back to article Working in Arm's engineering team? You're probably happy with your pay rise

Arm has agreed a pay increase for employees following the scrapping of a wellbeing allowance last year, yet it appears that while engineers were offered an 8 per cent jump, other types of worker fared less well. As revealed by The Register in May 2021, Arm ended its FlexPot scheme, an annual allowance granted to employees and …

  1. trevorde Silver badge

    Quickest way to get a pay rise or promotion

    Change jobs!

    1. Mishak Silver badge

      Or

      Book an afternoon off and roll in wearing a suit.

      1. Youngone Silver badge

        Re: Or

        Oh, that's a great idea!

        I have been offered the standard 2.5% raise in our company, along with a small bonus which is obviously a pay cut with inflation in my country at well over 7%.

        Along with everyone else I have decided that someone is going to pay me more and it will either be my current boss or another one.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Or

          Our GlobalMegaCorp parent company just announced that for the 2nd year there are no bonus because of weak earnings (we are in the movie effects business)

          Local management seem pretty resigned, and I quote: "Anybody under 40 can immediately go to Microsoft/Google/Amazon and double their salary. Anyone over 40, in this city, made $250K++ a year in house price increase so the pay is irrelevant.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "our people are core to our success"

    Indeed they are, and you have just demonstrated that there are several layers to your core, meaning some people are more core than others.

    Engineers are already, and logically, the best-paid employees in a company. Giving everyone a fixed percentage of bonus means that engineers will get the most.

    Engineers will agree with that.

    But fiddling around with the bonus level following what department you are in just demonstrates the true importance you give to said department. That means that IT is valued at half the engineering department at Arm. I can understand that from a beancounter point of view, but the truth is : if engineers stop working, you can still make and sell what you've got. If IT stops working, you're not making or selling anything any more.

    So who's more important ? Discuss.

    1. trevorde Silver badge

      Re: "our people are core to our success"

      You work in IT, don't you?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: "our people are core to our success"

        By which logic the security guard that unlocks the front door in the morning should be the highest paid employee.

        1. tip pc Silver badge

          Re: "our people are core to our success"

          You have a guard that unlocks doors for you?

          Do you have a “man” that walks in front of your car with a flag too?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locomotive_Acts#Locomotive_Act_1865_(Red_Flag_Act)

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: "our people are core to our success"

            >You have a guard that unlocks doors for you?

            USA office, a guy in a hut at the entrance to the car park - with a gun.

            1. Tom 7 Silver badge

              Re: "our people are core to our success"

              But today not an employee! Just a guy with a bigger gun!

        2. You aint sin me, roit

          Re: "our people are core to our success"

          The point is that Arm have been losing engineers and it is hard to replace them, so they need to pay (above) the going rate.

          Security guards are fundamentally important but are easily replaced.

          Likewise support staff.

          I find it interesting that the research teams get less than the engineers, probably reflecting the notion that they have a really "cool" role and so are less inclined to jump ship.

    2. Michael

      Re: "our people are core to our success"

      Still the engineers. Should the IT department bugger off the engineers will manage just fine once give the appropriate passwords. Then you can hire a replacement IT team with minimal impact of the product. Lose the engineers and things will slip.

      1. Nudge Away

        Re: "our people are core to our success"

        What a completely stupid statement.

        I can only conclude that Michael is simply a TROLL !

        Why not get rid of HR, Sales, Maintenance, Purchasing, Testing, Security, Payroll and every other hanger on'er then ?

        And who would do the role once released then ?

        To repeat, what a completely stupid statement.

        1. Little Mouse Silver badge

          Re: "our people are core to our success"

          Completely stupid? But have you ever been there when the headcount needs to be reduced?

          I've seen many rounds of corporate "rightsizing" at several companies over the years, and in my experience the IT teams are always considered the most expendable and replaceable.

          It's dumb, short-term thinking to be sure, but it's still what happens.

        2. Jonathon Green

          Re: "our people are core to our success"

          Mmmm…

          I’ve worked at a number of start ups and SMEs where Engineering moonlight to keep IT running (and sometimes facilities, sales, marketing and HR) with various levels of success from “just about manage to keep the lights on and prevent the building catching fire” upwards but I can’t recall a single one where IT were doing the product development.

          I’m not saying it’s the best, most efficient way of doing things, and I’m not advocating that companies should shred their IT departments and set their senior engineering staff to work on the infrastructure in their downtime, but, if push comes to shove somebody who can implement a service or protocol from the ground up on the basis of an ISO spec, a set of RFCs, or whatever is probably capable of configuring and managing it…

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "our people are core to our success"

            If you can't install linux and get flexlm up and running you aren't an Engineer.

            1. gotes

              Re: "our people are core to our success"

              If you can't drive a locomotive then you aren't an Engineer.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "our people are core to our success"

              At companies I've worked, there is a large portion of folks calling themselves "engineers" who would fail at both/either task. Plus more than a few similar jobs which your average competent sysadmin would take for granted. Heaven help some of them if they had to figure out which cable goes where or actually lay hands on the metal.

              And for clarity, management calls them "engineers" too, and they're paid accordingly. So it's not merely self-aggrandizement.

              I agree, back in the dark ages the engineers often could do (and did) a sysadmin's job, though the ones I knew and worked with nearly all always hated doing it. But they could carry on if need be.

              Nowdays, not so much. And the ones who can still fit the bill are scarce on the ground.

        3. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: "our people are core to our success"

          "Why not get rid of HR, Sales, Maintenance, Purchasing, Testing, Security, Payroll and every other hanger on'er then ?"

          You will find that people suggest getting rid of many of those frequently in these forums. Here's a short list of the stereotypical complaints that are used to justify their removal. These are sometimes simplistic, but not always incorrect.

          HR: Fails to understand job requirements, thus consuming resources while weakening the quality of hires.

          Sales: Adds unreasonable promises to the product resulting in disappointment for the customers when it doesn't do everything.

          Purchasing: Restricts what can be purchased, either adding friction to obtaining what is needed or even forcing people to buy more expensive versions of things because it's the only thing that falls into the purchasing policy.

          Nobody said that IT should just be chopped as unnecessary. However, as with the other areas, you have to balance the benefits it provides with the costs to replace it. IT is very important to a business, but it doesn't make the employees in the department perfect or irreplaceable. Every department in a business thinks of itself as irreplaceable, and most of the time, it's not true. Just look at what management thinks of itself.

    3. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: "our people are core to our success"

      "the truth is : if engineers stop working, you can still make and sell what you've got. If IT stops working, you're not making or selling anything any more."

      Oh come on. If IT stops working, you have problems and you need to find someone to fix them, but it doesn't suddenly prevent everything the company does from working. Only if all of IT leaves and decides to sabotage the systems on the way out would you get that. When your product is chip designs, you really need engineers. You need them to make new designs, but you also need them for any engineering problems found that those buying contracts expect help with. If engineering stops working, it could result in lots of lost sales, and that's just in the short term. As this goes on, that becomes a guarantee.

  3. Foxglove

    Lots of engineers out and about tonight...

    And I'm one of them, but I've been more and more involved in IT over the years. Who hasn't?

    Still an engineer, but after years of involvement and quite a bit of training I'm vaguely competent in things IT.

    But as an analogy think of cyclists and drivers of cars.

    A lot of car drivers think they own the road and hate cyclists.

    A lot of cyclists think they own the road and hate drivers.

    I both drive and cycle and like to think I'm tolerant of both activities.

    I think this serves as a useful analogy, engineers and IT (bikes/cars, choose whichever substitution you want) are both excellent at what they do.

    As is the guy/gal on the gate (gun or not) and everyone else in the stack.

    Yes, there are always some who are not, but in my experience although they exist they are a minority.

    Why not give an across the board % pay rise?

    It already favours the higher paid, no need to stick the knife in.

    In summary, be fair.

    If you can manage it be nice as well, I know that's rare these days and I'm not always nice myself.

    1. Cav Bronze badge

      Re: Lots of engineers out and about tonight...

      "Why not give an across the board % pay rise?

      It already favours the higher paid, no need to stick the knife in."

      Because running a business is not about being "fair". It's a business. The engineers are the ones in demand. As someone else said, engineers are more difficult to come by. Security, cleaners, IT staff etc, are not. You pay more to the group of people you want to attract to work for you when they have the choice of where they work. You pay less to people who are relatively easily replaced.

  4. Trotts36

    The beginning of the end

    A true act of self mutilation; the beginning of the end really

    1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Re: The beginning of the end

      Exactly my reaction (I'm guessing your downvoters haven't worked inside corporate), except not "beginning" but rather "shit, it's obviously been infested by parasites for a while so been being run down for a while without outsiders noticing, and is now being aimed _explicitly_ at dwindlement/irrelevance."

      The timings- and language-clues would take way too long to explain in writing.

      But here's a obvious alarm-bell that no-one's commented on so far.

      Their nominal business model / "USP" / raison d'etre is (b)leading-edge designs. As far as outsiders are aware, that hadn't changed. But this makes clear it has done, and not recently:

      Research got a lower % than Engineering.

      If the company was actually still what people thought it was, it'd be the other way round.

      Instead, the mgt has clearly signalled that their focus is on, or at least is shifting hard towards, monetising the value they have, not on creating new value. Not wholly, yet, but the attitude and hence direction are clear.

  5. Cav Bronze badge

    The argument that inflation is high and so a company should just pay more is the reason British car manufacturing went bust. A company has no responsibility to pay more simply because its employees need more. That is an external consideration.

    What a company is morally responsible for is ensuring that each employee has a fair share of the revenue that is generated by the company. That is an internal consideration. Yes, fat cat executives are immoral when they earn 10,000 times more than a lowly employee, when their contribution is, say, only 10 times more.

    The fact that employees need more is irrelevant if paying them more is more than the company's income can support. And yes, companies go bust due to expenses. In a global market, why should a customer pay your prices which are higher due to employee wages when they can buy from somewhere else more cheaply?

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