Amazon, Purposeful Darwinism, and the Exploitation of the Young IT Worker

IT Workers at Amazon are exposing the dirty secret of the work culture at Amazon.com.  Even with strict confidentiality clauses, eventually human beings who’ve been exploited, abused and had their humanity trampled on want to tell their stories.  We are after all Homo Narratus … the story telling ape.

“Losers leave or are fired in annual cullings of the staff — “purposeful Darwinism,” one former Amazon human resources director said. Some workers who suffered from cancer, miscarriages and other personal crises said they had been evaluated unfairly or edged out rather than given time to recover.” – Inside Amazon

While some might be tempted to write this story off as just another inhuman corporation exploiting its workers, I believe it points to something deeper, and something more dangerous at work in our societies.  Let’s look at Darwinism and then I’ll explain what I think is at the hidden ugly core of the muddy waters of  Amazon.com.

The dirty secret of the early 1900’s was Eugenics. One need not dig too deep to discover numerous mainstream people who supported the idea that we could improve the human race by selectively removing the supposedly deficient (mentally disabled, person’s of African origin, and the those who were poor). While more prevalent among political and social progressives, like Margarent Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood), important Conservatives like Winston Churchill helped draft the Mental Deficiency Act 1913.

At the core of the movement was the belief that one could “use science [the newly discovered Mendelian laws of heredity] to solve social problems (crime, alcoholism, prostitution, rebelliousness), using trained experts.” Laws supporting forced sterilizations, outlawing interracial marriage, and limiting immigration from supposed “unfit” sources were supported by many in Canada and the USA.

Even Geek Saints, like Nicola Tesla believed that Eugenics would help improve society. Yet, following the horrors of the German Left, in the form of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazis), most disavowed the inhumanity at the root of Eugenics. People rightly understood that in trying to become the technological masters of genetics they became monsters. While few after the post-WWII period were openly Eugenicist, North American society was often chastised by critics for its Social Darwinism and the belief that
Laissez-faire capitalism, with its survival of the fittest creed, would advance society not only economically but socially.   While various opinions existed about the precise mechanism that should be used to reward strength and punish weakness, little was often given to the importance of human dignity and relationships in society. Notice that at the core of this thinking is seeking a precise mechanism and the abandonment of relationship.  Human beings, as with Eugenics, became tools for the greater goal of a more efficient wealth producing society.  Just as human beings became tools in the schemes of the left, the understanding of human beings as tools was the same.

Progressives of today will often curse right wingers as Social Darwinists, then they will over the same beer propose all sorts of mechanisms government experts can enact in order to enhance the social justice of society. In Canada, New Democratic Party is proposing a national daycare program. Helping working women with child care expenses is commendable. The mechanisms of its implementation will be handed over to those who can bring about the better future.  Bring in the technocrats who can with their expert knowledge enhance society.

For a while I have seen both the Social Darwinism of the Right, and the Progressive Big Programs for Social Justice as sides of the same coin. Those who believe that through the application of scientific (each side has their science) mechanisms can bring about the greater good.  Yet again, the “cause” and the “experts” are elevated above the humanity of those whom these schemes and systems are meant to serve.  Human beings in their individual beauty, worth, and dignity become pawns in the goals of the technocrats.

While many have asked. “What does the One Ring symbolize in Tolken’s Lord of the Rings”?  My position is that it represent the temptation of the Technocrat. Thinking one can make the world good through expertise is the ring of power.  This is why Galdalf the wizard refuses to accept or even hold the ring, lest he give in to the temptation to think that he can bring about the good.  As it is the temptation for the scientists of our world to give in to the temptation that they can devise schemes which will enhance society without becoming corrupted and corrupting others by their own delusions of mastery.

Notice the Hobbits in Lord of the Rings.  They are the most anti-technocratic of species. They exist for each other, for enjoyment of the shire, and their aspirations are to enjoy a simple life.  Consider Sam’s monologue when Frodo’s strength gives out.  He recites the source of his self-worth as being the community of the shire.  It raises his strength to aid Frodo in casting the ring into Mount Doom.

It is the temptation of the modern age to turn many things into gods.  Chesterton, a vocal opponent of Eugenics in the late 1800’s said it succinctly.

“For when we cease to worship God, we do not worship nothing, we worship anything.” ― G.K. Chesterton

“I was so addicted to wanting to be successful there. For those of us who went to work there, it was like a drug that we could get self-worth from.”

Where do we get our self worth from?  The work culture of Amazon appears to demand that their workers get it from the success of Amazon’s mission.  While the young woman uses the metaphor of drug addition, I would suggest that some Start-Ups develop in a manner not unlike cults.  I’m active in the Okanagan tech community which is a very diverse group of people with various viewpoints.  I’ve also been around the block a few times and seen some weird stuff in my life.  Yet, I was not prepared for 2014 MetaBridge some Start-Up speaker talking about how his start-up company workers got tattoos of the company logo on their bodies.   I had a visceral reaction when they said 30 of the 40 members of the company were now wearing the brand of the company on their bodies.  It was one of those “WTF am I on the same planet moments” or perhaps it was an intergenerational old Gen-Xer disconnect since for my generation tattoos were what folks got to rebel, not conform.  It was a way people identified with a specific tribe of people … punks, bikers, metal-bands, etc.  Billy Idol had a tattoo of the comic character Octobriana.    Hey its a free country and if someone wants to have the company brand on their butt all I can say is “Moo”.

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The tattoos were part of promoting a certain kind of culture and with it, a certain level of commitment.  I see company tattoos as more than just the stamping of one’s body as property of the company, but rather a ritualized commitment to the group.  By getting a tattoo, the person was demonstrating their 100% commitment of their life to the start-up, body, mind and soul. What the speaker saw as culture, I see as cult-like.  The wearer belongs to the Start-Up as their new religion yet has not realized they have metaphorically or perhaps even literally sold their soul.  Look at the following comment from an Amazon worker.

“The joke in the office was that when it came to work/life balance, work came first, life came second, and trying to find the balance came last.”

I sometimes confuse people when I toss about the term “religion”.  I am a Christian, which is what most people think of when we use the word religion.  Yet, I  when I talk about religion, I mean that which we ultimately rely upon for our self-worth, meaning, purpose and direction in life.

The word religion derives from the word “religare” which literally means to “to bind fast”.  It is what we rely on or the “bond between humans and gods.” Or it comes from “religiens” which means to be “careful” opposited to “negligens” from which we get the word “neglect”.   The current meaning of religion is relatively new (mid-1500’s), and mostly means a “recognition of and allegiance in manner of life justly due to a higher, unseen power or powers”.    Or in my view, the powers upon which you rely to give ultimate meaning to your life.

The “joke” at Amazon that work came before life is telling about the culture which surrounds the people who’ve decided to offer their skills to the mission of the organization.  The “joke” is that there is no balance … Amazon’s culture has become a defacto cult whereby the employee is expected to give over the manner of their life to the power of Amazon’s mission.  I don’t mean that Amazon is just being a slave driver and expecting people to work hard.  From these reports that people who experiencing the normal range of human tragedies like ” cancer, miscarriages and other personal crises” are being punished.  No doubt others seeing the punishment will understand that to transgress against the god-Amazon is to reveal one’s self not to be a true devotee of the new religion.

I don’t think I am giving in to corporation-bashing or hyperbole.  The comments sound similar to what cults like Scientology expect from those who run their organization.  Any organization wanting “your absolute all” is akin to a cult.

“When you’re not able to give your absolute all, 80 hours a week, they see it as a major weakness,” 

This is why I think Amazon is hiring younger and younger workers.  It’s not just because they can get them to work 80 hours a week, but because they can get them to do so and think its a good thing … at least for a while.  Sorry young readers, but the younger you are the easier it is to be manipulated.  This is why cults go for young people who’ve just moved out.  They are at a liminal time in their lives when their identities are fluid.  They are impressionable, especially if they have not been formed in what we traditionally call a religion.  I recall in my study of cults, that the most difficult young people for the Moonies to recruit were orthodox Jewish kids, and kids from solid Roman Catholic homes.  They had an identity and they often had solid relationships with family and an outside community (Synagogue and Parish).  The easiest were the kids of secular progressives.  These kids could be manipulated into thinking they were serving an important cause greater than themselves.  They could be manipulated by the group processes to unwittingly hand their identities over to the self-serving mission of the Moonies.

No Amazon, life comes before work.  No Amazon, nothing in your mission is more important than morning a miscarriage, dealing with cancer, seeing one’s parents … or after working hard week (6 days of labour and one of rest) … is less important than whatever Amazon is doing.  Let workers at Amazon not loose site that it is just retail … books and retail … nothing more.  It’s an app for selling stuff.  It’s not discovering the cure for cancer, life on other planet, or unlocking the mysteries of the universe.  It’s an online mall not the Manhattan Project.

In interviews, 40-year-old men were convinced Amazon would replace them with 30-year-olds who could put in more hours, and 30-year-olds were sure that the company preferred to hire 20-somethings who would outwork them. After Max Shipley, a father of two young children, left this spring, he wondered if Amazon would “bring in college kids who have fewer commitments, who are single, who have more time to focus on work.” Mr. Shipley is 25.

As I have said, I think this is more than just about the hours.  It is about ensuring that the only relationship that matters is Amazon. Marriage, kids, and even caring for parents must come second to “the mission”.  Yet, the older a person gets the more likely they are The Great Oz is a fraud.  Workers eventually wake up and realize that they’ve been manipulated by a toxic culture created by technocrats who understand how to motivate people to place work above their lives.

Amazon officials insisted tenure was low because hiring was so robust, adding that only 15 percent of employees had been at the company more than five years. Turnover is consistent with others in the technology industry, they said, but declined to disclose any data.

Any organization “obsessed with metrics” obviously has the data.  Any organization faced with such damning reports from employees, including human resource workers could easily rebut the allegations if they had data to do so.  Even if they did, one must ask whether the fact that a toxic work culture being exposed at Amazon points to a wider problem with the IT industry in Silicon Valley?  If there are huge numbers of older workers with the skills to put what my dad called “a good days work for a good days pay” why are some companies turning to the young and, as I’ve written about, the H1B Visa (or as they call it in Canada … the Temporary Foreign Worker Program).  Is it because technocrats know that these two groups of people are cheap and easily manipulated into handing their mind, body and soul to the mission of the organization? At least until they realize they are being manipulated … then some will be angry enough to act … I see Class Action lawsuits in Amazon’s future … on the grounds that they failed in their duty of care to ensure that the mental health of employees did not suffer due to work conditions.

I rarely blog about my political thought, however the problem of the technocratic worldview is central to Amazon’s apparently inhuman approach to those who are in relationship to it. I’m being sardonic when I say, “relationship” since for the technocrat, human beings in all their uniquess, complexity, and beauty are tools for the greater mission. For the Nazi technocrat is was for nationalism and racial superiority, for the Communist technocrat is for a just society for the working class, for the Capitalist technocrat it is for the just society free from government control, and for the technocrats at Amazon, it the petty ambition that Amazon be the supreme app. It’s not some supposed glorious future society dreamed of by left or right technocrats, but just an app.

What shocks me most is Amazon’s lack of shame about their Machavellian approach to employee relations. It’s well know that most of Silicon Valley companies espouse progressive politics, yet their approach to their employees would make even a Reform Party (read Republican, American readers) Red Neck Oilpatch businessman blush.  This isn’t hyperbole, I worked on an app for Far Right Red Neck Old Patch businessmen.  Most would give an employee with cancer, a miscarriage, sick parents, personal issues, etc time off and say, “Of course you can take time off, I wish you well.”  These are hard nosed, expect the best, “no time for sissies” men, but they are in relationship with their workers and consider them more than tools.

Yet, it appears that even the most basic justice is cast aside at Amazon and other hyper-technocrats throughout Silicon Valley.  While some will still say its the excesses of Capitalism, I think its something much worse. It is what I’ve coined as Technocratic Nihilism ie applying complex schemes to manipulate and exploit people into believing that they are giving their lives to something important, but in reality they are just being chewed up and spit out to serve the petty self-serving needs of the technocrats. I think there is something rotten at the core of Modernity itself.  My question is whether secularism of the left, right or center logically will descend first into Technocratic “the ends justify the means for the greater future”, then into “My petty needs justify the means” in company cultures, and then into the more intimate of human relationships, the family. Is this Amazon story pointing to humanity moving from seeing each other as relationships into seeing each other as merely tools? Is that why workers once they get older are increasingly cast aside for cheaper and more compliant tool. Sure governments, companies, and people have always done this sort of thing. What is different is that once it was seen as immoral, now it is seen as normal and even praiseworthy.  One of my favourite TV series was Firefly. The ultimate villain is a sweet technocratic true believer set against a motley crew of criminals, who with all their faults, struggle together to survive on the edge of his technocratic dystopia.  The series lasted only one season, yet has become a cult classic in Geekdom.  I think it was so popular because prophetically it points to the rot at the core of modern secularism of both the left and right.

This concern about Technocratic Nihilism is at the heart of the Sci Fi trilogy I am writing for Tweens.  The evil empire in the trilogy is called The Perfection Continuum and is THE ultimate Nihilistic Technocracy. Maybe I’ll change the name to “The Great River” (Amazon … nah, just kidding. The website for the books is TomandPip.com. I’m going to sell it on Amazon.com … is that hypocritical, subversive, ironic, or all of the above. 😉  Wow, we live in an increasingly complicated world.

 

The Great Knowledge Worker Flusheroo

First Wave Coder/Data Analyst knowledge worker and culture watcher, I’ve followed the 20th century phenomena known as the Knowledge Worker.  A concept coined by one of the great minds of the 20th Century, Peter Druker.  He rightly foresaw that it would be the growing base of wisdom/knowledge contained within information technologists, professionals professionals, and other related classes which would drive the growth of the new economy.  We saw much gained for Western society and other societies which rightly understood that knowledge itself would become  a treasured process from which great wealth would be produced.

Yet, it is my observation which is shared by others, that some corporate/government management and human resources in general have not understood that much of the knowledge contained within the Knowledge Class of workers is not contained within manuals, policies, or processes. They are contained within the minds of the Knowledge worker class.  One of my touchstones is that, “humans know more than they articulate or can articulate.”  Even in what appear to be highly systematized forms of knowledge, people always know more than they articulate.  It’s not that they are unwilling, it is just the nature of knowledge.

This blog was created to advocate for the older worker, not just for compassionate reasons, but because it is my conviction that we are flushing away the wealth producing capacity of the older Knowledge Class.  Why?  Western society has not adequately grasped that the next generation of Knowledge Workers need to be mentored/apprenticed by the existing Knowledge Worker Base. The most important knowledge is passed through mentorship not manuals. RTFM can not replace WTOF (Watch the Old Fart).

“Establishing a program for transferring knowledge is an essential element for dealing with “brain drain.” Veteran utility workers tend to pass valuable institutional knowledge orally, rather than documenting and updating the information systematically. This intellectual capital is often lost when the worker retires because there is no formal program to capture their know-how.” – Who Will Replace Nuclear Power’s Aging Work Force? – Power Engineering.

I ran across this article which documented the problem of utility workers not documenting or systematizing their knowledge, but rather passing on in orally.  The article, while helpful, does not understand that many workers are unable to systematize their oral knowledge. Not all human beings are able to convert their verbal knowledge into symbolic knowledge. In fact, few can do this effectively. In some forms of knowledge it is impossible or impractical (the manual would be too large).

Writing is a difficult skill.  Margaret Laurence, a feisty and iconic Canadian writer articulated it well. At a party, when Laurence was informed by  a neurosurgeon that he intended to take up writing in retirement, responded, “When I retire, I’m going to be a neurosurgeon.”

Expecting utility workers, even with help, to codify a sufficient sum of their knowledge base into documents for other’s to then acquire is over-confidence at best.  Even if possible, one has to consider how possible it is to acquire technical knowledge through reading, videos, or any other non-human transmitted method.  The problem is two fold in my mind.  Firstly, much knowledge of any craft is unarticulated. As strange as it sounds, people don’t know they know stuff. People know things they only are aware of when their re-encounter them. The knowledge bubbles up and they think, “Hey, I remember dealing with something like this or similar to this 22 years ago). Often the master worker combines earned knowledge into a new synthesis to apply it to a new problem.   My point is that, you can not codify wisdom since it is often inarticulate-able or can not be effectively transferred from the fuzzy logic inherent with the human brain to the structured written word.

Mentoring and intergenerational teams, combined with the codification of key processes in written form, is the most effective method for passing on knowledge from one generation of Knowledge Workers to the next.  Without such processes, critical information is certain to be lost.  More importantly, the Knowledge Worker community is eroded in favour of a highly individualistic transient work culture. A culture of intergenerational relationship and collectively acquired knowledge is squandered … flushed down the drain.

“What seasoned workers have traditionally seen as a step up on the corporate ladder, today’s young employee is more likely to see as a resume builder.” – Who Will Replace Nuclear Power’s Aging Work Force? – Power Engineering.

Want to make young Knowledge Workers laugh?  While having a couple beers, ask them how loyal they are to their company.  Much that could be written on why that is, however it signals the second and more damaging aspect of our business culture. Failing to understand the intergenerational aspect of knowledge transfer from one generation to another, erodes the desire to mentor. By not mentoring, we are fostering a new generation which may have little desire to mentor. Why would they? They, as we all were, are shaped by what we encounter in our human communities.

Most older workers in my generation still have a strong mentoring ethic with studies showing that somewhere around 80% of older workers will mentor.  I would predict that within a decade or two this number will fall to about 50% and continue its decline.  The outcomes of that decline may not be readily obvious because cultural stagnation rarely is until its too late.

The largest penalty for our folly, is in lost opportunities. As each subsequent generation has to relearn the lost experience/knowledge of the past, they fail to acquire as much new knowledge and insights, improvements … breakthroughs are not achieved.  Energies spent on the future are used relearning the mistakes of the past. These insights, improvements and breakthroughs are what spur productivity benefits, new products and even whole new industries.  We miss seeing this loss, since something not conceived of will not be missed. We flush a greater future by flushing the past.

Older IT workers Bring “The Long View” and “Emotional Maturity”

Hiring in the IT industry suffers from a lack of appreciation of “The Long View”.   Often, since the timelines are project driven, the primary goal is to hire people with correct technical skills who can do the work as quickly as possible in as short a time as possible.  Start Ups companies are particularly vulnerable to the “Short View” since they need to produce a viable product before the money burn ends.

What is “The Long View”?  It’s judgment based on industry and personal experience.  Its the ability to apply one’s long view of an industry to new tasks with judgment that can “cut through the crap” and get to the hear of the matter.

Older workers bring the long view to their jobs | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

I love reading stories like this since the quotes are widely applicable and resonate with my experience.

“I can get down to the substance very quickly and see what the likelihood of success can be or will be,” agreed Fred Colen, a 67-year-old intellectual property attorney from Shadyside.

I’ve written before that for the Older IT worker, knowing, keeping, and communicating performance metrics is critical to communicate your value.  Young workers often will put in long hours, work late into the night, and appear to be working twice as hard as the old Geezer Geek who leaves regularly at 5:00pm.  I’ve heard of executives blown away when they realize the fat balding old “grey hair” is producing three times the code that the young “all nighters” are producing.

“The Long View” that comes from experience also teaches one to value relationships.  Consistently, I read that industry values soft skills, emotional maturity and “people come first”, however in practice many companies look purely at certs, skills, and hard skills.  While “soft skills” might sound “airy fairy” to a hard nosed executive, the do in the long term produce solid value through the production of internal and external good will.

“What she lacked in depth of knowledge about sewer systems and EPA regulations pertaining to sewerage, she made up in the years of being able to take complex environmental topics and translate them to the public.”

Internal goodwill is a phrase I use to describe how much employees value being part of a company as members of its community.  Companies with little internal goodwill either have a very transient workforce, or the relationship between the company and its employees is not valued.  In companies where the environment is described as “toxic” the good will balance sheet has descended into the red.

Companies in East Asian cultures will easily understand the concept of internal goodwill.  Some of these companies instill such a fierce loyalty that being part the companies function as a second family to the employees.  Leaving for another company, which many North Americans will consider without thought, is akin to a divorce.  The relationship to the community is not something employees will easily cast aside for a 10% or even 25% increase in money.  Consequently, these companies tend to be more solid, have excellent retention rates (you are not educating someone in order to be poached), and employees are able to pass on valuable skills to the next generation.

Anyone with business experience understand that commerce is not primarily about earning money, but earning good will.  In sales there is a saying, “You can make a sale, but lose the customer”.  You might have scored big money, but the customer will later realize what happened and never come back and any future sales lost.  Making an extra $1000, might mean the loss to the company of hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next couple decades.  Older workers with experience have “the long view” and recognize the truth in my point, since the horizon of their perspective is beyond getting one big score.

Within the Tech Industry, “The Long View” means taking a longer perspective with projects so short term gains do not produce long term pain or death for the organization.  Even within a Start-Up, if the system architecture is shoddy, and/or the code of poor quality, and/or best practices cast aside in order “to get produce out”, the common issues of being “unable to scale”.  I’ve heard of some Start Ups having to attempt a complete re-write in the middle of expanding acceptance of their product.  Those with “the long view” know that when constructing a building, laying the foundations usually is 50% of the task.  It’s wisdom born of experience.

 

Zen and the Art of Perpetual Failure in Information Technology

One of Canada’s best national paper ran an interesting article on the struggles some women IT professionals face in dealing with what the author calls a fear of failure or the impostor syndrome.  Fail Forward CEO Ashley Good shares some good insights into how not just women, but also men in IT have difficulty in dealing with failure.  The complexity of software architecture make failure an inevitable part of coding.  Sure, test driven design has helped removed huge bug-removing jags, but code still breaks.  Learning what to do with failure is part and parcel to life as a geek.

The precious fear of failure: How successful people can learn to value the fact they don’t know it all | National Post.

I have yet to meet any geezer geek, male or female, who does not have a story to tell of some huge “snafu” which has occurred.  As a young coder in the oil industry towers of Calgary, Canada, I recall the first time I bought the mainframe down with an overlooked “divide by zero” error.  For you young geeks, we now live in an age where bringing a system to its knees, for everyone, right across the company with one line of code is a rare thing.  Years later I comforted a distraught new coder who’d done the same thing. “Everyone is down”, he said with a shocked look on his face. “Yup … they have to reboot the mainframe … don’t worry man … everyone has done it.”

Female IT workers likely struggle more with impostor syndrome given the societal crap they have to put up with, but I also I wonder if women are also more articulate in expressing their emotional states than men.  I’ve learned a lot from women, who’ve articulated problems which have not occurred to me as a male.  I therefore believe that many older IT females likely have much to teach everyone about the universal experience of dealing with the psychological aspects of information technology work.

I will ask some what their thoughts are on this post, so rather than hearing the female-experience-through-male-brain we can explore the wisdom of the older female IT worker.  I suspect one of the first gifts they bring is that by expressing the fear of failure and the impostor syndrome, we can overcome it.  I have observed that some males deal with it by  being the overcompensating “know it all” lest someone discover their secret.  I’ve also seen others hide some failures, only to cause bigger problems down the road for the team.

“The pencil is mightier than the pen.” – Robert M. Pirsig

It’s been 25 years since “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert M. Pirsig was published.  It is a metaphysical exploration of the nature of quality explored around the story of a computer manual writer who has a mental breakdown and later goes on a motorcycle road trip.  It is considered an icon of American literature, and includes some themes relating to failure, but also explores some amazing insights into the human condition.  Hey, I love stuff like that.  I just one clicked a kindle copy and am going to read it again.  I last read it in the mid-80’s when I was 19, and taking Ed Thompson III’s philosophy 110 class.  Reading it at 49, with a lifetime of success and failures should be a deeper experience.

 

 

Staying Relevant Through Reading Job Postings

As part of my morning email routing, I read three random job postings in my field.  When I see an acronym with a “required skill” I read about it and see whether its the new and next thing.  If I run into someone who is talking about D3, I know what it is.  Remember, because you are “a gray hair”, people think you must be out to pasture.  You may have 300% larger knowledge base, but since you don’t even know what D3 is, you are a loser in the mind of some younger geeks.

Here’s an example I pulled for a senior web developer and after cutting it down to the core here is what’s left:

Required Skills (Excellent knowledge + Significant experience):
 MVC and OOP
 HTML5, CSS3, jQuery, AJAX, JavaScript
 XML, JSON
 RESTful, Responsive Layouts, Bootstrap
 Building custom JavaScript solutions without frameworks
 Testing and debugging in multiple browsers
 PHP, SQL, Optimized SQL queries

Any senior web programmer knows that these are core skills.

 Node.js
 SASS/LESS, Grunt/Compass, Expression Engine
 CakePHP, Symfony

While the following stuff is not new, I take note of Node.JS, since its a trend. It’s not my thing, but I know why its growing in popularity.  SASS/LESS are awesome for CSS, but I tend towards a minimalist approach so I don’t use them.  CakePHP and Synphony are the MVC frameworkers which they are using.  I’m a Laravel man, but I need to know where the popularity of Cake is going, and of course Symfony since Laravel is built on it.

Here’s another for a Junior Web Developer:

  • Proficient in PHP/MySQL
  • Proficient in Javascript
  • HTML, CSS & JavaScript
  • Min. 1 yr. related experience

Bonus Points

  • Codeigniter
  • Titanium
  • Web application planning and development
  • CMS Experience

Oh, what is Titanium … don’t know … looking it up. See: http://www.appcelerator.com/titanium/

“Appcelerator Titanium – An open, extensible development environment for creating beautiful native apps across different mobile devices and OSs including iOS, Android, and BlackBerry, as well as hybrid and HTML5. It includes an open source SDK with over 5,000 device and mobile operating system APIs, Studio, a powerful Eclipse-based IDE, Alloy, an MVC framework and Cloud Services for a ready-to-use mobile backend.”

Cool. I don’t do mobile stuff right now, but its good to know what it seems to be used a lot. Now if someone says they use Titanium, I can say, “How what mobile app are you developing.