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Parachutes

Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
Is anyone packing their parachute for a career outside software engineering ?
I've heard of engineers taking nursing, building and teaching courses in their spare time. The traditional conversion to accountancy seems to be out the window.
Tony
Steven Broadbent
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2002
Posts: 400
Yes. I personally have two ready. A C++ Guy I know is starting as a bus driver soon.
I have seen on more than one ocassion stuff about guys retraining as plumbers - most of the guys doing it now are over 40 and they are few young uns in the business which was decimated in the 80s here. That's one thing they can't outsource yet.
Anyone want to discuss this off line, email me.


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

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
yeah, I wish I had got a trade under my belt instead of a university education.
Tony
Stephen Pride
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 14, 2000
Posts: 121
Originally posted by Tony Collins:
yeah, I wish I had got a trade under my belt instead of a university education.

If that weren't so sad, it'd be funny. My father-in-law has been a ceramic tile installer all his life (he's 60 yrs old). I've helped him on many jobs after work, over weekends, on holidays, while on "vacation", etc., and thought to myself often how fortunate I am that I got a college education, so that I could work in an air conditioned office the remainder of my life, instead of 100+ degree back-breaking work in the summertime laying tile in newly constructed houses. How naive of me to have believed it. Now with project-after-project in my company being offshored to India, I figure its probably only a matter of time before I get told the bad news. Of course, the good news for me is that I have ~5 years of tile installer apprentice work under my belt.

[ January 12, 2004: Message edited by: Stephen Pride ]

SCJP
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Stand up comic and graphic designer.
Steven Broadbent
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2002
Posts: 400
Even jobs that had more kudos are starting to be outsourced - basic accountancy and legal conveyancing.
Outsourced recruitment consultants - that would be poetic justice!!
Jack Liang
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 02, 2000
Posts: 12
I start my side job two years ago: buying foreclosure properties and fix up. Though hard work. My current net cash flow is about half of what I make as Senior Software Engineer. I feel secure with or without my current job. Good real estate pick and hard work will yeild big reward!!!
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
You know, you guys should to some people in the aerospace industry. We've only had a slow run for a few years. They have slumps on the order of a decade.
--Mark
Jamin Williams
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 16, 2003
Posts: 44
Move into management...


Jamin Williams<br />SCJP, SCWCD
Saliya Jinadasa
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 21, 2003
Posts: 49
I know a friend of mine who was working as an Analyst Programmer in a leading bank in the UK. He gave up the job to pursue a career in medicine as a doctor.
Rory French
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 97
Saliya,
Jeeez, thats a drastic move. How old was your friend when he started medical school and what motivated him to make such a major move ?
Rory
Saliya Jinadasa
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 21, 2003
Posts: 49
He is just 31 and on a 4 year graduate medical course. He said that there was no job statisfaction, has seen the ugly side of IT industry(once been through a retrenchment), and wanted more human interaction ( rather than sitting in front of a computer). And his father went through a bypass surgery, which was sort of like a turning point.
Jon McDonald
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2001
Posts: 167
I remember talking with this guy at a going away party for my uncle. I must have been 16 at the time, and he must have been in his late 30's or early 40's. He told me that he had 7 seperate job skills/trades that he could perform, and having those meant he could always find work. This guy was an electrical engineer, but also knew bricklaying, and some carpentry, I think.
Those words still stick with me today, and I often find myself asking what else am I trained to do if I leave IT. I am nowhere near 7, but I am closer to that number than I was a few years ago.
Jon


SCJP<br/>
"I study politics and war that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy in order to give their children a right to study painting poetry and music."<br />--John Adams
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16228
    
  21

Well, at one time I might have considered falling back to become a draftsman, but as Map recently indicated, they're also getting offshored. It's bad enough trying to compete against people charging $25/hr, but at $6/hr, I might as well just bag groceries at the local supermarket. At least until they convert them all to self-service.
Considered a job selling foreign-made electronics (which is repeating myself) at Radio Shack.
If I was really clever, I might figure out how take my herb garden commercial without losing more than I made.


Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
Have any of you considered teaching ? Can't offshore that.
Tony
Steven Broadbent
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2002
Posts: 400
I have thought about it. They offer a 4g golden hello for teachers in shortage subjects. Also generous bursaries. There is an extreme shortage of male teachers particularly at primary level - a female teacher told me a male primary teacher couldn't fail to get promotion.
Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
The grants very good, 6k + 6k(Student Loan paid back by the goverment whilst you stay in teaching) + 4k golden hello. I supose you don't know if you like it until you try it. Alot of my ex-work mates have followed the teaching path.
ICT and Computing teachers are very rare apparentlly.
Tony
Steven Broadbent
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2002
Posts: 400
Another plus - huge number of single women in teaching and few men!!!

Well, we needed some good news around here!!!
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Hi,
I picked up my neighbor kid last night at the local junior college because the kid's parents have emergency to the hospital. I found out a lot of mid-age professionals there study for different careers that involved with human interface. From talking with several folks, I found out school needed a handful of adjunct professor with experiences from Astronomy to Oceanography. I asked about software, they chuckled.
Hi Mark,
The aerospace companies did re-hired a whopping 40% of the very people they let go earlier. It is very hard to find US Citizen with appropriate HR package and clean records. I know because some of my brothers and sisters were in the clean bunch. The rest whether changed careers or wrote stories for Hollywood. Did you remember the movie about disgruntle aerospace engineer went rampage with Michael Douglas?

Regards,
MCao
Bela Bardak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
Originally posted by Tony Collins:
Have any of you considered teaching ? Can't offshore that.
Tony

I hate to pour cold water on thsi great idea, but if you're going to teach IT consider that stats. I read somewhere that in the US something like 26% of 2002 IT grads were actually working in IT, with an overall unemployment rate of just shy of 15%. Worse even than the infamous 'Media Studies' (whats that?).
All this may mean that the demand for programming courses will experience a shrinkage unless this reverses.
Better to go into plumbing after all.....
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Matt Cao:

Hi Mark,
The aerospace companies did re-hired a whopping 40% of the very people they let go earlier.

Yes, the did. The key-word is "re-hired." Today the industry is booming with defense spending, as it was in the 80's and 60's. During the 70's and 90's it wasn't so great. My point is that the cycle we are in is nothing compared to what the aerospace industry has gone through.*
*But the areospace industry wasn't facing outsourcing!
I don't believe outsourcing will have a major impact on the US software industry in the next 5-10 years.
--Mark
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
All:
- On the subject of pursuing alternative careers.
- Even though I am working full-time as a Java programmer, and teaching 2 nights a week at the local technical college, I am actively pursuing a degree in nursing.
- Am hoping to eventually combine nursing with the computer job.
- Eventually, would like to become CRNA (Certified Nurse Anesthesiologist), which takes a BS in Nursing, plus 2 yrs CRNA school.
- If grades are super good after the BSN (before CRNA school), I may consider looking at an MD program. But that's a major major life change, and a long way off.
- Personally, even though I am working full-time, I am totally disgusted with the comp sci industry. Tired of being laid off or being under the threat of layoffs. After 4 layoffs/moves in the past 3 yrs - the heck with it.
- I'd rather do nursing 3 nights a week - get paid for 40 hours - and make 2/3 of what I am getting now. Will live where I want to live (not in Evansville, Indiana), and fish 4 days a week. Really, the true reason I am getting into nursing.
- I already wrapped up Anatomy & Phyiology I and II. Am taking Microbiology now at Univ of Indiana, and will start actual clinicals in June.
- Gotta run, the boss (gotta love 'em) is yelling.
John Coxey


John Coxey
Evansville, Indiana, USA
Chris Mathews
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 18, 2001
Posts: 2712
Originally posted by John Coxey:
I'd rather do nursing 3 nights a week - get paid for 40 hours - and make 2/3 of what I am getting now. Will live where I want to live (not in Evansville, Indiana), and fish 4 days a week. Really, the true reason I am getting into nursing.

All joking aside, John is definitely someone with his priorities straight. Bravo!
Steven Broadbent
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2002
Posts: 400
People should not have to accept being laid of every coupla years in "cycles" - this is an industry that requires a lot of hard work and training.

As regards teaching I am talking about the UK, don't know about the US. But the shortage of Maths/IT teachers is chronic here.
Jon McDonald
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2001
Posts: 167
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

*But the areospace industry wasn't facing outsourcing!
I don't believe outsourcing will have a major impact on the US software industry in the next 5-10 years.
--Mark

Why not? Could you paint me a picture of what you think the US software industry will look like then?
Thanks
Jon
Jon McDonald
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2001
Posts: 167
Originally posted by Steven Broadbent:

As regards teaching I am talking about the UK, don't know about the US. But the shortage of Maths/IT teachers is chronic here.

From what my friends tell me there is a huge shortage of qualified science teachers at the highshool level. It is definately something to consider.
Jon
Tara Bhattacharjee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 25, 2003
Posts: 36
I am starting to feel like John Coxey of lately- I am good at what I do, managed to keep a job in the Sw industry for the last 12 years but somehow, it just seems unnatural to sit in front of the computer all day long. I am starting to feel that if I am unhealthy due to sitting all day, I won't be able to keep my job anyway. I am 35 and looking into medical school knowing very well that I won't be done for 10+ years. May be this is time for me to pursue starting a family and med school in parallel. Then I can move to some favorite spot where I can stay active by skiing...
Jim Baiter
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 05, 2001
Posts: 532
One thing I wonder is are people giving up too easily? Is this offshoring really going to work? I've already heard some horror stories. One thing that would concern me is legal liability. If a U.S. company has offshored some software development and has a dispute, what recourse is there?
[ January 13, 2004: Message edited by: Jim Baiter ]
Tony Collins
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 03, 2003
Posts: 435
I don't think it's just offshoring though, software has become easier to produce.
Tony
Richard Scothern
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 25, 2001
Posts: 83
Originally posted by Jon McDonald:

Why not? Could you paint me a picture of what you think the US software industry will look like then?
Thanks
Jon

Probably not. But consider this.
Wages for Indian programmers are increasing by ~14% per year. Wages for US programmers are decreasing or are stagnant. If you read the India Times, you will see lots of articles such as "Why are so few companies outsourcing to India", apparently only 5-10% of all companies are outsourcing software development.
Imagine a doomsday scenario of 50% of all US programming jobs offshored to India. How will India cope with a 500-1000% increase in demand and still keep wages down? The often written "...Indian programmers get paid $20K a year, while they cost $100K in the US" is not entirely relevant since Accenture, IBM, Wipro, Infosys charge around $25 per hour ($50K per year)per programmer. Add on this the price of narrow communications, more exact specs., expensive real estate in India, and the main reason I can see for offshoring is to tap the technical expertise of India.
China does not have the main advantage which India has(a large % of the population speaking English), and their technical skills are also not seen as advanced. It is also likely that China will use India for their technical expertise (both of these points made in India Times).
Anyway, in reply to the first post of this thread. My parachute is to train to be a shipping broker (in London). High demand, fast-paced work, pretty good money and most unlikely to be offshored.
Richard
SJ Adnams
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 925
shipping broker
Isn't the whole system paper based at the moment (judging by huge reams of paper that lloyds employees lug around leadenhall)?
Richard Scothern
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 25, 2001
Posts: 83
I have no idea. If it is, then that is one big opportunity.
Richard
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
Steven Broadbent:
- Responding to your message about being laid off every few years.

- In Nov 2000, I moved from Philadelphia, PA to Denver, CO (Qwest/American Management Systems paid for relocation).
- On my first day of work (this is after a 2000 mile relocation), I was laid off. Real nice. Fortunately, I was/still am single, and only rented an apartment, and had not bought a house.
- My favorite job of all time was with Hewlett-Packard, which I picked up after the Qwest fiasco mentioned above. At Hewlett-Packard, I worked in Philly, lived in Denver, and travelled all over USA teaching JSP/Servets/Core Java. Was a total blast - even got a company car.
- Now I am stuck in a box/cube that even a termite would find confining.
-------
- At the age of 40 (I'll be 40 on Wed the 22nd), I want more out of life.
- I got to spend about 6 months after the Hewlett-Packard layoff crusing the west - and fishing every day. I would go out for 3 or 4 weeks at a time and live out of my minivan. Defenitely would like to spend my summers doing that. But, I only get 3 weeks vacation a year... and right now I am using that time for exam study days in nursing school.
---------
- About going for an M.D. degree. Yeah, it's slowly but surely creeping up on me. If I keep kicking butt in my courses, I may look into it.
- I have the $$ to do it (or will have, after another 2 or 3 yrs in the computer game - providing I don't see another layoff). So may consider it.
- Gotta see what happens.
John Coxey
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Jon McDonald:

Why not? Could you paint me a picture of what you think the US software industry will look like then?

I haven't much of a clue. I'm not the best of visionaries. It's much easier to think about what it will not be, e.g. no silver bullet, no widespread adoption of a non-OO technology...
For a number of reasons I have posted in other threads (and reasonably echoed by Richard), outsourcing will not be a viable option for many IT projects.
--Mark
Theodore Casser
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 14, 2001
Posts: 1902

Originally posted by Jon McDonald:
From what my friends tell me there is a huge shortage of qualified science teachers at the highshool level. It is definately something to consider.

Some of that is also shifting requirements - I know that some states (I wouldn't know which ones, unfortunately) are nowadays requiring their science teachers to have degrees in the specialty they're teaching as well as a teaching degree. Couple that with low salaries, and hey, why would most folks want to teach science in the high schools?
(The low salary quip was from talking with my mother - who has a master's from Columbia in education and is now a school principal - about salary in light of my recent purchase of a house. I - Java developer without a college degree, but with 4 years of college courses in Astronomy - make nearly double what she does.)
My advice - programming jobs in the government sector. Many, if not all, contracting and government-employed developer positions in that niche require US citizenship and therefore are safe from being outsourced overseas. [This is my parachute - I spent six years working for .coms and considered going back to teaching hebrew school before I found this gig.]
[ January 14, 2004: Message edited by: Theodore Casser ]

Theodore Jonathan Casser
SCJP/SCSNI/SCBCD/SCWCD/SCDJWS/SCMAD/SCEA/MCTS/MCPD... and so many more letters than you can shake a stick at!
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16228
    
  21

Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:

For a number of reasons I have posted in other threads (and reasonably echoed by Richard), outsourcing will not be a viable option for many IT projects.
--Mark

And, of course, the $65.536 question is "not viable for how many?". We're coming out of the "outsource-everything" phase and into the "it didn't-work-we're-taking-it-back" phase, just as manufacturing did in the preceeding decade. It will take a couple of more iterations (and shifts in the global economy) before anything like equilibrium (whatever that may be) is reached and in the mean time we've been getting killed.
The US TV and radio industry proved to be 100% viable for offshoring, PCs less so (so far), and the auto industry seems to be fairly comfortable in a mixed global/local mode -- though not without some heavy lobbying and government intervention along the way.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Tim Holloway:

We're coming out of the "outsource-everything" phase and into the "it didn't-work-we're-taking-it-back" phase, just as manufacturing did in the preceeding decade.

I disagree. I think we're still in the "outsource-everything" phase which has another 2-4 years easily. Some players are getting burned, but I think the media is doing it's usual due diligence and calling two datapoints a trend.
I think it's still quite a few years before either directors simply hang up at the mention of outsourcing or have "learned" from their mistakes, but will get it right this time. (I'm reminded of that commercial on TV, we're they're talking about the "the 'new new economy won't be anything like the 'old new economy.'")
--Mark
JiaPei Jen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 19, 2000
Posts: 1309
I am not thinking 'car mechanic' type of job as my parachute; nevertheless, those car mechnics (in the D.C. area) tell me that their hourly rate is $60 or $70 per hour, which is certainly higher than what Java developers charge these days. Besides, they always inflate their time spent on my car. For example, I get charged one hour of their time for 15-minute their work according to my wrest watch. The IT salary does not compensate for our education and training!
Matt Cao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 03, 2003
Posts: 715
Originally posted by JiaPei Jen:

Besides, they always inflate their time spent on my car. For example, I get charged one hour of their time for 15-minute their work according to my wrest watch. The IT salary does not compensate for our education and training!

Hi,
I believe it is called experience. For example, if you take your car to different mechanic, he will take days to troubleshoot. You end up rent-a-car and constantly check-in to find out the status of your car. The sharp mechanic know exactly the cure just by listen to the symptoms. He will take his sweet time to resolve the problem and charge you for his experiences. The same goes with medical doctor. At least some I met.
IT does compensate for your experience and training, not all in monetary rewards. Read the company policy first before taking the plunge.
Regards,
MCao
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by JiaPei Jen:
The IT salary does not compensate for our education and training!

Sure it does, but it compensates based on local and global market conditions.* There used to be garbage men (and probably still are) who make 6 figures annually. Think about the ones who have to take out trash by the docks during the middle of the summer, or who go out every day in cold and wet climates.
It's all supply and demand.

*I just realized you're probably using "compensate" meaning "as equivalent payment for" whereas I'm using it as "payment in general." Of course if it does not compensate for sunk costs, then no one will enter the field. I don't think this is the case, generally. Rather, top people are sufficently compensated, people on the lower end of the spectrum (as always no one who would post on this board, because we all know that we're the best and brightest, just ask and of us and we'll tell you), are not. Balence will be achieved eventually as those workers switch fields and/or demand changes.
--Mark
 
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