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No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say 401

sabri writes To have a labor shortage or not to have, that's the question. According to the San Jose Mercury News: Last month, three tech advocacy groups launched a labor boycott against Infosys, IBM and the global staffing and consulting company ManpowerGroup, citing a "pattern of excluding U.S. workers from job openings on U.S soil." They say Manpower, for example, last year posted U.S. job openings in India but not in the United States." "It's getting pretty frustrating when you can't compete on salary for a skilled job," said Rich Hajinlian, a veteran computer programmer from the Boston area. "You hear references all the time that these big companies ... can't find skilled workers. I am a skilled worker."
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No Shortage In Tech Workers, Advocacy Groups Say

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 06, 2014 @07:46PM (#47395879)

    The US is awash in certain kinds of skilled tech workers: Java programmers, web programmers, iOS app programmers, and more. It's not hard to find them, nor is there any kind of shortage.

    But for more complex work, the best qualified workers are from overseas. Go look in any US comp-sci graduate program, and try to find the Americans. Go ahead, I'll wait.

    Back? How many did you find? 10%? 20% And from my experience interviewing them, they are often not the cream of the crop. Don't get me wrong, there are some really top notch American students coming out of graduate programs, but that's the exception, not the rule. If you want a deep understanding of theory, rather than another Java coder, it's hard to find that in the US. Not impossible. Just hard.

  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @07:52PM (#47395919)

    To employ people for $5,000 and sell products to people who make $80,000.

    They do not see the fundamental problem.

    It will resolve itself. Wages in china and india are up to $5,000 now and still doubling every 2-4 years (lower wages doubling faster).

    Of course, that leaves the problem of robotics- which right now- today- can do work for less than poverty level wages in most of the world- and are only getting better an cheaper.

    Robot repair jobs are two orders of magnitude less (1 worker and robots replaces 1000 workers). Automated procedures is replacing most of the thinking jobs.

    The only jobs left will be "creative" jobs. Where the creative part of your jobs is less than half of your job- look for outsourcing. And about, oh, at least half of the global population isn't well suited for creative jobs since they are (by definition) below average intelligence.

    Either a free stuff utopia or some kind of really terrible future is just down the road.
    Hopefully after I'm dead of course.

  • by blue trane ( 110704 ) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @08:02PM (#47395979) Homepage Journal

    Free stuff utopia. Government provides a basic income to all who want it, financed at zero cost through the Fed. Biz pays whatever low wages it wants so there's no wage-price spiral. Challenges stimulate individuals to innovate disruptively on their own without having to work for a business (unless they want to). Standards of living rise faster, there is more leisure time, and poverty is eliminated.

  • by Octorian ( 14086 ) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @08:12PM (#47396019) Homepage

    With many of these odd job descriptions you speak of, I suspect many of them are cases where said company has already identified the specific individual they want to get an H-1B visa for. So this is essentially a copy of their unique resume. They just need to publicly post the job to fulfill a legal requirement before they can get them the visa.

  • by war4peace ( 1628283 ) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @09:03PM (#47396289)

    Total BS. I'd take a American IT worker with an inflated ego over a corporate bean counter any day. I've been in the IT field since 1979, and trust me, I'm an expert in my speciality. They might be able to replace me with someone and pay then 1/2 of what I make, but they're not going to get my skillset.

    Do you realize you just confirmed what GP's saying?

    "Trust me, I'm THAT good".
    "No foreigner has my skillset".
    "I'm an expert".

    Seen quite a few people with exactly those statements who were smashed from a skillset perspective by some guy whose name one needs half a day to spell properly (e.g. Kumar Bheemasandralakshminarayana).
    Never say never.

    On a more general note, more often than not people substitute a thick accent with lack of intelligence. "He can't speak English very well therefore he's dumb". They couldn't be further from the truth.

  • Re:Not to worry (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @09:41PM (#47396503) Homepage

    Dear silly grad. your skills in C# are worthless.

    Want to make really good money? Learn how to manage an AS400 completely. There are incredibly few that can and there are a LARGE number of companies still using them. So you can demand $65.00 an hour.

    Hell my company pays a guy $160 an hour to come in for 10 hours a week to work on our systems. HE WORKS 10 HOURS A WEEK and takes home $1600.

    Those of you going into CS are morons, Supporting old tech that companies will not upgrade is where the real money is at.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 06, 2014 @09:43PM (#47396507)

    But that said I have a great problem with how HR and hiring is done. They make a huge list of experience requirements. News flash- we geeks figure stuff out fast! I just taught myself Visual Basic (quickly). All I need is a goal and I figure things out (well).

    In my experience, ordinary people (non-geeks) are totally incapable of learning. They can be trained to do specific tasks but will never figure things out on their own. HR and hiring managers only know how to hire ordinary people and cannot comprehend anyone else. You will fail every interview if you say you can "figure stuff out fast" because the interviewers will assume you are lying.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 06, 2014 @09:55PM (#47396605)

    I have to call BS on that one. I live in Austin, and when I needed decent programmers for a startup business, I went to a couple nearby colleges and talked with the CS faculty. After the profs asked for students who were interested in their classes, I got a list of names of students, then approached them about a job request part-time.

    Yes, they were untested and were college students, but when I offered them more than the minimum wage and the ability to code from home, I got the talent I needed.

    I would say it took some time to get things going, but I ended up with a dev team that was very solid and whose code quality was as good as any other non-NASA organization.

    To boot, the cost and aggravation it took me was very little. I've seen what it takes to get a H-1B (unless you had connections), and even with paying the college students far more than minimum wage part-time, I made out far better than other places that went the offshoring/outsourcing route. College students are diamonds in the rough.

    Just look around. Check the local schools and colleges. Don't expect Infosys or Tata to fly in your talent on a silver platter.

  • by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @09:57PM (#47396627) Homepage Journal

    That is a common problem, nationwide today. When companies go bankrupt, it seldom has anything to do with the employees. That is especially true when there is no union to protect incompetent or lazy employees. Companies tank every day it seems - and management always cites problems caused by employees. That is true in high tech, low tech, and everything in between.

    We just experienced a takeover. Call it hostile, or not - fact is, management ran the company into the ground in a number of ways. A decade of neglect in maintenance resulted in a number of machines that require overhauls costing nearly half of their new purchase price. The new owners certainly don't WANT to spend that money, but they are spending.

    Quality control? The company's weakest point - we simply don't have people qualified to read micrometers or calipers. They find parts that don't guage, and immediately QC calls on maintenance and tooling to "fix it". Well - fuck me running - I can't fix an incompetent fool who can't read a precision measuring instrument! But, the new owners are almost as bad as the old - they won't HIRE qualified personnel to read those instruments! They seem to believe that a ten dollar employee off of the street can do the job of a thirty or fifty dollar trained and experienced person! The QC people aren't even the best of the people available - the jobs are put up for bid, and the people with the flappiest gums get the job. Bidding? Might as well just admit that nepotism rules, and not bother with the bidding process.

    To put things in perspective - the old owners had plants in 5 different states. Each of the other plants consistently lost money. Our plant consistently MADE MONEY, despite mismanagement. Quarter after quarter, the accountants posted profits from our plant. In effect, we carried four other money losing plants for years. The owners could never bring themselves to unload the money losers, instead taking the profits we earned to shore up the other plants. They followed that policy until bankruptcy put them out of the game completely.

    How much more incompetent can any group of managers be?

  • by exomondo ( 1725132 ) on Sunday July 06, 2014 @10:44PM (#47396863)

    A bean counter, I doubt it.

    I think understanding that downtime costs money is exactly the thing a "bean counter" would know.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 06, 2014 @10:50PM (#47396893)

    Maybe CO is a bubble, but from what I see there is a MASSVE shortage of people. My company tried for almost a year to find good tech people. Begged, scrounged, tried to poach, nada. The jobs may not be the best paying, ~$120k/year, but that's pretty decent I think. 6/10 applicants are Indians, 2/10 are chinese and 2/10 are American. I've been involved in some of the interviewing, searching, hiring, ...

    Out of those,
    The Chinese folks seem to have their ducks in a row. They ain't great on the innovation part and you have to spent a LOT of time steering them, but at least they work hard.

    The Indians spend most of their time emailing management about how awesome they (the Indians) are, rather than doing any actual work.

    The Americans seem to be stuck in the glory days of post-WWII when America didn't have any real competition (rest of the world was smoldering ashes) so they now seem allergic to the concept of hard work. Ladies and Gentlemen, office/IT/tech work does not mean you don't have to WORK! and no, you are not harder workers than the rest of the world or more innovative or more irreplacable. Get off your asses!, > 2 hrs of real work a day is NOT asking too much. Crist, walk around and all you see is facebook or amazon accounts on people's machines.

    It's awful! It took a full year to finally find just a couple good people. We also picked up some fresh grads and interns (looking towards the future), but greenhornes take several years to spin up.

    You know the funny/frustrating part? The resume's of 9/10 of those above will be about 80% the same. Everyone thinks they have unique skills, but honestly, you don't. Showing that you can actually work hard sets you apart, but precious few people actually go that route.

    No, I'm not management. I'm just another tech geek. Lest you think otherwise, all that above applies to management as much as it does to workers.
    Yes, I'm anonymous because I have coworkers who browse here and I don't want to get hassled.

    Hate it if you want, ignore it if you want, agree with it if you want, that's what I see in my corner of the US.

  • by Cyberax ( 705495 ) on Monday July 07, 2014 @04:23AM (#47397897)
    We're paying a general market rate here (Palo Alto) plus ~20% and it's STILL hard to find good developers because of the competition with companies like Google. And if you're willing to work with people remotely then why not just do it overseas?

May all your PUSHes be POPped.