I agree with the letter from Michael Webb in the Oct. 18 edition of InformationWeek. Imagine you're a smart high school student near the top of your class. Why would you ever spend $100,000 and four years preparing for a career in a field where 5% to 10% of the jobs are being lost every year? And if you do this and are lucky enough to win the "job lottery," you'll still be judged as a slacker because you don't produce 10 times as much work as your overseas co-workers, but you cost the company 10 times as much as they do.
The big companies decry the shortage of talent coming our of our universities, but they cry crocodile tears. They're overjoyed that U.S. students are avoiding the IT field, because it allows them to accelerate the moving of jobs. These companies have created their own reality, and they love it.
TKCB Group, Verona, N.J.
Focus On U.S. Workers
Your Sept. 6 issue extolled the wonders of offshoring, and your Oct. 18 issue stated that the quota for H-1B visas was exhausted by Oct. 1 ("Cap On H-1B Visas Quota Reached"). I see a paradox here. Let's wake up, folks. A healthy national economy requires a healthy national workforce.
Computer Training Coordinator, Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit
High Cost Of Complexity
Recently, I've come to notice an ever-spiraling complexity in the object-oriented systems we're attempting to integrate these days, whether J2EE or .Net based ("Looking For Patterns," Sept. 27, 2004).
The latest IDC report on the success of J2EE projects is dismal. Not only has all of this methodology not improved things, our integration success rate has continued to spiral down.
We need to start asking fundamental questions about cost, complexity, and tangible benefits, particularly with respect to what's best for the customer. For example, why do large insurance companies still get along with Visual Basic and a large central database? In many of these IT environments, a serious project lasts only a few days. They have no time for endless training, overpriced specialists, and failed projects.
Senior Design Specialist, BAE Systems, San Diego
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