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Some thoughts on postings in this forum of late

Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
In the past month or so I've noticed a number of postings asking about companies. They typically ask "does anyone know about company XXX?" or "should I go to company YYY or ZZZ?"

Personally I find these threads not only meaningless, but damaging. The replies generally are anecdotal and so limited in number as to be meaningless. For any major company (over a 100-200 people) you will always be able to find someone who thinks it is fantastic and someone who thinks it was a nightmare. Basing your decision based on which one of those two uses this forum is gambling with your future. Perhaps I'm assuming too much, and people use this as one of many avenues, but I suspect anecdotal evidence is very over weighted.

It also makes the forum very noisy and detracts from the usefulness of it. Questions about career paths or technology trends are questions many others will share--thousands of people. Asking about a specific company is a question maybe 1-2 other people would find useful, if that. (This also goes for asking about salaries at a particular company, a question we seem o see 2-3 times per week.)

Much better, I would suggest using tools like Ryze or LinkedIn and using your network to find people in it who work for the company in question. You will get much more reliable information that way. It is also a better way to submit your resume than--in another type of question I find equally useless--posting to a forum and asking strangers to pass on your resume to a company.

I would like to discourage these questions. While I am not officially going to do anything about it at the moment, I may be more proactive in the future.

That said, this forum is for you. I would like to hear opinions of others on this subject.

--Mark
Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6661
    
    5

Although there are quite a few posts here enquiring about salaries and companies in the south asia region i dont think they are damaging in any way to the forum itself. Some queries are answered and others are not and yes, the person posting such queries should know that the replies are only guide lines and they should not take a decision to join or quit a company based on these replies alone.

I think the ratio of such questions ( where a question about a specific company is raised ) to questions like career shift or something everyone can read, is a bit of a problem. If we have fewer questions about specific companies and "paymasters" i think it would be better. My 2c


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Mike Van
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 06, 2006
Posts: 83
Mark,

I remember back a few years when the website "Fu**edCompany.com" was in the news, right after the bubble burst. A lot of people came out of the woodwork with andecdotes about thier companies that shed light on thier long-term viability. In that environment of many companies defrauding their employees and society, having a window into thier daily activities painted the pictures other professionals needed before submitting thier resumes.

Now-a-days we have the same issue, but not at the large scale of the early 90's. In the absence of any other facts, I'll accept anecdotal evidence over complete ignorance. Many of the individuals asking about these companies are likely dealing with a severe lack of information.

Besides, what's the worst thing that could happen? We get some great stories to share!


Mike Van
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Unless you really suck at it. Then, you might just want to try something else, if you dont' want to be a loser I mean.
Devesh H Rao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 09, 2002
Posts: 687

I wholeheartedly agree with Mark,

It is indeed true that some information is better than no information I would like the posters to maintain some decorum.

Running down companies having strength in thousands as thrash is something which needs to be backed by a bit more than anecdotal incidences, say for example any articles, litigation, lawsuits against the company as proof to back up the reviews.

Lets us play the �Be Nice� rule guys, if we have an opinion lets state it, but back it up with stuff which gives an factual edge to the opinion, so that it does not sound like a shoot from the mouth quote.
Kj Reddy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 20, 2003
Posts: 1704
I agree with Mark and John Meyers.

A person need to do his own ground work before asking a question. And the question should be more generic which can be helpful to other Rachers.

I feel many questions looks very specific to money and most of questions shows their greediness. And if some one comments on their grediness they are not ready to take it positively.
Anjali Shah
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 17, 2006
Posts: 41
I think it will also help if we urge people to continue an existing thread rather than making a new thread when asking about an XYZ company...
alfred jones
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 19, 2005
Posts: 279
My Opinion:

this forum is drawing much more attention and heavy trafic ...because this forum provides unbiased responses because of the qualified forum members.

people are posting grievances sometimes here and sometimes they are getting the solution.(may be from companies or may be from volunteers)

people are confused about career decision (like money vs knowledge) and voluteers are providing guidances.


people are listing fraud companies here so that others become bit alert about choosing this company and checks for authencity.

I would be unhappy to see shutting down these activities.

we can not expect "good posts" all the time....there are "bad posts" in all forum or wherever.

except couple of posts , the forum rocks.

and YES... we have observed nobody gives responses on bad posts....so, there is not much to worry.

let the "job discussion" grows !

Alfred
Svend Rost
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 23, 2002
Posts: 904
Im not against the company specific questions, but as
John mentions I see the ratio of company/salary to more
general questions as a problem.

/Svend Rost
Svend Rost
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 23, 2002
Posts: 904
Originally posted by alfred jones:
let the "job discussion" grows !


But is it that simple? if the ratio between "good" and "bad" posts is too
high you might loose some participants because they wont bother to search
the list of topics for a "meaningfull" discussion.
pankaj shukla
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 22, 2006
Posts: 21
Originally posted by Mike Van:
Mark,

In the absence of any other facts, I'll accept anecdotal evidence over complete ignorance. Many of the individuals asking about these companies are likely dealing with a severe lack of information.

Besides, what's the worst thing that could happen? We get some great stories to share!


I agree with Mike here. Right now things do not look bad. I personally feel that there is absolutely no reason why something should be done to stop these posting which are ralated to jobs and salaries.

A few opinions are better than no information at all.

Opinions should be taken with a great care though. Although, I personally do not like greedy ppl and job-hoppers but I do believe that some people who have genuine need should not suffer.
Let people express their honest opinions rather than expressing politically correct opinions. Having said that some sort of decorum should definitely be maintained.
David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

I'd have to agree with Mark. The requests I have seen are looking for any type of comment, informed or not. I would prefer suggestions based on rumour to one where the basis is completely unknown as there is rarely any substantiation to the comments.

I don't see how these would be better than nothing as, at best, they may only be based on freely available information such as the company web site and internet searches. In this case it is information you should be collecting yourself and not relying on a distilled version from an unknown source.

Just adding my opinion
Saliya Jinadasa
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 21, 2003
Posts: 49
What about having a separate forum for company specific quries so that people who are not interested in have a choice not to visit that forum ?

-Saliya
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
The quality of the comments is less of a concern to me. I do think the quality is poor, but if that's what people wish to follow, that is their decision.

My larger concern is with the overall quality of the forum. This is not f**ked company. This is not a place for rumors and anecdotes about companies. This is a place where people in the software industry can talk about their jobs and careers. (Anecdotes are part of that, but a small part.)

What concerns me more is that new people to the forum will see the vast majority of questions irrelevant to their needs, and choose to not get involved, hence the forum will not grow.

--Mark
Sonny Gill
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 02, 2002
Posts: 1211

I totally agree with Mark H.

A couple of years ago, I used to take real interest in the Jobs Discussion forum (another one was the Jobs discussion on Marcus Green's JCHQ).
But now, with such a large number of the posts targeting particular companies and salaries, I find it is too much trouble to sort through the posts in JD to find something of interest.

I remember that this was also being discussed in the JavaRanch forum sometime ago, and one of the suggestions that came up was to have a separate forum for India/S.E. Asia jobs discussion. Perhaps the idea of having a separate forum for companies/salaries discussion has some merit.


The future is here. It's just not evenly distributed yet. - William Gibson
Consultant @ Xebia. Sonny Gill Tweets
Biren shah
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 13, 2005
Posts: 107
Ya mark,
you are right,

I have seen lots of post this days asking regarding two-three companies which are all big MNC's of india.

Guys common if you cant decide which company you can join how can you succeed?

IN software field you should not take decisions depending upon companies but depending upoin the projects offered to you and the technology you going to work.

Let me point out guys this problem is regarding high man power shortage in india.

Companies have a JOB fair where by each candidate is offered 3-4 offers.
Also in Campus-recruitment people get 4-5 offers.

I would admit that a genuine post/query regarding an unknow company can be allowed but those asking to choose between two big MNC's like ACCENTURE and IBM are ridiculous


Biren Shah<br />scjp 93%<br />scwcd 1.4 92%
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16055
    
  21

Democracy / the free market in action. To even have these sort of questions and answers highlights the difference between the labor opportunities there and here.

Yes, you can get people who'll present a distorted view of things, but as far as that goes, I can name a company or 2 that routinely shows up in the local business press as "Best Place to Work" even though people I know in them swear that said organizations treat employees like their "Most Important Assets" in the sense more of Disposable or Consumable Assets than as something worth cultivating.

So, if you like your information sources pre-sanitized and all "proper", so be it. In a democracy, you have to look for large enough statistical samples that the noise gets swamped by the signal.


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

Joined: Feb 10, 2004
Posts: 451
I think I agree with Mark. I was an active participant in this forum for a long time but dropped out (in part) because of the problem he cited. I would like to see it return to something closer to what it once was.
Victor Banerjee
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 30, 2005
Posts: 88
Way to go Mark.

I completely agree with you on this. The sheer number of threads make this forum useless, since if I post a thread today, within the next 10 minutes, it disappears to the next page and hence out of visibility of people who could have responded.

While, more threads are good news for a forum, too many useless thread defeat the purpose.
Jason Cox
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 287
I have dropped out of late largely because of the direction Mark has talked about. I really enjoy the technology field and I enjoy discussing career opportunities and paths with people. I really want to do anything I can to share my success with others.

However, when this place became almost exclusively about "Tell me about Company X" and 90% of the time they're asking about a location in India without specifying it's India, there isn't much to discussion. Besides which that is not "work" discussion anyway.

Working in consulting I often have to work alongside other firms that are actually competitors. Some of them I have seen behave very badly and essentially screw over the client. Despite this I find it unprofessional to badmouth those companies to the client. I would certainly speak up about poor performance if they were working on the same project but for the most part I don't want to look like I am smearing them.

That is what usually happens here when people start going into detail about former workplaces. Not only do I not know anything about Indian companies, and thus will never have anything to add, but I also won't participate in smearing former companies simply because things could have changed there or my perception may be skewed due to my bitterness. I've seen companies where one employee can't stand the place and one of their peers on the same team absolutely loves it. What a "good" work environment is being defined as is up to the individual.

If anything, if you thought that a workplace was poor, go into specifics. Don't tell me they treat their people bad, tell me what they do that you perceive as bad. Some people think an employer is bad because they blocked porn on the Internet proxy. Maybe that's a showstopper for one person, it certainly won't be for another.
Devesh H Rao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 09, 2002
Posts: 687

Originally posted by Rob Aught:
.......
If anything, if you thought that a workplace was poor, go into specifics. Don't tell me they treat their people bad, tell me what they do that you perceive as bad. Some people think an employer is bad because they blocked porn on the Internet proxy. Maybe that's a showstopper for one person, it certainly won't be for another.


perfect.... could'nt agree with you more.
 
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subject: Some thoughts on postings in this forum of late