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Silicon Valley's Youth Problem 225

Posted by Soulskill
from the too-many-people-want-to-be-a-rock-star dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The NY Times has an article about the strange cultural rift around tech innovation in Silicon Valley. The companies getting all the press are the ones developing shiny new apps and attempting to reinvent their industry. This attention — and all the money that follows it — is drawing in many young, talented engineers. The result is that getting people to develop needed and useful existing technologies is a harder sell. 'For better or worse, these are the kinds of companies that seem to be winning the recruiting race, and if the traditional lament at Ivy League schools has been that the best talent goes to Wall Street, a newer one is taking shape: Why do these smart, quantitatively trained engineers, who could help cure cancer or fix healthcare.gov, want to work for a sexting app?' This is more evidence that the tech bubble is continuing to inflate: '[I]n the last 10 years in particular, there has been an exacerbation of the qualities for which it's been both feted and mocked: Valuations are absurdly high for companies with no revenue. The founders are younger; the pace is faster.'"
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Silicon Valley's Youth Problem

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  • Excuse me? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Jeremy Erwin (2054) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:22PM (#46467913) Journal

    Are you saying that King Digital, maker of the wildly popular Candy Crush Crush Saga (tm)(r)(c) isn't worth 7.6 billion dollars? [nyti.ms] Surely you jest.

    • Re:Excuse me? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by i kan reed (749298) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:30PM (#46468021) Homepage Journal

      I don't think Wall Street has learned to account for how fickle website userbases are(how about that slashdot beta?). They have no brand loyalty. And the lack of barrier to entry means that every facebook, zygna, myspace, and yahoo are going to get knocked from the perch and end up in a pile of former stars that have no usage.

      • So, valued at 24 months projected revenue should be more like, 3 months trailing?

      • Wall Street isn't buying these things. Big companies (Facebook, Google) are buying them. And they are "worth" whatever these companies are willing to pay for them, regardless of their current profit levels.

        • Facebook is only able to buy them because they can raise insane amounts of money selling shares (or buy partly with shares), and guess who is buying those shares...
      • how about that slashdot beta

        Sorry to go off topic, but I logged out and stayed out during the proposed boycott period. When I came back everything was back to normal with nary a peep about the beta. I assume we won? Ever since then I have been quite curious as to what happened and if Slashdot gave an official statement.

        • Re:Excuse me? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by SydShamino (547793) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @02:29AM (#46471155)

          I was in Asia for a few weeks, and was auto logged out from my work computer. Today, when I checked Slashdot at lunch while logged out, I was presented with this strange, foreign beta site. It looked much better than it did a few months ago, and then I logged in and turned it off. So it's still being foisted on the anonymous masses.

          On topic: When is it different that the best and brightest are lured by the flashy companies making the "cool" products and offering low wages and the potential for exploding options, as opposed to working for the existing big companies with all their processes and proper-market-valuation that make them boring and predictable? It's been like this for at least 15 years. Sure, when the economy is down, the big guys are safer, but when the money and drugs and alcohol are flowing (and, this year at least from what I've seen at SXSW, the alcohol and drugs are flowing), young startups are the place to be for people with big ambitions and no responsibilities.

      • I believe this is the argument Microsoft used at its antitrust trial.

        The judge didn't buy it.

        Once you have a lead position in something, it's very hard for a competitor to displace you without you being nothing more than an "also ran".

        If nothing else, when someone becomes an actual threat, you have enough of a bankroll to litigate them out of business.

        • Operating systems are a bit different than websites. All it takes to migrate a website is typing in a different URL.

          • by s.petry (762400)
            MS has lost dozens of anti-trust cases world wide. Very few of those anti-trust cases against Microsoft were regarding the OS so your point flawed. The first and most well known was Netscape suing over MS's handling of IE and it's competition on PCs. The latest was Novell suing for destroying office and productivity apps more recently. You don't have to own the OS to have and use predatory business practices, Microsoft has proven that fact numerous times.
            • The Netscape case was because they were bundling their competing product with their OS. It was only because they had an OS monopoly that the IE vs Netscape thing mattered.

              If Microsoft were still a monopoly, and made it difficult to use facebook over their own social network (by making every user create a MS Social account, auto logging out Facebook users via IE on every reboot, or whatever else I can make up) they would certainly have been sued. But their monopoly is pretty much broken, and at this point

    • by Khashishi (775369)

      Did everyone in the entire world spend a buck on this game or something?

  • by Ashenkase (2008188) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:23PM (#46467921)
    I would sooner do surgery on my leg with a spoon than work for the low-bidder, over-commit, under-deliver wreck of a shop that CGI represents.
    • As best I can tell, CGI's competitors all suck also. Gov't contracting is a screwy industry that rewards screwy behavior and thus shapes screwy corporate behavior.

      • by Salgak1 (20136)
        Oh, indeed they do. But I have a few buddies who worked there. They tell of engineering decisions over-ridden by .gov policy weenies, a specification that changed so much it was effectively liquid, and minor, unimportant things like NOT EVEN STARTING WORK on the code until late February or so of 2013. . . .
    • by OhPlz (168413)

      I would sooner do surgery on my leg with a spoon

      That's probably in the AHA somewhere..

  • Money (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zifnabxar (2976799) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:23PM (#46467925)
    One word: Money
    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:27PM (#46467991)

      So the younger coders are willing to risk a few of their early years in the hopes of a big stock win or buy-out.

      Where's the problem?

      If there are other systems that need programmers then hire programmers for those other systems. There are programmers who do not fit the "just out of school" demographic. Why not hire those programmers? Why focus on the "young" coders?

      • by scottbomb (1290580) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:33PM (#46468061) Journal

        Because age discrimination is alive and well (not to mention rather blatant in this field) thanks to the fact that it's almost impossible to prove.

        • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @05:13PM (#46468475)

          Bingo!

          Just look at the title: Silicon Valley's Youth Problem

          "Youth" being a code word for:
          1. work more than 40 hours a week
          2. work for less than the median wage
          3. no health issues that will conflict with #1 & #2
          4. no husband/wife/kids that will conflict with #1, #2 & #3.
          5. okay with #1 - #4 as long as there is a possibility of a percentage of an IPO or buy-out some years in the future.

          Fuck that. That's not a problem with a lack of "young" coders. That's a problem with their business plan. Items #1 - #4 are really about cash flow (salaries).

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Yes ageism is quite alive and well in IT and other areas of the job market. To answer the previous poster's question of "Where's the problem?" the problem is the original article is talking about the supposedly best and the brightest of IT, the top grads of high-ranking IT schools not your run of the mill community college/generic state U or Kaplan/Devry/ITT Tech grad. The former are seen as leaders of their profession. When many of the leaders are simply out to make as much $$$$ as fast as they can many o
          • by Grishnakh (216268) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @05:24PM (#46468607)

            the problem is the original article is talking about the supposedly best and the brightest of IT ... seen as leaders of their profession. When many of the leaders are simply out to make as much $$$$ as fast as they can many others adopt the same mentality. There is little movement of working to help for the greater good of society. It's how much can I get and how quickly can I get it?

            This isn't just IT, this is everywhere in American society these days. Our own political leaders are no different; they're obviously corrupt to the core, and only in it for the money and power, and don't do anything to actually improve the state of our society, which is why our roads are falling apart and our bridges collapsing, while our taxes are sky-high (in the areas where good paying jobs exist). Basically, our society is just falling apart, because no one really cares any more, and why should they? Our leaders don't, and our citizens are too dumb to elect decent leaders or hold them accountable.

          • There is little movement of working to help for the greater good of society. It's how much can I get and how quickly can I get it?

            The greater good of society?

            I will be happy to work towards that as soon as our elected officials choose to lead by example.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:38PM (#46468123)

        Because they believe the "young" coders will work for dirt-cheap wages and they want a piece of that action.

        Sorry, guys. If you want me, you have to pay me*. You don't have to pay me as much as you would have to pay a 50-year-old consultant, but you have to give me a good wage and good working conditions, or I will walk away and take an offer from one of those startups you're complaining about.

        * P.S.: You also have to not reject my application out of hand because I don't have enough experience. The fact is, as a young person, I don't have 10 years of experience in the industry. That's why I'm willing to accept less money than the 50-year-old consultant. If you don't think it's worth your while to train me a little, fine, but then don't come crying to me when you can't find young people to work for you.

      • by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @09:58PM (#46470315) Journal
        I don't think that's the problem, the problem is the 'established' companies aren't paying enough.

        I spent the last few months looking for a new job in Silicon Valley. What I found was startups are paying roughly as much as established companies, but the startups also give stock. For a programmer right now, it's not even a hard choice which to choose (of course, there are exceptions, like salesforce.com and Google.com that still pay well or give stock, even though they are established).

        Seriously, why would you take a lousy job building internal C# software when you can work for a startup and get paid the same or more?
  • by turkeydance (1266624) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:23PM (#46467927)
    35 is the new 65.
    • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:41PM (#46468135)
      Soon, pregnant women will squat over a cubicle and directly grunt out a new generation of techies trained in utero. Don't trust anyone over 3 months old.
      • by turp182 (1020263)

        Shhh, the machines are listening. And they have seen the Matrix, they know how things work out.

    • by cayenne8 (626475)

      35 is the new 65.

      I dunno.

      I see things largely the same, at least outside of silicon valley.

      At ate 35-40+, you should really have grown your career and salary out of the code monkey state and been either moving into mgmt of some type, or moved on to areas that value experience and wisdom, like consulting/contracting.

      It is kind of analogous to looking at someone at age 30 that wears a name take and thinking "you've made some SERIOUS vocational errors".

      As you get close to your 40's in IT, you need to be m

      • Back when my grandmother was alive, every time I spoke with her, she would ask if I got a promotion. In my company, being "promoted" would have meant working as a manager. However, being a manager would mean having to handle - well, managing people. I'd need to deal with company politics and firing people and lots of other things that I have no interest in. Coding (specifically, web development), though, is something I love doing. Why should I stop coding just because I'm 38? I should stop doing what

  • by i kan reed (749298) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:23PM (#46467931) Homepage Journal

    It has nothing to do with the products, and everything to do with how existing companies see workers(especially tech workers) as "cost centers". We're kind of reaping the results of a system that views employees as "at will temporary work power" through massive layoffs at the earliest convenience.

    It was "Just the cost of doing business" and we weren't supposed to hold it against them, as it concentrated wealth upwards and made peoples' lives more fragile and terrified. You didn't know if you could count on your next check, but you had to live in a housing market that did assume that. No one really wants to be a whim. Or if they are, they'd like to be a whim of their own, at least.

    • This.

      Traditional companies have made is so going with them is not the long term job security it once was. If there's not going to be security, best to go for the big pay off.

    • by unixisc (2429386)
      Precisely!!! All the existing companies have been about outsourcing and offshoring just about every function of theirs, so which young graduate in his right mind would want to work at an IBM, Microsoft, Dell, or any of those? At least the new Shinycos ain't shifting all their operations to China or India, as yet! The older companies are the ones that want people in their 20s, yet they want them w/ 10 years experience or more. They pretty much get what they deserve
    • by CRCulver (715279)

      It has nothing to do with the products, and everything to do with how existing companies see workers(especially tech workers) as "cost centers". We're kind of reaping the results of a system that views employees as "at will temporary work power" through massive layoffs at the earliest convenience.

      And you think this isn't a problem with smaller companies as well? Loads of startups will let half of their staff go once they find they aren't able to monetize a product as easily as they thought.

      • No, I do think it's a problem there. But contrary to common assertion, people love the devil they don't know far more than the one they do.

    • company now:

      - Pays less
      - Is less secure
      - Is a shitty environment
      - Offers dwindling benefits
      - And little respect

      You're cannon fodder, that's all.

      At startups and companies with that "hot startup" attitude (there are a few established companies that do this), you're the core of the business, the brains of the operation, worthy of any perks or cash they can throw at you.

      Who wants to work where they're completely undervalued when they can work where they're (if anything) overvalued?

      Make the salary at least reaso

  • Money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PHPNerd (1039992) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:23PM (#46467935) Homepage
    Why would they cure cancer when they can join a start-up and possibly get bought out by the titans? The draw of the Valley is that you can be a millionaire by the time you're 24. This isn't "rocket surgery."
  • Obviously.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by DigitAl56K (805623) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:26PM (#46467971)

    Why do these smart, quantitatively trained engineers, who could help cure cancer or fix healthcare.gov, want to work for a sexting app?

    Because as an employee in America, your CEO makes on average over 273x your pay, whereas if you join a startup early enough you stand a chance of actually benefiting from your companies success.

    Next stupid question?

  • Barrier to entry (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spxero (782496) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:28PM (#46467995) Journal

    I don't live in the area anymore, but being a fresh college grad near that area around '05 it was hard finding work due to job requirements. I had no real-world experience, only a 4-year degree and a knack for computers and networking. No one was willing to train or even give an interview until I had 5+ years of server admin experience. The end result is that I moved out of the area and haven't thought about going back since. Maybe the older, established companies need to loosen job requirements and train good employees if they want people to work for them instead of the startups.

    • by microTodd (240390) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:50PM (#46468209) Homepage Journal

      I think this comment might be closer to the truth. We always see Slashdot stories and anecdotes about how big companies' HR procedures are dumb and you can't barely get hired there because of that (i.e. 10 years experience in a 5-year-old tech. Not willing to train because you have to "hit the ground running"). Meanwhile a startup founder will meet with you at Your Coffee Place Of Choice and hire you on the spot.

      So...younger, no experience, not trained in resume writing? Probably can't even get an interview at Cisco.

      As I see it, its the big companies' problem. They're the ones with screwed up HR procedures.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Correct, but I always try to find a way to meet a manger and take them to lunch.
        Funny how when a manager says hire this guy all the HR crap means nothing.
        Except for government and academia, mostly.

      • I actually got hired by Cisco straight of college and was part of their college recruiting efforts the entire time I worked there. So... YMMV?
    • by poached (1123673)

      Good for you. But perhaps that's why there are so many startups? If I have no experience and can't get a job, I might as well start a company and get the experience myself.

      That is assuming you have rich parents or can get VC funding.

  • This is not new. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:32PM (#46468043)

    It's an artifact of the capital markets. The same thing happened in the late '50s with the 'Tronics Boom'

    Going back 80 years earlier it was the railroads.

    It's a side effect of the 'Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds".

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

  • by mlts (1038732) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:36PM (#46468095)

    Part of this can be attributed to stagnation. So many companies assume they can make money on ad revenue and selling user data that they focus on that exclusively.

    The problem is that how long until there is a saturation. Once companies start logging every single click and character typed that a subscriber (i.e. their product) sends their site and selling that info, there is nothing else they can do other than demanding subscribers run adware on their local machines for access. Once this point is reached, there will be a bust for the Web 2.0 (FB, Twitter, services that do not charge their users for revenue.)

    What might happen is that governments step in and desire social networks for their citizens, so companies will focus on trying to sell to countries as the main customer instead of advertisers.

    I'm hoping the pendulum will swing in the direction back to paid services so the subscriber is the customer and not the product. However, it is harder to get a ton of people to pay a subscription a month than it is to just hand their data over to various third parties for a guaranteed purchase order every financial period.

  • research pay sucks (Score:5, Informative)

    by SuperBanana (662181) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:42PM (#46468141)
    " who could help cure cancer " BWHAAHAAHHA. I work in academia/research. The pay, compared to industry, is garbage. Pretty decent educational benefits, great paid time off...but the money coming in the door is, as I said, garbage.
    • by waveman (66141)

      This.

      Society treats actual researchers like s**t. Years scraping by on one tenuous post-doc after another, and that's after 12+ years qualifying for the job, accumulating debt and then living on tiny graduate scholarships.

      You get what you pay for, America.

      And the irony, the irony. A NYT journalist - from the home of the liberal arts graduate - lecturing tech people how they should spend their lives.

  • by lq_x_pl (822011) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:50PM (#46468205)
    It is interesting to see a story like this after months of reading about companies bemoaning the fact that they can't find good engineers.
  • by Yunzil (181064) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @04:53PM (#46468243) Homepage

    It's been about 14 years since the dotcom bubble burst, and memories are short.

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @05:01PM (#46468323)

    Yup, this sure is a NYT article. Hand wringing by an economically and technically illiterate journalist, asking a question which any 6 year old could answer.

  • For how long has America been glorifying and aggrandizing the most useless among itself, pushing propaganda as product, you must be this sexy to participate...

    You end up having people more interested in the latest fashionable trends and pointless endeavors than solving the real problems and challenges of substance that face society.

    Personally, I couldn't give less of a shit about the latest trendy sexy whatever. But, I love tackling a challenging project that helps people get shit done.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      yes yes, people who don't do what you approve of don't count of doing shit. well done.

      Frankly If I had to do it over, I would g into these quick turn around starts pushing fads.
      It's the most likely way to get rich and retire early.
      Then you have more time t do whatever the hell it is you want.

  • by Animats (122034) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @05:06PM (#46468371) Homepage

    Read the whole article. It's quite good.

    It's not "youth" that's the problem. It's banality. "The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads. That sucks." - Jeff Hammerbacher, Facebook. Most of the "app" companies are not "tech" companies. They're fad publishers. The technology for doing routine web apps and phone apps is pretty much standardized now.

    The engineering that goes into phone hardware is just awe-inspiring. Electronic design today is brutal. You barely get to use any power, the budget for each function is tiny, the size has to be very small, you have to operate multiple radios without interference right next to each other, and there's a new product to get out every six months. Most of that engineering is not done in the US. That's a big concern. The US probably doesn't have the technology to build a cell phone any more.

    It's not as bad as the first dot-com boom. This time, there's usually revenue. Income, even. Even Twitter claims to be profitable (although they're not, really. [twitterinc.com] Look at the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles results, not the ones excluding "one-time expenses".)

  • by Jmstuckman (561420) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @05:06PM (#46468377) Journal

    "who could help cure cancer"

    PhDs in the life sciences are more likely to be unemployed than employed [theatlantic.com] at the time of graduation, and the trend is only getting worse

    Why would a medical research lab hire some random coder to cure cancer, when PhDs in biology can't even find jobs?

    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      It's not that research labs would hire coders to look for cures for cancer (they wouldn't), the problem is that people go into IT or programming professions, rather than getting degrees in biochemistry (or whatever is best for doing cancer research). And the reason people do this is obvious as you pointed out: the unemployment rate is very high, and that's for PhDs, who are precisely the people you want doing important research like that. It simply doesn't pay to spend years of your life in school getting

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Because a coder can develop way to crunch numbers faster, slice data to find trends, and so on.

      My point? it's a poor comparison, both groups can add value if applied right.

      • by Rich0 (548339)

        Having seen how most big companies in this space operate, they don't hire coders to do this kind of work.

        They take their best bench scientist. Then they buy a bunch of licenses for some bioinformatics software and turn them loose on it. The scientist never really gets far and the software gets blamed. Then lots of money gets spent trying to adapt the software so that somebody with no knowledge of CS can make it work.

        I saw a lab try to automate some routine work. They took their best bench chemist and se

    • by tlambert (566799)

      "who could help cure cancer"

      PhDs in the life sciences are more likely to be unemployed than employed [theatlantic.com] at the time of graduation, and the trend is only getting worse

      Why would a medical research lab hire some random coder to cure cancer, when PhDs in biology can't even find jobs?

      Why would they hire a PhD in biology to cure cancer, for that matter?

      Where's the monetary value in curing something, when you can treat it as a chronic condition and make lots of money doing so? So yeah, they'd hire the PhD to *treat* cancer, but it the dumbass actually cured it, they'd be buried in an unmarked grave in a field of GMO wheat faster than you can say "Monsanto".

  • Innovation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ben Blais (3574815) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @05:20PM (#46468563)
    The fact that you compare working for and established company to "curing cancer" and going to work for a start-up as "developing a sexting app" shows little knowledge of what start-up and established companies are actually doing. The fact of the matter is, working for a larger established company usually consists of maintaining or making trivial enhancements to existing software with the occasional new product being developed. Working for a start-up, however, usually includes a rampant amount of innovation simply because start-ups don't have much money to advertise their new products. The result result of this is they have a need to develop more interesting and innovative products in order to be able to compete with established companies. Another thing worth mentioning is the diversity that start-ups usually have, need I remind you that Tesla motors was a start-up, and many of the technologies, including some which show promise of curing cancer, were also developed at start-ups.
  • If I graduate with a lot of student debt and my choice is between: working for a company that benefits humanity but pays little, or, working for a company that makes shitty apps for idiots to play with but pays very well what is the most rational choice?

    The middle class in America is fucked. And 99% of those people who could "help cure cancer" would end up there if they chose to pursue more altruistic careers. Its a rat race and if you are smart and motivated and at prestigious school I think the path to
    • by tlambert (566799)

      If I graduate with a lot of student debt[...]

      Then you obviously didn't go to school on an academic scholarship that paid for everything so you didn't have to take out loans in the first place.

      So basically, you went to college and accrued the loans so that you could get your "union card" (diploma) in order to increase the probability that you'd get hired, compared to the high schooler who didn't take out loans in trade for that degree.

      Or you had the scholarships, but took the loan anyway, and used the money for some pretty heavy partying, or doing some

  • by uncqual (836337) on Wednesday March 12, 2014 @05:26PM (#46468631)

    Why do they not want to "fix healthcare.gov"? Because that's an uninteresting, almost clerical, job made worse by being part of a messy government procurement system. I can't think of any developers that want to do that sort of work -- been done already thousands of times (usually, of course, much better than HealthCare.gov). Most would only do it to pay the mortgage. Of course, the good developers can find something more interesting to do with less bureaucratic pain inflicted on them in the process.

    • by tlambert (566799)

      Why do they not want to "fix healthcare.gov"?

      Actually, a couple other reasons might be that (a) they want it to fail so that the government has no choice but to close it down and institute a single payer system instead of providing corporate welfare to insurance companies whose primary role in healthcare is to pocket the money they would have paid out each time they are able to say "no", or (b) they want to fix it, but they know they will never be in enough of a position of authority that they will be able to actually get the assholes in the way of fi

  • by geekoid (135745)

    Start ups means a chance and some good money. Established companies, not so much.

    Now, if comnpaie would reward internal group that create new thing well, it would shift.
    For example:
    I was on a team of 20 developers and 10 Business experts and testers. IN a year we created an application that saved the company 100 million dollars a year.
    Are reward? a football.
    Ironically, we used baseball as the theme.

    Now, if we would have gotten a million dollars each, we would have stayed around and created other internal ap

  • They LOVE to slam CA and anybody over there. Now, Silicon valley remains far more innovative than NYC, so, they continue to gripe about it.
  • The root of the problem with healthcare.gov isn't really technical ... it's that it is healthcare.gov.

    The priorities are political, not anything so silly as actually having to work and be effective.

  • Because:

    - The pay is 2-3x what I could get paid at established firms
    - The relationship-starting practices actually make sense (an interview amongst humans, often with C-levels, rather than with an HR-drone, and forms of testing that involve work on-product, rather than abstract and unrelated HR games).
    - They are thankful to have me and pleasant to work with (as opposed to confronting the HR bureaucracy and middle management)
    - I get better titles and better status/authority within the firm

    I do good work, I p

  • by davydagger (2566757) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @02:38AM (#46471175)
    We live in a culture where status, identity, and self-worth is closely tied not only to how much money you have, but to how much money you make bankers.

    So basicly, programmers are basicly living by the same values as the rest of mainstream society. The same values exhibited by both politicians and celebrities, and just about all people looked up to as role models.

    People don't spend $50k on college to be the next Richard Stallman, a man who's altruism is a relic of the past. They spend it to be the next Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs, people who made billions exploiting the masses.

    Name one cancer researcher off the top of your head. I can't. But we sure know who bill gates and steve jobs are. The rest of society holds them in far higher regard, and they have far more leyway in personal options. And if they ever get questioned on their contributions to society, they can tote how much money they poured into charity, and how much money they spend on curing diseases.

    We all know Bill and Melinda Gates spent billions on fighting malaria in africa, by donating vaccines. No one ever lionizes the name of any of the people who did any of the research, manufacture, or phyiscal distribution of said vaccines.

    Now, you went to a prestigious university, which aren't cheap by the way. Which person do you want to be in life? The scientist, or the millionare?

Those who do things in a noble spirit of self-sacrifice are to be avoided at all costs. -- N. Alexander.

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