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back to article Lehmans techies start job hunt

Lehman Bros techies chucked onto the pavement yesterday face a decent chance of sliding into new jobs quickly, which may go some way towards sweetening the bitter pill of not receiving a final pay cheque. The bank – in case you didn’t know – crashed spectacularly in the early hours of Monday. Staff turned unsecured creditors …

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Principal principles...

"but more intriguing are the firm’s operating principals",

So that would be the heads of the various operational departments then. Or might that just be operating principles...

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Coat

Is that the best they can do?

If my employers told me that they'd forgotten to keep enough money back to pay my wages, I'd be taking home a lot more than some branded stationery.

Mine's the one covering the trolley full of computers and furniture.

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Anonymous Coward

Operating principals?

Does that mean that the management is actually for sale on eBay?

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Is that all?

Only T-Shirts and emergency kits for sale? Given that the techies were all given the boot at the same time, what are the odds that someone "forgot" to rescind their access cards and pass codes? I wonder how many rack mounted servers you can fit in a large rucksack... :-)

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Pie
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Don't be so sure

A friend of mines brother was made redundant 5 months ago from his IT role in a bank, he still hasn't got a job. He has had plenty of interviews but there are a lot of people looking for a few jobs...

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it would be interesting to know...

how much the techies got for a bonus last year - considering that the company reportedly gave average bonuses of 300+k! last year

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C++ overskilled

Maybe you should do a search for banking AND c++ on cwjobs.co.uk and then rethink whether C++ developers are going to struggle to find work.

PS - I'm not a c++ developer, so have no axe to grind on the issue (nor do I work in the city).

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RW
Paris Hilton

Nothing like kicking a man in the head when he's down

The administrators will discover they need former Lehmann IT folks with specialized knowledge of the Lehmann systems to "do things" to the computers. I hope the formerly-employed they call in will charge a very stiff tariff. To be paid in cash, in advance, before a finger is lifted.

Paris because she knows how to get paid a great deal for very, very little.

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Anonymous Coward

rather apposite

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/TITANIC-IMM-STOCK-CERT-White-Star-Lehman-Brothers-Bros_W0QQitemZ310083639115QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item310083639115

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Boffin

@Is that all?

Obviously the BOFH's got there first!

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@liam

"considering that the company reportedly gave average bonuses of 300+k! last year"

so that's about 1k each for normal people and a few million for the CEO and board :)

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Flame

Operating principles...

From the ebay link:

"Demonstrating smart risk management"

Uh huh... :D

Sweating onion because this disaster has many layers.

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Unhappy

Informal Order of Executiuon

Yes indeed, if I'd been made redundant from a techie job with them and thus become an unsecured creditor I would marching straight into the data centre and seizing the most expensive bits of kit I could lay my hands on and sticking two fingers up at the administrators as lets face it, without us techies, the flash Merc/Bentley/Aston/Ferrari/Bugatti Veyron driving, braced and suited dickheads that caused all this mayhem would not be able to do their jobs and indeed the LSE and NYSE would not be able to function.

Indeed, I think the administrators should be trying to sue these bastards and bitches for all the strife its causing the rest of us.

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what an ebay auction....the papers should have this one!

My sympathies for all affected but I love the operating principles cube for sale on ebay....... its mantra.......

- "Demonstrating smart risk management" ...hmmmmmn

- "Demonstrating commitment to excellence" ........could be, but in what....

- "Doing the right thing" ........pardon

- "Maximizing shareholder value"....here's the daddy.........

perhaps they should have printed more for the financiers.........

for posterity I've kicked the bidding off!

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Happy

@Informal Order of Executiuon

Do that and the next knock on your door will be from the friendly local constabulary for a minor little thing called theft !! At the very least, you'll not have to worry about food, heating, clothing and rent for a fair while !!

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Coat

@pctechxp

IANAL but if you weren't paid then I think you'd be within your rights to, as well. Sure I read a similar case, too lazy to gogol it though.

The one with the hardware in it.

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RE: Operating principals?

" Does that mean that the management is actually for sale on eBay?"

Yes, and rumor has it they're tied together in bundles of a dozen and being offered at a "Buy Now" of a dollar a bunch!

(Considering how well they ran the bank, I think that's overvalued!)

Meh, still no icon until they get rid of the Vista rejects

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AD

Walking out the door with a couple of monitors under each arm . . .

I managed to make a well-timed exit from a techie job at Lehman a couple of months ago. Everyone in investment banking knows it is a risky industry but you at least expect your notice period pay-off if the worst happens. I expect part of the reason to send every home on Monday was to stop looting. A former Enron employee told me that is what happened when they went bust in the middle of the day - the employees grabbed anything of value of walked out the door with it.

Good luck to all those looking for a new job - much of the technology at Lehman is highly rated elsewhere in the city - and there are jobs out there.

I'm off to find my operating principles cube to put on ebay - now worth more than my 8 years of share options.

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IT Angle

Bonuses

I worked at Lehmans 10 years ago doing moves and changes, right about that time when the Guinness screensaver swept the trading floors (they had all recently moved from SparcStations to Compaq dual Pentium Pros, owing to the $40,000 difference in price. Trying to get Hauppauge TV cards 'for Bloomberg' working on NT4 was a challenge).

We had to go to Paris one summer to move their office from one end of the city to the other, and all dozen or so of the traders in that office got $1,000,000 dollar Xmas bonuses that year. In 98, during the World Cup, we used to meet up in the boardroom on the 7th floor at Broadgate and knock back a few Buds and some bacon sarnies. Was some of the easiest coin I ever earned. We used to laugh at the traders coming out of the toilets after 'powdering their noses' sniffing as they headed back to their desks. Poor things must have had colds all the time ;p.

I used to do a 7 day week, and it was very unusual if I did more than 14 hours work in any given week, the rest of the week spent shopping with my phone on divert to my mobile. Ahhh, back when technology scared everyone else....RIP LB

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Anonymous Coward

330k?

A front office IT developer would get about a 20-30% bonus for an average year, though much less this year. You can get many times that at a hedge fund, but since something like 600 of the 700 new hedgefunds set up this year have gone bust, it's a big risk.

The problem is that most people don't understand what an investment bank actually does, so they either think everybody's a trader or broker and are millionaires, or they think everybody is in league with the devil and so deserve it.

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Boffin

uh-huh

"IANAL but if you weren't paid then I think you'd be within your rights to, as well. "

And that's why you only take legal advice from lawyers, kids! ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Principal principles...

"So that would be the heads of the various operational departments then. Or might that just be operating principles..."

So that would be you not knowing what "sic" means...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 330k

>A front office IT developer would get about a 20-30% bonus for an average year

Right, so an exceptional year like 2006 for instance? The year they frittered away the profits that would get them out of the shit in a bad year?

Besides that their basic is massively higher than equivalent jobs elsewhere as well. A fairly low-end IT pleb will be on 50K at an investment bank so your 30% bonus would be 15k.

Now consider that the average salary in the UK is 23k.

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Anonymous Coward

C++ not a transferrable skill?

I can possibly understand that having a cool language like Haskell in your CV may not be great (especially for a crappy back-office position full of mediocre Javaheads), but C++? Are you insane? What language do you think is used in investment bank for mission-critical number-crunching?

Oh, but Dominic Connor is a City tech recruiter, oh, and a director at that. Oh sorry, he must know what he's talking about.

And yes, I have been working in investment banks for a few years. And yes, I have an axe to grind.

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C++, Haskell, weird crap in general

I'm a specialised headhunter, we don't see much in the way of demand for Java. It barely shows up as noise. I know in the general market there's a lot of it around, but C++ people earn considerably more on average.

C++ is a highly portablr skill on more than one level, not only is it in a wider range of applications than Java, but people who hire the most expensive non-C++ developers say they still like to see it on a CV because it demonstrates you can cope with difficult stuff even if your job is actually writing Perl scripts to ingest data into Oracle.

Haskell is a niche skill, as it happens one we've been asked for at a couple of large banks.

In making career choices it is useful to know how many people do C++, SQL, Java, C# ,F#, REXX, Perl, Ruby etc, but not sufficient...

You need to know how supply and demand interact.

C++ demand is off it's peak, but supply has dropped pretty hard. Many CompSci courses take the soft option of teaching Java, some fools even try to teach operating system internals in it.

You have to make tough calls on what represent the best investment of your time and money.

C++ is not an easy language, I teach the blody thing to bankers, and there are videos of me staring at the screen wondering why the hell it's doing what it has just done.

But it's where the best money is to be found for the next 5 years or so.

C# isn't doing all that badly in the pay stakes.

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@C++ not a transferrable skill?

>What language do you think is used in investment bank for mission-critical number-crunching?

COBOL as far as I can make out ;-) With a smidgen of CICS for the transactional processing.

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Unhappy

ReL 330k

Don't forget that your 'bonus' is actually based on the amount of unpaid overtime and callout that you do over a year. If you look at over IT jobs you'd expect to be paid an on-call allowance and overtime if you worked the weekends or extended hours. At LB it was expected that you would work on-call regularly and when you were on-call at the weekend it was for 60 hours, of which you could realistically expect to spend at least 20 of them at the computer.

I was fortunate in that I was contracted in by a company that did pay me for the extra hours, but in my humble opinion the guys deserved a lot more than they got in bonus, just for the work they put in - and then some!

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Joke

Yeah, max - Well smart!

Seems more like 'Demonstrating Get-Smart risk management'.

My coat's beside the Cone-of Silence.

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Coat

Pillaging

I used to go to auctions of companies that went titsup. You really do want to kick the blighters out and lock the doors before telling them they are offed-- or at least herd them into a large room, rescind all privileges, then tell them they are offed just before making a quick exit with armed guards...

Otherwise they'll take everything right down to the fluorescent lights and nice carpeting.

Reminds me of the looting in Napoleon's Grande Armee. You'd see some bloke marching along with a posh chair and full kit. Few KM up the road there's the chair. Well, but he's happy....

Mine's the one that looks like Lehman logo curtains with BearStearns carpeting trim and IKB Deutsche Industriebank letterhead bangles. Please don't drop the Northern Rock pen set sir.

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