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Thread: The decline of programmers in the U.S.

  1. #11
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    i go to RIT and it's got a HUGE CS/SE department. i don't really like how it's taught as it isn't my style of learning but i feel i am slowly getting a hang of the syntax and how to put code together. i immediately get the logic.

    but i chose my major(bioinformatics) for the cs training so that i could get a job and work from home. i also love wetlab so i get both. it's just interesting as a new programmer to see the dynamics/attitudes of long time programmers. it almost turned me away from programming but, thankfully, research has changed that for me. my algorithm is pretty sweet, imho
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  2. #12
    I program a lot in APL, SAS, Visual Basic and VBA. Programming has changed a great deal over the last 25 years that I've been doing it. However, I'm not sure programmers have declined as much as they are just less concentrated on teams now.
    Last edited by Patton57; 05-01-2012 at 10:08 PM.

  3. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by willingtocope View Post
    There's the heart of the problem. This trend has been going on since the early 90's. Managers who think that code is code and anyone can write it. If you can offshore the job for 1/4 the price, who cares if the end product is 1/10 as good...the glossy front end and the super fast hardware behind it will make the end user think its a work of art. So, now that all the best and brightest have moved on to PoliSci degrees instead of Computer Science, you can't find anyone locally.

    Ever hear of the "chocolate donut" theory. If all you've ever had is chocolate covered donuts from you local quickie mart, they're all equally satisfying. But, once you get your hands on an Amy Joy, you'll realize what you've been missing.

    Same thing with programmers. The offshore people may give you a sparkling product...but...it will be unmaintainable without their help. The comments, data names, metaphors, etc. will all be in their native tongue...or, perhaps a variation of english that's just as bad.

    Take your other 3/4 of allocated cost and find some entry level people. Train them. Sure, it will take longer from start to market, but the end product will live on...and the cost to improve it will decrease by 80%.
    If I were in t8's position, I'd be looking to hire rockstars, not entry level people to spend time and money on for training. Entry level staff will change the entire dynamic of how an office functions.

  4. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by willingtocope View Post
    There's the heart of the problem. This trend has been going on since the early 90's. Managers who think that code is code and anyone can write it. If you can offshore the job for 1/4 the price, who cares if the end product is 1/10 as good...the glossy front end and the super fast hardware behind it will make the end user think its a work of art. So, now that all the best and brightest have moved on to PoliSci degrees instead of Computer Science, you can't find anyone locally.

    Ever hear of the "chocolate donut" theory. If all you've ever had is chocolate covered donuts from you local quickie mart, they're all equally satisfying. But, once you get your hands on an Amy Joy, you'll realize what you've been missing.

    Same thing with programmers. The offshore people may give you a sparkling product...but...it will be unmaintainable without their help. The comments, data names, metaphors, etc. will all be in their native tongue...or, perhaps a variation of english that's just as bad.

    Take your other 3/4 of allocated cost and find some entry level people. Train them. Sure, it will take longer from start to market, but the end product will live on...and the cost to improve it will decrease by 80%.
    With all due respect don't tell me how to do my job. You have no idea what you are talking about.

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by -scott- View Post
    If I were in t8's position, I'd be looking to hire rockstars, not entry level people to spend time and money on for training. Entry level staff will change the entire dynamic of how an office functions.
    I have 5 "rock stars" and I pay for them. You are very correct in why I am not hiring entry level people and training them. I am in a startup of 30 odd people, I leave the mentoring programs to big companies.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by SCIfor55yrs. View Post
    Programming is a great career for wheelchair users. It is sad that even many in the CC struggle to find a viable career and yet these jobs are sitting there begging to be filled. It is not that difficult to learn. All my programming skills have been self-taught. Once you master one language, it is not that difficult to move on to the next. It seems that the tech schools and the universities are offering the training but mostly the foreign students take advantage of it.
    I totally agree that this is a great avenue for SCI sufferers. We have a guy in a power chair at work who programs with a combination of mouth stick and voice. I'm really impressed with him. He comes to the office in a medical transport, has lunch in the cafe with friends and appears to be quite independent in what he does. I respect that. If I hadn't had this kind of job when my accident occurred, I'm not sure I'd have gotten back to work.

  7. #17
    Senior Member wheeliecoach's Avatar
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    I have been programming for the same company since 1995 and the problem here is that our systems are primarily based on languages that are viewed now as obsolete (jcl, COBOL, etc). While I agree that once you know how to program in one language you know syntax enough to pick up another language, object orientated programming adds another level of skill and knowledge to overcome.

    We have had hit or miss results with people we work with offshore. The demand is so high for their services over there that they rarely stay in the same job for more than a year or two, and it takes that long to teach them what they are coding for (since we administer pension plans, 401(k) plans, and health plans...this is something mainly foreign to them).

    I also agree with T8....when you are looking to get into some industry, your goal should be to get those people who can hit the ground running...not ones that need their hands held.
    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing's going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Seuss

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by truly View Post
    I totally agree that this is a great avenue for SCI sufferers. We have a guy in a power chair at work who programs with a combination of mouth stick and voice. I'm really impressed with him. He comes to the office in a medical transport, has lunch in the cafe with friends and appears to be quite independent in what he does. I respect that. If I hadn't had this kind of job when my accident occurred, I'm not sure I'd have gotten back to work.
    One of the nice things about programming is that it is usually not data input intensive. Using a typing stick does not place one at a competitive disadvantage. Writing reports and grants is a chore. There is an inherent danger for SCIs. If one gets so engrossed in the coding that he or she forgets to shift their weight regularly, it can be a fast track to a pressure sore.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
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  9. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by SCIfor55yrs. View Post
    One of the nice things about programming is that it is usually not data input intensive. Using a typing stick does not place one at a competitive disadvantage. Writing reports and grants is a chore. There is an inherent danger for SCIs. If one gets so engrossed in the coding that he or she forgets to shift their weight regularly, it can be a fast track to a pressure sore.
    This is so true. There is software out there for free that is designed for people with RSI that I used to remind myself to weight shift. In Ubuntu a feature actually built into Gnome that will lock the keyboard every 15 minutes or so. There is also a program called workrave. I am sure there are similar things on windows.

  10. #20
    Senior Member willingtocope's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by t8burst View Post
    With all due respect don't tell me how to do my job. You have no idea what you are talking about.
    With all due respect in return, do your job any way you see fit.

    As to knowing what I'm talking about...I've worked both sides of the table. I've been a consultant and an in house manager. My projects have been succesful. But I've watched others fail, and in almost all cases, the failures have been caused by poorly conceived requirements, miscommunicated to "rockstars" who are more enthralled with the shiny new hardware/software than with understanding the needs of the client.

    I've seen companies get involved in the "too big to fail" project, where they've already spent millions on out-sourced or off-shored "talent" that throwing a couple more million at it to try another outside company seems logical because the fault lies with the parade of managers who think the guy before them just didn't "manage" the project right, when, in truth, the fault is in the design.

    A successful project needs ONE "super programmer" in the Yourdan/Constatine definition, and a cast of support staff to fill in the blanks. Sometimes, you can make that work with the super programmer as your employee and an outside support staff, but, once the project is done, you'll need somebody to maintain it. That's where the entry level trainees come in.

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