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Is this the model that all the big-name tech companies follow?

  1. Oct 12, 2014 #1
    From what I can tell, here's what Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and all the other big-name tech companies of today do:
    • Keep a lean force of developers on staff. The hiring process is very selective. While these workers will have amazing pay and benefits, they also will work long hours.
    • Have all the extra work and the grunt work done by a temporary staff employed through a 3rd party (some "technology solutions company" or "consulting firm" or whatever guise these gloried temp agencies go under). These people usually wear a different color of badge, get paid anywhere from $15-30/hr and in general feel like second-class citizens at the client company.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2014 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    A third part of the model is that the older workers over fifty are targeted for various transition programs like Teach for America or early retirement to thin the ranks.

    Sometimes they will have a skills layoff targeting admin and project managers. In each case, they push older workers out and new hires out to balance the stats. Using a skills layoff means they can get away with targeting older workers as they tend to move to admin and project management when they longer feel up to working the hours or keeping up with state of the art practice.

    Retirement programs have changed to where years of service is related to the payout in a linear way and not as it used to be where the benefit really got a lot better the more years you worked.

    The old way fostered company loyalty and worker retention. The new way fosters moving on to your next better paying job if you can find one.
  4. Oct 13, 2014 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    I don't know about Google, Amazon, or Facebook, but I do know about MSFT, having worked there for 15 years before retiring at the end of last year. The hiring process is very selective, with potential hirees being interviewed successively by five or six people, and possibly going on to a final interview with a higher-level product manager.

    When I started there, in '97, MSFT (and other tech companies) were known to work people very hard, resulting in burnout and failed marriages and the like. Not too long after that, a concerted effort was made to strike a reasonable balance between life at work and home life. It seems to me that the company was reasonably successful. Most of the people I worked with, including developers, worked a more-or-less regular schedule of roughly 9 to 5, Mon through Fri., although things usually got a bit more hectic right around important ship dates.

    There are a lot of non-MSFT people working there, either as agency temps ("a-dash" so called because their aliases begin with "a-") or vendors, and yes, their ID cards are a different color. When I started, I was an "a-dash" for the 18 months that my contract lasted. Don't know for sure, but the upper end of the wage range you show might by low, as some vendors or agency temps probably get quite a bit more than $30/hr, depending on their experience and what it is they do.

    Speaking again for MSFT, I worked until well after 50. However, I'm glad I got out when I did, as they recently laid off a lot of senior writers and testers (I worked as a programming writer).
  5. Oct 16, 2014 #4
    I can tell you that in the biotech and chemical industries, this is how it absolutely works at many places. It's a never ending cycle because new college graduates are more than happy to take any job that gets offered, even though it is crappy low paying temp work with little or no benefits, job security, and no paid vacation time. By the time they're 28 they start to realize that they've yet to ever have gainful employment, but by then it's too late, they're replace by the next crop of fresh college grads eager to take temp jobs.

    Temp jobs allow companies to get away without having to contribute to retirement, healthcare, you name it. Starting out in science is OK in biotech, but you must absolutely plan 5 years in advance to work your way out of R and D and into management or the business side in order to avoid chronic unemployment and never ending temp jobs.
  6. Oct 16, 2014 #5


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    Maybe you do not yet realize, the temporary employment agency companies also are selective - even outside of tehnical/scientific employment. Someone working in science or technology is likely full-time and has very little time for outside education. What one learns is best learned on-the-job, and worktime does not offer much chance to study.
  7. Oct 16, 2014 #6
    I work at a small name tech company and experience is king here. Its very hard for an unskilled new graduate to get a job when there are skilled and experienced people out there that don't need training. Plus, I think new grads do have high expectations of pay that can be unrealistic.
  8. Oct 17, 2014 #7


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    You are right. Both processes are in action. Companies are selective because the clients want experienced people who either need no training or who just need a little bit of training. Comapnies want new graduates because they will cost less; and some of them have useful research or other part time work experience of some technical sort.
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