• ari (cs)
  • Studley (unregistered)

    Which begs the question: If they're so slapdash about hiring skilled employees, how on earth did they recruit the guy to hold the sign?

  • ObiWayneKenobi (cs)

    Isn't doing things differently a good way of getting skilled people INSTEAD of going through the usual recruiters or posting on job sites?

    Joel Spolsky would probably agree with their methods.

  • Anon (unregistered)

    My previous employer in a moment of drunken honesty said that "developers are horrendously overpaid" and "...they're blue collar workers earning white collar wages". When they were caught in the same position as detailed above I added up the cost of our multiple off-shoring disasters ("finally, realistic wages for coders"), projects lost to under-staffing and our astounding recruiter bills and forced him to offer: a) Raises b) After work drinks and perks c) More job titles than just "programmer"

    It worked, we kept talent once we had it and I kept him away from them so he wouldn't wreck it.

    IMHO 90% of the problems in IT come from people like him and their obsession with changing it from a profession into the equivalent of unskilled labor. They'd cut off their nose to spite their face over this, there is something about developers that makes a certain type of person crazy.

  • jesus-2.0 (unregistered)

    where is the wtf? or trwtf?

  • DaveE (unregistered) in reply to jesus-2.0
    jesus-2.0:
    where is the wtf? or trwtf?

    TRWTF is ... uh... those pants?

    DaveE

  • LANMind (unregistered) in reply to jesus-2.0
    jesus-2.0:
    where is the wtf? or trwtf?

    Joel Spolsky is TRWTF.

  • Buffalo (cs) in reply to Studley
    Studley:
    Which begs the question: If they're so slapdash about hiring skilled employees, how on earth did they recruit the guy to hold the sign?
    If they're anything like the place I work for, he's from the IT department.
  • Joe Average (unregistered)

    I had a boss once who wanted to buy an old beat up limo we saw for sale by the side of the road one day. He was going to use it to transport potential clients to and from the airport ... had an idea that we were going to setup a wireless network in this POS with a cellular card for the connection. When it wasn't being used to show our clients what half-ass idiots we were he was going to rent it out.

    I updated my resume that same day.

  • ObiWayneKenobi (cs) in reply to Anon
    Anon:
    IMHO 90% of the problems in IT come from people like him and their obsession with changing it from a profession into the equivalent of unskilled labor.

    This hit the nail on the head. Management is OBSESSED with devaluing software development (and IT in general) and making it a blue-collar trade instead of a white-collar profession.

  • RHuckster (cs) in reply to ObiWayneKenobi
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    This hit the nail on the head. Management is OBSESSED with devaluing software development (and IT in general) and making it a blue-collar trade instead of a white-collar profession.

    This always befuddles me because management often doesn't know how to organize their desktop icons much less "put words on a screen to tell the computer what to do" (in the words of my grandfather, who never used a computer in his life). You'd think if they weren't skilled enough to do it, they'd realize it qualifies as skilled work.

  • Loren Pechtel (cs) in reply to RHuckster
    RHuckster:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    This hit the nail on the head. Management is OBSESSED with devaluing software development (and IT in general) and making it a blue-collar trade instead of a white-collar profession.

    This always befuddles me because management often doesn't know how to organize their desktop icons much less "put words on a screen to tell the computer what to do" (in the words of my grandfather, who never used a computer in his life). You'd think if they weren't skilled enough to do it, they'd realize it qualifies as skilled work.

    I think the fundamental problem is that the physical side of it obviously is easy and they so lack any comprehension of the mental side of it that they think it's easy, also.

  • anon (unregistered) in reply to Loren Pechtel
    Loren Pechtel:
    RHuckster:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    This hit the nail on the head. Management is OBSESSED with devaluing software development (and IT in general) and making it a blue-collar trade instead of a white-collar profession.

    This always befuddles me because management often doesn't know how to organize their desktop icons much less "put words on a screen to tell the computer what to do" (in the words of my grandfather, who never used a computer in his life). You'd think if they weren't skilled enough to do it, they'd realize it qualifies as skilled work.

    I think the fundamental problem is that the physical side of it obviously is easy and they so lack any comprehension of the mental side of it that they think it's easy, also.

    That makes no sense. The physical side of all white collar work is easy, that's kind of what it means. The ultimate problem is not remotely IT related. Management tends to think that non management jobs are easy, regardless of the field.

  • Coyne (cs) in reply to Studley
    Studley:
    Which begs the question: If they're so slapdash about hiring skilled employees, how on earth did they recruit the guy to hold the sign?

    He was living under the bridge.

  • Buffalo (cs) in reply to Loren Pechtel
    Loren Pechtel:
    RHuckster:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    This hit the nail on the head. Management is OBSESSED with devaluing software development (and IT in general) and making it a blue-collar trade instead of a white-collar profession.

    This always befuddles me because management often doesn't know how to organize their desktop icons much less "put words on a screen to tell the computer what to do" (in the words of my grandfather, who never used a computer in his life). You'd think if they weren't skilled enough to do it, they'd realize it qualifies as skilled work.

    I think the fundamental problem is that the physical side of it obviously is easy and they so lack any comprehension of the mental side of it that they think it's easy, also.

    If they think IT is physically easy they've never moved a 6U rackmount server by themselves. Then again, if they saw you doing that they'd assume it was just dumb grunt work. There's also the problem of IT being viewed as a cost center - there's always pressure for management to reduce costs. What better way to do that than by trying to hire skilled labor at unskilled-labor wages?

    Not to mention the self-appointed experts who think that because they can use a computer, that means they understand computers.

  • Coyne (cs) in reply to RHuckster
    RHuckster:
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    This hit the nail on the head. Management is OBSESSED with devaluing software development (and IT in general) and making it a blue-collar trade instead of a white-collar profession.

    This always befuddles me because management often doesn't know how to organize their desktop icons much less "put words on a screen to tell the computer what to do" (in the words of my grandfather, who never used a computer in his life). You'd think if they weren't skilled enough to do it, they'd realize it qualifies as skilled work.

    It has nothing to do with skill. It only has to do with paying $40K-$50K/year instead of $400/year. Which is all any CEO thinks any employee is worth.

  • SignHolder (unregistered)

    Not so much for employment ads, but "signholders" are pretty common around here.

    A lot of places have ordinances against sticking signs in the ground and proper licensed billboard space may be scarce, but it's perfectly legal to have someone stand there all day holding the sign.

  • Nik (unregistered) in reply to Studley
    Studley:
    Which begs the question: If they're so slapdash about hiring skilled employees, how on earth did they recruit the guy to hold the sign?

    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarg! why?!

    ""Begging the question" is a form of logical fallacy in which a statement or claim is assumed to be true without evidence other than the statement or claim itself."

    "To beg the question does not mean "to raise the question." (e.g. "It begs the question, why is he so dumb?")"

    (from begthequestion (dot) info)

  • operagost (cs) in reply to Studley

    They found him under a pile of newspapers on a park bench and offered him Thunderbird.

  • DaveK (cs) in reply to Studley
    Studley:
    Which begs the question: If they're so slapdash about hiring skilled employees, how on earth did they recruit the guy to hold the sign?
    [image]
  • Rob (unregistered)

    That's not a WTF at all.

    There is a huge range in software developers. A lot of them suck. Some of them don't. The ones that don't suck, they tend to stick around at the same gig for a long time. Their employer gives them raises and more vacation each year and once you've got a busy life with a family and a house and all that jazz; looking for/changing jobs is a lot of work.

    A lot of good developers are just showing up, doing a great job, going home. They aren't looking for better jobs. Even if they know they could make more money somewhere else.

    A content developer isn't going to job fairs or user groups to network or checking careerbuilder.com; but he is driving to work.

  • dkf (cs) in reply to ObiWayneKenobi
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Isn't doing things differently a good way of getting skilled people INSTEAD of going through the usual recruiters or posting on job sites?

    Joel Spolsky would probably agree with their methods.

    It might make sense somewhere where there's lots of programmers driving past. But it's in a business park in Peterborough; chance's are that everyone who's qualified to fill the position already knows they don't want it.

  • boog (cs) in reply to Nik
    Nik:
    Studley:
    Which begs the question: If they're so slapdash about hiring skilled employees, how on earth did they recruit the guy to hold the sign?

    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarg! why?!

    ""Begging the question" is a form of logical fallacy in which a statement or claim is assumed to be true without evidence other than the statement or claim itself."

    "To beg the question does not mean "to raise the question." (e.g. "It begs the question, why is he so dumb?")"

    (from begthequestion (dot) info)

    I've found that people who use the term incorrectly are either hopeless idiots or mischievous trolls.

    Either way, you'd be wasting your time trying to argue/reason with them.

  • Jeremy Hutchings (unregistered)

    Yup, this seems to sum up just about all places and how they treat software people from what I can see.

  • Pyrexkidd (unregistered) in reply to Rob

    IMO, it's the sucky developers that stick around the longest.
    Weather they are happy or not they are unable to easily find a new position so they stick at the position they have for ages, on the other hand the "good" developers get what they can out of a position and move on.

    However, I do agree with your logic about happy people not looking for jobs, so if they see one...

    I once worked for a medium sized internet phone company. By medium sized I mean at any given time there were between 20-50 sales people and 5 people in operations(a VP of Opps that was not technical, a provisioning manager, who built all orders, myself who actually ran support, and my companion, who's title changed weekly(customer service to Client account manager, to ...) and a CTO who was brilliant but LAZY), with an outsourced call center(don't even get me started on these guys...).

    This business was run by some old school ICG and Qwest guys who were explicitly sales oriented. They saw that sales generated income and Support/Operations did not.

    The disconnect between MR. CEO and his lowly income eating operations department came from the fact that Mr. CEO started this company from his basement, and claimed, he used to make all of the service runs. This s the same guy who bitched about formating marks in Word for a year before I turned it off for him... (I realize this is Red Herring, as Word has nothing to do with internet phones...)

    Any way as a result of the overly short staffed operations department, (you know that department that doesn't generate income anyway) customers started to get pissed and leave. (you see where I'm going with this?)

    Fist the CEO's stopped paying their executive team, then they laid off some of the support department (there was no one to lay off... so they moved someone from sales over... Great Move guys...), sales, etc.

    I guess it's not really a WTF, but the moral of the story is CEO's care about the bottom line, and they forget that all of the shit up here is how we arrive at the bottom line.

  • RBoy (unregistered) in reply to ObiWayneKenobi
    ObiWayneKenobi:
    Anon:
    IMHO 90% of the problems in IT come from people like him and their obsession with changing it from a profession into the equivalent of unskilled labor.

    This hit the nail on the head. Management is OBSESSED with devaluing software development (and IT in general) and making it a blue-collar trade instead of a white-collar profession.

    Well, if you went to school at ITT Tech, then I'd agree you're blue-collar until you've proved yourself.

    I talk to "IT" guys all the time that their only qualification is that they are the only one in the building who knows how to use a mouse.

  • MB (unregistered) in reply to Nik
    Comment held for moderation.
  • MB (unregistered) in reply to Nik
    Comment held for moderation.
  • Bub (unregistered) in reply to boog
    boog:
    Nik:
    Studley:
    Which begs the question: If they're so slapdash about hiring skilled employees, how on earth did they recruit the guy to hold the sign?

    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarg! why?!

    ""Begging the question" is a form of logical fallacy in which a statement or claim is assumed to be true without evidence other than the statement or claim itself."

    "To beg the question does not mean "to raise the question." (e.g. "It begs the question, why is he so dumb?")"

    (from begthequestion (dot) info)

    I've found that people who use the term incorrectly are either hopeless idiots or mischievous trolls.

    Either way, you'd be wasting your time trying to argue/reason with them.

    Which begs the question - why are you bothering to respond to any of this?

  • boog (cs) in reply to Bub
    Bub:
    boog:
    I've found that people who use the term incorrectly are either hopeless idiots or mischievous trolls.

    Either way, you'd be wasting your time trying to argue/reason with them.

    [redacted] - why are you bothering to respond to any of this?

    Please. Did I say "don't do it"? Hell no, I said it'd be a waste of time.

    It seems I have time to waste. What's your excuse?

  • Bub (unregistered) in reply to boog
    boog:
    Bub:
    boog:
    I've found that people who use the term incorrectly are either hopeless idiots or mischievous trolls.

    Either way, you'd be wasting your time trying to argue/reason with them.

    [redacted] - why are you bothering to respond to any of this?

    Please. Did I say "don't do it"? Hell no, I said it'd be a waste of time.

    It seems I have time to waste. What's your excuse?

    I'm a question beggar.

    Captcha : "acsi" - charset for ebonics

  • praesent (unregistered) in reply to ari
    Comment held for moderation.
  • praesent (unregistered) in reply to praesent
    Comment held for moderation.
  • boog (cs) in reply to Bub
    Bub:
    boog:
    What's your excuse?
    I'm a question beggar.
    Ah. Touché.
  • moz (unregistered) in reply to dkf
    dkf:
    But it's in a business park in Peterborough; chance's are that everyone who's qualified to fill the position already knows they don't want it.
    No, it's at the entrance to a business park. Chances are, most of the people driving past have never heard of Data Interchange exists. If there's a software company further down the road, some of these may even consider themselves suitable candidates.

    The big question is, of course, whether or not they're still looking. Has anyone rung them to check?

  • finnished (cs)

    When I dip you dip we dip...

  • Roger Parkinson (unregistered)

    When I was in Silicone valley during the dot com boom signs like this outside buildings were not uncommon, though all the ones I saw were nailed down rather than hand-held. That may be because no one could afford to sleep under a bridge in Silicone Valley in those days, so there was no one to hire to hold the sign. It was also hard to find a taxi etc.

  • JeffGrigg (unregistered)

    Doing recruiting at the entrance to your own business location would be a great idea... if you were trying to hire your own current employees. Hmmm... That's probably not the strategy that I would have used. ;->

  • Herby (unregistered)

    OK, so he is holding up a sign. But... he is holding it up in the SAME business park as the company. WTF? Are they trying to recruit their own people? Why not just blast an email to all their employees, it would be MUCH easier.

    Am I missing something here?

    Of course, the rate leaves a bit to be desired, even after converting to USD, but in the UK, there are about twice the taxes, so the bloke isn't getting much.

  • Herby (unregistered) in reply to Roger Parkinson
    Roger Parkinson:
    When I was in Silicon valley during the dot com boom signs like this outside buildings were not uncommon, though all the ones I saw were nailed down rather than hand-held. That may be because no one could afford to sleep under a bridge in Silicon Valley in those days, so there was no one to hire to hold the sign. It was also hard to find a taxi etc.

    Just so everyone knows the 14th element is Silicon (Si) without the e!

    FTFY (lifelong resident of said valley!)

  • Arvind (unregistered)

    Why do they need a guy to hold the sign? Why can't they just plant it into the ground there? I am guessing that they have planted it there, and the guy was casually holding the board, when someone took the photograph, and then made up this exaggarated story to submit it here.

  • EmperorOfCanada (unregistered)

    The coolest company that I worked for posted handwritten ads at the University that were subtly cool (as opposed to in your face look-how-cool-we-are writing). A friend handed the ad to me and said "You must apply to this one".

    The least cool company I worked for posted their ad in the jobs section.

    As for tech people I know, the worst jobs were all through agencies.

    Quite simply if your company is good people will find you. If you have to try too hard to get people then you probably suck.

    Or just pay a boatload of cash.

  • excelblue (unregistered)

    Let's analyze this situation:

    • They did something so unusual that it got on TDWTF
    • TDWTF readers generally tend to be good choices for hires
    • They just ended up with a unique advertisement on the front page of a blog which several top candidates read

    I think they win this one.

  • vlad (unregistered)

    Everyone is getting off on correcting each other's trivial semantic or grammatical errors lately.

    Nik:
    aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarg! why?!

    ""Begging the question" is a form of logical fallacy in which a statement or claim is assumed to be true without evidence other than the statement or claim itself."

    "To beg the question does not mean "to raise the question." (e.g. "It begs the question, why is he so dumb?")"

    (from begthequestion (dot) info)

    Herby:
    Just so everyone knows the 14th element is Silicon (Si) without the e!

    FTFY (lifelong resident of said valley!)

    So he used the phrase "beg the question" incorrectly. So he added an extra 'e' to the word Silicon. So what? Everybody understood what they were talking about. Some people maybe saw the extra 'e' as an error some maybe didn't notice it. Why shine a flashlight on it? I'm certain you guys did not bring any extra value to the conversation by making the others feel bad about those mistakes or by trying to make yourselves feel superior.

  • EmperorOfCanada (unregistered) in reply to Anon

    The type who hates developers are managers who have no actual management skills, just lots of "experience" which they will bring up in arguments as seniority. Oddly the other type who hate developers are the Lawyers. Marketing people usually think that programmers are losers but know that programmers are the machine in tech companies. Accountants usually just hate cutting checks, worried that the new server is just a toy. But it is middle management, usually in their 50s, that seem to fume about programmers.

    Then there are those talentless programmers who hate other programmers. For some reason those who got a masters in computer science have a higher chance of actually trying to actively sabotage the careers of those really talented programmers who keep leaping the product ahead (into very profitable areas) while they want to just go back to refactor the code into the straightjacket that would get them an A from some professor they have in their head.

  • EmperorOfCanada (unregistered) in reply to Roger Parkinson
    Roger Parkinson:
    When I was in Silicone valley during the dot com boom signs like this outside buildings were not uncommon, though all the ones I saw were nailed down rather than hand-held. That may be because no one could afford to sleep under a bridge in Silicone Valley in those days, so there was no one to hire to hold the sign. It was also hard to find a taxi etc.

    If you worked in Silicone Valley then you worked in San Fernando Valley which is where they make porn not software. Silicone is what makes boobies bigger. Silicon makes chips.

    So the question that goes begging here is, How could you work in Silicon Valley and not learn to spell it? I am not a spelling Nazi but this spelling mistake sets off the same fake alarm as the misspellings in a Nigerian email.

  • I know I should ignore the troll, but... (unregistered) in reply to Herby
    Herby:
    Of course, the rate leaves a bit to be desired, even after converting to USD, but in the UK, there are about twice the taxes, so the bloke isn't getting much.
    Hmm. When this article was originally published, November 2007, the exchange rate was 2.07 US$ to the pound. So that works out as a salary of 82,000 to 103,000 US$ P/A. Seems not unreasonable, particularly working in a shithole like Peterborough with correspondingly lower cost of living than, say, central London or New York.

    Incidentally, tax rates are far from double US tax rates, and in fact the take-home income of the average person is pretty much the same once you factor in all the non discretionary spending on either side of the equation (e.g. some of the marginally lower tax revenue on the other side of the pond is offset by not having to pay for health insurance on this side of the pond, and so on.)

  • jondr (unregistered)

    The sign holder broke the build.

  • Codemonkey (unregistered) in reply to Arvind
    Arvind:
    Why do they need a guy to hold the sign? Why can't they just plant it into the ground there?
    Um, because they don't own the land?

    You see this all the time in the UK. You can't just go around planting signs all over the place, but it's fine to get a guy to stand there holding it up.

    Oh yeah, and I agree that management thinks that programmers are overpaid. I had a job at a game studio where management compared us to workers in a pork-pie factory. The pay was shitty, too, but they thought it was high! Motivation; I've heard of it...

  • stimarco (unregistered) in reply to Buffalo
    Buffalo:
    Studley:
    Which begs the question: If they're so slapdash about hiring skilled employees, how on earth did they recruit the guy to hold the sign?
    If they're anything like the place I work for, he's from the IT department.

    If they're anything like some places I've worked for, he is the IT department.

    To be fair, he's probably having more fun than working in the office. He probably offered to implement their recruitment drive using WOAS* technology.

    • (Words On A Stick).

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