recession! DevOps hiring freeze | Data centers suck (power) | Intel becomes Wi-Fi 7

Welcome to The long look-where we go through the news of the week and strip it down to the essentials. Let’s go train what really matters.

This week: Engineer jobs are being cut, cloud infrastructure consumes too much energy, and Intel’s 802.11be silicon is alive.

CloudNativeDay 2022

1. Go DevOps Jobs and Hire Frozen

First up this week: the steady drumbeat of an impending recession is getting louder. Large and small companies are adjust their workforce accordingly.

Analysis: 1973 all over again?

The job market is changing – fast. When you hear business leaders like Cook, Musk, and Zuckerberg use phrases like “economic slump,” “shaky economic environment,” and “one of the worst recessions,” you better listen.

We always have Martine Paris: Apple and Alphabet are slowing hiring plans, but many others in tech are cutting staff ahead of a potential economic slowdown

Increasingly shaky economic environment
With recession fears mounting — and inflation, the war in Ukraine and the ongoing pandemic taking their toll — many tech companies are rethinking their workforce needs. … Here’s a look at the companies that are stepping on the brakes. …

        • Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google…will slow the pace of hiring for the rest of the year. …
        • Apple Inc. plans to slow recruitment and spending… to cope with a potential economic slump. …
        • Carvana Co., an online used car dealer, has laid off… 12% of its workforce. …
        • Coinbase Worldwide [cut] 18% of the staff [and] withdrawn vacancies… in preparation for an economic downturn. …
        • Compass Inc., a real estate brokerage platform, eliminates…10%. …
        • Meta Platforms… cut plans to hire engineers by at least 30%; CEO Mark Zuckerberg [said] he anticipates one of the worst recessions in recent history. …
        • Microsoft Corp. told employees [it’s] eliminating many vacancies – a freeze that will last indefinitely. …
        • Netflix… has had several rounds of highly publicized layoffs. …
        • Niantic Inc., creator of the Pokemon Go video game, fired [8%]. …
        • Oracle…cuts employees. …
        • Robinhood Markets Inc., the Online Brokerage, Terminated [9%] in April. …
        • Salesforce… has slowed down hiring and reduced travel costs. …
        • Shopify Inc., an ecommerce platform, lays off…10%. …
        • Spotify … cuts workforce growth by about 25% to adapt to macroeconomic factors. …
        • Tesla…CEO Elon Musk [said] 10% of salaried workers would lose their jobs… in an increasingly shaky economic environment. …
        • Twitter Inc. started a staff freeze and started withdrawing vacancies. …
        • Wayfair Inc., the online furniture retailer, has imposed a 90-day hiring freeze.

Yaks. What can we learn from Aline Lerner?

These are uncertain times. … It looks like we’re entering a recession.

One of the hardest things is the lack of reliable information about whether companies are still hiring. … To get some sense of a lot of conflicting information about the job openings from Google and Facebook … we decided to ask the people who, outside of Google’s leadership, probably know best what’s going on – engineers who now interviewing at these companies. …

        • Amazon [is] continue to hire engineers aggressively. …
        • Facebook froze engineer hiring under E7… but there are some scary features still hiring [such as] Machine Learning Engineers … Production Engineers (devops and/or SRE) [and] Enterprise Engineers (work on Facebook’s internal tools and systems). …
        • Google doesn’t extend offers [for now]. L3 or “early career” recruitment is indeed frozen until next year. … The rest is cloudy. … Different recruiters tell people different things … it feels like decisions are made on a case-by-case basis [but] L5 and above are actively hiring almost across the board.

‘Murky’, you say? yuan43 knows why:

Brace yourself for impact. Google and Facebook are both advertising companies, so they are closely linked to the business cycle. When business expenses start to falter, they will be the first to feel it. And they have.

The bubble has been inflated for so long so far… those with less than 10 years of experience have never seen the brutality of the other side of the business cycle. If it turns, that **** running. Those in top management positions have seen it and they are going to do everything in their power to deny and dodge it. … It is not surprising that [they] are far from clear on this.

It’s about leadership, says jilesvangurp:

The organization is a reflection of its leadership and their vision – or lack thereof. … Google is MS under Ballmer: just fail, be deaf, never do anything right at all. Enter Satya Nadella and suddenly MS reconnects with developers, doing all the things that were simply unimaginable before, and generally delivering great shareholder value. Google needs someone like that. The current CEO is not.


2. ‘Houses, Not Data Centers’, Crying Citizens

Cloud DCs near population centers are blamed for pricing people out in the housing market. Densely populated places like West London in the UK are feeling the effects as the regional grid operator threatens to ban new connections until 2035.

Analysis: ARM and RISC-V can help

The problem is not so much power generation, but power distribution: The capacity of the existing grid cabling is running out and upgrading it is far from easy. Part of the solution is to create data centers more efficient.

Lauren Leffer: Too many servers can’t mean new homes

Data Center Proliferation
Data centers have led to skyrocketing power demand in parts of London. Now new construction of homes could be banned… in some neighborhoods. … Too many data centers consume too much power.

In recent years, multiple data centers have been built in and around West London, particularly along the M4 corridor, a major tech hub [for] Microsoft, Oracle, Amazon, HP, Sony, Dell, Huawei and others. [But] London is in the grip of a major housing crisis. The… government has promised to address the problem in part by building more homes, but these limitations on power infrastructure could make that promise impossible.

Other places have faced similar grid and power problems: … The proliferation of data centers has strained Ireland’s electricity grid in recent years. [And] cryptocurrency mining has taxed the Texas grid.

Is this a task for ARM and its energy efficiency? ShanghaiBill:

If we’re going to do a big switcheroo from x86 to more efficient processors in the data center, we need to go to RISC-V, not ARM. RISC-V is more efficient and has a more modern architecture.

RISC-V has code compression built in for the non-embedded version. The code is more compact than ARM or x86. So the cache can hold about 30% more code. … Code size is one of the few advantages of CISC over RISC, and with RISC-V, even that is gone.

“Air fall. Filming at 11 o’clock.” Here’s Scouse Acorn:

This story should be in every news bulletin for a week. We’re going to the waterfall. Without oar.


3. Intel is the latest chip maker as WiFi 7

Back in April, I told you about Broadcom, Mediatek and Qualcomm launching Wi-Fi 7 silicon. Now from Intel join the party.

Analysis: Great in densely populated areas

802.11be should of course be faster. But it will also be more deterministic, suffer less from interference and improve latency: It’s not just about speed.

Ji-woong Kim is lost in translation: Intel to commercialize next-generation Wi-Fi 7

Advanced technologies
Intel will unveil… 802.11be in 2024. The data processing speed is more than two times faster than the existing Wi-Fi 6E… 802.11ax.

Intel predicts that the adoption of Wi-Fi 7… will expand its product application to include advanced technologies such as high-end games, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and robots.

So far, so light. Why do we need all this raw speed? drinkypoo tries:

Remember that bandwidth is split between everyone on the same AP, and most people only have one. … Nowadays it is common for literally nothing in the house to have a wired connection except the AP. Such speeds allow a network with multiple users sharing files, streaming, etc.

For one or two customers, [802.11n] is just fine. Not so much for some users.


The moral of the story:
There’s no point in questioning authority if you don’t listen to the answers

—Greg Landauer

you have read The long look by Richi Jennings. You can contact him at @RiCHI or [email protected].

Image: Pouriya Kafaei (via Unsplash; leveled and cropped)

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