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Will the Market Recover ?

Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
Probably been debated before but "Will software roles ever return to the west or has software gone the same way as light engineering and ship building ?"
It would be handy to know.
Tony
Ajeet Jose
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 05, 2003
Posts: 68
I think it is like water falls. Usually, the water that has fallen never goes up
Tim Baker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
some companies will be unhappy with the control they have when outsourcing abroad, so some will bring it back. some more will want to save money and will outsource new stuff abroad. so who knows


Kim Jong II (North Korea's Dear Leader) said:Nuclear weapons don't kill people, people kill people.
Marcus Raphael
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 03, 2003
Posts: 57
Hello
Who will be stupid enough to pay a worker $50-$60 an hour when they can pay an indian or chineese programmer guru who is happy to work for $15 an hour.
In an organisation with a Capability Maturity Level Rating of 3+ (majority of these super organisations are in india who can guarentee to get the job done, up to a satisfactory level of quality, and on time!
In this world you need to be competitive to survive, so organisations that arnt will lose. Thus in time probably by around 2005-6
i think the prediction in the U.S is that outsourcing will increase from 8% to 55% by this time. Forget programming i think its gone for business critical applications. But I think that analysis and design is going to get bigger because of the advancing of integrated development environments, which all organisations will have to adopt over time!
Regards
Marcus
SJ Adnams
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 925
The thing is, nobody is outsourcing VB programmers to india. Why? Because development is such a small percentage of the software lifecycle that its just not worth it.
With new technologies, (I'm thinking J2EE/Portal apps) it's really quick to add new functionality. Give Java another 2-3 years and all this outsourcing nonsence will stop.
Kevin Thompson
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 04, 2001
Posts: 237
I have mixed emotions about this.
I think (I hope) that the market will come back.
I believe that the VAST MAJORITY of businesses are unable to outsource to the Indians. There are oceans of businesses that simply can not and will never outsource. The reasons for this is as follows:
It is a minimum standard for outsourcing - that a business has to be able to do most of these things:
1. know what they need
2. know what they have
3. be able to prepare specifications/requirements
4. have a clue
Most small businesses (under 100 employees) generally have NONE of these.
The big business are lost to the Indians. But the small businesses in America need IT people who are LOCAL and are able to come in person to show them how to send an e-mail (and perform other IT functions).
Kevin
Tim Baker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
I think I said this somewhere before but in the long term there will be a much larger domestic market in places like India and their employees will gradually get paid more and more. Whether when that happens western software starts going to more lower paid places or not who knows!
Ajeet Jose
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 05, 2003
Posts: 68
Guys, I do not know US business history.
Could you tell me in the past, the jobs left the US has ever returned?
if yes what kind of jobs came back? :roll:
More news
google goes out...
washington times
[ December 12, 2003: Message edited by: Ajeet Jose ]
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by Ajeet Jose:
Guys, I do not know US business history.
Could you tell me in the past, the jobs left the US has ever returned?
if yes what kind of jobs came back? :roll:
More news
google goes out...
washington times


Yes, at least twice. Two things have been happening in the western part of the industry since the end of 2000.
There has been a collapse of demand. Large new projects have not been starting at anything like the normal rate, and as the older projects have completed or been cancelled the work has not been there to absorb the programmers and analysts who became available. The demand has been something like 10 to 20% of normal demand. If not less.
Something very much like this happened between 1980 and 1983. What happened then (and is happening now) is that while the supply of qualified people has been shrinking there has been a growing backlog of work growing and waiting for funding. With corporate profits recovering many of these projects are getting funding now and more will in the next year. Believe it or not, people are hiring.
The project I'm on is in crisis because they couldn't get enough qualified people soon enough. And also because they allowed the customer to push too much functionality into the early release due at the end of February. The result is that they are working the existing staff into the ground.
This is good news in the longer run. We're probably going to blow the deadline to hell and gone. Lots of that 'work' done at 10 PM and on weekends will have to be redone later, and they will have to hire people to do it. People out of school and lacking perfect qualifications. Pay will be low for a time.
The other thing which has been happening is that of the new projects beginning a large proportion have been going to India. That is a fact. But the Indian industry is showing signs of strain with wages rising rapidly and the big Indian outsourcing companies looking to outsource to China and the Middle East. The Middle East has a limited number of qualified people. China is different, but Chinese engineers don't have the English language skills that Indians do. Will India outsourcer be able to cope with a 500% or 1000% increase in demand over the next 2 years? No way. Most of that work will come home (wherever home is).


SCJP1.4, SCWCD
Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
I think we are producing far to many IT grads in the UK, lets face it the west is now a service industry.
I also disagree with Mark's claim that employers look for intelligent people independant of Skill sets. I have good experience and qualifications( BEng,MSc, PgD, PgC ) though my experience is with embedded applications.
I am also an SCJD which I gained from scratch in 3 months. Can I get a job? No. Why, no three years industrial experience in Java/struts/ejb or C# or the next fad tool set. The eight years of developing robust software is completely worthless. The odd thing is coding is only about 10% of the job, I have never understood the engineers pre-occupation with syntax.
Tony
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by Tony Collins:
I think we are producing far to many IT grads in the UK, lets face it the west is now a service industry.
I also disagree with Mark's claim that employers look for intelligent people independant of Skill sets. I have good experience and qualifications( BEng,MSc, PgD, PgC ) though my experience is with embedded applications.
I am also an SCJD which I gained from scratch in 3 months. Can I get a job? No. Why, no three years industrial experience in Java/struts/ejb or C# or the next fad tool set. The eight years of developing robust software is completely worthless. The odd thing is coding is only about 10% of the job, I have never understood the engineers pre-occupation with syntax.
Tony

Well there are some IT degrees for which 'too many' would be anything more than zero. The MSIT degree and all of it's siblings. I don't have a lot of use for the CS degrees myself, though I think better of the SE degrees.
The problem has fundamentally been a failure of demand, not an oversupply of graduates. And believe me we're going to see a shortage if anything very soon. With salaries down and the demands of the career going higher it's foolish to get into the IT field right now.
Demand is recovering but salaries have not. With the result that with my salary down 33% from a year ago my employer is demanding tons of (unpaid) overtime. Because they can't hire enough qualified people. Lovely. Raise your price and salaries, gents.
Roy Lee
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 18, 2002
Posts: 5
Tony Collins said:
Can I get a job? No.

I seem to recall that you eventually found work. Have I missed a more recent update?
Tim Baker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
Originally posted by Tony Collins:
I think we are producing far to many IT grads in the UK, lets face it the west is now a service industry.

I agree, too many people have been attracted towards IT because everyone kept going on about it being the way of the future or whatever. A lot of people who graduated from my course are still completely clueless and I think a lot more people should of been failed. But that is not in the universities interest because they need as many people on a course as possible to get the maximum fees and they need the highest pass rates possible and the highest honours rates possibles so they can climb up the stupid university league tables.
Personally I would of gone for a computing degree if I was chosing 10 years ago, and would have to say I'm well suited to this kind of work, I graduated top of my course with top marks. However I think there are too many graduates coming out with the piece of paper but little grasp or ability that give us all a bad reputation. If I could afford it I would probably be best for me to carry on with the MSc PHD route, but as I said I have neither the money nor the interest.
Marcus Raphael
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 03, 2003
Posts: 57
I think software Engineering MSc is the best type of MSc for the software industry!
Im not goig to worry about getting a job either.
Cos im young sharp, and in my opinion useful to an organisation.
It is a young mans game
Marcus Raphael
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 03, 2003
Posts: 57
by the way, uk produces to many grads in every field not just I.T
(Business, Economics, Law etc )
The reason it is getting congested is because the goverment keep on saying theres a better life 4 those that go to university!
A degree aint enough any more.
When i graduated 3 months ago in BSc Computer Science along with 120 others. from my uni + there is another hundred uni's with 100's of courses in Computing with + "Maths"
Computer Science
Information systems
Information technology
prob a 100 000 it grads a year now from the U.K
but out of all of them probably 10% will do MSc
So now i'm in the skill set..............
+ this software engineering msc is costing me �6000 for one year which i dont think many student altready in debt can afford

Its a hard world o well. I still c a prosperous future at 21, my life hasnt even started yet
Marcus Raphael
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 03, 2003
Posts: 57
Good luck
------------------------------------------
If your smart, you dont need luck
Alex Leung
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 08, 2003
Posts: 26
Hi, I am also a graduate this year with Software Engineering. I have send many CVs out to the top companies in UK. But most of them said either not currently recruiting anybody or do not have vancacies that match my skills and knowledge.
While I do not think my skills are poor, and I have got a high grade in my degree. But like the person said above, a degree certainly not enough, I have also done a lot of self-learning in technologies that I have not been taught in class, but still unable to find a job (yet)...
Skills used in the interview is also important I think, it is not just about how many languages you know, but preparing for an interview is another important issue. Be prepare for questions like:
"Why would you like to work for me?"
"How long would it take before you could contribute to this company?"
and of course: "What kind of salary are you seeking?"
and many more...
Training a graduate is a costly process, takes time and money. so even if you know 10 programming languages, but answering a few of these incorrectly (I mean not what they want to hear), you can kiss your hope goodbye for that interview, and that has happened to me once, and later realised of what went wrong. Mmmm... too late, mate!
Also knowing someone from the IT company can make a different, I heard people got their jobs by offers from their relatives, or friends. It is much easier than going through the whole job searcning process.
These are just my comments from some of my experiences. I hope you find it useful.
Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435

Cos im young sharp, and in my opinion useful to an organisation.
It is a young mans game

There are alot of useful people out there, but you are right it is a young mans game. It shouldn't be but it is. The reason is that employers recruit on technologies not general skills. Believe me a good software engineer with 30 years experience in the industry is far more productive than a grad. I've worked on teams with fellows in the late 50's and there experience really has transformed projects. Just 'cos you attended a couple of lectures on C# doesn't make you a good engineer.

Personally I'm considering a move into teaching.
Tony
D. Rose
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 25, 2003
Posts: 215

The reason is that employers recruit on technologies not general skills.

This is very much the truth. Our industry is just driven by business buzzwords. Nobody cares about giving it a basic thought.
Also I think IT field is very much stagnated currently. We need a breakthrogh in some fundamental area ( some new research etc) which can create new business needs and so generate the demand.
Steven Broadbent
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2002
Posts: 400
A couple of years ago I read about what someone called "little green van syndrome", meaning that companies weren't just looking for a van driver, you needed experience of driving a little van, and that van must be green, and must have leather seats etc etc etc.....


"....bigmouth strikes again, and I've got no right to take my place with the human race...."<p>SCJP 1.4
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Steven Broadbent:
A couple of years ago I read about what someone called "little green van syndrome", meaning that companies weren't just looking for a van driver, you needed experience of driving a little van, and that van must be green, and must have leather seats etc etc etc.....

And don't forget the requirement for 10 years experience driving that van (which only has been on sale for half a year).
Yes, I've seen such requirements. And it's getting worse again after a lull of a few years now that companies can basically ask whatever they want and offer little in return as the competition between applicants is severe.
"oh, you will do but we're going to pay you 20% less because you lack skill XXX".


42
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by Tony Collins:
I think we are producing far to many IT grads in the UK, lets face it the west is now a service industry.

Three or four years ago it was way too few IT graduates even though the schools were producing more then than they are today.
It's a problem of too little demand rather than of oversupply. When experienced people are having trouble getting work that shows a market where the new entrants are going to be mostly unemployed in the short term at least. And as you know, experienced candidates lacking precisely the correct skill mix are also having trouble finding work.
I think the demand will come back. In fact I think it's building. I think two things are going to happen.
As corporate profits rebound (they already are in the US) companies will begin to invest again to meet the new opportunities and also to retool to support their radically changed organizations. There has been a dearth of investment since late 2000, almost 3 years worth of accumulated demand. The recovery may well be as explosive as it was in the early 80's.
Indian outsourcing? Some of that work will remain in India, but I suspect that there are going to be some major failures in India. Not all from poorly-skilled people but also deriving from poor communication. I've personally worked on projects which benefitted from a 25-30% increase in productivity from getting everyone into the same building. Even when we were in the same timezone (40 minute drive apart) we benefited from this. I suspect a similar dynamic will apply to much Indian outsourcing.
Wehn you're a long way from the customer it's very easy to deliver the wrong thing. It can be completely to spec and still be the wrong thing. I learned that once working for an Italian firm for a US customer, and I don't believe the rules have changed.
Jim Doyle
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 18, 2003
Posts: 36

Some of the jobs will come back, but it's going to be a 40-55K max salary.
Recent grads will start in the low 30s just like every other profession
out there. "Good money" will be 70K, and for that you need to be a
business analyst plus an architect with bench skills and a history of
having delivered implementations on time and budget. Get used to the
lowered salaries. To get into the 70K range, you will have to have
been a veteran in the field and in your early 40s before you can compete
for these kinds of positions. You will report directly to executive staff.
If you are making north of 60K right now, consider yourself lucky.
I'd start saving as much as you can and wind down your lifestyle to fit
comfortably (i.e. expenses covered and savings monthly) at 45K/yr.
Look at salaries for other kinds of professionals, particularly doctors,
chemists, electrical engineers, etc. i.e. professions that require ALOT
of school and extreme numeracy.
The number of people capable of programming and designing will always
be are tiny minority. The cognitive skills are a rarity and always will
be. You will not, however, be paid for having them necessarily. Get
used to it. There are many great artists out there who remain poor despite
exceptional mastery of their medium and expressive talents. It will be
no different for superb programmers.
In the end, if you like this profession, you will be fortunate enough to
have a job to go to that you like most of the time and you will be able
to pay your rent and take a modest vacation once a year. Get used to that
too.
-- Jim
Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
Just saw a couple of roles in the job centre today.
C++/PHP Programmer 4 years exp. degree. EC1(London) 22k.
Web designer London - Meets national minimum wage.
Tony
SJ Adnams
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 925
They are some fairly shocking salaries
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Tony Collins:

I also disagree with Mark's claim that employers look for intelligent people independant of Skill sets. I have good experience and qualifications( BEng,MSc, PgD, PgC ) though my experience is with embedded applications.

I never claimed that (and challenge you to find a posting which says otherswise). I have said, good employers, in general, hire based on intelligence, not specific knowledge. I never said most employers were good employers (it seems implied in your statements that "employers" refers to "all employers" or "most employers").

Originally posted by Rei Damle:

This is very much the truth. Our industry is just driven by business buzzwords. Nobody cares about giving it a basic thought.

I fundamentally disagree. Our industry is driven by a handful of small innovative companies who hire smart people (IBM, Microsfot, Sun, Google, etc). The vast majority of the companies just ride on the coat tails. While the majority may hire on buzzwords, it's the really smart people at top companies with sufficent resources who change the industry.

Originally posted by Rei Damle:

Also I think IT field is very much stagnated currently. We need a breakthrogh in some fundamental area ( some new research etc) which can create new business needs and so generate the demand.

On what do you base this? There is no indication that IT is stagnated. hiring hiring certainly has, but IT hiring != IT. IT is still growing in terms of sales and productivity enhancements. Companies are buying software and gaining from it. The fact is, IT companies haven't needed significant additional help (although that's changing right about now).
Breakthroughs are only needed when there are problems currently unsolvable. Which problem is plaguing our society for which we need an IT breakthrough? Sure $.25 processors might be nice and wuld change the world, but we don't need it. I suspect yu're making the claim because you're hoping that a new technology (a la the WWW) will generate new jobs. It will, but as I noted above, I don't see it as needed in and of itself, except as a means of generating jobs.

--Mark
Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
Generating jobs is very important in any society. Intelligent people need things to do.

Tony
[ December 15, 2003: Message edited by: Tony Collins ]
Al Newman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 30, 2003
Posts: 716
Originally posted by Jim Doyle (Amherst MA):
Some of the jobs will come back, but it's going to be a 40-55K max salary.
Recent grads will start in the low 30s just like every other profession
out there. "Good money" will be 70K, and for that you need to be a
business analyst plus an architect with bench skills and a history of
having delivered implementations on time and budget.
If you are making north of 60K right now, consider yourself lucky.
I'd start saving as much as you can and wind down your lifestyle to fit
comfortably (i.e. expenses covered and savings monthly) at 45K/yr.

I think you're being too pessimistic here. It could happen this way but only if the demand for applications fall off a great deal. I'll admit that that is exactly what has happened over the past 3 years, but I think the underlying demand is explosive.
I don't expect (or wish) that conditions return to dot-bomb days. That was obviously way overboard. But Software Engineering is a very demanding position with continuing education requirements as high as those of any other profession (if not higher). If the field is going to attract the number of people I believe will be needed it's going to have to continue to pay well better than average. Right now many practicioners aren't getting a decent ROI on their personal investment(s). That will change or the number of people practicing SE will fall radically.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Tony Collins:
Generating jobs is very important in any society. Intelligent people need things to do.

Yes, intelligent people need things to do, but intelligent people don't need IT things to do.
Soemtimes the markets shift and you get screwed; that's life.
--Mark
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
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