Que diable faites-vous dans cette galere?

Tech worker layoffs in Silicon Valley! Jacobin sounds the alarm!

I’m a “tech worker” myself, at least when I can find work, but I applaud this development.

The layoffs Jacobin seems to be whingeing about here are all in the frothy and wildly overstaffed VC-funded sector, with its epicentre in San Francisco. These people are long overdue for a big takedown, and if it’s finally happening, well, bring it on.

The sort of jumped-up junior Poindexters who work for the likes of Twitter and “Meta” are a far cry from the ‘umble drudges like myself who do galley-slave programming in the bowels of Bank Of America vel sim., which is just what most of us “tech workers” do. At the moment, anyway, hiring is pretty robust for these galleys, and the rates aren’t bad, though they don’t compare with lawyers or psychoanalysts. Still, you can make an OK living at it.

Silicon Valley is another matter altogether. The speculative overvaluation (and insane burn rates) of the companies themselves leads to a speculative overvaluation of “rock-star” programmers, both in the market and in their own poorly-socialized minds. I’ve met good programmers and bad ones, but I’ve never met a rock star, and frankly, I don’t think there are any. It’s a very mundane job. Writing good code is mostly a matter of putting in the time — and, of course, giving a shit.

So if all these Silicon Valley boy-bands get disbanded, I won’t shed a tear, even though the former rock stars will be competing with me for a place on the lowly rowing bench.

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