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There is no reason to go into engineering.

For example one company I worked for there was one engineer at senior exec grade. He ran the whole manufacturing plant and managed all the other engineers, guys with degrees. He was in his fifties having spent a lifetime getting there. There was another guy who was senior exec at age 25 in the marketing department. He wasn't even that good, the uk puts all the emphasis on trying to sell instead of trying to make stuff.

I have a physics degree and spent my career in software development instead, which is a form of engineering. I have worked with numerous people that did pure engineering degrees. I have worked in all sizes of company and lots of industries, including numerous city firms. After age 40 they simply stop wanting to hire you.

You get no respect as an engineer and no pay. Your career is unlikely to go full term. It is hardly surprising that nobody goes into it even those with talent in the field. You wouldn't expect a hospital admin to be paid more than a consultant surgeon. Yet that is what we get, the engineer gets paid far less than the person whose only skill is operating project planning and reporting packages, the so called manager.

Well its come to pass that we no longer make anything. All we have now is parasites. The bankers have forgotten that they are there as a service to industry, not its masters. The accountants are there to keep the books not to run the company.

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There is no reason to go into engineering.

For example one company I worked for there was one engineer at senior exec grade. He ran the whole manufacturing plant and managed all the other engineers, guys with degrees. He was in his fifties having spent a lifetime getting there. There was another guy who was senior exec at age 25 in the marketing department. He wasn't even that good, the uk puts all the emphasis on trying to sell instead of trying to make stuff.

I have a physics degree and spent my career in software development instead, which is a form of engineering. I have worked with numerous people that did pure engineering degrees. I have worked in all sizes of company and lots of industries, including numerous city firms. After age 40 they simply stop wanting to hire you.

You get no respect as an engineer and no pay. Your career is unlikely to go full term. It is hardly surprising that nobody goes into it even those with talent in the field. You wouldn't expect a hospital admin to be paid more than a consultant surgeon. Yet that is what we get, the engineer gets paid far less than the person whose only skill is operating project planning and reporting packages, the so called manager.

Well its come to pass that we no longer make anything. All we have now is parasites. The bankers have forgotten that they are there as a service to industry, not its masters. The accountants are there to keep the books not to run the company.

Most large companies are run by accountants and lawyers. They make decisions based on advice from institutional shareholders, banks.

That is the corporate blueprint for the western hemisphere.

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Engineers in Germany are highly skilled, usually to degree level. Where as in the UK the term 'Engineer' includes everyone from the Photocopy Repairman right up to IEEE Chartered Members.

The general public comes in to contact with the bogus Engineers an awful lot more than the real Engineers hence why in the UK the term Engineer is derided.

as an aside; I visited a specialist manufacturing firm in Germany and was amazed how they worked, they smoked, had beer at lunch time (in the plant restaurant ) all very relaxed. No finger guards etc. on any machinery and none of the UK statuary signs everywhere, all missing.

Yet they produced some amazing products, real care went into them.

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As a young wannabe Engineering Designer (Physics A Level, Engineering Design A Level, Maths A Level and Business Studies A Level) in the mid 80's the one thing that I really remember from the first year of my degree course was being told that when we qualified we'd all head for the States, Oz or Germany as the UK wasn't interested in Manufacturing anymore. Thatcher was directly responsible for this, and her remodelling of a "service" society and belief that high finance through the city of London was something to base an economy on.

Didn't qualify, left after the first year due to family circumstances. Ended up as a software bod in the dotcom period, interface design, but even that minor flash in the pan of drawing on the ingenuity and inventiveness of the UK mind got spoiled by the hyperbole of the investment/bean counter types. Instead of steady growth and re-invenstment the coke heads in the city chased the fast buck.

If there's any USP of the brit it's a non-conformist nature, matched with technical accuracy, which means we're great inventors. The only great time in our period is when the establishment couldn't hold back our victorian innovators and we led the world in industrial innovation. Don't think that'd happen again as it'd be ******ed up by "Investors" trying to take too much power or flogging off their interest too quickly.

For evidence look at the ridiculous amount of time it took Dyson and Bayliss to get their ideas to market. All because our men in braces couldn't have the imagination to see beyond immediate returns.

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Yeah as someone who works in software, I know that my wage will only go up by a tiny amount with experience.

Trouble is I don't know what else I want to do!

Sorry, but you're clearly a complete idiot. Just give up software and go do something else. And be an equally large failure at that also. But on much less money. :P

Now, if you disagree with the above statement and wish to vent your spleen at me and the others who have to post some sense in the relentless "IT is Dead!" threads on HPC, then: a) Go and read the other threads on this issue; B) Go and take a look on Jobserve (hint: with some hard work, £100k-200k is easily within your grasp as a contractor; I should know, I've been doing it for the last 18 years...)

Jeez, some of the losers on this site...

Nomadd

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Sorry, but you're clearly a complete idiot. Just give up software and go do something else. And be an equally large failure at that also. But on much less money. :P

Now, if you disagree with the above statement and wish to vent your spleen at me and the others who have to post some sense in the relentless "IT is Dead!" threads on HPC, then: a) Go and read the other threads on this issue; B) Go and take a look on Jobserve (hint: with some hard work, £100k-200k is easily within your grasp as a contractor; I should know, I've been doing it for the last 18 years...)

Jeez, some of the losers on this site...

Nomadd

Sorry but not everyone can get 100k - 200k software jobs. People can work in software and not expect to get the highest payments but still be pretty good, but locked into a particular job for a variety of reasons, lack of confidence, unwilligness to play the corporate game etc. I've known some real whizzkid coders but they'll never wear a tie and a suit or want to work in London so they'll never earn those figure. Likewise I've know some rubbish people who dress and act the part, who earn good salaries, but rely on people to dig them out the shit.

Doesn't mean they're a failure, it just that they see people being rewarded disproportionately for the ability to "schmooze".

Or are you saying there are real skunkworks paying high salaries in this country.

You may knock it, but the games industry in this country is a very high earner, but it relies on the main on taking the piss out of rewarding its coding talent, and now it has an employment problem. Long, sometime unlimited hours, with relatively poor financial reward for people who are top coders, yet it earns more money as an entertainment industry globally than the film industry.

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Not breeding enough. It's a consequence of wealth, you breed less. I think postwar there was a huge push to rebuild and people where willing to work for "the fatherland" I guess a sense of guilt in some sense meant people felt they had to do their best. Now there's less of those types around and I suppose maybe later generations are getting a bit complacent.

As the victors in WWII we thought we could just become complacent in our greatness, despite the fact that it was the previous generation that won it, and not the nobheads bible "The Sun".

So we end up with numbskull "Ingerland" fans letting us down, whilst "The Hun" get onto workers councils, long free university education, reinvestment and social responsibilty as opposed to rights. Maybe their lazy complacent period is just about to hit?

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I've got a bit of relevant experience here

a) I'm a professional engineer.

B) I work in electronics/software.

c) I've worked in both the UK and Germany.

Yet,

1) My wages go up regularly.

2) Having worked with them I don't rate German engineers any higher than UK ones.

3) I understand that marketing, finance, etc are all as necessary in engineering firms.

Notes:

a) I'm not a member of a professional organization, I call myself proffsionial due to experience, academic qualififictions and a Marxist (Groucho) attitude to clubs.

1) I notice that it's tough though. Colleagues have had "promotions" without wage increases. I just don't accept that. F*ck em.

2) The Teutonic engineering stereotype has good and bad aspects. A tendency to be serious, visionary, determined and highly reliant on self belief does mean that you end up designing over-engineered irrelevant tat half the time.

3) I'n not saying that the marketing/sales/finance types don't also think that they're the most important function in the business either.

---

That said, the figures appear to say it all. The German economy is in much better shape, essentially because they sell load of high quality engineering products to the rest of the world and we do FA of any worth. Hmm. Muss man noch umziehen....?

Edit: Falling foul of automatic smilie insertion.

Edited by Ski
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Sorry but not everyone can get 100k - 200k software jobs. People can work in software and not expect to get the highest payments but still be pretty good, but locked into a particular job for a variety of reasons, lack of confidence, unwilligness to play the corporate game etc. I've known some real whizzkid coders but they'll never wear a tie and a suit or want to work in London so they'll never earn those figure. Likewise I've know some rubbish people who dress and act the part, who earn good salaries, but rely on people to dig them out the shit.

Doesn't mean they're a failure, it just that they see people being rewarded disproportionately for the ability to "schmooze".

Or are you saying there are real skunkworks paying high salaries in this country.

You may knock it, but the games industry in this country is a very high earner, but it relies on the main on taking the piss out of rewarding its coding talent, and now it has an employment problem. Long, sometime unlimited hours, with relatively poor financial reward for people who are top coders, yet it earns more money as an entertainment industry globally than the film industry.

Hey, I couldn't agree with your more. But if you're that type of character, you can't expect sympathy when you come on to a public forum and bitch about how badly paid you are and have no prospects. Like I said, the money is clearly there in software; if you haven't got the right attitude and a desire to work hard at it, well, don't blame anyone but yourself. And that's the same for all other industries, except in general most of them pay far less than software.

Nomadd

EDIT: I've never worn a tie in the 25 years I've been in software. And in the last 14 years when I've been working in banks, none of them have had a "must wear a tie" policy. Oh, and I'm currently on a well paid contract in the Midlands, not London. Again, check Jobserve for rates and locations (hint: I didn't work in London all last year either, I worked in the North West.)

Edited by Nomadd
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Sorry, but you're clearly a complete idiot. Just give up software and go do something else. And be an equally large failure at that also. But on much less money. :P

I do somewhat agree in that its not too hard with a bit of grafting to get a better paying role even without going to London. The roles and demand are certainly there... heck, there's a shortage of decent .net developers in the west midlands.

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Hey, I couldn't agree with your more. But if you're that type of character, you can't expect sympathy when you come on to a public forum and bitch about how badly paid you are and have no prospects. Like I said, the money is clearly there in software; if you haven't got the right attitude and a desire to work hard at it, well, don't blame anyone but yourself. And that's the same for all other industries, except in general most of them pay far less than software.

Nomadd

EDIT: I've never worn a tie in the 25 years I've been in software. And in the last 14 years when I've been working in banks, none of them have had a "must wear a tie" policy. Oh, and I'm currently on a well paid contract in the Midlands, not London. Again, check Jobserve for rates and locations (hint: I didn't work in London all last year either, I worked in the North West.)

I guess it's a rare being who can code, play the corporate game, and negotiate high salaries all the same time. But I guess that's as you say the same for anyone who'd on 100k - 200k. I would say though that's nothing really to do with them being in IT. If you can play the heartless corporate game and sell yourself your likely to be the highest earner in any field, whether it's doing .net or some pointless job as a "council executive".

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Yea I spent 18 years as a contractor and also did very well. Top of the game and killer CV, the programmers programmer. When I look at what is in demand I still have most of those skills. You name it I have done it, form two man software outfit, to front office systems. The problem is age, the game is so very ageist. Now most of the work seems to be going offshore or to imported teams. Good luck if you are still working, you wont be soon, you must have noticed how the offers drop off after 40.

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Engineers in Germany are highly skilled, usually to degree level. Where as in the UK the term 'Engineer' includes everyone from the Photocopy Repairman right up to IEEE Chartered Members.

The general public comes in to contact with the bogus Engineers an awful lot more than the real Engineers hence why in the UK the term Engineer is derided.

as an aside; I visited a specialist manufacturing firm in Germany and was amazed how they worked, they smoked, had beer at lunch time (in the plant restaurant ) all very relaxed. No finger guards etc. on any machinery and none of the UK statuary signs everywhere, all missing.

Yet they produced some amazing products, real care went into them.

The majority of UK "Engineers" are not really needed. The vast majority go into jobs which could easily be done by time served apprentices.

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I do somewhat agree in that its not too hard with a bit of grafting to get a better paying role even without going to London. The roles and demand are certainly there... heck, there's a shortage of decent .net developers in the west midlands.

In my line of work (WebSphere/J2ee Tech. Arch.) there is still a ton of unfilled contract vacancies that have carried over from early last year - in Manchester, Northampton, West Midlands, Norwich, Glasgow, etc., etc. Constant demand all over the UK. No people to fill the roles, even on £500-600 / day.

And then you get idiots like the one I replied to telling you that his wages are as poor as his prospects, and he can't wait to get out of IT. But "In to what!" he cries. Poor, poor baby.

Nomadd

Ps. I'm hoping my rants at him will force him to finally get of his lazy, bone-idle backside and start sorting his own life out! :)

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Engineers in Germany are highly skilled, usually to degree level. Where as in the UK the term 'Engineer' includes everyone from the Photocopy Repairman right up to IEEE Chartered Members.

The general public comes in to contact with the bogus Engineers an awful lot more than the real Engineers hence why in the UK the term Engineer is derided.

as an aside; I visited a specialist manufacturing firm in Germany and was amazed how they worked, they smoked, had beer at lunch time (in the plant restaurant ) all very relaxed. No finger guards etc. on any machinery and none of the UK statuary signs everywhere, all missing.

Yet they produced some amazing products, real care went into them.

It's not rocket science, just a function of many of those specialist companies being in family hands (privately owned AND run) and not too big, aka 'Mittelstand'. They have to do the inventing, building AND accounting, and the combination together can work very well in a small size.

As for the teutonic drawbacks that were lamented by one poster... yes, but if you weren't that much of a cute British pussyfoot, you'd know how to get round them... straight ahead. It's the substance that counts, Germans love to get things...korrekt.

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I guess it's a rare being who can code, play the corporate game, and negotiate high salaries all the same time. But I guess that's as you say the same for anyone who'd on 100k - 200k. I would say though that's nothing really to do with them being in IT. If you can play the heartless corporate game and sell yourself your likely to be the highest earner in any field, whether it's doing .net or some pointless job as a "council executive".

What utter tosh.

Corporate game? I've never played the corporate game. That's why I'm a contractor. Ask a few contractors as to why they contract - and most of them will tell you it's so that can work outside of corporate politics. ...And then the money. :)

Code? Most of that's done in India these days.

Negotiate high salaries? You don't do any of that: the agency does it for you. £500-600 / day is called "market rate". Check jobserve. The agency tells you what the rate is on the advert! Or at worst when you phone.

As regards "play the heartless corporate game and sell yourself", well, now you are just being childishly dramatic.

Nomadd

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Engineers in the UK have always been given much less respect than in the rest of the world - the nature of the work is misunderstood and that will probably never change. Whilst doing my A Levels I had a saturday job at Boots; when I said I was going to study engineering, the girls on the perfume counter couldn't understand how it could take 3 years to learn how to fix a washing machine - I trained with Rolls-Royce, designing engines for helicopters.

Anyhow, after around 20 years working for a number of companies, always wondering how some gobsh*te accountant / marketing graduate / salesman could earn so much more than me whilst failing to understand what the products do, let alone how they do it; I'm beginning to think that things may be about to change.

We no longer educate enough engineers to satisfy what remains of our manufacturing industry - kids prefer easy subjects, like Big Brother studies.

A couple of years ago that wouldn't be problem, outsourcing to India was the obvious answer - no need to pay the engineers a decent salary after all, phew!

Now the Indians are beginning to charge higher rates and most of them are busy already.

The engineers in my company are already working ridiculous hours, we've outsourced all that can be outsourced, recruitment is increasingly desperate.

Some of us are seriously considering making threats to resign, unless we get a significant pay rise. It's a risky strategy, but there are plenty of jobs out there (90,000 in Germany, for example) and they need our skills if they intend to stay in business - even if they plan to move more work overseas. The only thing is, I think we'll have to go at it together, we'll never pull it off as individuals.

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What utter tosh.

Corporate game? I've never played the corporate game. That's why I'm a contractor. Ask a few contractors as to why they contract - and most of them will tell you it's so that can work outside of corporate politics. ...And then the money. :)

Code? Most of that's done in India these days.

Negotiate high salaries? You don't do any of that: the agency does it for you. £500-600 / day is called "market rate". Check jobserve. The agency tells you what the rate is on the advert! Or at worst when you phone.

As regards "play the heartless corporate game and sell yourself", well, now you are just being childishly dramatic.

Nomadd

Nah, I'm just a bit pissed ;-)

So you don't code, you consult or "architect" I guess you can get onto that game after a few years, but surely that door is shut to a new grad IT person, maybe the point the "whinger" was trying to make out that it is as hard for the newbie IT person to climb the professional ladder as it is for the FTB to climb the housing ladder as all the early entrants have put the block on. 25 years as an IT person like yourself is a relatively geological length of time in the industry. At the lower level though you can always "contract to india" which is sort of the "why bother" sort of level.

Let's say you got into very senior positons after 10 years experience. Well that still takes you up to pre Mosaic, the era of Widnes 3.1 and a few years before Sun released Java and the whole web explosion. If you managed to see that particular bandwagon before everyone else then I don't think the employment opportunities are comparable to someone who's been working for the last 5 years or so at a coder level.

I'm given to understand that market rate for IT is more like £350 a day. Maybe I just know people who value themselves or are valued less than you :-) I get charged out by the place I work for between £350 and £600 a day, the top end of that is not IT based and more to do with developing engineering training materials. £350 is for any "technical" work I undertake including coding, systems work, dev meetings, scoping etc.

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Ps. I'm hoping my rants at him will force him to finally get of his lazy, bone-idle backside and start sorting his own life out! :)

Tough love.

I'm seeing the point.

TTID

P.S. I'm a contractor in IT based control engineering. 46 years old. No shortage of offers. Current client is modifying my contract, as we speak, so that I don't move on at the end of my current project. I look at the offices of the big EPC companies and they're full of guys in their 60s, cause there's virtually nobody behind them who can take over if they retire.

I don't have a degree, either. I'm just time served. I share your disdain for whingeing. You can have what you want, if you want it enough.

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