[rescue] info trumps man

Brian Dunbar Brian.Dunbar at plexus.com
Thu Jan 19 16:47:19 CST 2006

-----Original Message-----
From: Skeezics Boondoggle [mailto:skeezics at q7.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2006 4:38 PM
To: rescue at sunhelp.org
Subject: Re: [rescue] info trumps man

On Thu, 19 Jan 2006, Richard, wrote:

> In article <dqouqg$jkr$1 at dopiaza.cabal.org.uk>,
>     abuse at cabal.org.uk (Peter Corlett)  writes:
> > I think I'd rather look for a new career than have to earn a crust
> > programming Win32.
> I'm a self-confessed mass-market slut. 

Ironically, the _more_ I blew off Windows the more rapidly my career 
advanced.  Portland is a small town, however, and it pays to never burn a 
bridge here... everyone knows everyone and networking is key.  The decent 
high-end Unix gigs are a bit rare these days, admittedly, but the median 
salary for Unix bigots is $83,500, and reach nearly into 6-figures for a 
scruffy old hacker like me at the high end of the scale in terms of 
experience and references.  Meanwhile, the legion of Windows and Linux 
guys browse craigslist scrapping over $15/hr gigs...

If I may point out that Richard is hardly your median Windows or Linux guy.

There is a principle at work here and it crosses OS boundaries - and I
forget the scholarly name for it.  The basic idea is that the more
mass-market you are the less you make.  The more your specialize in hard to
find odd stuff the more you make.

Of course you'll scarcely find work as (I'm reaching) a Certified Banyan
Engineer who can spit StreetTalk Schemas from his butt - but those guys fell
of the curve a long time ago. I do miss Banyan.

The example I recall was for fire fighters.  You can walk in off the street
and go to work for the city with a few months of training - anyone can do
it.  Further up the curve you'll find fire fighters working as specialists
at airports or in industrial settings.  More training, not everyone can do
the job, more pay.  At extreme end of the scale are oil field fire fighters
- and at the pinnacle is Red Adair.  There is only one Red Adair and he is
(or was) paid top dollar to do what he did.


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