How to Keep Your Job         Dave ThomasThe Pragmatic Programmers, LLCwww.pragmaticprogrammer.com
“For people who view this as a career, engineering is in worseshape now than it’s been in years”              LeEarl Bryan...
Our Future is at Stake•   Look at threats to our livelihood•   See why large-scale solutions won’t help us•   Look at a lo...
TheThreats
at hre eT n   O      Things Move Too Fast
at hre eT n   O      Things Move Too Fast“The half-life of engineeringknowledge, the time it takes  for something to becom...
The Graying Developer• Younger folks:  – grow up with the new technologies  – are cheaper  – say “no” less often  – don’t ...
The Graying Developer•   Younger folks:    •   are often more attractive to employers
atThre o   TwReliance on a Sector
at  Thre o     TwReliance on a Sector• I’m an XYZ programmer.
at  Thre o     TwReliance on a Sector• I’m an XYZ programmer.• Or, the special case:  • I’m a Java programmer.  • Start de...
Reliance on a Company•   Companies such as:    •   Digital Equipment    •   Tandem    •   Honeywell    •   and Sun...
Reliance on a SectorTwo Year Historical - Sun Microsystems. 01/06/03
Reliance on a SectorTwo Year Historical - Sun Microsystems. 01/06/03
Reliance on a SectorTwo Year Historical - Sun Microsystems. 01/06/03
Reliance on a SectorTwo Year Historical - Sun Microsystems. 01/06/03
Reliance on a SectorTwo Year Historical - Sun vs. Microsoft
at hre eT re  Th      The Market
at               hre e              T re                Th      The Market(CNN) -- Just as Fridays new Labor Departmentrep...
at               hre e              T re                Th      The Market(CNN) -- Just as Fridays new Labor Departmentrep...
Nearly 1 million IT-related jobswill move offshore over the courseof the next 15 years, according toa new report released ...
WHY?
Reasons to Move
Reasons to Move•   Sometimes political
Reasons to Move•   Sometimes political•   Sometimes cost    •   same as “young developers are cheaper”
Reasons to Move•   Sometimes political•   Sometimes cost    •   same as “young developers are cheaper”•   Often quality…
Overseas developerscan write good code
Capability Maturity Model
Capability Maturity Model•   Measures sophistication of software    development organizations
Capability Maturity Model•   Measures sophistication of software    development organizations•   Acts as a set of targets,...
Capability Maturity Model•   Measures sophistication of software    development organizations•   Acts as a set of targets,...
CMM Levels
CMM Levels• Level 1 (initial): little or no rules. Heroic effort
CMM Levels• Level 1 (initial): little or no rules. Heroic effort• Level 2 (repeatable): Basic project  management, differs...
CMM Levels• Level 1 (initial): little or no rules. Heroic effort• Level 2 (repeatable): Basic project  management, differs...
CMM Levels
CMM Levels• Level 4 (managed): Management use precise  measurements for effective control of  development.
CMM Levels• Level 4 (managed): Management use precise  measurements for effective control of  development.• Level 5 (optim...
CMM Level 4             USA             41%Overseas 59%                 Source: http://www.sei.cmu.edu/sema/profile.html
CMM Level 5           USA           17%Overseas 83%                 Source: http://www.sei.cmu.edu/sema/profile.html
This is the new world, and failing torecognize it is no different than IBM failing torecognize in the 80’s how important P...
I think its largely an arrogance problem:“They” cant be better than “us”.Were too smart.
Threat Summary  The gravy train isrunning out of steam.
Solutions
tion  olu :     ne Rely   on GovernmentS   O
tion  olu :     ne Rely   on GovernmentS   O• Legislate against outsourcing   – e.g. NJ Senate bill 1349
tion  olu :     ne Rely   on GovernmentS   O• Legislate against outsourcing   – e.g. NJ Senate bill 1349• Reduce H1B cap
tion  olu :     ne Rely   on GovernmentS   O• Legislate against outsourcing   – e.g. NJ Senate bill 1349• Reduce H1B cap• ...
Protectionism
Protectionism• Doesn’t work!
Protectionism• Doesn’t work!• Economic reasons: protectionism hurts us as  a country
Protectionism• Doesn’t work!• Economic reasons: protectionism hurts us as  a country• Practical reasons:   – companies suc...
H1B Quotas• 195,000 H1B’s in 2003• 65,000 thereafter• Failed to reach cap this year•
H1B Quotas• What happens if we dramatically cut the  quota?   – jobs move abroad   – we lose access to experience•
tion  olu :S    Two Rely   on our Companies
tion  olu :S    Two Rely   on our Companies  • What is their motivation?    – new graduates are cheaper, and will work    ...
• Our government isn’t going to do it
• Our government isn’t going to do it• Our companies aren’t going to do it
• Our government isn’t going to do it• Our companies aren’t going to do it• It’s up to each of us
tion  olu :     Rely on OurselvesS   Three • Our government isn’t going to do it • Our companies aren’t going to do it • I...
Invest   inYourself
Lessons from          Personal Finance• Good investors:   – have a plan   – diversify   – look for value   – are active, n...
Knowledge Portfolio•   Value comes from:    •   what we know    •   knowing how to apply it
Have a Plan• Consider pace of change• Look beyond current fads•                             !   √!   have a plan          ...
Have a Plan: Example 1• You believe:  – outsourcing will increase over time  – your technical skills may become eclipsed
Have a Plan: Example 1• You plan:  – Now: to become familiar with distributed    project implementation tools  – Next Year...
Have a Plan: Example 2• You believe:  – coding will be gradually eclipsed by    modeling  – you have better than average  ...
Have a Plan: Example 2• You plan:  – Now: start learning about MDA. Read    books, subscribe to ML  – Next Year: find an an...
Have a Plan: Example 3• You believe:  – you are an great, intuitive, developer  – you enjoy coding challenges  – you want ...
Have a Plan: Example 3• You plan:  – Now: identify areas that will not be    outsourced (core business, emerging    techno...
Diversify• Don’t have all your eggs in one technology  basket• Across multiple dimensions   – languages   – techniques   –...
Diversify• Mixture of risk/return profiles   – have some low risk, low return      • e.g.: .NET, Web Services, mobile      ...
Diversify• Remember:   – almost all investments have some return   – learning AOP, Haskell, … will always     make you a b...
Look for Value• Value is long term• Time ≠ value  – the EverQuest syndrome• Applicability  – but don’t forget diversity• N...
Active Investor• Periodically evaluate your (knowledge)  portfolio   – performing as you’d planned?   – have external circ...
Invest Regularly• Invest a minimum amount of time each  month• Helps to have a ritual  – whatever works for you• Plan time...
Pragmatic Investment Plan   • Invest minimum two hours each week       – good times and bad   • Combines individual and gr...
PIP: Possible Schedule• One week/month:   – spend the time in a user group meeting   – plan to give talk every two years  ...
PIP: Possible Schedule• One week/month:   – spend the time learning a new language or     environment      • make it diffe...
PIP: Possible Schedule• One week/month:   – spend the time reading a high-quality     book.   – avoid low-level recipe boo...
Non-Technical Books Gold-mine of applicable information. Eg:• How to Open Locks with Improvised Tools. Hans  Conkel.• From...
PIP: Possible Schedule• One week/month:   – work on your personal plan
Pragmatic Investment Plan•   Work with others•   Reflect on your plan every 4-6 months•   More time is better than less•   ...
In The Long Term…• Things will continue to get more complicated• Competition for work will increase• Externally imposed co...
In the Long Term• We have to look out for ourselves• We have to invest in ourselves• We have to plan 5-10 years out•
In the Long Term•   We have the control•   We have the responsibility•   We have the opportunity
How to Keep Your Job         Dave ThomasThe Pragmatic Programmers, LLCwww.pragmaticprogrammer.com
ExtraBuild a career portfolio
How To Keep Your Job
How To Keep Your Job
How To Keep Your Job
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How To Keep Your Job

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This is an old talk from 2003/4, but I was asked to post it in 2012.

Perhaps the outsourcing issues have changed, but the idea of investing in yourself is as important now as ever.

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  • \n
  • What’s the difference between a roomful of programmers and a box of last years Christmas lights? Next year some of the lights may still be working.\n\nClearly there’s a current downturn, but all the bad news is helping us to ignore even worse underlying news. \n\nNext slide: talk outline\n
  • Make no mistake. Our current careers are under threat. There’s a good chance that half the folks in this room won’t be developers in five years, and the ten year outlook is even worse.\n\nAnd yet we still have mortgages to pay, families to support, and shiny new toys to buy. What can we do? That’s what this talk is about.\n\nNext\n
  • \n
  • We’ll look at three big threats. There are many, many more. \n\nEg don’t consider the glut of ex dot com developers, the folks with no real development background who got sucked in during the crazed times and now dilute the job pool for the rest of us. \n\nInstead we’ll look at longer term threats: threats that stay with us \n
  • Ignore the interesting definition of half-life...\n\nWe work hard to learn something, only to have it become obsolete in a handful of years. \n\nShh.. listen to that ticking. That’s the sound of our knowledge becoming less and less valuable.\n\nAnd, to make it worse, there are folks who are cheating...\n
  • People coming along behind us start further down the curve. They grow up with the new technologies. They don’t carry the baggage of the older stuff. And then to add insult to injury, they don’t expect to be paid as much.\n
  • At this point some of the younger programmers out there may be feeling pretty smug.\n\nFolks, you’ll be old programmers in five years.\n\nOK, so we’re struggling to keep up with all this new technology. What other threats are we facing?\n\n
  • Specialization is for insects...\n\n but still we’re forced to specialize. Lazy employers push us to specialize with their ridiculous job ads. The sheer size of the field forces us into obscure corners. \n\nSo after a while we give in and accept it. We no longer say “we’re developers”, but we proudly say\n\n<transition>\n\nWe pin our careers and our futures to technologies and the companies that underly them. \n\nNext slide: list of companies\n
  • Specialization is for insects...\n\n but still we’re forced to specialize. Lazy employers push us to specialize with their ridiculous job ads. The sheer size of the field forces us into obscure corners. \n\nSo after a while we give in and accept it. We no longer say “we’re developers”, but we proudly say\n\n<transition>\n\nWe pin our careers and our futures to technologies and the companies that underly them. \n\nNext slide: list of companies\n
  • \n
  • Magic share price is around $1.75 - that values Sun at its bank balance. Explain...\n\nSuddenly, Java doesn’t seem quite so safe. There are folks who’d step in: IBM, for example.\nBut this of the impact of managers: CTOs and CIOs making the .NET vs. Java decision. How much does Sun going out of business affect their perception of the risk of Java? \n\nSometimes people say “well, Microsoft got hit badly too” <slide>\n\n
  • Magic share price is around $1.75 - that values Sun at its bank balance. Explain...\n\nSuddenly, Java doesn’t seem quite so safe. There are folks who’d step in: IBM, for example.\nBut this of the impact of managers: CTOs and CIOs making the .NET vs. Java decision. How much does Sun going out of business affect their perception of the risk of Java? \n\nSometimes people say “well, Microsoft got hit badly too” <slide>\n\n
  • Magic share price is around $1.75 - that values Sun at its bank balance. Explain...\n\nSuddenly, Java doesn’t seem quite so safe. There are folks who’d step in: IBM, for example.\nBut this of the impact of managers: CTOs and CIOs making the .NET vs. Java decision. How much does Sun going out of business affect their perception of the risk of Java? \n\nSometimes people say “well, Microsoft got hit badly too” <slide>\n\n
  • \nSo, we’ve talked about technical obsolescence, and we’re talked now about the risks of putting all your eggs in one basket (a choice we’re almost forced to make).\n\nThere’s one more threat we’re going to talk about. \n\n\n
  • We live in a capitalist world. The market is king. Particularly in the US, we leave the market to regulate much of what we do. We vote with our dollars and our feet. If domestic car manufacturers start producing models we don’t like, or that aren’t reliable, some folks shift to buying imports. That gradual pressure forces Ford and Chevrolet to rethink what they do, until they start to recapture market share. The market is a kind of Darwinian pool in which we all float, and in which the customer’s judgment is the determiner of who survives.\n\nThere’s a market in software development. As developers, we’re part of it.\n\nAnd that market is now world-wide.\n<transition>\nNow we’re all used to this trend. As stuff becomes commoditized (shoes, clothing, manufacturing, electronics, ...) it moves to where the labor is cheaper. In general this is a good thing for the economy (although it sucks if you work in that industry): we move on, adding value at a higher and higher level. But now we’re seeing something new.\n<transition>\nRead quote - stress “working in them for many years, an in come cases their whole lifetimes” High tech jobs are moving abroad. Much software development has become a commodity. And we’re the people who whom it sucks. Don’t believe me?\n\n\n
  • We live in a capitalist world. The market is king. Particularly in the US, we leave the market to regulate much of what we do. We vote with our dollars and our feet. If domestic car manufacturers start producing models we don’t like, or that aren’t reliable, some folks shift to buying imports. That gradual pressure forces Ford and Chevrolet to rethink what they do, until they start to recapture market share. The market is a kind of Darwinian pool in which we all float, and in which the customer’s judgment is the determiner of who survives.\n\nThere’s a market in software development. As developers, we’re part of it.\n\nAnd that market is now world-wide.\n<transition>\nNow we’re all used to this trend. As stuff becomes commoditized (shoes, clothing, manufacturing, electronics, ...) it moves to where the labor is cheaper. In general this is a good thing for the economy (although it sucks if you work in that industry): we move on, adding value at a higher and higher level. But now we’re seeing something new.\n<transition>\nRead quote - stress “working in them for many years, an in come cases their whole lifetimes” High tech jobs are moving abroad. Much software development has become a commodity. And we’re the people who whom it sucks. Don’t believe me?\n\n\n
  • Electronics/electrical is the faster migrator to all areas: Chin, Mexico, Asia, and Latin America. Jobs we’re used to losing (such as apparel, footwear, and autoparts) have already left the building.\n\nHow big is this problem?\n
  • This is out of a total of roughly 3 million jobs that will be lost to overseas workers.\n\n\n
  • \n
  • Political: if you want to sell in our country, x% of your product must be made here\n\nCost: Foreign companies have lower overhead\n\nBut never make the mistake of assuming that because it’s cheaper, software produced abroad is lower quality. Sometimes companies outsource work because the quality is higher.\n\nLet me emphasize this: <transition>\n
  • Political: if you want to sell in our country, x% of your product must be made here\n\nCost: Foreign companies have lower overhead\n\nBut never make the mistake of assuming that because it’s cheaper, software produced abroad is lower quality. Sometimes companies outsource work because the quality is higher.\n\nLet me emphasize this: <transition>\n
  • Political: if you want to sell in our country, x% of your product must be made here\n\nCost: Foreign companies have lower overhead\n\nBut never make the mistake of assuming that because it’s cheaper, software produced abroad is lower quality. Sometimes companies outsource work because the quality is higher.\n\nLet me emphasize this: <transition>\n
  • They don’t all write good code, but most countries that have been handling outsourcing for 7-10 years are capable of delivering standard commercial applications of high quality. There’s strong evidence for this.\n
  • Ask audience:\n\nHow many folks have heard of CMM\n\nHow many of your companies participate in the CMM program (keep you hands up)\n\nLower you hand if you company is CMM level 2 or lower\n\n3\n4\n5\n\nWhat’s all this business with levels?\n
  • Ask audience:\n\nHow many folks have heard of CMM\n\nHow many of your companies participate in the CMM program (keep you hands up)\n\nLower you hand if you company is CMM level 2 or lower\n\n3\n4\n5\n\nWhat’s all this business with levels?\n
  • Ask audience:\n\nHow many folks have heard of CMM\n\nHow many of your companies participate in the CMM program (keep you hands up)\n\nLower you hand if you company is CMM level 2 or lower\n\n3\n4\n5\n\nWhat’s all this business with levels?\n
  • “Heroic Effort” means developers constantly stepping in to fight fires and get the job done. CMM is not just concerned with the outcome, but how you got there.\n\nLevel two is “hmm - it’d be a good idea to manage this mess somehow”\n\nLevel three is senior management banging heads together to try to get some consistency.\n
  • “Heroic Effort” means developers constantly stepping in to fight fires and get the job done. CMM is not just concerned with the outcome, but how you got there.\n\nLevel two is “hmm - it’d be a good idea to manage this mess somehow”\n\nLevel three is senior management banging heads together to try to get some consistency.\n
  • “Heroic Effort” means developers constantly stepping in to fight fires and get the job done. CMM is not just concerned with the outcome, but how you got there.\n\nLevel two is “hmm - it’d be a good idea to manage this mess somehow”\n\nLevel three is senior management banging heads together to try to get some consistency.\n
  • Here we start trying to be objective about what we’re doing, measuring so that we can control\n\n<transition>\n\nand finally using this information as feedback to improve the process.\n\nOn average, a company that’s serious about the CMM takes about 2-2.5 years to transition between levels.\n\nSo, how many CMM companies are there out there? Let’s look at the upper levels, starting with level four\n
  • Here we start trying to be objective about what we’re doing, measuring so that we can control\n\n<transition>\n\nand finally using this information as feedback to improve the process.\n\nOn average, a company that’s serious about the CMM takes about 2-2.5 years to transition between levels.\n\nSo, how many CMM companies are there out there? Let’s look at the upper levels, starting with level four\n
  • These are the August 2002 numbers, the latest survey from the SEI. There are 82 level 4 companies, 34 in the US and 48 overseas.\n\nNow let’s look at CMM level 5\n
  • There are 76 CMM level 5 companies in the world. Of them, 13 are US-based. The remaining 63 are overseas, with the majority in India.\n\nCould be argued that this is a marketing ploy by overseas outsourcing companies: they feel they need CMM level 4 or 5 as a way of convincing US buyers of their commitment to quality. Perhaps that’s true. But given the choice between a CMM level 5 company that can work for $40/hour and a domestic one unable to prove any quality standards that charges $200/hr, where will the work flow?\n\nAnd this isn’t a future. This is now. Let’s look at what a senior manager in one of the world’s top-five companies said in a private e-mail.\n
  • Read..\n\nAnd just to drive the point home, he went on to say\n
  • Pause...\n\nSo, we’ve looked at three kinds of threat: technical obsolescence, eggs in one basket, and now the commoditization of software development, with the attendant migration to cheaper countries.\n\nLet’s summarize\n
  • Life is going to change.\n\nWhat can we do about it?\n
  • Let’s look at some solutions. The first two just plain won’t work (but they are still what people want). The last is our only hope.\n
  • NJ bill says that money spent on public projects must result in work in the US.\n\nThen there’s the hoary H1B issue. The issue here is that developers from other countries come to the US to fill perceived shortfalls in the availability of US workers.\n\nThen we get to the wilder stuff. Perhaps we slap punitive tariffs on imported software. Or we fall back on the governments favorite strategy and legislate randomly.\n\nEconomists call this protectionism. And there’s bad news...\n
  • NJ bill says that money spent on public projects must result in work in the US.\n\nThen there’s the hoary H1B issue. The issue here is that developers from other countries come to the US to fill perceived shortfalls in the availability of US workers.\n\nThen we get to the wilder stuff. Perhaps we slap punitive tariffs on imported software. Or we fall back on the governments favorite strategy and legislate randomly.\n\nEconomists call this protectionism. And there’s bad news...\n
  • NJ bill says that money spent on public projects must result in work in the US.\n\nThen there’s the hoary H1B issue. The issue here is that developers from other countries come to the US to fill perceived shortfalls in the availability of US workers.\n\nThen we get to the wilder stuff. Perhaps we slap punitive tariffs on imported software. Or we fall back on the governments favorite strategy and legislate randomly.\n\nEconomists call this protectionism. And there’s bad news...\n
  • How can we put tariffs on information when $100M of software development can be sent in an e-mail or carried on DVD? \n\nAnd if we do find a way to make it work, who suffers? We lose access to cheap software while the rest of the world benefits. How long will that last?\n\nThe inconveniences of individual developers who lose their jobs is not as significant as the ongoing competitiveness of the country as a whole. The history of other industries tell us this.\n\nAnd then there’s the H1B issue.\n\nAt this point in the presentation, there are normally some H1B folks in the audience looking very nervous. So far I seem to be blaming foreign workers for many of our woes. So let’s look at H1B’s in more detail.\n\n
  • How can we put tariffs on information when $100M of software development can be sent in an e-mail or carried on DVD? \n\nAnd if we do find a way to make it work, who suffers? We lose access to cheap software while the rest of the world benefits. How long will that last?\n\nThe inconveniences of individual developers who lose their jobs is not as significant as the ongoing competitiveness of the country as a whole. The history of other industries tell us this.\n\nAnd then there’s the H1B issue.\n\nAt this point in the presentation, there are normally some H1B folks in the audience looking very nervous. So far I seem to be blaming foreign workers for many of our woes. So let’s look at H1B’s in more detail.\n\n
  • How can we put tariffs on information when $100M of software development can be sent in an e-mail or carried on DVD? \n\nAnd if we do find a way to make it work, who suffers? We lose access to cheap software while the rest of the world benefits. How long will that last?\n\nThe inconveniences of individual developers who lose their jobs is not as significant as the ongoing competitiveness of the country as a whole. The history of other industries tell us this.\n\nAnd then there’s the H1B issue.\n\nAt this point in the presentation, there are normally some H1B folks in the audience looking very nervous. So far I seem to be blaming foreign workers for many of our woes. So let’s look at H1B’s in more detail.\n\n
  • H1Bs were introduced with the intent of filling an apparent shortage of skilled workers. The majority of H1Bs are in IT. H1Bs can stay in the US for up to six years. They have to have an accredited degree or significant corresponding work experience. They have to be sponsored by a company here, which has to prove a need, and prove that the H1B will be paid a wage comparable to an equivalent US worker. The legislation tries to prevent H1B workers from displacing local workers.\n\nDuring the dotcom boom, the H1B cap was raised to 195k visas pa, but it will drop back to 65k next year. This year it failed to reach the cap.\n\nThe H1B program is deeply flawed. But the problem doesn’t lie with the concept, nor with the programmers we invite to the US. The problem lies with corruption at the corporate level. Some employers misstate salaries, lie about their needs and a particular job’s requirements, and fire local workers 90 days after hiring an H1B. \n\nThese companies should be prosecuted. But the system should not be scrapped.\n\nThe truth is I believe philosophically that work should go abroad, and that we should encourage the best of the world’s programmers to come to the US. We can’t stop the former, and the wealth of this country was built on foreign experts. \n\nBut even if you disagree with this, what would happen if we scrapped the program?\n
  • We hurt ourselves. If we accept that H1B workers currently offer the US cheap programmers, then eliminating the program will simply accelerate the outsourcing of entire projects overseas. After all, the pressures that lead to the corruption of the H1B program won’t go away.\n\nThere’s a secondary effect: by isolating ourselves from the rest of the world, we stop learning from some truly great programmers.\n\nSo -- end of rant.\n\nIt looks like there’s not much the government can do. Who else could help?\n
  • Some folks might argue that companies help by providing training: many folks companies will pay for them to come to Jay’s symposium, which is great.\n\nBut ultimately companies train developers to satisfy specific short-term needs. These are for the company’s benefit, and only indirectly benefit the developer. \n\nSo let’s summarize the solutions so far\n
  • So who’s going to help?\n\nWe can summarize this in three words: <next slide>\n
  • So who’s going to help?\n\nWe can summarize this in three words: <next slide>\n
  • So who’s going to help?\n\nWe can summarize this in three words: <next slide>\n
  • So who’s going to help?\n\nWe can summarize this in three words: <next slide>\n
  • If you take nothing else away from this talk, please remember these three words.\n\nBut what does it mean to invest in yourself?\n\nCan we learn from other areas that talk about investing?\n\n I believe so...\n
  • Financial planners keep berating us with tips for handling our investments\n\nHave a plan: am I investing for my retirement, for kid’s college, to buy a new boat.. the objective changes what you do. Classic example is investment term: long term you can afford riskier investments\n\nDiversify: Enron\n\nValue: Look at the fundamentals of your investments. Is there something solid there, or is it just hype?\n\nActive, not passive: keep monitoring your portfolio - rebalance when necessary. NOT THE SAME AS THRASHING\n\nRegular investing: investing has to be a habit, otherwise thing slip.\n\nThis is all sound financial advice. How does it apply to computer programming.\n\n
  • In finance your portfolio is the basket of stocks, bonds, cash, and other investments you own. Their value comes from how much other people think they’re worth.\n\nIn your career, your portfolio is the stuff you know, and, more importantly, your talent at applying it. Its value comes from how well people think you can do this.\n
  • Own judgment: where will industry be. Need to do some research: look for trends, talk with people, read papers, magazines, and books. What are emerging trends?\n\nLook for solid trends, not just fads.\n\nSee where you want to fit in to this.\n\nIdentify the gap, and plan to fill it.\n\nFor example...\n
  • \n
  • \n
  • \n
  • \n
  • \n
  • \n
  • Your don’t want to be left being the expert in an Enron technology\n\nThere are lots of aspects of the stuff we know. Remember them all while diversifying.\n\n\nDon’t talk too much about this one - subsequent slides cover it\n\nDiversification lowers risk by spreading investment.\n\nDiversity also allows you to increase return by including some higher risk/higher reward knowledge in your portfolio. <next slide>\n
  • If you catch a wave, it can accelerate you dramatically. There are fewer early adopters, so if something becomes hot, you can command more money.\n\nDon’t give up your day job...\n
  • Unlike financial investing, knowledge portfolios always accumulate some return.\n
  • In financial investing, so spend money to accumulate more money.\n\nIn your professional portfolio, you expend time to accumulate more wisdom.\n\nIn financial investing, look for investments with strong fundamentals. It’s the same with knowledge investing. Just spending time isn’t the same as building value.\n\nNot just theoretical: how do you know the knowledge you’re accumulating is valuable? LOOK FOR FEEDBACK. Apply it.\n\nAdvice to people just starting out: look for quality of experience, not just salary.\n\n
  • Feedback is important in everything we do. Don’t forget to gather feedback on your investment plan: \n* how well is it doing\n* is it still applicable\n* is it time to rebalance\n\nAm I doing the right thing\nAm I doing it the right way\nDoes it have to be done at all\n\n
  • Norm Kerth - ritual helps when we’re doing something that doesn’t come naturally\n\nMake a commitment to spend at least n hours per month.\n\nThen plan that time: set up a schedule for investment\n
  • Two hours? Where can I find two hours?\n\nInvest it now, or you’ll have all the time in the world to invest it later..\n\nDon’t try to do it alone. Mix group and individual learning opportunities (go into on later slides)\n\nBuild a community.\n\nEmphasis here is on the plan. So what might a typical plan look like\n
  • Obviously you folks are already doing this.\n\nBut to what extent are you actively participating. If you haven’t yet given a talk, seriously consider giving one. While you’re working, look for technologies you’re using that are not as common, or techniques that others might find interesting. \n\nunit testing\na Java API\na database\na design technique\ndeploying applications\n...\n\n
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  • Work towards the objective in your individual plan\n
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  • How To Keep Your Job

    1. 1. How to Keep Your Job Dave ThomasThe Pragmatic Programmers, LLCwww.pragmaticprogrammer.com
    2. 2. “For people who view this as a career, engineering is in worseshape now than it’s been in years” LeEarl Bryant President, IEEE 2002
    3. 3. Our Future is at Stake• Look at threats to our livelihood• See why large-scale solutions won’t help us• Look at a local solution that will
    4. 4. TheThreats
    5. 5. at hre eT n O Things Move Too Fast
    6. 6. at hre eT n O Things Move Too Fast“The half-life of engineeringknowledge, the time it takes for something to become obsolete, is from 7 to 2.5 years” William Wulf, President, National Academy of Engineering
    7. 7. The Graying Developer• Younger folks: – grow up with the new technologies – are cheaper – say “no” less often – don’t have as many other commitments•
    8. 8. The Graying Developer• Younger folks: • are often more attractive to employers
    9. 9. atThre o TwReliance on a Sector
    10. 10. at Thre o TwReliance on a Sector• I’m an XYZ programmer.
    11. 11. at Thre o TwReliance on a Sector• I’m an XYZ programmer.• Or, the special case: • I’m a Java programmer. • Start depending on technologies and the companies that back them
    12. 12. Reliance on a Company• Companies such as: • Digital Equipment • Tandem • Honeywell • and Sun...
    13. 13. Reliance on a SectorTwo Year Historical - Sun Microsystems. 01/06/03
    14. 14. Reliance on a SectorTwo Year Historical - Sun Microsystems. 01/06/03
    15. 15. Reliance on a SectorTwo Year Historical - Sun Microsystems. 01/06/03
    16. 16. Reliance on a SectorTwo Year Historical - Sun Microsystems. 01/06/03
    17. 17. Reliance on a SectorTwo Year Historical - Sun vs. Microsoft
    18. 18. at hre eT re Th The Market
    19. 19. at hre e T re Th The Market(CNN) -- Just as Fridays new Labor Departmentreport shows the United States unemployment ratesoaring in August to 4.9 percent from 4.6 percent, anewly released, federally funded study reveals thata significant number of production jobs are shiftingfrom the American workplace to China.
    20. 20. at hre e T re Th The Market(CNN) -- Just as Fridays new Labor Departmentreport shows the United States unemployment ratesoaring in August to 4.9 percent from 4.6 percent, anewly released, federally funded study reveals thata significant number of production jobs are shiftingfrom the American workplace to China. "What makes it worse," she says, "is that some of these are higher-wage jobs, the type jobs that U.S. cities have been fighting to win. And now theyre leaving. Many of those jobs were held by people whod been working in them for many years, and in some cases their whole lifetimes."
    21. 21. Nearly 1 million IT-related jobswill move offshore over the courseof the next 15 years, according toa new report released by Forrester Research, Inc. Source: http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/career/article.php/1503461
    22. 22. WHY?
    23. 23. Reasons to Move
    24. 24. Reasons to Move• Sometimes political
    25. 25. Reasons to Move• Sometimes political• Sometimes cost • same as “young developers are cheaper”
    26. 26. Reasons to Move• Sometimes political• Sometimes cost • same as “young developers are cheaper”• Often quality…
    27. 27. Overseas developerscan write good code
    28. 28. Capability Maturity Model
    29. 29. Capability Maturity Model• Measures sophistication of software development organizations
    30. 30. Capability Maturity Model• Measures sophistication of software development organizations• Acts as a set of targets, each better than the last
    31. 31. Capability Maturity Model• Measures sophistication of software development organizations• Acts as a set of targets, each better than the last• Five “CMM Levels”
    32. 32. CMM Levels
    33. 33. CMM Levels• Level 1 (initial): little or no rules. Heroic effort
    34. 34. CMM Levels• Level 1 (initial): little or no rules. Heroic effort• Level 2 (repeatable): Basic project management, differs between projects.
    35. 35. CMM Levels• Level 1 (initial): little or no rules. Heroic effort• Level 2 (repeatable): Basic project management, differs between projects.• Level 3 (defined): Development across the organization follows same rules
    36. 36. CMM Levels
    37. 37. CMM Levels• Level 4 (managed): Management use precise measurements for effective control of development.
    38. 38. CMM Levels• Level 4 (managed): Management use precise measurements for effective control of development.• Level 5 (optimizing): Quantitative feedback from previous projects used to improve next generation of projects,
    39. 39. CMM Level 4 USA 41%Overseas 59% Source: http://www.sei.cmu.edu/sema/profile.html
    40. 40. CMM Level 5 USA 17%Overseas 83% Source: http://www.sei.cmu.edu/sema/profile.html
    41. 41. This is the new world, and failing torecognize it is no different than IBM failing torecognize in the 80’s how important PCs andcommodity hardware were going to be…orfailing to recognize for some time that theyhad “lost” the PC market and forging aheadwith OS/2 and the PowerPC chip. -- a senior manager...
    42. 42. I think its largely an arrogance problem:“They” cant be better than “us”.Were too smart.
    43. 43. Threat Summary The gravy train isrunning out of steam.
    44. 44. Solutions
    45. 45. tion olu : ne Rely on GovernmentS O
    46. 46. tion olu : ne Rely on GovernmentS O• Legislate against outsourcing – e.g. NJ Senate bill 1349
    47. 47. tion olu : ne Rely on GovernmentS O• Legislate against outsourcing – e.g. NJ Senate bill 1349• Reduce H1B cap
    48. 48. tion olu : ne Rely on GovernmentS O• Legislate against outsourcing – e.g. NJ Senate bill 1349• Reduce H1B cap• Perhaps… • Tariffs on imported software • Legislate randomly
    49. 49. Protectionism
    50. 50. Protectionism• Doesn’t work!
    51. 51. Protectionism• Doesn’t work!• Economic reasons: protectionism hurts us as a country
    52. 52. Protectionism• Doesn’t work!• Economic reasons: protectionism hurts us as a country• Practical reasons: – companies such as GE, EDS, IBM have offices around the world – how could it be enforced anyway?
    53. 53. H1B Quotas• 195,000 H1B’s in 2003• 65,000 thereafter• Failed to reach cap this year•
    54. 54. H1B Quotas• What happens if we dramatically cut the quota? – jobs move abroad – we lose access to experience•
    55. 55. tion olu :S Two Rely on our Companies
    56. 56. tion olu :S Two Rely on our Companies • What is their motivation? – new graduates are cheaper, and will work longer hours – offshore programmers are cheaper, and offer good quality – tools are more reliable than those funky people anyway
    57. 57. • Our government isn’t going to do it
    58. 58. • Our government isn’t going to do it• Our companies aren’t going to do it
    59. 59. • Our government isn’t going to do it• Our companies aren’t going to do it• It’s up to each of us
    60. 60. tion olu : Rely on OurselvesS Three • Our government isn’t going to do it • Our companies aren’t going to do it • It’s up to each of us
    61. 61. Invest inYourself
    62. 62. Lessons from Personal Finance• Good investors: – have a plan – diversify – look for value – are active, not passive – do it regularly
    63. 63. Knowledge Portfolio• Value comes from: • what we know • knowing how to apply it
    64. 64. Have a Plan• Consider pace of change• Look beyond current fads• ! √! have a plan diversify look for value active, not passive do it regularly
    65. 65. Have a Plan: Example 1• You believe: – outsourcing will increase over time – your technical skills may become eclipsed
    66. 66. Have a Plan: Example 1• You plan: – Now: to become familiar with distributed project implementation tools – Next Year: to look at becoming involved with outsourced project management – Coming Years: learn a foreign language
    67. 67. Have a Plan: Example 2• You believe: – coding will be gradually eclipsed by modeling – you have better than average communications skills – you like a varied job
    68. 68. Have a Plan: Example 2• You plan: – Now: start learning about MDA. Read books, subscribe to ML – Next Year: find an angle. Start contributing articles to management press. Implement a simple trial project. – Coming Years: speak at management conferences on MDA. Become high-paid international consultant on MDA application
    69. 69. Have a Plan: Example 3• You believe: – you are an great, intuitive, developer – you enjoy coding challenges – you want to stay technical
    70. 70. Have a Plan: Example 3• You plan: – Now: identify areas that will not be outsourced (core business, emerging technologies, defense, embedded, infrastructure). Research technologies and players. – Next Year: start developing code in these areas (open source if no jobs available). – Coming Years: write articles, speak at conferences, become recognized expert
    71. 71. Diversify• Don’t have all your eggs in one technology basket• Across multiple dimensions – languages – techniques – industries – non-technical ! ! have a plan √ diversify look for value active, not passive do it regularly
    72. 72. Diversify• Mixture of risk/return profiles – have some low risk, low return • e.g.: .NET, Web Services, mobile devices, MDA – have some high risk, high return • e.g.. Aspects/Intentional programming, functional programming • spend time identifying (and join the effort early)
    73. 73. Diversify• Remember: – almost all investments have some return – learning AOP, Haskell, … will always make you a better developer – don’t forget the non-technical axis
    74. 74. Look for Value• Value is long term• Time ≠ value – the EverQuest syndrome• Applicability – but don’t forget diversity• Not just theoretical – look for opportunities to apply and get feedback ! ! have a plan diversify √ look for value active, not passive do it regularly
    75. 75. Active Investor• Periodically evaluate your (knowledge) portfolio – performing as you’d planned? – have external circumstances changed? – is it time to rebalance? ! ! have a plan diversify look for value √ active, not passive do it regularly
    76. 76. Invest Regularly• Invest a minimum amount of time each month• Helps to have a ritual – whatever works for you• Plan time in advance – don’t just sit down and wonder what to do ! ! have a plan diversify look for value active, not passive √ do it regularly
    77. 77. Pragmatic Investment Plan • Invest minimum two hours each week – good times and bad • Combines individual and group work • Growing national community R CEM BEDE • 8
    78. 78. PIP: Possible Schedule• One week/month: – spend the time in a user group meeting – plan to give talk every two years • set aside 6-8 weeks of PIP time to prepare
    79. 79. PIP: Possible Schedule• One week/month: – spend the time learning a new language or environment • make it different (e.g. Java folks could learn C# and .NET) • free software is available for many languages and environments • see if you can put together a local study group
    80. 80. PIP: Possible Schedule• One week/month: – spend the time reading a high-quality book. – avoid low-level recipe books • look for concept books • don’t forget non-technical books
    81. 81. Non-Technical Books Gold-mine of applicable information. Eg:• How to Open Locks with Improvised Tools. Hans Conkel.• From Novice to Expert: Excellence and Power in Clinical Nursing Practice. Patricia Benner.• And the old favorite: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Robert M. Pirsig.
    82. 82. PIP: Possible Schedule• One week/month: – work on your personal plan
    83. 83. Pragmatic Investment Plan• Work with others• Reflect on your plan every 4-6 months• More time is better than less• See if you can get your company to agree to alternate Friday afternoons as study time: – show them a plan
    84. 84. In The Long Term…• Things will continue to get more complicated• Competition for work will increase• Externally imposed constraints won’t help
    85. 85. In the Long Term• We have to look out for ourselves• We have to invest in ourselves• We have to plan 5-10 years out•
    86. 86. In the Long Term• We have the control• We have the responsibility• We have the opportunity
    87. 87. How to Keep Your Job Dave ThomasThe Pragmatic Programmers, LLCwww.pragmaticprogrammer.com
    88. 88. ExtraBuild a career portfolio
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