Comments on: How the tech boom is bad for innovation A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: samuel_c Tue, 18 Oct 2011 13:45:09 +0000 guys cloud is just mainframe on someone elses network connected to the internet. That may be oversimplified but that’s the basic idea. Not a lot different than computing before personal computers. Just bigger.

But you want to know why you can’t find people. Look at the tech industry.

1. Older tech employees are considered dried up and beyond innovation.

2. Entry to Mid level jobs are drying up. Most are being outsourced. Programmers are treated like chained dogs. If they complain it is pointed out that 100 people in India want thier job.

3. Tech jobs require more knowledge, a far bigger part of your income training and keeping up as your career progresses and you will forever be working in “Cost” center instead of a “Profit” center and be treated as a second class citizen as a result.

For 20 years now I’ve been listening to my fellow Techies tell high school students to RUN RUN RUN to anything else but technology.

Also IT is becoming more and more like the construction industry. You have to pack up and move on every few years to stay employeed. In a world where husband and wife need to work to have a decent standard of living that’s a problem.

Look at the Wall street salaries up till the bust and the fact that an MBA is still a more reliable degree to stay employeed than a programming degree and it’s easy to understand why you can’t find enough IT guys.

Lack of people willing to get technical degrees is a problem that’s been build for years and it’ll take many years to fix it.

By: matthewslyman Mon, 17 Oct 2011 22:41:41 +0000 Looks like you’ve nailed this entire recession, Mr. Salmon!

The industrial realignment that was predicted with irrational exuberance ten years ago during the “dot com” boom and bust; is finally happening; later and slower than its proponents expected, but still happening.

The coming economy is the product of a new industrial revolution – only this time, it’s an information revolution. The industrial revolution amplified the power of Man’s arm. The information revolution amplifies the power of Man’s brain…

A writer in the Scientific American magazine, about 15 years ago, had it right; in suggesting that the economic gap between the knowledge-“haves” and the knowledge-“have nots” would radically widen. Those who out-compete the rest of us by a small margin will be able to “earn” an increasing share (indeed, an increasingly unfair share) of the available economic rewards, in the future; unless something is done to rebalance the system and make it fair again.

There’s only one way to fix this economy. It’s not by reducing taxes. It’s by radically INCREASING taxes on the wealthiest and most privileged, to pay for the perpetual retraining of displaced workers who despite talent and hard work invested heavily in the “wrong” industries. Obsolescence will become an increasing problem in the future, and it will happen multiple times in the average worker’s career…

The question is, will we fix the system BEFORE America becomes a chattel, pawn and playground of a new aristocracy? Will America be a land of mercy and justice, or a land of misery and exploitation?

(from a computer science graduate)

By: BlakeA Mon, 17 Oct 2011 15:12:18 +0000 It’s also difficult thanks to the intellectual property laws surrounded the area right now. It is almost impossible to profit off of performance improvements unless you are a big enough player that they are worth doing just for yourself. Most wide-spread performance-enhancing technologies come out of either the open source community or Microsoft (which has a vested interest in people writing software that runs on Windows). None of the cloud players are big enough to fund it themselves, and the open source efforts are just now starting (OpenStack is probably the most promising at the moment).

If we had corporate environments or intellectual property right laws more friendly to compatibility, open source or parallel development we’d have a better shot at being innovative. Instead, several start-ups and projects have been scuttled by the threat of patent law suits, inter-compatibility is scuttled by the DMCA and open source projects have run into issues building on top of changeable proprietary APIs. The other reason less money would lead to more innovation is that it would result in fewer lawyers chomping at the bit; early programming productivity enhancements profited greatly from not being worth suing over.

By: inboulder Mon, 17 Oct 2011 10:48:14 +0000 Sorry Felix, this whole thing reads like buzz word bingo drivel forwarded by the always attention seeking Stokes. Anyone in the industry could probably spot that there is no such thing as a ‘cloud engineer’, there’s even really no such thing as the ‘cloud’, you might as well write an article about ‘multimedia’ or ‘network computing’.

By: ChrisMaresca Mon, 17 Oct 2011 09:10:56 +0000 Kaleberg & AndrewNYC +1

Sorry, the problem is really bad/lazy/stupid HR people and their retarded “applicant tracking systems”.

Also, everyone here in SV knows that Apple is a terrible place to work. There are much better options out there and people are taking them.

By: ErnieD Mon, 17 Oct 2011 02:52:35 +0000 It’s the management!

The most common fall-back for senior management is to blame the workers (don’t work hard, not good enough, lack skills etc.). You see it in these claims, teaching in the school systems, the auto industry collapse etc.

Brooks was writing about this with respect to programming 4 decades ago: aw

He also pointed out that the most productive programmers are 10 times as productive as the average programmer. As a result, small projects can be highly efficient if they have one of the good guys. Unfortunately, it is not possible to have an industry filled with above-average programmers, so large projects cannot be as efficient as small projects.

On big projects, the efficiency and innovation have to come out of how the hive is managed. Good managers mean on-time projects, within budget, while identifying innovations that arise. A bad management team could tank the same thing.

By: Finster Sun, 16 Oct 2011 13:00:28 +0000 So large corporations with record profitability complain that they cannot get enought software engineers for cheap? Pay them more. Supply and demand in a non unionized labor market. Nasty, when capitalism works for the employee for once, isn’t it?

Sorry for sounding sarcastic, but this piece is really asking for it.

By: arrgh Sat, 15 Oct 2011 18:16:31 +0000 what Kaleberg said

By: AndrewNYC Sat, 15 Oct 2011 16:31:31 +0000 I’ve been an engineer on “the cloud” for longer than it was called that (man, I hate that term). I also disagree with the claims here.

Yes, demand in one layer is going to take engineers away from low-level cloud systems. But the whole point of “the cloud” is that everyone gets to outsource that level of their stack to people who are really good at it, so you should need fewer of these people overall. And if you move further up the stack, startups like MongoDB or Parse are now able to build cloud middleware on top of lower-level cloud systems.

That said, I think money is a little easy for startups these days, and it does create a talent war/drain when talented people go to unsustainable startups. But I don’t think “the cloud” is hurting.

By: Curmudgeon Sat, 15 Oct 2011 13:53:20 +0000 Felix, you look at the tech job market with a macro view of supply and demand, but that’s a dangerous simplification. The real problem is that we do a terrible job of matching up candidates with jobs, even if there is an exact match. Your Apple product manager may be setting unreasonable or unnecessary qualifications for the job, or HR may not be recruiting in the right places. Incidentally, “hacker” is not a particularly favorable description these days, which makes me wonder about the story in general.

Your use of one or two anecdotes is inappropriate to draw the conclusions you do (even though you commonly do it). That said, I think your opening proposition (that you pretty much neglected after the opening) that there is less pure innovation during boom times may in fact have legs, although for somewhat different reasons.

Last, it doesn’t take large companies/lots of engineers per se as much as it does enough servers to be able to promote a cloud infrastructure standard. You didn’t mention Rackspace, for example, and as someone else mentioned, there continues to be a lot of innovation in open source, although open source tends to lag commercial R&D by a year or two.