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Where Have All the IT Jobs Gone?

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  • Where Have All the IT Jobs Gone?

    Theodor Geisel would be proud.

  • #2
    Where Have All the IT Jobs Gone?

    Great article, Joe! I know there are still some people out there with their heads in the sand: Hey you! Joe's not spouting off with a hyperbolic rant, this is the real deal. Do you think you're protected in your little corner of the professional world? The first sound you hear is that giant sucking sound of jobs being exported to India, Russia, etc. That second sound you hear are all those displaced American workers marching to your company's employment office, vying for your job, and offering to do it for 10-20k per year less.

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    • #3
      Where Have All the IT Jobs Gone?

      Joe, Be careful. You're going to be called racist, or worse. I have been for voicing those same facts. I wrote my member of Congress about this a few months ago. I got a form letter stating that jobs protection is anti-American, anti-Democracy, anti-Capitalism, and downright racist. The letter stated the usual "global economy" stuff. I see the future of U.S. IT, and it's not good. I'm in the process of changing careers. I have enough woking years left to do this. My position is to not let anyone into America who doesn't want to be a citizen and to not do business with any company who you know sends jobs out of the country. It's not easy to do and I haven't been very good at it. But, when I find out a company is sending work offshore, I wean myself from them. I'm not sure people will be willing to do it, though. In the '70's when Ford, GM, and Chrysler were under fire from Toyota, Mazda, and Datsun, unions were trying to get Americans to buy Fords, GMs, and Chryslers. The government even gave Chrylser a loan to help it compete with the Japanese. But, as we know, no one heeded that warning and people bought the Japanese cars. That may have been the start of "globalization". My nickels worth.

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      • #4
        Where Have All the IT Jobs Gone?

        Remember, there are two issues here: outsourcing and visas. Outsourcing is in fact part of the global economy, and one I'm not afraid of. You just can't run a project of any sort of magnitude with workers halfway around the world. No, it's the visas that are far more insidious. It's as if you learned a trade, and then the boss came and said, "Hey, Ted here is your replacement. He doesn't have your trainnig or your expertise, but he's cheaper. So I want you to train him and then we'll fire you." Which part of this makes sense? Joe

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        • #5
          Where Have All the IT Jobs Gone?

          Somebody brought up an interesting point: American workers often have a tough time getting their employers to let them telecommute, but those same employers have no problem shipping work to someone on another continent. Joe

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          • #6
            Where Have All the IT Jobs Gone?

            Dbalecmt, I think you hit the nail on the head when you said, "offering to do it for 10-20k per year less." This is something I've been saying for 10 years now. The American worker, and specifically the AS/400 programmer, has priced themselves out of the marketplace. They've grown accustomed to having the Motorhome, the ATVs and the 2 SUVs in the three car garage and just can't believe that someone would work for less and do without those luxuries. I believe that we, as Americans, have been beaten at our own game, capitalism, and are simply poor losers. The only sure way to stay employed, and thus competitive, is to treat your career as if it were a business and not an entitlement. How to do that? Only three ways that I can think of. 1. Cut your costs, just as any business would do. Eliminate the frills and extra expenses in your life such as the weekends traveling. 2. Be better than the competition. Know more skills, work harder, and make yourself a compelling employee. 3. Have your wife's father hire you. ;-) I just posted an opening for an Senior RPG programmer, here and on Monster and in the L.A. Times, and almost all of the best qualified candidates have names I can't pronounce. But you know what? That doesn't matter because I'm looking for the best candidate to fill the position. It's a damn competitive world, it's time to compete! chuck Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of my employer. "dbalecmt" wrote in message news:[email protected] > Great article, Joe! I know there are still some people out there with their heads in the sand: Hey you! Joe's not spouting off with a hyperbolic rant, this is the real deal. Do you think you're protected in your little corner of the professional world? The first sound you hear is that giant sucking sound of jobs being exported to India, Russia, etc. That second sound you hear are all those displaced American workers marching to your company's employment office, vying for your job, and offering to do it for 10-20k per year less.

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            • #7
              Where Have All the IT Jobs Gone?

              Do you think Wall Street is the driver of this demolition derby. I can't say that I understand how stocks are valued, but I can say that I have seen corporations do things that couldn't possibly make for a better company. How many of these CEO's make decisions to affect their stock at 1PM instead of 5 years from now, and then they have the nerve to ask at an interview what do you hope to accomplish here in 5 years and then they send the job offshore anyway(and it is not just an Asian thing, some of it locally has gone to South America)(And some of the visa issues are Latin American also). Anyway to make my point: how does outsourcing a major project(saving the corp money today, driving its stock up), benefit the corp two years from now when the project is overdue, and either hopelessly bungled or severely crippled in function, now driving the stock down, and as a plus the corp is behind the competion, the CEO is fired or worse in court. Am I missing something or imagining something that isn't there or is Wall Street destroying our commerce in the long run. Anyway, can't say I understand, but often don't like what I see.

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              • #8
                Where Have All the IT Jobs Gone?

                Email posts are coming in, and I'm starting to get the occasional story. Please note that these stories are entirely anecdotal and by definition unverified, you'll have to judge their veracity on your own. Here's the first: A large insurance company in the Northeast has what amounts to an entire floor of L-1 visa workers. Are these folks all here because they hold specific expertise that the company couldn't find among American workers (that's the criteria for an L-1 visa)? Any other stories? Joe

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                • #9
                  Where Have All the IT Jobs Gone?

                  Be careful when communicating to congress! I have found that the selection of the words used often makes the difference between being heard, and being ignored. For example, when discussing visas, it is far better to stress the abuse of the program, and possible illegalities, than to center on job protection. Doing an end run on outsourcing is also effective. You can discuss data security, or loss of domestic technicians. Employment should also be brought up, but make it germaine to revenue and the tax base. Naturally discussions with those of different political persuasions should be tailored to the target audience. I any case, It has not been my experience that a single bullet point makes an effective tactic. BTW, Great article Joe, and welcome on board the bandwagon, Dave

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                  • #10
                    Where Have All the IT Jobs Gone?

                    ...that this is more than just a bandwagon. This is not a simple issue, and it needs more than just an election-year pat on the head. I think of bandwagons as something that come and go at a whim, while this issue is one that needs to be addressed with a long-term solution. Joe

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                    • #11
                      Where Have All the IT Jobs Gone?

                      First off, great article and solid research but I'll disagree with you on outsourcing being ultimately unworkable. The foreign workers assigned are not slouches and with the Internet available as their personal tutor they can make up for inexperience awful fast. I grew up in this business trying to dicipher IBM manuals, which could have been written is Sanskrit for all they were worth. Nowdays, a Google search or a posting will deliver a precise answer in minutes and as you point out many if not most of these postings are from foreign workers. I am familiar with several of these outsourcing projects and they start off with issues but they are quickly worked out. Bottom line, we as a country are shipping one more of our industries overseas without even a whimper and that this "Jobless Recovery" as it's called does not seem to bother the media or the goverment. The Democrats are no better than the Republicans because they started this ball rolling with no controls or checks built in.

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                      • #12
                        Where Have All the IT Jobs Gone?

                        My point is this - there is a limited pool of competent talent. Computer programming may not be rocket science, but it isn't flipping burgers, either. And it's getting more complex rather than less as time goes on. At the same time, the number of consulting firms, especially the offshore firms, is rising, exponentially it seems. So what happens is that you get a diluted product. I hate to make analogies that might seem frivolous, but look at professional sports. Now that we have twice as many teams, you can make the argument that the talent, especially near the bottom of the league, is probably overpaid. The same thing happens in consulting. American consulting firms did it in the 90's - they were charging outrageous sums for junior programmers and then bidding on jobs they couldn't hope to finish. But that was how they kept the money wheel rolling. Those companies quickly folded with the dot-com burst. It's my contention that the same HAS ALREADY HAPPENED with many of the offshore firms, and that they are bidding on jobs they don't have the talent to complete. The questions we're seeing on the mailing lists are testament to that very fact. And what are companies going to do when these offshore firms start to fold? Where do you seek reparations? And so I ask again - are there any examples of large-scale projects that have been outsourced that have worked? I'd be interested to see if any have completed recently, and if so, if they were on time and on budget. My guess based on the anecdotal evidence and the things I see in the mailing lists is that the majority are not. Joe

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                        • #13
                          Where Have All the IT Jobs Gone?

                          The bottom line, is the bottom line, and according to a Gartner article just released this past week, outsourcing does not enhance the bottom line in most cases. This may or may not have anything to do with slouching. According to Gartner it is more of a management and analytical problem. A great deal of investment has to be made on the home front in order to get outsourcing to work, otherwise as IBM likes to say: Results are unpredictable. The sales pitch is that outsourcing saves you money, but more often than not, caveat emptor applies. This does not change the fact that jobs are lost. Firms losing money due to outsourcing efforts rarely give up those efforts, because the tasks have become internally politicized. No one will admit that their decision was wrong, and the outsourcing effort just keeps rolling along like a tumbleweed. BTW as of last week, the new President of my client's company has decided to award an outsourcing contract. This surprised everyone. I have been ordered to cooperate with the outsourcers (These are domestic outsourcers), and I have also been ordered not to write any CYA memos. It gets a lot worse, but I don't intend to burden anyone with a long story. The short and quick of it is I am now looking to end my association with this firm. Dave

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                          • #14
                            Where Have All the IT Jobs Gone?

                            I enjoyed your article very much. I belong to one of the faxing groups you mentioned. My favorite topic are immigration and Jobs lost to visas. I fax my federal level representatives weekly letting them know that I am disappointed when they vote to increase visa limits and thanking them when they take care of the home folks. I have been programming for over 20 years, and I am not encouraging any of my kids to go into the field. Programming can be shipped overseas. Instead, I am pointing them towards hardware/networking because hands on is required.

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                            • #15
                              Where Have All the IT Jobs Gone?

                              "A great deal of investment has to be made on the home front in order to get outsourcing to work" Which is why visa abuse is so much more insidious. The investment has already been made, you're simply replacing one salary with a lower one. And unless management has some sense of loyalty to the American workers being displaced, then they're probably not going to think twice about this. The bottom line is, after all, the bottom line. Joe

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