Microsoft IT Hiring Problems Bogus, Say Programmers - InformationWeek
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Microsoft IT Hiring Problems Bogus, Say Programmers

Tech worker groups say Redmond is exaggerating its difficulties finding IT talent as an excuse to import cheap H-1B help.

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What IT labor shortage? That's what reps for unemployed programmers and other IT workers are asking in response to Microsoft's claim that it needs to import more foreign help because the United States isn't producing enough individuals with the high-tech skills it needs.

Workers' advocates say that if big tech companies are having a tough time finding qualified employees it's only because they are limiting their searches to younger, less expensive workers.

"Experienced IT workers who are over 40 years old have a hard time even getting noticed by companies like Microsoft," said Rennie Sawade, communications director for WashTech, an affiliate of the Communications Workers of America. "They're really after the younger, more inexpensive workers."

Sawade also rejects claims by Microsoft and other high-tech employers that more experienced IT workers are not getting hired because they lack skills in hot new areas like cloud and mobility. "I doubt the ones they are bringing over on H-1B visas necessarily have those skills. They give them a three-week crash course and then call them a Java programmer."

Sawade's comments come on the heels of controversial testimony that Microsoft senior counsel Brad Smith gave last month before the Senate Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on immigration, refugees, and border security. Smith said the software maker has thousands of open positions going unfilled. "Filling our talent need remains a serious challenge," said Smith.

As of May, Microsoft had 4,551 job openings--including 2,629 computer science positions--but it's taking the company up to 65 days on average to find qualified workers for open spots, Smith said.

Smith argued that, until more Americans are available to fill high-tech jobs, U.S. immigration policies need to be relaxed to make it easier for companies like Microsoft to import workers from tech hot spots like India and China to fill the gap. "Our continued ability to help fuel the American economy depends heavily on continued access to the best possible talent. This cannot be achieved, and certainly not in the near term, exclusively through educational improvements to 'skill up' the American workforce."

Microsoft wants the federal government to raise the cap on employment-related green cards, which presently sits at 140,000 per year. It's also pushing for the elimination of caps that limit the number of individuals that can emigrate from certain countries. The software maker is most concerned that the caps disproportionately affect India and China, both of which have trained millions of new tech workers in just the past few years.

Microsoft also wants guest worker programs, such as the H-1B visa, to remain intact.

But critics say such programs are rife with fraud and abuse. "Loopholes in these programs have made it too easy to bring in cheaper foreign workers, with ordinary skills, who directly substitute for, rather than complement, workers already in America," said Rochester Institute of Technology professor Ron Hira, who also testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Hira said tech vendors and outsourcing companies are using the H-1B and L-1 visa programs to hire workers that can be paid as little as $12 per hour for work that supposedly requires specialized skills. "Hardly a wage level that 'the best and the brightest' would earn," said Hira. When workers on temporary visas return to their native countries, the job often goes with them in the form of offshoring, said Hira.

Some third-party observers believe the United States is facing a legitimate shortage of tech workers. Matt Ferguson, CEO of job site, said his site had 30,000 open tech jobs listed in July. Many of them required candidates with five or more years of IT experience. "We don't have people in the economy that have five years experience in engineering and IT to fill those positions," said Ferguson, speaking Thursday on CNBC.

Ferguson said workers with skills in specialized areas, such as the Ruby on Rails Web application framework, are in high demand. "Talking to companies anecdotally, you hear that they are having a very hard time finding these actual skills," said Ferguson, who noted that salaries for individuals with such skills are seeing double-digit percentage increases.

Sawade said his group wants Congress to reduce the number of available green cards and temporary visas for foreign tech workers, and develop tighter enforcement mechanics to prevent abuse of current programs.

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User Rank: Apprentice
11/30/2011 | 6:16:10 PM
re: Microsoft IT Hiring Problems Bogus, Say Programmers
What a crock! I am over qualified for most of those positions posted but did I ever get a response from an employer? NO! I changed my entry to H-1 visa required and of Indian nationality and I got hundreds of calls!

Same resume just one form India and one US. US got no reponses Indian got hundreds. HMMMM LIARs I have to call it when I see a lying carpet bagger!

Standard practice to post adds and insist nobody with the expertise availbale to hire. Yea right they are posted to use as evidence for more visas not to actually hire someone! I am the one training these new hires that have NO experience whatso ever in this particular product but hundreds of AMerican workers who do actually have the experience were over looked to hire the visa holder with no experience. How do these liars sleep at night. Greed and lots of money must help but I couldn't live with myself had I ruined so many lives for my own personal gain. How about you? What kind of American are you? Help your neighbor? Or steal his money? Which are you?

Government and Corporations have made it very clear - steal the money - it is the new AMERICAN way! Greed is good!

Actually greed is the mark of the devil, if you believe in such things. And that is easy to see if you look at what GREED has done to the world's economy! Greed and corruption has brought the world to the brink of a new dark ages and you still believe greed is good. That your representative gives a hoot about you! Get a life you are living in Mayberry and it is fictional!
User Rank: Apprentice
11/30/2011 | 5:56:34 PM
re: Microsoft IT Hiring Problems Bogus, Say Programmers
I was outraged when Billy Gates testified before Congress and LIED about his motives. 30 billion was not enough! He needed to replace his expensive American labor with cheap imported labor to realize bigger PERSONAL gains! This is a man that tried to screw his best friend out of his stock when he got sick; not a real people person here, Greedy !@#@# is more like it!
It is even more true today. We layoff close to 140,000 IT people in the US every year and that just happens to be the visa limit. Hmmmmm. Every LIAR who has bribed er eh lobbied your representative into laying you off and ruining your life is representing your best interest right? So why did you vote for him/her again fool! I have been a consultant for 30 years in the IT field. I work for an Indian firm now after seven years of looking for work. So I work for a third of what I used to make and am considered very expensive by my new employer. Since 20K a year is huge even rich in India they have tiny salaries (average income is less than a 100 bucks a YEAR) by our standards.
So I have one question for Odumbo and the rest of the greedy liars and thieves running this country? When you outsource the remaining few American workers who is going to pay your salary? No taxes no money for you! Doh you guys and gals are pretty much blind from your personal greed! Or you would have figured that out long ago on your own!!!!!!
Same Question to the stupid from greed employers: when there is nobody working in the US who is going to buy your products? Doh! Do you really need me to point this out to you? Get what you pay for! Anybody this ignorant should not be working let alone running a company!!!

1. H-1 visa labor pays no Federal taxes!

2. H-1 visa labor are used to replace expensive US workers or prevent the hiring of 'expensive U.S. labor. For every H-1 visa holder there is one US worker going hungry!

3 These companies will not even hire our cheap kids coming out of school becuase of these expenses they do not have to pay to H-1 visa holders.
a. unemployment insurance
b. medical benefits
c. Workers comp insurance
d. social security

4 Greed, greed, greed, is all it is about. Cut payroll 20 million take 20 million bonus! SIMPLE
( AMR in bankruptcy, got big labor consessions last year but blew it on executive bonuses so now use bankruptcy to steal their underfunded pension plans and force even bigger labor cost reductions so the executives can have even bigger bonuses- got to love greed and corruption - or the American Way - This is the parent of American Airlines after all)

5 I see it every day, large groups of American workers getting pink slips to make room for the cheap imported H-1 labor.

6 Then once we train the off-shore person (no H-1 visa required and a lot cheaper) we move on to the next round of layoffs er eh the next cost cutting assignment.

User Rank: Apprentice
11/30/2011 | 5:19:25 PM
re: Microsoft IT Hiring Problems Bogus, Say Programmers
Aren't we a bright TROLL! Details in anger get colorful to dramatize a point. Your point is? You do not think for yourself so like a little kid in school you make fun of what little you do understand! But actually contribute intelligent thought to a serious issue - way too far over your head!
User Rank: Strategist
10/11/2011 | 6:38:50 PM
re: Microsoft IT Hiring Problems Bogus, Say Programmers
I worked for 25+ years in IT the financial industry. Banks merging with each other drove me away after 4 job changes...all we were doing was changing banks and office locations following each other around, until the big giant bnk came to town and swallowed up the last 2 local banks. All jobs other than tellers and loan officers went out of town or out of state. Service went to hell, customers went elsewhere also (credit unions, smaller banks, etc.) I was 55 and was lucky to find a great employer that needed my IT skills in their lending business, although it was an 80 mile highway commute. Their ops closely mirrored a bank IT setup. Still here over 10 years later on working for the best employer I ever had, thinking about retirement, but not in a rush to leave. Try working for a smaller employer vs. the giants like Microsoft or Cisco. They value you as a hard worker and a person, not a number lost in the crowd.
User Rank: Apprentice
10/5/2011 | 9:01:11 PM
re: Microsoft IT Hiring Problems Bogus, Say Programmers
Well I'm no math genius, but based on your post it sounds to me as though you were out of work around age 46. Perhaps your communication skills could use a little work, which may assist with your search for steady employment.
User Rank: Apprentice
10/5/2011 | 4:25:56 PM
re: Microsoft IT Hiring Problems Bogus, Say Programmers
It's all true...Microsoft is a big lie just like our government and big business in general...its all about the money stupid....they just want it all...


EX US IT Worker
No job 6+ years now (oh yeah, I am 52!!) and was never out work my whole lfe until the day I turned 50!
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