(These edited excerpts from our Web site's forums provide a sample of the lively debate that takes place there. For the full discussions, go to http://www.infoworld.com and click on the forums button.)What will convince you to stay at a company?"Assuming a new gig has something better to offer, I am gone. I'd stay to finish a contract or project if it were short-term and I thought leaving quickly would damage my reputation. As far as leveraging the new offer into improving the current situation, forget it. Resentment for your disloyalty or 'blackmail' bites you, usually right after the other opportunity goes away.
"Bottom line, once you have decided to go looking, turn the page on the current job.""It will take money. If I do not get a good raise I will look elsewhere for work. Job satisfaction does not pay bills. In the long term, job satisfaction can result in drastically lower pay. The stigma of having a low salary is hard to overcome.
"If your present employer starts making sounds about budget concerns then get ready to leave at once! The only way to make companies change their policies is to talk with your feet.""It is not a question of what will it take for you to stay, but what will it take for you to leave. I am always happy wherever I work and continue to work there regardless of other offers. I don't really care how much more money I get offered or whatever other benefits are placed before me -- but I keep note of the offers and make sure that there is always somewhere to jump to."What skills have you resolved to learn?"I think that knowing Java is becoming more and more important. Right now I am pretty much a Visual Basic/Windows programmer. I like [Microsoft] Windows, but would like to see what other OSes and programming languages have to offer.
"I would say [learn] C++, but I think that pretty soon, I will be able to do all the same things using some version of Java.""Perl, because of its versatility, pervasiveness, widespread use and the multiple platforms for which it is available.""You have to try to look ahead constantly in our business both to keep current with business technologies and to avoid becoming obsolete.
"While it is true that Microsoft is taking some serious hits and other players once thought to be dead on arrival are coming back, I am going to continue on the Microsoft product track in 2000. While growth in this area may not be as strong as we had anticipated a few months ago, the juggernaut cannot be stopped that quickly.
"Next on my wish list would be Oracle; however, you must specialize to some extent. There is just too much these days for anyone to be a complete generalist."