IT Job Ads Gone Mad
by Walter V. Koenning, for reallylinux.com humor section.
Perhaps it's a result of the massive
shift in the world economy getting managers a bit crazed. Or maybe it's a result of excessive layoff and re-hiring cycles? Or just simply a response to
ridiculous resumes where recent college graduates tout twenty years
of collective experience.
But the result is that IT related
job ads have started to take on a rather mad style.
For instance, I've recently seen a
rash of the most ridiculous want ads for Linux computer engineers.
Is the industry so bad off? Are some recruiters not getting enough
sleep? Are managers using too much medication under the financial pressures?
Here is an example for you to muse
over from a recent online job posting:
Wanted C/C++ Programmer with Linux
Opportunity to work in a large
enterprise environment with significant career growth.
Required skills include 10 years
experience with ANSI/C, C++, TASM or related Assembly experience,
Linux/UNIX kernel development, OOP experience, and at least 7 years
writing device drivers.
Salary $29,000 - $35,000 /yr.
Am I missing something? Have our Linux and development skills been so diluted over the past year?
This is the kind of
ad that makes me wonder seriously about the software industry.
This is not an isolated case. I've
seen countless ads that offer ridiculous salaries for extremely
difficult work. Writing device drivers is no cup of tea. It's
often a grueling, thankless, taxing job that few are willing to do
even if they can do it.
I've seen similar ads recently on
some of the big technology websites, offering hourly wages for
Here are some quotes:
"Hourly $25-$35 based on experience;
Required: C, UNIX, SQL, Java, embedded Linux"
"$45k Required skills: 8 yrs C programming in the Linux or Unix environment"
On another ad,
"Caltech, MIT or Berkeley grads
No bias at all, really!
They also include "essentials" such
"superior communication skills,
writing skills and ability to work across teams and organizations"
My favorite one:
"possess aptitude to implement code
and manage the team"
Sure, why not just include tech management as a throw in
for software engineering... afterall this makes for high quality management!
I've seen senior manager jobs paid as
mid-level tech jobs using this guise.
The way the company gets around this is
to advertise it as a "team leader" opportunity. Hey, why not
manage a handful of programmers while writing C code until 2am?
After all, you're expected to live in the office anyway, might as
well get to know the team and write up their annual reviews, work out
vacation scheduling, and address personnel problems so someone else
doesn't have to.
These jobs often have salary listings
so outrageous I have to wonder if someone can possibly reply to them.
When they do include something substantial financially, they often
add a statement like:
"must be willing to work 70+ hrs/wk
If this trend continues, and if people
don't wake up and realize the challenge of finding good code
writers, we may end up having to face ads similar to this:
Wanted: Demi-god Software Programmer
Capability to write code for any device
including pacemakers, wrist watches and staplers.
Requires expertise in all languages
invented since Pascal, and preferably including every toolset and
language with a three letter word (OOP, ASM. ARM, iHA, CLI, GSM, ATG,
Although advertised as a Linux
programmer job, must be willing to write code for any OS including:
BSD, UNIX, Windows NT, Solaris, Windows CE, Amiga DOS, and VMS VAX.
Must be willing to kiss your family
goodbye and work your life off in an enclosed cubicle.
Must be capable of producing at least
30,000 lines of code per week while ingesting coffee that tastes like
Must be willing to take any salary we
post and grovel during the interview for an extra $300 per month,
which will be promptly deducted to pay for the increasing health care
Must be ready to work immediately, with
or without a computer or chair. In fact, we prefer BYOC, bring your
Send us your resume ASAP in order for
us to create the longest possible delay in response time. Contact
This kind of thing makes me wonder if it might not be a smart idea for me to move overseas!
This brief HUMOR piece should not be construed as factual information. You take this article seriously at your own risk. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. IBM, PC-DOS, and OS/2 are the registered trademarks or trademarks of International Business Machines. Microsoft, Microsoft Service Agreement, Microsoft Windows are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation both in the United States and Internationally. All other trademarks or registered trademarks in this opinion piece belong to their respective owners.