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Hi guys, some time ago, I have created a thread about how much are the average IT salaries in different countries: http://personalitycafe.com/education-career-talk/148816-salaries-field-different-countries.html

Lately, I've been talking with a coworker about how the work conditions in our field (software/web application development) in our country sucks compared to other countries. Basically, here the management is often poor that projects often end up failing deadlines (managers promissing crazy deadlines to clients for the sake of winning them over other IT companies, and then lack of proper team management), and then we are often expected to work many extra hours for free, sometimes including weekends, that it ends up draining our energy and motivation. Also, while we often have some flexibility when it comes to work schedule (we don't have to arrive strictly at 9am), anyone who tries to do the normal 9am to 6pm might raise some eyebrows and seen as not committed to work, as we are expected to not get out right at 6pm (while in other countries, if you get out late it would mean that you're slow and did not finish your work in time, which is negative, unlike here). And then there is the salary part, in which we are poorly paid compared to other countries.
We have heard and read what others who went to other countries said (mainly in Europe), and all of them seems to be very happy (except for the climate).

So I wonder, is anyone in the IT field, specially software development, that lives in another country? Can you share a bit of how things are there? How is the work routine? Management? Extra hours?


Also, is having a course diploma relevant? I'm curious about this as while I'm a Bsc graduate, my husband does not have a university course. But he is very competent as a systems administrator with 10 years experience in being the only sys admin taking care of the whole infrastructure of a small call center company he works for (PCs, servers, networking, hardware and software systems, databases, plus a bit of programming), and I wonder if it would be hard for him to find a good job in other countries?
 

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So I wonder, is anyone in the IT field, specially software development, that lives in another country? Can you share a bit of how things are there? How is the work routine? Management? Extra hours?
I worked in the US from 1998 to 2004 and Canada from 2005-2013, so I do have more than a bit of experience. It can vary dramatically depending on what stage the company is. For start-ups it can be quite unstructured and thus it can go either way. Some places may expect extra hours to get the company to stay alive as the initial cash will only last for so long as I did have a previous employer implode once on me. At the same time, if the company is much more mature, then it will likely be structured with formal processes that can be bureaucratic.

Some places were better run than others though something to consider is what kind of environment do you prefer? Do you want to be alone most of the time? Do you want to be working with others most of the time? I've done both numerous times.

I have had jobs where it mattered more that I was in my chair for 8 hours a day and not what I got done. I've had other places that were more concerned with what I got done rather than the hours I worked. A lot of places use an honor system when it comes to time tracking.

I've seen good management and horrible management. Sometimes they will make estimates that are unrealistic which then leads to that wonderful challenge of what are the important points to get done as sometimes getting enough functionality for a demo is good enough for what had to be done. Other times, it can be the challenge of communicating the fact that one can't build a skyscraper overnight or turn a 50 story office building into a bungalow can be done easily after it is half-built.

Also, is having a course diploma relevant? I'm curious about this as while I'm a Bsc graduate, my husband does not have a university course. But he is very competent as a systems administrator with 10 years experience in being the only sys admin taking care of the whole infrastructure of a small call center company he works for (PCs, servers, networking, hardware and software systems, databases, plus a bit of programming), and I wonder if it would be hard for him to find a good job in other countries?
If the company is mature, the diploma/degree will likely be required as HR will do screening and have standards to be met. On the other hand, start-ups would be more likely to not have an HR department and thus one could get around this in that environment. I do have a Computer Science degree that does tend to get me past that hurdle for jobs.

Course I'm not touching on the immigration question that may also exist though my Bachelor's degree was enough to get into the US under a NAFTA visa initially and then get that converted to a H1-B that still gets filled rather quickly in the US. This part is another story at times.
 

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Basically, here the management is often poor that projects often end up failing deadlines (managers promissing crazy deadlines to clients for the sake of winning them over other IT companies, and then lack of proper team management), and then we are often expected to work many extra hours for free, sometimes including weekends, that it ends up draining our energy and motivation.
I find in a lot of places, management sucks. They have no clue what's going on and shoot from the hip with things. I'm thinking you'll find this everywhere. They're always running understaffed and everything's an emergency since they don't know how to plan things out.

So I wonder, is anyone in the IT field, specially software development, that lives in another country?
I am a Systems Admin that lives in the United States, but I do work with developers on a regular basis.

Can you share a bit of how things are there? How is the work routine? Management? Extra hours?
I work on the operations side of IT. I get involved on a very limited basis with projects when they are in progress. I'll do their server builds and other routine tasks but other specialists configure everything. I end up support their piles of crap when they do think it's "production worthy."

Basically I worked 5am to 2pm. Sometimes I have to come in at 4am for software deployments or stay a little late for a meeting or something else that is unexpected. I try to maintain 40 hours as much as I can and make it a point to leave at 2pm. Gartner did a costing analysis here because our IT department wants to do charge backs and they found us to literally be 5-10% staffed. Basically they won't replace anyone who quits and there have been rounds of layoffs. Since I'm salaried, there's no incentive for me to work more and with their attitudes here I'm just proving they can get by with less and ultimately you get loaded with even more work. I am part of an on call rotation and also a separate NOC support rotation. Sometimes this basically makes it so I'm literally working 3 weeks in a row. Like I said, I try to keep it as close to 40 hours as I can and with on call we are given on call pay and with the NOC shift we are given a schedule shift to have days off during the week.

I work at a large Clinic and I'm the front lines to over 2000+ servers in a very complex environment (we have around 20 domains of differing trust levels between each other). I'm basically the air traffic control of the servers that gets put in the middle of everything.

I would say management sucks overall. They really do no have any good plans or vision for the future and everything is a patched together mess. I am trying to get this environment as documented, standardized, and predictable as possible but it's so hard to get things done when they don't understand simple things like capacity management or end-of-life.

Also, is having a course diploma relevant? I'm curious about this as while I'm a Bsc graduate, my husband does not have a university course. But he is very competent as a systems administrator with 10 years experience in being the only sys admin taking care of the whole infrastructure of a small call center company he works for (PCs, servers, networking, hardware and software systems, databases, plus a bit of programming), and I wonder if it would be hard for him to find a good job in other countries?
Where I work it requires a bachelor's degree to be an SA. I think they might make an exception and if you have an associates degree and like 10-15 years of experience they might consider you. I guess it really depends on the company though. As mentioned above, bigger companies with HR departments use a bachelor's to vet people. Smaller companies will look for talent, in a lot of cases, regardless of degree. The thing is the big companies is where the good pay, benefits, and stability is.
 

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So I wonder, is anyone in the IT field, specially software development, that lives in another country? Can you share a bit of how things are there? How is the work routine? Management? Extra hours?
I used to intern at a mid-sized engineering firm in Canada and I have a close friend that works as a software developer (also in Canada). We found the work hours pretty slack, could basically show up anytime from six to nine and leave after you do your 8 hours. Unfortunately as an intern I never had to do too many extra hours, so I can't comment on that, but from my understanding there was a threshold over which they would pay you overtime (you self-submit your hours on a timesheet and at the end you see how many hours you have over, if any... straightforward really). I'm not sure about salaried workers, though, sorry....

I found when I was working management was a mess, people were quitting all the time. It was because they changed around the management a year or so before and people weren't happy with it.

Also, with what you said about working hours (you absolutely sound like you live in Japan, just from what I've read) - but you're partially right about the staying late, working overtime. In N America it's actually not looked down on that much - it shows you work hard. In Europe - especially in Germany - if you get out on time it means you planned your day - staying late means you weren't efficient and hence didn't work hard that day.

Also the better thing about Europe... the taxes might be crazy sometimes but you get good vacation, sick pay, all the benefits... and people don't really look down on you for using every single bit of it. I even met this software developer from Sweden travelling around while he was working... he literally sat around the hostel, or coffee shop, or whatever, working on his laptop, and just travelled around the rest of the time.

Also, is having a course diploma relevant? I'm curious about this as while I'm a Bsc graduate, my husband does not have a university course. But he is very competent as a systems administrator with 10 years experience in being the only sys admin taking care of the whole infrastructure of a small call center company he works for (PCs, servers, networking, hardware and software systems, databases, plus a bit of programming), and I wonder if it would be hard for him to find a good job in other countries?
If there's one thing I've learned in my short life it's that if you're smart enough and have enough experience companies don't care if you have a degree in IT. Especially in North America - in Europe (at least in Germany, where I currently am now), they tend to care more about your degrees, but North America they place a lot of value on your experience.
I actually met a guy from Seattle a month ago who had worked as a database developer - even worked on contact with Microsoft for a year. He had a degree in Economics, of all things. He said he just started learning SQL, liked it, got good enough for people to start hiring him. Go figure.
So yes, I think your husband won't have too much of a problem.
 
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