Big Tech Lay-offs, Winter 2023
Jan 20th, 2023 by miki

So, recession is here making local and global companies alike feel the heat. Changes in consumer behaviour affects especially the global tech companies very quickly because of the way they have almost completely gobbled up all marketing spending of every seller and reseller with any digital outlet presence.

As the digital advertising chain is decoupled from anything physical this ripples from consumer spending to impacting big tech revenue with immense speed. This, of course will affect how these companies use their resources, and the workforce needed to run their businesses.

To try to quantify what is happening to global tech companies’ workforce, I’ve collected some numbers and below is a chart illustrating the announced lay-offs in nine prominent big tech companies as of 2023-01-20. On this day, Google announced their reduction of 12’000 “roles” which triggered me to look into this.

Note some trends;

  • the lower headcounts, the higher relative lay-offs
    suggesting that bigger companies have equity and willingness to opt keeping more of the workforce/knowledge
  • Tesla and Cisco seems to have chosen a different strategy as their ratio a considerably lower than similar sized companies
    Tesla’s reluctance to lay-off hourly paid production workers (suggestion that production is regarded as a more severe bottleneck than development) is probably a factor in this

Download spread sheet in ODS format

Numbers and Sources

Lay-off Summaries

Itches to Scratch
Mar 30th, 2014 by miki

“Every good work of software starts by scratching a developer’s personal itch.”

Eric S. Raymond, “The Cathedral and the Bazaar” (@Goodreads)

The above quotes the first lesson from Eric S. Raymond‘s (ESR) essay/book “The Cathedral and the Bazaar (link to full book, summary at Wikipedia), which has become a kind of bible within the FOSS ecosystem (also nicknamed CatB). In his text Eric investigates motivations and social organisation of free and open source software projects. Itches are known initiators of many both large projects and minor changes to FOSS software. Itches, and the scratching of those by developers in the FOSS community, highlights a FOSS software user’s right to access, modify and redistribute the source codes behind FOSS software. With access to the underlying source code of FOSS software, a developer is able to scratch an itch, and is usually very motivated by this, because it often is a very personal itch.

You can listen to an audio recording of Eric elaborating about the central topics of CatB in a recording from a talk at Linux Kongress all the way back to May 22th 1997 17:15 CEST (48k MP3, 96k MP3):

My Itches

I’ve long been trying to keep a list of itches I want to scratch in free software projects/products. Realizing that most of these were lost in transit in the chaotic neuron mess of my brain, my intention now is to, also,  keep track of them textually using the mechanisms of this site.

This effort will be an ongoing, and probably ever expanding, mix of my private personal itches and itches related to and spun-off from my software development work done as a professional embedded developer, but still personal itches.

You can head over to the static page at and take a look at my past and present itches.

EDIT 2021-08-24: add prominent quote source, add GR quote link, add CatB main page link, add para. with audio recording, minor copyediting

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© 2023 Mikkel Kirkgaard Nielsen, contents CC BY-SA 4.0