16

I would like to know how many software developers are affected by the current (autumn 2008) financial crisis in the USA.

So please answer my questions:

  • Are there job cuts in the company you work because of the crisis?
  • Are there any projects cancelled or frozen?
  • How is morale about your colleagues and/or customers?
  • In which sector does you or your company operate?

Answers from all around the world are welcome.

9

My company is closing up the branch I work at in six months, at which point I will have no job. I don't know if that is because of the financial crisis or not, but I'm looking for jobs in a time when hiring is down, and I'll be competing with about a hundred other coworkers. Also, the big places that hire programmers here (Charlotte, NC) have historically been the banks (Wachovia and Bank of America being headquartered here). Well Wachovia just got bought out and BofA will likely be cutting costs for the foreseeable future. To make matters worse, relocation is tricky because I'd have to sell my house which I only bought a little over a year ago, but the decline in the housing market means that I would probably lose a lot of money doing so.

Update: To anyone finding this later, I'm happy to report that I was only out of work for five weeks, and I got a severance package that was equivalent to far more than five weeks of pay. I didn't have to move, and I'm now working for slightly better pay but slightly worse benefits.

9

It definitely depends a lot on your location. Places where there is more Government or Startup business seem to be doing well. Places with more Financial or IT business are having problems. The biggest win for technology is the way it can replace people and reduce overhead. It's sad but true.

Case in point: I just talked to a doctor the other day that is firing 3 receptionists and replacing them with an automated patient tracking system to reduce the overhead. Software won, programmers have a job, others don't. In my experience there is always a need for good developers. No matter how bad the economy is, somebody is making money.

3

Yes, absolutely -- we have frozen a few projects because we have clients who are having second thoughts about spending the cash, or having a hard time financing other aspects of their business so their IT outlay gets shrunk.

2

As a potential employer, i.e. I manage a team and am involved in wider recruitment questions within the firm, it's great because more, better candidates are appearing on the radar. But the job security - or rather the security of the whole employer - is the key. The institutions that have proven vulnerable recently were previously considered blue-chip AAA-rated. On that basis, while I'm confident that I'm doing a solid job, how will my employers be affected? If I knew the answer to that question, I'd be trading.

2

Working at a smallish company in mainly government contracts for DoD, Navy, NASA, etc. in the Washington DC area - no we haven't had any problems. In the last 1-2 years we've expanded significantly and, so far as I know, haven't had any real problems from the recent financial problems. I think most problems are going to be due to a lack of available loans.

1
  • Are there job cuts in the company you work because of the crisis?

No, not as of yet.

  • Are there any projects cancelled or frozen?

Nope. We've only got one big project right now, and it's going strong.

  • How is morale about your colleagues and/or customers?

While most of us are worried about it, we don't fear for our jobs.

  • In which sector does you or your company operate?

We run a website used to memorialize people who have passed on (and similar sites to celebrate other life events). Basically, we're in the funeral industry, and are branching out into other industries related to people's experiences and memories.

1

I am working in the banking domain. As I am concerned the whole big bang happening in this domain provided more work on the table for us.

Why? Because we focus on change management and where I am employed are rewiewing deeply their processes and business cases. Good news for us. We help them doing that.

1

I've been at a big corporation for a while now and recently half our team just left for new jobs. They are now worried about retaining talented developers and replacing them, so in terms of my office, things are really healthy for anyone looking for work.

But, the reason people have been leaving is because this place is like 10 years behind the times. If I didn't introduce stuff like jQuery and Moose(Perl) we'd be building websites with sticks and stones competing against rival companies with RAD frameworks and the latest and greatest technologies.

I've been trying to leave myself, but the "problem" is these guys pay me pretty well so the only positions that interest me have above market rate salaries. I was never worried, because every time I did a job search for "Senior Developer" there would be at least 5~10 jobs with at least my salary on display. Now those types of jobs seem to have completely disappeared from the market and salaries of available jobs have went down from an average of 35k per year to around 25k.

I'm pretty worried that the average salary will lower and soon I'd have to take a paycut to get better working conditions rather than even a sideways move like I was thinking of doing. Six months ago, the idea of that was laughable.

Edit - BTW, I'm from Scotland. I should mention that here the norm is very much to attach an expected salary to a job listing so it's pretty easy to get a quick overview of the state of salaries being offered.

1
  • No jobs cut.
  • Some projects are frozen.
  • Morale is only down a little
  • Transportation Industry

To expand on question one. We probably could not easily hire a new employee now if we wanted t.

For the second question. We really have just re-prioritized our project list.

  • Anything that brings in new customers or retains our paying customers is first in our project queue.
  • Anything that enhances our current customers(paying or not) is second.
  • Lastly anything that only enhances our non-paying customers experience.
1

As a freelancer working mostly with small businesses and nonprofits, I'm not seeing any major changes thus far. I'm not sure whether it's because my clients are less affected, because working with me isn't a long-term committment (once the project is over, I'm gone unless they choose to start up a new one), or if it's just because the code needs to be written, but I haven't been noticably affected (yet).

1

I for myself found this article: "Is the Economic Crisis Having an Effect on Programmers?" which contains a link to interesting statistical data (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

1

I haven't seen any job cuts where I work because of the crisis, though I'm sure there will be some effects rolling through that I'm just not going to see.

Some projects have beeen postponed due to resource shortages or re-prioritizing where resources are going now but I doubt many things are from the economic crisis yet.

Morale is rather wildly varied. There are a couple of different extremes of reactions among the very stressed out because of so much to do and the contrast of those twiddling their thumbs as well as those of us that just have enough to keep us busy day to day.

My company operates selling mostly hardware and software though there should be some exceptions made for custom consulting work or custom products for particular clients. I work in the IS department of this company, not where most of the software developers are though.

1

Maybe I can come at this from a different angle, since I'm just at the end of college now. Recruiting here didn't seem to have tapered off any in comparison to what I've seen in past years, although that is hard to quantify.

Personally, I was mostly interviewing with small financial companies (hedge fund/prop. trading) - all these were weathering the downturn very well and were still hiring (and hired me).

I talked with colleagues from two past internships, and one company (enterprise search) had mostly frozen hiring and laid off some people. The other (consulting) was seeing fewer clients come in the door, but was managing.

That's about all the insight I've got, hope that's helpful!

1

The #1 key question is: How do we anticipate where some of the $700 Billion dollars worth of stimulus packages is going to go toward software development, and where do we go to get in line ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H help out?

1

Major cuts at my employer although I'm safe from them.

What I'm not so safe from is the possibility of the whole thing failing. Before the collapse 90% of our sales were to new home builders.

0

Well I was presently about to become a independent consultant, but I'll probably wait now.

0

Not in my area. It's been significantly depressed around here for years already, the current downturn has made no local impact. Apparently we were already at the bottom here...

0

No effect yet for me. I expect if the situation continues, then it will affect us in oh, say, 6 months or so. Hopefully it won't come to that though.

0

Yes - The business has somewhat dried up. Our company is having to look at new business models to bring in revenue, but has already laid off half of the 12 employees. Plus it didn't help that our Prez ran off with some woman (not his wife)...

0

Are there job cuts in the company you work because of the crisis?

No, none foreseen. A little flattening in growth though.

Are there any projects cancelled or frozen?

Nope.

How is morale about your colleagues and/or customers?

Seems about the same.

In which sector does you or your company operate?

We write EFT software - although our customer base include many banks, it also includes many large retailers, plus our software is kinda critical to any banking operation. The only reason for a bank not needing our software anymore is a) a competitor ousted us (hasn't happened in a while) or b) they're bust already. Which I guess could happen, but here's to hoping a large number of banks will survive this situation.

0

Luckily our company doesn't work directly on projects in the financial and banking markets and does work on government contracts and international projects. So, so far, there has been no immediate effect here or at any of the other companies around here (Huntsville, AL). If it goes on long enough, it might trickle down to affect us, but I don't expect a long downturn. In fact, we're having a hard time hiring because several "headhunting" agencies have told us that .NET (particularly C# and ASP.Net) developers currently have about a 0.3% unemployment rate.

0

Not during the dotCrunch and not now. I hear of people having issues, but not for myself or any of the companies I've previously worked for.

0

At the time of financial crises we need to come together united and try to solve the problems which are responsible for such a hazard. We need to overcome it. It is meant to bring calm to the population and markets and display government strength and stability. As a large number of people spend their money in movies, making films, sports, nowadays even many clubs offer on line poker tournament where people lose a large sum of money there in such stuffs which should be minimized as the world is going through a phase where a little wastage of money could be matter of remorse.

0

GOD, pls give jobs, food and money to humanity. No more of distress. Why us ? please.