"Cathy, I'm lost, I said, although I knew she was sleeping"

Some nights I just stay up too late. Tonight is one of them. It's 5:35 AM as I write this and it's not late, it's early. For most of the rest of you, up at this time it's either normal or you are just waking up. I'm just thinking about sleep. I'm sitting here with Dog(tm) next to me, he's sleeping, soundly, as he seems to do in any situation. Dogs do that.

I was up all night writing code, fixing things, not with this site, although I checked in, just writing code for use for later and maintaining other sites that I maintain. I spent most of the night counseling someone who was not as good a coder as I code logic and suggestions on how to approach a programming project.

I spend many nights like this. Why?

I write code. This is what I do well, in any language, any database, any scripting language, that's what I do. I like it, in a sick way. I'll stay up at all hours exploring why some programming languages behave the way they do to find out more. My art is becoming outsourced faster than the federal deficit is being fucked over.  I'll be out of a job in a few weeks actually because of a buyout by METlife. Oh well.

I may move on, I may not. I've come to expect the inevitable layoff in the consulting world as normal. I used to be able to hold a position for years, now it's a few months at a time, if that. Not that I don't do a good job for those I work for, I do, but I just work a tenuous job now , tending on projects that teeter on the fine line of corporate divorces and financial breakups. Sad really, thinking that nothing I work on will ever be used for more than a corporate takeover. I'm a bit sick of all that crap.

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Nony Wrote the following on 02/19/2005 05:31 AM :
Sorry to hear about the buyout and its effects on your situation! Probably excellent news for some brokers in Wall Street. (seems those guys always win, even if everybody else looses!)

Used to work through the night in my "younger" days...you get so mesmerized by the computer and the job at hand that time no longer effects you. Still happens sometimes, but the price is higher... the recupuration is not as fast as it used to be.

Sky Wrote the following on 02/19/2005 08:26 AM :
Damn, CW! I'm sorry to hear about this. I am an IT manager and I understand your frustration. Nearly all of my vendors have moved their tech support operations to India. This has put tens of thousands of their employees out of work. From my side, it is a terrible frustration, since the Indians don't speak English very well (I certainly don't speak Hindi) and generally just follow a script. I have to elevate a case to a high priority to get it back to an engineer here in the US. Their tech support costs have dropped dramatically, but mine damned sure haven't! I'm still paying $200K per year and the quality of service positively sucks.

Some of our clients have outsourced their IT departments and with disasterous results. Outsourcing, in my opinion is a bad business descision for all but the smallest buisnesses that require hosting service. When you oursource your IT department, you loose control of it to someone who really has no investment in the success of your business. For this reason, my company has decided that we will never outsource any part of our IT operations. We have our own admins, DBAs, programmers and project managers. We develop and administer everything in-house, and only rarely bring in additional programmers/consultants.

CW, have you ever considered leaving the consulting world for brick-and-morter? I know that the lure of consulting is that there is more flexibility and a wider range of challenging projects, but B&M offers better stability and (usually) better money. We hire only the best and brightest. They are hard to find, but we've found that they are worth the effort. We once to use consultants, but during the dot-com boom, so many of the bench coders were little more than legends in their own minds; they cost us too mcuh and we eventually had to have our people recode most of their shoddy work. Now we round-file the resumes of Mcjobbers and job-jumpers, and consider only those who have significant experience with B&W businesses and experienced people who have worked for large consulting/development companies such as KMG or Keane. Most of our people got in the door by one of our people saying "hey I know a guy. He may be willing to move." We vet them carefully and have peers put them under the hot lights in technical interviews. When we find a good candidate, we take good care of him. I just hired an Oracle DBA/architect with 10 years experience. He's top-shelf. I'm paying him $102K/year, he has a $10K bonus target, he'll get profit sharing, stock appriciation rights, medical/dental/life/ADD insurance, and 15 days PTO/year. We don't pay programmers quite as much as we do systems people, but we still pay them very well. You just can't get this kind of deal consulting anymore. Also, have you ever thought of switching focus and doing systems work? Sysadms and DBAs are far less likely to have their jobs outsourced (unless the whole department is oursoured). I consider a sysadm or DBA who has a stong programming background to be a prime candidate. They have better problem solving skills and tend to get up-to-speed on our products more quickly. They can tear into the source code and figure things out very quickly. This can be a lifesaver when we run up against a bug at 2am and the programmers are out partying some place.

I'm not sure what the IT labor market is like there in CT. Here in Atlanta it has been rather soft over the last four years, but it is rebounding. People are hiring again. You may have to consider moving to someplace like Atlanta or Boston, where IT is a large part of the economy, but not too large. From what I've read in your postings, I could understand that you'd not want to leave what sounds like a great set-up there in CT (I know I wouldn't), so I hope something comes along for you. This site is proof that you've got the right stuff. We have an office in Norwalk, but unfortunately, it's a field office with no more IT beyond a small LAN. We do all our IT work and our data center is here in Altanta. Otherwise, I'd definitely want to take a look at your resume and pass it on to our development director.

Golly Wrote the following on 02/19/2005 11:13 AM :
I too, believe it or not, work in IT. Outsourcing to India is short lived. Trust me.

Surfer Wrote the following on 02/19/2005 11:24 AM :
Sorry to hear that man. You'll do fine...

codewolf Wrote the following on 02/19/2005 12:34 AM :
well, that's why I've started up a side business with a good friend of mine, to weather these times of no work. I'll be fine, I already have a some more interviews lined up. I'm not that concerned about it.

codewolf Wrote the following on 02/19/2005 10:36 PM :
Sky -

I just re-read your post, I was bit tired the other night and just skimmed it. Good words and sound advice. I have considered moving to a more perm. job situation and if something came along that I felt I'd be able to expand within the job I'd take a serious look at it. The job market here in CT is shoddy at best. I don't have much hope at all working for any local company, I'm trying to be honest about my situation. It's come to a point where I know that I can not get paid what I'm worth even in the consulting gig in this area. I have looked into moving and I'm somewhat willing to consider it for a job that would fit me. My ties to this area are more than just the locale, I have family in the area and I need to look after them. However, I also have family in the Atlanta area, so it's good to hear first hand information from someone who's in that area that knows what's going on. If this new business I'm setting up doesn't work out I'll be moving, I don't see any other option honestly. I may look at the Denver area (family there as well, and I really like that area the last time I visited).

Surfer Wrote the following on 02/20/2005 00:39 AM :
CW, email at domain bouncing with a 550. Check your gmail?

codewolf Wrote the following on 02/20/2005 02:03 AM :
Surfer -

response sent, let me know

Surfer Wrote the following on 02/20/2005 03:51 AM :
got it, thanks. Sent reply to the ajs you mentioned...

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