I worked at a startup, so I know how the programming market works.
Corwin wrote:Do you actually know anything about tech employment? Most of the things you claim don't hold true in a lot of cases.
The things you mentioned apply to the 1% of programmers who have the qualifications to get Google, Facebook, etc. That's like the Wachtell of software companies.
Lateraling for programming usually results in a 20%+ raise. True, it is difficult to get a large raise within a company, but if you really want a lot of money you just switch companies a few times every 3-5 years.
Yeah you can ramp up pretty quickly this way, but you hit a cap pretty quickly above $100k where this stops working so well.
That can happen to certain types of programmers. It doesn't happen to anyone who went through a decent engineering program and was above the median (i.e. anyone competent).
Absolutely not true. A lot of established companies will staff up projects, run them for a few years, then lay everyone off when the project is done, whether they're competent or not. Had friends who this happened to at Lucent and Broadcom. Of course you can pretty easily find a new job if you have the qualifications, but moving around like that is a PITA and makes it harder to set down roots where you can shoot for management.
Competent programmers who are willing to put in strenuous hours are either highly compensated or they are working at a startup. Anyone who is working strenuous hours and getting paid an average about is probably well below the median or just really naive.
Dude this is not even close to true. Many software companies are total sweatshops. http://dir.salon.com/tech/feature/2004/ ... and_games/
Programmers who are capable of doing something truly kick ass start a startup, retain all their IP, and get rich. A lot of companies also payout bonuses and do profit sharing for patents. Programmers who get screwed out of their IP are working for a shitty company.
Doing a startup is much less practical, even for programmers, in capital-intensive fields. A guy with a great idea can do a web startup for nothing, but someone with a killer idea for software to improve semiconductor manufacturing cannot get the resources to do a startup. Instead, they work for a "shitty company" like IBM which pays them a $10,000 bonus for their idea which makes the company millions.
LOL. And herein you reveal the reason why you seem to be so misguided when it comes to programmers. Whatever experience you have with programmer is clearly from the bottom of the barrel, likely at a large, slow moving company. Compare to Google, Facebook, and startups, where Engineering >> Management.
There are a handful of internet-generation companies where engineering rules management. Most programmers do not work at such companies. They're employed at companies like IBM, Lockheed, etc, where pointy-haired MBAs definitely run the show. Large and slow moving they may be, but not exactly bottom of the barrel.
Programmers who want to own equity start a startup. I can move to California tomorrow and have a chance at a few million in VC funding after a couple of months. Programmers have the ultimate meritocracy. They can work hard, get VC funding, and succeed on their own merit. This is in sharp contrast to lawyers, who rarely start their own firms right out of law school and work for 6-10 years before they get equity.
"Just do startups bro!"
Seriously, if you have a stupid social networking idea yeah and VC-friendly credentials, head to Silicon Valley and pitch it. If you've got good ideas in any other area, good luck with that.