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I work only since 6 years and in the same company so my personal experience is limited. In the history of our software team nobody was ever sacked, at most they weren't confirmed after the customary (paid) internship period.
A year or so after I left a rather big company (50k users in Europe alone), one of my former colleagues added all of the European servers into a SCCM (SMS at the time I guess) collection to be rebuilt.
The cost was around £18.000.000.
He still works there so, no, I don't think it's possible to get fired from an IT job.
A fair few of my current colleagues also cements this belief.
About 12 years ago I was the IT manager at a tourist attraction in the North West of England and had been there for two years. I had markedly improved the IT infrastructure and had even brought in several old PCs from home to make life easier for staff who were having to share obsolete kit between large numbers. I brought in lots of older, but perfectly serviceable kit, such as drives, printers, monitors etc.
One day I was called in to the meeting room and was told that I was being made redundant, and that I had 30 minutes to collect my belongings before I was to be escorted of the premises. I then proceeded to walk around each office, pointing out all of the kit I had brought in, telling them that I wanted each piece returned within 24 hours, including one of the drives in the main office server. They baulked at the last one, eventually paying me considerable more than it was worth to keep it.
They were unable to print off payslips that month, as the NCR paper they used required an impact printer, and the only one there was my old Epson dot matrix. This went home with me!
I had brought in a 24" Dell CRT monitor for the use of a lady in the office with poor eyesight. This I left for her, but made it abundantly clear to the management that this was my personal gift to the lady, not the company, and had them document this in writing before I left.
Pettiness can be so satisfying at times!
I'm an optoholic - my glass is always half full of vodka.
effectively fired... TWICE... just called "incompatible with work environment" within 2.5 months of the the 3month probation period, and the other called a "retrenchment financial reasons" when I stood up and didn't want to take pay drop, that was at month 4, 1month into the 6month fixed term contract that followed from the first 3month fixed term contract
Have been told that I would never even be considered for promotion / pay rise - unless I shaved off my beard. This was shortly after EDS took over the company I worked for (Unilever Computer Services). A couple of months later I accepted another job and on handing in my resignation, the new (American) boss offered me "whatever money I wanted" to stay. I looked him in the eye and told him it was exactly that attitude that was why I was leaving. Never seen anyone look so confused.
Have been made redundant - by a very long-established, household name UK company (Prudential Insurance - an entire division folded after the Piper Alpha oilrig disaster, and a few other losses, in '88 cost them a fortune). We were taken offsite for a "meeting" where we were told of the closure. On return to the office, if your name wasn't on the list, you didn't get back in the building. Security gathered your belongings and handed them to you on the street. I was a "lucky" one and got an extra three months working there, and we all got reasonable redundancy terms.
Have also been the line manager responsible for firing a couple of people. One a new-hire, still on probationary period. He was Russian, and despite having got through interview somehow (I didn't interview him) he spoke almost no English and knew nothing about programming. The other was a long-time employee who had allowed a mix of poor health, a horrible attitude and laziness, combined with being the only person in the company who knew about a particular system, to effectively allow him to hold the company to ransom. He was the only guy who could fix it, so he figured he could take as long as he wanted. Repeatedly drifting in an hour or two late, leaving an hour or two early, taking a couple of hours for lunch and sleeping inbetween. When he was gone we just developed a new system on different hardware.
Worked freelance for nearly 25 years and I've not sacked myself yet!
The supervisor was being a bit of a jerk to a fellow developer. I stood up and said something, and the next day the company downsized its IT staff by one member for "cost reduction" reasons. I was really tired of working there and was happy to get a 13 month package.
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -- Groucho Marx
A friend of mine got sacked along with the entire team because the parent company which started the smaller company/project (I have no idea how corporations work) couldn't keep the wages anymore, the financier left or something like that. The way my friend tells it he almost felt sorry for the CEO who personally apologized to everyone (who was let go) for not having reliable investor.
That was that and the entire team was let go except the Team Lead.
Yep. Once was a downsizing, they just ran out of projects. Kept people on for a while doing internal things, but no new work came about, so they just had to let a bunch of us go. No problem.
Second was the company hired a nitwit manager, who then hired other nitwit managers whose only qualifications were being buddies with #1 at a previous company. We clashed pretty hard, and eventually it came to a head. Glad it happened, from what I hear via the grapevine, it's turned into a sweatshop.
Turns out you hire stupid people, you get bad results. Surprise!
But as a manager, I have had 2 interesting cases.
1) A programmer that was not great, and not interested in improving. His biggest (and most common) mistake was allocating stack memory and returning a pointer to it, out of the function that allocated it.
His fatal mistake was suggesting that MY JOB as his manager was to review all of his code, and make sure that it is shippable... And that if it worked in the debugger, but not in real life, he was in the clear...
I fired him.
2) Another employee at another company was basically a bad hire. The guy was useless. It took him weeks to do a day or two of programming. He had a set of 20 tasks items and a week before he went on vacation. I was quite busy, but he assured me he was making his way through the list. He was leaving Thursday. It was my mistake for trusting him, but at this point, I thought he was just slow. On Thursday at 5pm, he says he did not finish (but we had to ship internally for docs to be written), and when queried, he barely had like 4 items done. All minor stuff, mind you.
I was incensed over this, so I handed his work to another programmer on Friday morning(the best in the group, to be sure), and he finished EVERY REMAINING item by like 2pm on Friday. This was not even his code base. He complained that the quality of some of the code was bad.
And this started my insistence on code reviews. Literally daily reviews for new programmers until they earn the right to be given more latitude.
When he came back from vacation, I started the process to let him go, which involved sending him to training, etc. etc. He milked it for about 2yrs. LOL... I actually left the company before he did, as I discovered the CEO was lying, and eventually was sent packing.
I worked at Nationwide Insurance in the US and was fired. I had a manager who hated me and tried to get me fired. I BCCed a reply to one of her nasty emails to a employee relations lawyer and HR was moving to fire me at her request. The keystroke loggers caught my email after the fact, so they retired her, then fired me.
Nationwide Insurance and other large corporations have a habit of over hiring consultants, offering positions to the ones they like and getting rid of the ones they don't like. The process for Nationwide was a 3 year cycle.
Not fired as such, but I've been let go early from a contract due to to them not having enough work to keep us busy and I've been retrenched twice due to the companies where I worked having financial issues.
Obviously she's wearing the new improved, skin toned, low dust, asbestos gloves. You know, for those fashion conscious soldering people in your life.
"the debugger doesn't tell me anything because this code compiles just fine" - random QA comment
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