back to article Attention, CIOs: Stop outsourcing or YOU will never retire

Walk down the hall. Look into the IT room. How old are the people in there? How are they getting on? Or are they just getting on? Would you trust them to keep the server lights on in a couple of years? Is there anybody actually in there at all? If there isn’t, your company may be part of the problem that’s keeping John Harris …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Anonymous Coward

Re: Oak ceilings and dead ends

"There are some enlightened places where it skills are rewarded without requiring a move to management and even some where good skilled workers are paid more than the people who manage them (as ought to happen when staff management skills are easier to come by than some of the technical specialities) but it's not the norm."

I think you've hit the nail on the head here; there's a parallel with football players and football managers here, the best managers weren't necessarily great players.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: Oak ceilings and dead ends

Hear hear! I'm fed up with the culture of: ah ha! you're an extremely talented designer and coder, we're now going to punish you by stopping you doing what you're good at and enjoy and force you to do something you have no interest or competence in.

0
0

Re: Oak ceilings and dead ends

It's a long time since I looked at an IT type thread. This is mainly because I'm retired.

I'm genuinely surprised it seems that the industry has not moved forward at all, in fact I get the impression it's worse.

At least when I was part of the industry there were opportunities. Still the same issues though. Bet the Head of IT still reports into Finance or Operations? No IT Director on the board?

Can't blame it all on outsourcing though. Someone on the board has to make those decisions why isn't there someone there who understands IT (not necessarily the technical side but has a good understanding) & relates that to the business. Of course it is easy to save money and raise your personal status by doing so. If the person responsible for IT doesn't have much business nous then you get what you deserve.

I also get the impression that female representation has fallen (they tend to be a bit sharper than males & won't waste their talents in organisations that are slow on the uptake).

Sad but I wonder if the industry that's about change in organisations is slow to change itself?

0
0
Unhappy

Re: Oak ceilings and dead ends

"Well they also choose to stay in harness."

Who wouldn't? The high salary beats retirement, and it's not like arthritis is going to prevent you from doing the work. It's this, or government office, and industry pays better.

0
0
Thumb Up

Re: Nothing new under the oak ceiling, I'm afraid.

Laurence J Peter expounded on all of this in The Peter Principle back in 1968. The famous quote summing this up is the one about "every employee rising to his level of incompetence" - basically, an employee in a post they are competent in will be "rewarded" with promotion into another, "better" post, until eventually they find themselves in a post they are not competent in, whereupon promotion will be withheld from them as punishment for their incompetence. He also describes some of the steps he had to take to avoid such a fate himself: in one case, while a bunch of senior managers were trying to persuade him to accept a promotion, he paused, took out a cigarette and a magnifying glass, stood in the sunlight streaming through the office window, carefully focused the rays to light the cigarette... and then gave another polite but firm refusal, which the bemused bigwigs finally accepted.

0
0
FAIL

Why bother

Why would you 'do something with computers' when the pay is less than your average surveyor / solicitor yet you have responsibility for the firms entire turnover and need to have knowledge superior to anyone else in the business?

Might seem arrogant but you will need to know as much about Tax as the accountant to configure the ERP, as much about manufacturing for MRP etc. I'm always amused when someone says 'oh I don't bother with computer stuff' yet tries to talk down to you about their 'expertise'.

Until such a career has the same cachet as an Architect and similar pay not many parents will want little Johnny to pursue it as a career.

Little Johnny if he has enough sense to do the job will see he is better off doing something that won't be offshored (though few jobs are immune) or onshored (thanks to successive governments subsidising big business by allowing ICT abuse).

Anyone my experience in corporate is that CIO's come from the business not IT they then have a series of advisers that are IT competent. Something I call the parliament model. This is why outsourcing is so common, sometimes they listen to vendors with nice lunches more than their advisers.

13
0
Silver badge

Re: Why bother

Funnily enough surveyor is suffering the opposite problem.

With fancy GPS and robotic theodolites many jobs are done either completely automatically by the plant or can be done by an unskilled worker. So except in a few high end projects you only need a surveyor in to sign off on something - rather than needing teams of them following every machine.

0
0
Stop

This isn't just an IT problem

This has been happening in other industries for years and years. Businesses don't want to spend any money on training school leavers/grads so they look for already qualified staff. These staff get older and retire so then businesses moan about there not being qualified staff in the UK anymore.

Guess what? If YOU want skilled staff, YOU have to help them get those skills. If you're worried about them leaving, then you're obviously paying them less than they are worth. It should be part of every companies strategic thinking, "where do we want to be in x years time? what new technologies do we want to use". Then train staff in those technologies and hey presto, in x years time you're where you want to be and have skilled staff that are the envy of other businesses.

Its hardly rocket science.

18
0
Bronze badge

Re: This isn't just an IT problem

An IT company I worked for about 15 years back did exactly that, trained their staff, but put a clause into the contracts.

They needed to bring people in for y2k work, had a skills gaps, so just created a training programme. Took in skilled technical people, but who had a different skill set to what was needed, did full time training for three months on various courses. Then put them to work afterwards.

To make sure people didn't just run away after the training, they made everyone sign a three year contact to pay back the costs of the training. It basically said if you leave within year 1, you owe us the entire cost of the training, in year 2, 2/3 of the costs, in year 3, 1/3 of the costs, and after the 3 years there was no cost.

So people were still free to leave, you just had to take into account the training bill depending on when you left..

0
0
Go

Re: This isn't just an IT problem

I have had a company demand that I sign a contract to pay back the company for my training courses before. I refused to sign it (and so didnt do the training).

If the company hires me knowing that I dont have the exact skills they need, then its up to them to put me on the course, because otherwise they cant make use of me. Additionally, if they are paying me a decent wage why would I be looking to leave? So unless they are planning to shaft me on pay rises in the next few years why on earth would they want me to sign something that might end up costing me a few grand?

That may sound like a selfish point of view but having been shafted more than once over the last few years by different companies, I'm no longer willing to be the one left holding the can...

4
3
Anonymous Coward

Re: This isn't just an IT problem

"Then train staff in those technologies and hey presto, in x years time you're where you want to be and have skilled staff that are the envy of other businesses."

I'd rather make you redundant because you have not got the skills needed. The next person at my door with the right skills gets to eat your lunch. Your career and earning potential is in your hands, go do it and stop making excuses that your employer isn't offering training.

Not a popular position, but it's dog eats dog out there and if I can gain better conditions/pay by skilling up and pinching someone elses job, then thats what I'll do.

2
2
Silver badge
FAIL

Re: This isn't just an IT problem

You can't make someone redundant and then hire someone to do their job - otherwise the job is evidently not redundant.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: This isn't just an IT problem

You can if you pretend it is a different job...

3
0
Unhappy

Re: You can if you pretend it is a different job...

Exactly what is happening to me. Getting made redundant because my skills "won't be suitable for supporting the new application", even though it's just a rebadged clone of the original app. Same database, same languages, almost identical data model.

Apparently some cowboys in India are going to do my job now...

1
0
Stop

Re: This isn't just an IT problem

"I'd rather make you redundant because you have not got the skills needed. The next person at my door with the right skills gets to eat your lunch. Your career and earning potential is in your hands, go do it and stop making excuses that your employer isn't offering training."

Except that businesses are now complaining that, after following this path for a few years, nobody has the right skills any more, which is the obvious conclusion of the policy of not training anyone.

Not a popular position, but it's dog eats dog out there and if I can gain better conditions/pay by skilling up and pinching someone elses job, then thats what I'll do.

You absolutely should, but the rub is that you're just a drop in the ocean, and there are lots of positions where companies are scratching around (and failing) to find skilled people to do this. Expecting to be able to pay peanuts also plays into this.

0
0
Flame

Re: This isn't just an IT problem

It should be part of every companies strategic thinking, "where do we want to be in x years time? ...

It already is. The problem is that the answer to that question is: "On the beach, earning 20% on those stock options (hedged by credit default swaps on the company's bonds in an off-shore financial institution and a golden parachute)".

The reality of business today is that Skilled Staff, Quality- Service and Products provided merely claims resources that could be much better applied on bonuses to the CEO!!

0
0
Silver badge
FAIL

It

the same in the robot bashing industry

All us older types are getting older and older, with 12 yrs left in my case, whats to replace us.... well nobody under the age of 35 because who wants to work in a smelly old factory for min wage, no job security, and maybe after 10 yrs of picking stuff up and learning computer/programming skills you can earn below what a McD branch manager does.

Or you can poach staff from other companies.... which drives the current staff crazy when they find out the new guy is getting 1.5 times what they are for the same job

But then it does'nt matter a s**t because your job has just been outsourced to save 0.0005p per part for a company that reports 3 billion in untaxable profits per year

7
0
Anonymous Coward

Why is this news? It's exactly what the powers that be want.

Do any of you really think our ruling elite would ever put themselves at the mercy of homegrown riff raff ? Of course not. Successive government have worked to ensure that they are not held to ransom by bolshie workers who could pull the plug.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Getting into Contracting

Im a young professional, been working for large companies since leaving uni in 2010 and well I feel I could be doing far more interesting stuff abroad or contracting in the UK

Looking to go into contracting because why the hell not but not sure what the first steps should be?

0
0
Bronze badge
Headmaster

Re: Getting into Contracting

1. Apply for contract positions

2. Successfully land a contract position

If you can't manage step 1 then contracting might not be for you

4
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Getting into Contracting

Step 1. Get out of the country to somewhere where your IT skills are appreciated

Step 2.See step one

I don't recommend contracting in the UK unless you have niche skills, unless you enjoy long periods between contracts and taking countless poorly designed tests hastily cobbled together from MCSE/MCD exams (Even if the role is for UNIX/Linux!), followed by an interview by disillusioned jaded low level managers conducting the umpteenth interview that day.

3
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Anonymous Coward

Re: Getting into Contracting

The benefits of contracting are rather overblown, by the time you take into account the cost of accountants (and trust me you never know you have a bad one until it's too late), hassle from HMRC (even if you're a good boy or girl), insurance (including employers liability etc.), accommodation and travel (which is only partly re-imbursed) and if you have a partner, or God forbid kids, seeing them on edge every 3-6 months at renewal time the shine starts to wear off.

Contracting in the 1990's wasn't so bad lot's of good rates and lots of contracts available, nowadays the situation is much tougher unless you have got a rare niche skill to exploit, or have a steady customer who likes you, add to which the Government needs money, if you're a high paid contractor who do you think they are going to target for more tax (HMRC have always looked at contracting as a scam anyway in my experience they would love us all on PAYE)

At least with a perm job you are home every night, and your other half still has their sanity, even if you have to be careful with the pennies

5
1
Bronze badge

Re: Getting into Contracting

The question you need to ask yourself is whether you are interested in doing interesting stuff or getting paid significant amounts of money.

Whilst these are not mutually exclusive, it will help focus both your decision to contract and your decision as to where in the world you may wish to work.

Personally, when I was in your situation I decided on doing interesting stuff and so worked in start up companies for several years, before cashing in the experience and rejoining larger and more stable employers.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Getting into Contracting

Contracting is good for certain types of people.

No kids, no mortgage, no commitments, enjoy travelling, don't want 9-5/certainty/sick pay, yadda yadda yadda.

Employment for those who do have kids.........yadda yadda yadda.

It depends on the person. As a young person (with presumably little experience and no ties), a couple of year employment to build skills/experience/confidence is a good start, then take your skills sets and sell them to prospective marks. A few years of contracting and earn the bread. Later on in life, you marry have kids and go down the employment route.

(Of course the majority of youngsters follow their parents by becoming parents of bastard children before they can be deemed an adult themselves)

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Getting into Contracting

That's just bollox. For instance Boox.co.uk - does all accounts , paperwork, returns and pay - and even opens your bank accounts and a limited company for £65 a month. I pay less than £200 a year in total for public liability and employers liability.

Accommodation and travel is fully reimbursed for 2 years as a 'temporary place of work'. And there is no need to take a contract that even involves travel if you have a family.

HMRCs various attempts to extract more tax have failed dismally. Mostly because we can afford better QCs than they can ;-) Just look at the recent Rangers EBT case!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Getting into Contracting

"The benefits of contracting are rather overblown, by the time you take into account the cost of accountants...."

It's different abroad. I have been contracting in Germany for over a decade and now have a part time contract that pays about the same as an equivalent full time job in the City. Working as a sole trader, my accountant costs me about 350 euros per annum and I pay less tax than I would in the UK.

1
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Getting into Contracting

At the risk of sounding like a Grammar Nazi(tm)...

> Im a young professional

*I'm* a young professional

> and well I feel I

If you must, "and, well, I feel I ..."

> why the hell not but not sure what the first steps should be?

Learn to punctuate.

I know this'll sound old and crusty, but if you can't put the effort into initial contact, there's a strong chance you won't put the effort into your work. Typos matter insource code...

Vic.

0
1
Go

Re: Getting into Contracting

Step 1. Register a limited company (cost, 20 quid) and you'll probably want some related domains (another few quid)

Step 2. Open a free business bank account somewhere.

Step 3. Find contracts, apply for contracts, be nice to all the agents you speak to and ask them to keep you on file, make sure to tell them 'no, only interested in contracts'. Be prepared to take a few weeks over this.

Step 3. Interview, land position.

Step 4. Hire an accountant. There are specialist contractor accountancy firms that will do your company accounts for about £90 a month. They will handle all the tax registration stuff for you.

--Edit--

Step 4.5. - buy insurance. Public Liability, Professional Liability, Employer's Liability. Also probably join the PCG which is sort of like a professional group but really more like another form of insurance.

--End Edit--

Step 5. Do work, send invoices, get paid.

I find it stimulating to adapt to new codebases and new working environments every few months. The income I get from my daily rate would be hard to match in a perm job.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Clueless

I spoke to the Home Office a few years ago about why they allowed so many Intra Company Transfer staff to work in the UK in IT, the answer I got was from what I can remember :

"The UK Government sees Intra Company Transfers as being a valuable tool to enable British companies to become more competitive"

I see this same comment from the Government in the media whenever this subject come up, which explains why it is not included in the immigration cap (every time the suggestion comes up that it is included the IOD and the CBI start whining that they won't be able to bring in top class surgeons or world class ballerinas).

I suspect the real reason is that the UK Government wants access to the BRIC countries markets (particularly India, but also Brazil is getting mentioned now more too), even though the value of these markets is very low compared to the Western economies and seems to be solely based on the fact that they are predicted be the "leading economies" in the future, ignoring the fact that the majority of their business relies on Western economies for survival

I remember watching BBC News item about the UK embassy in Vietnam, they were organizing trips for UK businesses to see how they could reduce labour costs and "make British business more competitive"

UK Governments have truly lost the plot, an economy where only small numbers of the population have work, and the rest have only benefits to spend doesn't stay a thriving economy for long, we are truly governed by idiots

11
0
Silver badge

Re: Clueless

'Competitive' means 'more profitable for management and shareholders.'

The UK has some of the worst board-level management in the developed world. Caste sclerosis and institutionalised arrogance and entitlement are a lethal combination.

There are exceptions - some managers do still work their way up through the ranks - but too much upper management seems to hold the oiks who do useful stuff for them in infinite contempt.

Rather than moaning at schools and colleges for not turning out oiks that are docile enough and smart enough - but not too smart - management could begin by admitting that most of the 'top talent' is parasitic and useless.

Any moron can cut costs by spending less. Currently those morons often have the top jobs. What's needed is a clear-out of the top levels, which replaces those morons with people who know what strategy is and understand that actions have medium-and long-term consequences on profits, and short-term gains can create long-term disasters.

15
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Clueless

"(every time the suggestion comes up that it is included the IOD and the CBI start whining that they won't be able to bring in top class surgeons or world class ballerinas)."

Shame on Brit parents for allowing/raising their kids to not strive for more.

Why do the Brits always fail? Never win at footy, prestige jobs go to foreigners, The doctor is 90% of the time not British.

It’s embarrassing!

2
3
Anonymous Coward

Re: Clueless

Well said, have an up vote!

0
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Clueless

At least our kids when they have degrees they have genuine ones, not bought off the Internet or from some dodgy made up university

UK kids are reasonably skilled, they are just not as cheap as 3rd world sweatshop slaves who allow companies to evade massive amounts of tax by employing them, and are happy to be mistreated and exploited by multinationals

2
0
FAIL

Re: Clueless

"Why do the Brits always fail?"

You didn't watch the Olympics last year then?

0
0

I'll say it again... Bye Bye IT (support)

I'm getting out because I'm getting paid less now in real terms than I did a decade ago when I graduated as a 20 something mature student with an Engineering degree in computing (that's a full blown engineering degree, not a science degree. The drop outs from the engineering course fell back into the Comp Sci degree because it was easier).

I'm paid just under £24k.

Stay away from IT support as a job.

4
0
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: I'll say it again... Bye Bye IT (support)

So you get a Computer Engineering degree.

Then for the next 20 years all you do is some shitty IT support job that pays GBP24k after 20 years.

Then you blame the industry and have the audacity to call CS grads dropouts.

You are a dropout from life. If you want someone to blame then look in the mirror. With such admirable qualifications you should have done something more than helpdesk.

You only get paid for the value you add. If you had a PhD in chemistry and took some crappy job washing test tubes for 20 years do you expect to be paid as a PhD or just a step up from a restaurant dishwasher?

Your 20 year old degree is worth nothing any more. People who succeed in this industry only need their degree to get a foot in the door. After that they keep learning.

Sitting on your arse and your 20 year old degree is not going to get you anywhere. People like you disgust me.

5
3

Re: I'll say it again... Bye Bye IT (support)

And people like you make massive assumptions about what I have and haven't done. You don't disgust me, but I do feel sorry for you that you can't see things from more than one perspective.

I've worked on some really interesting projects, coded games for set top boxes, managed a dev team yet because I like where I live and want to stay here my choices are limited. When the mortgage needs paying you do what you have do and in a depressed market where recruiters want 3 years experience in something I'm never going to get exposure to unless I am able to work with them then you take what you can.

I also didn't say that all CS grads are drop outs, only that the ones that dropped out of the course I was doing fell back into the Comp Sci degree. They would only be drop outs if they dropped out of the Comp Sci as well (and some did). Not that that makes any odds to me. One of my best friends from Uni dropped out of the course and I can't recall a single incident where I ever made reference to his dropping out. I respect him and his technically and creative ability.

We had 300 students in year 1, 50 in year two and 15 in year 3. Out of the ones who dropped out in year 1, about 70% transferred to Comp Sci.

Also you assume that all I do is work on a help desk. I do everything from help desk to server and network design and troubleshooting and software development for a handful of small companies. The lack of training and potential for progression, coupled with a low salary and cost of living increases makes for a tricky situation to extract yourself from. That is what I am doing by getting out of IT support.

My degree isn't 20 years old. Close to 10. Not that that makes any difference. I agree that Degrees have been devalued and that you need one to have most recruiters give your CV the time of day.

Again you assume I have sat on my arse for 20 years when I have been learning as much as I can over the last few years in a bid to get back into software development.

I've only been doing IT support as the main stay of my work for the last few years - basically since the recession/depression hit and I found myself out of work - when the chips are down you do what you have to - I hope it never happens to you. In my previous role it was a small part of my role and one I didn't mind doing as I was doing far more interesting work with better pay.

If you have been lucky and worked somewhere that pays well, where you have had training and career progression opportunities then good on you. I wish you well. If on the other hand you have worked in several jobs that sounded promising but all the promises evaporated then I feel for you. It happened to me.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

I was sitting in the pub the other day talking to my mate, a developer, and I said you realise that we're no different to people working on a factory floor? You turn out the code that makes the apps tick over, much like a stamp press. Me, being a systems admin, keep an eye on the machine temps and oil levels ensure they all stay oiled. Our factory might be a comfy place, with coffee, office chairs and computers but it's still a factory and we're still wage slaves.

I don't really want my daughter working in a traditional IT job like me, if she wants to work in tech fine by me but to be honest I'd prefer she did something more creative with herself, design or publishing it may not pay tons but you'd feel like you're actually acheiving something useful.

My wife works in a nursery school, she gets paid crap money but she loves it, each year a new set fo kids and she knows she's really making a difference to kids's lives. My daughter is only 11 so she has all these choices still to make. Me, I work in a code factory helping churn out the bytes and if it wasn't me it would be some other anonymous face.

8
0
Anonymous Coward

"Our factory might be a comfy place, with coffee, office chairs and computers but it's still a factory and we're still wage slaves."

We are all wage slaves, £10,000 cleaner and the £100,000 CEO. Who works for nothing? (There are caveats, which I've no doubt will be highlighted, e.g. charitable work)

1
0
Anonymous Coward

It's the British way to do things on the cheap so not surprisingly wages are usually poor. I see offers in London for dev roles with a pay range of like 28k to 35k. That's peanuts given you're in the most expensive city in the world and there is probably still an expectation for you to do OT.

Why would a kid want to go into IT? You work long hours, people assume you're a socially retarded nerd and the pay is usually poor. I consider myself lucky for what I have but I am at the ceiling for the area. If ever I need to move on I'll probably be stuck having to go to London and work for some awful bank.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Poor money and no prospects

That's got to be a big reason. Ok, I work as developer for a rural district council and earn 26k a year. I have a software engineering degree, am CEng and CITP and no career prospects as it's a tiny IT department.

I love where I live as it's where I was born and grew up and to be fair, it's a better wage than most of the IT jobs around here - I went for a job a couple of years ago as a Senior Developer in charge of a couple of other members of staff and on 24 hour a day call out. The salary was 18k - I actually laughed when the Managing Director said that.

It could be worse, I could be an ICT Technician - here's a job advert for that post in Devon where I am:

ICT Technician - Chulmleigh Academy Trust

Salary details:Grade D £14,940 per annum

Job term:Fixed Term,Full Time

Hours:37 hours per week, 40 weeks per annum

Based at:Chulmleigh Academy Trust, c/o Chulmleigh Community College, Chulmleigh, Devon EX18 7AA (Roll 570)

"Our highly innovative ICT team are looking for a confident and suitably qualified/experienced ICT technician to become part of our Network Support Team. Your work will include supporting the ICT network infrastructure and PC hardware across our 5 schools, assisting in the management of the school's network, installing, configuring, upgrading and troubleshooting PC faults, and installing applications and systems software.

It would be desirable for applicants to be able to demonstrate real experience of hardware maintenance, Windows and Windows Server software."

So that's £7.77 an hour, minimum wage is £6.19.

That might have something to do with why.

I have a 7 week old son, unless things radically change in the next 20 years, I will not be recommending IT as a career for him.

9
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Poor money and no prospects

Civil Service + Schools = worst possible wages in IT unless you are a contractor. Move to London or somewhere else nearer civilisation and double your money.

0
0

Re: Poor money and no prospects

So that's £7.77 an hour, minimum wage is £6.19.

Great: My teenage son was paid more working at McDonalds, they also had a free "meal" per shift, weekend/overtime pay and holidays.

The guy delivering pizzas to the ICT Techies will earn more - that's before the tip!

0
0
Facepalm

Another one . . .

. . . for the "why would anyone want to work in IT for the current crap wages?"

As of next week, I will be leaving my current employer and, most likely, walking away from IT as a career. That's after 20 years in the field working.

Why? Because the wages have been depressed for successive years far too far. There are adverts for jobs today that would have attracted £50K+ not 5 years ago and required more than one person to do, the same job is now for one person for £30K+.

We can point to lots of reasons as to why this has happened - the dot com boom didn't help, with every jonny who could make HTML flash across the screen claim they were a web developer; a generally depressed job market meaning university leavers accepting lower wages; out-sourcing/off-shoring of entry level technical positions; consolidation of IT on a global scale within large corporates. You get the idea, there are lots of reasons.

By far the biggest one, is that the view of IT by anyone who has no idea, is that it's not "hard-work" or difficult. Most of the rest of the company view IT as a necessary evil, but not one which needs to be highly skilled or paid well for it to work. That view is ingrained across all industries and helped by the media, who constantly portray IT guys as sloping off to play games all the time.

I'm minded somewhat of an anecdote, told by the pilot of Concorde on it's maiden press flight, full of press monkey's from around the world. Once cruising at 65,000ft and a little over mach 2, the pilot did the old school walk through the plane to talk to the invited passengers. He was stopped by a Texan reporter, who said "what took so long, there's nothing to this breaking the sound barrier in a passenger plane". The pilot, in typically understated Britishness - "that's what took so long."

Many years ago, I was penalised (lost a pay-rise) for a project over-running by 10-15% on time and cost. It took longer for various technical reasons around making the code as robust as possible. That code ran in production for 6 years, only stopping when they no longer needed. No maintenance was ever required.

Delivery is king, as far as management are concerned. Which is why so many firms struggle with technical debt and expensive maintenance contracts.

11
0
Coat

Re: Another one . . .

In IT there is this perception that all the work is click install, next, next, next , Finish.

1
0

Not only are many employers expecting to pay very low salaries, but they want multiple skills for the pittance they are offering. School leaver type wages (not even Grad level in some cases) being offered with a requirement for at least 3 different skill sets that take a few years to get any experience in.

Another issue is that with most companies you won't get a decent pay rise, and the only way to earn more is to leave & go somewhere else. I know one guy who was "promoted" 3 times by the company he worked for yet only received the standard company annual pay rise (back in the days when such things used to happen), no change at all top reflect his supposedly senior position except a slightly nicer company car. Of course the customers were being charged at the rates for the senior position. When they recruited other people to the same role, they were having to pay around £20k more than my friend was receiving - and yes I agree he was an idiot for staying there & not moving on.

The disinclination to give pay rises to existing staff to keep parity with the market also leads to certifiable training being refused, as the assumption is that if the staff get qualified they will leave (to get the going rate for the job!).

4
0
Bronze badge
FAIL

That's true of nearly everywhere though, not just in IT.

When I was in aerospace, the graduate track got me a £500 increase every 6 months. Once off that track, it was, well, 0.5% if you were lucky. The obvious result was that people who could build a plane or program a radar or do actual real stuff that was essential to the company were rapidly finding they were paid less than the inexperienced graduates, who were also rapidly out-stripping the slightly experienced graduates - who were surely worth more since they now had experience?

I left after 6 years, by which time 90%+ of the grads who joined with me were already gone. Yet that company still says it can't get enough "quality" engineering graduates...

1
1
Mushroom

Contractors are a stop gap

"Contractors are a stopgap, said Harris, but one that only postpones the day of reckoning - a view shared by 40 per cent of companies, the forum’s research suggested."

I've spoken to guys who have been contracting for over 35+ years and they've often said they were told that "contracting won't last forever, give it a few years and the new blood will put you out of business". Given that contracting expanded massively even though universities were pumping out lots of IT graduates and this is now drying up, I think I can look forward to future contracts.

1
1
Anonymous Coward

There's an entire industry built upon preaching to UK business that it should constantly strive to reduce the cost of everything it has to pay for. That reducing costs whilst maintaining operations is always a good thing. That every pound saved makes the company better because it returns a better bottom line.

There isn't a single company in the UK which hasn't had this preached at them by every source for years now. It's the basis of the current buzz industry "Cloud" the "you can do it cheaper by having someone else pay for the infrastructure/skills, and just renting the capacity/skills you need". Seriously the only reason for most businesses to put anything in the cloud is cost saving, not having to employ skilled IT staff to do the work themselves. We see it touted up here on El-Reg day after day. I'm sure it must be just me because I would have thought it was blatently bloody obvious what effect the drive to put everything it is possible to put into other peoples clouds would have upon the future of IT staff and skills in UK businesses.

Managers see everything done inside their company as a cost, they are constantly preached at about how the best way to run a business is to reduce cost. IT is just another cost, staff are just another cost. They don't have to care about long term viability of the company, they'll always just be able to contract someone else to do "it", probably cheaper, so they can get an even better bonus...

2
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums