For Wall Street traders and corporate city slickers, December is the festive month of large, overindulgent Christmas bonuses. But what about for engineers?
When it comes to powering up your end of year salary, do your employers come through on your bonus wishlists, or fly right over your chimney without stopping?
And does it matter to you?
Do you feel bonuses accurately reflect performance metrics, or are they just a feel good motivator to tide employees over for yet another year?
The good news is that according to December's Dice survey, tech professionals seem more optimistic this year than they were last year about receiving an end of year bonus. This could be a sign that things are picking up, and that the economic gloom may be lifting a little.
But, be that as it may, just how do you even snag a bonus? Is it all about being naughty or nice? Apparently not. It seems it's mostly just about serving your time.
"The key threshold appears to be six years of experience," said Alice Hill, managing director of Dice.com, commenting on the survey results.
Hill noted that after the six year milestone, over 50 percent of tech professionals said they were bonus eligible, though of course it was no guarantee.
Interestingly, Hill said many company-wide bonuses tended to be viewed as a "me thing," determined largely by individual competence and personal performance, though that was not the case in the technology department, where bonuses gained and lost were a "company thing."
Perhaps engineers are just better team players.
What do you think? And why do you deserve a bonus this year?
It's interesting how different companies define engineering titles. At some companies, MTS might mean a low-level engineering grade or perhaps be followed by a number (MTS 1, 2, 3, etc.), while at Motorola, MTS was near the top of the long climb up the technical ladder.
As for pay vs. job title, I never met an engineer who cared very much about titles. It's usually far more motivating and rewarding to "show me the money!"
As I near the age of retirement, I am just glad to have a satisfying job. With the house mortgage now paid off, the kids out of the house, and livng a debt free life...the salary and bonuses are no longer that important to me. Our company gives out a bonus based on the past fiscal year, usually the full week off between the holidays. That gives me time to enjoy the grandchildren during the holiday season. What more could one ask for?
HI Bert, hope you have a happy and peaceful Xmas.
Sounds to me like a way of keeping you happy without having to pay you more :-) but that happens everywhere....
All the best for 2013 to you (and all EET readers)!
David, I think it's a fairly common way of ranking engineers here in the US. Not universal by any means, but I've seen it used in other companies.
Member of the Technical Staff. When I started where I work now, the MTS levels went from 1 to 7. Making it to 7 is cool, because that's when you get to do more of your own innovative work. It's sort of a credibility thing. I'd way prefer being at the lower step of a high MTS level than the upper step of a lower level, if you see what I mean. Evn if that means less money (temporarily).
They've changed it since we got bought off by another copmpany, to much the same thing, but 6 levels. I think now it's PS or something, Professional Staff. However MTS seem more widespread.
When I was back in Zimbabwe a "13th Cheque" was the norm - you got an extra monthly salary just before Christmas, and a big help it was too. It was not a performance bonus, it was just the way they did things and it was factored into your annual pay when quoting the pay for a position. I liked it that way, it was really just a way of enforced saving throughout the year.
Here in Australia a Christmas bonus is unheard of. We do get a couple of extra days off (which means I have the whole Xmas week off) but that is it.
BTW Bert, what is an "MTS level"?
I think, "whatever."
Our company gives out some sort of bonus, depending how it did in he past fiscal year. Honestly, what matters more to me is personal achnowledgment of work well done. However the difficult part of this is, first you need to have a manager who even understands what you do. And such managers are few and quite far between.
I laugh when I remember one of those useless group meetings we had years ago. Our boss, who thought he as asking something totally rhetorical, asked, "What would you rather have? A higher pay check or a higher MTS level?"
Dumb question, right? Obviously, a higher MTS level. What a clueless question. Typical, though.
Merry Christmas EE Times community!
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.