all you yanks out there ...

Discussion in 'Java' started by Richard Reynolds, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. Hope you don't mind this off topic question but this is the group I know
    best and would trust some replies from, I used to post quite regularly
    although I've been a bit too busy for a while now (doing up a new house).
    I work as a software engineer in the U.K. and I've been considering moving
    to the states, I have a few friends on the East coast who've frightened me a
    bit with the amount of time they spend working but none are in the software
    industry so I was wondering if you could give me a run down on general
    conditions of employment. Here, I get 26 days annual leave (which will rise
    with time served)plus 12 days public holidays, a pretty good salary, 37.5
    hour week with time off in lieu if I work over that or spend time travelling
    off site or to training courses etc. Working hours are flexible, working
    from home is available and the atmosphere is relaxed, none of my managers
    watch the clock and there's not a lot of pressure.
    However, the weather here is CRAP!! plus I'm tempted by the wealth of
    opportunity for travelling/outdoor pursuits for kids (I have 4) over there.

    I know the answers will be highly individual but I'd really. appreciate any
    details,
    cheers, Richard.
     
    Richard Reynolds, Nov 10, 2003
    #1
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  2. Richard Reynolds

    Eric Sosman Guest

    Richard Reynolds wrote:
    >
    > Hope you don't mind this off topic question but this is the group I know
    > best and would trust some replies from, I used to post quite regularly
    > although I've been a bit too busy for a while now (doing up a new house).
    > I work as a software engineer in the U.K. and I've been considering moving
    > to the states, I have a few friends on the East coast who've frightened me a
    > bit with the amount of time they spend working but none are in the software
    > industry so I was wondering if you could give me a run down on general
    > conditions of employment. Here, I get 26 days annual leave (which will rise
    > with time served)plus 12 days public holidays, a pretty good salary, 37.5
    > hour week with time off in lieu if I work over that or spend time travelling
    > off site or to training courses etc. Working hours are flexible, working
    > from home is available and the atmosphere is relaxed, none of my managers
    > watch the clock and there's not a lot of pressure.
    > However, the weather here is CRAP!! plus I'm tempted by the wealth of
    > opportunity for travelling/outdoor pursuits for kids (I have 4) over there.
    >
    > I know the answers will be highly individual but I'd really. appreciate any
    > details,
    > cheers, Richard.


    Richard me lad, you would love it here in the Colonies.
    We software engineers sit about playing video games, surfing
    adult entertainment sites, sipping margaritas, smoking dope,
    and corresponding on Usenet. Verily, that is all we do. We
    do it for many hours, but as you see there are rewards. Oh,
    and we pull down six- and seven-figure salaries for all this
    goldbricking: Management are our terrified and abject slaves
    because we can sling three- and four-letter acronyms faster
    than they can.

    There is, however, one tiny drawback to your prospective
    immigration. If you actually start *working* and producing
    usable software, you will cause an unprecedented boom in the
    industry's productivity. Economic experts will look for the
    cause of this upsurge, and will eventually finger you as the
    person responsible -- and then our secret will be revealed,
    we'll be shown up for a lot of lazy lallygaggers, and our
    super-sized SUVs will be confiscated. To prevent this, I'm
    afraid we'll need to have you killed if you show even the
    slightest inclination toward initiative.

    Please don't misunderstand me: I am not impugning your
    bravery, and I'm sure you would face Death resolutely. You
    descendants of woad-wearing, haggis-eating, warm-beer-drinking
    supermen are intrepid beyond the feeble and febrile imaginings
    of us degenerate expatriates. The drawback I refer to is not
    that you will die, but that you will die horribly: We will
    need to make an example of you to deter other over-achievers
    from importing a work ethic to these shores. And I ask you,
    as slob to savant: Do you *really* think you can withstand
    torture by repeated screenings of "Survivor?"

    I thought not. You're well off where you are, Limey;
    make the best of it.

    --
    Eric.Sosman@sun.com
     
    Eric Sosman, Nov 10, 2003
    #2
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  3. Eric Sosman wrote:

    > Richard me lad, you would love it here in the Colonies.
    > We software engineers sit about playing video games, surfing
    > adult entertainment sites, sipping margaritas, smoking dope,
    > and corresponding on Usenet.


    In a previous life, we merged (actually, we acquired) a company in Atlanta
    that pretty much did just those things. They had a big screen TV with Play
    Station, foosball, etc. and no management to speak of. They would come in
    late, go to lunch early, spend 2 hours *after* lunch playing video games
    and foosball, and write code that wasn't worth a shit.

    Then they were let go. And they were *upset* that it happened.

    --
    Darryl L. Pierce <mcpierce@myrealbox.com>
    Visit the Infobahn Offramp - <http://mypage.org/mcpierce>
    "What do you care what other people think, Mr. Feynman?"
     
    Darryl L. Pierce, Nov 10, 2003
    #3
  4. Richard Reynolds wrote:

    > Hope you don't mind this off topic question but this is the group I know
    > best and would trust some replies from, I used to post quite regularly
    > although I've been a bit too busy for a while now (doing up a new house).
    > I work as a software engineer in the U.K. and I've been considering moving
    > to the states, I have a few friends on the East coast who've frightened me
    > a bit with the amount of time they spend working but none are in the
    > software industry so I was wondering if you could give me a run down on
    > general conditions of employment.


    First, you'd need to find someone who will sponsor your H1B visa.

    As for working conditions, I telecommute for a company based in NJ (I live
    in NC). I work from about 6am (by choice) throughout the day, but always
    during core business hours (10am-4pm). I'm normally asked to do work over
    the weekends, but not major tasks normally. The company I work for is a
    startup, so there's always the need for working like that.

    Deadlines are always yesterday. Features always exceed the available hours
    to implement them and are greater than the resources available on the
    platform (I work in the MIDP and target mobiles). Yet, we meet our goals
    and have a robust product. But, it's not easy and we put in alot of hours
    to accomplish these goals.

    > Here, I get 26 days annual leave (which
    > will rise with time served)plus 12 days public holidays, a pretty good
    > salary, 37.5 hour week with time off in lieu if I work over that or spend
    > time travelling off site or to training courses etc.


    Generally, you get 10 public holidays plus a graduated number of personal
    vacation days based on service time, same as in the UK. However, the comp
    time for working extra hours depends on your employer. If you're a salaried
    employee, the company is under no obligation to pay you extra or compensate
    you for the extra hours. If you're an hourly employee, though, the company
    *has* to pay you for all hours worked, and (unless I'm mistaken) is
    required to pay you time and a half for anything over 40 hours.

    > Working hours are
    > flexible, working from home is available and the atmosphere is relaxed,
    > none of my managers watch the clock and there's not a lot of pressure.


    This would depend on the company. When I was at IBM, I knew of several
    managers who watched the clock. Mine didn't, thankfully. At my last job, we
    had a CTO who was great about working: you had to be in for core business
    hours, but when you came in and left only had to work out to 40 hours
    weekly (he also had the policy that if you worked over 40 hours a week,
    then it was *management* who was screwing up and *they* should fix it;
    sadly, he didn't last with the company long and the death march came back
    soon after he was released). My current job, I work from home and take
    phone calls all day long from the PM and CEO, so I'm always available. The
    other engineers work at the office and come in from 9-5.

    > However, the weather here is CRAP!! plus I'm tempted by the wealth of
    > opportunity for travelling/outdoor pursuits for kids (I have 4) over
    > there.


    Pick your destination wisely. Where I live (central NC) it's either too hot
    to do anything (from late May until early October) and then things get
    boring. Though, I take the lads out biking on the weekends and my wife and
    I give them water bottles and shove them out back during the week <g>.

    > I know the answers will be highly individual but I'd really. appreciate
    > any details,


    Those are my experiences, at least. YMMV. ;)

    --
    Darryl L. Pierce <mcpierce@myrealbox.com>
    Visit the Infobahn Offramp - <http://mypage.org/mcpierce>
    "What do you care what other people think, Mr. Feynman?"
     
    Darryl L. Pierce, Nov 10, 2003
    #4
  5. Richard Reynolds

    Sudsy Guest

    Richard Reynolds wrote:

    > Hope you don't mind this off topic question but this is the group I know
    > best and would trust some replies from, I used to post quite regularly
    > although I've been a bit too busy for a while now (doing up a new house).
    > I work as a software engineer in the U.K. and I've been considering moving
    > to the states, I have a few friends on the East coast who've frightened me a
    > bit with the amount of time they spend working but none are in the software
    > industry so I was wondering if you could give me a run down on general
    > conditions of employment. Here, I get 26 days annual leave (which will rise
    > with time served)plus 12 days public holidays, a pretty good salary, 37.5
    > hour week with time off in lieu if I work over that or spend time travelling
    > off site or to training courses etc. Working hours are flexible, working
    > from home is available and the atmosphere is relaxed, none of my managers
    > watch the clock and there's not a lot of pressure.


    Let's see: 10 days vacation to start, if you're lucky (many companies
    only give you one week [5 days] the first year). Expect to work an
    absolute minimum of 40 hours a week, anywhere up to 60 or more. Don't
    expect to get ANY time off in lieu and forget about overtime as well.
    Depending on whether your boss is from the "old school", you might be
    expected in at 8:30am, rain, shine, snow or hail. Don't even DREAM of
    leaving before 5 and you'll likely be sticking around until quite a
    bit later.
    A company car is a fantasy and you'll probably have to pay for your
    own parking (in whole or in part). When you're on the road you'll
    still be expected to keep up with everything back at the office so
    you'll probably be putting in at least 12 hour days. Heck, it's not
    like you know anyone at the destination!
    Flexibility has gone by the wayside as IT has shed some 200,000 full-
    time positions in North America over the past three years. Managers
    have their staff by the short and curlies and they know it! People
    are expected to do the work of three with the threat of dismissal
    constantly hanging over them. Given the dismal job market, nobody
    wants to be searching for a new one these days.
    Bottom line? Stay where you are. The weather might be crap but the
    bennies more than make up for it. Hell, go to the Med for a couple
    of weeks if you need some sunshine and warmth; everyone else does!
     
    Sudsy, Nov 10, 2003
    #5
  6. Richard Reynolds

    Anton Spaans Guest

    As a non Yank (I'm Dutch)

    I'm a senior software engineer at the East Coast (Boston). There are
    differences between the working environments here and in the
    Netherlands/Europe (these all are very general. It depends a lot for which
    company you work). The other posts already said a lot. I'd like to add this:

    First try to find an H1B sponsor. This is going to be very hard nowadays.
    The quotum of allowed H1Bs has been lowered considerably. In this
    down-turned market, many companies don't want to bother with the H1B
    bullshit (it's a LOT of paper work, you - or the sponsor-company - spend a
    lot of money on lawyers, etc...). But suppose you can get sponsoring:

    1. You have a lot less vacation-days here and somewhat less holidays. I went
    down from 28 vacation days to 15 (15 days/3 weeks is very common in the
    software industry) and lost a couple of holidays. And 28 was even to be
    considered quite a low number in Holland. Many people had about 40 of them
    (25-30 days plus 4 hours per week)....... But then again, they are pretty
    flexible here if you need some personal time to arrange things.
    2. Salaries are still (somewhat) better than in the Netherlands (compared to
    the standard of living).
    3. Work environment: It depends a LOT on your employer. Just look for one
    that you like. Talk to people that work there. And realize that an employee
    does not have as many legal protections as in Europe.

    If you just want to move because of the wheather: Don't do it.
    If you want to move to an area where there is exceptional education for your
    kids or if you see a particular opportunity somewhere in the US, then do it.
    It can be very worth your while :)

    And if you move, think about your partner. You may be able to work on your
    H1B visa, but your partner may not and must stay at home all the time... in
    a different environment... this can be devestating for a relationship.

    -- Anton.


    "Richard Reynolds" <richiereynoldsNNNN@ntlworld.com> wrote in message
    news:V_Srb.1984$gS4.1782@newsfep4-winn.server.ntli.net...
    > Hope you don't mind this off topic question but this is the group I know
    > best and would trust some replies from, I used to post quite regularly
    > although I've been a bit too busy for a while now (doing up a new house).
    > I work as a software engineer in the U.K. and I've been considering moving
    > to the states, I have a few friends on the East coast who've frightened me

    a
    > bit with the amount of time they spend working but none are in the

    software
    > industry so I was wondering if you could give me a run down on general
    > conditions of employment. Here, I get 26 days annual leave (which will

    rise
    > with time served)plus 12 days public holidays, a pretty good salary, 37.5
    > hour week with time off in lieu if I work over that or spend time

    travelling
    > off site or to training courses etc. Working hours are flexible, working
    > from home is available and the atmosphere is relaxed, none of my managers
    > watch the clock and there's not a lot of pressure.
    > However, the weather here is CRAP!! plus I'm tempted by the wealth of
    > opportunity for travelling/outdoor pursuits for kids (I have 4) over

    there.
    >
    > I know the answers will be highly individual but I'd really. appreciate

    any
    > details,
    > cheers, Richard.
    >
    >
     
    Anton Spaans, Nov 11, 2003
    #6
  7. Richard Reynolds

    Eric Sosman Guest

    "Darryl L. Pierce" wrote:
    >
    > Richard Reynolds wrote:
    >
    > > However, the weather here is CRAP!! plus I'm tempted by the wealth of
    > > opportunity for travelling/outdoor pursuits for kids (I have 4) over
    > > there.

    >
    > Pick your destination wisely. Where I live (central NC) it's either too hot
    > to do anything (from late May until early October) and then things get
    > boring. Though, I take the lads out biking on the weekends and my wife and
    > I give them water bottles and shove them out back during the week <g>.


    When I visited the Raleigh branch of a large software
    company last summer, one of their engineers described the
    air as like "trying to breathe in a sack of wet rats."

    --
    Eric.Sosman@sun.com
     
    Eric Sosman, Nov 11, 2003
    #7
  8. Thanks for all the info guys, very enlightening, and entertaining too!
    It sounds pretty much like most of my friends have described from other
    industries over there. It's really the amount of time spent working that
    puts me off most, I guess I'm just lazy! I would love to experience living
    somewhere else and the u.s. was first choice as I've friends there and I
    like the sound of the place in so many ways but I just don't think I could
    get used to that after being used to this! When do you guys get to see your
    family!

    thanks again, Richard.


    "Eric Sosman" <Eric.Sosman@sun.com> wrote in message
    news:3FB12BF0.3F536DF9@sun.com...
    > "Darryl L. Pierce" wrote:
    > >
    > > Richard Reynolds wrote:
    > >
    > > > However, the weather here is CRAP!! plus I'm tempted by the wealth of
    > > > opportunity for travelling/outdoor pursuits for kids (I have 4) over
    > > > there.

    > >
    > > Pick your destination wisely. Where I live (central NC) it's either too

    hot
    > > to do anything (from late May until early October) and then things get
    > > boring. Though, I take the lads out biking on the weekends and my wife

    and
    > > I give them water bottles and shove them out back during the week <g>.

    >
    > When I visited the Raleigh branch of a large software
    > company last summer, one of their engineers described the
    > air as like "trying to breathe in a sack of wet rats."
    >
    > --
    > Eric.Sosman@sun.com
     
    Richard Reynolds, Nov 11, 2003
    #8
  9. Eric Sosman wrote:

    >> Pick your destination wisely. Where I live (central NC) it's either too
    >> hot to do anything (from late May until early October) and then things
    >> get boring. Though, I take the lads out biking on the weekends and my
    >> wife and I give them water bottles and shove them out back during the
    >> week <g>.

    >
    > When I visited the Raleigh branch of a large software
    > company last summer, one of their engineers described the
    > air as like "trying to breathe in a sack of wet rats."


    Yeah, it can get very humid down here. When I hit the trails in summer (I'm
    a mountain biker), I invariably wind up thoroughly drenched before I've hit
    the first mile. And the bugs are horrible as well.

    Where my in-laws live (Albemarle Sound) the water's acidic, so there are
    very few mosquitoes. Here, we have them, preying mantis, etc. I hate
    bugs...

    --
    Darryl L. Pierce <mcpierce@myrealbox.com>
    Visit the Infobahn Offramp - <http://mypage.org/mcpierce>
    "What do you care what other people think, Mr. Feynman?"
     
    Darryl L. Pierce, Nov 12, 2003
    #9
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