45 posts • joined 17 Sep 2010
Fido L Dido - I have to disagree with the idea that you can't have those in the middle earning more than those "higher up".
I started life as a techie as well, and have now moved into management. I now run a department with revenue running into the £16m space and staff spread across multiple countries. However there are people working for me who are paid more than I am - I don't see this as wrong in any way, indeed I was the one who put them on those salaries.
The salary you give is, as you say, based on the value someone brings to the organisation, along with the ease with which they can be replaced, and that is the key point.
Now I consider myself a good manager, we have grown well, I have kept the team on track and kept focus, I have made those multi-million pound decisions. However if I look through my teams, there are a number of other who could also have done that, and indeed are part of my "hit by a bus" succession plans. There are also people who have skills that are not easily found and no easily developed, therefore they are paid more.
For me, the question of salary isn't about "rank" or status, it's about skills, commitment, and the ease with which those skills can be replaced. Management, for me, is an easier skill to replace (even at a high level) than a true hairy arsed techie who can plan whole datacentre architectures and migrations or can handle mission critical infrastructure where there are million pound SLA penalties on the line.
Just my opinion of course.
Re: No to offshoring
But when talking about jobs paid for by the tax payer the maths is never as simple as which salary is lower when off shoring.
If the job is done in the UK the salaries will almost certainly be higher but the government gets to claim a significant chunk back, both through income tax and the myriad of other taxes that impact our daily lives (VAT, fuel duty, alcohol tax etc etc). Plus if the salaries are paid to UK people then it further supports the economy through the things they buy and services they use.
However if the job is sent offshore the money is gone.
It's a difficult calculation but public money can't counted in the same way as a private business would because the picture is much bigger.
Re: I had the Sharp PC-1500 in 1992
Didn't have the Sharp but I did have a Casio one - as you say, great fun at the time.
Think mine is still in the loft somewhere and I now feel like I should get it out and start playing :)
I don't think anyone is effectively saying women shouldn't use the internet, simply that you should expect idiots.
I think men get just as many issues it's just done in a different way - when the idiots have a go at a women they tend to use sexual context, when they have a go at men they use a different approach generally aggressive, but not sexual, and hence it doesn't get reported in the same way (if at all).
As others have said, this is the problem when angry people with no life get to hide behind a keyboard. Not sure there is any good answer...
I find it mildly amusing that companies such as HP and Dell are complaining about the government using e-auctions and the like to drive rock bottom prices. These companies have been doing the same to their own suppliers for years.
HP in particular can be very difficult to work with, requiring annual 5% reductions from suppliers every year regardless of inflation and costs. Seems like they are just unhappy to be subject to the same pressures they have been applying themselves.
To be fair most people (men or women) don't need any special treatment. It's just a small, but very vocal few, who then poison everything.
Were the jokes these made a little crude - yes. Should they have refrained from saying them in a public room - maybe. Was anyone made a "victim" - no, not at all.
I used to work in an office full of women and the conversations and jokes they made would make anything these guys said sound like a children's story. Every other comment was about sex.
Where I work now there are several women who can (and regularly do) out-crude anything the men say.
Nobody complains. Nobody gets in trouble. Nobody is offended.
It's just really worrying that there is a small group of people who make a purpose of being offended whenever possible. And instead of telling them to get over it and grow up, and maybe reminding other people to show a little respect, we validate their stance and stick it all over the media.
Such a shame people of the type don't come with attached warning labels so the rest of us can just ignore them...
"Steelie Neelie reckoned there were a number of areas that needed to be fixed. She claimed some people had no idea that they could pursue jobs in the IT industry. "
Or they have seen so many jobs outsourced to other countries, seen wages come down and decided that there must be a better way to earn a living... just a thought....
But that would suggest much of the problem was self inflicted by the very companies she wants to fix the problem.... couldn't be that - surely?! :)
I await the glorious conclusion that we need to bring in more cheap labor and bring those salaries down some more - that will fix it for certain.
God I'm feeling grumpy today...
Re: Database as filesystem is so 1980
Maybe I missed the point but the whole line that this was a revolutionary idea and so ahead of its time seemed odd to me. However I too spent a fair bit of time working on the old Pick boxes, and then the Power95 version on AIX, then on the UniData version.
Couldn't they just make the moon look like a Death Star?
That way all you would need is a load of old toilet rolls, yoghurt pots and some double sided sticky tape.
It could even count as recycling...
Re: Men of Great Britain
I believe there was a study a few years back.
Or at least they told me it was for a study.... hmmm...
A couple of TV's, both still excellent and going strong, a microwave that just won't die, cordless phones and a pretty decent Lumax camera. All in all I have to say that Panasonic has been the most reliable stuff I have ever bought. Solid stuff and it would be a shame to see them go.
People like a new toy
I think the reason the lack of changes to iOS could start to impact Apple is because people like new toys.
Personally I'm of the same view as you on this, I don't want change unless its shows a real improvement, but then I tend to keep my kit (be it phones, laptops, cars) until they stop working properly or the company makes me have a new one.
However a lot of people like to buy the latest stuff, they like to have a new toy, and there's nothing wrong with that. However if they see the last few versions of their current choice is basically the same as the last one, with just a few improvements then they will naturally start to look at what else is there to play with.
Maybe I'm wrong but an awful lot of people I know like to play with something new, even if they eventually decide they don't like it.
Pretty much all the women I know seem to say the Macbook Air/Ultrabook style designs are the most elegant and desireable - usually followed with a comment about "not paying that much for a computer"
Seems to me that women just want the same things men do out of a computer - either a cheap, basic workhorse or a slick fansionable "premium" item depending on the cash available at the time.
I just can't can't see "computers for women" being a good selling point...
I had been seriously thinking about a paperwhite to replace my old Sony PRS-505 plus light case. It seemed a neater solution with a better screen. However my worries about the remote "control" of the Kindle seem more than justified now. No sale - I'll stick with my old Sony and the various epub stores.
Call me a cynical old sod if you like but this whole thing looks like a set up to me.
Is everyone sure the original "complaint" was real or was it just the start of a planned piece of PR?
Nicely done but I suspect not genuine...
PCs and notebooks look the same as five years ago
But isn't this basically because the existing designs work? Just like the bicycle, people tweek it and make it lighter/faster/better but the basic design stays the same because it is already what it needs to be...
Re: We are
Alternatively consider these options:
1.) None of the other civilizations are advanced enough to create these von Neumann probes, just as we aren't.
2.) None of the other civilizations feel the need.
The problem with all these theories is that they assume the all other life thinks the same way we do. I can't see why that should be the case.
Re: as the average time of ownership of a stock/share is now milliseconds
Yep, always seemed to me that a minimum hold time would stop an awful lot of the silliness and help return stocks and share to the investments they should be. Invest for dividend returns and long term gain - changes over fractions of a second are nonsense.
Re: I blame it on the ice-cream...
I have to say that I have similar feelings here.
It seems that "traditional" environmental concerns of lowering pollution, reducing waste, protecting habitats etc have become second to CO2. However surely if you deal with these issues then CO2 kind of falls into place anyway as a consequence.
Just my 2p anyway.
Re: @J.G Harston
I also worked in the states for a while and noticed the obsession with long hours in the office. The thing was that the productivity didn't seem any better, so I would go in 9-5 or so and get the same amount of work done as those turning in at 7am and staying until 8pm or later.
It was all very odd and I'm glad I'm not there any more - even if I do miss many of the people I knew.
"The thing that's sick with society is celebrity culture" - Exactly Nigel. Spot on.
Many kids I meet are under the impression that they will all become famous and sing songs and act in movies. All these "talent" and celebrity shows have created a completely false impression of what life is likely to hold. Only a vanishingly small number of people will ever make a real living out of "begin famous".
We once interviewed one girl and asked her the classic "where do you see self in the future?" - the answer - "I want to be famous".
Most of the world does a job which is probably repetative and generally dull. The enjoyment comes from the people, the culture and the occasional challange, but most of the days will not constant excitement. The quickest route to misery is constantly dreaming of what can never be!
Trevor - what you want is a Seneye system - can keep an eye on things via their web site and a mobile app. Does require a computer to be on and connected to update the website but still pretty cool. Needs a mothly subscription though.
I've just picked my 9yr old son up from school and asked him to comment on these - rather worryingly he says these meals are pretty much the same as he gets.
Time to get him back to packed lunch I think - even a basic sarnie and apple is far better than that crap!
Re: Self-service checkouts
The real issue with these is the delay encountered if you dare to buy a dangerous item like a kitchen knife, bottle of wine or a chess set (*)
I recently went to the local Argos to buy a chess set - basic thing, nothing special - reserved it online and went to pay at the automatic kiosk. Wouldn't let me, said it was a "restricted item" and I had to queue at the till to show some ID... seriously. Maybe you could kill a man with a pawn or something...
Quite. They seem to have become the standard in most schools these days. When I was at school in the 70/80's your food was served on a plate, like a civilized meal should be. You wouldn't think much of a restaurant or cafe which served your food like this so why do it at school?
Maybe I'm getting old and grumpy but these things look like something from a prison, you can't treat kids like items on a production line and then complain when they don't learn how to behave.
Like I say, I'm getting old...
Okay, I don't really have a view on how good/bad the NHS helpline could be since I haven't used such services but the line from Capita:
"Clearly there are ways that the NHS Direct helpline could be improved and run more efficiently. However, the current tender process is not constructed in a manner that will result in cost-effective services that can flex to the dynamic needs of the public."
Does rather sound like: "They won't let us outsource it to India so we are not playing"
Or am I too cynical? :)
Re: Fast moving accurate information
Absolutely, having worked briefly for a travel agents in my youth I know it was that rapid update which attracted holiday firms to advertise on Ceefax. A little PC in the corner with a modem so the company could update their pages "live" as it were.
Re: Which Magazine: "Don't pay for debt advice - use free alternatives"
Exactly - isn't there a general saying "never take financial advice from someone who wins when you lose" ?
Seems like sound advice to me.
Wow - some of the comments!
Here we go again we some really petty name-calling from various contributors.
The silly thing about all this Apple/Microsoft/Google/whoever love and hate is that it's nothing more than the old human tribe mentality. It's the geek version of being a football fan.
Why anyone feels the need to idolise any company is beyond me - they exist to get you to spend your money, nothing more. They do not love you, they do not worry about you, they do not have any interest in you in any way except getting your cash. Period. Anything the company says to the contrary is simply marketing and PR, designed to get, wait for it, your money!
To all those who get so wound up defending company X about how great it or it's products are just ask yourself - does company X come and tuck you into bed at night? Does company X come round and make you soup when you're ill? If you lose your job will it come pay your mortgage and put food on your table?
If the answer to any of these it no then what exactly do you think you owe them?
Get some perspective people - it you like a product and it fits your needs buy it, if not then don't. That's all there is too it.
Re: The familiar cry of the freetard.......
The idea that this is just a typical cry from those who don't want to pay for something isn't entirely true.
I don't know how old other people here are but when I was a kid we would all record songs from the radio and swap LP's. If that had not been possible then we still wouldn't have bought any more - the number of LP's we bought (and we all bought plenty) was limited by the money had, not what we wanted.
I agree that this idea that the ideology that everything should be free is silly, but the idea that every single download is a lost sale is equally silly. It just adult discussion of the problem impossible as the numbers become ridiculous. If you want to fix a problem you have to work the real problem, not a made up fantasy one.
Just my 2p
To right - my son can't get enough Star Wars Lego - the sets, the books, the games. Obviously I try to get him to go outside to play instead, honestly I do...
Probably depends on the role
Personally I don't deal much with coders so maybe a degree would be useful for them, but within the sysadmin, build, support type roles we deal with I would agree that a degree is of very little value.
I have always felt that sysadmin jobs are really more of a vocational job that an academic one and as such its aptitude and attitude that win out.
Some of my best admins have no formal qualifications past A-level but just have that feel for IT systems and understanding of what keeps service ticking along which you only get be being on the job.
Maybe if we spent a little less time forcing degrees on people, and placed more value on vocational skills, we wouldn't have such a problem funding higher education for those areas where it really does make a difference. Just my 2p.
Our team has people working from home and people who work partly from home. It works well - most of the time.
Obviously working from home has it's problems and people could skive off, but people can come in the office and effectively do nothing too.
The key to home workers is to manage results not time - set a number of required tasks, a deadline and there is your basis for managing them. It kind of depends on your line of business, but assuming it doesn't have to be done 9-5 then who cares if they decide to work one evening so they can go to the park the next morning?
Hmm - customer?
"O'Neill, who is not shy of referring to taxpayers as "customers" "
I have a problem with government referring to me as a customer. Customer denotes choice - and while I'm free to vote how I please I can't suddenly decide not to pay tax. Therefore I am not a customer. I am a tax-payer. There is a reason why they are different words.
It shows a lack of clarity and understanding in their thinking and approach and I don't like it.
And we all step to the right
It does always make me smile that at times like this even the most left wing take a sudden leap to the right on law and order.
I'm guilty myself, and have been recently thinking that we could use these fools as the infantry equivalent of chaff. Sent to war zones to run around in front of the regulars, drawing the first and keeping the real soldiers safe.
Alternatively we could all take a deep breath and work out a realistic way to introduce certain parts of society to personal responsibility - without making the problem worse.
Not sure what the answer is but as much as I like the idea of removing benefits I'm not sure the result would be what we want.
I'm not a big gamer but I do quite like the Settlers series. When I do play it is fairly likely to be when I'm away from home, stuck in a hotel somewhere. It's either that or hit the bar again :)
But in many hotels the internet access is extra and I'm not going to pay the (often ridiculous) fee just to play a game.
Then of course you've got a rained out holiday in a remote location, after the kids have gone to bed, with no internet at all - or at home when the connection has died.
Anything which requires a permanent is a non-starter for me - it's just not practical.
Is it really cheaper?
I'm never entirely sure that these offshore deals are really cheaper when we are talking about public money.
For a basic example, a government deal costs £50m and employs 200 local workers. A large chunk of that £50m will go to pay those local workers, who pay income tax and national insurance. They then go on to buy things and do things which generate more tax in VAT, fuel duty and all those other various taxes. Therefore the total impact on the public purse is actually less than £50m
Now offshore that work and you may be paying £40m, a big saving on the face of it, but most of that money now leaves the country and is therefore "lost" to the local economy. Plus you could well be having to pay unemployment benefits to 200 local people. Therefore the deal from an overall view is actually more expensive.
Really government have to accept that they are not the private sector and that the "cost" of a deal for them is rarely as simple as which one has the cheapest headline price. It's far more complex than that.
But then that seems to be an unpopular view these days - each department only wants to look at the figure on their spreadsheet - everything in isolation.
Re: Publicity Stunt
A publicity stunt is all it is - at the end of this Mudoch will claim that he has "done the right thing" and that his News International business is clean.
The government will then happily wave through the BSkyB takeover - delighted at excuse they have been handed.
All the great and good will be smiling and happy while the rest of us can get lost as usual...
There really does seem to be an entire class of people who consider it not only their right, but their moral duty, to constantly tell the rest of what we should or shouldn't be doing.
If I want a lecture on what I should be eating or drinking I'll call my mum - everyone else can frank piss off!
Then again, this constant obsession with alcohol is probably just the prelude to new taxes to keep the above people in jobs....
Does rather seem that old Thomas Gooch is really saying that he's such a complete perv that he can't keep his mind on job in hand.
Surely you don't go out of your way to advertise that fact you can't do your job?
It's all nonsense
I'm sure plenty of others have said this, but this smells like a survey designed to convince the government that business really, really needs to import more cheap labor.
Maybe if businesses hadn't offshored so may 1st line jobs they would have a feeder for the higher levels. But that would be forward thinking.
<sigh> Accountants rule the world, sadly.
"E-book readers scored a mere 11 per cent, book buffs will be shocked to learn"
Actually the fact that 11% of 6-12 year olds want an e-reader is quite impressive - I'm suprised its this high.
I rather suspect they are speaking from experience.
It has been my experience in life that the more table thumping and moralising a person is the more likely that they have a guilty conscience. Just look at how many of the politicians which shout about “family values” have been then caught doing the nanny/secretary/neighbour etc etc.
That’s not to say that some aspects of the media may have got a little over the top but I don’t see quite the problem these folks seem to.
As someone else said – if you’ve ever worked in an office full of women you will have heard conversations which would put builders in the pub to shame! The idea that women are being picked on exclusively is just wrong.
Finally – if you don’t like what your kids can see on the internet then put a filter on, monitor what they do – it’s your job as a parent. It (At least that way they have to work for the dirty stuff – it gives a much better sense of satisfaction :) )
Not that I watch any of those but realising them early to UK viewers is a probably a good move, however the price is unlikely to prevent priracy. £2.29 seems rather steep for one episode - seems like they want to say they tried but don't want to upset UK broadcasters at the same time...