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WaPo article about craziness in Silicon Valley

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Alex_J high dynamic range

Guys, is this true? Is it like that at any games companies you know about?

It all sounds like a cover to hire cheaper workers to me. Because the whole idea that only young people come up with new, innovative ideas sounds like total nonsense. I doubt there is any evidence to confirm either way, but most younger generation people I know got one thing on mind: fit in.

Being innovative is a matter of personality. Nothing to do with age, but perhaps has a lot to do with experience. Lot of times, age and experience kind of go hand in hand.

Seems to be a cycle that occurs in many aspects of life. Somebody smart/brave builds something worthwhile, then the parasites come in, take over, and drive the thing into ground for short-term, selfish gain.



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  • Eric Chadwick
    Um, that's Silicon Valley tech. The rest of the world doesn't run that way.
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J high dynamic range
    Good to hear. I know a lot of games companies are always on lookout for college grads, so I thought maybe there is some carry over.


  • oglu
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    oglu quad damage
    The thing is. Learning new tech and workflows is gettings harder each year. Cause i have to raise two kids. Building a house. Planting some trees. 


  • sprunghunt
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    sprunghunt greentooth
    Being in a tech startup is not the same thing as being a regular tech worker. Working at a high level in startups involve a lot of business deals. So I can understand why being able to project a certain image would be important if you're constantly meeting new people. 


  • poopipe
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    poopipe polycount lvl 666
    Sounds like total bollocks to me but coincidentally I have  wondered over the last few years what the future holds as I advance ever further into middle age.
    I don't fear for my job or anything but I don't have a lot of people to look at for inspiration in terms of what to do next. 

    What happens to old game devs?  The only ones I know have executive in their job title.. 
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J high dynamic range
    Yeah I don't know many games people but i had an image like sweatpants, greasy hair, and like a miasma of cheeto dust. You know, good, solid people.

    But that's just like the surface level from the article I think. Like, the guy who is subject of the article - clearly he doesn't really understand his circumstances, because he has no control over them - but I think the real issue isn't about how you look at all. It's either about some dumb idea (ageism) being perpetuated because, well people are just being dumb, or there is some short-sighted business maneuver to hire cheaper workers. Either way, it's robbing the future to to make more money nobody needs right now. Which is dumb.

    At least from what bad news I do hear about big game companies, I did believe that short-sighted business strategies to hire cheaper workers (i.e. recent graduates who are full of passion but little experience) was a pretty common thing. I'm all for cutthroat capitalism because goddamn the losers and all, but it just seems like a really dumb, shortsighted thing to do. Do you really save money by cutting out your experienced workers in favor of tons of cheap newbies? How many decades can a business run like that? Is there any data out there companies make these decisions from? Or is it just like, "look boss if we fire all these people we could make an extra 10 mil."

    Anyway, I am just rambling. I don't really care either way because it doesn't effect me. But if anybody out there is thinking of getting botox, please...you got one life, don't waste it on this silly shit. Move to somewhere where people act like real, normal humans.






  • sacboi
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    sacboi ngon master

    "...penile enhancement and Botox injections."

    Had to stop reading, when I got to that bit. What an utter bunch of pillocks...ffs, little wonder why the world's going down the shitter when you've got that kind of moronic mentality permeating the IT/Tech industry of all places...let alone it would seem adhered too, as well.     

  • Eric Chadwick
    old game devs know all the hacks and cheat codes  ¶ ;{
  • NikhilR
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    NikhilR interpolator
    Yeah I don't know many games people but i had an image like sweatpants, greasy hair, and like a miasma of cheeto dust. You know, good, solid people.

    But that's just like the surface level from the article I think. Like, the guy who is subject of the article - clearly he doesn't really understand his circumstances, because he has no control over them - but I think the real issue isn't about how you look at all. It's either about some dumb idea (ageism) being perpetuated because, well people are just being dumb, or there is some short-sighted business maneuver to hire cheaper workers. Either way, it's robbing the future to to make more money nobody needs right now. Which is dumb.

    At least from what bad news I do hear about big game companies, I did believe that short-sighted business strategies to hire cheaper workers (i.e. recent graduates who are full of passion but little experience) was a pretty common thing. I'm all for cutthroat capitalism because goddamn the losers and all, but it just seems like a really dumb, shortsighted thing to do. Do you really save money by cutting out your experienced workers in favor of tons of cheap newbies? How many decades can a business run like that? Is there any data out there companies make these decisions from? Or is it just like, "look boss if we fire all these people we could make an extra 10 mil."

    Anyway, I am just rambling. I don't really care either way because it doesn't effect me. But if anybody out there is thinking of getting botox, please...you got one life, don't waste it on this silly shit. Move to somewhere where people act like real, normal humans.






    I do know that this issue is exacerbated in cases where it is financially lucrative to hire fresh graduates, mainly owing to upfront grants and agreements between game dev college programs and game studios. 

    Like financially lucrative in the short term, usually for the sake of appearances. 
     But there's so much surplus and the job is pretty well straightforward so they just rinse and repeat. So you won't lose your job but their logic is that you'll only get this much, and if you want more you leave. 
    Not an easy thing to do when you have family, mortgages to pay and kids to feed.
    And this gets worse when there is little to no competition in the local market. Toronto is a good example of this.

    Personally I think its horrible, but hardly anyone is willing to speak up, let alone people that actually work there. One way to hear them out is glassdoor though.

  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J high dynamic range
    Nothing will change. Because it's not that serious. If employers literally started enslaving people and killing them, it would still take another 50-100 years before people really made anything happen.

    If you know better and don't like what's going on, better just to opt out and do your own thing.
  • oglu
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    oglu quad damage
    old game devs know all the hacks and cheat codes  ¶ ;

    IDDQD
  • kanga
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    kanga sublime tool
    ...

    If you know better and don't like what's going on, better just to opt out and do your own thing.
    Exactly!

     I get that this is a game site. Game art is essential in all sorts of fields.  This kind of lunacy will always be present but there really are loads of areas where you can apply your knowledge and where it will be appreciated. So, get your head out of your backside and look around. You old fugger  :)
  • marks
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    marks greentooth
    The games industry has a chronic shortage of good, experienced senior staff. I doubt this would hold water in almost any established games company.
  • Mark Dygert
    Lt.: So what do you think of these new M-16's?
    Sergeant Major: Too much goddamn plastic in it.
    Lt.: Not gonna use it, then?
    Sergeant Major: I'm afraid that when we get in there, there'll be plenty on the ground.
    Lt.: Yeah.

    If they have gotten that far in their career and their skill set still consists only of being young, impressionable, unquestioning and cheap, then they probably failed to grow a valuable skillet by the time those wore out?

    I don't know, I'm not really in that Silicon Valley scene and I would avoid it at all costs. It seems like getting mixed up in an organization that is openly ageist is not a good long term career path? /shrug If you do, you should definitely have an exit strategy. If you don't work toward that exit goal, it is a really tough position to be in, being senior without the skill set to back it up but, that is the reward for apathy and complacency?

    Unfortunately I think a lot of those workers where hired under an extreme shortage of qualified candidates so in some cases the bar was pretty low. Now training and candidates have caught up and what we have now are better qualified candidates who happen to be younger.

    To some degree there needs to be an ability to cull the herd. They need to prune dead branches that aren't being productive or in some cases counter productive. Untangling that mess from age, race and religion can be difficult but an employer needs to be clear about their goals and an employees progress so no one is surprised. When either gets lazy, things get cloudy.

     A company that invests in younger, inexperienced workers takes a gamble that they'll grow into positions. Some people do grow and fulfill the role just fine. But there are those that stall out or become complacent and they need to be let go so the company can reinvest.

    Personally I think a company has a duty to its employees to poke and prod sluggish individuals along the path that they need if they aren't moving that way on their own. They need to be clear about the expectations so no one is surprised when they part ways. It also gives the employee a chance to either align their personal goals with the employer or find another path.

    It's some tricky shit and Silicon Valley is certainly a weird little microcosm unto itself so I wouldn't project that onto every employer across the globe. Be careful who you interview with, ask questions.
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J high dynamic range


    Personally I think a company has a duty to its employees to poke and prod sluggish individuals along the path that they need if they aren't moving that way on their own. They need to be clear about the expectations so no one is surprised when they part ways. It also gives the employee a chance to either align their personal goals with the employer or find another path.


    I think so too, but I don't see it as a matter of duty. It's a matter of survival. There is only one system which, in the past millions of years of human history, has proven to work sustainably. It's tribalism. You take care of the tribe, it takes care of you. It's a simple balance -- nothing complicated to figure out at all. It is perfectly instinctual system for all humans.

    Obsession with profits is short-sighted idiocy. We all have food and water. There is no emergency. We solved the problems of life a long, long time ago. There is nothing left to do but enjoy ourselves. Making tech and games is all about enjoying ourselves, isn't it? There is zero reason to be throwing people out because they aren't as useful as we want them to be. If your employees aren't meeting your standards, it's failure of leadership. Or application of unrealistic standards. In any case, time to apply some personal responsibility and stop blaming others for your own failure. If you know better, it's your job to teach, not judge.

    Problem is culture that glorifies the individual and rewards selfishness. Trying to make a system like that work for people is complicated. We've been trying to make it work for 10,000 years with no progress.

    I don't think it's realistic to expect the average person to have a thirty year plan, especially when they work in something as volatile as tech. Most people don't think that far ahead, and even if they did it's still speculative and impossible to predict. People need a system that works for people as they are and as they have always been. Not a system that requires them to be better than they've ever been and ever will be. It is not instinctive for people to distrust each other. It is instinctive to expect the people you live and work with daily to have your back. That is why so many people suffer mental illness -- every single aspect about our culture, especially our work culture -- is complete ass backwards. It will never work for humans like this, and it will get worse until people break the cycle of idiocy and start behaving like humans again.

    this rants not directed at any individual. I use "you" just as manner of speech.




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