The NSA can't recruit or retain hackers because the pay sucks and the Agency is a bureaucratic mess


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/01/03/same-job-better-pay.html


#2

I doubt NSA leadership sees this as any more of a problem than the rest of the US alphabet soup. They get to spend their astronomical secret budget, ensuring it gets renewed each fiscal year, they don’t have to manage as many geeks, and they get to blame the contractors when something leaks or otherwise goes pear-shaped for them.


#3

I wish they’d stop referring to anyone with technical expertise in computers as a ‘hacker’…the correct term is Guru.


#4

Thank God the agency is a bureaucratic mess.


#5

That’s some class one bullshit right there. That would be because they can’t find 40 hour a week (no overtime, no crunch time) jobs with good pay, good benefits, and affordable housing. Offer then one of those, and just watch those “restive” millennials settle down in one spot until they retire.


#6

Yep. If millennials have any such “inclinations,” they exist because they’ve been trained to believe that’s the way things necessarily are. This is akin to the “millennials don’t want to buy houses!” when housing prices are simply unaffordable to most…


#7

Pear-shaped? You mean they are eating junkfood and getting fatter?


#8

It’s an old-ish expression.


#9

I’d like to think that at least some of the people leaving are doing so due to a sudden attack of conscience.


#10

And the traffic sucks!


#11

Why shouldn’t I work for the NSA? That’s a tough one.


#12

A friend of mine has related that many of his fellow mathematicians have ethical qualms in regards to working for the NSA. They would otherwise love a government job working on cryptography problems but with the NSA’s current direction, they’re not so sure.


#13

Hey, you gotta draw the line somewhere.
I get recruiters that forward me jobs for companies that build bombs and the like - not interested.


#14

There may have been a time when the NSA understood what it took to keep a bunch of eccentric techies on staff, but it’s obviously long gone. Heck, some HR genius there probably instituted a dress code.


#15

Oh noooes! But this means that the people spying on us from the NSA will now be less capable and competent.


#16

"It’s for God and country,” said Daniel Ennis

… so, you’d be surrounded by religious fanatics and nationalists? And you say you’re having trouble recruiting millennial for some reason?


#17

Eh, you’re probably joking, but one can be “for God and country” with out being fanatical nor nationalistic.


#18

Mostly joking :slight_smile: More that in my experience the kinds of places where people explicitly bring up ‘God and country’ unironically do tend to end up being hotbeds of unreflexive ‘my country right or wrong’ thinking. ie I’d take it as a warning sign if I heard that line from a prospective boss. Might not stop me taking the job if it was offered, but it’d definitely make me ask a lot of questions about workplace culture during the rest of the job interview.


#19

This is the US, where “Christians” worship 'Merican Jeesus.
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Hard to read the phrase “God and country” in the current age as being anything other than theocratic nationalism.


#20

All that and a moral compass. One of the things that gets talked over when people wax idiotic about “millennials” is how far out of touch they (millennials) are with post-WWII, cold-war paranoia and the constantly eroding conceit of American exceptionalism. When you remove all of those you are left with working for an obviously nefarious and essentially unregulated organization that has caused great damage to not only human rights, but the tech-based culture many of them are steeped in and trust a whole lot more than America’s flawed concept of representative democracy.