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(IT World)   Are you a developer with sysadmin skills and have little use for money or free time? Then, boy, do we have the job for you   (itworld.com) divider line 97
    More: Interesting, Penny Arcade, Just Feelin', web development  
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6064 clicks; posted to Geek » on 04 Dec 2013 at 10:15 AM (33 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-12-04 08:14:07 AM
I bet they get flooded with applications detailing crummy/irrelevent job skills and experience while asking for unreasonable salary and perk expectations...
4 yrs at Heywood Jablome Universitymust have brown M&Ms in breakroom candy bowl ONLY, etc...
 
2013-12-04 09:09:22 AM
A high profile like that is a good resume builder. A recent college graduate with minimal social ambitions could do that for 18 months, then go somewhere else and make a killing.

Things to remember:
1. The general IT burden is probably minimal. PA doesn't sound like the kind of group that needs to call somebody to find the any key for them.
2. They listed both "web developer" and "software developer", but how much work do they really have that's not web dev? I expect not much.

Any other company would have just posted boilerplate devops job listing and expected the same skills.
 
2013-12-04 09:10:33 AM

gopher321: I bet they get flooded with applications detailing crummy/irrelevent job skills and experience while asking for unreasonable salary and perk expectations...
4 yrs at Heywood Jablome Universitymust have brown M&Ms in breakroom candy bowl ONLY, etc...


Graduated in only 4 years? You're hired!
 
2013-12-04 09:27:48 AM

serial_crusher: 2. They listed both "web developer" and "software developer", but how much work do they really have that's not web dev? I expect not much.


Yeah, in my job, the distinction has virtually vanished.  One product I support is a web-enabled database application development AND production environment - all in one.
 
2013-12-04 09:28:46 AM
And I should note the description could be for my job, minus the travel.
 
2013-12-04 09:32:18 AM
There have been a couple of really good response to this that I'm just going to post here, since I don't think I can contribute anything more than they did:

Christopher Bowen: The Full-Frontal Deception of the Penny Arcade Systems Admin Job Posting
and
Christopher Buecheler: On Penny Arcade, Exploitation, and the Myth of the Do-Everything Rock Star
 
2013-12-04 09:38:05 AM

serial_crusher: A high profile like that is a good resume builder. A recent college graduate with minimal social ambitions could do that for 18 months, then go somewhere else and make a killing.

Things to remember:
1. The general IT burden is probably minimal. PA doesn't sound like the kind of group that needs to call somebody to find the any key for them.
2. They listed both "web developer" and "software developer", but how much work do they really have that's not web dev? I expect not much.



It's hard to tell.  They also have a product line of sorts so I would expect an ass-ton of data interfaces unless they contract that.  The job could be pounding out TSQL most of the time or supporting their work management system (bleagh!).  And Sysadmin duties may be minimal but when you're coding on a deadline and the Exchange server decides to shiat a brick it's going to suck ass.
 
2013-12-04 09:42:21 AM

UberDave: It's hard to tell.  They also have a product line of sorts so I would expect an ass-ton of data interfaces unless they contract that.  The job could be pounding out TSQL most of the time or supporting their work management system (bleagh!).  And Sysadmin duties may be minimal but when you're coding on a deadline and the Exchange server decides to shiat a brick it's going to suck ass.


The guy who currently holds the job posted on their forum and explained what he does:

"* Web Developer: pretty straightforward. We've got lots of sites, they need building and maintaining. Erika is actually better than I am with HTML and CSS (seriously she is some kind of goddess) and a fair hand with PHP, so I largely get called in for weird special needs or out of the box projects. We use ExpressionEngine (PHP) for practically all our properties, with Apache (nginx in one weird instance) and MySQL under the hood.

* Software Developer: weird random projects that aren't web development. Maybe you need a warehouse management system, or an auction checkout system, or I don't know what. Pick your favorite language, write clean, maintainable code (for your own sake), and you're pretty much set here. You own the code base. You are responsible for every line of it, but that also means you have full control. Nothing I leave behind has to be set in stone. Of course, part of development is knowing when to reuse - you might not necessarily implement every tool the company needs from scratch. You might instead identify off-the-shelf products and do the work of evaluating and integrating them.

* Sysadmin: the hardest part (because I'm not one). All our servers are hosted on Rackspace Managed Cloud. We have a bunch of Apache servers sitting behind Varnish caches sitting behind a Cloud Load Balancer. I think there's a MySQL DB or two somewhere in the back. That I can't quite keep up with the job required here is evident any time we get a particularly large spike. At this point I have a pretty decent idea how to configure Apache, I mostly know how Varnish works, and I'm really good at bugging @Icyliquid and/or filing tickets with Rackspace support. Someone with better experience here could surely fine-tune our setup to get more out of less. Which, honestly, is kind of a mantra of software development.

* General IT: yes, everyone at Penny Arcade is fairly technically savvy. I'm pretty sure every one of them are the respective go-to IT professional for their families. Sometimes weirder stuff comes up - you need an FTP dump set up for clients, a local fileshare, "the thing isn't working and I don't know why". Whatever. This is honestly the smallest drain on my time by far, but it is part of the job and there's no one else to foist it onto. If you don't know how to fix it, you're the one who gets to figure out how."
 
2013-12-04 09:50:28 AM
Subtract 'software developer' and add 'HVAC repairman, electrician, and security guy,' and that's a pretty close description of my job.  Oh, minus the 24/7.  But I'm on call if I'm on vacation and it's business hours.  And sometimes late at night if there's a security breach.  ...in which case, I guess I am on call 24/7 in that sense....
 
2013-12-04 09:54:52 AM
Rincewind53:

The guy who currently holds the job posted on their forum and explained what he does:


Holy shiat.  Software dev. is right up my alley....of course, probably not unique in that regard.
 
2013-12-04 10:20:23 AM

Rincewind53: UberDave: It's hard to tell.  They also have a product line of sorts so I would expect an ass-ton of data interfaces unless they contract that.  The job could be pounding out TSQL most of the time or supporting their work management system (bleagh!).  And Sysadmin duties may be minimal but when you're coding on a deadline and the Exchange server decides to shiat a brick it's going to suck ass.

The guy who currently holds the job posted on their forum and explained what he does:


Allow me to translate:

"* Web Developer: pretty straightforward. We've got lots of sites, they need building and maintaining. Erika is actually better than I am with HTML and CSS (seriously she is some kind of goddess) and a fair hand with PHP, so I largely get called in for weird special needs or out of the box projects. We use ExpressionEngine (PHP) for practically all our properties, with Apache (nginx in one weird instance) and MySQL under the hood.

"Erika does all the work.  She just emails me files and I check them in to source control, claim some marginal amount of credit to feed my 'look how many hats I wear' ego."

* Software Developer: weird random projects that aren't web development. Maybe you need a warehouse management system, or an auction checkout system, or I don't know what. Pick your favorite language, write clean, maintainable code (for your own sake), and you're pretty much set here. You own the code base. You are responsible for every line of it, but that also means you have full control. Nothing I leave behind has to be set in stone. Of course, part of development is knowing when to reuse - you might not necessarily implement every tool the company needs from scratch. You might instead identify off-the-shelf products and do the work of evaluating and integrating them.

"Off the shelf software would have been fine, but I like to reinvent wheels for fun, because they're not giving me enough real work to do.  It's an easy task for me, but now you have to maintain this shiatty amateur code."

* Sysadmin: the hardest part (because I'm not one). All our servers are hosted on Rackspace Managed Cloud. We have a bunch of Apache servers sitting behind Varnish caches sitting behind a Cloud Load Balancer. I think there's a MySQL DB or two somewhere in the back. That I can't quite keep up with the job required here is evident any time we get a particularly large spike. At this point I have a pretty decent idea how to configure Apache, I mostly know how Varnish works, and I'm really good at bugging @Icyliquid and/or filing tickets with Rackspace support. Someone with better experience here could surely fine-tune our setup to get more out of less. Which, honestly, is kind of a mantra of software development.
 * General IT: yes, everyone at Penny Arcade is fairly technically savvy. I'm pretty sure every one of them are the respective go-to IT professional for their families. Sometimes weirder stuff comes up - you need an FTP dump set up for clients, a local fileshare, "the thing isn't working and I don't know why". Whatever. This is honestly the smallest drain on my time by far, but it is part of the job and there's no one else to foist it onto. If you don't know how to fix it, you're the one who gets to figure out how."

"These are a full time job and the only things I should be focusing on.  But I have too much ego to call myself an IT monkey.  And it also turns out I'm not even that good at it.  So, I made up Software Developer and Web Developer creds to make myself look valuable, but now that charade is failing, so I'm applying the old adage that 'those who can't do, teach'".
 
2013-12-04 10:32:01 AM
Ugh. The first sentence alone is enough to make me want to vomit blood from my ears. I got my start in IT by being the developer who could do sysadmin and "GENERAL IT" work. It sucks complete and utter donkey balls. Few things are quite as frustrating or disheartening as being in the middle of some sort of complex network buildout and implementation and then suddenly getting interrupted by some idiot who needs help figuring out how to get a file out of the recycling bin.

The shock of switching from a complicated fiber-mesh masking and zoning layout to the inane needs of some bonehead in luserland who refused to even know how to turn the computer on is incredibly jarring and wears thin very, very, very quickly.
I'm not too good to do help desk work, but I'll never hold a job doing it again unless that's my ONLY job.
 
2013-12-04 10:33:34 AM
I honestly don't get the hate on this one. They said what the job is. They aren't being misleading. If you don't think it's fair, don't apply for it.
 
2013-12-04 10:37:41 AM
"This is everything wrong with tech-startup culture, unreasonable expectations, and workaholism in one job posting...." Marco Arment

Demonstrating that Marco Arment knows nothing about Penny Arcade, or why it would be awesome to work there. "Tech-startup culture" *eyeroll*
 
2013-12-04 10:37:42 AM
From the listing:   but you should know up front we're not a terribly money-motivated group.

Right so that's a straight up 2x on my usual hourly rate right there.

you are expected to be on call to address that issue 24/7.

And that's a +25% shift bonus on top. As it's flying solo and permanently on call 24/7.

 I seriously do not give a crap who Penny Arcade LLC are (yes I am aware of who they are) they are small fry but if you want to take the piss and clearly they do then turn about is fair play.

In real terms that's a minimum of £182,500 (or $298,338.25 and yes I'd be making sure they added the 25 cents in as well) for me to even begin considering accepting the position.  Due to being a Brit I'd also fully expect a nice relocation package and all the necessary visa work done.

And you know what?  I'd be cheap at twice the price; I am just that good.
 
2013-12-04 10:40:01 AM
As someone who's done various work in all of these areas at some point in my career - what a black hole of suck type of job. This isn't 1999, sh*t is a lot more complicated now.

And more importantly, this is from the guys who regularly rail the games industry about the way they treat employees.
 
2013-12-04 10:40:12 AM

xanadian: Subtract 'software developer' and add 'HVAC repairman, electrician, and security guy,' and that's a pretty close description of my job.  Oh, minus the 24/7.  But I'm on call if I'm on vacation and it's business hours.  And sometimes late at night if there's a security breach.  ...in which case, I guess I am on call 24/7 in that sense....


Did you take my old job?

The ladies running personal space heaters under their desks in the middle of July would constantly trip the breakers and then tell me if they had to turn them off then I needed to fix the AC. And their entire security system ran on an old HP using Windows 95. The vendor (rightly) wouldn't support it and I was expected to make it work because they didn't want to invest in a modern (and working) security system despite mandates from the Department of Homeland Security.
 
2013-12-04 10:43:05 AM

PanicMan: I honestly don't get the hate on this one. They said what the job is. They aren't being misleading. If you don't think it's fair, don't apply for it.


This right here. Usually that crap gets sprung on you - they're being completely upfront. Take the job or don't, don't whine about it.
 
2013-12-04 10:44:49 AM

Vaneshi: From the listing:   but you should know up front we're not a terribly money-motivated group.

Right so that's a straight up 2x on my usual hourly rate right there.

you are expected to be on call to address that issue 24/7.

And that's a +25% shift bonus on top. As it's flying solo and permanently on call 24/7.

 I seriously do not give a crap who Penny Arcade LLC are (yes I am aware of who they are) they are small fry but if you want to take the piss and clearly they do then turn about is fair play.

In real terms that's a minimum of £182,500 (or $298,338.25 and yes I'd be making sure they added the 25 cents in as well) for me to even begin considering accepting the position.  Due to being a Brit I'd also fully expect a nice relocation package and all the necessary visa work done.

And you know what?  I'd be cheap at twice the price; I am just that good.


job market over there must be a lot nicer than here, we are recovering slowly but surely but not the point where anyone is getting paid a fair wage.

/plus side perks are popping back up
 
2013-12-04 10:47:40 AM

skozlaw: The shock of switching from a complicated fiber-mesh masking and zoning layout to the inane needs of some bonehead in luserland who refused to even know how to turn the computer on is incredibly jarring and wears thin very, very, very quickly.


^ THIS ^  People have no idea just how much of a mental downshift this is and how stressful it can be.  One second your dealing with a scenario where you're unravelling the worlds most twisted change request and figuring out just where the monkey that did it is hiding so you can drop the whole rack of slagged machines they left in their wake on their head... next you're sat explaining that no you really do need to plug a laptop in for it to work when the low power warning has been and gone.


It's not that IT people are actually lacking in social skills for the most part (as is the stereotype) it's that you've dragged us out of doing something highly technical that required absolute concentration to something that really, you should know how to do yourself.
 
2013-12-04 10:48:03 AM
 This is everything wrong with tech-startup culture, unreasonable expectations, and workaholism in one job posting...

Sure, you could focus on the trivial unimportant stuff such as that.  But the bigger question is, do they let you shoot nerf guns around the office, do they have a Foosball table in the break room and do they have hilariously ironic posters on the walls?    And more importantly, does my supervisor wear internet meme catch phrases on t-shirts?
 
2013-12-04 10:50:07 AM
As another person posted, it's not a job. It's an arrogant posting that basically says "Come get your hero-worship out on a job that will shiat all over you". Which basically is no different than a celebrity putting out a call of "Work with _____!, you'll be giving me backrubs and washing my feet, and will be paid in half-ingested Starbucks drinks that I pick out and you'd better damn well learn to like it."

There's also that whole "Go work for a company that openly and publicly condones rape" thing.
 
2013-12-04 10:50:11 AM
Why does Penny Arcade require 30% travel for a developer / sysadmin?
 
2013-12-04 10:50:41 AM

LasersHurt: PanicMan: I honestly don't get the hate on this one. They said what the job is. They aren't being misleading. If you don't think it's fair, don't apply for it.

This right here. Usually that crap gets sprung on you - they're being completely upfront. Take the job or don't, don't whine about it.


Is this just because it's Penny Arcade? Are people just forcing their own assumptions on this?
 
2013-12-04 10:51:05 AM

InmanRoshi: This is everything wrong with tech-startup culture, unreasonable expectations, and workaholism in one job posting...

Sure, you could focus on the trivial unimportant stuff such as that.  But the bigger question is, do they let you shoot nerf guns around the office, do they have a Foosball table in the break room and do they have hilariously ironic posters on the walls?    And more importantly, does my supervisor wear internet meme catch phrases on t-shirts?


Exactly! Who needs that money crap! We have  ping-pong!
 
2013-12-04 10:51:53 AM

farbekrieg: job market over there must be a lot nicer than here, we are recovering slowly but surely but not the point where anyone is getting paid a fair wage.


So so really.  As I said the whole advert they posted is a gigantic piss take and I see no reason not to return the favour.  It's going to be nasty bespoke 'I reinvented the wheel' code all over the place and systems lashed together in the worst possible way that and it's an on-call position; all of which carry a hefty price penalty as far I'm concerned.

Besides, £180k is about what I negotiated with RedHat and if it's good enough for them... it's good enough for someone else ya know?
 
2013-12-04 10:53:19 AM

InmanRoshi: This is everything wrong with tech-startup culture, unreasonable expectations, and workaholism in one job posting...

Sure, you could focus on the trivial unimportant stuff such as that.  But the bigger question is, do they let you shoot nerf guns around the office, do they have a Foosball table in the break room and do they have hilariously ironic posters on the walls?    And more importantly, does my supervisor wear internet meme catch phrases on t-shirts?


Ohh crap it's one of THOSE places?  3x base rate it is then.
 
2013-12-04 10:54:41 AM

MightyPez: xanadian: Subtract 'software developer' and add 'HVAC repairman, electrician, and security guy,' and that's a pretty close description of my job.  Oh, minus the 24/7.  But I'm on call if I'm on vacation and it's business hours.  And sometimes late at night if there's a security breach.  ...in which case, I guess I am on call 24/7 in that sense....

Did you take my old job?

The ladies running personal space heaters under their desks in the middle of July would constantly trip the breakers and then tell me if they had to turn them off then I needed to fix the AC. And their entire security system ran on an old HP using Windows 95. The vendor (rightly) wouldn't support it and I was expected to make it work because they didn't want to invest in a modern (and working) security system despite mandates from the Department of Homeland Security.


Oh, it's not quite that bad here.  Yes, the ladies love their space heaters.  We've got a couple in the finance department that'll have them running IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER. O.o  Our security systems are new(ish), and our door lock system is all modern hardware and software.  I put the security plan together here.  Not that anybody (but me) follows it, though..... :/
 
2013-12-04 10:56:02 AM

Arkanaut: Why does Penny Arcade require 30% travel for a developer / sysadmin?


PAX, maybe... and maybe they have other offices in the region or something... *shrug*
 
2013-12-04 10:56:55 AM
Rincewind53:

The guy who currently holds the job posted on their forum and explained what he does:

Maybe it's because I work on an enterprise level application that is considered semi-critical to our clients, but if my manager walked in and tasked me with all those responsibilities I'd be expecting to have a considerable pay increase, probably 2x what I currently make.  However, I believe that there is a kind of context question that arises here. I don't think it really was answered by the guy's job description. Is there another position that works in tandem with this position, ie two "rockstar" developers that both code, provide IT support, and handle hosting? What level of web development are we talking about? I assume that PA uses some kind of CMS, do the other sites use something like WordPress, etc that really need theming than full on development?

I guess I don't know how many sites or how much active development he does on a daily basis, but I would think that having one guy do those tasks for a site like PA is a disaster waiting to happen. Being what a lot of people term a "rockstar" developer at a smaller company can be fun. When you're running with an idea, need fast turnaround, and are in a get it done to show proof-of-concept it is an advantage. I don't know if I would consider PA a mission critical service, but since it's paying someone's bills having sites go down is not good at all.  I would imagine that this would make it too high stress for myself or anyone that has a life outside of work.
 
2013-12-04 11:03:38 AM

PanicMan: LasersHurt: PanicMan: I honestly don't get the hate on this one. They said what the job is. They aren't being misleading. If you don't think it's fair, don't apply for it.

This right here. Usually that crap gets sprung on you - they're being completely upfront. Take the job or don't, don't whine about it.

Is this just because it's Penny Arcade? Are people just forcing their own assumptions on this?


No, I think it's mainly because they really shouldn't be requiring this. It's an extremely blatant example of the bullshiat that goes on in the industry around labor practices. Could Penny Arcade actually afford to hire two people to do this job, or actually compensate the employee well to, you know,  pay for the skills. The laughable statement that Penny Arcade is not a "money-motivated group" is particularly galling considering Robert Khoo is now responsible for building a brand that brings in millions of dollars a year, runs three incredibly successful worldwide trade shows, multiple successful websites, creates online video content, ran a Kickstarter that earned them half a million dollars, creates and sells successful video games, etc... And yet they can't bother to actually invest in  two employees to do what they admit is an incredibly hard job that should in reality call for more than one person to do it.

The entire software industry is filled with incredibly manipulative and exploitative labor practices, and people just put up with it because they love working at a place where they're surrounded by people like them, especially with a job like this at PA. And this job posting lays bare exactly how much management knows they're farking their workers over because they  can get people to do the job for shiatty pay and shiatty benefits and no semblance of anything approaching a work-life balance.
 
2013-12-04 11:08:48 AM
TFA: "alot"

Couldn't bother to use spell check..?
 
2013-12-04 11:14:39 AM

xanadian: MightyPez: xanadian: Subtract 'software developer' and add 'HVAC repairman, electrician, and security guy,' and that's a pretty close description of my job.  Oh, minus the 24/7.  But I'm on call if I'm on vacation and it's business hours.  And sometimes late at night if there's a security breach.  ...in which case, I guess I am on call 24/7 in that sense....

Did you take my old job?

The ladies running personal space heaters under their desks in the middle of July would constantly trip the breakers and then tell me if they had to turn them off then I needed to fix the AC. And their entire security system ran on an old HP using Windows 95. The vendor (rightly) wouldn't support it and I was expected to make it work because they didn't want to invest in a modern (and working) security system despite mandates from the Department of Homeland Security.

Oh, it's not quite that bad here.  Yes, the ladies love their space heaters.  We've got a couple in the finance department that'll have them running IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER. O.o  Our security systems are new(ish), and our door lock system is all modern hardware and software.  I put the security plan together here.  Not that anybody (but me) follows it, though..... :/


That's a familiar story. The head of HR and myself went insane because we put all these security procedures in place and nobody would follow them (again, DHS mandates!)

I'm thinking back now and the stories that still make me wake up in a cold sweat came from the resident handy-man. When he was told to do something and stuck to that, it was fine. But every now and then he would think for himself and there would be bedlam. He decided we could save energy costs in the summer time y cranking the heat in the building up everywhere. This was during a time when the 14 or so servers we had weren't housed in a segregated area. So getting that automated email saying the servers became unresponsive was quite the treat. Did you know server hardware doesn't work very well in 100+ degree heat?

His idea to fix the leaky roof problem that dripped water precariously close to the same equipment was a brilliant "Let's balance a bucket on an i-beam to catch the water" masterpiece.
 
2013-12-04 11:16:35 AM

Rincewind53: The entire software industry is filled with incredibly manipulative and exploitative labor practices, and people just put up with it because they love working at a place where they're surrounded by people like them, especially with a job like this at PA. And this job posting lays bare exactly how much management knows they're farking their workers over because they  can get people to do the job for shiatty pay and shiatty benefits and no semblance of anything approaching a work-life balance.


Yep, that's the thing.  We aren't talking about a startup where you work your balls off and in a few years (if the startup takes) you end up with CIO on your CV.  We're talking about a multi-million dollar company wanting someone who is 'oven ready' and will happily take an inordinate amount of abuse simply because it's Penny Arcade.  It's a complete piss take and they're trying to find someone who is under the misconception that working for PA will look good on your CV.

It won't.  Nobody outside of the certain segments of IT/video games players knows who the hell they are. You'll work your bollocks off until you quit 'to go in to teaching' like the last guy did only to find you might as well of done a similar job for "Joe's Computers" down the road for all the kudos it got you with hiring managers.

And as you say their advert is literally everything wrong with IT hiring practices.
 
2013-12-04 11:20:15 AM
The job posting reads like a satire.
 
2013-12-04 11:23:56 AM
FTA: This is everything wrong with tech-startup culture...

Penny Arcade is 15 years old. FIFTEEN. By what possible definition could that count as a "startup"?!
 
2013-12-04 11:25:01 AM

MrEricSir: FTA: This is everything wrong with tech-startup culture...

Penny Arcade is 15 years old. FIFTEEN. By what possible definition could that count as a "startup"?!


I think that's the problem. They are a seasoned company and haven't grown out of the startup mentality.
 
2013-12-04 11:34:50 AM
First thing I learned:
Most IT Jobs very shortly become glorified clerk work. In other words shuffling stuff around and very repetitive. I have been fortunate in the contract I have been in that the job has been evolving.
 
2013-12-04 11:36:00 AM
Not my skillset so there's no way I'd ever consider any job posting like this one, but still, this

"but there are plenty of people out there who ... would be willing to work hard to be in a cool environment with cool people."

...gives me pause. I might very well be wrong about this particular instance if the powers that be in the workplace are egalitarian and accepting of introverts, but the worst jobs I've had are ones in which the people running the place sorted the staff into 'cool people' and 'the others'.

I realize the quote is from an outside observer, but any workplace where the people at the top have their own sort of fandom built around them ...
 
2013-12-04 11:36:55 AM
 IT professionals (which includes me) do a really shiatty job of commidifying our skillsets and coming up with a set expected market rate for them on an industry wide level.   Engineers do it much better with their certification, regulation and licensing.   If you're an engineer, you get certified as a mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, etc.   That certification comes with a certain expected  level of pay in accordance to a certain specified area of expertise and education level.  You can get your all encompassing Professional Engineer certification, and that in itself comes with an other expected level of pay.   You don't get certified in knowing AutoCAD (in the way niche product based certifications in IT), you get certified in being a professional engineer so that your certification doesn't become meaningless when the next generation of technology comes along.

 IT Professionals all have the mindset of "Oh, you want me to do that too?  And I still get paid the same salary?  Ugh, okay.  But I still get free soda, right?    What about chips and salsa in the break room?  That's not going away, is it?"   Until IT professionals get their shiat together and start organizing a methodology in a way where their skill set is properly valued,  the industry will always be rife with middle managers, bullshiat artists, marketing/sales and other parasites who get paid on the intellectual power and hard work of the people who actually create and maintain the product.    Often significantly more than the people who actually create and maintain the product.
 
2013-12-04 11:37:37 AM

xanadian: Arkanaut: Why does Penny Arcade require 30% travel for a developer / sysadmin?

PAX, maybe... and maybe they have other offices in the region or something... *shrug*


Probably the general IT part of it.   Someone needs to replace that toner cartridge.
 
2013-12-04 11:44:36 AM
As a software dev that also does the IT Desk support for my office since corporate IT is 100 miles away and doesn't have a person here, thankfully I don't have to deal with sysadmin tasks.

It really sucks to be in the middle of developing something rather complicated, have my train of thought going, and then have someone knock on my cube wall with "My computer won't turn on".  I've got to add extra days to ant time estimates because I know I will be interrupted with an IT task, or helping a customer, or getting the dreaded "This customer's system is acting weird".  Sometimes I'll be grabbed before I even get to my desk and won't be actually at my desk for 2 or more hours troubleshooting an issue, either internal or for a customer.

I've been able to train most people to file a help ticket first.  The real IT guys can help, really

I'm also on call 24/7 in case code breaks out at a customer site and it cannot wait, but so far the earliest I've been woken up on a Sunday is 6AM.  And that turned out to be a simple IT task that our field guys should have been able to figure out....

I've had to be on a plane cross country next day though too, and that sucks, because I need more money if they expect that regularly (they don't thankfully).
 
2013-12-04 11:46:00 AM

InmanRoshi:  IT Professionals all have the mindset of "Oh, you want me to do that too?  And I still get paid the same salary?  Ugh, okay.  But I still get free soda, right?    What about chips and salsa in the break room?  That's not going away, is it?"


Funny thing is I'm usually treated as a three headed monster because I can, will and do turn around and go "So, that'll be a nice pay rise if you want me to do all that as well.", I've even had other IT people get really shiatty with me about my attitude.  Honestly if they want to be treated like a cheap carpet more power to them but they really shouldn't complain that they get walked all over and feel a little threadbare.

If you don't like being treated that way then perhaps you shouldn't be a carpet.
 
2013-12-04 11:54:21 AM

skozlaw: Ugh. The first sentence alone is enough to make me want to vomit blood from my ears. I got my start in IT by being the developer who could do sysadmin and "GENERAL IT" work. It sucks complete and utter donkey balls. Few things are quite as frustrating or disheartening as being in the middle of some sort of complex network buildout and implementation and then suddenly getting interrupted by some idiot who needs help figuring out how to get a file out of the recycling bin.


That's when I would give one of my techs some bullshiat job title, and get them to take care of that (or replace toner in the printers).  I'd give 'em a coffee mug and some other tchotchkes so they felt important, leaving me to focus on the big tasks.

The shock of switching from a complicated fiber-mesh masking and zoning layout...

That shiat is so much fun! I'm glad I moved from "IT Dude" to working in COs and Colocations to live in "the cloud".  I love the awestruck look people give me when they ask me what I do for a living. "I make the Internet work. You're welcome."
 
2013-12-04 12:11:02 PM
vharshyde:

There's also that whole "Go work for a company that openly and publicly condones rape" thing.

Hyperbole much?


Also, there's a whole lot of folks taking the opportunity to criticize success.  Who knows?  Maybe the base pay is $150k / year and they are willing to take a chance on someone.  Maybe at the end of the day they hire two people for the job.

There are lots of competent folk out of work or drastically under employed right now, and they said they'd pay relocation.
 
2013-12-04 12:16:19 PM

InmanRoshi: IT professionals (which includes me) do a really shiatty job of commidifying our skillsets and coming up with a set expected market rate for them on an industry wide level.   Engineers do it much better with their certification, regulation and licensing.   If you're an engineer, you get certified as a mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, etc.   That certification comes with a certain expected  level of pay in accordance to a certain specified area of expertise and education level.  You can get your all encompassing Professional Engineer certification, and that in itself comes with an other expected level of pay.   You don't get certified in knowing AutoCAD (in the way niche product based certifications in IT), you get certified in being a professional engineer so that your certification doesn't become meaningless when the next generation of technology comes along.

 IT Professionals all have the mindset of "Oh, you want me to do that too?  And I still get paid the same salary?  Ugh, okay.  But I still get free soda, right?    What about chips and salsa in the break room?  That's not going away, is it?"   Until IT professionals get their shiat together and start organizing a methodology in a way where their skill set is properly valued,  the industry will always be rife with middle managers, bullshiat artists, marketing/sales and other parasites who get paid on the intellectual power and hard work of the people who actually create and maintain the product.    Often significantly more than the people who actually create and maintain the product.


There will always be middle managers, and other parasites in this industry, but there ARE plenty of certifications that can be gained, which will up your salary potential, and help limit the scope of the bullshiat some employers expect you to go thru.

I *used* to be certified on Microsoft and Novell platforms, and that's when I became the catchall "Mr. Fixit + Trainer". One minute you're figuring out why the exchange server shiat the bed yet again, then the CEO freaks out because the printer needs toner NOW.   Now that I'm certified on Cisco, Juniper, and every product Adtran makes, I can command a much higher salary, and I only have to worry about major outages, or small changes (like circuit provisions, Frame Relay Switches, adding boards to aggregators, etc).  I'm also working on getting VMWare certified (Cisco Nexus uses VMWare), and trying to get certified as a Data Center Designer.  These are things that will make you serious bank, and allow you to get away from the "ZOMG! The CEO can't print at midnight!"
 
2013-12-04 12:25:42 PM
Crappy pay, long hours and constant threat of rape by dickwolves?  No thanks!
 
2013-12-04 12:28:22 PM

jayhawk88: "This is everything wrong with tech-startup culture, unreasonable expectations, and workaholism in one job posting...." Marco Arment

Demonstrating that Marco Arment knows nothing about Penny Arcade, or why it would be awesome to work there. "Tech-startup culture" *eyeroll*


I don't know anything about PA, why would it be awesome to work there?
 
2013-12-04 12:29:58 PM

PanicMan: I honestly don't get the hate on this one. They said what the job is. They aren't being misleading. If you don't think it's fair, don't apply for it.


Look, it's like housing values: the value of your home is effected by those that surround it.

If you offer up a job that has high requirements with a low salary, especially when the employer is highly visible, that is going to depress the values of those skillsets. Not only that, but requiring 24/7 on-call with no additional salary basically torpedoes any expectation of a reasonable work week (and employees' valuation of such).

The job posting, while honest, does deserve scorn.
 
2013-12-04 12:48:43 PM

Hz so good: InmanRoshi: IT professionals (which includes me) do a really shiatty job of commidifying our skillsets and coming up with a set expected market rate for them on an industry wide level.   Engineers do it much better with their certification, regulation and licensing.   If you're an engineer, you get certified as a mechanical engineer, electrical engineer, etc.   That certification comes with a certain expected  level of pay in accordance to a certain specified area of expertise and education level.  You can get your all encompassing Professional Engineer certification, and that in itself comes with an other expected level of pay.   You don't get certified in knowing AutoCAD (in the way niche product based certifications in IT), you get certified in being a professional engineer so that your certification doesn't become meaningless when the next generation of technology comes along.

 IT Professionals all have the mindset of "Oh, you want me to do that too?  And I still get paid the same salary?  Ugh, okay.  But I still get free soda, right?    What about chips and salsa in the break room?  That's not going away, is it?"   Until IT professionals get their shiat together and start organizing a methodology in a way where their skill set is properly valued,  the industry will always be rife with middle managers, bullshiat artists, marketing/sales and other parasites who get paid on the intellectual power and hard work of the people who actually create and maintain the product.    Often significantly more than the people who actually create and maintain the product.

There will always be middle managers, and other parasites in this industry, but there ARE plenty of certifications that can be gained, which will up your salary potential, and help limit the scope of the bullshiat some employers expect you to go thru.

I *used* to be certified on Microsoft and Novell platforms, and that's when I became the catchall "Mr. Fixit + Trainer". One minute you're figuring out why the ...=


But your certifications  are based on proprietary technology, which become obsolete and outdated or no longer supported or marketable over time.    That doesn't happen to a certified PE.   He's a certified engineering professional that will be with him for the rest of his career, not someone who just knows a specific niche product du jour really, really well.   And you're talking about your own little niche part of IT, which again differentiates it from engineering.    I'm a software developer, but yet I get asked to take on network and server admin duties as needed as though it's expected.  They're completely singular skillsets, but it's just assumed that they're overlapping.      Meanwhile, no one goes into a certified electrical engineer's office and says "Tom's out today, so we're going to need you to step in and do mechanical engineering this week."
 
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