Strategic CIO // Team Building & Staffing
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3/6/2013
06:16 PM
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
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IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?

Employers press for H-1B increases, while job hunters say searches seem designed to rule out U.S. workers. Is there really an IT talent shortage??

 Big Data Analytics Masters Degrees: 20 Top Programs
Big Data Analytics Masters Degrees: 20 Top Programs
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There either is or isn't a technical talent shortage in the U.S. To hear corporate leaders tell it, America's woeful inability to educate enough students in science, technology, engineering and math has left U.S. companies with a dangerously shallow talent pool.

Arguably, this shortage is at least partially the result of past outsourcing, which has been discouraging U.S. students from pursuing IT careers.

Among the solutions advocated by the management class is expansion of the H-1B visa program, which aims "to help employers who cannot otherwise obtain needed business skills and abilities from the U.S. workforce by authorizing the temporary employment of qualified individuals who are not otherwise authorized to work in the United States," as the U.S. Department of Labor puts it.

[ Can the two sides ever agree on this issue? Read Immigration Reform: Find The Middle Ground. ]

Tech companies insist they cannot hire the talent they need. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said as much last week in a statement on Code.org. And Laszlo Bock, SVP of people operations at Google, said this in a statement in January: "[A]t a time when the U.S. economy needs it most, our immigration policies are stifling innovation. The 2013 cap for the H-1B visas that allow foreign high skilled talent to work temporarily in the U.S. was exhausted by June 2012, preventing tech companies from recruiting some of the world's brightest minds."

The recently introduced Immigration Innovation Act of 2013 intends to raise the H-1B visa cap, among other immigration law changes.

But a talent shortage might just be another way of describing an unwillingness to pay market rates for talent. As Peter Cappelli, professor of management and director of the Center for Human Resources at the Wharton School, put it in The Wall Street Journal back in October, 2011, "Some of the complaints about skill shortages boil down to the fact that employers can't get candidates to accept jobs at the wages offered. That's an affordability problem, not a skill shortage."

Although the record high set this week by the Dow Jones Industrial Average suggests a return of economic optimism, the U.S. unemployment rate is still not low enough to prevent jobs seekers in the U.S. -- particularly those trained in technical skills -- from resenting the fact that employers are looking to hire people from outside the country.

Norman Matloff, professor of computer science at the University of California in Davis, contends that foreign IT workers are popular with companies because they are de facto indentured servants. Foreign workers do not have the same rights as U.S. workers: For example, if they're being sponsored for a green card, they cannot quit and seek work at another company without resetting the green card process.

Foreign workers brought to the U.S. under these restrictions are participating in a form of human trafficking. Instead of sexual bondage, it's intellectual restraint.

Keeping workers from accepting better offers elsewhere is hugely important to technology companies, because the departure of key personnel from a project can set the project back months or more.

"If you have this urgent project going on in your company, you don't want an engineer to leave you in the lurch by going to another company," said Matloff in a phone interview. "With an American employee, there's no way to stop that. With a foreign employee, if he or she is sponsored for a green card, he or she is basically stuck."

Shackling technical talent is so important that Adobe Systems, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit and Pixar had agreements for several years not to hire employees away from one another, until the U.S. Department of Justice forced the companies to stop with the threat of an antitrust lawsuit. The department didn't manage, however, to get any of those companies to admit to wrongdoing.

Testifying earlier this week on behalf of IEEE-USA, a group representing more than 200,000 technical professionals and students, Bruce Morrison told a Congressional immigration policy subcommittee that the talent needs of U.S. companies would be better served by deregulating the process by which employers sponsor new hires for permanent residency. This would allow foreign workers to participate in the talent market on a more equitable basis.

"If an employer is willing to pay a substantial fee to sponsor a skilled foreign worker for a green card -- which means he or she can quit if they are underpaid -- that is solid evidence the employer actually needs the worker's skills," he said in prepared remarks. "But if an employer is only willing to pay a fee for a worker who cannot quit without going back to the beginning of the green card process, that indicates the employer is more interested in the indentured character of the visa, than in the worker's skills."

Beyond the objection to treating foreign workers as indentured servants, critics of the H-1B program see it as an enabler of age discrimination.

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vbierschwale
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vbierschwale,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 4:30:02 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
There is one way to stop all of this nonsense and Keep America At Work

Tell your story on this page.

http://keepamericaatwork.com/a...

When millions have told similar stories, corporations and political representatives will no longer be able to hide from the truth.
$28018109
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$28018109,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 4:32:48 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?

The record high set this week by the Dow Jones Industrial Average means that Most Corporations And Their Largest Stockholders are doing well: it speaks nothing of the employment opportunities for American IT professionals and for other American workers. The assumption that the stock market is a leading indicator of U.S. employment trends is an outdated assumption.

The solution to fixing the H-1B visa is not to fix it at all but rather to replace it with an auction-based system backed up with workplace enforcement and E-Verify. The Programmers Guild has advocated this type of thing in the past. The Hamilton Project is advocating this type of thing now. The Hamilton Project is a policy organization that includes the following members among many others:
Robert E. Rubin, Former U.S. Treasury Secretary
Richard Gephardt, former Congressman
Laura Tyson, the President's National Economic Adviser (1995 G㢠1996)
Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google Inc.

Very recent paper:
"Overhauling the Temporary Work Visa System"
http://www.hamiltonproject.org...

"The proposed system uses market-based auctions to allocate temporary permits that allow employers to hire foreign workers. An employer who purchases a permit effectively purchases the right to hire a foreign worker for a specified period. The foreign worker selected for that job, in turn, receives a temporary worker visa after passing a background check, and will be fully mobile across employers who own permits. The employer can resell the permit in a secondary market if the foreign worker leaves that job. These auctions would first be implemented to replace the current H-1B, H-2A, and H-2B visa programs, and would ultimately replace most of the current temporary employment-based immigration system. To succeed, the auctions need to be accompanied by increased workplace enforcement, such as mandating that all employers use E-Verify."

moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
3/9/2013 | 12:59:33 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
I agree with the Dow Jones index comment. About 10% of Americans hold 80% of the US stock. So a rise in the Dow Jones only means that the rich get richer. And maybe not even that because the Dow Jones is not adjusted for inflation. After transferring the index to reality it isn't as great as mainstream media makes it look like. But who cares about facts these days.....
builder7
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builder7,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 5:28:24 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Yes, for so many years the American public believed that the stockholders owned these companies. They own the premium stock that gets paid first in case of a great loss. Not only that but they have control of the company and they are able to use this stockholder money any way that they want. It is mainly a gamble on the part of the public that they can be invested in a company that will make them some money. Now, these companies have figured out how to pay this money out, but then to get it all back by working in unison with other monied interests to cause recessions and other damage to not only the American economy, but the world economy!
$28018109
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$28018109,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 4:40:00 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?

The record high set this week by the Dow Jones Industrial Average means that Most Corporations And Their Largest Stockholders are doing well: it speaks nothing of the employment opportunities for American IT professionals and for other American workers. The assumption that the stock market is a leading indicator of U.S. employment trends is an outdated assumption.

The solution to fixing the H-1B visa is not to fix it at all but rather to replace it with an auction-based system backed up with workplace enforcement and E-Verify. The Programmers Guild has advocated this type of thing in the past. The Hamilton Project is advocating this kind of thing now. The Hamilton Project is a policy organization that includes the following members among many others:
Robert E. Rubin, Former U.S. Treasury Secretary
Richard Gephardt, former Congressman
Laura Tyson, the President's National Economic Adviser (1995 G㢠1996)
Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google Inc.

Very recent paper:
"Overhauling the Temporary Work Visa System"

"The proposed system uses market-based auctions to allocate temporary permits that allow employers to hire foreign workers. An employer who purchases a permit effectively purchases the right to hire a foreign worker for a specified period. The foreign worker selected for that job, in turn, receives a temporary worker visa after passing a background check, and will be fully mobile across employers who own permits. The employer can resell the permit in a secondary market if the foreign worker leaves that job. These auctions would first be implemented to replace the current H-1B, H-2A, and H-2B visa programs, and would ultimately replace most of the current temporary employment-based immigration system. To succeed, the auctions need to be accompanied by increased workplace enforcement, such as mandating that all employers use E-Verify."

Melanie Rodier
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Melanie Rodier,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 5:46:31 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
That's unbelievable that Adobe Systems, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit and Pixar had agreements not to hire employees away from one another. How unfair from an employee's point of view. I can understand not allowing a major competitor to poach for six months or another period of time, but this sounds completely over the top and putting a major roadblock on an employee's career path.
$28018109
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$28018109,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 6:11:38 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
These companies cannot be trusted to regulate themselves, and their claims regarding workers, visas, offshoring, and other matters cannot be trusted without verification. This has been proven out many times. Even within the past few days the European Union fined Microsoft $733 million for breaking a legal commitment to offer personal computer users a choice of Internet browsers when they install the Windows operating system. The EU Commission's top competition regulator, Joaquin Almunia, conceded that the Commission had been "naive" in appointing Microsoft itself to oversee compliance with the agreement, and said the Commission wonGăÍt allow that in the future.
Wakjob2
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Wakjob2,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 4:45:37 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Everything was fine in the economy until we deregulated. Regulations in place since the great depression were removed in the late 90s by Clinton, including Glass-Steagal. And including immigration restrictions and regulations which were dismantled in 1990, 1998, and 2001. Then all hell broke loose. Regulation is necessary because without it greedy corporations and robber barrons will always put their self-interest first ahead of everyone else.
Wakjob2
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Wakjob2,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 4:43:29 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
It's called collusion and it's illegal.
builder7
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builder7,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 5:30:58 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
These politicians say that we are a nation of laws when they are locking up millions for using drugs, but they do not enforce the laws on immigration, regulations (except against the little guy), or collusion. The game is fixed and the government is in on it now!
SAuge
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SAuge,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 5:52:28 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Eh. Just don't plan on IT or programming as a viable career anymore. If it isn't the H-1Bs, it's the off-shoring.
builder7
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builder7,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 8:28:33 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Hey, wait a minute, don't you know any IT people that want to make $7 an hour?
bdonley225
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bdonley225,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 6:07:54 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Salaries are based on demand. Right now the IT shortage, which does exist, has caused salaries to be unreasonably high (supply and demand). A programmer can make six figures just a few years out of school. That is unsustainable! There is a reason that the majority of IT projects fail. Lack of SKILLED IT professionals. People are forced to pay unrealistic rates to less-than-adequate developers.

I highly suggest the author do more research or outsource the work to someone that knows what they are talking about.
builder7
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builder7,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 8:30:34 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Why don't they hire most of the people who are 'just a few years out of school'? I can see that you haven't been there done that, and if you have you are part of the minority of people who have graduated college with an IT or computer science degree!
bdonley225
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bdonley225,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 8:36:50 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
There are no excuses for an IT professional to complain about their job or pay in today's job market. The economy is in the tank and we are still able to get jobs. That should tell you something. If you feel like you are not being fairly compensated or are having a difficult time finding a job, move or find a new career! I haven't been in the job market for over four years and I still receive calls from recruiters almost every day.
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
3/9/2013 | 1:03:27 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
It is not so much a matter of pay, it is a problem of getting a job in the first place. The salaries reflect the relative skill set and the cost of living in the region. And if the income does not secure the outcome then the job is not worth taking, especially when competing with low cost slave labor.
I also have yet to see an entry level programming job paying six figures outside of NYC and even there you are hard pressed to find that. So please, if you have proof that there is such a thing post it here.
Wakjob2
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Wakjob2,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 4:53:10 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
This is about more than $ and cost. This is about dino-elites feeling threatened by an information system they can't control - and thus they have the need to kill the profession that created it so they can get their power back.
John80224
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John80224,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 9:01:51 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Are the salaries unreasonably high or is there supply and demand? If the latter does exist and there is a shortage, supplies should be climbing. And where can programmers make 100K shortly after school? Silicon Valley and Manhattan don't count. I'm a mainstream tech, lead experience, well-received developer in a mid-market, tech-leaning city and I still am only flirting with that. The locations I suspect you are speaking of are their own, largely self-created nightmare microcosms and now they're asking the national policies to change to bail out their own blind eye toward the realities of incubators.
_
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_,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 1:42:46 AM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
you should change your id to baloney225 - you're full of sh*t..there's only a shortage cheap turd-world workers..
Wakjob2
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Wakjob2,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 4:52:02 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
There is no shortage - 30 millions Americans are out of work, many of whom have PhDs and are working at Staples. Many of whom helped create Silicon valley. The US labor market is so massively oversupplied right now, wages have been stagnant for close to 10 years. In fact, most wages are going down.

Lawyers make $400/hr and they seem to be sustainable.

Stock brokers make $1 million a year and that seems to be sustainable.

Specialist doctors make $250-$400/hr and that seems to be sustainable.

Congress people make $175,000 a year even though they are incompetent and that seems to be sustainable.

But a programmer who works 80 hour weeks and creates a product that brings in $5-$20 million for his company, if he gets paid $100K OH THAT'S UNSUSTAINABLE.

Why isn't everyone else' pay being cut too from exhorbitant levels? Most CPAs make $100/hr. Why do they get to make $100/hr for pushing paper but programmers working 80 hours week don't?

Why are only IT jobs being targeted as overpaid?

You can't have it both ways.

I've written 20 commercial software products including at Apple, Sony, and Hitachi (I worked on PlayStation at Sony).

I've also turned around several troubled software projects and made them massively successful.

Yet I am still unemployed. Obviously I'm skilled enough.

We've been importing MILLIONS of supposed geniuses from India or 15 years and we've still got all these failures? I'd say blame the millions of imports who didn't perform as promised, not American developers. Indians are running IT today, not Americans. Put the blame where it belongs.

Time to deport the non-performers.
builder7
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builder7,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 10:35:56 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
You mean that companies undercut potential good programmers with offshored our H1B visa people, primarily from India. How can you sit there and say that a person can not make so much money, but on the other hand say that there is a right to free enterprise? What do you think this is when somebody invests at least 4 years and a hundred thousand dollars for school (loans, lost income, spent savings, parents money) so that they can work for some ungrateful corporations who thinks that they are a bunch of cows to be herded, with about as much sense as them! The only thing that the last election did is make everybody aware of the situation!
Mark
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Mark,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/5/2013 | 10:15:25 AM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Look buddy, I graduated nearly at the top of my class, in EE/CS, in 2002. Have submitted my resume thousands of times to tech firms that claim to be looking to hire. I can count the replies to my applications on my fingers. There is no shortage of talent, or skill. There is a huge glut which is made even worse by the H-1B visa. The majority of IT projects fail because talented people like myself and my peers are being left on the sidelines while less than competent talent, usually on H-1B, is being hired in our places.
Mark532010
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Mark532010,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 6:12:32 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
I like how the beginning of the article companies complain, "Tech companies insist they cannot hire the talent they need" and then on this page they complain, "human resources departments need some way of filtering the deluge of resumes they receive." - as you state, its not a problem of finding the talent, they just don't want to pay.

As someone who has 33 years computer experience (I started with 4.7mhz IBM-PC's with cassette drives) I was astonished at how uninterested companies were with my experience when I started a job search and how low the salaries were.
builder7
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builder7,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 8:31:29 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
They don't want you, they want somebody from India or China! Or anywhere else but here!
Wakjob2
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Wakjob2,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 4:59:41 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Dumb American managers have drunk the NASSCOM/Super-Asian Kool-Aid and hire these dummies left and right then wonder why all their projects fail. Americans invented IT and the economy was booming in 1998 before these foreign wannabes got here. The list of companies destroyed by Indians and Chinese is a mile long including Bell Labs, Sun Micro, and PeopleSoft, just to name a few.
builder7
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builder7,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 5:47:07 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Of course, we will probably never know if they are destroying it because of ineptness and philosophy, or because they want to destroy the U.S. piece by piece!
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
3/9/2013 | 1:05:45 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
It depends on how you presented your skills. Today nobody cares if you can operate "4.7mhz IBM-PC's with cassette drives"...and the plural is quite different from the possessive.
So which currently sought after skills do you have? Did you continue learning new things?
Wakjob2
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Wakjob2,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 5:01:12 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
I've written 13 iOS apps in the App Store, wrote software at Apple, Sony, and Hitachi, including for PlayStation at Sony. Guess I'm not skilled enough.....

Is Objective-C, Cocoa, Xcode, good enough? Guess those are obsolete skills not in demand as Apple ships 100 million iOS devices a year.
voster
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voster,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/14/2013 | 4:38:45 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Maybe you really are not skilled enough for the jobs you are seeking?

The vast majority of software workers in America are still Americans. It is still dominated by Americans. So if they seem to be doing okay, maybe it's time to look inwards, rather than outwards for the root cause of your predicaments?

Obviously, I can't claim to know you that well, but right off the bat I won't immediately call your CV impressive. You also need to align your pay and seniority expectations with your CV.
elleno
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elleno,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 6:16:59 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
H1-B visas are one of the biggest scams going in the US. Here is how it works:

1. Claim you need a specific IT skill set - the more obscure the better.
2. Carry out a perfunctory search in the US, but unfortunately the skill is not available.
3. Use the above facts to justify the need and apply for H1-B visas
4. Eventually when the Indian recruits arrive, well the initial need is no longer there...., but nobody who is at the political / legal level understands that. (Or, indeed whether the initial demand really ever existed.)

And voila! New cheap coders appear.

As someone who has worked with many IT companies, lived in Koramangla, Bangalore while recruiting technical staff for the US and watched the above scenario play out over and over I can assure you it is all too real. American software companies complain about a situation they themselves created.

No wonder US business is so hated. They shaft American workers, undercut IT pay in the US and bring in foreign workers simply to (arguably) save a few dollars year after year.

(An equally egregious situation exists in US universities. Half of technical post-grads are non-American. Bursaries and scholarships are extensively available for them. For Americans, not so much. Unless Americans have suffered a mysterious decline in intelligence in the last few years there is clearly something else at play here.)

I should add that I am not American. Just someone who watches with fascination as a previously successful country economically damages itself and its citizens by crazy misguided policies: a poisonous combination of political correctness, political ineptness and greed.
builder7
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builder7,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 8:33:47 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
I agree completely, but I do think that they are not bringing in foreign workers to save a few dollars, but to destroy our way of life so that ours is like India or China or the myriad of other countries that they do business in.
dbell947
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dbell947,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 9:35:38 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Hit the nail on the head! Well said. I.T. job searching is like the old SNL Billy Goat Tavern skit. Instead of "Cheezborger," it's "Cheep Coder." Wanna worker here? We need cheap coder... under 40k .. under 40 age. OOA/OOD? Data science? Analytics? No! Cheap coder cheap coder.. 43? No. Under 40. Over 50k per year? Funny joke! Under 40! Continuing training in I.T.? Own dime, own time... no problem. Cheap coder ... Cheap coder. Health care plan? OK. Don't get sick! Cheap coder cheap coder.. No Pepsi...
Wakjob2
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Wakjob2,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 5:02:49 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Dino-elites feel threatened by IT and the internet because it's a system of information they can't control and don't understand. Plus we create economic booms that enable people to make a lot of $ and pay off their debt. If you're able to pay cash for cars and houses like in the late 90s then you don't need a LOAN from a bank do you? And since our country is controlled and run by bankers, all American IT workers and high salaries are a threat to the bankers. QED.
builder7
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builder7,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 5:23:38 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
You are right and that is exactly what neo-classical, voodoo, 'conservative' economics is all about. It is where bankers control the money and the economy and every 10 years or so they abscond with as much money as they can steal - legally. We used to use this system in the U.S. before the great depression when it was called classical economics. Laissez-Faire is a theoretical concept that does not actually exist in reality and has nothing to do with classical economics. The main reason that they quit using this system and went to a more controlled, scientific system was that there was a big depression about every 10 or 15 years where everybody lost all of their money. This is where hiding money under the mattress and you can't trust banks sayings came from. The conservatives today are just pure money that is worldwide in scope and they are like a giant vacuum cleaner that will suck up every bit of money that you have if they can. IT workers were paid a heck of a lot more in the 1990's than they are now too, when we also didn't have an overabundance of them.
_
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_,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 1:41:47 AM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
you said it/couldn't be explained more eloquently...H1b needs to end right F-ing now !!!!
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
3/7/2013 | 6:39:45 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
I find the program manager interview anecdote quite instructive. It speaks volumes about this process.

Also, at the end of the day, it can be hard to tell when you have invested too much time in a job search that is going nowhere. As the New York Times reported Wednesday, the job interview process, across a variety of industries, is taking longer than it used to. Then often, the position gets yanked, doesn't get filled at all, then gets reposted, and the interview process starts again.

I bet many IT pros reading this have had that experience.

Laurianne McLaughlin
InformationWeek

ANON1234369798209
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ANON1234369798209,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 7:31:49 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Part of the problem is the cost of ad space - essentially free. With paid space, you only posted the required skills and lived with human imperfections. Now, ads ask for 8-5 hours among overcrowded cities with excessive travel times, handsome traits, and excellent speaking skills - for a hard core developer. While this is a single missing shingle on the roof, it contributes to the problematic hiring process...
Let's ignore asking 30k/year for 15+ years experience...
john ru
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john ru,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 7:34:37 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
My experience (IT Architect) has been somewhat different. I haven't run into the "Purple Squirrel" syndrome as much, but I HAVE had companies go into analysis paralysis. Especially last year, as a consultant / contractor, I had many interviews but more often than not nothing came of them - and the position stayed open. Odd

I have had a number of companies try serious low-ball offers. Those started early Q3 last year. Although the single most bizarre occurrence has been Indian outsourcing firms. I've been contacted by 5, some repeatedly, and am currently on a 1099 to one (who's asked me about going FTE). It's been a interestingly easy experience - very straightforward on what their rate is, their overhead, and what they can pay me (which was reasonable). They pay within days of getting my invoice. There _IS_ an obscene, and I mean obscene, amount of bureaucracy to get anything done, but aside from that - really not bad at all.

I'm saddened to hear the stories about programming, I've been thinking about going back. I really liked coding more than what I'm doing now...
Wakjob2
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Wakjob2,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 5:06:04 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
A lot of companies are posting fake job ads just so they can say they interviewed Americans while the whole time they are employing cheap foreign workers or shipping the jobs offshore.
dbell947
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dbell947,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 8:45:49 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Laurianne. Definitely have had that experience many times. I came into computer science from a health science/statistician background with grad degrees and publications too. During my last "revolving door" series of interviews, I came to learn of the rule of "Under 40 times 2" (i.e., under 40 years old for under 40k per year salary) that trips the "hey, let's see if we can get this person on a H1B or just outsource it" flag. This coming from an "informal" interview plus the cost of a few single malt scotches with an interviewer I saw previously. Corporations spend (er.. "invest") much time and money playing the outsourcing/H1B game. The poor USA educated I.T. pro sap gets treated to the real rules of getting hired in I.T. It's like the house odds in Vegas. The house always wins. So I'm going back to direct health care practice, and leaving the I.T. casino.
Wakjob2
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Wakjob2,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 5:04:59 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Yeah, job searches tend to take longer when you have a massively oversupplied labor force and 30 million people out of work. The solution is to stop oversupplying the labor force - stop importing more foreign workers and send those already here home. After all in 1998 and 2001 that was the original agreement anyway - they would only be here for Y2K and then go home in 2002 when it was over.

A decade later they are not only still here, but they have taken over and are deliberately denying jobs to Americans.
Steve Naidamast
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Steve Naidamast,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 7:13:11 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
What the author is pointing out has been a long time complaint with most hi-tech companies as it has been with corporations in general who whine that without paying their CEOs astronomical salaries they too will not be able to acquire the highest talent into their management ranks.

Both have been consistently proven to be nothing more than self-serving propaganda that has no basis in reality. But then again, most management teams do not operate in the "real world" but instead in the George W. Bush world of reality-based creation.

Outsourcing has also been consistently proven to have been the motivation for younger, highly talented students to turn from the sciences and engineering to the complete nonsense of business and financial management courses both of which were the bane of my student years for any who engaged in such frivolous pursuits. Both courses in addition to education (which I never understood) were considered programs for "loser" students who couldn't do anything else.

Fast forward to 2013 and the "losers" are running everything and now they are complaining they cannot get quality IT talent. They have only themselves to blame.

It is just as true that many senior personnel in the IT field left because they had no desire to change their expertise from the older technologies to the newer ones. However, companies also did not provide much incentive to do so with the way corporate education programs have been gutted along with poor project planning in general.

With the numbers of unemployed people in the United States there are more than enough qualified personnel in this labor pool to pick from that could either be re-trained or motivated to re-enter the Information Technology field professionally. However corporations in the US today are not interested in doing anything that subtracts from their bottom-line. The result is they look elsewhere for cheap labor with the excuse that no such labor exists in the United States.

The other interesting thing is that recent studies have shown that foreign labor is not nearly as good as US technical personnel. And my own experiences has shown this to be true with the second wave of technical personnel from India, who were actually described in one of these reports. So it is quite true then that you get what you pay for.

Whatever the companies are complaining about they have either created the situations themselves and\or ignored the realities of running business concerns properly. If they can't get what they believe to be qualified labor then, in a word, "tough". There is plenty they can do about it without having to resort to such programs as H-1B visas...

Steve Naidamast
Sr. Software Engineer/Military Analyst
David Berlind
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David Berlind,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/8/2013 | 3:39:13 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Steve,

I agree with most of what you say. But I do have a slight issue with this paragraph:

"It is just as true that many senior personnel in the IT field left because they had no desire to change their expertise from the older technologies to the newer ones. However, companies also did not provide much incentive to do so with the way corporate education programs have been gutted along with poor project planning in general."

I do think it is important for companies to continue investing in their employees and keeping their skillsets relevant. However, I also believe that, ultimately, it's up to the employee to be responsible for their own lives. At some point, you have to read the tea-leaves (spot the trends) and recognize that different skills will be required down the line. Again, I think companies should support continuing education for their staff. But, that doesn't absolve the employee from not taking matters into their own hands in an effort to maintain their marketability.
twins.fan
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twins.fan,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/8/2013 | 5:21:54 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Of course it is up to the US worker! Why did they go to college to study STEM disciplines? They studied to get a career. Most workers want to study new technologies, but in some technologies, Corporate America says NO, US STEM workers need not apply. Corporate America does that just like IBM does with Websphere. The price to learn Websphere from IBM is $15,000 if you are a US STEM worker, while IBM is paying Indian workers to learn Websphere. Then once the Indian worker is trained, the Indian workers are off to the US on an H-1B visa, an L-1 visa, a B-1 visa or one of the other visas in the alphabet box.
voster
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voster,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/14/2013 | 4:44:59 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Why would Corporate America be willing to pay the exact same cost to train an Indian worker? They don't save any money that way?
Jed Davis
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Jed Davis,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 7:41:32 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
There is both an IT shortage AND a purple squirrel hunt. I can tell you from the perspective of a long time IT recruiter that I can't get enough qualified applicants in my pipeline, but the key word is *qualified*. We are still working with an employer base that in, large part, seeks someone who walks on water and brings their own water. The opposing side of that is a candidate base that isn't necessarily committed to skill improvement *by any means necessary*. In other words, if the employer won't pay, they won't expand. The greatest challenge to any IT professional is when your earning curve exceeds your learning curve. My best advice to anyone in the IT world is to focus on marketability and NOT on money. The reason being that if you are not paid your market value, but have marketable skills, employers will be lined up to bring you up to speed financially. The greater danger lies in those whose salary now exceeds their market value. These are the folks that are feeling the greatest pain in this recession.
twins.fan
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twins.fan,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/8/2013 | 2:01:44 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
As I explained to you in the comment that preceded yours, Corporate America is behind the scenes engineering shortages when they exist.

As I said, in my previous post, the cost is not only in time, the cost is a significant amount of money to the US STEM workers that ultimately ends up in the corporations' pockets. As the example in my previous post demonstrates, the cost of learning Websphere is $15,000 for five weeks of training. That $15,000 goes into IBM's pockets.

That is half the story, actually less than half the story. The other part of the story is what happens when the US STEM worker spends months of time and thousands and thousands of dollars to become trained, what happens when that technology goes obsolete? The US STEM worker has to come up with another $10,000 or $15,000 to pay corporate America to become trained again, and again, and again. That is unless you live in India in which case Corporate America will pay you to learn.

What happens when you train yourself in Struts, or Struts 2, or Google's GWT?! The answer is that you will have to retrain, because those technologies are QUICKLY becoming obsolete to even newer technologies.
dbell947
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dbell947,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 8:07:07 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
I have had many years of I.T. and computer science/health care analytical/direct clinical experience and education. Several publications. However, the last 4 firms I interviewed called me back for 6 to 9 times without any job offers. The last one told me very informally and off the record that there was really no job to be had, and that they were just surveying the talent field and wanted "an exact fit" for positions. They also told me of the informal rule of "Under 40 times 2." That meant under 40 years old and under 40K per year compensation without benefits. They can get that if they use an H1B worker when they cry "tech skills shortage!!"
So that is real world. Not hypothetical. Skills shortage is not complicated. There are plenty of third world countries where big firms train the local population to take and pass certification exams for free or near free (they cost USA citizens tens of thousands of dollars). Then make workers available for shipment to USA at low cost to employers where they can apply the Under 40 times 2 rule quite easily. I got that info from many who came from other countries to here. Americans don't know that money never sleeps. It gets invested. Just not here. So why should USA students even think of STEM education?
builder7
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builder7,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 8:27:13 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
There are plenty of people in the U.S. that have degrees in computer science, MIS, and other pursuits that are compatible with IT that they do not need to get any outside help or outsource, which is what they do more than H1B. Some of the largest companies that do IT work in the U.S. are from India, but what they mainly do is bring in people who cut the wage. Companies hire them to run their IT departments of do a project and they bring many people from their home country that do not need an H1B because they already work for the company. Companies here in the U.S. also do not want to train people, except for what they have to, so there is a lack of skilled people. That is the primary reason for this. IT is overloaded with people! It is time that we stopped the outsourcing and the H1B's and let Americans work, but I don't believe that these congressmen stand behind the people in this country!
MrSolo
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MrSolo,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 9:59:11 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Virtually the entire H-1B visa issue is a hoax. Having been in engineering and IT for many years, I have worked with thousands of U.S. born techies who are absolutely briliiant and very productive. U.S. based tech giants and the like who complain about a shortage of qualified candidates are literally shirking their obligation to invest in and nurture home grown talent, which the last time I looked, was in great abundance. What these whiners really want to do is replace the U.S. crop with foreigners, plain and simple. The interesting thing about that is that the foreigners they want to hire through a relaxed H-1B visa program already know what the intentions of these chronically complaining employers are. So, who's fooling who?
SouthRoad
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SouthRoad,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/8/2013 | 5:37:04 AM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Actually it seems that the skills shortage is actually being caused by the H1-B program. They have been replacing so many highly skilled Americans with H1-B holders who completely lie on their resumes that now what remains is a skills shortage. Increasing the number of H1-B's issued will only increase the skills shortage, because face it, anybody who really knows what is going on can see the downward spiral.

In a way, let them bring more fake resumes from the so called "brilliant minds". It will only make the problem worse, and possibly create more opportunities for the few people left who really have the skills.

In fact based on what I've seen, some corporations are so overrun with unqualified H1-B workers that the company itself is on the verge of collapse, and they are too stupid to see it what's happening to them. In a way, this is darwinism doing its job. Soon the parasites will kill their host.
_
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_,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 1:39:28 AM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
100000%, more H1b's will only cause the faux "shortage" problem to get worse, as if there was a real shortage problem. End H1b now, it's complete bullshit and it has ALWAYS been about depressing wages. Why is it that more than 1/2 of the H1B's are used by indian outsourcing companies ? They aren't looking to foster entrepreneurs or create citizens, THEY ARE LOOKING FOR CHEAP-ASS LABOR !!!
twins.fan
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twins.fan,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/8/2013 | 1:15:50 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Like no other profession, US STEM workers are in a mode of constant retraining during their careers. Colleges and universities cannot prepare STEM workers for technologies yet to be created. Colleges and universities train STEM workers in the fundamentals that will HOPEFULLY withstand changes in technology. Then US STEM workers are on their own to acquire skills in transient technologies that are here and gone in a few years.

That said, the US STEM worker knows that and is constantly trying to acquire training, but Corporate America does not want US STEM workers. Corporate America is actively ENGINEERING skills shortages. Corporate America erects insurmountable financial barriers that prevents US STEM workers from acquiring training for new technologies, for which a corporation has exclusive access, while simultaneously not only providing training to Indian workers for free, Corporate America is actually paying Indian workers to learn.

One technology for which Corporate America claims there is a shortage is Websphere, a technology which IBM has recently bought. Learning Websphere only requires five weeks of training, but IBM wants the US STEM worker to fork over $15,000 to IBM for that five weeks of training. Now if you live in India, IBM will not only train you for free, IBM will pay you to learn and then ship you to the US on an H-1B visa, and pocket the differential in the pay of a US STEM worker and a cheap, disposable worker from India.

Take Spring which is owned by VMware. If you are a US STEM worker the cost of training and certification is almost $3000 per certification, which requires a week of training. To become employable, you need around three certifications, almost $9,000. Now if you live in India, Corporate America will pay you to learn and then ship you to the US on an H-1B visa, an L-1 visa, or a B-1 visa.

Don't buy these crocodile tears of Corporate America! The only time that there ever is a skills shortage, FOLLOW THE MONEY! Corporate America is ENGINEERING the skills shortage.
Indian_H1B
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Indian_H1B,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/8/2013 | 2:37:50 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Draw a line through the middle of the H-1B pool that divides the high skilled from the low skilled workers.

The low skilled pool is basically a bunch of 20-something Indian IT bodyshoppers that do $90k IT jobs for $50k and are absolutely displacing average American workers. The average American STEM worker who complains about the H-1B is impacted by this set, though they will peanut butter the entire H-1B program as the American version of the potato famine.

The second, more highly skilled set of H-1Bs is usually almost all workers who received their college/graduate degrees in the US. They likely start at nothing lower than $75k (when I last moved employers on H-1B, I was offered ~$155k though half my graduate school and business school class is making more than me). This is the bunch that Zuckerberg/Gates/Bock want to retain in the US. The following is what gets interesting. 80-90% of this bunch often seek to immigrate to the US and here is where the green card process can end up being a mechanism for indentured servitude. Depending on your nationality, it can take more than 10 years to get a greencard during which time you need to essentially work for the same employer. One could hence make the argument that these H-1Bs have lower bargaining power with their employers since they are dependent on them for greencards. In my experience, the argument makes sense, but it fortunately not borne out by actual occurrences. Given the business spotlight that Google/Facebook/Microsoft find themselves in, they cannot afford scandal surrounding inequitable employee treatment.

2 steps to improve immediately:
- Eliminate the use of the the H-1B for the first set since it is almost 100% cannibalistic.
- Retain the use of the H-1B for the second set since it could be 100% incremental, but only when you disengage the greencard process from the employer.
twins.fan
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twins.fan,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/8/2013 | 3:45:00 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
If you want to draw a line between the high skilled workers and the low skilled workers, I doubt that many individuals would be on the high skilled side but we don't have the data necessary to draw that line.

If we want to draw the line between those that are "Fully Competent" and NOT "Fully Competent" the GAO has given us that data. The line between those that are Fully Competent and NOT would put 94% of the H-1B visa recipients on the NOT "Fully Competent" side and 6% of the H-1B visa recipients on the "Fully Competent" side. How many of those who are "Fully Competent" are actually "highly skilled" too? I guess that would be up to debate. It would be how lenient you are in your qualification of "highly skilled".

I am guessing that if you would draw a line between the H-1B visa recipients that are "high skilled" and "low skilled" probably 1% being high skilled and 99% being low skilled would be accurate.
_
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_,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 1:37:33 AM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
why do H1bs' even have any right to come here - no matter what they make or how "smart" they are if American citizens - the one's determine policy here in the U.S. - don't want them? Why don't indians concentrate on fixing their own country, and don't be so concerned with our labor policy here in the U.S. If india was such a great place and managed properly so that there were plenty of jobs their for tech workers, no one would even be having this argument. Stay home visa
Wakjob2
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Wakjob2,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 5:44:51 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Title 8, Section 1182 INADMISSIBLE ALIENS says ALL foreign workers are illegal and inelligible to work in US as long as Americans are out of work. IT'S THE LAW. Start suing companies that deny you jobs and hire illegals under this law since all of them are illegal.
Mark
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Mark,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/5/2013 | 10:21:16 AM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
H-1B's at $155k are exceedingly rare.
MyW0r1d
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MyW0r1d,
User Rank: Strategist
3/8/2013 | 3:05:11 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
H1B is and always has been only a justification to lower labor costs. The funding provided to administer the program, administrative costs of the companies, and the other hidden costs if provided instead for study grants or scholarships would eliminate the presumed STEM shortage and increase the american IT knowledge pool of resources. Why can't this be done? The unstated corporate asseration that americans are not as intellectually capable as their foreign counterparts to grasp the material and the fact they would be eliminating their source of cheap labor. They can't accuse the US educational system because many of these H1B candidates were educated in US institutions. Frankly, I've always found this assertion by corporate america offensive and they should admit it is simply a cost containment mechanism.
Indian_H1B
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Indian_H1B,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/8/2013 | 3:25:14 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Don't take it so personally! The US represents <5% of the world and its abilities are distributed along a normal distribution/. The remaining 95% of the world is also distributed on a normal distribution and it likely has a substantial number of people at the 98th percentile and beyond. If the US has a neat mechanism for harnessing this 2% pool and the pool has enough people willing to immigrate to the US, on average, you can assume they will be much smarter than the average American STEM worker. It's just statistics and no amount of American bravado can do a damn thing about it.
twins.fan
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twins.fan,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/8/2013 | 3:54:58 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Oh I see, you believe that the skills were distributed normally, huh? We just have bravado, huh? You are going to save us, huh?

I hope you don't take it personally, but the 5% of the world's population in which US STEM workers exist, they created this technology. The 95% of the world's population in which the rest of the world exists is moving into our 5% of the world and in doing so are mocking, taunting and smearing the people that created this technology.

Hey, I got an idea! Why not develop YOUR technology in the rest of the planet where the other 95% lives where you are not faced with immigration and work visas and objections from US workers who are not happy with your being here?

But don't take it personally.
voster
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voster,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/14/2013 | 4:54:45 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
A lot of the technology that you claim as American-made had in fact, a lot of contribution from immigrants. So your point is quite moot.
MyW0r1d
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MyW0r1d,
User Rank: Strategist
3/11/2013 | 3:16:54 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
I don't take anything personally Indian_H1B, but I have worked a number of years internationally and fully understand that an individual from a society with a high rate of unemployment and low wage scale will do everything possible to justify his H1B job. I understand also that many have highly subsized higher education benefits from socialized governments where the average US student will carry student loans for years afterward and that this prospect prevents some from pursuing high education. Next time, please state the source of your statistics, as is they sound exaggerated to me (what basis for the <5% population, production, ...)
Bill_Kennedy
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Bill_Kennedy,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/8/2013 | 6:05:53 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
The biggest supporters of H1-B are India, China, Russia, etc. They're not worried about losing their 'geniuses' to the US. These countries are behind us, and sending their engineers and programmers to the US enables them to be trained in the latest technologies, and help transfer that technology to their low-wage countries for production. Our corporations get to hire cheaper workers in those countries, and are allowed to operate in them in exchange for the technology transferred.

When H1-B began more than two decades ago, we absolutely dominated world high-tech especially software. We had a job-creating monster economy with manageable debt. You be the judge of who has profited most since. The only gainers in the US are the wealthy corporations, who have exploited the cheap labor.
Bill_Kennedy
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Bill_Kennedy,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/8/2013 | 6:07:23 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
This will give some idea of how eager major American corporations are to win the goodwill of China's rulers by transferring technology and production there:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06...

WASHINGTON Gă÷ A Canadian subsidiary of the Connecticut-based military contractor the United Technologies Corporation pleaded guilty on Thursday to federal charges that it had illegally helped the Chinese government develop an attack helicopter now in service there.

... It is being mass produced in China...

Technology for the engines, the authorities said, had originally been created for United States military helicopters.

According to the settlement, Pratt & Whitney Canada pleaded guilty to illegally exporting to China the American military software used to operate the engines.

Pratt & Whitney Canada Găúanticipated that its work on the Z-10 military attack helicopter in China would open the door to a far more lucrative civilian helicopter market in ChinaGăą that may have been worth $2 billion to the company, according to the Justice Department.
voster
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voster,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/14/2013 | 5:01:32 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
A lot of the immigrants eventually settled in the U.S., so I doubt technology transfer is such a big contributor. The vast majority of startups in China and Russia are by locally-trained engineers, or U.S. university grads that went home immediately after without taking an H-1B.

Add to that the fact that electronics and IT were technologies that experienced a lot of development in the 80s outside the U.S. and a lot of the diffusion of skills in countries apart from the U.S. are down to external developments.

Also, just because your lost dominance correlates with an increase in the numbers of immigrant workers doesn't mean there is causation. American dominance in the automobile industry was lost even without the "scourge" of immigrants. The world is very much capable of developing technologies and skills without everything needing to emanate America. To assume such is a fallacy.

Remember also that two decades ago, when you claim that there was "dominance", there was already a significant proportion of software workers not being American-born.

Unless you can come up with the numbers of how many immigrant workers in the Valley went home, it is very hard to prove a "brain drain" of sorts.
Bill_Kennedy
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Bill_Kennedy,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/8/2013 | 7:06:04 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Recent events have caused everyone to realize that US business and government computer networks are poorly defended against hostile attack. What makes such attacks far more dangerous is having trusted insiders onsite. H1-Bs in general have no great reason to be loyal to the US, as they spend 6 years working, often exploited, before they maybe get a green card. China is the second biggest user of H1-B, and Russia is also a major user.

"ChinaGăÍs intelligence services, as well as private companies, frequently seek to exploit Chinese citizens or people with family ties to China who can use their insider access to U.S. corporate networks to steal trade secrets using thumb drives or e-mail, according to a report by the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/...
braya
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braya,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/8/2013 | 7:16:14 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Shortage or Not, it is what America Inc. wants it to be.

We should learn to live with it or live a lifetime of angst, frustration & hang ups. I suggest we accept the reality of greed and move on or you could re-strategize and find a niche on the current game.

If you attempt to analyze and make sense of it all, it will just make it worse.
twins.fan
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twins.fan,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/9/2013 | 4:04:38 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Last year, HP laid off 39,000 STEM workers that bought into that logic. Now HP is on the forefront lobbying for more foreign workers by expanding the H-1B visa.

No doubt there were a bunch of those 39,000 workers that were comfortable in their position, that felt safe and protected, that ignored the signs of trouble, that sat silent when one of their subordinates was replaced with an H-1B visa recipient. They sat silent and now they are on the outside looking in, wondering what they could have done differently.

When you give up, you lose. I am not giving up!
braya
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braya,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/14/2013 | 4:04:09 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
if i you think it's worth half your lifetime, be my guest..
_
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_,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 1:33:00 AM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
we will - and we're not looking for your approval
_
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_,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 1:32:26 AM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
oh, I get it, American STEM workers should just give up and fork over what they've worked to accomplish, we should all train our replacements and learn to love the H1b visa...how's your visa work out for you ? Sounds like you live in some fairty tale land, either that or you should move to india, we'll all be glad to pitch in and buy you a one-way ticket there..
MWEGMAN000
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MWEGMAN000,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/9/2013 | 4:26:03 AM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
I keep my assault rifle oiled and ready to go the day this country becomes total chaos. Been keeping a list of names of CEO's, CIO's, politician's, etc. because the day all h breaks loose I'm going hunting. It's new age, the French did it with a guillotine, today it's an AK-47. Pay back time!
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
3/9/2013 | 12:57:06 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
One thing not noticed by anyone in the article is that there is also the option for companies to train the talent they need. They will not get the skills from anyone for brand new tech unless that person worked on creating that tech.
The rules should be changed that before applying to H1B visa companies need to show that they hired candidates and trained them, but still are short on talent. And to help that along by quite a bit increase the H1B application fees by at least a factor of 50 if not more. If a company truly needs the talent to stay competitive then investing in that talent will be an expense that has to be made. The ridiculously low H1B application fees are the main reason why this program gets abused that much. It costs a company just a few thousand bucks to import a slave from India or other places.
twins.fan
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twins.fan,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/9/2013 | 3:53:50 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
In some cases, it is not a matter of being trained by the corporation, training is simply not even an option. Training that is being made available to Indian workers simply is not being made available to US STEM workers, those Indian workers that are being groomed to come to the US on an H-1B visa, an L-1 visa, a B-1 visa, etc.

Corporate America is erecting insurmountable barriers preventing US workers from being trained, while simultaneously PAYING Indian workers to be trained.
Mark
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Mark,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/5/2013 | 10:23:54 AM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Its not even training. There are fully competent workers who apply to these jobs who aren't even interviewed. Because there's a glut. Or because they don't want to give the new hire a week to read a book on the differences between DOS 3.2 and DOS 3.3.
voster
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voster,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/14/2013 | 5:04:19 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Training is a widely used option. Consider that only a portion of the 65,000 are IT workers, the IT industry still needs hundreds of thousands of IT workers to fulfil their needs. H-1Bs form only a drop in the ocean. So the vast majority still needs training and does get it.
Tom Mariner
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Tom Mariner,
User Rank: Strategist
3/9/2013 | 4:21:29 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Of course there is age discrimination in all of tech! Even with the extreme election-winning focus on most forms of discrimination as an incentive to vote for a candidate, age is curiously left out. Its as if "old guys" (no, not leaving out the other gender, its from MIB) don't keep up with today's happenings in IC's, cloud, HTML5, Samsung S4, Note 3, newer forms of Agile development, mobile, BYOD, etc. And, of course, write off a lifetime of experience making the same mistakes that those with big credentials, but are chronologically challenged, are about to make.

Then there's the question of "degrees". In the dark ages of computing and networking and IC, etc. there were NO academic courses available -- as great as our institutions of higher learning are, they are often behind the invention / commercialization curve in course development. OK, I'm a CDP from the DPMA -- Anybody?? Answer -- a Certified Data Processor from the Data Processing Managers Association -- how's that as an anachronistic term for "IT"?

H1B's -- we live in a world-wide environment as everybody in IT that connects through a gazillion routers to far flung users knows. Now that we (in theory) have parity in wages for our foreign visitors, the question of cheaper wages is diminished, so yes we are down to simple discrimination based on when one was born. I think that is not only as wrong as not listening to somebody because of their race or national heritage, but is blatantly stupid -- If you don't value somebody who is both "experienced" and up to the femptosecond on IT and tech, you have no interest in beating the snot out of your competition -- or providing your organization with the true asset great IT can be.
Greg MacSweeney
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Greg MacSweeney,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/11/2013 | 11:20:34 AM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Excellent article, Tom. Executives at most companies preach transparency, but actually provide very little honest transparency to worker -- either the corporate strategy, or the hiring process. This is especially true in the hiring process and most HR execs will reference confidentiality laws. However, as mentioned in the article, this should change. Without transparency (especially on a topic as hot as H-1B visas), workers start to mistrust their employers (even if the employer is acting faithfully).
jtimberlake940
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jtimberlake940,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/13/2013 | 4:23:52 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
This so called shortage of educated workforce is a myth and a big lie and what seems to be happening is they keeping telling the same lie and lie over and over and it becomes the truth because the propaganda machine is working over time so that they can keep costs lower by keeping H1B visa pipeline and India is producing vast number of substandard workers at a feverish pace but willing to learn and work real hard for low wages. I have seen lot of American workers with real knownledge and experience but find it hard to get jobs in the IT industry because the wages are so low and they just can't lower themselves to be exploited by these powerful and big corporations. As for as our politicians are concerned , they are available to any one who is willing to fund their election campaign and life style.
sthomas170
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sthomas170,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/14/2013 | 9:18:54 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
It's quite interesting reading all the comments here. I can only go by what I have observered and my own personal experiences. I have graduate degrees in EE and BA, both from well respected Universities. I am currently making the same salary that I made in 1995. With few exceptions just about everyone that I know is working at 10% - 20% less than what they made 15 - 20 years ago. Call it global wage factor equalization, global wage abritrage, etc. it still comes down to the fact that the middle class in America is being essentially wiped out. And, for all the suck it up and learn to live with it folks. How is it that America has a small, but increasingly wealthy, group of individuals that get wealthy merely by moving money from one account to another. They produce neither a useful good or service for the economy. Seriously, that it not a sustainable economic model. The current job market still sucks. For all the claims that they cannot find good talent, it's a bunch of BS (and not the education kind). They want the purple squirrels for 50K - 60K per year with greatly reduced benefits. I am able to cobble together a living by using my graduate education to teach on the side. I am still long on America, however, those that do not see how damaging the growing income inequality in Amererica is to our long-term collective prosperity, are delusional. I'll give it ten more years, if it doesn't change, I'll be spending that SS money down in South America. Hola!
_
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_,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 12:31:07 AM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
what a bunch of b/s H1b is and has always been. This article only serves to describe what all U.S. STEM workers have known all along - and what IT companies also know only too well, but don't want to discuss. Companies want to operate in the U.S. paid for with America worker tax-dollars, NOT those tax dollars that companies refuse to re-patriate, the billions that they have - but bring in turd-world wage-serfs in the form of H1bs. How nice and convenient. If india is the source of all the geniuses, why not go over there and open up shop - ? - because companies want to operate here, and now the economy is growing, they badly want to avoid paying the correct wages and hiring Americans that demand a fair salary for their productivity, the same Americans that have had to live through this horrible recession, created by the very companies that want to now toss U.S. STEM workers aside, and dump in 300,000 more H1b job robbers per year. U.S. STEM workers say: NO F-ING WAY - END H1B NOW - NO MORE INCREASES !!!!
Wakjob2
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Wakjob2,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/24/2013 | 4:42:20 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Americans invented IT and nearly all things digital. We don't need foreign workers who are unable to even build enough toilets in their home countries. Why aren't we importing millions of German and Japanese engineers - the best in the world hands down if there is a shortage? Answer: these programs are really international socialism - taking from the productive and giving to the unproductive. Mikhail Gorbachev even described these programs in his 1989 book "Perestroika: New Thinking for Our Country and the World". This is plain communism folks - a new form of it - one based on economics, not military. We are bringing these people in here, almost all from the 3rd world in order to give them education, experience, and training, as well as some of our $ so they can then go home and compete against us. Make no mistake, America definitely does not need more workers. We already have an oversupplied labor market and 30 million Americans out of work. Americans invented IT long before these other countries ever even saw a keyboard. Stop the lies, stop the stealth foreign invasion and takeover of America and put Americans back to work.
GoldenIndira
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GoldenIndira,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/4/2013 | 7:04:32 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
"such as five years of experience with a three-year-old technology -- as a reflection of the fact that the job posting is there to satisfy the statutory requirement in the green card process to consider U.S. workers before hiring a cheaper foreign worker."

Wrong. The person they are applying GC for in turn has to show proof that they have experience for 5 years for a technology that is only 3 years old. If that tech didn't exist for the last 3 years, then they can't have it. They can't just "lie" about it either. They will need written confirmed and verifiable ceriticates from former employers or coursework to support the documentation. The thing is if they called someone for an interview, it means they found at least ONE US citizen that met the minimum requirements. Not maximum but minimum. Since that US citizens resume will in turn have to submitted with the GC application, most will not do the GC application at all. Which makes the H1Bs PERM application null and void. They probably called the US citizen so that they wont HAVE to sponser the H1B's GC. Employers aren't just trying to screw US citizens, they are trying to screw H1Bs too. The job doesn't exist for the US citzen, but it wont for the H1 after 6 years either.
voster
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voster,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/14/2013 | 4:50:59 PM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
The H-1B application data is available and in the public domain. It would be handy if someone evidence if you could actually collate how many of the 65,000 every year in IT actually earn below $50,000 wages. Last time I check, it wasn't too prevalent.

Finally, of course, I think it's absurd to lay the blame of larger structural problems in the industry on the H-1B scheme, when this is a drop in the ocean of the total labor force in IT.

Personally, I'd like to see the H-1B scheme scrapped, just so we can all see how the American IT industry will take a hit. The fact of the matter is, detractors like to focus on a few anecdotes of bad H-1B workers (which are bound to slip through) and utterly ignore the plnetiful success stories.
Mark
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Mark,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/5/2013 | 10:13:19 AM
re: IT Talent Shortage Or Purple Squirrel Hunt?
Firms receive often hundreds, sometimes thousands of applications for a single position in the software sector. I know domestic grads who have spent much of the past decade applying for jobs, not working, because of this nonsense. There is no shortage of talent, there is simply a shortage of employers motivated to pick up the phone and start hiring.
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