The Free Love-, er, Teach-In

Jonathan Stowe jns at
Mon Mar 12 22:55:33 GMT 2007

On Mon, 2007-03-12 at 17:02 +0000, Nicholas Clark wrote:
> And to commit the sin of replying to myself

Yeah but you get more sense like that ;-P

> On Mon, Mar 12, 2007 at 03:00:37PM +0000, Nicholas Clark wrote:
> > On Mon, Mar 12, 2007 at 02:16:49PM +0000, Jonathan Stowe wrote:
> > > Neither, IMO, does a short training course for "improvers". Infact I'm
> > > not convinced there actually is a shortage of "high-end developers"
> > > rather a shortage of skilled developers with lowish salary expectations
> > > who are interested in working in the kinds of places that want to
> > > recruit these people. 
> > 
> > You might be being over-specific here. I'd take out the
> > "lowish salary expectations"
> I don't have the data, but the historical perception has been that there
> has been more money in other areas. [eg C++, Java, .NET technologies]
> If true, then it would imply that if used-to-be Perl programmers have become
> sucked out into jobs using other skills, then they're unlikely to come back,
> as taking pay cut is rarely seen as a career progression.

I see two somewhat related things here, firstly some people might see
themselves better off extending their skills in a particular application
domain and learning whatever technologies might become necessary along
the way - if Perl doesn't adhere well to the application domain people
are going to drift away from it and learn some other equally capable
languages albeit possibly not so much fun.

The second point, and by way of a flip-side, is that there is a tendency
in some quarters to treat "perl programmer" as some kind of lifestyle
choice rather than simply a job skill (of course you could apply this to
geeks of all varieties.) This I would suggest would exert a downward
pressure on salaries and the provision of training - "hey there all of
these guys who'll do this stuff because they enjoy it *and* they do it
as a hobby so we won't need to train them". Skilled professional
programmers who, however, only see it as a job are unlikely to be able
to compete on price and conditions they require, they are just as likely
to drift away and develop some more commoditized skills.

There is no solution to either of these - it's just a reflection....


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