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segelnhoch3 t1_jdomwet wrote

So, you need hardware that physically houses the software. That means you need maintenance workers. Then you need customer support, which will be a large portion. You need people who can fix and improve the software, lots of them. You need people who will maintain your cyber security.

Then all the normal company stuff: HR, Accounting, Management, real estate, sales, marketing, janitors, etc.

They are still producing a product, and as with a lot of other companies a lot of the workforce isn't directly involved with the actual production.


could_use_a_snack t1_jdouxsh wrote

>janitors, etc.

As a custodian, thank you for remembering us.


BrevitysLazyCousin t1_jdpfkq2 wrote

When I was in third grade I asked my teacher for some extravagance like an ice cream party. The teacher said "You'll get your ice cream party when pigs fly". My mom was also a teacher so I hung out around the school once the kids left.

I cooked up a plan with the head custodian which included drawing a pig with wings on paper twice, stapling the two pigs together with cotton balls stuffed inside and coloring it pink. Then Melvin and I hung the flying pig from a long piece of twine taped to the side, GOT ON THE ROOF OF THE BUILDING, and swung the pig back and forth in front of my teacher's window.

She correctly concluded that pigs had flown, our ice cream party was arranged and Melvin got the first bowl. He retired as a much loved member of the community and I get to remember that here was a time like 40 years ago when some adults would help kids do cool shit.


could_use_a_snack t1_jdprvdv wrote

Wow. I'm sure he would be extremely grateful to know he is still in your memories.


Hugh_Mann123 t1_jdpywrk wrote

Good thing your teacher wasn't like Mr. Burns

It's just a little airborne, it's still good, it's still good


amanuense t1_jdp4v91 wrote

Unsung heroes. I have the habit of spending time with janitorial staff in the places I've worked. Honestly I have met only good people and I'm sad to see how a lot of people just ignore them and belittle them.


could_use_a_snack t1_jdpe799 wrote

>Unsung heroes

True. For the most part. But you can always leave us treats. 😁


amanuense t1_jdpnli8 wrote

Sadly not possible in my office. Janitors are not allowed to touch anything unless it has to be cleaned or thrown away. One of them told me they couldn't accept stuff from the engineers just in case someone thought they stole it.


could_use_a_snack t1_jdps1yz wrote

A sticky note on the trash can saying 'thanks for keeping my area clean' works too.


TooSoonTurtle t1_jdpq31g wrote

To be fair most companies don't employ their own custodians. They would contract a facility management organization which would handle all the custodians, groundskeepers, HVAC maintenance etc.


could_use_a_snack t1_jdps85m wrote

That's true, but they are still worth noticing. Without them you'd have to clean up after yourself. Lol.


thehim t1_jdop4y9 wrote

Software companies also have a lot of compliance folks, and legal teams to make sure they’re following the laws in the all the countries they operate. They also often have in-house data science/R&D teams that crunch numbers and help the company make decisions about how to innovate


hawkxp71 t1_jdph2vm wrote

You downplayed sales. My bet it's one of indeeds biggest groups,


hurricane14 t1_jdpk08w wrote

My first thought also. And no one in this thread mentioned product and engineering yet. OP might be right that you could launch an initial app with 10 people. But when your site gets big it takes a lot of work to maintain, let alone improve it. A lot of work goes into building the features of the application over time


Xannin t1_jdptv6z wrote

The comment at the top of this chain mentions engineering.


blankgazez t1_jdp4zrb wrote

Accounts payable, accounts recoverable, collections… they are a for profit business


pdfrg t1_jdpoc06 wrote

Middle managers. Lots and lots of middle managers, lol


fuzzypastels t1_jdpmteo wrote

To add some more details job board companies like Indeed will also have client facing teams with data analysts and client success managers who provide support to the companies who use their platform. Part of their product is being able to explain to their clients trends, provide guidance on job posting verbiage, show data on how well their postings are doing etc.


superstition40 t1_jdpuefy wrote

Yes, I think the role would be called something like 'account manager'


garublador t1_jdpbqqr wrote

As far as I know, Indeed is moving or has moved their tech infrastructure to AWS so they won't need the hardware to run the software. That doesn't invalidate your point, though. It does mean they need all of the engineers to migrate all that stuff off the internally managed hardware, too.


thunder_struck85 t1_jdpeszl wrote

Nah, all their hardware is likely someone else's hardware. All that shit is on the cloud now.


m0le t1_jdpld0u wrote

Sadly, it doesn't magically maintain itself.

Far too many business owners seem to think they're going to make huge staff savings ifnthey move to the cloud, and are surprised when that doesn't happen.


thunder_struck85 t1_jdpq66z wrote

Actually, it does. That's the point of going to the cloud. You maintain your software, but you don't maintain the hardware. You just pay for it.

I know. It's what I do for a living. People downvoting my first comment have no clue how it works, clearly.


m0le t1_jdpt1nj wrote

The hardware maintenance costs have been the least of your problems as an IT department for a very long time. You could bung off the shelf servers into colo racks and basically forget about them. All moving to the cloud has done is replace the emergency alert from your colo provider with a "the cloud is experiencing issues" message from your cloud provider (reliability and resilience may well have significantly improved, or may not depending on your cloud provider). Yes, you don't have to plan for new hardware every few years, but the cost of the that is small next to the cost of renting compute from the big cloud vendors. Even the dedicated staff planning out your hardware strategy have not gone anywhere, they've just become the staff planning cloud strategy.

Maintenance of the software has always been the biggest pain in the arse, and that is usually not particularly outsourcable.


50MillionChickens t1_jdpymr1 wrote

I have 30 years in the industry on both sides of this and radically disagree with this. Cloud computing is not free in money or service but it has fundamentally reduced tech and HR and service costs over the pre-cloud years when you had whole teams devoted to nothing but running a server farm, managing hardware, environments, cables, connections, internal networks, comms and goddamn telephonic.

Cloud computing changed all of that. Sure, the BiG Box hosts still have their centers to manage and your tech team needs Cloud expertise. But outsourcing the hardware and 90% of networking issues has made IT a much better management environment for the end user.

It's much less of a wild west week out there for tech teams. Now, just don't go unplugging those mega centers and we'll be fine. :-)


thunder_struck85 t1_jdqigc2 wrote

No, they have not been the "least of your problems". It's actually a big problem especially for a lot of legacy applications running on ancient stuff like mainframes that companies often had to hire special staff to keep running.

Migrating to the cloud has solved so many of those problems.

Of course it has created new ones, but that's not the scope of this discussion. This discussion was about maintaining hardware only. Not cost.


m0le t1_jdqj6oc wrote

Converting mainframe stuff to cloud is... nontrivial at best. If it were easy, it'd be off the mainframe and on something cheaper, because MIPS are horrifyingly expensive on every mainframe I've used. I've worked a lot on really legacy hardware (everything from a VAX cluster that's still in production to this day through Tandem nonstops to relatively recent IBM Z series stuff) and shifting loads to standard x86 hardware is never straightforward.


thunder_struck85 t1_jdqkkdv wrote

Again, you continue to confuse separate issues as one issue. Whether it is trivial or inexpensive or difficult is completely irrelevant to the discussion that spawned this comment chain.

The discussion that spawned this comment chain was simply hardware maintenance in the cloud. And the answer is there is none. You pay a premium to have someone do that for you. That's it.

Everything else is a completely different discussion


phryan t1_jdprbck wrote

This will be unpopular but I'd say that having 2,000 employees that are easily disposed of is also a result of upper management of a startup not understanding how to staff a company.


For your example hardware can generally be outsourced, once an organization reaches the point that owning hardware is cheaper outsourcing services like HR/Payroll is still more effective. However startups are often run by inexperienced management that can't min/max. When times get tough they pull in a consulting firm that make some recommendations that end up with a few thousand layed off.

I'll add consulting firms are a waste of time, a google search and 60 minutes will give you the same advice as a consulting firm. And the consulting firm will charge $1 mill plus easily.


clarityreality t1_jdp71ii wrote

The website is just the user interface. Google is a website. So is reddit. The complexity of the underlying domain and features will determine the size of the team necessary to maintain it.


JackalopeZero t1_jdowyao wrote

Here are some of just the roles required to produce quality software: front end dev, back end dev, QA, project manager, scrum master, dev ops, designer, UX/UI, android dev, iOS dev. That’s your average “squad”. A mid-large software as a service company will have maybe 5-10 squads. That’s not even including everything outside of the tech such as advertising, hr, higher up managers and such


psyolus t1_jdpgt5p wrote

Wait until you hear about how many people work at Facebook. The systems behind websites are more complicated than you think.


nyold t1_jdpo1ai wrote

OP probably thought that you can come up with a "website and an android app and IOS app" with 3-10 ppl because it's "just programming". Sure, get 3-10 really smart programmers and you can get a website, an android app and an IOS app. But that app won't be near the quality / polish of Indeed.


RikenVorkovin t1_jdpqela wrote

Yeah these are the people who come to my website building business and expect us to develop a app and integrate it into the website for them.

People have no idea what the difference between web design and asset creation is and whether they overlap or not.


EIRE48 t1_jdq3avu wrote

Well could you explain this like we are 5 then?? What's the difference? Do they overlap? Which is more complex?


RikenVorkovin t1_jdqpi7j wrote

Some of them literally say to explain things that way to them.


RedditBeginAgain t1_jdpaijj wrote

How does any business that operates machinery have so many employees? If your core business is machinery that stamps metal into widgets it does not follow that you need one guy to turn the machine on at 9am, then off at 5pm. You need to design them, you need to repair them, you need to update them, you need to clean them, you need humans to react every time something unpredictable happens. Then once you have more than a handful of employees, you need hr, bookkeeping, office maintenance, and management to coordinate all that.

Also, a business like indeed is going to employ a huge number of salespeople to sell listings and recruiters to try to fill them. Regardless of what you've heard, websites are not magic money machines that effortlessly operate at a profit once built. They are just a way of interacting with your human customers who still bring all the issues human customers bring.


buildyourown t1_jdoxwvj wrote

They aren't just a website. They are also headhunters. Companies pay them to find employees


ba1993 t1_jdpetps wrote

Sales people make up a huge population of the tech workforce, especially in tech that isn’t “niche” which is most tech


BraveNewCurrency t1_jdpnkrb wrote

Looks are deceiving.

It is possible to create a website or app with one person, but there is a limit to the complexity.

For example, just glancing at the Indeed website:

  • They need engineers to maintain their codebase. For a site like this, it might easily be over a million lines of code. (There is a lot of functionality you can't see, like internal auditing and management systems, in order to prevent legal problems -- see below.)
  • They need engineers to maintain their servers.
  • They need people to write content in the Career Guide.
  • They need database administrators to tune, backup and monitor their databases -- often geo-replicated around the world.
  • They need security engineers to prevent hackers from taking all this valuable personal data they have collected.
  • They need employees to "answer the phone" when their customers have problems.
  • They need employees to work with companies and the schools to find out their needs.
  • They need lots of people to keep spam out of their various databases (schools, jobs, training, resumes, etc)
  • They may need employees to verify companies aren't scamming personal data.
  • They need HR, Finance, Legal, etc. Legal is probably especially big, since they need to know the hiring laws in every country and every state. (Did you know it's perfectly legal to age discriminate in most states, as long as it's not against someone over 40?)

KyeeLim t1_jdpq1ei wrote

Mainly because there's not only just development team in a "website".

  • If a company wants to have this application be connected to a server, a server cost money to buy/host and run, so now we need account department.

  • Hosting a service 24/7 would means we would need people to maintain the server so it can stay up for 99% of the times.

  • Now we need our source of income for paying our staff, We would need someone to deal with advertisement and such.

  • Alright, we want to make sure our "website" to not get sued by someone for stupid reason, we would have to hire a legal team to deal with that.

  • What if someone encounter some issue while using our services, our development team are way too busy for that, customer support it is.

  • Hire new employees, too busy to be dealt by anyone, HR department it is.

  • Our "website" will store our user's sensitive data, better to hire a dedicated security department for that.

and there's more, all of these can't just simply be dealt by just 3 to 10 people.


blipsman t1_jdphidf wrote

Large scale companies have much more complex websites, have graphic designers, front end coders, back end programmers, UX designers to build the websites, and multiple of each role because there is a lot of changes being made, tests being run, issues being fixed. There are also IT people managing the servers or AWS/Azure environment, managing databases, cybersecurity, etc. and people who monitor sites, run analytics, and such.

Then there are tons of sales people/account reps working with companies to manage profiles and set up job listings, tons of support people screening job postings, providing customer service to job seekers.

Then there are the roles all companies have — marketing departments, accounting department, HR, legal, IT and such…


Plane_Pea5434 t1_jdplndt wrote

What you need to remember is that it’s not a website it’s a company that uses the website to sell ads, and that company’s needs a lot of manpower for sales, accounting, software development, maintenance, as well as the infrastructure that supports the website like data centres


DunderThunder t1_jdptk2w wrote

There will be at least 200+ account managers selling job adverts to businesses and managing the postings for the website. ( I used to work for a competitor)

You'll have then a marketing and comms team to generate natural sales.

HR, office managers for their physical locations, tech staff, developers etc....

It adds up very quickly to lots of staff.


incrementality t1_jdpxmrp wrote

Let's consider the few ways Indeed makes money:

  • Premium job listings
  • Allow employers to access resume database
  • Targeted ads
  • Indeed hiring events

So let's look at tech stack since Indeed is a platform company. Each of these streams are pretty distinct and will require different tech infrastructure. Each tech stack will have unique front/mid/backend requirements. A lot of work will sit here on the shoulders of the tech team on finding the most cost-efficient method to scale this to millions of users. People are also accessing this platform via different means (mobile/web) so this adds on to complexity.

And who's going to sell the services? You're going to need Sales & Marketing teams to think of customer funnel strategies to get these employers onboard. Once they are onboard, you're going to need people to service these accounts. These companies can be considered the supply side of the equation.

But which employer is going to upload their job listing or pay to access resume database if there's no prospective employee browsing or uploading their resumes? You're going to need another similar team here to take care on the demand side. There needs to be a lot of work done to get people convinced that uploading their resume and job searching on Indeed is going to be worth their time.

Recruiting is also one of those things that can turn into a complete shitshow with cross-region regulations. Indeed obviously doesn't only operate in the US, so just imagine the amount of countries it wants to sell into, and the different amount of employer regulations it needs to keep abreast on. The team here needs to be very, very solid to avoid regulatory risks.

Want to run a multi-national business? Better make sure your corporate functions are solid too then. Here lies your unsung heroes, finance folks, office ops, HR, the people making sure your IT equipment are available and functional when you're working from some remote place on the planet... list goes on.


Sol_Hando t1_jdoxi54 wrote

In a fast growing company, all of the people seemed necessary at one point or another. When Indeed was growing, and there were significant numbers job-seekers looking for a place to work who were not using Indeed, then adding features, advertising, expansion of facilities, maintenance, etc. made a lot of sense.

Markets are limited in size though, there are only so many useful features that can be added, new leads to acquire, etc. so eventually, usually when growth slows, a large number of people are being employed without much to do. A classic example of this was twitter, which if you've heard some of the stories from ex-employees required 2-4 hours a week in remote work by their programmers. Mass firings might signal negative financial health in a company, so any executive who suggests it would need to be up against a wall. It's much easier to keep hiring at all costs if you're in charge.

At one point all those employees had something to do, and probably were very productive, but employees have a lot of incentive to "seem" like they have a lot to do, so it might take a while before management realizes 90% of their workforce is working less than half the time.


CO_PC_Parts t1_jdpkdkx wrote

I work for one of their direct competitors and we have 500 or so employees so quite a few less than them. We run fairly efficient but there are dedicated teams to match, sales, marketing, content, and then the various sections of our site and our apps. Our leadership is very adamant that we will not face layoffs as we mainly didn’t over hire like most companies did 2 years ago. Could we cut some fat? Of course everyone can.


SuitEnvironmental903 t1_jdpmshd wrote

I haven’t seen anyone say this but they have a massive legal department (remote positions all over the country). Labor/Employment and litigation are the two legal departments Ive seen postings for, but I know there are many others


sidnumair t1_jdpxc4u wrote

The "website" by itself isn't really what makes them the money, it's being a middle man for connecting job seeker with employers.

For that, they have large teams to sell their services to employers, account teams to manage the relationship of employers, customer service teams to help employers with any issues they see.


portra315 t1_jdq2mgw wrote

The simplest explanation I can provide is that it is not a "website", it is a "company" that provides a lot of their services to their customers on a "website".

They are a global company. They need people who know those countries in order to operate there.

The people who build the website are one group of people responsible for managing the company. Who designs the website? Who manages the projects they are working on? Who pays for all of those people? Who interviews new people that they need? Who works in the customer service department? Who sells the services they provide to other clients or companies? Who services their office spaces? Who ensures facilities are restocked for their office workers?

It is a company.


rlfrlf t1_jdq3o4t wrote

No, it’s a recruitment based large multinational business with all the complexities that come with that. With a lot of their clients “cutting their cloth to measure” they need to do the same.


johrnjohrn t1_jdpvcg1 wrote

I worked for a website that had hundreds of employees. The development department probably had two dozen. Some were database devs, some were user interface devs, some were "full stack" devs, which I understand to mean they can do it all. There were people working on strictly search engine optimization. There were folks working strictly on improving the search function. That was only the dev team. The IT team was in charge of the company infrastructure like internet, servers, computers, networking, security, etc. The finance team had probably 15 people max during my time there. This company sold physical merchandise internationally from three fulfillment centers. There was a logistics team and all the fulfillment centers had dozens of employees. There was a customer service department with a couple dozen employees. There was a creative department that made content for the website. So, sound guy, film guys, editors. There was a legal department, an HR department, a product development team, a marketing team, a graphic design team, content writers, data analysts, so on.

That company was doing about $120 million per year and roughly about 300 total employees during my time there. So you can just scale those numbers up or down depending on the revenue of the company to get some idea of how personnel can grow and shrink.


dazb84 t1_jdq51by wrote

If you apply your same line of thinking to a physical store then why does any company have more staff than the cashier? The point is that a company consists of way more than just what you interact with directly.

You need staff to clean, staff to provide support for other staff, whether that's catering, technical, or anything else. You need staff to ensure that your operations are not violating any local or national laws. You need to break the company up into smaller units in order to be manageable and you need management staff for those units. The list goes on and scales up as the size of the company grows - especially so when it's an internationally operating company.


armahillo t1_jdrks1y wrote

How does a “building” have so many employees?


mozzamo t1_jdq00tz wrote

To the people saying that websites need a load of staff to run, this is baloney - especially for something like indeed. Truth is these companies scaled way too much and then realised they were hugely overstaffed.


therealdilbert t1_jdouxxu wrote

if you are a cynic, lots of people not doing much, keeping people from working at competitors, employees won't tell the world that the company isn't that great, as long as you are hiring more people you can convince investors that company is doing great and growing so the company will grow in value


moumous87 t1_jdpawo0 wrote

Honestly, I think the same as you. Maybe not 10 people, but even being generous, it would be below 500 people. The thing is, when these companies get funding, they start hiring more than they need.

So while before you had maybe 3 FE devs, now you have a whole team. Before you had only one Product Manager, now you have a “Product Owners Team”. Before you had 1 QA, then 1 QA per team, and now a whole QA team. And the same goes for marketing, UI/UX designers, and of course HR and accounting. Where the numbers really blow up out of proportion is IT and Marketing.