Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 2nd Dec 2011 22:43 UTC
Legal "A bill recently introduced in Congress would greatly expand the exemption to the Fair Labor Standards Act for IT employees, ending overtime benefits for many more types of workers, including network, database and security specialists." The Democrat senator of North-Carolina has introduced an even worse version of the bill, which specifically exempts database and network specialists and security professionals from overtime benefits. Say, isn't some company building a huge data centre in North-Carolina? I'm sure it's all a coincidence.
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RE[5]: 8 hours pay, 8 hours work
by Alfman on Mon 5th Dec 2011 04:55 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: 8 hours pay, 8 hours work"
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"I'm curious - where are you geographically that the IT market stinks, and for what specialties, if applicable?"

I've spent the entirety of my career on the US north eastern cost.

I had always wanted to specialise in low level algorithm/systems programming. I was in Rochester, NY with my newly minted CS degree when the dotcom bust occurred. I applied to the local places, Kodak being the most famous, but there were just too few opportunities for new grads amidst the layoffs, so I scampered back home. It was a small town and my previous employer of 4 years had gone under. I jumped between low paying jobs before I moved back to NYS for a $40k job, I went broke because my expenses exceeded my income (I was flabbergasted that I couldn't get car insurance for less than $2.2K/6mo, and my $800 rent was twice as much as I'd ever paid anywhere else for a shared living area, etc.). Believe it or not looking back at those years makes me laugh today.

I discovered that I could find much more work doing less technical jobs, like web design. But it's quite a jump down down in salary and prestige to what I consider my core abilities. I believe my work history is working against me when I apply for the more technical R&D roles I seek. I've been at interviews where they wouldn't consider abilities outside of my professional work history, even declining to look at my personal projects (I find some very interesting, I should post them here some time.)

I've switched to contracting projects, and I find that there is unmet demand for cheap developers doing web development, but I've had to lower my own rates compared to a few years ago, though it's inching back (ugh, then there's inflation). Also, I've learned the hard way that consultants cannot rely on 100% of the income they're supposed to receive. I'm owed a couple thousand dollars that I know I'll never see.

I'm not going to say CS is worse than any other career choice, it probably isn't. But anyone who thinks that there are tons of jobs awaiting anyone having talent and a degree needs a reality check. The universities have been pumping out tons of grads and there haven't been nearly enough jobs. Of course, local conditions may paint differing pictures, YMMV.

My advice to anyone pursuing the field: Your classwork is much less important to getting a desirable job than having a proverbial foot in the door. Spend your energy accordingly and make connections with people having the authority to hire you upon graduation.

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