Friday, March 18, 2005

Pensées de départ

Vos remarques nous sont très précieuses,
Avec quelques mois de décalage, suite à un questionnaire syndical de départ, voici les commentaires d'un partant de la fin 2004.

Points les plus négatifs :
  • Augmentations (+++/---) :--
  • Qualité du Management (+++/---) :--
  • Perspectives d'Evolution (+++/---) :---
Remarques (texte libre)
- Une société managée par des gens là depuis trop longtemps et qui devraient bouger.
- Le peuvent-ils ?
- Une société individualiste qui ne se préoccupe que peu de l'évolution de ses salariés
- Une société qui se déresponsabilise face à ses clients et qui laisse partir les meilleurs (je ne parle pas de moi)
- Des marges colossales qui profitent à qui ?
- Des marges de manoeuvre au niveau national de plus en plus réduites
- Pas de projet collectif.

Bref, je suis content de partir.
C'est dommage car il a quand même beaucoup de gens sympa.
Bon courage pour la suite.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Qu'est-il arrivé à la semaine des 40 H (US / Suite)

Editor's Note: The Stormy Seas Of Discontent

Greetings, colleagues!

The letters keep coming, in an avalanche of disgruntled
ex-workaholics, worn-down cogs in the corporate machinery, and
disheartened developers. Many of you are distinctly unhappy with the
state of the IT Development world, and your own place in it. Some of
you questioned whether the problem is with the whole IT industry, or
just the U.S. segment of it. Jim T. wrote:

"About a year and a half ago I was in Germany discussing IT support
with one of our companies site IT managers. He asked me how we handled
off-hours support in the US. I explained that I was on call 7x24 and
was required to respond within 15 minutes of a page. His response was
that they couldn't get away with that in Germany and wanted to know
what I did if I wanted to go out and have a beer.

I think what US companies get away with is insane."

Are long hours, weekends and evenings on the job, the price of being
competitive in the global marketplace, or just a consequence of bad

Ryan H. shares his opinion:
"Forcing me to work overtime and then harping on me to do more, tells
me that the upper management didn't plan well enough and now has to
break my back to cover their mistake. It also says they care more
about what I produce, thenme as a person. People are not robots. We
are living, breathing, thinking, caring people. Lets hope that we can
get back to a period of relativeeconomic peace."

And the talk about competitiveness and market economics had Larry W. seeing red:
"I am so very sick and tired of hearing all the talk about hours
worked. I have worked with several projects that have used off shore
resources (China, India, elsewhere). And the only issue that matters
is not the number of hours worked, it is what is produced. The number
of hours worked is another useless metric, just like number of lines
of code produced. Those are totally irrelevant to the real issue: the
quality and timeliness of the product produced. An on-time project
that does not meet the users' needs, or has serious quality issues, is
a waste of money. Managers who think more hours, or cheaper labor, are
the way to "sustain economic growth" need to sit down and read the
Mythical Man Month, and understand some basic truths.

Throwing more developers onto a project will more likely make it take
longer to complete. Making developers work more hours will have the
same result. I have seen these again and again in 24 years of software
development. Better productivity, which means done sooner, and with a
higher quality result, occurs most often when the employees have a
sense of loyalty to their employer, and that will only occur if they
believe that the employer has a sense of loyalty to them. Far too few
companies these days understand that...
That said, I am very fortunate to work for a company that only
requires 37.5 hours a week of effort, and overtime requests are few,
and far between."

Finally, John B. from Chicago, whose letter of response which we
printed two newsletters ago touched off this firestorm, provided this
"I should have mentioned that I was a manager at one time, with as
many as 7 direct, and 30 indirect reports (it was a matrixed
organization). I always protected my players and sent them home for
R&R, and it always worked out okay because users sought out my
services and my team. GE was the best place I ever worked, and man,
did I put in the hours. But unlike the developer you mentioned in the
latest editorial, I WAS rewarded for that hard work, but it was UP TO
ME as a manager to reward my team, which I did of course, asking my
managers for trinkets and time for "my guys" (and a girl). GE was and
is an anomaly, though.
Anyway, it's good to learn I'm not alone. Is this the point were we
start singing, "We Shall Overcome"?
It's up to you. Many, many of you are clearly, seriously unhappy with
the current state of your careers and the IT industry in general. What
do you intend to do about it? Has being a developer become so
stressful and unpleasant that you're considering getting out entirely?
Or is it just a matter of finding the right haven, a company that
provides reasonable pay for a reasonable amount of work? Some of you
wrote in to say that such places are not entirely mythical, they do in
fact exist, but are they really so rare? Or, are you thinking about
jumping ship into the world of freelance consulting, and is that
really any panacea?

Let me know what you're thinking about your chosen career and current
working conditions. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel, or is
it the proverbial oncoming train? How about you IT managers - are
things really that bad, and is there anything you can do about it?

Let Developer Pipeline help you get the information you need to do the
right thing, in the right place, at the right time. And any time, let
us know how we're doing, and what we can do better.

Richard Hoffman
Editor, Developer Pipeline