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Sender: "Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
From: "W. Wesley Groleau x4923" <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 1999 09:58:39 -0500
Reply-To: "W. Wesley Groleau x4923" <[log in to unmask]>
Parts/Attachments: text/plain (74 lines)
I'm presume Mike's message is an expression of dissatisfaction with
current job-market conditions in general.  But since its most obvious
effect is to make it harder for us to employ the talent we need, please
let me indulge in a little defense of my employer.

Dean> 9 day / 80 hour work period allows an additional day off every 2 weeks

mfb> So, the job is not to develop the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical
mfb> Data System. What these people will actually be paid for is to sit
mfb> in the office 80 hours every two weeks. The development effort is
mfb> secondary to the politics of office control. While this is not
mfb> good, it is very GOOD TO KNOW.

Is this a sour grapes response?  These people will be paid to work 80
hours every two weeks on the Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System
(AFATDS), with possible transfers to other projects.  The fact that they
will have the _option_ of a more flexible work schedule in addition to the
traditional 40 hrs per week is a fringe benefit, not politics.

mfb> For example, this kind of politics generally is not interested in
mfb> contractors based on the coast, no matter how much more productive
mfb> they might be than locally based programmers. The reason for
mfb> having more experienced Ada programmers on the coasts than in
mfb> the Mid-West is that many (not all!) programmers migrate towards
mfb> the higher salaries.

We employ contractors when we find it a benefit for specialized tasks.
However, for the most part, we need long-term people who are familiar with
at least a portion of this system with over a million SLOC in 16,000
compilation units.  Not people who's not here long enough to understand
more than 10% of the requested tasks.

Dean> Salary Range: 42k - 65K + Profit Sharing

mfb> Probably not very good. The average senior programmer with a
mfb> masters degree on the cost is making $74. Newly hired senior
mfb> programmers are making more. Most of the Ada programmers
mfb> are on the coasts, and many of them are making more than this.
mfb> It is hard to ask someone used to a higher salary to go down
mfb> to a lower salary.

Having come to AFATDS without a Master's degree (which these jobs do not
require) directly from MITRE in New Jersey, I feel qualified to point

1. My income increased slightly, and it was not even close to $74K at
   MITRE.  With "profit sharing" and occasional overtime, a person with
   twelve year's experience.  And I do mean "occasional"--this is not a

2. My cost-of-living decreased considerably by getting away from the

mfb> Location: Indiana (Relocation Assistance will be provided)
mfb> Again, for those who are not native to the Mid-West, this may
mfb> not be so good.

I do not consider myself a "native" of anyplace, but I like Indiana much
better than any of the high-traffic, high-cost areas that I have worked at
or interviewed in.  If you like population density, traffic, subways, or
surfing, Indiana is not for you.  For just about anything else, it's as
good or better.

mfb> Questions: Why are no database, communication, design, realtime,
mfb> or distributed Ada systems experts being hired? Why no testing
mfb> experts? Why employees rather than an optimal mixture of
mfb> employees and contractors?

The need is as stated--beginner to expert experience in Ada.  All of the
above skills and more are needed.  Just be glad he said "cutting edge
technology" instead of "people who can spell Ada but would rather get Java
on their resumes"