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Old 23rd March 2023, 18:19   #1051
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Re: Jobs, Attrition & Layoffs in IT companies

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Originally Posted by no_fear View Post
However, what I disagree with, is the current conflation that just because someone is working in IT / startup, any project they are working on is life changing, and thus they deserve to be awarded a high salary (cash + stocks) or a huge payout.
This I too agree with 100%

And apart from some deluded founders sitting on VC cash and billionaires who buy tech companies for ego boosts, I'm not sure there are too many IT folk who think that writing code is "making the world a better place".

Most of us in India are quite aware of the fact that the cost arbitrage model for IT services is what has been delivering our paychecks for decades.

It's a job. Overall it pays better on average than most other jobs and with better working conditions. Sometimes, for niche skills and in times of demand, it pays extremely well. (Never experienced that personally, I've always been in one of the mid-range compensation bands, going by salary data.)

Any one in a position to take advantage of that fact would take the money. I envy the high-earners, but don't blame them for that. So, am not sure about the reasoning behind posts implying that they should feel guilty about that. (@no_fear, again, not referring to your post, it was one of the more nuanced.)

Last edited by am1m : 23rd March 2023 at 18:23.
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Old 23rd March 2023, 19:20   #1052
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Re: Jobs, Attrition & Layoffs in IT companies

And the layoff season continues. This time it's the IT major Accenture shedding 19000 jobs.

Accenture to cut 19,000 jobs amid worsening global outlook, trims forecast

Unfortunately, the bad news will not stop here. The ongoing banking crisis in US will have it's effects on the IT majors as close to 25% of their revenue is linked to BFSI industry.
Brace for more layoffs.
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Old 23rd March 2023, 19:29   #1053
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Re: Jobs, Attrition & Layoffs in IT companies

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The hiring policy is always to keep the bar very high irrespective of the job profile because staff tend to move across departments. It would be a bad idea to hire a less competent engineer at a lower salary based on his/her immediate assignment that can be done by less competent staff. You are hiring for the company and not for the project. A less competent employee hired today will hire a dozen future employees who are even less competent.
Well that was exactly my point across my 1 & 2 points, a lot of "less competent" are *already* being hired at a high price, solely based on their ability to prepare for interviews where they come across as superstars. If the question is 'how else should I hire other than based on interviews', yes, good question, there is no other way (atleast nothing that can be rolled out at scale). But the point still remains that many such hires are over-compensated given their actual skills ( keeping aside the free market, demand-supply, perceived potential etc that will inevitably come into play) as opposed to realizable quantum of delivery. The compensation is purely based on how the candidates present themselves on the interview - not the actuals ( IQ, Attitude, Eye to detail or solutions in the face of 'unseen' problems realtime, work ethics etc). Once again I repeat, all this doesn't apply to "top talent" - that I described above - they truly deserve what they get.

Look, I'm happy that folks earn big, having been a country with low paying jobs over decades. But let them/us not get carried away on "true worth" etc.

Heck, I'm beginning to think if we speak to non Software Engg folks, many of them might actually think that all/most Soft engg folks are overpaid for the work they do \_(ツ)_/ I guess it's a function of the point of observation/observer too.

Last edited by airguitar : 23rd March 2023 at 19:41.
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Old 23rd March 2023, 19:37   #1054
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Re: Jobs, Attrition & Layoffs in IT companies

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This I too agree with 100%

I'm not sure there are too many IT folk who think that writing code is "making the world a better place".

It's a job. Overall it pays better on average than most other jobs and with better working conditions. Sometimes, for niche skills and in times of demand, it pays extremely well. (Never experienced that personally, I've always been in one of the mid-range compensation bands, going by salary data.)

Any one in a position to take advantage of that fact would take the money. I envy the high-earners, but don't blame them for that. So, am not sure about the reasoning behind posts implying that they should feel guilty about that.
@am1m

You raise very good points. Every job, in the end is just a job. The vast majority of us in India are pragmatic and understand that certain sectors pay well. The posts are not about grudges, or guilt. It is a discussion about how an industry is evolving based on market dynamics, and the current perception. My experiences and observations in previous posts are based on my discussions with folks living and working in the SF bay area, and recently with investors in India. Before I hijack the thread any further, let's return to the usual program of company layoffs.
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Old 23rd March 2023, 19:38   #1055
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Re: Jobs, Attrition & Layoffs in IT companies

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Originally Posted by speedmiester View Post
And the layoff season continues. This time it's the IT major Accenture shedding 19000 jobs.

Accenture to cut 19,000 jobs amid worsening global outlook, trims forecast

Unfortunately, the bad news will not stop here. The ongoing banking crisis in US will have it's effects on the IT majors as close to 25% of their revenue is linked to BFSI industry.
Brace for more layoffs.
Context helps. A few extra but relevant points from multiple news reports & annual reports:

1. As of November 30th, 2022, Accenture had 7,37,719 employees. Historically, it has seen attrition (excluding involuntary terminations) around 12% to 14% at the minimum. That's easily 80,000 - 1,00,000 voluntary terminations per year.

2. During the second quarter of fiscal 2023, Accenture initiated actions to streamline operations, transform non-billable corporate functions and consolidate office space to reduce costs:-> More than half of 19,000 cuts (only 2.5% of workforce) is from these actions

3. On an average the firm hires upwards of 1 lakh every year (recent historical data). There is no mention of drop in hiring (yet).

4. However, Accenture has mentioned it now expects its annual revenue growth to be in the range of 8 per cent to 10 per cent in local currency, compared to 8 per cent to 11 per cent expected previously :-> so far no mention of any revenue drop; but a 1% decrease in annual growth expectations at max

So, no, I wouldn't sound the alarm bells as of now

Last edited by ninjatalli : 23rd March 2023 at 19:39.
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Old 23rd March 2023, 20:19   #1056
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Re: Jobs, Attrition & Layoffs in IT companies

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...

And apart from some deluded founders sitting on VC cash and billionaires who buy tech companies for ego boosts, I'm not sure there are too many IT folk who think that writing code is "making the world a better place"...
Au contraire, there seem to be far too many people being fed a 'world changer' mindset, if hiring pitches are anything to go by. Nothing wrong with it, as long as there's substance to walk the talk. All too often though, it's just fluff.

Money is obviously a big factor, but listen to recruiters and 'join us and change the world' is a key message too. Money + a sense of importance; two BIG items on most people's aspirational Bingo! card, understandably.

The larger problem, and this isn't limited to any industry, is disproportionate focus on immediate results and RoI, at the cost of long-term progress. C-Suites are obsessed with the next quarter, shareholders and investors with the next dividend payout, legislators at all levels with the next election cycle.

That isn't to say we don't need to care for the immediate future, it's critical to survive before we can grow, but the balance is so skewed that we're hurting long-term progress for short-term gain.

The roles that deliver long-term, lasting, generational RoI are not incentivised or rewarded, because they often don't translate to pretty numbers on the next periodic presentation. Even the noblest of professions, teaching, has fallen prey to short-term profiteering (looking at you, Byju's) while actual dedicated teachers are driven out of the profession, replaced by technology to create more generations of profit-minded drones to perpetuate the cycle. We need a larger reset than just rationalising compensation in any specific industry.

I'll get off my soapbox.

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Old 23rd March 2023, 20:32   #1057
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Re: Jobs, Attrition & Layoffs in IT companies

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Well that was exactly my point across my 1 & 2 points, a lot of "less competent" are *already* being hired at a high price, solely based on their ability to prepare for interviews where they come across as superstars..
You are right but companies feel that their hiring practice (just pure technical evaluation) is meeting their objectives when it comes to hiring engineers. The company is too large and they need to ramp up very quickly, and so on. You can't blame the company for sticking to a hiring method that's meeting its objectives.

It's also admirable that an average engineer is able to prep and crack these interviews. We see this time and again in life. One can work hard, even if less capable, and manage to achieve one's goals. As long as there is no cheating, we should just wish them well. It's their choice to land a high paying job and just chill out. How are they any less virtuous than stock market investors feeding of someone else's hard work?

For more critical/important roles, a lot of background/referral check happens. Sadly, due to network/alumni privileges, senior level hiring is a lot more unfair in comparison.

We should understand how big companies like Google, etc. work. They are extremely cash rich - they make tons of profit and can afford to spend lavishly. Their survival doesn't depend on aggressive cost cutting at all. Their survival depends on ensuring that someone doesn't disrupt their business (easier to ensure) or they themselves come up with (or acquire) the next best thing (far harder to do repeatedly over a long period of time). They do come up with measures to cut costs and layoffs, etc. but that's mostly done to look busy and to keep the noisy investors/directors happy, such measures do not not stop them from going bust. In this larger context, these companies don't mind the salary expenses at all and if some less capable professionals are taking advantage of it, I would say good for them.
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Old 23rd March 2023, 20:34   #1058
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Re: Jobs, Attrition & Layoffs in IT companies

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Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Context helps. A few extra but relevant points from multiple news reports & annual reports:


So, no, I wouldn't sound the alarm bells as of now
+1 to this. Accenture regularly removes people annually following the bell-curve approach. It just gets into news during recession. This number is actually lower than 2020 when the number was 25000.
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Old 24th March 2023, 00:12   #1059
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Re: Jobs, Attrition & Layoffs in IT companies

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As a product developer for 30+ years
I concur with everything you said. Thank you for your valuable perspective. My apologies for wasting people's time (including yours). Besides, I have no dog in this race.
----------
Move right along; nothing to see here.
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Old 24th March 2023, 01:42   #1060
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Re: Jobs, Attrition & Layoffs in IT companies

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+1 to this. Accenture regularly removes people annually following the bell-curve approach. It just gets into news during recession.0.
This sort of getting rid of the bottom 10% every year comes from (in) famous Jack Welch. I would say Jack has set an example in quite a few management styles, but I never believed in the removing of the bottom 10% performers based on bell curves. I never believed in grading according to bell curve. Once you leave the mathematics aside and focus on real arguments, real accomplishments, the bell curve looses its value very quickly.

Got me in in bit of trouble when I was managing a 8000+ employee service company in the USA with my American boss, who worshipped Jack!

I was far more interested in understanding why there are underperformers in the first place. Replacing 10% of your employee base every year based on performance means, my opinion, you are during several things very very wrong indeed. It is a very expensive process, especially in industries where you need to have well educated and experienced people. Simply repeating the 10% reduction every year without considering what you are doing wrong is not a good management practice at all in my book.

The 10% is completely arbitrary as well. Musk sacked more than half of Twitter’s staff and Twitter is still up and running.

I always told my American boss that Jack’s 10% rule is for unsophisticated macho leaders who don’t want to invest in really understanding what makes their company and employees tick. Luckily, he and I had other bosses who agreed with me.

Annual 10% percent reductions and bell curve grading are for companies with lazy managers. They believe they are being tough and businesslike by applying simple mathematicians to individual performance. Doesn’t take a great mind to do so.

Just my opinion of course.

Jeroen

Last edited by Jeroen : 24th March 2023 at 01:45.
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Old 24th March 2023, 11:59   #1061
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Re: Jobs, Attrition & Layoffs in IT companies

I recollect reading an article where Accenture dropped the bell curve appraisals. And as per my friends in Accenture, its true that people are not forced to resign purely on basis of some bell curve.

Link to the source -
https://economictimes.indiatimes.com...w/48230902.cms
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Old 24th March 2023, 13:04   #1062
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Re: Jobs, Attrition & Layoffs in IT companies

Let me put this here.

Some if it bears context to the current discussion, some of it the bigger picture and some of it the future and hence may be inaccurate but there’s an idea of where we may be heading.

And no, I don’t think the “world changers” had a role in this one.


Last edited by EV NXT : 24th March 2023 at 13:06.
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Old 24th March 2023, 15:43   #1063
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Re: Jobs, Attrition & Layoffs in IT companies

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I never believed in grading according to bell curve.
+1. The curve fitting in most of the companies are not transparent and someone who is not in good terms with the manager will end up taking the blame.

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
The hiring policy is always to keep the bar very high irrespective of the job profile because staff tend to move across departments. It would be a bad idea to hire a less competent engineer at a lower salary based on his/her immediate assignment that can be done by less competent staff. You are hiring for the company and not for the project. A less competent employee hired today will hire a dozen future employees who are even less competent.
This is the ideal scenario and does not work in real life due to many factors

1. Pressure to fill the position - Often managers will be under pressure from clients to fill open positions quickly. When eligible candidates are not available, easiest way is to get someone underqualified and save themselves from the heat and let the rest of the team deal with it. Many times I was forced to clear poor candidates in the tech interviews (which I never did) and one time I was even asked whether we can take a guy and let rest of the team share his work. My response was whether he is okay in sharing his salary with rest of the team. No need to explain what happened next.

2. Lack of transparency in hiring - Some fake profiles who managed to survive in the company will refer more fake profiles and take them in. They work as a gang and usually these referrals will be interviewed by someone in the same gang (person A will refer B, C will interview B and A and C will be already friends). There will be an agreement to share referral bonus too. There were scenarios where a manager shared profiles with his reporters and asked them to refer the profiles. Then the manager can himself interview and clear them. The people who referred have to transfer the bonus once they receive it.

3. Incompetent interviewer - We always vet the candidate but how often do we vet the interviewer? The basic qualification to be an interviewer in most companies to to be an existing employee. Nobody cares whether he has the skills or not. This guy can ask basic questions which anyone will answer and less competent guys comes in. If this candidate is found to be bad later, they just tell he did good in interview but is not performing in the job. The guy who takes interview is never questioned or kept out of next interviews. When it comes to niche skills, sometimes there will be no one in the company with the skillset and the one closest to it gets the chance to take interview. Many times this guy will not have the competency to identify the deserving candidate and just clear some random guy.
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Old 24th March 2023, 17:19   #1064
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Re: Jobs, Attrition & Layoffs in IT companies

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But you haven't explained how this all justifies MAANGA+ hoarding bunch of talented engineers and letting them lay on bean bags sipping hot java watching their RSU vest. If someone is not working, I don't care how brilliant they are. Their productivity is still zero.
We are not sure if all the people that were hired by Meta two years back were hired to do nothing. A couple of folks from my college were affected by these layoffs were definitely not. As I mentioned, some projects did not fly, and had to be scrapped. Doesn't mean the people working on it weren't productive, does it ?

I agree with the fact that this time around (2020-21) these companies hired mindlessly and this mismanagement is what cost some hard working employees as well. There were a lot of people who did nothing, but I will be cautious in not generalizing this. Some people genuinely were smart and intelligent, devoted and still were let go.


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That risk is taken by the company, what risk is taken by the developers?
Especially in product-based companies, the risk is that if whatever they are developing doesn't work out for various reasons, they might be asked to leave. As you rightly mentioned, if employee's productivity goes below a certain limit, that becomes a risk for him as well. I always tell my team and people around me to gauge your productivity every few months and leave the org if you go below a certain level after repeated reminders. In IT services company too this risk is always there, but the work is so diversified that one can take up some other task before being asked to leave. Example of risk: A friend of mine working in a very specific domain related to microchips says he will have a hard time getting a similar job profile elsewhere. He knows the risk, the company knows it as well, so he gets paid above average and is always getting himself trained on other stuff. It is not like he is leaving his current work on first opportunity.

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No, that's not the case here. The news articles clearly mention that they were hired so that other companies can't get them. They also create artificial demand for engineers, forcing wages to increase across the industry.
This definitely happened, but I don't think the entire hiring spree back in covid-19 time was based on this premise. Take an example: Zoom meetings usage soared to extreme levels during those days (despite most organizations having Microsoft Teams), while Whatsapp didn't even have desktop meetings until few days back, Google's meet app was crap (still is) compared to Zoom. Meta/Google/Microsoft would definitely hire more resources to get their software match with Zoom. Poaching happens when everyone is trying to get one product right (web meetings in our example). This might lead to genuine need for specific resources that might look like an artificial demand.

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.... they would compete with other SBUs of Bell Labs. But we worked on interesting projects, we weren't hired to deny our talent to other companies.
I agree with the sentiment here, but this is where times have changed I have worked in one of the Big Fours and have seen them hire some people just because they are simply brilliant, even if they are not utilized a 100% I think it is still ok to do it for a few extraordinary resources, but, these MAANGA+ took it to extreme levels this time and grossly mismanaged resource allocation. Denying talent is unfair to other companies and such things affect overall industry, lets hope people have learnt the lesson this time around.

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Tell me how they are better than Khan Academy which has been doing such stuff since 15 years, for free? Byjus is a scam primarily ripping off middle/lower income families.
Not denying this. The idea that Byjus had was brilliant, hence the valuation too was high. As I mentioned earlier, some companies just get lost on their way and their brilliant ideas convert into scams. Specifically, the difference between Khan Academy and Byjus is that Byjus wanted to get into each and every field of education, and attempt to cover the world. That is going to need lot of resources. I don't think even Khan Academy can work at a scale as high as what Byjus aimed to, for free, though it will be the nicest thing to see.

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After co-founding two companies over 2 decades, I have bit more nuanced opinion on this, which I have explained here.
Agree with this 100% My knowledge on VC funding is limited and I can only cite example of my close friend's startup and the VC funding they are receiving.

Last edited by NiInJa : 24th March 2023 at 17:26.
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Old 24th March 2023, 19:39   #1065
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Re: Jobs, Attrition & Layoffs in IT companies

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So then, which is more valuable for our society - a boring bank or glorified tech ?
Personal / retail banking might be boring, but investment banking is always super hot (US or India). Silicon valley is the cool college dude trying to play catchup with the wall street dad
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