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can this be legal

 
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I work for company which has salaries based (to some extend) on "seniority-level". Some manager (who knows nothing about programming) has set the individuals seniority-level. I think it's based more on how good friend one is with the managers, not your actual skills. To create illusion that there's more than a**kissing, managers have created nice little excel-sheet (which they do, plus irritating powerpoints) which states typical skills/tasks for the seniority-level. I think that before this excel-sheet was applied, "older" employees had their seniority-level set according to THAT time's standard. And after that they haven't been updated, so their seniority-levels might well be out-of-date

Anyhow, as you might have guessed, I've been set one level below than those colleageus who have been longer in the company. So they should be more skillful than me. One skill mentioned for their level is GoF-patterns. Newertheless things like strategy, template method, reflection, composition or decorator are something they've never heard of, not to mention the managers.

But what really makes me think there's something illegal around is that in order to get to the level they are now, they should have completed the SCWCD according to the excel-sheet. But they didn't. Their old seniority-level is in place. For me, newcomer, I should make that SCWCD to get to the level they are. Everybody probably knows how frustrating that certificate is to get.

But anyhow, what do you think, if there's "seniority-levels" in place (and those levels-tasks has been clearly stated in excel-sheet) is it legal that "older" employees take their place in higher level for granted and more "junior" guys have to have certificates the senior guys didn't have to have to get to the level they are currently at?

I know my writing might sound whining about but I honestly think I've been insulted and mistreated. Any comment would be appreciated
 
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Are the levels based on age? sex? race? religion? sexual preference? If so, then yes, it is illegal (at least in the U.S. that is). And regardless of legality, it is generally very difficult to prove.

Henry

 
Tapio Niemela
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Henry Wong wrote:Are the levels based on age? sex? race? religion? sexual preference? If so, then yes, it is illegal (at least in the U.S. that is). And regardless of legality, it is generally very difficult to prove.

Henry



hey, thanks for your reply. The levels SHOULD be based on level descriptions on excel sheet. Excel sheet states levels and typical tasks/skills needed for that level. But then who has actually judged our levels has used either existing levels (given previously before this "excel-sheet-based" was even existing, so old data) or has done the estimation based on age..

I don't want to sound sovinist, but in Finland I think there's still difference between salary a man and a woman gets for the same job..
 
Tapio Niemela
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now I found out I can't actually do anything about it. The more senior guys are entitled "Application Architecht" while I'm "Application Developer". There's different job tasks/seniority descriptions for AA and AD. Application Architecht doesn't have to have SCWCD to get to the level they are at. Funny, "Application Architecht" sounds more senior and skillfull than "Application Developer" to me. Someone who would do the Design and UML stuff. Anyhow what I know for daily basis is that in my company there's no any difference between "Application Architecht" and "Application Developer"

So to get to next level I have to get that SCWCD. After I got that certificate I might then aswell look for another job, so humiliated I feel
 
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Tapio,
I'm not a lawyer so I can't comment on what is legal or not.

I would like to point out that you are mixing two concepts here.

1) (In the United States) "Seniority level" has a time based element. Seniority can be measured as length of time within an organization, length of time or within a certain job. It is not a concept that is largely a statement of one's skill.

anyhow, as you might have guessed, I've been set one level below than those colleageus who have been longer in the company


This is how seniority works.

2) Skill level/matrix - What skills/certs one has. Even for this, it is perfectly ok to "grandfather" people into a position. Suppose your job decided new people needed to have the SCJP cert. Do you think someone with 5 years as a Java developer should have to go back and get it?

is it legal that "older" employees take their place in higher level for granted and more "junior" guys have to have certificates the senior guys didn't have to have to get to the level they are currently at?


I don't know about legal, but it seems reasonable to me.

Funny, "Application Architecht" sounds more senior and skillfull than "Application Developer" to me.


Some higher level jobs don't require knowing everything that the lower level jobs do. For example, I'm sure you would agree a project manager doesn't need a SCJP to effectively manage.

In your case, what's the harm of getting a SCWCD. Yes, it takes time. But it's good to have regardless if employers in your area value it.
 
Henry Wong
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I agree with Jeanne, there really isn't much that can be reasonably justified as "insulting", "mistreatment", or "humiliation". Organization charts are common (although having it based on certifications is probably not).

After I got that certificate I might then aswell look for another job, so humiliated I feel



And be careful with this. You don't want to accidently make this known to your colleagues, even if you are very sure you are quitting. It may be an option, but why force it?

Henry
 
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Some higher level jobs don't require knowing everything that the lower level jobs do. For example, I'm sure you would agree a project manager doesn't need a SCJP to effectively manage.


That is true in case of manager. But if Application Developer has to be SCWCD certified then why not Application Architect SCEA certified or some other UML certification which will suite the title of Application Architect. I may be wrong but I feel it should be like that in ideal situation, but rarely we see ideal situation.

What Jeanne and Henry said is practical and I agree with that, but I feel it is little unfair for application developer to have certificate and application architect need not because both are technical roles.
 
Tapio Niemela
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Rajesh Thakare wrote:

Some higher level jobs don't require knowing everything that the lower level jobs do. For example, I'm sure you would agree a project manager doesn't need a SCJP to effectively manage.


That is true in case of manager. But if Application Developer has to be SCWCD certified then why not Application Architect SCEA certified or some other UML certification which will suite the title of Application Architect. I may be wrong but I feel it should be like that in ideal situation, but rarely we see ideal situation.



Totally agree, but in my case there's no difference in daily work whether one is Application Developer or Application Arcitecht. And I still can't understand how one can be ranked higher if one doesn't know even basics of Design Patterns, it would sound logical to me that Application Architecth would be required to know Design Patterns, UML and OO-principles

Simpy put, of course I feel insulted/dismissed if colleagues who aren't more skilled than me are ranked higher and thus gain more salary!
 
Sandeep Awasthi
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Simpy put, of course I feel insulted/dismissed if colleagues who aren't more skilled than me are ranked higher and thus gain more salary!


You have to take this out of your mind because everywhere you will see this. We always think of ideal organization which is very rare. So do not feel insulted. This is how organizations are and we have to get adjusted if we have to build career.


And I still can't understand how one can be ranked higher if one doesn't know even basics of Design Patterns, it would sound logical to me that Application Architecth would be required to know Design Patterns, UML and OO-principles


If I am at your place, I will do only what my role is. In short if I am application developer and work comes to me which requires design, I will bring to notice of the person who assigned me that work saying it requires design and would be better done by my senior ( even if I know design). This way at least my seniors will make efforts to make justice to their role or get exposed.
 
Henry Wong
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If I am at your place, I will do only what my role is. In short if I am application developer and work comes to me which requires design, I will bring to notice of the person who assigned me that work saying it requires design and would be better done by my senior ( even if I know design). This way at least my seniors will make efforts to make justice to their role or get exposed.



I would be really careful with this advice. In fact, I would suggest that you don't do this...

You don't want to have a reputation of someone who is unable (or unwilling) to grow beyond his/her role. It is not something that you want someone thinking about when they are considering you for a promotion.

Henry
 
Sandeep Awasthi
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May be Henry is right. But I want to know how can I make it visible that I am more skillful than my senior or let me put it other way, I am eligible for role of my senior or I am more skillful than what I am currently doing. I want to make it visible in better way not in a way that I am desperate to get promotion.
 
Tapio Niemela
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Henry Wong wrote:

If I am at your place, I will do only what my role is. In short if I am application developer and work comes to me which requires design, I will bring to notice of the person who assigned me that work saying it requires design and would be better done by my senior ( even if I know design). This way at least my seniors will make efforts to make justice to their role or get exposed.



I would be really careful with this advice. In fact, I would suggest that you don't do this...

You don't want to have a reputation of someone who is unable (or unwilling) to grow beyond his/her role. It is not something that you want someone thinking about when they are considering you for a promotion.

Henry



Yes, in practice I agree, but theoritically I really would like to get rid-of free-riders.
 
Tapio Niemela
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Tapio Niemela wrote:

Henry Wong wrote:

If I am at your place, I will do only what my role is. In short if I am application developer and work comes to me which requires design, I will bring to notice of the person who assigned me that work saying it requires design and would be better done by my senior ( even if I know design). This way at least my seniors will make efforts to make justice to their role or get exposed.



I would be really careful with this advice. In fact, I would suggest that you don't do this...

You don't want to have a reputation of someone who is unable (or unwilling) to grow beyond his/her role. It is not something that you want someone thinking about when they are considering you for a promotion.

Henry



Yes, in practice I agree, but theoritically I really would like to get rid-of free-riders.



And when Henry is giving his advice he is also basically saying is that one should do more demanding job for lower salary
 
Henry Wong
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And when Henry is giving his advice he is also basically saying is that one should do more demanding job for lower salary



Well... it depends.

Do you consider your colleagues competitors? Or do you consider them as friends (or future friends) whom you may hang out with? Have a beer with? Whom you may help out (because you want to)? And who may help you find a future opportunity?

Do you consider your manager as your task master? Or do you consider them as friends? Whom you would like to impress because you want to? Whom may, in the future, woo you to join them in an endeavor?

Do you consider what you do as something you must do, because it's the least annoying to do? Or do you enjoy doing it? That you want to improve on it, even when it is not necessary? Because it is fun.

Do you consider you current position as a job? Or as a career? Something that you enjoy, and you don't mind doing til you retire? And which you would like to delay as long as possible? Because it is fun.

Basically, is everything measured in the "salary" for the "demand" level of the job? Or are you also considering the training, or as a proving ground for your future job.


Anyway, if you consider the first, and not the later, then never mind. My advice won't work here.

Henry
 
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Tapio Niemela wrote:And when Henry is giving his advice he is also basically saying is that one should do more demanding job for lower salary


Not completely. One of the best ways to get promoted is to be doing tasks beyond your title. It shows you can do them when promotion time rolls around. It also gives you leverage in requesting a raise. (or transferring to another company if you don't like the one you are at.) Needless to say I agree with Henry in that you should not refuse a task because it makes it look like you can't or don't want to do the work.

There's nothing wrong with doing something you don't have to if it helps you grow. Do you know how much Henry and I get paid for moderating JavaRanch? Nothing. And yet if Henry asked for my help in something I wouldn't hesitate. We're both in New York; Henry has more experience that me - should I refuse to help him? My answer is of course not! [Henry: A beer to you .] I feel the same way about people I work with at my real job. I want to see a strong team. I contribute to making this happen and management has noticed. I have noted that much of my advancement came from doing this that I "didn't have to do" or weren't at my level.

I don't understand what the big issue is here. Your company has clearly outlined what you need to do to get ahead. Others were "grandfathered in" and don't need to do it. Fine - you may think that's unfair. It's still a fact of life. I would appreciate such clear direction on what to do in order to get a promotion. It gives you something concrete to focus on.

if colleagues who aren't more skilled than me are ranked higher and thus gain more salary!


There are many ways of measuring experience. They clearly have more experience at the company than you do. (I'm not clear on whether they have more experience in the industry as well.) Maybe they have a better understanding of the business domain or something? I'm just saying that it is better to focus on yourself and what you can do to get promoted.

Rajesh Thakare wrote:May be Henry is right. But I want to know how can I make it visible that I am more skillful than my senior or let me put it other way, I am eligible for role of my senior or I am more skillful than what I am currently doing. I want to make it visible in better way not in a way that I am desperate to get promotion.


Do you not talk to your manager? These are the things he or she should be made aware of.

[edited because I forgot to add the beer]
 
Tapio Niemela
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Henry Wong wrote:

And when Henry is giving his advice he is also basically saying is that one should do more demanding job for lower salary



Well... it depends.

Do you consider your colleagues competitors? Or do you consider them as friends (or future friends) whom you may hang out with? Have a beer with? Whom you may help out (because you want to)? And who may help you find a future opportunity?

Do you consider your manager as your task master? Or do you consider them as friends? Whom you would like to impress because you want to? Whom may, in the future, woo you to join them in an endeavor?

Do you consider what you do as something you must do, because it's the least annoying to do? Or do you enjoy doing it? That you want to improve on it, even when it is not necessary? Because it is fun.

Do you consider you current position as a job? Or as a career? Something that you enjoy, and you don't mind doing til you retire? And which you would like to delay as long as possible? Because it is fun.

Basically, is everything measured in the "salary" for the "demand" level of the job? Or are you also considering the training, or as a proving ground for your future job.


Anyway, if you consider the first, and not the later, then never mind. My advice won't work here.

Henry




Did you read the first post: " I think it's based more on how good friend one is with the managers, not your actual skills". So, it's ridiculous if there's "rules/definitions" or seniority levels and being just friends with manager or by "grandfathering" to the position gets one to the level one doesn't deserve more than me.

Friendships doesn't have anything to do with the competence.

Besides, salary isn't just salary, it also shows how much the employer appreciates your work/skills. I used to learn things on my own, for fun and for the good of the company. But it really brings your morale down when this isn't noticed (at least by managers, customers have liked my work I've understood) and meanwhile "grandfathering to position" or being friend with the manager is the key to "success"
 
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Friendships doesn't have anything to do with the competence.



True. But we are taking about success, which depends on more than competence. It depends on competence, lots of luck, and a whole network of friends.

or being friend with the manager is the key to "success"



Well, I wouldn't say that it is the "key to success", but it is definitely one of the factors. It's human nature. People help people that they like. And people like people that they can work with.... I would rather work with a colleague that works well with others, and who is competent, over one that doesn't work well with others, and may have a lot better skills.

Henry
 
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Henry Wong wrote:

Friendships doesn't have anything to do with the competence.



True. But we are taking about success, which depends on more than competence. It depends on competence, lots of luck, and a whole network of friends.

or being friend with the manager is the key to "success"



Well, I wouldn't say that it is the "key to success", but it is definitely one of the factors. It's human nature. People help people that they like. And people like people that they can work with.... I would rather work with a colleague that works well with others, and who is competent, over one that doesn't work well with others, and may have a lot better skills.

Henry



If you know your way you don't need "luck" to succee

If what you wrote is true then why create illusion that actual competence would be taken account instead of "being-best-friend-with-manager"?
 
Henry Wong
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If what you wrote is true then why create illusion that actual competence would be taken account instead of "being-best-friend-with-manager"?



Your question implies that being friends with your manager is a**kissing, and proves incompetence. Your question also implies that it is a conspiracy. I said neither.

It is possible to be competent (or even great at what you do), and work well with your manager. And working well with your manager doesn't mean that you are a**kissing, or even "best friends".

Henry
 
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