More and More coding careers, less of…..everything else

As students graduate from college with heavy-weighted degrees in the “Liberal Arts”, what they are finding is that in order to make a six figure income, what is becoming increasingly essential, outside of degrees and life experience, is the ability to code. The discouraging factor is that to acquire enough knowledge and experience in coding to land a well paying job, the time commitment and cost are both far less than a four-year degree. Within three months, and $10,000 later, a $100,000 salary can be as close as a stones throw away.

So I pose both an ethical, philosophical, and what seems to be almost a rhetorical question of whether or not it is even considered valuable to go to school for a 4-year degree anymore? To be an academic or scholar, then perhaps yes. However, in that case, you are most likely not in any rush to land a well paying career anytime soon. On the other hand, if college is simply a means to an end to land a decent paying job, perhaps it is time to reconsider.

Don’t get me wrong, not everyone can walk into a coding bootcamp course and come out as a genius engineer. The main trait one has to have before getting into any of this is intelligence. One needs to have a sharp, critical thinking, analytical mind, which college generally provides resources that can help fine-tune this much needed asset. Additionally, apart from simply accomplishing a coding course and receiving a certificate, one also needs to chart a significant amount of hours in front of a computer, geeking out over the artistry and poetic nature of code, if you will.

However, it is undeniable that the tech industry is booming, and their seems to be no end in sight at the moment. It is for this reason that graduates, among others from entirely different fields, are leaving everything they once knew in exchange for the plethora of high salaried paying positions with companies desperate for employees. Although these companies have little quality control, many are not concerned, especially newer start-ups who are backed by wealthy funders encouraging them to hire fast and fire fast if need be. Given the long line of people willing and ready to take the next available position, there is no shortage of competitive candidates. Whether or not this business model is sustainable in the long run, time will only tell.

Nonetheless, with all speculation aside, the tech industry is hands down a lucrative business for many people, all the people, willing and able minded and ready to compute.

Silicon Valley’s On Going Existential Gender Dynamics Crises: Ellen Pao vs Kleiner

It is a bit of a “he-said she-said game” in the Ellen Pao case against Venture Capital Firm Kleiner – Silicon Valley’s most recent gender discrimination case. Silicon Valley, over the past decade, has become notorious for it’s patriarchal corporate culture, a place where women are constantly at odds with it’s male dominance. The Valley has become analogous to a fraternity scene, but for grown men. A culture where the movement for egalitarianism and the push for moving women out on the “second class citizen” in corporate cultures has perhaps been an agenda placed on the back burner.

Ellen Pao, a previous partner of Kleiner, had sued the V.C. Firm under allegations of unprofessional gender dynamics in the work environment. Her attorney argued that although Pao had many successful efforts in the firm, including investments with RPX – the patent company – along with twitter investments, she had little-to-no traction for upward mobility, hitting a lower than normal “glass ceiling”. Although Pao’s case shines light, once again, on how women are still minorities in Silicon Valley, faced with blatant discrimination due to a product of the culture’s lake of exposure to gender diversity, the Venture Capital firm, in the end, was cleared by a California Jury for all claims brought against it. Even claims that involved more personal matter of Pao being terminated from her position at the firm – thought to be a result of a retaliation against Pao for her suing the firm in 2012 – was also cleared.

Although there was no major triumph for Ellen Pao personally, there is some pay off. With the more gender inequality cases brought out of the wood-work in the V. C culture, perhaps there will be a larger, more sustainable push for equality and integrity within Silicon Valley corporate world.

Unfortunately, the scene got a little messy for Pao’s case when the jurors brought up the affair Pao had with former Kleiner partner, Ajit Nazre. Pao claimed Nazre used business trips as opportune courting situations, arguing that she was more of a victim of his habits than a romanic interest. Whether or not it was appropriate for her to get involved with a married business partner who she was told had already separated from his wife, is news for the tabloids. I believe the coverage on this case is most important in the fact that it is not the first, and most likely will not be the last given the culture’s history. Therefore, it is a symbolic slap in the face for the Silicon Valley to wake up and get their act together when it comes to gender dynamics. Or perhaps I live in a fantasy world believing everyone to be educated about gender politics, human rights and to have read Simone’s de Beauvoir’s 1949 book “The Second Sex”. But no, in fact I’d be lying to myself if I said I truly believed this was reality.


Kayleigh Stack

Tech Blogger and Marketing Assistant

I Was Once Young, and a VP (Part 2)

Now, lets be serious for a minute. An over-saturated market is never a good thing, and right now, the market is over-saturated with job offerings. There are more people seeking “talent” than the amount of actual “talent” out there. Employers take whatever they can (my neighbor’s dog just got a job offer from Google). That means they hire a person that calls himself a “Software Engineer” after learning HTML/JS for a few weeks or just getting out of college.

So lets all move to SF where we’ll get lots of money for just calling ourselves “Software Engineers.” Did Someone just say gold rush?

Since there is only so much gold in the mine. You can only dig for so long until you get it all out, and we are close to the end of this rush. You can only build lies upon lies for so long before everything collapses, and when it happens, the over-saturated market will do a 180 flip leaving us with the complete opposite situation. Tons of people (most of them completely unqualified) and not enough jobs.

But what about the big guys? What about Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc?  The well established companies are not relying on finding gold anymore. They are now making investments with all the gold that they have. And they will eventually take advantage of the situation in a market saturated with people looking for jobs. Today they have to hire who they can, tomorrow they get to pick. And when they get to pick, they also get to offer whatever they feel like – and what they feel like it won’t be as sweet as it is today (not even close).

Do you know all that new construction that targets “young professionals” making all that money? Who will be the target when the bubble bursts and 22 year-old kids begin to fall from the sky and hit the ground hard?

Do you know all those new fancy bars and expensive restaurants that just opened up? How will they stay open when people can’t afford $15 cocktails? I still remember the days where booze were cheap in this city (lonely tear running down my cheek).

Clearly we are living in a culture that is based on a big lie, and as my mom always said, lies have short legs, so they can’t get too far. We are about to see the end of this start-up-lie era.

Don’t get me wrong, by no means am I implying that tech is going away, and we are all going to have to move back to caves. In fact, I obviously believe in the ability of technological progress to help not only improve lives, but the world around us. All I’m saying is, this particular bubble is about to readjust, and when  that happens, we are going to shovel the dead dreams of all those young CEOs out of San Francisco.

To be perfectly honest, I can’t wait to go back to the times where no one listen to you if you are under 40.

Fede Pisani (Age of 30).

Technical Blogger.

Note: If you don’t know what HTML is, go learn it. You could be making over $100k in little over 2 weeks.