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View Diary: Democratic Senator To MORE IT Workers: No More Pay For Your Overtime Work (262 comments)

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  •  SEIU has workers that do all sorts of varied work (23+ / 0-)

    Similarity of jobs is not an issue.

    As a web developer, I know that if you can learn one language, you can easily learn another. For example, JAVA and PHP both use many of the same underlying OOP concepts, even if their syntax if different (though not that different). Objects and methods aren't all that different from functions and variables.

    Setting up Linux servers uses the exact same skills as setting up Windows servers, the skills are just use different commands. And it IS easy to transfer skills from one platform to another. If you can memorize one set of commands, you can memorize a different set. Setting up security on one router is very similar to setting up security on another.

    Unions don't prevent employees from retrieving bonuses, and they don't disallow ranges within a level on the pay scale.

    In companies where I've worked, bonuses and promotions to the next level are the rewards for the best employees - the same is true for unionized companies.

    The primary difference is that union shops can't capriciously fire you for "under-performance" if you start working normal hours instead of 60 - 80 hr weeks in which 1/3 - 1/2 of your labor is unpaid. In addition, a union can create benefits beyond pay: pushing to ensure that all employees are provided ergonomically sound work settings, to cut down on the debilitating impact of carpal tunnel, as an example.

    There is no reason IT and software engineering cannot be unionized.

    •  Maybe I am not familiar with that type of union (1+ / 0-)
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      I know that people who know one skill can learn another that is similar.   But how do you set up categories of people who need to be similarly paid?   How do you value something in Year Five that was considered Gold in year one?

      I remember many languages and fields that were going to take over all of IT and have fizzled out.   Network engineers used to be wizards, but they have mostly been obsolesced by plug-and-play.

      Interesting that you should mention setting up servers.  My company has been using virtual machines for the past year, and it makes setting up a new server a simple task.   We do it one time and copy it as many times as we need to.  

      I have read that the half-life of knowledge in our field is five years.  It seems about right.   It means that people with many long years of experience are not more valuable than people with less.    The sweet spot for productivity is about 7-10 years experience after college.

      Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

      by bobtmn on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 07:37:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm sorry, but those years of experience (11+ / 0-)

        DO count - those people have a breadth of knowledge that those who only have a few years can't even start to know.

        They usually won't go down wrong paths - they've done that before. Development time can be cut because they KNOW that if you do X, people will complain, because they've done X and people complained. They know what questions to ask, because they've forgotten to ask them and had to redo the project because they didn't fulfill a key objective that the client never mentioned - because they didn't realize it until AFTER they saw the product.

        There needs to be a mix of people on a project - the young ones who just go right ahead and don't think, and those who can ask the right questions, think a little further ahead to what might be needed later (and build in that option) and keep a project from going off the rails or getting overly complicated.

      •  How is it done, now? (8+ / 0-)
        But how do you set up categories of people who need to be similarly paid?

        Employers already do this. Are you saying it's possible for one group to make the determination, but not others?

        If you've been out of college 10 years, now, you are not using the same development language, development environment, hardware or networking software you used when you graduated. And, yet, employers are capable of putting you into a category (such as Engineer II, or Senior Network Engineer).

        The experience you have is related to the TYPE of technologies you use, not the specific versions and brands. A really good developer has probably coded in several languages using multiple operating systems - and the thing that makes it possible for them to "piss out code" is experience with the types of algorithms that solve a particular type of problem that matters. Recognizing patterns is the key, not knowing one solution in one specific version of one specific language.

      •  Have you ever read (1+ / 0-)
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        "The Mythical Man Month"?

        I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

        by Satya1 on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 01:44:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oops, hit return too soon (1+ / 0-)
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          I ask because I want to make the point that retraining or jumping into the next generation of technology is not the whole deal.

          There is more to software engineering than just the technology.  In some specialties there are human/communications skills required that need a lot of experience to be really effective.

          I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

          by Satya1 on Mon Dec 12, 2011 at 01:48:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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