Question: I'm 33 years old and have a bachelor degree in Business Administration and I've been working in the Administration department of a Non-Profit organization. I have decided to go back to school, however, I'm a little confused about what path to follow. I have two interest, one is to do a Master in Accounting and then sit for the CPA exam. The other is to get another bachelor's degree in Computer Science. With the credits I can transfer, it would take me the same time to complete either degree. Each degree has it pros and cons:
Master in Accounting:
- I have already some experience in the field.
- Related to my bachelor degree.
-Harder to outsource to foreign countries.
- Is a master's degree.
- More likely to be an employee for the rest of my life.
B.S. in Computer Science:
- More Creative.
- You can design a software and create your own business.
- No experience.
- Easier to outsource to foreign countries.
- Age discrimination.
- Not a master's degree.
What do you think? What is the better path for me to follow?
Thank you for your advice.
Answer: Anytime time someone is deciding on a career change it is best to build on the experience you already have rather then starting completely over. This will allow you to ask for more money once you graduate and create better stability in your career. Is your administration experience for the Non-Profit more closely related to accounting or computer science. It sounds like it would be more related to accounting. In other words, will your current experience allow you to say that you have some accounting related experience once you graduate and start you job search?
Generally, It is always better to go for the Master's Degree then to go for another Bachelors. Why would you not go for a Masters in Information Systems? You can have a BA and still go for a Masters in another discipline. It may require some additional prep course work but will be more valuable if you decide to go into Computer Science.
If you're interested in working for your self, their are independent CPA's. It's more likely that you would be more successful at that, then creating the next MySpace.
In the end, the path that you choose is yours to decide. There are positives and negatives of both. Don't let someone else make that decision for you.
Question: About a year ago I was laid off from a full-time job and after a few months found a contract job that was supposed to be temp-to-hire. After about six months at job #2 it looked pretty unlikely that I would get hired full-time and I was having trouble finding out if my contract would be extended. There was talk the company was slated to start laying off workers, starting with the contractors and temps, so I managed to find an entry level job at a different company about two months ago.
I'm not unhappy in my current job but I'm not using my education and it's not much really in my area of interest. I'm not desperate to leave but I do want to keep looking for something more related to my field. I know two months is too soon to look to switch but what is a good time? If I start sending resumes soon how do I explain my #### time at this position? Is it enough to say it's not in my area?
Answer: As a general rule, I tell people that any job that your at for under 3 months can be left off your resume. I know that may seem strange and a little deceitful but you should look at it in a different way. If you were there for under 3 months you really did not have time to accomplish anything substantial (unless it's a consulting position), The purpose of a resume is to demonstrate your experience and education as it applies to the position that you are applying for. It's nothing more and nothing less. If that 3 month position that is not relevant to your given career field why would you include it in your pitch for a new position?
In short, 2 months is not too short of a time. If you want to include the position on your resume. Tell the truth. Say that the position was transitional while you searched for something in your chosen career field. You're not alone in this quandary. Employers will understand this explanation. It will be harder to find something in your career field if you continue to work outside of it. Employers want recent and relevant experience to what they are hiring for.
Question: I've heard you should follow up with the company after you have submitted a resume. Should you still follow up if you receive an automated email from the company confirming that they received your resume and that they will contact you if they think you're qualified? I would still like to follow up, but I don't want to irk them by contacting them when they said that they will contact me.
Thanks for any help!
Answer: I'm a recruiter and I have one of those Applicant Tracking Systems
that send the those automated systems. I recently had a Admin position posted. There were 250+ people that applied to this position.
While I would like to say that I looked at every resume, the truth is that I didn't have the time. If one of those candidates would follow-up with a direct email to me, I would look at their resume and consider it.
If you irk someone by emailing them a thank you note, they should get another job.
Are you the best Flash Developer in Memphis?
Answer these questions (The winner, selected by the hiring manager from the answers, will receive an exciting and creative job opportunity from a World Class organization):
1. How long have you been programming in ActionScript 2.0 and ActionScript 3.0 respectively? What is your skill level in each? (beginner, intermediate, expert)
2. How comfortable are you with Object Oriented Programming in Flash?
3. What is the most extensive Flash project that you have worked on? This will include your most complicated coding and/or creative development. Please include your role(s) in that project.
4. How comfortable are you in a creative role? How comfortable are you in a developmental role?
5. Please provide links to projects that you have been involved with. Explain your role and how much development/creative you contributed.
6. What schooling do you have in design and Flash development?
7. How familiar are you in the following Adobe products: Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and Acrobat?
8. Have you ever used Photoshop to develop web layout? If so, please explain your workflow. Did you use Photoshop (or ImageReady) to cut up your tables? Did you finish up your development in Dreamweaver?
9. What was your biggest hurdle in making the switch from ActionScript 2.0 to 3.0?
10. How comfortable are you with conceptualizing and then executing web site design? As an example, take a look at fedexracing.com. How would you redesign it?
TO ENTER THIS CONTEST: email your resume and your answers to the above questions to jlesher(at)ciber.com
Question: I have been in the technical support field too long and want to develop. I have been with my employer 5 years, but have only had small programming (scripting) assignments. I deploy software and make minor scripting changes. I have a CS degree and try to keep up with programming languages, but it is hard when I am not using them at work. I am in a lead position, but I am wasting my true passion and skills. The company has laid off employees recently. It has been time for me to go, but now I am running into experience obstacles. I am currently working on my MBA and a project management certification. How can I get some experience? I can program using C\C++\C# and now trying to focus on .net programming. Could you offer some direction?
Answer: There are actually many things that you can do. Here are a couple:
1. Offer volunteer services to an open source project. Go to http://sourceforge.net/people/ You will see a list of Open Source Projects that are looking for help in their development. Get involved. You can list this experience on your resume just like any other job.
2. Develop an application on your own for commercial sale. You can create a Sole Proprietorship for yourself and list that company on your resume. Employers will like that you're an Entrepreneur. You can sell the applications on sites like www.download.com
Think outside the box. Don't think that you have to have a 9 to 5 gig all the time before you can put that experience on your resume.
Question: I need help! First let me start by giving some background about myself. From the the time I graduated from high school I worked in the same restaurant. I started off as a server and eventually moved to being the General Manager while I went to college. I received a Bachelor's in marketing. The restaurant business was not for me and I knew this. Due to the long hours that I put in at the restaurant (60 hours on average) it was extremely difficult for me to network. Like every new graduate, I was excited to start my new career! Well, that feeling was short lived when all I received was insurance sales offers that did not offer a base pay. (Insurance sales is also not for me.) Anyway, I was crushed, but I did not want to sit still. I started my MBA while I searched for a great job that I could grow into. A semester into the program, the opportunity to study in Budapest, Hungary for six weeks.
To make this long story shorter, I thought this was the opportunity that I needed so I placed my resignation at the restaurant and took the risk of my life. I got back to St. Louis at the end of July and have been searching for my career ever since. I CANNOT find a job and my savings are getting low and my self-esteem is crashing! I really would like to stay in the St. Louis region until May. This is when I graduate and after that I am open for just about anything. I would love a career in marketing, consulting or supply chain management. At this point I am ready to do just about anything. Is there anyone that can help me?
Answer: Since you say that you live in the St. Louis Area I am assuming that you are either going to Webster University or St. Louis University or Washington University or the University of Missouri - St. Louis.
If you're going to Washington University it is ranked the 27th best MBA program in the country. http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/rankings/
It's also ranked high in Global Business Schools: http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/washington-university-olin#global-mba-rankings
Which ever school you are attending, you need to leverage it. Each business school has an Career Center here they are:
St. Louis University: http://www.slu.edu/x13234.xml
Washington University: http://www.olin.wustl.edu/wcc/
University of Missouri - St. Louis: http://www.umsl.edu/depts/career/
Webster University: http://www.webster.edu/careers/index_old.shtml
Contact these career centers to let them know you are looking for work and see what they can do for you. If they can't help you, here are some local recruiters that you can send your resume to:
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/1/315/2ba - Email: Mary.Czarnecki@fleishman.com
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/3/348/800 - Email: Denise.Wunderlich@equifax.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/erinwille - Email: email@example.com
Last but not least, here is a list of marketing jobs in the St. Louis area:
Good Luck. Apply to as many job openings as you can. Numbers will help.
Question: I’m currently employed, but I have been actively job searching for about 2 months now. As of now, I’ve gotten one phone screening and no interviews (the company that did the phone screening is now under a hiring freeze). I’ve been very judicious about the jobs that I’ve been applying for, only submitting applications to postings that I consider a 100% match for my skills (approximately a dozen jobs).
Given the current economic conditions, I can’t say that my lack of success is surprising, but I’m wondering if there is something about my resume that is turning potential employers off. One thing that just popped into my head is my current employer.
I work for what is called a “junk debt buyer”, which purchases personal loans that have been sent to collections. If you google the name of my employer, you’ll see some things in the search results that aren’t particularly flattering. We’re not doing anything illegal, but the industry is inherently unpleasant. My specific job responsibilities don’t have much to do with the operations of the company (data analysis and financial modeling), so if I didn’t disclose the name of my employer, you wouldn’t know what industry I was in.
So does anyone have an opinion on whether the reputation of one’s current employer can derail his or her job search? Thanks in advance!
Answer: There are two times that a company's reputation will affect a candidates job search. Either the candidate had a direct influence on the policies and procedures (such as a CEO, CFO, CIO, etc...) of the company or it's small (such as a sole proprietorship) because at that level most employees have an influence on the company.
The real problem that you're probably having is that you have not applying to enough job openings. In this job market there are many times hundreds of applicants for each job opening. Getting a phone screen from applying to only 12 jobs is actually doing very well.
Another thing that is probably an obstacle for you is your job skills. With the down turn in the financial markets, I'm positive that there are more people that do data analysis and financial modeling out of work then normally would be. This means more competition for you.
My advice is to either apply to more job openings or stay where you are for now in order to ride out the storm.
Question: I've had my resume posted on Monster.com for several months. I've only had 2 prospective employers view my resume, but no one has ever contacted me about a job. I am interested in a part-time job in either Sales or Clerical Office Positions. I live in Bakersfield, CA.
Answer: I have 2 tips for you. I'm not sure if you are doing them but just wanted to let you know.
- Make 2 resumes. One for Sales and one for Clerical. They are two very separate jobs. On your Sales Resume, highlight all of your sales experience in each position. Even if your title was a Clerical one, only use bullets that are sales related. Example of a Sales Bullet: "- Increased sales 40% over previous quarter". On the Clerical resume only use bullets that are Clerical related. etc...
- Job Aggregate Search engines such as my web site (http://career-advisor.jobamatic.com/a/jobs/find-jobs). have advanced features that allow you to search only Part-Time Jobs. Other Job Aggregate Search Engines are http://www.simplyhired.com and http://www.indeed.com Since all you are looking for are Part-Time jobs, it makes sense to use this feature.
I have taken the liberty to do some searches for you. Here they are:
Part-Time Sales Jobs within 50 miles of Bakersfield, CA:
Part-Time Clerical Jobs within 50 miles of Bakersfield, CA:
Question: My SO and myself applied for jobs in CO in a related field to the ones we are working in on August 2.
We live in Maine and the job is in Denver. We were expecting some notice to arrange flights etc and if given #### notice for them to help make arrangements.
Today I got a call stating they are interviewing on NOV 3 and 4. She was nice but she wanted me to tell her what day work for us right then. I explained not knowing there dates we took groups of days off to be free for interviews one starting on NOV 5th but I could look into seeing what we can do.
Is it just me to think it is weird for them to expect us to be able to get time off, make travel arrangements in 2 weeks?
We are both RN's and work #### work that in the minimum schedules for 1 month at a time.
I guess when I have traveled long distance for interviews before I just let them know when we would be around or they let me know well in advance. Is this 14 days common or have I just been lucky?
My feeling now is just to try a phone interview, which of course is harder for everyone and doesn't usually work as for us as the people sitting before them always seem better. If they will do a phone interview.
UGGG! I hope the other prospects feel the same way!!! Any advice????
Answer: I know that the RN market is always hot but it's interesting to read your post as compared to the stories of professionals less in demand.Still, I'd be surprised if the company that you applied to couldn't find RN's that are already located in Denver to fill those positions..
Normally people that are looking for a new job opening will adapt their schedule to the interviewing process to show their motivation to make the move, but to save time and travel expenses ask for phone interview first.
I think that it's a great idea to ask for a phone interview before you schedule an in-person interview. As a recruiter, I always schedule a preliminary phone screen for out of town candidates. It makes sense for the candidates and the hiring manager.
Question: I ask this because there are those of us who have now been out of work for a substantial period of time despite our best efforts. This includes networking, job fairs and other creative means. I know on some recent interviews I am not even asked about the gap and how I have been spending my time. I do disclose in my cover letter that my last position was eliminated and the company sold. However, I can't help but wonder if an employers mind is already made up and I am just helping some required quota for outside candidates regardless of how well I interview.
What more can someone really do to counter a long term voluntary hiatus during an interview especially when it never becomes a topic of conversation or interview question??
Answer: Even if you're not asked about your job gap it does matter. Employers are going to be thinking about it. I recommend bringing it up even if you are not asked.
If you do not bring up the job gap in your interview, the employer is going to think the worst. They're going to think that you were in Jail.
People can be out of work for long periods of time. Employers are not stupid they understand that. Explain what you have been doing to find a new job during that time. Show them that job hunting has been your full time job since your last position.
I sat in on an interview this afternoon. The candidate had been out of work only since August. The Hiring Manager asked him what he had been doing since August. Can you believe that?
Question: I am a senior software developer with a large financial organization working primarily in C along with my firm's proprietary database packages. I have a B.S. in a field unrelated to IT/Computer Science. I am interested in transitioning into a web-based development position with the hope of eventually moving into a consulting position. I don't have any experience in this field and little knowledge of what skill set would be necessary. Any advice you might have on the steps I need to take to get there would be very appreciated. I'm not interested in returning to school on a full-time basis as I have obligations that would make that difficult; however I'm willing to taking classes or continuing education. Thank you in advance.
Answer: Since your work experience is in C. I would suggest starting off by learning PHP. Everything that you want to know about it can be found at http://www.php.net/
The reason I recommend it is explained by this short history of PHP:
PHP originally stood for Personal Home Page. It began in 1994 as a set of Common Gateway Interface binaries written in the C programming language by the Danish/Greenlandic programmer Rasmus Lerdorf. Lerdorf initially created these Personal Home Page Tools to replace a small set of Perl scripts he had been using to maintain his personal homepage. The tools were used to perform tasks such as displaying his résumé and recording how much traffic his page was receiving. He combined these binaries with his Form Interpreter to create PHP/FI, which had more functionality. PHP/FI included a larger implementation for the C programming language and could communicate with databases, enabling the building of simple, dynamic web applications. Lerdorf released PHP publicly on June 8, 1995 to accelerate bug location and improve the code. This release was named PHP version 2 and already had the basic functionality that PHP has today. This included Perl-like variables, form handling, and the ability to embed HTML. The syntax was similar to Perl but was more limited, simpler, and less consistent.
It is very similar to C so you will have less learn time. It's also open source so you can get it all for free.
While PHP jobs do not pay as well as .NET or Java Web Development roles, it is growing popularity in the corporate world. I expect the wages for PHP Developers to continue to climb.
Here are some PHP Jobs to show you their frequency:http://career-advisor.jobamatic.com/a/jobs/find-jobs/q-PHP
It's a start for your Web Development career. Good Luck.
The Wall Street Journal has a chart that projects the Unemployment rate up to December 2009. See the Chart HERE
This data is taken from a survey of Economists. On average, the Economists look for non-farm payrolls to shed over 74,000 jobs per month over the next year. Staggering numbers for sure. The unemployment rate should be at 6.4 percent by the end of the year and 6.8 in 2009.
Here are some unemployment rates for other countries to compare:
United Kingdom - 2.8 % - Reference
Russia - 5.9% - Reference
Brazil - 9.8% - Reference
France - 8.0% - Reference
Question: Hello. I am a computer programmer. I haven't had much work in programming lately; so, I am thinking of becoming an Oracle Database Administrator.
First, here is some detailed information about my background. I have a BS in Computer Science (received in 1995) and an MS in Computer Science (received in 1996). I had steady work experience from 1996 to 2004. Then, for 1.5 years, I couldn't find work as a programmer, and I worked as a movie extra. Then I worked as a programmer again, for a few months. Then I quit because the company 1) was in financial distress and 2) was unable to pay my wages.
Since quitting that job, I have resumed working as a movie extra, while continuing to look for more computer work.
I live in Chicago, and a local community college called Oakton Community College (www.oakton.edu) is offering courses for an Oracle Database Administrator certificate (http://www.oakton.edu/acad/career/cis_p3.htm). These courses are supposed to help a person to pass the test for an Oracle Database Administrator certificate.
Is this certificate being offered by Oracle Corporation nationwide? Or is this certificate something that ONLY Oakton Community College is offering? Obviously, a certificate being offered by Oracle Corporation will be more valuable than a certificate that is offered ONLY by a Chicago-area community college.
My next question is: Just how valuable will this certificate be? Even if the certificate is offered by Oracle, will the certificate help me get a job? I do have years of experience as a programmer, and this experience includes writing programs that run SQL queries. I also have experience in creating and deleting database tables. I just don't know database administration. So, will my experience and this certificate help me to find a job as an Oracle Database Administrator?
Thanks for any comments.
Answer: Is this certificate being offered by Oracle Corporation nationwide? Oracle offers database certifications. http://education.oracle.com/pls/web_prod-plq-dad/db_pages.getpage?page_id=143
It does not appear that your community college is offering the same certification. It looks like they have bundled 4 of their normal CS classes together and put it as a certificate program.
Oracle Database 11g Administrator Certification combines training, experience, and testing to ensure that you have a strong foundation and expertise in the industry’s most advanced database management system. http://education.oracle.com/pls/web_prod-plq-dad/db_pages.getpage?page_id=198&p_org_id=〈=
If you want to get a Oracle Certification, here is the list of Oracle Universities in Illinois: http://www.oracle.com/global/us/education/maps/contentA.html#IL
You will get the authentic Certification training at these locations. You will probably have to call the locations directly to get costs for the classes.
So, will my experience and this certificate help me to find a job as an Oracle Database Administrator? Of course there are no guarantees, but my 11 years of Technical Recruiting experience makes me think that your chances of getting a job with this certification are VERY high.
Question: I have been working, in an administrative role, for a University for 6+ years. I am in my early 30s with a Bachelor of Science degree from a prestigious school.
I would like to change careers with my initial thoughts of a career in hospitality/travel (possibly hotel management).
As I did more thinking, I came to realize my real passion was that of presenting and implementing ideas in established corporations.
My ideas are not necessarily new products, but new ways of doing things. It's hard for me to give an example without quite possibly giving away a billion dollar idea! :)
So, I'll just use an analogy. I'm not looking to invent ice cream, but suggest a new flavor to a company like Baskin-Robbins.
How do I start this new career? What is it even called? I'd like to describe myself as an "idea-man." Do I necessarily need an education upgrade?
My main apprehension lies in meeting with a company, telling them my brilliant idea, them saying no, and 1 year later, seeing them implement it without any compensation for me. How do I protect myself?
Thoughts please. :) Thank you.
Answer: If you were the head of a corporation that if confronted by you with one of your ideas, what would you be looking for?
To use your analogy: Baskin-Robbins is a brand of Dunkin' Brands, Inc. based out of Canton, MA. Jon Luther is the Chairman and CEO of Dunkin' Brands, Inc.
Here is Jon Luther's BIO:
Jon L. Luther was named chief executive officer of Dunkin' Brands in January 2003 and chairman in March 2006. A veteran of the food-service industry, Jon is a proven leader at creative brand development and at satisfying consumers who seek quality, convenience, and value in a quick service restaurant setting. From February 1997 until December 2002, Jon was president of Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, a division of AFC Enterprises. During his term, the company's store count grew 67 percent to 1,672 units, while average annual unit volume grew to over $1 million, the highest in the chicken QSR category. With Jon at the helm, Popeyes won industry awards for menu strategy, store re-design, and customer satisfaction.
Prior to Popeyes, Jon was president of CA One Services, a subsidiary of Delaware North Companies, Inc. He has also held leadership positions in the contract foodservice division of the Marriott Corporation and at ARAMARK in Philadelphia, PA., where he rose from vending sales director to become president of Davre’s, ARAMARK’s luxury restaurant subsidiary. Jon also founded Benchmark Services, Inc., a foodservice management firm specializing in business dining for corporations, growing the business into a strong regional competitor.
Jon holds a degree in hotel and restaurant management from Paul Smith’s College, and honorary doctorate degrees from Bentley College and Johnson & Wales University. He supports culinary and foodservice programs at a variety of institutions, including serving on the Board of Directors for The Elliot Leadership Institute and the Board of Trustees for the Culinary Institute of America. In addition, Jon is on the Board of Trustees at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Mass., and on the Executive Board of Directors for the Companions in Courage Foundation, which builds interactive playrooms in children's hospitals throughout North America.
In 2005, Jon was the recipient of the Nation’s Restaurant News Golden Chain award, and in 2006, he received the Chain Leadership award from Chain Leader magazine.
As you can see from Jon's Bio. He has a great deal of experience and education in the Food Service Industry.
If you were to meet with Jon to explain your "idea". Would Jon listen to you? Do you have credibility in his ideas? In other words, would Jon think you knew what you were talking about based on your education and experience?
Idea Men, usually have "ideas" about things that they know very well. For instance, someone that has 20 years experience in the food industry creating a new Oven. Someone that has a Doctorate in Astrophysics designing a new Telescope.
Your education and experience are called your "credentials" for a reason. They give you credibility (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Credibility).
Are you currently looking for a job in the Pittsburgh area? The Pittsburgh Technology Council http://www.pghtech.org/ has a new web site for you. Since 1983, the Pittsburgh Technology Council has been the principal point of connection for companies from four primary clusters of the technology industry that are represented by a critical mass of businesses in southwestern Pennsylvania including, the Advanced Manufacturing / Materials, Green Technology, Information Technology and Life Sciences sectors.
The new site that they have is http://www.imaginemynewjob.com/ It uses the Indeed.com Aggregate Job Search Engine to search Jobs in the Pittsburgh area. While the site is nothing new, It is a good one stop source for job hunting in Pittsburgh.
By Career Advisor
Question: I have been providing Project Management for the deployment of software solutions into end user environments for 15 years. I have always worked in customer facing roles for the software vendor and interfaced with the customers IT department. Some of the implementations have been very complex and taken 12-18 months. I am 60 years old and have just been released from my employment due to acquisition of my past employer by a LARGE ERP vendor. Currently, I am researching opportunities in IT organizations and see a large number of jobs but they all require previous IT experience. What are my chances and what level of age discrimination should I anticipate? Thanks in advance,
Answer: I'm a little confused by statement that they require previous IT experience. You have 15 years of project management experience in software development. You must mean that they require Technical Experience as a programmer.
If that's the case. There are many Project Management jobs that do not require that. Did you ever get the PMP certification from Project Management Institute http://www.pmi.org ? A lot of employers like that certification.
You also may want to think about contracting as a Project Manager. You can typically make more money but have to pay for your own insurance usually.
Here is a search for Project Manager jobs: http://career-advisor.jobamatic.com/a/jobs/find-jobs/q-"Project+Manager"
Question: I've been a software engineer for about 6 years now, all in the same job. My problem is that the hours are terrible. I know that some crunch time is expected when projects are due, but I'm regularly working 10-11 hour days, and working on the weekends is pretty common. My question is, is this normal? Are other people in the field working hours like this? I have a chance to leave the field and do something different, but because I've only worked one job, I'm not certain if the long hours I've been working are part of the profession, or if I could realistically expect to find another software engineering job where the hours are more reasonable. I'm trying to decide whether to look for another coding job, or to take the opportunity to do something different. I want a job, but I want a life too. Can I have both if I stay a coder?
I think it's telling what Philip Greenspun who is a professor at M.I.T.for Computer Science has to say about this subject. Side Note: Philip Greenspun founded ArsDigita Corporation and was its CEO from inception until it reached $20 million/year in revenue.
Here is a direct quote of an Article that he wrote in 2002 titled: "Managing Software Engineers".
From a business point of view, long hours by programmers are a key to profitability. Suppose that a programmer needs to spend 25 hours per week keeping current with new technology, getting coordinated with other programmers, contributing to documentation and thought leadership pieces, and comprehending the structures of the systems being extended. Under this assumption, a programmer who works 55 hours per week will produce twice as much code as one who works 40 hours per week. In The Mythical Man-Month, the only great book ever written on software engineering, Fred Brooks concludes that no software product should be designed by more than two people. He argues that a program designed by more than two people might be more complete but it will never be easy to understand because it will not be as consistent as something designed by fewer people. This means that if you want to follow the best practices of the industry in terms of design and architecture, the only way to improve speed to market is to have the same people working longer hours. Finally there is the common sense notion that the smaller the team the less management overhead. A product is going to get out the door much faster if it is built by 4 people working 70-hour weeks (180 productive programmer-hours per week, after subtracting for 25 hours of coordination and structure comprehension time) than if by 12 people working 40-hour weeks (the same net of 180 hours per week). The 12-person team will inevitably require additional managers and all-day meetings to stay coordinated.
It's difficult to make a generalization for the whole software industry that all programmers work long hours. Everyone's situation is different of course. There are Software Engineers that work a 40 hour week. There are Software Engineers that work 70 hours weeks. If you want to work just 40 hours per week, I would start looking for another job. They are out there. It's hard to say how many there are, but they're out there.
I am currently working for a company that is probably going to go out of business. It is a well known company and this is public news that other companies in the industry are well aware of.
I interviewed with a company I used to work for before I worked for my current company. The position is the same one I had when I was there. The HR manager asked me what I made now, and I told him my salary of $56K. He also asked me what I made when I was in the position 2 yrs ago. I told him my old salary of $47K. He came back with an offer of my current salary of $56K. I told him I would let him know the following day. I know he knows my company is not doing well. I want to try and get at least $60K. Does it seem reasonable to try and negotiate for more money? I also interviewed at another company but have not heard back yet. Should I say I have another offer at $60K but tell them I really want to go back to that company given my previous history? Need some advice!
Answer: I don't think you have much ground to negotiate more salary. You are taking the same position that you had two years ago and they're offering you $9,000/year more then they paid you then. That's almost a 20% pay increase in 2 years. It's a very generous offer.
I think that the problem is not that they're offering you not enough money but that you applied for a position that is at best a lateral move. Usually, you need to take on more responsibility to justify a pay increase from an employer's perspective. Did you receive more education or professional certifications since you worked there last? Employers also look at that in salary determination.
In short, to negotiate for a higher salary you have to give a reason to the employer for why you are worth the salary increase. It does not appear from you initial paragraph that you have reason other then just wanting more.