and playing against the 'unkempt, slovenly IT' type in job interviews.

      • by Seakip18 (1106315)

        Yep. You don't get more money by showing your worth...you get it by someone buying into the promise of your worth.

        Every story I hear just reinforces the idea that if you want more money, find a job elsewhere.

      • by melted (227442)

        >> for one of the few companies that can afford large pay increases

        What part of "you need to move" did you not understand? :-) There's no way I'd have gotten to my level of compensation had I stayed with just one company. Change jobs every couple of years. Build great reputation along the way. That's all there is to it.

    • I have worked in IT for 30 years. To me, you sound like a staffing company recruiter.

      if you want to make more money, you need to ALWAYS be thinking on what skills you could acquire to achieve that goal.

      Of course recruiters will always say that, no skin off their noses. Truth is: you can acquire all the skills you want, if you don't have recent, paid, professional, enterprise-level, verifiable, experience, in those skills, then your skills count for nothing. Don't take my word for it, look at the job ads.

      Don't sit on your ass in the same job for a decade. Change teams, companies, industries, roles.

      Yeah, great advice, employers just love job hoppers - ask any employer about what they think of job hoppers. IMO: one of

      • by melted (227442)

        I don't know, I practice what I preach. I change jobs every 2-2.5 years. Sometimes stay in the same company, sometimes move to another. So far I have no complaints.

        And you're right about having verifiable experience, but there's nothing preventing you from acquiring this experience while doing your current job, if it's not too drastically different, or in a different team within your current company. Lateral moves within the company are always easier.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by CAIMLAS (41445)

        If employers have a hard time keeping their employees, who's fault is that? The employers or the employees?

        Consider that not long ago, people were working the same job for their entire career. People, by their nature, prefer stability (that's why many go through all that effort of getting a good degree, and why government job preference has been on the uptick for some time).

        If employers don't want employees to jump ship they need to make their employees feel like their jobs aren't in danger and provide them

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I have worked in IT for 30 years. To me, you sound like a staffing company recruiter.

        if you want to make more money, you need to ALWAYS be thinking on what skills you could acquire to achieve that goal.

        Of course recruiters will always say that, no skin off their noses. Truth is: you can acquire all the skills you want, if you don't have recent, paid, professional, enterprise-level, verifiable, experience, in those skills, then your skills count for nothing. Don't take my word for it, look at the job ads.

        Don't sit on your ass in the same job for a decade. Change teams, companies, industries, roles.

        Yeah, great advice, employers just love job hoppers - ask any employer about what they think of job hoppers. IMO: one of the key reasons that US employers have such a strong preference for offshore guest workers is that offshore quest workers can not easily change loves.

        Guess what?

        Offshore resources job hop as well. Ever in your 30 years of IT hear of a Bangalore lunch? That's where they offshore resource is fed up, goes to lunch, gets a job and doesn't call back.

        We had a guy in Mexico do exactly the same thing, he was fed up, and just walked.

        Back in the 80, under Greenspan, employees got used to the cyclic nature of business, they stopped feeling safe. Because the figured that as soon as there was a downturn, their job was toast. Now us peons have taken our lesson fro

  • A recent study suggests that IT people really don't seem to like their jobs very much. Apparently, only 4% of IT people found themselves "highly engaged" with their jobs -- a number that has dropped from the still low, but not as low, 12%, two years earlier. There are concerns, of course, for what this means for companies and their IT staff. It certainly raises some questions about whether or not this is a potential issue going forward, and how companies might deal with this. Are the problems caused by the way IT people are treated? Or does it have more to do with their own worries about the future of the IT profession? And given that so many people in IT aren't particularly enthusiastic about their jobs, how can that be dealt with?

    http://www.techdirt.com/blog/itinnovation/articles/20100216/0318428178.shtml [techdirt.com]

  • At least according to this report [cnet.com]. Can't really say I disagree. Of the friends and family who do have jobs now, I think mine is the best. Maybe not in term of money, but certainly in a money-to-suckiness kind of way.
  • In a perfectly competitive market, the price of a commodity equals its marginal cost.

    When that commodity is you, "marginal cost" -> "subsistence mode of existence".

    Just hope that you die before our imperfectly competitive economy reaches this particular state.
  • well, shit. (Score:2, Funny)

    by archangel9 (1499897)
    brb, blocking that piece of crap misinformed survey site from our HR/CxOs. According to them, my salary is right on track.
  • by Wyatt Earp (1029)

    The report there lumped where I am now (Alaska) with the job hell I just left (Oregon/Washington). I'm looking at an 18% raise for next year and I still get almost three months off.

    I moved up here and had three offers within a month of getting here and had one of the places I turn down call me back and offer 5% more.

    I figure by 2011 I'll be able to get another 20-25% in salary.

  • So what? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ned14 (1354671) on Monday April 05, 2010 @03:02PM (#31738580) Homepage
    Firstly, IT workers != computer programmers. In there are support staff, data entry people, helpdesk, admins and so on. For some of those, the writing is without doubt on the wall and your pay/conditions per work unit is going to carry on dropping. For others, the annual pay rises may have slowed but the trend is accelerating. What else would you expect from a still infant industry heading into its teenage years?

    If I were a betting man, I would say that anything which isn't tied to locality and is not specialist/niche in nature is doomed to become as crappy as any normal job. Locality is real important because boilerplate services which are not niche such as auto maintenance are highly localised to the customer, and hence a mechanic or plumber in a rich neighbourhood will tend to earn loads for identical work done elsewhere. Compare auto maintenance costs between Berlin and Addis Ababa for example.

    As my daddy said to me many, many years ago, the secret to high earnings and excellent work conditions in the free market is to be perceived by those with money as being able to do something valuable which is perceived as hard to find elsewhere. I know a guy who fits spiral staircases - he's good at it, but his talents are hardly unique. Yet Elton John had him fit a spiral staircase in one of his houses a few years ago, then the other celebs saw it and suddenly he's putting in spiral staircases all over the world and charging six or seven times the normal cost. In the end, it is cheaper to pay seven times the odds and avoiding finding your own worker when your opportunity cost per hour is like US$500!

    The second thing my daddy said to me is to leave the free market when you start thinking of having children. The free market will throw you away if you get sick or you lose your reputation which someone influential can easily cause. He suggested a highly unionised public sector job where if you feel a bit peaky you can just go on sick leave for twenty years. Personally, I wish there were some middle ground between excellence being rewarded and the dead but safe hand of guarantee, but we as a society are still too torn between the old Babylon myth even after all these millenia later :(

    I would also say that from my personal perspective as a specialist IT consultant, work is still paying US$750-1000/day upwards but the recession means that there is simply a lot less of such work, so much so that you have to find other sources of income which are usually totally unrelated to IT as so to prevent reputation damage. However in my subjective opinion there is certainly no pressure to reduce payments for high quality specialist work, if anything in some fields the rate is actually rising as more skilled professionals quit permie jobs for their own IT consultancy business. At the top end things keep on getting better, and at the bottom they keep on getting worse. Just like the wage gap in all Western countries since the 1980s!

    Cheers,
    Niall
  • Here is a quick look at the work experiences of real US IT pros:

    http://techtoil.org/doku.php?id=articles:news_and_commentary [techtoil.org]

  • Meh, what is IT? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Monday April 05, 2010 @03:23PM (#31739018) Journal

    Really, what is this IT sector. Does it include EA? Id? IBM? The guy who fixes the printer? The help desk retard who tells you to reboot?

    If you read some slashdot posts, you might almost think that programmers do not belong in IT at all. Or at best are a minor influence.

    So, whose job is going down the drain?

    I can only speak from my own experience in Holland (un-employment rate 3.9%, that is socialism for you, suck it yanks) and yes, some people are loosing their jobs and finding it hard to find new ones. But having done my fair share of interviews, I am not entirely sure these people belong in the industry anyway.

    Come on, what developer can't answer the question of what a join is? What debug tools do you use?

    I got jobs from intern to senior but I expect you to be worth your salary. Don't come to me demanding a senior salary if you fail questions I knew when I was a junior. And no, I don't care if you don't know every function or the correct order of parameters. I want to know you understand the concepts behind the tools you use and that you know how to test that what you build works works as it should and how to start tracing problems.

    Is that to much to ask? Well, yes, for a lot of people it seems to be.

    So I am not surprised with current situation in the US. We had this before, in a recesion the dead wood is sorted out and salaries for the barely adequate settle down. The rest, the few who actually are any good at their job do fine. My own salary has been steadily rising. Not because I am a genius, far from it, but because I am an above average coder. And yes, that does mean that I am on occasion dealing with outsourced work, testing it and fixing it. Can't blaim them. It is not that we don't want to hire western developers, but there just aren't any. Not good ones.

    Please tell me that expecting a medior web developer to know what a join is, is not to much to ask.

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