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Are you worried?

 
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If you have been following the news (or at least the nasdaq) there are many companies (Scient, razorfish,ixl, other .coms) that are layiing off workers in our arena (web development). What are your takes on this? ixl corted me but I didn't go work there, if I did I would be back in the market today? I am just glad I found a company that is stable (seems that way anyway) with a viable buisness plan (seems that way anyway) and has work lined up (also we get to play foosball).
What are your thoughts...
paul
 
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Alway being one to give my opinion... :-)
I think rather than an outright crash, we're seeing a dichotomy in the high tech world. On the one hand, you have a high tech bubonic plague, on the other, there are scores of companies that can't hire people fast enough.
My own explanation is that the ones doing the swan dives fall into one of three categories:
1) Run-of-the-mill dot coms (e.g. pets.com, furnature.com) These
companies never had realistic revenue models. They could have made it, but only if they really gained a huge market share. But in the giddy world of 1998, no one bothered to look to closely at the bottom line numbers.
2) Support firms for the dot coms. These are mostly web design firms, and some consulting. Some of them even based their compensation on revenues streams from the deceased. Naturally as their food supply dwindles, so do they.
3) Copycats (e.g. Toysmart, Shoplink). Some are dot comes, some are services. In any case, they didn't gain enough market share to stay in the game.
Sure, companies like Altavista and Oracle are down. But the same
irrational exuberance that shot them into the stratosphere yesterday are beating them into the ground now. They'll make it through, though, because for the most part, their models are sound, even if not as wonderful as they used to appear.
Of course, what VCs always like to say is that they're investing in the people, not the product. This market proves the point. The economics of the computer age (I refuse to say "new economy") has changed a lot lately. The best comapnies are the ones who aren't doing what they started. Some of the big boys who demonstrate this:
- IBM was just big iron, today they sell software solutions.
- Oracle was just databases, now they want to be the next
Microsoft.
- Yahoo was an index, then a portal. Tomorrow, who knows?
--Mark
hershey@eyeshake.com
 
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Paul:
I have found there are abosulutely no guarantees with regards to job security. This is the reason I changed my focus/job needs towards transferrable job skills.
I flew from Philly to Kansas City in May of this year (company had a resume from my 1995 job search). I did the interviews (which were not technical - was for a Java position). I get home and 2 days later their 800 number was disconnected. I later dound out the entire HR department was reorganized and that they did not need Java programmers. BTW/ The company was Payless Shoe Source (corporate offices are in Topeka, KS).
I just flew out to Denver two weeks ago for a MAJOR fortune 50 company in Fort Collins, CO. Company anounced a 3 month hiring freeze the day after I got back to Philly.
And of course, who can forget getting laid off 6 months after starting with Lucent Technologies as a college hire.
So there are absolutely no guarantees. This industry seems to turn people over just as bad as the trucking industry. I was an owner-operator for 5 years ('85-'90) before going to college.
------
With regards to the current job market. Things still seem pretty strong. Could be the year-end jitters. I know Lucent just had another big layoff two weeks ago. But the recruiters
and headhunters still keep calling. Just had a company this afternoon offer to fly me to Wash D.C. for an interview.

Johnny
(jpcoxey@aol.com)
 
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I have studied what you all posted carefully. The more I think about it. The more I think consulting is the key. Any good books, magazine articles, or advice about this move to consulting from salary?

------------------
Michael Finney
Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform
Sun Certified Developer for the Java 2 Platform
 
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www.cpuniverse.com
 
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