Team-BHP > Around the Corner > Shifting gears


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 13th October 2018, 16:54   #241
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Dombivli
Posts: 2,948
Thanked: 1,869 Times
Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

My point only is that being an IT professional is not a life saving skill, or even an essential skill. Also a programmer cannot survive on its own without having some corporate entity to depend on. So at most it's a superficial skill that seems to add some value somewhere up the value chain that's difficult to measure, and so is marred with absurd and erratic pays and job conditions. It's too immature as a field of work.
honeybee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th October 2018, 17:53   #242
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,586
Thanked: 2,339 Times
Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
Also a programmer cannot survive on its own without having some corporate entity to depend on.
You'll be surprised at the number of indie developers publishing software products. Or working off short-term contract jobs. Or contributing to FOSS. Just that these styles of working are not popular in India (though I myself have several people in my address book who do freelancing in certain specialized areas).
binand is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2018, 09:43   #243
Senior - BHPian
 
arindambasu13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,003
Thanked: 880 Times
Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

Quote:
Originally Posted by binand View Post
You'll be surprised at the number of indie developers publishing software products. Or working off short-term contract jobs. Or contributing to FOSS. Just that these styles of working are not popular in India (though I myself have several people in my address book who do freelancing in certain specialized areas).
That is a very very small- in fact, minuscule - percentage that you are referring to. Most software professionals are completely and wholly dependent upon companies to earn their daily living. Each of them is a small and very very easily replaceable cog in a huge wheel which is serving Western giants - for the most part. Now that the IT boom is tapering off for the past several years, and skill sets are required to be overhauled and revised, most of them are facing a bleak future.

Looking at the middle rung of IT companies which are bursting at the seams with these IT graduates- one can see the very epitome and definition of redundancy. No wonder that companies are setting out with an axe to chop this excess fat in these times of lean and downturned markets.

Last edited by arindambasu13 : 15th October 2018 at 09:45.
arindambasu13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2018, 09:57   #244
Team-BHP Support
 
Samurai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Banglore-Udupi
Posts: 23,936
Thanked: 21,655 Times
Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
But when I visualize a life away from the costly cities and in some quiet village, I realize I have none of the skills actually essential to living life. What I have are useless to earn me my daily bread.
I do live close to quiet villages half my time. Trust me, most people there too don't have basic life skills anymore. Almost all of them will be helpless without electricity, even farmers. We are not a primitive society where everyone must have life skills. We all have evolved to special skills, and basic life skills have little value except in emergencies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
My point only is that being an IT professional is not a life saving skill, or even an essential skill. Also a programmer cannot survive on its own without having some corporate entity to depend on.
You mean just like bankers, accountants, or any other white collar job?
Samurai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2018, 12:25   #245
Distinguished - BHPian
 
selfdrive's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 2,937
Thanked: 3,060 Times
Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
My point only is that being an IT professional is not a life saving skill, or even an essential skill. Also a programmer cannot survive on its own without having some corporate entity to depend on.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
You mean just like bankers, accountants, or any other white collar job?
or even any collar job, correct? People working in the manufacturing industry too for that matter depend on corporate entities for capital investment.
selfdrive is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2018, 12:35   #246
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 2,586
Thanked: 2,339 Times
Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

Quote:
Originally Posted by arindambasu13 View Post
That is a very very small- in fact, minuscule - percentage that you are referring to.[...] Now that the IT boom is tapering off for the past several years, and skill sets are required to be overhauled and revised, most of them are facing a bleak future.
You are right; but I was pointing out that such avenues exist and everyone needn't serve these western giants all the time and face a bleak future when the boom phase tapers off.
binand is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2018, 13:00   #247
Senior - BHPian
 
kiku007's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 1,902
Thanked: 2,441 Times
Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
My point only is that being an IT professional is not a life saving skill, or even an essential skill. Also a programmer cannot survive on its own without having some corporate entity to depend on. So at most it's a superficial skill that seems to add some value somewhere up the value chain that's difficult to measure, and so is marred with absurd and erratic pays and job conditions. It's too immature as a field of work.
Being in the politically correct world we live in, should I take offence for every sentence in the above post since I'm an IT professional?
kiku007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2018, 13:08   #248
BHPian
 
roshanjathanna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Bangalore/Udupi
Posts: 35
Thanked: 16 Times
Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

I feel there should be dignity of labor, (All types of jobs are respected equally, and no occupation is considered superior). It's like team work. No one is stopping us to learn new skills, except our superiority complex .
roshanjathanna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2018, 16:49   #249
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 55,947
Thanked: 149,011 Times
Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

Guys, phenomenal discussion, even for non-techies like me! Have been subscribed to this thread since its beginning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
I know a youngster, an engineer, who at age 25 gave up his techie job and is now into wedding photography, charging 2-2.5 L per shoot.
Dude, that's an outstanding post! Thanks. This is the only part I want to reply to though. Doing your own thing is awesome and I would strongly encourage that. However, having built 3 businesses, I would like to add that:

1. For every photographer who charges 2 lakhs per wedding shoot, there are 1,000 others who would struggle to make ends meet. Also, I don't remember the exact stats, but 80 - 90% of all small businesses never see their 5th anniversary because they shut down before that.

2. The mindsets of an entrepreneur & a corporate techie are very different, from what I've seen. Goods & bads on both sides, but most corporate folk I know couldn't start a business, and most businessmen I know wouldn't survive a week in the corporate world.

3. If you want to do something independently, first work with an individual or company already in the industry. Think of it as a 1 - 2 year MBA in that business. E.g. if I wanted to start a car dealership, I'd work as a salesman or manager in an existing dealership for 24 months minimum.

Also depends on your capacity at the age of 40. I enjoy running my business, but at the age of 41, I'm unwilling to start something from scratch. All those 12 - 16 hour days, anxiety over finding new customers, balancing revenue & bills etc. are behind me.

When I was 27, I wanted to build a fast car from scratch. At 41, I just want to drive the fast cars that I've built.
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2018, 18:16   #250
Distinguished - BHPian
 
R2D2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Pune
Posts: 2,844
Thanked: 3,914 Times
Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Dude, that's an outstanding post! Thanks. This is the only part I want to reply to though. Doing your own thing is awesome and I would strongly encourage that.
Thanks GTO

Quote:
1. For every photographer who charges 2 lakhs per wedding shoot, there are 1,000 others who would struggle to make ends meet. Also, I don't remember the exact stats, but 80 - 90% of all small businesses never see their 5th anniversary because they shut down before that.
It is human nature to idolise, publicise and felicitate success stories but not the failures.

That youngster is a hard core techie he used to design and manufacture industrial control circuit boards but he just stopped and shifted to photography. We have fun discussions on both topics. Also, he hails from GJ being businessmen runs in their blood. I believe age and genes are on his side.

Quote:
2. The mindsets of an entrepreneur & a corporate techie are very different, from what I've seen. Goods & bads on both sides, but most corporate folk I know couldn't start a business, and most businessmen I know wouldn't survive a week in the corporate world.
You very rightly point out the mindsets required to be a corporate employee or a businessman are different.

For e.g. although I have successfully run corporate business units generating 10s of millions of dollars worth of business each year for years on end, when I decided to go independent and contemplate starting my own small IT company I got a case of (very) cold feet. I may have the experience in running a business but being from a service class family the thought of pumping in a majority of my life's savings into a perceived risky business was scary. The spouse wasn't too thrilled either.

Now, on the other hand, a school friend of mine, chucked his job as a VP in a well known software company and started his own services business back in 2011 which till today is running very successfully. The difference between me and him? He's the "Type A" boisterous marketing man and me the mildly introverted "techno-manager" who believed and still believe I don't have the chops to start and run a business from scratch risking the savings built up over multiple decades in the process. Thing is, getting into large financial commitments make me sweat.

I also believe you need age on your side because starting afresh in middle age can be difficult. The chances of recovering from a major financial setback at this age are low. It's an unpleasant thought considering people live longer and expenses, especially medical, will only grow as one gets older.

Quote:
3. If you want to do something independently, first work with an individual or company already in the industry. Think of it as a 1 - 2 year MBA in that business. E.g. if I wanted to start a car dealership, I'd work as a salesman or manager in an existing dealership for 24 months minimum.
Amen.
R2D2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2018, 18:42   #251
Team-BHP Support
 
Samurai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Banglore-Udupi
Posts: 23,936
Thanked: 21,655 Times
Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

Quote:
Originally Posted by R2D2 View Post
Now, on the other hand, a school friend of mine, chucked his job as a VP in a well known software company and started his own services business back in 2011 which till today is running very successfully. The difference between me and him? He's the "Type A" boisterous marketing man and me the mildly introverted "techno-manager" who believed and still believe I don't have the chops to start and run a business from scratch risking the savings built up over multiple decades in the process. Thing is, getting into large financial commitments make me sweat.
In my experience, it doesn't depend on type A or type B personality. It depends on whether you are a good salesman or not. Natural salesmen build successful companies lot more frequently than those who are not. Their focus is more on sales/revenue, than perfecting the product/service. As a techno-manager, you may know how to build a perfect product, but you will have a very hard time convincing customers about that. I have been in that shoes for a pretty long time.

A company started by good salesman will worry about perfecting the product (or building one) after winning some deals. Remember, Bill Gates made the DOS deal with IBM even before he bought it from Tim Paterson.
Samurai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2018, 19:29   #252
Distinguished - BHPian
 
R2D2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Pune
Posts: 2,844
Thanked: 3,914 Times
Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
In my experience, it doesn't depend on type A or type B personality. It depends on whether you are a good salesman or not. Natural salesmen build successful companies lot more frequently than those who are not. Their focus is more on sales/revenue, than perfecting the product/service. As a techno-manager, you may know how to build a perfect product, but you will have a very hard time convincing customers about that. I have been in that shoes for a pretty long time.
True, without getting into the personality type that's what I was trying to say too. My school pal is a hardcore sales & marketing guy. Yeah, he also drives a BMW 5 series among other cars. Gotta project a slick image.

In manufacturing industry jargon blokes like me are like production unit or factory heads rather than the go-getting Sale guy. I liken these chaps as the 'spear or arrow head'. While they OTOH called us "back-end" or "techie" chaps interchangeably. The former being a deliberate and unflattering pun. And believe it or not the Sales chap and me worked as a team and toured together frequently hunting for business, something called the 2-in-a-box concept. He'd do the cold calls, sales pitch and commercials while I'd field technical and delivery related queries.

Quote:
A company started by good salesman will worry about perfecting the product (or building one) after winning some deals. Remember, Bill Gates made the DOS deal with IBM even before he bought it from Tim Paterson.
Absolutely. I'd need a product that I would be convinced about before pitching it to a customer. While the Sales guys, well, they're generally comfortable working even with 'vapourware' at an early stage as long as there is at least a proof-of-concept to demo either in person or remotely should a customer ask for it. This school friend, he started from zilch. I'd always give guys like him a way better chance at being a successful businessman.
R2D2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15th October 2018, 20:35   #253
Distinguished - BHPian
 
androdev's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: bangalore
Posts: 1,835
Thanked: 3,258 Times
Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

A techie can always partner with a sales/business oriented person. This is actually a fairly common and desirable composition of founding teams at least among product companies. The founding team needs an aggressive sales oriented person but introvert techie can surely have a seat at the big table. Most techies are risk averse and get a lot of kick in working for big names and that is the main issue I have noticed in my experience. Also few of them are not technical enough to single handedly build a marketable product and have the ability to wear many hats (product manager, architect, full stack developer, capacity planning, dev ops, customer support, hiring, mentoring etc.).

Last edited by androdev : 15th October 2018 at 20:41.
androdev is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2018, 00:37   #254
Team-BHP Support
 
Samurai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Banglore-Udupi
Posts: 23,936
Thanked: 21,655 Times
Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
The founding team needs an aggressive sales oriented person but introvert techie can surely have a seat at the big table.
So the introvert techie just gets a seat at the big table? What if the techie started the company?

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
A techie can always partner with a sales/business oriented person. This is actually a fairly common and desirable composition of founding teams at least among product companies.
Yes, that is ideal. But it is not always possible. If a product has long sales cycle (say 6-10 months), or high learning curve, it is hard to retain the interest of a sales person. A sales person can make money selling anything. So they will move on after a while. Has happened to us lots of time. It took us a long time to build the right network of sales partners who understand the domain and also understand our products.

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Most techies are risk averse and get a lot of kick in working for big names and that is the main issue I have noticed in my experience.
Same could be said about sales guys despite being less risk averse. Sales guys make really big bucks working for big brands. When they work for startups or small firms, the money is hard to come by. Representing a big brand is easy, but selling unknown brands is very hard and frustrating. When sales guys work for startups for little money, they are usually doing it for a challenge or love of building a brand. I know this because I have worked with such sales guys most of my career.

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Also few of them are not technical enough to single handedly build a marketable product and have the ability to wear many hats (product manager, architect, full stack developer, capacity planning, dev ops, customer support, hiring, mentoring etc.).
People who can't wear multiple hats must never start a company. I have worn every hat you mention, and some more like network administrator, security guard, therapist, lawyer, accountant, etc. Sales is the only area I tried and failed miserably.

However, some research has gone into finding the essential qualities of a CEO. Well, the answer may surprise you. This is from an extensive study, whose results were published in Harvard Business Review.

7 Essential Qualities
  • Risk taking
  • Drive and resilience
  • Original thinking
  • The ability to visualize the future
  • Team building
  • Being an active communicator
  • The ability to catalyze others to action

So it is neither techie nor sales person. He/she must be a person who can build the right team. Sure, a company headed by a salesperson may do higher revenues. And a company headed by a techie may build a better product. I have seen many instances of both cases.

Therefore, if a person is leaving the corporate world in the 40s, he/she must seriously do some self-assessment and compare the result with the above list.
Samurai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 16th October 2018, 08:31   #255
Distinguished - BHPian
 
androdev's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: bangalore
Posts: 1,835
Thanked: 3,258 Times
Default Re: The plight of IT professionals in their 40s

^
Agree with all the points you mentioned esp the bit on 7 qualities. The previous posts seem to suggest an introvert techie is not fit for starting a business which I disagree with. Some internet consumer products don't even need direct sales and in other cases you can have partners to bring the complimentary skills. As long as you can think and build a product that the market needs (market-fit is the most difficult part), you have no particular disadvantage compared to any other entrepreneur.
androdev is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Life in your 40s RonXRi94 Shifting gears 129 21st September 2016 15:28
A friend's plight with Fiat Exclusive - Tejaswi Motors, Hyderabad adityasiera Indian Car Dealerships 30 25th November 2013 16:39
Pre-war Beauties - Cars of the 30s and 40s manasm Beyond Borders 0 15th June 2010 10:03
Plight Of A Passed Out Automobile Engineering Diploma Student humyum Shifting gears 17 21st August 2006 00:43
Plight of a hapless car owner satan_crazy Street Experiences 41 17th July 2006 19:40


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 08:13.

Copyright 2000 - 2020, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks