GS, Mac: 1-year contract would have been 10 times better

My first year at GS and first year at Macquarie were very positive experience. If these were contracts and somehow it ends after 1 year, then I would have positive experiences.

Even with the OC experience, I could say that as a contractor, I would not have received such negative feedback. I would probably end the first year on a positive note and leave.

What if my 95G, Barclays, RTS had converted to perm roles? I don’t know.


## if I had stayed]GS n become lead..

Let’s not spend too much on this hypothetical scenario.
Let’s not be vague and abstract — pick a specific past team.

(Note if you stay long in one team, you are Not guaranteed to become lead.. see other posts.) Suppose I had stayed in GS team and stayed long enough to make team lead.

  • #1) threading [95G] — I would not have had gained the rare threading design experience at 95G. I think in most places we have no such opportunity.
  • devops [Mac] — I would not have had a full time, large scale devops experience at Macquarie
  • swing — I would not have the motivation to study it enough to get Swing job offers
  • socket [RTS] — I would not have had hands-on experience with socket programming
  • py [Mac] — In GS I would get perhaps a few months of professional py experience, instead of 2Y
  • MOM [95G]
  • c++, c#– I would not have had full time, industrial strength experience there
  • java? I might deepen my experience there but diminishing return.
  • —-domains
  • bond/option math — Unlikely to get in-depth experience
  • mkt data — My high-volume, low-latency experience at NYSE was very hard to find in any i-bank.
  • I would have no real hands-on experience with live quote pricing (Citi), order matching (95G)

Overall, I would feel more vulnerable, less mobile, less portable. My career would rest on a single pillar, rather than multiple.

##@55,is it safer to be manager or hands-on developer@@

Hi Shanyou,

Based on your observations, when I reach 55, do you think it’s safer as a manager or a hands-on developer? “Safer” in the presence of

  1. competition from younger generation
  2. competition from same age group or older
  3. new, disruptive technologies
  4. technology obsolescence (what I call technology “churn”).
  5. outsourcing

Among these threats, my concern is primarily #1 but what about you?

mgr position risk: tiny job pool

When not comfortable (under threat), or job lost, the prospect of finding a similar job is much worse than a hands-on developer, because the number of senior mgr jobs is much smaller.

Avichal basically said he would avoid hands-off manager roles.

As contractor, most of the time I feel very relaxed about moving in and out. The price to pay, of course, is lower salary.

mgr position stress: relationships

A technical or contract role is less complicated, though relationships are also important and can make your life very stressful or relatively easy.

In ## 2 heaviest work stressors, I listed “figure-things-out” as a key stressor — if I’m reasonably fast on this front, then the relationships have limited impact on my stress level at work. Not true for a manager role — even if you get things done fast enough, relationships can still mess up your life.

  • the relationship with the immediate boss is most critical. I had many problems in the past.
  • relationship with other teams. Dependency means … stressful relationship
  • relationship with big bosses
  • relationship with subordinates can also become difficult. Shuo told me it was not for him, but I feel some managers depend on some key subordinates. Dependency means stress.
    • managing a non-performing subordinates … is not easy at all. I could see Kevin had headaches with me.
  • relationship with key business users. I feel Venkat (ICE) is under that pressure.

FTE^contractor: mgr choosing 1 guy to let go

There are individual differences, but I now feel majority of manager-decision-makers across U.S. and Singapore do feel a higher resistance to let go an FTE rather than a contractor. Deterrence:

  • expectation of affected employee that the job is long-term. Most managers won’t ignore your feeling. They are worried about your complaints
  • reflection on her own record as a manager
    • they often prefer an internal transfer
  • formal performance improvement process is not required for non-performing contractor
  • severance
  • official complaints
  • litigation (in the U.S.)

The deterrences are a form of protection for the FTE, but paradoxically, I hate these deterrences, as they lengthen the slow death.


mgr position stress: project delay #cf FTE/contractor

contractor is most care-free. Even As an employee, the pressure to deliver is lower than the mgr.

As a junior VP (perhaps a system owner) you could still stay behind a shield (defend yourself) — “I did my best given the limitations and constraints”. However, As mgr, you are more expected to own the task and solve those problems at a higher level of effectiveness, including negotiations with other departments.

“Results or reasons?” … is the manager’s performance review.

Recall Yang, Stirt-risk …

  • —- past barometer due to project delivery pressure —-
  • GS – 10/10,  “if i quit GS I may have to quit this country; I must Not quit”
  • Stirt – 8
  • Mac – 7
  • OC – 5, largely due to fear of bonus stigma
  • 95G, Barc – 3, due to mgr pressurizing
  • Citi – 2