Poll: Are you a techie that has quit or will soon?

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Since I am a computer consultant and am looking for another project to get off of a badly organized Y2k project, I got to wondering how many of techies have quit or will soon. I want this to be my last year for many reasons not just Y2k - I don't know if I will continue to work next year if things hold together enough.

what about you?

-- Just Me (none@nomail.com), January 18, 1999


I'm a Government programmer (pure techie in work-force since '83 - no interest in management) staying in the Dee Cee suburbs no matter what. Will have food/water/heat for up to a "6" or maybe a "7". Very worried about sewage.

I'm "married with children". Wife will prepare up to what FEMA/Red- cross says, but beyond that means family break-up. Being somewhat conservative, I would sooner die than have the family break-up, bluntly stated.

-- Anonymous99 (Anonymous99@Anonymous.com), January 18, 1999.

i am a system admin for a medium sized information tech company.. i will stay as long as I have a "meaningful job".. have set myself up with different contingency plans based on severity... personally i am thinking around a "6".. but deep down i have to admit i have no idea how severe y2k will be

-- michael (michael813@yahoo.com), January 18, 1999.

Been in the business 8 years - that's enough. Burnt out. Y2K just forces the issue. No real manual skills if Y2K is "the big one" - and realistically, I'm not going to learn them this year. I don't expect TEOTWAWKI - people don't take into account 2 major things: 1) Software doesn't work NOW. That's right. Most systems are terribly f***ed up and bug-ridden. People ignore this fact. It's not like we're going from a perfect working world to chaos. We'll be going from limited chaos to more chaos.

2) Government employees do next-to-no work. Sorry if this insults some of you, but I have family working for the government, and I did an internship with the state, and this is the truth. There are a LOT of idle hands available to do things manually when automation fails.

I still expect major distruptions, but the above two points should be considered.

-- RG (nomail@work.com), January 18, 1999.

RG, the two points that you present are ludicrous. (Though I'm sure that point #2 probably got some nod of agreement by those with bones to pick re govt, which all of us probably do at some time or other.) But if computers are now as unreliable as you claim, then you are right, Y2K would not be a problem -- because we would not trust them and therefore we would not use them. But we do, and we do ... until Y2K changes that big time.

And it takes more that bodies to do things manually. There has to be a lot of up front contingency planning ahead of time on how to use them. There won't be.

Anyway, to answer the original question posted for this thread: Yes, my goal is to be 100% bugged out no later than 3/15/1999.

-- Jack (jsprat@eld.net), January 18, 1999.

And embedded chips were forgotten here again.

-- Chris (catsy@pond.com), January 18, 1999.

You people have a responsibility to your country and your fellow man to keep working until the bitter end! You owe it to us!!

-- Wesley Mouch (Ayn@rand.com), January 18, 1999.

Westly: Are you willing to protect their families? Are they supposed to be true to you first and then to their families? Are you always going to expect others to help you out when you are the one who is to be responsible for your own domain? This is what we have lost in America. Or have we?

-- Reporter (foo@foo.bar), January 18, 1999.

Wesley(sp) ... (so that's what editors are for!)

-- Reporter (foo@foo.bar), January 18, 1999.

Wesley: This is from Ed Yourdon's From Y2K Survivalists, Safe Havens, and Bugging Out:

"I do suggest that there are at least three critical questions you should ask when making your decision: What is your first priority -- yourself, your family, your company, your country, or perhaps some other group or entity?

[snip god & country stuff]

Whose responsibility is the current Y2K situation? Whose fault is it that the Y2K remediation effort wasn't begun in 1993 instead of 1998? Whose fault is it that the Y2K effort continues to be behind schedule? Whose fault is it that Congress killed the Y2K emergency appropriations funding in late June?

[snip comments about guilt trip]

What responsibility do you have if you don't get honest, forthright information from your company -- or, for that matter, the appropriate government officials? Your own ability to make an informed safe-haven decision about Y2K may be hampered by the lack of specific information from your CEO/CIO or from government officials who say, "Trust me, everything will be okay"

[skip philosophical questions] Here are my answers to his three questions:

1. My family.

2. Management.

3. Very little.

Now Wesley, you are a somewhat intelligent man. Yourdon has gone on record as saying large cities will resemble Beirut if even a subset of the potential y2k problems materialize. He has gone on record last month as saying that he is "much more pessimistic" about the situation than when he first published his Timebomb book. And Yourdon is pretty much an optimist.

The bottom line Wesley, is that at this late date, you have very little evidence to show that some form of Paul Milne's version of events will not come to pass.

-- a (a@a.a), January 18, 1999.

I agree with RG.

Software doesn't work properly now. Oh sure, we may be able to muddle through with this garbarge, but basically it stinks.

-- Sub-Mitt (lurking@ofcourse.com), January 18, 1999.

I'm a programmer/analyst (independent contractor) with 25+ years of experience working in every situation from a 1-man shop up to divisions of Fortune 500 companies.

If the power stays on at the outset I think 2000 will shape up like another oil shock. There are way too many places from the wellhead to the ultimate consuming of oil products where we will get killed by both embedded systems and data processing MIS. Without oil we are fubar.

I've been checking out and purchasing bare Idaho properties for the last two summers. I'm moving there and putting a modular home on one of the properties this Spring. I'm also fortunate in that I have lived on small ranches for the last 15 years and hopefully have learned a few useful skills. I'll continue to work on my Y2K projects as long as possible via telecommunication and flying in.

I'm embarrassed to post in the same thread as RG and Sub-Mitt. Actually, I'm embarrassed for them as they obviously don't have enough sense to be embarrassed for themselves.

-- Bob Benson (appysys@inreach.com), January 18, 1999.

To Anon99:

I know of which you speak. I am fortunate in that I have a wonderful wife with an open mind that has become much more of a GI over the months. Keep working on yours and be patient. If my wife were still looking at me like I was a wacko I would not hesitate to make whatever arrangements that I could behind her back just to have some kind of safety net. DC is no place to be if things get bad. But you know that better than I do.

-- Bob Benson (appysys@inreach.com), January 18, 1999.

Wesley, "Atlas Shrugged" may turn out to be an unintential metaphor for Y2K :) Who do you pick to play John Galt? Thanks for the smile...


-- Dagney Taggart (lonevoice@onmyown.got), January 18, 1999.

Yes - I quit VISA to get my sticky mitts on my 401k - will pay the penalties to get the cash and convert it onto precious metals and useful "stuff".

I'm taking a contract for a major airline in a cold part of the country, on y2k remediation - doing it just for the money, not enjoyable work at all.

As soon as TSHTF or looks like it might, *I'M GONE*!!!!!!!


Two digits. One mechanism. The smallest mistake.

"The conveniences and comforts of humanity in general will be linked up by one mechanism, which will produce comforts and conveniences beyond human imagination. But the smallest mistake will bring the whole mechanism to a certain collapse. In this way the end of the world will be brought about."

Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan, 1922 (Sufi Prophet)

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), January 18, 1999.

Dagney.....Who is John Galt? We sure do need a real life hero to handle our Y2k problems. I wish we had a Hank Rearden or a Francisco or a Danneskjold. I can't be John Galt but I could play him on TV :>]

-- Wesley Mouch (Ayn@rand.com), January 18, 1999.

Anonymous 99. Ok, you would rather die than have a family break-up. That's your choice, and you and your family will have to accept the consequences of that. But are you sure that it wouldn't be better to break-up, go prepare a spot, and have it ready for them when the SHTF?

-- David Hammer (davidone@worldnet.att.net), January 19, 1999.

Good comment David. Breakup is not a necessary option however.

The problem is that family members have differing perceptions of threat due to different models of reality and different empirical data. The fact that much of the data is commentary brings up the credibility issue. The difficulty is in portraying your scenario of the future in a convincing way. This is the 'if' part of the planning response (antecedent), next you have to make the case for what you consider to be the appropriate response, which is the 'then' part of the conditional expression (consequent).

You do need to move tegether in the family unit as you plan for the future, otherwise various discord can be magnified under the stress of a survival situation. If there is a long-term pattern of family discord, any explanations of y2k are unlikely to alter the behavior until more fundamental issues (like respect for self and others) are taken care of. However if the problems are just over planning for the future (including stockpiling reserves) then you only need to do some educational work.

-- Jon (jonmiles@pacbell.net), January 19, 1999.

I am a network engineer, and I have been setting things out in the boonies of Australia now for 6 months. I haven't worked since the end of July 1998. Yes, I guess I jumped early. My wife and I split up over selling the house and she moved back in with her mother in Sydney. Unfortunately, she has our two children also (13-year-old boy and girl twins). I can only pray she "gets it" before TSHTH.

-- David Harvey (vk2dmh@hotmail.com), January 19, 1999.

Your wife may have some valid concerns about the possibility and adverse consequences of 'dropping out of society' and ending up too remote from the rest of the world. She might be seeing mostly undesirable results of going out to the boonies. There are trade-offs and you may want to make a 2-column list of what you see as plus and minus, then send it to her with some extra blank lines at the bottom for her to fill in and mail back.

-- Jon (jonmiles@pacbell.net), January 19, 1999.

Hey Bob,

You think I should be *embarrassed* because I think the software on the market today basically stinks?

Then tell me why Excel won't save programs properly? Why does my FX Works recieve sometimes and not others? Why, when I try to process an order through Hafele's weblink it shuts me off of being online completey?

Why do you call a service center (etc.) and they tell you "the computers" are down today? And why do we all expect this kind of stuff? Because it happens all the time.

Sorry I embarrassed you, was only telling what I think.

-- Sub-Mitt (lurking@ofcourse.com), January 19, 1999.

Wesley, lets "run the numbers"

I provide my Y2K report to management in this unit of government and I indicate that contingency planning needs to be completed prior to 2000. So they hire a consultant to study the issue - who know when that will be done... I recommend that certain areas should be on call for 2000 and follow up with suggestion that something needs to be done to provide for the staff family members and am told we can't do that because it would be government favoritism.... I recommend contingency funding for this year to the tune of 1.2 million or so and management requests 1/20 of that. (Y2K had already advanced one project and problems currently appearing will easily blow the allocated contingency and then some.)

So after doing my best to give the managers the info they need - and having it ignored - I'm supposed to feel loyalty? (I guess the unpaid hours to deliver my Y2K info on time don't count - believe it or not there are some folks here who work) I tried my friend, I provided the info only to have it ignored. I argued that Y2K needed executive sponsorship for six months but it only happened when my bosses boss asks why it isn't there.

Until I bail, I'll continue to attempt to provide high level professional services. (When push comes to shove, I don't want anyone to be able to say I didn't do my job.) But I'm getting cranky, tired, and burnt out. If I can't come to work knowing my family is safe, I won't.

Sign me

-- GruntInthe Trenches (anyman@familyfirst.org), January 19, 1999.


RG said:

"Most systems are terribly f***ed up and bug-ridden."

You said:

"I agree with RG."

If I didn't know anything about software, based on what RG said I'd have to assume that we don't accomplish anything of value with computers now. I think RG's statement was really stupid and I think most programmers would agree.

Tell me, does everything in your house work perfectly? Probably not. However imperfect your house is, it's still beats the alternative of not having a house, doesn't it? Now, burn your house down (insert disclaimer here :-) and you will get a good idea of how a lot of software is going to react after the roll over. At that point I think RG's comment will be accurate.

-- Bob Benson (appysys@inreach.com), January 19, 1999.

"Poll: Are you a techie that has quit or will soon?"

Hmmmmm...seven responses from people claiming to be techies. Most are not regular posters and most are not quite ready to bug out yet. Hmmmmm...very interesting.

-- just looking (nobody@nowhere.us), January 19, 1999.


Okay, I'll throw in:

>Are you a techie

... yes ...

>that has quit or will soon?

Yes in some ways, no in others. I am currently unemployed because of a medical disability.

-- No Spam Please (anon@ymous.com), January 19, 1999.

There are some who didn't get the :-) by "Wesley Mouch"

Wesley Mouch was a "mooch" character in "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand. The book starts off with the sentence "Who is John Galt?" (John Galt is the main character/hero and is the "man who stopped the motor of the world.")

Dagny Taggert, Henry Rearden, and I -- Franciso d'Anconia -- are other major (good guy characters). Mouch is one of the bad guy minor characters.

Why am I blathering on about this? The book is a classic and fascinating read; still in print for 42 years.

The story is about what would happen if the small percentage of productive people withdrew their support and sanction of the system. Answer: Societal and industrial collapse. The scenario is like a maybe Y2K 8-10 scenario.

-- francisco (francisco@galtsgulch.com), January 20, 1999.

I've been a contractor in aerospace, computer, and other companies of various sizes for way too long (30+ years) in various capacities. Now for about nine/ten years in computer programming -- PCs, not minis or "big iron".

I have to agree with the posters above that it's a wonder that anything works now as well as it does. Even, or should I say, unsurprisingly, Microsoft's crap is still not Y2K compliant. They amy claim "readiness" because of hokey fixes like "windowing" (using "pivot dates" -- discussed on other threads). Microsoft typically puts in new crap into their bloatware without getting the old stuff to run right, much less smoothly. Anyone using Excel, unless you have a guru on staff, your data is potentially toast right now; you may not have to wait until 2000-01-01.

Nowadays, stuff craps out nationwide more or less at random, so one link in a chain can cause problems, but usually fixed before something else major goes out. On 2000-01-01 a whole lot of stuff is likely to go out at the same time, possibly overwhelming the ability to fix because other links aren't working either.

And I have'nt even talked about embedded chips, which I know nothing about, except that my fax machine, only a couple years old, is not compliant. That's not serious, but there are serious potentialities discussed on other threads.

I now program in Microsoft ACCESS. Not because I like ACCESS (it's a piece of crap), but because BG has wiped out (essentially) any competitors. I'm burnt out. My "get out of Dodge date is 1999-07-01.

-- francisco (francisco@GaltsGulch.com), January 20, 1999.

As a system analyst with 20 years in IT and currently working out of a home office and/or telecommuting, I have no plans to quit, and will be wanting to work on computers for another 50 years or so. As long as I have a dial tone and power, I'll be able to do income-producing work in setting up database-oriented websites (intranet/extranet/internet) which is part of the trend toward distributed computing. Using modern development tools and object- oriented methods is the way to go.

As for Access, it is limited like most of the MS products, but it's good for a quick design process, and it can link to Outlook (ugh) folders, Excel tables, SQL tables, and numerous other shared data, but once the data structure is developed you would want to upsize it to SQL (for scalability) which is now easy with SQL 7 and VI6. I find Access and Excel tend to bog down with more than 25,000 records/rows, but for many office functions the programmability with uniform VBA code is a great productivity advantage.

-- Jon (jonmiles@pacbell.net), January 20, 1999.

Well, I found another contract and I QUIT the Y2k project. YEA! ! !

To clarify my position, I am commuting into a medium size city and hour each day so I can "have my cake and eat it too" by living in the country and being prepared and still being able to make enough money to pay for being prepared, so I have quit the rat race of the large city, but not the rat race of being a techie (yet).

I personally know of very few techies that are even GI's much less have quit yet - even though I know of a lot of techies that are really burnt out.

-- Just Me (none@nomail.com), January 20, 1999.


your Atlas post is right on the money and I know you get the unstated parallel but for the benefit of those that might have missed it. As long as the techies don't bail, there is a prayer and with a prayer and a text string (who put a date in there?) we just might keep stumbling along. But if the techies bail, TEOTWAWKI becomes a self fullfilling prophecy. If the techies turn in their passwords and hole up in the hills, kiss it goodbye...

-- GruntInthe Trenches (anyman@familyfirst.org), January 20, 1999.

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