IT Job Ads Gone Mad
by Walter V. Koenning, for humor section.

Perhaps it's a result of the massive shift in the world economy getting managers a bit crazed. Or maybe it's a result of excessive layoff and re-hiring cycles? Or just simply a response to ridiculous resumes where recent college graduates tout twenty years of collective experience.

But the result is that IT related job ads have started to take on a rather mad style.

For instance, I've recently seen a rash of the most ridiculous want ads for Linux computer engineers. Is the industry so bad off? Are some recruiters not getting enough sleep? Are managers using too much medication under the financial pressures?

Here is an example for you to muse over from a recent online job posting:

Wanted C/C++ Programmer with Linux Experience
Opportunity to work in a large enterprise environment with significant career growth.

Required skills include 10 years experience with ANSI/C, C++, TASM or related Assembly experience, Linux/UNIX kernel development, OOP experience, and at least 7 years writing device drivers.

Salary $29,000 - $35,000 /yr.

Am I missing something? Have our Linux and development skills been so diluted over the past year? This is the kind of ad that makes me wonder seriously about the software industry.

This is not an isolated case. I've seen countless ads that offer ridiculous salaries for extremely difficult work. Writing device drivers is no cup of tea. It's often a grueling, thankless, taxing job that few are willing to do even if they can do it.

I've seen similar ads recently on some of the big technology websites, offering hourly wages for writing code.

Here are some quotes:

"Hourly $25-$35 based on experience;
Required: C, UNIX, SQL, Java, embedded Linux"

"$45k Required skills: 8 yrs C programming in the Linux or Unix environment"

On another ad,

"Caltech, MIT or Berkeley grads highly preferred."

No bias at all, really!

They also include "essentials" such as:

"superior communication skills, writing skills and ability to work across teams and organizations"

My favorite one:

"possess aptitude to implement code and manage the team"

Sure, why not just include tech management as a throw in for software engineering... afterall this makes for high quality management!

I've seen senior manager jobs paid as mid-level tech jobs using this guise.

The way the company gets around this is to advertise it as a "team leader" opportunity. Hey, why not manage a handful of programmers while writing C code until 2am? After all, you're expected to live in the office anyway, might as well get to know the team and write up their annual reviews, work out vacation scheduling, and address personnel problems so someone else doesn't have to.

These jobs often have salary listings so outrageous I have to wonder if someone can possibly reply to them. When they do include something substantial financially, they often add a statement like:

"must be willing to work 70+ hrs/wk and weekends"

If this trend continues, and if people don't wake up and realize the challenge of finding good code writers, we may end up having to face ads similar to this:

Wanted: Demi-god Software Programmer

Capability to write code for any device including pacemakers, wrist watches and staplers.

Requires expertise in all languages invented since Pascal, and preferably including every toolset and language with a three letter word (OOP, ASM. ARM, iHA, CLI, GSM, ATG, XML).

Although advertised as a Linux programmer job, must be willing to write code for any OS including: BSD, UNIX, Windows NT, Solaris, Windows CE, Amiga DOS, and VMS VAX.

Must be willing to kiss your family goodbye and work your life off in an enclosed cubicle.

Must be capable of producing at least 30,000 lines of code per week while ingesting coffee that tastes like river silt.

Must be willing to take any salary we post and grovel during the interview for an extra $300 per month, which will be promptly deducted to pay for the increasing health care costs.

Must be ready to work immediately, with or without a computer or chair. In fact, we prefer BYOC, bring your own computer.

Send us your resume ASAP in order for us to create the longest possible delay in response time. Contact

This kind of thing makes me wonder if it might not be a smart idea for me to move overseas!

This brief HUMOR piece should not be construed as factual information. You take this article seriously at your own risk. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. IBM, PC-DOS, and OS/2 are the registered trademarks or trademarks of International Business Machines. Microsoft, Microsoft Service Agreement, Microsoft Windows are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation both in the United States and Internationally. All other trademarks or registered trademarks in this opinion piece belong to their respective owners.