Hi, Everyone,

By coincidence, two interesting approaches to technical job hunting
came up at lunch today.  I thought I'd pass them on.  Note that I
had lunch with about 6 Ada software engineers.

1. A website named monster.com is supporting job auctions (shades of
ebay's kidney auctions).  A candidate posts a resume and companies
bid (starting at the candidate's starting salary).  In once case,
a candidate asked for $50K/year, and a bidding war ensued that
left him with a salary of $95K/year.

2. A group of software engineers (about 30 of them) banded together
to leave a company at one time.  They liked working together, and so
the proposal was to acquire them as an already-integrated team of
30 experienced professionals.  The result was quite interesting, with
each one getting more than $100K/year to start.  Extra benefits also
came into play.

The variants are interesting.  In the meantime, in the Atlanta area (at
least), we are finding that Microsoft Visual Basic programmers are being
offered more than Ada programmers.  Add Microsoft certification (which
costs about $1,500 for 1 course at a local university), and you dramatically
increase the difference in favor of Microsoft.  I teach Ada at Lockheed
(with packed classes) and I currently teach Visual Basic at Kennesaw State
University (also with packed classes).  My Lockheed classes contain
engineers
who will simply go back to work after the class is over, while my university
classes contain corporation presidents, practicing Visual Basic developers,
students, housewives, etc., who plan to leave the class and (for the most
part)
do contract work from home, seeing an almost immediate return of more money
and benefits.  And Visual Basic is a LOT easier ... my students all ran
their first GUI-oriented programs with various degrees of bells and whistles
after 1.5 hours of instruction and 1.5 hours of lab.  At this point, I can't
feed them new ideas fast enough.

Right now, a number of our Ada people are taking courses in Visual Basic
(for certification).  Even on the next ASE CDROM, I have an example of an
Ada engine (command-line oriented) running under a Visual Basic
(GUI-oriented)
front-end.  So far, the Ada people are not leaving (airplanes are too much
fun),
but time will tell.  So far, the blend of the two is a good thing.

Just some comments.

Rick

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Richard Conn, ASE and PAL Manager
http://xenadu.home.mindspring.com/