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/r/cscareerquestions is a cesspool

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Programming communities come in two flavors: Q&A and message boards. Stackoverflow is an example of the former with Dream.In.Code the latter. Bytes, cprogramming, cplusplus, Daniweb, the list goes on and on. Then there's reddit. Forums for news, code, computer science, you name it. I find /r/programming to be a fun quick way to kill some time.

And then there's /r/cscareerquestions...hoo boy.

I've been lurking around there for a while now and let me tell you, you will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. There is a revolving list of a handful of topics that get post all the time. There is nothing new under the sun, but yet misinformation abounds.


Yes outsourcing is a thing. No it's not going away. Companies are trying to reduce their bottom line and then are surprised when they get crap work back. Is there some shady shit going on? Yes, see Disney. This is not strictly a H-1B thing though. Companies will also post reqs no one can "fill" when they have someone inside that already has their name on the job, but it still has to be posted as a legal requirement. Is it dumb? Yes. It's really who you know, not what you know. Are you going to be a starving artist programmer? You shouldn't, see item 2.

2. Everyone is getting a CS degree so the market is going to be saturated.

Except those stats are for CS enrollment, not graduation rates (hint: lots of people drop out). Sector job growth is expected to grow faster than average for the next decade. I understand the concern though. People follow the money. Lawyers make a lot of money, I should go to law school. Now the job market is full to bursting with lawyers. CS has a lower barrier to entry and less expensive schooling, so the analogy is flawed.

3. The Defense Industry is/pays garbage

There is truth to both sides of this. On one hand, you will be dealing with antiquated systems that will make you want to take your own life with a sword. On the other hand you're going to be compensated appropriately. Having a clearance is a highly marketable perk for you to have. Here's the breakdown: if you're on the outside you will probably get your foot in the door through one of the larger contracting companies: Booz Allen, Lockheed, Northrop Grumman, etc... The real money is made when you transition to a smaller company with less overhead. Risk/reward.

4. Cost of living, what's that?

East and west coasts are more expensive. Why? Well there are a number of factors: large metro areas, job prospects, San Jose/San Francisco has ordinances that prohibit building over a certain height, and a slew of other economic factors. $100k has different levels of purchasing power across the United States. I find glassdoor to be a good "initial guess" if I know nothing else about a certain geographic market.

There's more, but that is all I felt like complaining about today.


What is the point? If you focus on being a good engineer you don't need to worry about the market, outsourcing, or being well paid. Oh and read /r/cscareerquestions for a grin, it's a trainwreck.

3 Comments On This Entry

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08 February 2016 - 12:05 PM
Speaking of train wrecks..


08 February 2016 - 06:44 PM
How about HR folks posting required skills and putting 12 different technologies that often don't make sense together? That's always fun.


11 February 2016 - 05:57 PM

modi123_1, on 08 February 2016 - 12:05 PM, said:

Speaking of train wrecks..

That's great! Looks like the link got corrected/fixed at some point though.
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