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Thread: How to Successfully Retire as a Senior Software Engineer?

  1. #1
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    How to Successfully Retire as a Senior Software Engineer?

    I've had a long career as a Senior Software Engineer. I've got a few years to go till retirement, and I just wanted to request advice on how to deal with new grads. A lot of kids these days have no respect, and often will correct without professional courtesy. I also have a strong reputation at this company, and I've built up a large infrastructure that I have control over. These new kids, though often with better ideas, would undo what I've done, and possibly risk the hard work that justifies my position.

    Unfortunately HR still seems convinced that new grads are worthwhile, and occasionally I wind up interviewing them. So I'm having to come up with workarounds.

    So far I've found the following useful:

    1 Telling HR that new grads are flaky. It's easy to convince HR that every single one will leave in a year or less, especially these hipster kids that are interested in the latest startup.

    2 Telling HR that new grads will take forever to add value, even if we have a smaller component that needs working on. This is still easy to convince them, given the ramp up to some of the prototypes that we do.

    3 If the new grad actually makes it to the interview stage, I just finish my questioning and tell HR that the candidate has an attitude problem. This works even if they get every question right, or if they go into detail. The latter works especially because they think they're showing value, but they actually make themselves easy to label instead as arrogant up-jumpers with a "behavioral problem"- and I can easily convince my HR of that.

    4 Telling HR that new grads don't know a specific tech well enough. Even if that tech has a ramp-up of a week or less. Because again, HR will take my word for it.

    So other than these, I'm wondering if there is any other tips and advice that you may have in preventing these kind of people from getting in? I would really appreciate the help. I've got quite a few grey hairs, and I just want to finish my time without any serious headaches.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    2kaud is offline Super Moderator Power Poster
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    Re: How to Successfully Retire as a Senior Software Engineer?

    Aren't you being a tad overprotective of your own position and a bit condescending towards new graduates? Sure there are some new graduates I won't let anywhere near a production system - but there are also some who could become a valuable asset to any company. IMO the trick is to find those with some required technical knowledge and a desire to learn. Put them on a short leash and nurture them away from any 'behavioural issues' which they might show as fresh from university. This is where workplace mentors are useful as separate to line management. Who knows, with proper nurturing a new graduate might one day turn into a Senior Software Engineer moaning about the quality of new grads!

    Managing more junior colleagues to get the best out of them is a required and essential skill in senior staff. Just saying that I'm in charge of this and it's all mine IMO seems to smack of being a 'Prima Donna' - which could be considered as a 'behavioural problem'!
    Last edited by 2kaud; January 6th, 2015 at 12:54 PM. Reason: Spelling
    All advice is offered in good faith only. All my code is tested (unless stated explicitly otherwise) with the latest version of Microsoft Visual Studio (using the supported features of the latest standard) and is offered as examples only - not as production quality. I cannot offer advice regarding any other c/c++ compiler/IDE or incompatibilities with VS. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ and can be used without reference or acknowledgement. Also note that I only provide advice and guidance via the forums - and not via private messages!

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  3. #3
    Arjay's Avatar
    Arjay is offline Moderator / EX MS MVP Power Poster
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    Re: How to Successfully Retire as a Senior Software Engineer?

    It might be time to retire.

  4. #4
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    Re: How to Successfully Retire as a Senior Software Engineer?

    this sounds more like a rant about "how do I prevent these new kids from taking my job" rather than a "how do I effectively pass on my code legacy to the newer recruits".

    I don't care about the 1st. In fact I agree with arjay.
    There are good solutions/approaches for handling the 2nd, it doesn't appear you're even remotely interested in these.

  5. #5
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    Re: How to Successfully Retire as a Senior Software Engineer?

    Quote Originally Posted by mjsteinberg View Post
    I'm wondering if there is any other tips and advice that you may have in preventing these kind of people from getting in?
    Simply apply Occam's razor.

    If a grad slips through the safety-net you have established, embrace the grad with all fake congeniality you can muster. It may even be you who suggest a wellcome party to honor the occasion. You will be above suspicion when the grad is found with a slit throat the next morning. I mean how could someone soon to retire possibly benefit from such a tragedy?
    Last edited by razzle; February 17th, 2015 at 04:19 PM.

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    Re: How to Successfully Retire as a Senior Software Engineer?

    Quote Originally Posted by mjsteinberg View Post
    I've had a long career as a Senior Software Engineer. I've got a few years to go till retirement, and I just wanted to request advice on how to deal with new grads. A lot of kids these days have no respect, and often will correct without professional courtesy. I also have a strong reputation at this company, and I've built up a large infrastructure that I have control over. These new kids, though often with better ideas, would undo what I've done, and possibly risk the hard work that justifies my position.

    Unfortunately HR still seems convinced that new grads are worthwhile, and occasionally I wind up interviewing them. So I'm having to come up with workarounds.

    So far I've found the following useful:

    1 Telling HR that new grads are flaky. It's easy to convince HR that every single one will leave in a year or less, especially these hipster kids that are interested in the latest startup.

    2 Telling HR that new grads will take forever to add value, even if we have a smaller component that needs working on. This is still easy to convince them, given the ramp up to some of the prototypes that we do.

    3 If the new grad actually makes it to the interview stage, I just finish my questioning and tell HR that the candidate has an attitude problem. This works even if they get every question right, or if they go into detail. The latter works especially because they think they're showing value, but they actually make themselves easy to label instead as arrogant up-jumpers with a "behavioral problem"- and I can easily convince my HR of that.

    4 Telling HR that new grads don't know a specific tech well enough. Even if that tech has a ramp-up of a week or less. Because again, HR will take my word for it.

    So other than these, I'm wondering if there is any other tips and advice that you may have in preventing these kind of people from getting in? I would really appreciate the help. I've got quite a few grey hairs, and I just want to finish my time without any serious headaches.

    Thanks!
    OK, my 2 cents...

    A year or so ago, I was also in need of a new job. Now, I have worked at one place for about 17 years - and here I was: looking for a job. Praying after every interview that "this would be the one". Finally, after months of searching for employment, I landed a very good job. Right, I was also a "newbie", technically I still am. The people that interviewed me were awesome and the compnay I work for is awesome and I consider myself fortunate to work where I work now. We all work towards the same goal. No one thinks here he / she is better or more valuable than the other. Why? because we are all nice people.

    Now, I do not want to offend you but I think you should consider working on your people skills a bit more. Stop feeling threatened. Stop feeling that the young one will take over your job. After you have stopped worrying, perhaps you'll be a happier person.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    Re: How to Successfully Retire as a Senior Software Engineer?

    Google-> how to deal with the me generation

    And find many articles on the subject

    They're a different breed then people hitting the workforce 40 years ago. But in theory you should be able to figure out how to work with them since they do have many good skills.

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    Re: How to Successfully Retire as a Senior Software Engineer?

    Is Brad no longer admin of this site ?

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    Re: How to Successfully Retire as a Senior Software Engineer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Antony View Post
    Is Brad no longer admin of this site ?
    He is and always was
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  10. #10
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    Re: How to Successfully Retire as a Senior Software Engineer?

    Quote Originally Posted by HanneSThEGreaT View Post
    He is and always was
    Thanks, Brad's site is as always like a great blog.

  11. #11
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    Arjay is offline Moderator / EX MS MVP Power Poster
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    Re: How to Successfully Retire as a Senior Software Engineer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Antony View Post
    Thanks, Brad's site is as always like a great blog.
    It's definitely entertaining with some of the posts we get.

  12. #12
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    Re: How to Successfully Retire as a Senior Software Engineer?

    hey arjay

  13. #13
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    Re: How to Successfully Retire as a Senior Software Engineer?

    how are you doing?

  14. #14
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    Re: How to Successfully Retire as a Senior Software Engineer?

    Do what you think better for you. Don't ignore the kids because after retirement they will be your best friends. Meet with them friendly with will respect you definitely.

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