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Businesses The Almighty Buck

IT Job Market Is Tanking, But Not For Everyone 371

CWmike writes "Shortly after the COO of Automated HealthCare Solutions learned that Microsoft planned to cut 5,000 workers over the next 18 months, he and another employee of the medical services provider flew out to Redmond. AHCS now has more than 100 resumes, some of them from Microsoft employees, for about a dozen open positions. That's how the tech job market is these days: there's no doubt the market is tanking, but not for everyone. While numerous IT vendors are laying off workers, and corporate IT jobs are being lost as well, plenty of companies are still hiring. Microsoft's careers site lists more than 700 open jobs in the US, both technical and administrative positions. And IBM has about 3,200 jobs and internships listed worldwide, more than 550 of them in the US — even as it cuts thousands of workers in a move that it is describing not as a layoff, but an effort to 'match skills and resources with our client needs."
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IT Job Market Is Tanking, But Not For Everyone

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  • by gandhi_2 ( 1108023 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:01PM (#26720143) Homepage
    ...but not for everyone.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:02PM (#26720157)

    I just fired half my staff, but I'm still employed! Booyah.

    • Re:Yeah, I know... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anthony_Cargile ( 1336739 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @11:29PM (#26720761) Homepage
      I feel this is a good time to discuss my signature.

      Years ago, when MS-DOS was just entering version 5, I worked for Micro(-)soft, and I was on the shell team. One little optimization could be made to the PAUSE function, I thought, so I added it in, and even when I told my manager of the patch, he said surely a promotion would soon ensue, and Dave Cutler might even consider me for this project called "Windows NT"!

      So everyone approved, and the patch was added. It was written in assembly language, by the way. So the patch was added, and soon the final build of MS-DOS 6 shipped. However, soon we started getting calls from users saying their batch files crashed DOS, and a thorough code inspection went under way. While inspecting the last couple of patches, many bugs were found, some even I fixed, and we were sure MS-DOS 6.21 was the final solution.

      How wrong were we! The test batch files still crashed the OS, and upon further inspection, it was found that the PAUSE() function would crash just after printing the characters to the screen. They inspected my patch, found an erroneous jz mnemonic (despite our getch setting the eax [return] register to a non-zero ASCII character).

      The log showed it was my patch, and I was soon speedily fired before the compilation of MS-DOS 6.22, which corrected the PAUSE function I messed up so bad. I have since regretted that function every day of my life, and I put it in my .sig as just a reminder of that horrible incident. So, think not of my signature as a juvenile C joke intended to frustrate an experienced DOS user, but instead the C port of the subroutine patch that costed me a Microsoft job at the time when, as a company, they were just about to reach their peak. Layoffs are not funny, even if caused by such a humorous-at-first-glance patch.

      Never forget, slashdot, never forget.
      • Re:Yeah, I know... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @11:37PM (#26720819)
        Funny, I seem to recall something different [slashdot.org] said about your .sig. Still funny, though, I enjoyed the story, despite the obvious made-up MS-DOS versioning used.
      • by vikstar ( 615372 )

        So you added the infinite loop patch and it passed your tests?

      • Re:Yeah, I know... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by 2Bits ( 167227 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @01:23AM (#26721391)

        Ah, I had more fond memory of doing optimization. I'll chip in my story.

        I just graduated in the early 90s, and started working the next day after my last exam, at a small telecom equipments company. The system was running on QNX 2, with every software components developed in house, except the OS and some of the drivers.

        The company was built by hardware engineers, and I was the first guy from a CS background. There were 6 people in the engineering group. The "database system" was actually a small engine of simple linked list, and must load all data into memory to do anything. Insertion, modification, deletion, etc, were slow, database-related work is so slow, but everyone was used to it. Especially on a 386SX with 1MB of memory, and QNX had no virtual memory, the physical memory was precious.

        After I started working, I saw this and said: "What the fuck?" Being good at data structure and algorithms, I decided to do something. Not to interfere with my day job, I spent a couple of evenings and one weekend, writing a memory-mapped B-tree engine, with some quite primitive transaction and rollback features, while trying to keep the same API as the original linked list engine. The memory-map part was so that I wouldn't have to load all data into memory to do the work.

        After testing for 5 or 6 hours on the Sunday afternoon and evening, I plugged it in, replacing the old engine. I "checked in" the code. We didn't even have CVS, we just mount to the manager's machine, and put the codes there (basically, replacing what was there). I made the mistake of not informing the manager.

        I went home the evening, it was raining hard, got wet, and had a fever. The next day, I called in sick.

        At noon, the manager did a new build for testing. People where shocked that database-related operations just returned back right away. This normally would be an error situation. A few panicked, as there was no CVS to track who checked in what, and the db engine was there for almost 2 years already, and considered the most stable component. So no one looked there. But everything seemed to work just fine.

        While I was sick, I also wrote a design document about the new engine, how to call the API, etc. On the 3rd day, I came in. After my first cup of coffee, I heard the news from my neighboring coworker. So I went to see the manager, told him about what I did, and handed him the design document. This was the first "real" design document, BTW.

        The manager was relieved and excited, and finally, called in the CEO of the company too, and said: "Dude, you scared the shit out of me, but this is great work. Next time, tell me first before putting in the code, ok? I'm too old for that. BTW, do you see other areas that we can improve?" The CEO said: "I'd like to hear that too." With that kind of encouragement, I gave a list of areas that should be reworked, but with very low risk, and some areas that might need extra works.

        The CEO said: "I want you to work on those items".

        So, for the next 6 months, I was working more or less on every component of the system, including the UI framework that we developed (no, QNX Photon was still many years away), to do optimization and in quite a few cases, re-code them.

        And I also downloaded CVS at home with my oh-so-slow modem (the company has no internet connection yet, only the CEO and VP had dialup), brought the floppy to the company, compiled the CVS source on QNX, asked and got a new machine to build a CVS server, so that we can track the codes better.

        At the end of the year, I got a big bonus, with 2 extra days off for the Christmas holiday. It was fun.

        • Re:Yeah, I know... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @12:37PM (#26726355)


          Worked 15 years optimizing software-- took it from a 63,000 line "contractor late on a deadline" mess to a 18,000ish line clean machine. Then a competitor bought our company, boxed the software, closed the company, and tried to take on our customer list (lost 90% of them because they hated our competitor). On a related note, we were told everything was okay and we would remain in business- I left immediately and it was 5 months later that they shut us down. Our business was profitable too.. made about half a million profit a year and employed about 200 people.

          While at that company... we converted computers. I worked my ass off. I worked about 72 hours a week for two months. At the end of that period, they gave me a $50 bonus and half a Friday off. I have never let a company do that to me since and it's been almost 20 years and I am now a low level manager. The time to get bonuses negotiated is up front. If they won't promise hard cash up front, I'll do a good solid non-heroic job.

          Young pups willingly give up the time of their life that they are the healthiest, in the best shape, and even smell and taste better than they will by the time they get to my age. You can't give up your life for a company.

    • Hopefully you're not like most other managers, who'd soon be unemployed, with no staff to make them productive ;)
    • by rts008 ( 812749 )

      Daryl McBride, is that you?

  • No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

    by AuMatar ( 183847 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:05PM (#26720175)

    If you're good, you can always find a new job. Smart companies always have exception programs to let in talented individuals. Layoffs tend to be a way to get rid of a lot of the sub-average to average performers. If anything, finding good quality people is even more important after layoffs are announced- the good ones have the ability to get hired easily, so they'll hedge their bets by looking as soon as layoffs are announced. Its not uncommon to see an exodus of them before the layoffs actually occur. Plus you can typically hire one of them to do the work of 3 or 4 of the people you just fired.

    • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:21PM (#26720271)

      I used to believe that. I've got a damn good resume, and I'm damn good at what I do. I'm working the network of friends and ex-coworkers, all of who say, "damn we'd love to hire you, but we don't have any openings."

      I'm 38 years old, and I've NEVER experienced anything this shitty.


      • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

        by module0000 ( 882745 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @11:27PM (#26720749)

        Your answer, it's called "welding school".

        I can't be the only person hanging from a crane welding in new support beams on a bridge...also reminding myself to submit my kernel patches when I get home.

        The pay by the way, is about the same. (30-50 for nubs, 50-100 for traveling pros)

      • Re:No surprise (Score:4, Interesting)

        by EvilIdler ( 21087 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @04:19AM (#26722325)

        I know the feeling, except that of being 38 ;)

        I'm an IT janitor. I fix things. No formal training in most fields (but a few certs I feel have some meaning, and some Mirosoft certs I feel are meaningless), but I still do everything (except maybe DBA-type stuff and art). People with all sorts of levels of competence say I should be able to get jobs with Big Name Companies. This I've tried, skillfully avoiding open source-unfriendly companies (not so many anymore, thank fuck). I rarely hear anything back, so I guess the market is either quite full of people like me, or somebody somewhere is spreading crap about me.

        So I said "Fuck it!" and have sort of started on my own, doing the usual things. Helping friends and family here and there (different rates for the stupidly rich!), making webpages (being no designer, I'm happy to work with people who do the design with me before I make the magic happen) and thinking up THE iPhone app everybody will want. I'll get back to you when I figure that out :P

        A note about those "available positions": I know for a fact that many of them are fake. Sorry, guys. The big companies are being assholes. They are required by law to post all open positions and take in people for interviews in some countries, but they have really writen some of the positions with specific employees already in mind. It's a frickin' scam. I know IBM did it, I know the ISPs sometimes do it (and enjoy temps they can easily shed, rather than actual employees).

        To hell with all that! No boss hanging over me now, and I can sleep till noon before I code away/spit out some hawt CSS/fix somebody's printer. Not getting rich yet, but I have some backup money until luck turns.

        • The big companies are being assholes. They are required by law to post all open positions and take in people for interviews in some countries, but they have really writen some of the positions with specific employees already in mind.

          Everybody knows this (or at least I hope they do) but it's sometimes funny when these things are brought to light.

          Many years ago, the U.S. government started putting job announcements online. The process was simple. A local office doing a hire would just cc the announcement

    • Re:No surprise (Score:4, Insightful)

      by hwyhobo ( 1420503 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:25PM (#26720297)

      If you're good, you can always find a new job.

      There is more to it than being "good". Certain types of jobs are affected more during recessions than others. Departments seen as cost centers will be the last to regain reqs.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by RMH101 ( 636144 )
        Bang on. It's a tough time to be something that can be readily outsourced, such as helpdesk, support or development. It's not a bad time to be someone who is needed to work with outsourcing providers such as a project manager, a business relationship manager, or a technical architect - people who understand the business and can help the business articulate their IT needs in terms that an outsourcing provider can understand, then manage delivery from those providers.
        It's an uncertain world we live in and
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Gorobei ( 127755 )

      3 or 4? We hope for ratios more in the 10-50 range. One really good hire can completely replace a 20 person dev team that is not delivering.

      Of course, many of the new hires turn out less good that hoped, but that is solvable. Also, you have to keep the bad team around until it's clear its product is inferior. But hey, that's business.

    • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:36PM (#26720383)

      If you're good, you can always find a new job.

      It feels like you are invoking the fallacy that most of us think we are above average. Most people aren't significantly above average.

      Layoffs tend to be a way to get rid of a lot of the sub-average to average performers.

      You are telling this to the people who just got laid off!! So if they were laid off and looking for work, you are essentially telling them that they are probably on the lower side of average. And yet "if they are well above average they will have no trouble finding work". This doesn't bode well.

      Plus you can typically hire one of them to do the work of 3 or 4 of the people you just fired.

      So these people are both head and shoulders above average, and are willing to do the work of a small team to boot? Oh and they'll accept the same wages of the semi-morons he replaced too?

      Yes these mythological creatures will always have jobs.

      Technically, yes, you are right, Microsoft lays of 5000 people, and the top few percent will land new jobs right away.

      Do you have any advice for the other 80-90%? Those are the ones that need it. The top 5-10% probably won't be unemployed long enough to have to start dipping into their savings anyway.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It feels like you are invoking the fallacy that most of us think we are above average. Most people aren't significantly above average.

        You must be new here. Most people on /. think they're super-duper programmers and the only thing keeping them from a high-paying job and a super hot girlfriend is the greedy CEOs who outsource their jobs and the brown people on H1Bs..

      • by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @11:47PM (#26720891)
        We're just coming out of a boom. Like previous booms, this last boom created jobs for people that could spell computa. Come the end of the boom and these are the first jobs to go.

        Advice for the sub average? Well if you are sub average then you're always going to be at high risk. The same applies to any industry - it is not just a computer thing. Find something you're better at.

        If you're sub average and insist on being in the industry then face it that you're only going to be employed 50% of the time.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by internerdj ( 1319281 )
          If you're sub average and insist on being in the industry then face it that you're only going to be employed 50% of the time.
          That would only be true if the industry had twice as many IT employees as it did positions. I have yet to hear of any major IT company laying off half its employees or too many IT companies go under. If the odds were 50% to get hired then you would see alot of the sub-average IT folks switching careers or not choosing it to begin with, shifting the odds more in favor of the sub-av
      • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

        by theJML ( 911853 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @12:11AM (#26721023) Homepage

        This is not always the way layoffs work. Sure, it'd be good for the company to get rid of some of the people who were, as you said, sub-average. But in the situation I was in, the company had two major products. The board/CEO/Investors decided that one of them was not making them money. The people who worked on that one project had been there for years, some of them are the best of the best. Great people and great coders. Since they were not part of the surviving product, they were cut, 60% of the company (small company, about 40-50 before the cuts).

        Typically you fire people who suck, you lay off people when you need to save money, yet there's no good other reason to cut the person.

        However, I agree, if you're good you can probably find a new gig pretty quick. The part of the layoffs that suck is really about change and forced career shifts. I for one found other work quickly, and even came out with 1/3rd more money than I previously made before being laid off. But I liked that job, and I'm glad for the opportunity.

    • Re:No surprise (Score:5, Insightful)

      by westlake ( 615356 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:37PM (#26720397)
      If you're good, you can always find a new job.

      Rule No. 1: You may be good. But there is always someone better.

      Rule No. 2: The geek too young too have seen rock bottom: a time when there are no openings anywhere, for anyone. But it happens.

    • I would tend to agree with your statement. However there are other factors as well. I myself was lied off this summer however the CEO himself recommend me to the CEO of the place I currently work.
      For my case (and about 1/2 of the company who lot lied off) most of the people where hired within that year were laid off (they grew 100% the previous year, then shrunk 50% in fall). During their mistake period of growth they actually hired a lot of good people, but to get these people they were willing to pay hi

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by srNeu ( 559432 )
      I started job searching in January so I could move out of a bad situation start-up and within 3 weeks had 2 offers and 3 more companies wanting 2nd interviews.

      Look at the medical industry, its the only sector not being pummeled right now, although I'm sure it will get hit. The Nashville TN area has about 40-50 developer jobs in that area right now. Although the job I accepted was through a recruiter, 3 of the other 4 were direct postings from careerbuilder, dice and linkedin, all permanent. There are
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rts008 ( 812749 )

      "If you're good, you can always find a new job."

      Depends on HR, local budgets, what you are 'good' at, and what the local market is hiring doesn't it?

      Good luck if you are over 50, and and in a 'college town' where transient labor for cheap is the rule, not the exception.

      Not too proud to proclaim:
      This college educated(and employed) janitor does not do Windows[tm] anymore.

      Fsck all of you all with this attitude. (yeah, flame me to boost your ego..see my sig...)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rogerborg ( 306625 )

      Layoffs tend to be a way to get rid of a lot of the sub-average to average performers.

      It requires competent and professional management to identify these people though. So, EPIC FAIL in your basic premise.

  • In good times (Score:4, Interesting)

    by powerspike ( 729889 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:10PM (#26720201)
    You don't see people walking around asking the hard questions like 'do we need to get rid of anybody', because there is profit, and everything is going well, something can trigger that talk, like the global "finance" crisis at the moment, and you'll see things like this happening, when you start looking, the bigger the company you are, the more you'll find. It's the way of business.
    A couple of business owners have had to lay off some of their skilled labour, it was a last resort, because they know it's going to cost a fortune to replace them when things pick up again.
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:11PM (#26720207)

    Something that everyone forgets is that many companies use downturns as a time to clean house, to get rid of people that they feel are more dead weight than not.

    Now anyone with experience in a large company knows that also can include some good people that ended up on the wrong side of an internal political battle, and doesn't usually include much middle management that may well be overburdened. Even so, layoffs are not always about a company needing to get rid of jobs so much as a natural resetting mechanism (at least at first).

    • Something that everyone forgets is that many companies use downturns as a time to clean house, to get rid of people that they feel are more dead weight than not.

      And some companies are trying to aggressively go after the cream of the crop that are being laid off - or even the ones still employed but that are worried about their job security. Some companies are looking to use the economic crisis to pick up some really top quality people.

      There are plenty of developers out there who's projects have been cancel

  • Yes, but... (Score:2, Informative)

    by djupedal ( 584558 )

    When discussing layoffs or hiring vies-a-vi Microsoft, it can help to remember that the majority of statistics involve expatriates, part-time and temporary employees or short-term contract hires. When MS announces layoffs, it rarely involves the small core of full time, salaried workers the company maintains at HQ.

    MS quotes one number that includes the above when it wants to sound like a large corporation, and another, that only includes core staffers, when it wants to sound thrifty. MS's numbers raise and

  • of those layoffs are in the 'semi-skilled' class? For every middle-manager that gets the boot, how many secretaries, administrative assistants, and the like, get dumped, also? Unless a company is willing to cut important, bottom-line-contributing, projects to save money -which MS and others probably aren't doing- most of the cuts are coming in the 'it feels good, let's give it a try' type of thing. In tough times, essentials count, fluff doesn't.
  • From TFA:

    "If somebody is good in their job, they're going to want to stay in the job that they're in," Johnson said. "They aren't the ones papering the town with resumes right now." As a result, Johnson is using the LinkedIn social networking site to augment his hiring efforts. He said he is searching the site for a "passive candidate" â" someone who may be advertising his IT credentials on LinkedIn and looks like a strong match for CME, but isn't actively looking to leave the security of his current

  • That does not mean they will fill the reqs. These could be aged openings, and they could be there to give false indicators of growth or expected growth for a presumed 2-year position life expectancy.

    Even more, they could silently have in effect a hiring freeze. So, recruiting agencies will *see* postings of openings, and some will scrounge around and competing really hard for those spots for their recruits/temps or consultants, but not get much food out of it.

    Further, many of those positions could be advert

  • by Irish_Samurai ( 224931 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:31PM (#26720349)

    The behavior of "cutting the fat" is persistent in any business worth it's salt. It just so happens that this behavior is synchronized, and expanded, in weaker economies.

    A person desiring to keep their employment intact, or finding new opportunities, needs to understand three elements of their "business related worth".

    • Talent - I intuitively know what needs to be done as it relates to my function inside an organization. I rarely need input when it comes to improvising the use of my skillset.
    • Skill - I have an expansive set of techniques at my disposal. I understand how these techniques can be used in pre-defined situations.
    • Experience - I have executed multiple plans regarding my function and have the "war stories" to prove it. I am able to accurately predict the pitfalls, possible errant results, and optimal win scenarios for business plans within my function.

    Every company on the planet needs people who have different mixes of the above qualities. The big problem is that these three aspects run in a Rock/Paper/Scissors manner. The bigger problem is that the relationships change from company to company. Sometimes experience trumps talent. Other times talent is better than experience.

    If you approach these elements of your work history without ego, focus your job search on opportunities that match your mix, and clearly communicate them to prospective employers - you will actually find a better job that makes you happy.

    It can be done, don't go into it with a negative attitude.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Venik ( 915777 )
      With shrinking economy, your talent-skill-experience approach is not just useless but harmful as well. If for every 10 positions you have 100 applicants, then at best only 10% will find jobs. And these 10% of applicants will be selected based mostly on a subjective (an in many cases dilettante, managerial) understanding of what these qualities are, how they should be evaluated, and what value they bring to the employer. Working for a very large company for many years I noticed one thing about big layoffs:
    • by Aceticon ( 140883 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @06:19AM (#26722857)

      That's about the most naif thing I've ever heard.

      Having had for a long time a high level on the three axis you listed above (which by the way are not true axis since they're correlated), I've long ago discovered the following:
      - The single most important set of skills for successfully keeping your job and/or finding a new job are social skills

      Meeting and befriending people outside your inner circle will make it more likely that if the company downsizes your whole department you will get "fished" to another department if you're really good.

      Being a friendly and pleasant person means you will be good at working in a group, something that is even more valuable than ultra-elite coding skills.

      Self-confidence, a friendly manner and maybe some humor will make you come out a lot better in an interview. Awareness of other people's moods will help you detect what they're interested in and not interested in while discussing your CV and allow you to emphasize those things you're good at which are also important to the prospective employer you're interviewing with.

      And this is just the tip of the iceberg ...

  • by DurendalMac ( 736637 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:33PM (#26720361)
    Repair services are essentially recession-proof. People are going to be even more willing to get the computer fixed rather than buy a brand new one if the former is less expensive. The cheaper avenue will often win out for the short term. Secondhand PCs are likely going to be a big market in the coming years as well.
  • by turd_sandwich ( 1364529 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:37PM (#26720399)
    ..on the cover of Hot Naked Chicks and World Report, March 3, 2505 edition. It read:

    "SHIT SUCKS!" (story on page 42)

  • by __aajwxe560 ( 779189 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:53PM (#26720511)
    Here in Mass, I just went through a fairly time consuming round of interviews for an open Sr. Linux Admin position I had open. I must have had more than 300 resumes come my way, reviewing about 200 of them, phone interviewed about 25 people, personally interviews another 15, all over the course of the past 5 months. My bosses were having a very difficult time comprehending why I was having such a hard time finding someone in such a market, but frankly, quality people have been tremendously hard to come by. My bosses were getting frustrated that I wasn't getting the position filled fast enough. I stuck to my guns and recently (finally!) found a solid candidate.

    It has already been mentioned, but in speaking with a few recruiters, the general opinion was that the company's that are laying off are cleaning house of dead wood for the most part. Those who are good at their jobs are staying put right now until the market seems to show some sense of light at the end of the tunnel. Of course their are casualties at all levels in various orgs, but I'm not yet left with the overwhelming sense that quality IT people are flooding the market looking for work.
    • by Shados ( 741919 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @11:07PM (#26720607)

      Yup. I just recently got a new job for a very senior position for a very cool company, one of the best to work for in the region anyway. There was multiple openings for the team. Not a single one, ZERO, nadah, none, of the candidates they interviewed had what they needed (and what they needed wasn't obscure by a long shot, and the required skillset wasn't 16 page long...they just wanted someone good). They couldn't find any.

      In the end, I got the job even though I didn't have one of the major requirements, because they thought I was good enough to be worth training. Even with that concession, I was the only person they could find on the continent (no one in the region at all, big metropolitan area, and no one on the -continent- who was willing to move). Finally, they found ONE other person for the job, who had worked for them in the past across the globe in asia (no, not in a third world country...I'm being vague since, well, can't post all the details on the net), and they're relocating him.

      Qualified people are almost inexistent if your requirement goes beyond raw computer science or script kiddies, the two extremes. And for the AC that posted, no, they weren't looking for someone with 20 years of experience, I have something like 7.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I liked your post. Here, let me go ahead and make it true as well for you:

        Yup. I just recently got a new job for a very senior position for a very cool company, one of the best to work for in the region anyway. There was multiple openings for the team. Not a single one, ZERO, nadah, none, of the candidates who applied at the salary they listed [whom] they interviewed had what they needed (and what they needed wasn't obscure by a long shot, and the required skillset wasn't 16 page long...they just wanted so

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GaryOlson ( 737642 )
      After 2 years, I just filled a Jr Linux admin position. Of the hundreds of resumes, most applicants did not even read the posted job requirements. A couple of the more persistent applicants begged to be hired; and they promised to allow me to teach them Linux. Of the interviewed applicants, most could not solve a simple problem -- they asked for hints, lists of possible solutions from which to choose, or shrugged their shoulders as if abandoning the problem was commonplace and acceptable.

      Complacency is th
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mgblst ( 80109 )

      It shouldn't take that long, sounds like a bit of a joke. Either you are a perfectionist, or a bit useless.

      On a brighter note, sticking to your guns had probably proved to your bosses that you aren't any good at hiring, and a possibility that you might be the next one out the door.

  • As I always say (Score:5, Interesting)

    by falcon5768 ( 629591 ) <Falcon5768@comca ... t minus language> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @10:57PM (#26720541) Journal

    Are the jobs being laid off REALLY Information Technology? I hardly consider sales, data people, or most management positions IT. They might be IT related in that they work with IT people, but they do nothing actually technical and I would not be calling any of them to repair a network or fix a computer. In the same way I dont consider engineers to be IT either, they are engineers, not technicians, related but still different fields.

    When it comes to actual IT work, I have no want for job opportunities atm, getting at least one valid offer a month, though I am specifically staying with my not as well paying public position BECAUSE of a questionable private sector market. Be seriously most of these jobs being shed are just not true IT job, and people need to learn what the actual definition of IT is and isnt.

    • by ktappe ( 747125 )

      Are the jobs being laid off REALLY Information Technology?

      Yes, some are. I personally know three true IT workers who have been laid off. Admittedly this is only three out of hundreds I know personally or in passing, but they exist. And they're getting no bites at all in their job searches. Those of you saying there are jobs to be found must know something we don't (we're in Delaware, by the way.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Ashcrow ( 469400 )

      Your right about sales ... for sure it is not IT. Data folks can be ... it depends on how an organization is structured and at what level (IE: are they schema and reporting administrators or guy who looks at data in an application). Same thing goes with engineers. A lot of companies consider things like web applications the domain of IT so web engineers are in the IT departments.

    • All those jobs that were lost that weren't "true" IT jobs, do you think they don't impact you?

      Connect the dots. Those unemployed people are now out of work. They get the following advice: "Your skills are obsolete, you need to retrain!" Well, which jobs do you think they retrain for? They all rush out and get their MCSAs and CCNAs, because they've been told "We have a shortage of IT workers in this country!"

      So now, for every job, thousands of resumes flood in, and it doesn't matter that we're talking about

  • by Khyber ( 864651 ) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @11:06PM (#26720591) Homepage Journal

    In this sentence:

    "While numerous IT vendors are laying off workers, and corporate IT jobs are being lost as well, plenty of companies are still hiring."

    should read:

    "While numerous *LARGE* IT vendors are laying off workers, and corporate IT jobs are being lost as well, plenty of *SMALLER* companies are still hiring."

    If anything I've seen the job market for small IT suddenly go UP. I'm willing to bet these smaller companies are willing to hire these former big-wig employees and those big-wigs are willing to take the lower pay in exchange for financial security in this horrendous economy.

    The big guys are tanking and having to cut because they squandered and litigated themselves into this mess, while the smaller companies don't have this bullshit to worry about and can thus keep turning a profit because they're not wasting money on laws and lawsuits and patent trolling - they just provide actual services, pay their employees, pay their taxes, and go home.

  • by Ashcrow ( 469400 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @11:21PM (#26720715) Homepage

    There has been a steady but rising flood of semi-skilled people getting into IT increasing the size of IT shops ... and generally their cost. I don't like to see people lose jobs, but in some cases shrinking IT is really, really good. I don't want to work with 50 so-so or worse developers or sysadmins ... but I'd be more than happy to work with 10 stellar engineers/admins. Same goes with management. Speaking with some friends this past year it almost seems there has been a popular trend in adding layers of management for the sake of reporting structures (group A reports to manager who reports to manager who reports to director who reports to ....). In a lot of cases that is just cruft that is not needed that increases cost for little to no gain.

    Then again, I've seen the definition of IT being stretched to include positions that have nothing to do with Information Technology.

    • by vikstar ( 615372 )

      more like group A reports to manager, manager tells assistant manager to analyse the data and write up a report, then the manager takes this report and hands it to his manager... and so on.

  • by Crashspeeder ( 1468723 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @11:31PM (#26720781)

    Please don't think me greedy for what I'm about to say but I'm currently still employed after over 3 rounds of layoffs and I've recently kicked my job search into high gear. While I have to agree that what's currently left at the small company I work for is nothing but the best (at least in the IT department) the workload that was done by 30 is now done by 10 -- with as few as 3 people in one section of IT.

    That being said, these *quality* people who probably have nothing to worry about are jumping ship (even management!), some without even having jobs to switch to yet. But I guess that's what happens when reason goes out the window and marketing calls the shots in an attempt to turn a profit for a change. That coupled with pay cuts leaves a bad taste in people's mouths.

    I disagree with the thought that the good workers will sit idly by and take what the companies are doing and accomplishing what 3-5 of their peers used to. Sometimes what seems like a good job for a while can turn ugly and treat you poorly when things get tough and that's not necessarily a place you want to work. At least that's my reasoning.

  • by A Dafa Disciple ( 876967 ) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @11:45PM (#26720873) Homepage

    I work for a software consultancy as a software developer -- well, at least I do for the next couple of days. Various events have taken place over the last few months that have reduced my happiness in my role in this company.

    Coincidentally, this company has clients in the public sector whose budgets have been frozen due to the economic downturn. This brought some of this company's projects to a stand-still and, unfortunately, this company's reaction was to fire the entire development team for one of the projects (this happened two months ago).

    My project was suspended indefinitely by our private sector client whose budget was curtailed, and my development team was merged into another ongoing project. Naturally, I perceived my job security as limited. To make matters worse, rumours were circulating that our very old directors were considering trying to dissolve the company and ship their assets overseas. The idea was that some money already paid by clients might be attempted to be recovered and the directors wanted to retire. Combine all this with my growing discontent in my role in this organisation and I had great motivation to find another job before I was made redundant, but how was I supposed to accomplish this in this doom-n-gloom economy?

    My wife and I decided that we liked our chances more with the sagging economy than with my dodgy company. So, I looked for a job, and I was confident as I was fortunate enough to have recently acquired some very valuable skills in our current technological landscape and I knew how they were in high demand and how to sell them. It worked out favorably for me, as I was able to secure a seemingly better job in a more experienced role with a higher pay at a different, much more reputable organisation.

    I'd say that I am very lucky but I also believe all of my extra hard work paid off. I feel that, at least for the foreseeable future, a lot of people in IT who keep their skills current and relevant will always be able to find a decent job, the key being very much keeping your technical chops polished.

  • by jeko ( 179919 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @12:09AM (#26721017)

    Oh, here we go, cue the chorus of "Dude, if yer the best you can alwayz get werk..."

    Listen up. You have to look at this systemically. If there are a thousand people willing to do your job for less, it doesn't matter how leet and brilliant you are. You are an expensive widget, and the business side will always sacrifice quality for cost. Do you really think the suits upstairs can tell the difference between Linus and Zaboomafoo the Typing Lemur?

    My phone rings daily with scared-crapless kids whose networks are falling apart because they don't have the experience the position requires. Every one of those kids replaced some grey-haired 40-year-old who would have avoided the disaster months ago, but was let go because Billy the Paperboy braindumped his certs and offered the do the job for less.

    No one, No. One. Ever connects the million-dollar disaster with the now-incredibly-cheap-looking salary that would have saved the company untold amounts of money.

    So, for the Beavis-and-Butthead crowd sitting around crowing about how they're the best, look at it this way: The surplus resumes flooding the market may not cost you your job, but they will cost your your raise, as well as any leverage you might have had to push back against bad ideas. They'll cost you in the midnight calls you get and the tribute of overtime demanded because your boss knows you don't have any other options. And if you really are that good, it still might not save you.


    • Oh please. (Score:3, Insightful)

      Not all companies are populated by morons in the hiring positions.

      Right now the good people will raise to the top as long as you are willing to adjust your expectations slarywise.

  • We had 2 open positions for people with Unix and/or storage backgrounds and we only had 3 applicants come in and interview after about 4 months. These were jobs on the top of the pay scale, working for a prestigious outfit. Luckily 2 of them were actually decent, otherwise we'd still be looking.

    If IT workers are getting laid off, its not in my field!

  • It's just giving me 2 days a month off with no pay. with a pretty name called Furlough. We fired the last governor that got us 40billion in debt. At least I have a job though. I do appreciate that.
  • by The Real Nem ( 793299 ) on Wednesday February 04, 2009 @03:42AM (#26722171) Homepage

    A lot of us here on /. are IT workers, why not just ask us?

    How has the current economic landscape affected your employer?

    1. We're hiring!
    2. No layoffs, but hiring's on hold.
    3. We're "upgraded" a few members of our staff.
    4. We've laid off <= 5% of our staff.
    5. We've laid off <= 10% of our staff.
    6. We've laid off <= 25% of our staff.
    7. We've laid off <= 50% of our staff.
    8. No one left but me.
    9. I've been sacked you insensitive clod.

    It might actually provide some useful insight. #6 applies to me.

May all your PUSHes be POPped.