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all you yanks out there ...

 
 
Richard Reynolds
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      11-10-2003
Hope you don't mind this off topic question but this is the group I know
best and would trust some replies from, I used to post quite regularly
although I've been a bit too busy for a while now (doing up a new house).
I work as a software engineer in the U.K. and I've been considering moving
to the states, I have a few friends on the East coast who've frightened me a
bit with the amount of time they spend working but none are in the software
industry so I was wondering if you could give me a run down on general
conditions of employment. Here, I get 26 days annual leave (which will rise
with time served)plus 12 days public holidays, a pretty good salary, 37.5
hour week with time off in lieu if I work over that or spend time travelling
off site or to training courses etc. Working hours are flexible, working
from home is available and the atmosphere is relaxed, none of my managers
watch the clock and there's not a lot of pressure.
However, the weather here is CRAP!! plus I'm tempted by the wealth of
opportunity for travelling/outdoor pursuits for kids (I have 4) over there.

I know the answers will be highly individual but I'd really. appreciate any
details,
cheers, Richard.


 
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Eric Sosman
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      11-10-2003
Richard Reynolds wrote:
>
> Hope you don't mind this off topic question but this is the group I know
> best and would trust some replies from, I used to post quite regularly
> although I've been a bit too busy for a while now (doing up a new house).
> I work as a software engineer in the U.K. and I've been considering moving
> to the states, I have a few friends on the East coast who've frightened me a
> bit with the amount of time they spend working but none are in the software
> industry so I was wondering if you could give me a run down on general
> conditions of employment. Here, I get 26 days annual leave (which will rise
> with time served)plus 12 days public holidays, a pretty good salary, 37.5
> hour week with time off in lieu if I work over that or spend time travelling
> off site or to training courses etc. Working hours are flexible, working
> from home is available and the atmosphere is relaxed, none of my managers
> watch the clock and there's not a lot of pressure.
> However, the weather here is CRAP!! plus I'm tempted by the wealth of
> opportunity for travelling/outdoor pursuits for kids (I have 4) over there.
>
> I know the answers will be highly individual but I'd really. appreciate any
> details,
> cheers, Richard.


Richard me lad, you would love it here in the Colonies.
We software engineers sit about playing video games, surfing
adult entertainment sites, sipping margaritas, smoking dope,
and corresponding on Usenet. Verily, that is all we do. We
do it for many hours, but as you see there are rewards. Oh,
and we pull down six- and seven-figure salaries for all this
goldbricking: Management are our terrified and abject slaves
because we can sling three- and four-letter acronyms faster
than they can.

There is, however, one tiny drawback to your prospective
immigration. If you actually start *working* and producing
usable software, you will cause an unprecedented boom in the
industry's productivity. Economic experts will look for the
cause of this upsurge, and will eventually finger you as the
person responsible -- and then our secret will be revealed,
we'll be shown up for a lot of lazy lallygaggers, and our
super-sized SUVs will be confiscated. To prevent this, I'm
afraid we'll need to have you killed if you show even the
slightest inclination toward initiative.

Please don't misunderstand me: I am not impugning your
bravery, and I'm sure you would face Death resolutely. You
descendants of woad-wearing, haggis-eating, warm-beer-drinking
supermen are intrepid beyond the feeble and febrile imaginings
of us degenerate expatriates. The drawback I refer to is not
that you will die, but that you will die horribly: We will
need to make an example of you to deter other over-achievers
from importing a work ethic to these shores. And I ask you,
as slob to savant: Do you *really* think you can withstand
torture by repeated screenings of "Survivor?"

I thought not. You're well off where you are, Limey;
make the best of it.

--
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed)
 
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Darryl L. Pierce
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      11-10-2003
Eric Sosman wrote:

> Richard me lad, you would love it here in the Colonies.
> We software engineers sit about playing video games, surfing
> adult entertainment sites, sipping margaritas, smoking dope,
> and corresponding on Usenet.


In a previous life, we merged (actually, we acquired) a company in Atlanta
that pretty much did just those things. They had a big screen TV with Play
Station, foosball, etc. and no management to speak of. They would come in
late, go to lunch early, spend 2 hours *after* lunch playing video games
and foosball, and write code that wasn't worth a ****.

Then they were let go. And they were *upset* that it happened.

--
Darryl L. Pierce <(E-Mail Removed)>
Visit the Infobahn Offramp - <http://mypage.org/mcpierce>
"What do you care what other people think, Mr. Feynman?"
 
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Darryl L. Pierce
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      11-10-2003
Richard Reynolds wrote:

> Hope you don't mind this off topic question but this is the group I know
> best and would trust some replies from, I used to post quite regularly
> although I've been a bit too busy for a while now (doing up a new house).
> I work as a software engineer in the U.K. and I've been considering moving
> to the states, I have a few friends on the East coast who've frightened me
> a bit with the amount of time they spend working but none are in the
> software industry so I was wondering if you could give me a run down on
> general conditions of employment.


First, you'd need to find someone who will sponsor your H1B visa.

As for working conditions, I telecommute for a company based in NJ (I live
in NC). I work from about 6am (by choice) throughout the day, but always
during core business hours (10am-4pm). I'm normally asked to do work over
the weekends, but not major tasks normally. The company I work for is a
startup, so there's always the need for working like that.

Deadlines are always yesterday. Features always exceed the available hours
to implement them and are greater than the resources available on the
platform (I work in the MIDP and target mobiles). Yet, we meet our goals
and have a robust product. But, it's not easy and we put in alot of hours
to accomplish these goals.

> Here, I get 26 days annual leave (which
> will rise with time served)plus 12 days public holidays, a pretty good
> salary, 37.5 hour week with time off in lieu if I work over that or spend
> time travelling off site or to training courses etc.


Generally, you get 10 public holidays plus a graduated number of personal
vacation days based on service time, same as in the UK. However, the comp
time for working extra hours depends on your employer. If you're a salaried
employee, the company is under no obligation to pay you extra or compensate
you for the extra hours. If you're an hourly employee, though, the company
*has* to pay you for all hours worked, and (unless I'm mistaken) is
required to pay you time and a half for anything over 40 hours.

> Working hours are
> flexible, working from home is available and the atmosphere is relaxed,
> none of my managers watch the clock and there's not a lot of pressure.


This would depend on the company. When I was at IBM, I knew of several
managers who watched the clock. Mine didn't, thankfully. At my last job, we
had a CTO who was great about working: you had to be in for core business
hours, but when you came in and left only had to work out to 40 hours
weekly (he also had the policy that if you worked over 40 hours a week,
then it was *management* who was screwing up and *they* should fix it;
sadly, he didn't last with the company long and the death march came back
soon after he was released). My current job, I work from home and take
phone calls all day long from the PM and CEO, so I'm always available. The
other engineers work at the office and come in from 9-5.

> However, the weather here is CRAP!! plus I'm tempted by the wealth of
> opportunity for travelling/outdoor pursuits for kids (I have 4) over
> there.


Pick your destination wisely. Where I live (central NC) it's either too hot
to do anything (from late May until early October) and then things get
boring. Though, I take the lads out biking on the weekends and my wife and
I give them water bottles and shove them out back during the week <g>.

> I know the answers will be highly individual but I'd really. appreciate
> any details,


Those are my experiences, at least. YMMV.

--
Darryl L. Pierce <(E-Mail Removed)>
Visit the Infobahn Offramp - <http://mypage.org/mcpierce>
"What do you care what other people think, Mr. Feynman?"
 
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Sudsy
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-10-2003
Richard Reynolds wrote:

> Hope you don't mind this off topic question but this is the group I know
> best and would trust some replies from, I used to post quite regularly
> although I've been a bit too busy for a while now (doing up a new house).
> I work as a software engineer in the U.K. and I've been considering moving
> to the states, I have a few friends on the East coast who've frightened me a
> bit with the amount of time they spend working but none are in the software
> industry so I was wondering if you could give me a run down on general
> conditions of employment. Here, I get 26 days annual leave (which will rise
> with time served)plus 12 days public holidays, a pretty good salary, 37.5
> hour week with time off in lieu if I work over that or spend time travelling
> off site or to training courses etc. Working hours are flexible, working
> from home is available and the atmosphere is relaxed, none of my managers
> watch the clock and there's not a lot of pressure.


Let's see: 10 days vacation to start, if you're lucky (many companies
only give you one week [5 days] the first year). Expect to work an
absolute minimum of 40 hours a week, anywhere up to 60 or more. Don't
expect to get ANY time off in lieu and forget about overtime as well.
Depending on whether your boss is from the "old school", you might be
expected in at 8:30am, rain, shine, snow or hail. Don't even DREAM of
leaving before 5 and you'll likely be sticking around until quite a
bit later.
A company car is a fantasy and you'll probably have to pay for your
own parking (in whole or in part). When you're on the road you'll
still be expected to keep up with everything back at the office so
you'll probably be putting in at least 12 hour days. Heck, it's not
like you know anyone at the destination!
Flexibility has gone by the wayside as IT has shed some 200,000 full-
time positions in North America over the past three years. Managers
have their staff by the short and curlies and they know it! People
are expected to do the work of three with the threat of dismissal
constantly hanging over them. Given the dismal job market, nobody
wants to be searching for a new one these days.
Bottom line? Stay where you are. The weather might be crap but the
bennies more than make up for it. Hell, go to the Med for a couple
of weeks if you need some sunshine and warmth; everyone else does!

 
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Anton Spaans
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      11-11-2003
As a non Yank (I'm Dutch)

I'm a senior software engineer at the East Coast (Boston). There are
differences between the working environments here and in the
Netherlands/Europe (these all are very general. It depends a lot for which
company you work). The other posts already said a lot. I'd like to add this:

First try to find an H1B sponsor. This is going to be very hard nowadays.
The quotum of allowed H1Bs has been lowered considerably. In this
down-turned market, many companies don't want to bother with the H1B
bullshit (it's a LOT of paper work, you - or the sponsor-company - spend a
lot of money on lawyers, etc...). But suppose you can get sponsoring:

1. You have a lot less vacation-days here and somewhat less holidays. I went
down from 28 vacation days to 15 (15 days/3 weeks is very common in the
software industry) and lost a couple of holidays. And 28 was even to be
considered quite a low number in Holland. Many people had about 40 of them
(25-30 days plus 4 hours per week)....... But then again, they are pretty
flexible here if you need some personal time to arrange things.
2. Salaries are still (somewhat) better than in the Netherlands (compared to
the standard of living).
3. Work environment: It depends a LOT on your employer. Just look for one
that you like. Talk to people that work there. And realize that an employee
does not have as many legal protections as in Europe.

If you just want to move because of the wheather: Don't do it.
If you want to move to an area where there is exceptional education for your
kids or if you see a particular opportunity somewhere in the US, then do it.
It can be very worth your while

And if you move, think about your partner. You may be able to work on your
H1B visa, but your partner may not and must stay at home all the time... in
a different environment... this can be devestating for a relationship.

-- Anton.


"Richard Reynolds" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:V_Srb.1984$(E-Mail Removed)...
> Hope you don't mind this off topic question but this is the group I know
> best and would trust some replies from, I used to post quite regularly
> although I've been a bit too busy for a while now (doing up a new house).
> I work as a software engineer in the U.K. and I've been considering moving
> to the states, I have a few friends on the East coast who've frightened me

a
> bit with the amount of time they spend working but none are in the

software
> industry so I was wondering if you could give me a run down on general
> conditions of employment. Here, I get 26 days annual leave (which will

rise
> with time served)plus 12 days public holidays, a pretty good salary, 37.5
> hour week with time off in lieu if I work over that or spend time

travelling
> off site or to training courses etc. Working hours are flexible, working
> from home is available and the atmosphere is relaxed, none of my managers
> watch the clock and there's not a lot of pressure.
> However, the weather here is CRAP!! plus I'm tempted by the wealth of
> opportunity for travelling/outdoor pursuits for kids (I have 4) over

there.
>
> I know the answers will be highly individual but I'd really. appreciate

any
> details,
> cheers, Richard.
>
>



 
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Eric Sosman
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-11-2003
"Darryl L. Pierce" wrote:
>
> Richard Reynolds wrote:
>
> > However, the weather here is CRAP!! plus I'm tempted by the wealth of
> > opportunity for travelling/outdoor pursuits for kids (I have 4) over
> > there.

>
> Pick your destination wisely. Where I live (central NC) it's either too hot
> to do anything (from late May until early October) and then things get
> boring. Though, I take the lads out biking on the weekends and my wife and
> I give them water bottles and shove them out back during the week <g>.


When I visited the Raleigh branch of a large software
company last summer, one of their engineers described the
air as like "trying to breathe in a sack of wet rats."

--
(E-Mail Removed)
 
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Richard Reynolds
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      11-11-2003
Thanks for all the info guys, very enlightening, and entertaining too!
It sounds pretty much like most of my friends have described from other
industries over there. It's really the amount of time spent working that
puts me off most, I guess I'm just lazy! I would love to experience living
somewhere else and the u.s. was first choice as I've friends there and I
like the sound of the place in so many ways but I just don't think I could
get used to that after being used to this! When do you guys get to see your
family!

thanks again, Richard.


"Eric Sosman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> "Darryl L. Pierce" wrote:
> >
> > Richard Reynolds wrote:
> >
> > > However, the weather here is CRAP!! plus I'm tempted by the wealth of
> > > opportunity for travelling/outdoor pursuits for kids (I have 4) over
> > > there.

> >
> > Pick your destination wisely. Where I live (central NC) it's either too

hot
> > to do anything (from late May until early October) and then things get
> > boring. Though, I take the lads out biking on the weekends and my wife

and
> > I give them water bottles and shove them out back during the week <g>.

>
> When I visited the Raleigh branch of a large software
> company last summer, one of their engineers described the
> air as like "trying to breathe in a sack of wet rats."
>
> --
> (E-Mail Removed)



 
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Darryl L. Pierce
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-12-2003
Eric Sosman wrote:

>> Pick your destination wisely. Where I live (central NC) it's either too
>> hot to do anything (from late May until early October) and then things
>> get boring. Though, I take the lads out biking on the weekends and my
>> wife and I give them water bottles and shove them out back during the
>> week <g>.

>
> When I visited the Raleigh branch of a large software
> company last summer, one of their engineers described the
> air as like "trying to breathe in a sack of wet rats."


Yeah, it can get very humid down here. When I hit the trails in summer (I'm
a mountain biker), I invariably wind up thoroughly drenched before I've hit
the first mile. And the bugs are horrible as well.

Where my in-laws live (Albemarle Sound) the water's acidic, so there are
very few mosquitoes. Here, we have them, preying mantis, etc. I hate
bugs...

--
Darryl L. Pierce <(E-Mail Removed)>
Visit the Infobahn Offramp - <http://mypage.org/mcpierce>
"What do you care what other people think, Mr. Feynman?"
 
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