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More On the Disposable Tech Worker 323

Posted by Soulskill
from the always-recycle-them-when-you're-finished-using-them dept.
Jim_Austin writes "At a press conference this week, in response to a question by a Science Careers reporter, Scott Corley, the Executive Director of immigration-reform group Compete America, argued that retraining workers doesn't make sense for IT companies. For the company, he argued, H-1B guest workers are a much better choice. 'It's not easy to retrain people,' Corley said. 'The further you get away from your education the less knowledge you have of the new technologies, and technology is always moving forward.'"
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More On the Disposable Tech Worker

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  • Recycle! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Culture20 (968837) on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:10PM (#46547143)
    Don't throw your disposable tech workers in the trash. Recycle!
    • Re:Recycle! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by gtall (79522) on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:12PM (#46547157)

      Hear, hear!! I suppose to the boneheaded CEO, institutional memory means nothing. It is hard to quantify, but without it, your company has no staying power.

      • by turp182 (1020263) on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:59PM (#46547467) Journal

        Retaining knowledge of both software and business requirements is the 4th of Lehman's Laws of Software Development, Conservation of Familiarity.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

        And that law is from 1978. Such knowledge isn't even as recent as the 1980s (a lesson approaching 40 years in age, I was five at the time...), it should be basic guidance at this point in time.

        Anyone that doesn't realize how important knowledge of the business and operations are is one that should be ignored completely.

        Advice: Always seek to learn as much as possible about the business and how it operates/interacts with the external world. This is the secret to NOT being disposable. It's also a great way to meets VP and C-Level executives.

      • Re:Recycle! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mjr167 (2477430) on Friday March 21, 2014 @07:18PM (#46548053)

        But if we have the correct Processes in place then all the people just become interchangeable, unthinking cogs that blindly follow the all powerful Process!

        If you are having trouble with your people not knowing how to do things or having trouble coming up to speed, then clearly your Process is broken and we need to pay 10 managers to take a week long trip to Hawaii in order to revamp the Process.

        All the workers need to know is how to look up the correct Process and follow their check list. The Process will cover all scenarios and situations imaginable and should never be deviated from.

        • by dbIII (701233)

          But if we have the correct Processes in place then all the people just become interchangeable, unthinking cogs that blindly follow the all powerful Process!

          Thanks for reminding me of why I had to move back in the day to get an engineering job. Once someone has decided on a process (and decided it's never going to have to change) you don't need anyone capable of devising a new one.
          When things get stale they just buy a small company that has produced a successful process and fire the engineers that came up w

    • Re:Recycle! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by maz2331 (1104901) on Friday March 21, 2014 @06:06PM (#46547543)

      Consider the source - FTS: "Scott Corley, the Executive Director of immigration-reform group Compete America"

      This isn't coming from a CEO, it's coming from a political activist. And of course, he is dead wrong about "The further you get away from your education the less knowledge you have of the new technologies...". Someone just out of school hasn't actually worked with the new technologies as they have trickled into existence as someone who has been in the field for years has.

      • Re:Recycle! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Eric Green (627) on Saturday March 22, 2014 @01:06AM (#46549439) Homepage

        I'm one of those "too hard to retrain" older programmers. I helped develop the new technologies, so clearly I know them better than some newbie right out of college, so all I can say is WTF? In my experience newbies right out of college don't even know how to properly do object oriented programming, much less know the ins and outs of new technologies such as, say, Groovy/Grails. Which, BTW, I picked up within a few weeks when I needed to do so, because it's just an interpreted Ruby-like language with Java syntax and a thin layer over Hibernate for persistence along with a JSP-like rendering language, all of which were technologies I already knew, so ...

        Of course the next big new web framework technology is going to be Scala / Play which is, uhm, pretty much like other technologies I already know, just "fresh" and "new" (and with some interesting contrasts to Groovy/Grails) so I expect when it comes time to do so, I'll pick it up in a few weeks, far less time than it takes to import an H1B from India. But hey, I'm a Neanderthal too hard to retrain, right?

        Oh wait, the H1Bs can be warehoused 20 to the apartment and paid $12,000/year. Alrighty, then!

      • Consider the source - FTS: "Scott Corley, the Executive Director of immigration-reform group Compete America"

        This isn't coming from a CEO, it's coming from a political activist. And of course, he is dead wrong about "The further you get away from your education the less knowledge you have of the new technologies...". Someone just out of school hasn't actually worked with the new technologies as they have trickled into existence as someone who has been in the field for years has.

        It's coming from an idiot. Where does he think these temporary workers got their education from?

        I wasn't taught the hot platforms of the day in school. I learned them after I left. School was to give me a background so I'd be able to learn them.

  • Not easy? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:12PM (#46547153) Journal

    I suspect he means "not cheap"
    FTFA:

    "The biggest slap in the face to all of us here is we have to train all of our replacements," said the IT worker. Once that training is completed, the IT workers receive severance pay. Some employees were offered jobs with the offshore firms, but at lower salaries and with reduced benefits, he said.

    There's no reason they couldn't be training Americans to replace those jobs.

    • Re:Not easy? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:34PM (#46547307)

      Yep. It's always about money. If a company THINKS that it can get a cheaper worker to do the work that you do then that company will try to replace you.

      From TFA:

      In an interview, Papademetriou said that the literature on this issue "has become comfortable with a consensus that basically says that high-end immigration produces more jobs than it takes." However, he didn't put a number on the number of jobs created.

      Maybe they do. After all, SOMEONE has to work at the company providing the "guest workers". But there are really TWO issues here:

      1. Are the "guest workers" driving down the pay of the workers that they're replacing?

      2. WHAT jobs are being created by hiring "guest workers" that would NOT be created by hiring regular workers?

      Slaughter said restrictions on H-1B use have cost the U.S. economy 100,000 new direct jobs over the past year, a figure that rises to 500,000 when indirect jobs are added.

      Again, TWO items:

      1. WHAT are those jobs?

      2. WHICH companies are trying to fill them?

      He shouldn't have any problem showing tens-of-thousands of job openings that have been open for months IF WHAT HE CLAIMS IS CORRECT.

    • Re:Not easy? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by roc97007 (608802) on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:47PM (#46547399) Journal

      > "The biggest slap in the face to all of us here is we have to train all of our replacements," said the IT worker.

      I saw this happen in person, during a huge outsourcing of which I was one of the few survivors. This "training our replacements" thing... the problem is, it's difficult to quantify, the "trainers" have little motivation to comply, and the trainees don't have any way of knowing if they're receiving adequate training. So you cutover, and, well in our case it had all the elegance of driving a tour bus off a cliff. But I'm told that in many cases, if the outsourced team was good, things might trundle along for a little while on inertia. Until things start to go wrong, and you suddenly discover, you don't know exactly what has failed or where it's located.

      • the replacements are under heavy duress. They quality will drop for a little bit, but they'll work 80 hours a week to catch up since the alternative is abject poverty and starvation. If the first batch doesn't do it the next one will.

        Also, I think you underestimate the cost savings. I can get a programmer in India for $1200 a month tops (that's everything, benefits, taxes, computer. _everything_). The cheapest American is 10 times that. Are you really 10 times more productive? If you are, you should be
        • The cheapest american programmers are not making or even costing $12k a month. ($144k per year in total compensation?!) Salary.com claims an average of $56k per year ($86k in total compensation) for Programmer I, which is still quite a bit more than $1200 a month, but not 10x.

          Regardless, H1-B's are not going to be making $1200 a month. They have to live here in the US, and that is barely enough to pay rent in quite a lot of places.

    • by tlambert (566799)

      I suspect he means "not cheap"
      FTFA:

      "The biggest slap in the face to all of us here is we have to train all of our replacements," said the IT worker. Once that training is completed, the IT workers receive severance pay. Some employees were offered jobs with the offshore firms, but at lower salaries and with reduced benefits, he said.

      There's no reason they couldn't be training Americans to replace those jobs.

      In the places I've seen this, the severance was generally 6 months, and the IT workers were tech leads who were shipped to India and paid for the training time on top of those six months, so the choice is between doing the training, getting a trip to an exotic country that you might have wanted to visit anyway, and then get a half a years pay and insurance coverage on top of any COBRA or other benefits, during which you can immediately go to work for a competitor, or just bum around for 6 months in Thailand

      • I was recently laid off. they ditched 1/3 of our local office (bay area) and fired all the american workers in engineering, field support, IT, etc. they kept every single indian and asian working here in the bay area and only US born folks were let go. (yes, I'm serious, and no, I don't have the time or money to sue them over this).

        I had to train my replacement. not long, since they wanted us off the company site in days, not weeks.

        I got 2 weeks severance for being there 1 year's time.

        I'm now looking fo

        • by tlambert (566799)

          I had to train my replacement. not long, since they wanted us off the company site in days, not weeks.

          I got 2 weeks severance for being there 1 year's time.

          Unless they were holding a gun to your head, or an amazing place to put on your resume, or wrote you a stellar letter of reference, or the two weeks pay was desperately needed, how does "had to" fit into the whole "train my replacement" sentence there? If you'd refused, you'd have been fired, and therefore eligible for unemployment for 18 months, right?

    • Re:Not easy? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jafac (1449) on Friday March 21, 2014 @06:40PM (#46547781) Homepage

      Corporate America is DIVESTING from America.

      They seem pretty happy to avail themselves of our extremely expensive military when they need their foreign assets protected. And they also seem happy to invest in lobbyists and campaign contributions.

  • by geoskd (321194)

    Yup...

    The almighty dollar wins again

  • Biggest load of (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HeckRuler (1369601) on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:15PM (#46547177)

    'The further you get away from your education the less knowledge you have of the new technologies

    *cough*BULLSHIT*cough*
    Does this guy think that the ONLY place you learn about new things is in school? Is he one of those pointy-haired bosses that doesn't think you know anything unless you have a "cert"?

    Technology is always marching forward. EVERYONE needs to march along with it. In real-time. On the job. Constantly.

    (That said, I'm an embedded engineer working in C. I'm "revolutionizing" this codeshop by showing them unit testing. And no Larry, just because we refer to them as "units" doesn't mean the blackbox testing we do is "unit-testing". WOOHOO for being on the cutting edge... of the 1970's...)

    • by jythie (914043)
      Even worse, probably one of those people who believe the only experience worth having revolves around networking and people skills, everything non-social is replaceable.
  • Old dogs, huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DiamondGeezer (872237) on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:17PM (#46547191) Homepage

    I'm in my late 40s and over the process of 25 years have re-trained myself at least four times to meet the changing nature of IT, and the fact that empires rise and fall.

    Re-training is an essential part of a long IT career, not an option at all. To be honest, I paid for my own re-training because nothing concentrates the mind like putting a lot of money into essential skills and vocational training.

    The reason why they want more H1-Bs is straightforward - its a lot cheaper. Not better. Cheaper.

    • Re:Old dogs, huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by preaction (1526109) on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:25PM (#46547249)

      Dr. Townshend: What the hell's this all about?
      Dr. Kelso: Nothing! I was, uh, just looking over your files and, um... well... your osteoporotic patients aren't on Bisphosphonate; your diabetics aren't on ACE inhibitors. Doug, a lot of your treatments are pretty out of date.
      Dr. Townshend: Come on, Bob, I'm-guys like us, we're set in our ways.
      Dr. Kelso: Well, this is not an age thing, Doug. Hell, these days if you've been out of med school five years, half of what you learned is obsolete. Why do you think I spend every other weekend at a seminar in some two-star hotel ballroom that still stinks of last night's prom vomit? I do it because I have to keep up.

  • by digsbo (1292334) on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:18PM (#46547199)

    I am laughing at that quote. I'm not sure you could be more insulting to domestic OR H-1B workers with a statement like that.

    As it turns out, most workers are human beings, with individual qualities. Some docestic workers may be reluctant to retrain, others may embrace the opportunity and excel. Likewise, some people with H-1B visas may be incompetent, and others may be valuable contributors.

    • I would not be surprised if he was actually against immigration. He seems to be making pro immigration arguments as unpalatable as possible.
  • Here's an idea. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by greywire (78262) on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:24PM (#46547245) Homepage

    If you want to hire young, recently trained people so you can use them up and discard them before they hit 40, go right ahead and do so.

    But don't expect any special help to further your goals.

    Those people can simply move to america and become citizens if they want to work you. The whole H1-B visa thing is bullshit.

    Or here's another idea. Instead of whining about the impracticality of retraining "old" tech people, why not help them keep their skills up to date while they are working?

    Its called an investment! Its not just about money. Investments include your people. If you treat them right, and invest in them, you will get better results.

    I'm really getting tired of the American mentality of just using up resources and discarding whats left. Its time to stop being the rugged individualists who just consume everything in their path, and start being members of a functional society that works together and supports one another in a conservationist manner.

    • Instead of whining about the impracticality of retraining "old" tech people, why not help them keep their skills up to date while they are working?

      The whole "retraining" attitude is BS.

      YES, it's cheaper to get an already trained worker than it is to retrain an existing one! You'd have to be stupid to think that a company is going to run a training program itself, rather than contributing towards continuing education. It's about as stupid as believing that there will be a training program at your company that will make you magically competent in a way that your newly minted college degree was not able to. If they don't even have a training program i

    • by drainbramage (588291) on Friday March 21, 2014 @07:59PM (#46548259)

      They aren't Americans, they are MBA's.
      The funny thing is some of them even took a class in 'ethics'.

  • Idiot (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bodhammer (559311) on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:25PM (#46547251)
    Corley,
    You are an idiot. You fail to grasp the difference between knowledge, skills, and experience. Training and education provide knowledge. The ability to apply that knowledge effectively is a skill. Repeatedly applying knowledge and skills creates a virtuous cycle called experience which increases productivity. Productivity is what increases the bottom line. Sometimes that might even take longer than a quarter...

    You're a douche with no understanding of the real world.
    • by sribe (304414)

      You're a douche with no understanding of the real world.

      Bullshit. He's a sociopathic liar who knows that his audience is filled with douches with no understanding of the real world ;-)

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      Well, specifically, he seems trapped in the mindset that outsourcing companies spend so much marketing energy promoting -- that IT isn't really a skill, it's a set of procedures that any primate could do.

      • ...any primate could do.

        An IT department of pygmy marmosets would be super cute. Then, if they get too much experience and start asking for raises, you can just step on them.

    • by Guppy06 (410832)

      You are an idiot.

      But he's the guy that signs the paychecks, and that's all that matters in the job market.

    • This whole article should be moderated (-1:Flamebait)

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:26PM (#46547259)
    We would much rather pay the cost of having younger workers make the mistakes the older workers learned to avoid. This is the problem we see repeatedly. Younger workers buy into the "Oh look, new, shiny!" Older workers look at this "new" idea and say, "Didn't we try that 5 years ago? and 5 years before that? It didn't work either of those times either."
    • We would much rather pay the cost of having younger workers make the mistakes the older workers learned to avoid.

      Older workers avoid repeating mistakes -- true... as far as it goes.

      I don't think this is an issue when the product your company is building is a social networking web site that you plan on rewriting every couple of weeks anyway in an "iterative process" of getting to the point where Facebook will buy you out. If the old code doesn't work very well, fire the programmers that wrote it, get new bodies in to write the next version, and be done with it. For the parts that actually do work, well, don't fire th

  • Jackasses (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kheldan (1460303) on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:26PM (#46547265) Journal

    For the company, he argued, H-1B guest workers are a much better choice.

    Sure. Why not just take us all out back, put us against the wall, and shoot us? Real responsible attitude, corporate America. What a bunch of fucking jerks. Go ahead, loot and pillage the U.S., what the hell do you care anyway?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Corporate America doesn't care about the long-term good for employees, and cares little about the quality of product served up to customers. What matters is making the shareholders happy because they can see how much savings have been made by dropping the experienced staff in favour of off-shoring. Short-term gratification, cost reduction, thats what matters. Bugger quality and happy customers.

      • by stenvar (2789879)

        Corporate America doesn't care about the long-term good for employees,

        And why should Corporate America care? If another employer comes to you and says "I give you $1000/month more for the same job", are you going to stay with your current employer because you care about their long-term good? Of course not. Employment in the US is an voluntary arrangement in which each side is looking out for their own best interests. And when you get hired into positions where Corporate America does care about a long term r

        • Re:Jackasses (Score:4, Insightful)

          by captjc (453680) on Friday March 21, 2014 @07:39PM (#46548173)

          Bull, there used to be a thing called company loyalty. There was a time when many companies had the loyalty of their employees because they treated them with respect. You knew these companies because a good portion of the employees were there for decades. These were the companies where a person would get hired fresh from school, trained, and work their way up the ladder and eventually retire with a nice fat pension.

          Everything started to change around the 80's, now everything is about buzzwords and short-term profit. You start treating employees as replaceable at a seconds notice and people will stop seeing their company as nothing but an income and a line on a resume. There was a time that if you had a long list of jobs on your resume people wondered why you couldn't hold a job. Now, it is seen as a sign of success.

        • by Uberbah (647458)

          Employment in the US is an voluntary

          Not voluntary if it's the only thing keeping you from moving into a refrigerator box and living off food stamps.

          is an voluntary arrangement in which each side is looking out for their own best interests

          To pretend employers and employees have equal standing in this system is laughable in a booming economy. In one that's seen a falling standard of living for the last 30 years and a borderline depression for the last five, it's a farce.

          And when you get hired into positions

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      Why not just take us all out back, put us against the wall, and shoot us?

      Bullets cost money.

      Welcome to the new slavery. Actual slaves are inconvenient and costly, because you not only have to buy them, but also pay for their actual upkeep. If you don't, you'll waste your investment. But effective slaves are very convenient, because you can always find another poor fucker for whom ramen is an upgrade.

    • It's great for the bottom line but not so good for the society.

      • by kheldan (1460303)

        It's great for the bottom line but not so good for the society.

        See, that's my point. I'm no fan of Big Government, but this is a case where maybe the government should step in and intervene on behalf of American workers, because left totally unchecked this sort of shit could completely wreck the economy of the entire country but keeping U.S. citizens unemployed while simultaneously sending U.S. money overseas with these immigrant, non-citizen workers.

    • by Jawnn (445279)

      Sure. Why not just take us all out back, put us against the wall, and shoot us? Real responsible attitude, corporate America. What a bunch of fucking jerks. Go ahead, loot and pillage the U.S., what the hell do you care anyway?

      Your ire, while wholly appropriate, is misplaced. Corporations exist to make money for their shareholders. That is their highest priority. That is not evil or immoral. It just is what it is. You should be mad as hell at the elected officials who are carrying their (corporate America) water. They do have a moral obligation to look out for the people who elected them, and failures on that count are commonplace.

  • Aging Business (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Christopher McGinnis (2906511) on Friday March 21, 2014 @05:28PM (#46547273)
    Statements like these are all the more reason aging tech workers like myself need to build their own businesses so they don't have to rely on the "good graces" of an employer.
    • by stenvar (2789879)

      Running your own business is a good idea, but it's really besides the point. If you run your own business, you very much have to keep your skills up to date, because your clients are even more fickle than a corporate employer. If you keep up to date enough to keep your clients happy, corporate employers will also be happy to keep you around.

      • Yes, exactly. But having your own business means that you don't have to worry about some fucking fuck like Corley trying to improve his own position at your expense. Even if you keep yourself up-to-date, he could decide he's in the mood to cut costs this quarter, and your butt would be OUT.

        On your own, you can be in the driver's seat. On the other hand, you had better be willing to drive.
        • by stenvar (2789879)

          Even if you keep yourself up-to-date, he could decide he's in the mood to cut costs this quarter, and your butt would be OUT.

          And you'll find a lot of smarter companies ready to hire you. Letting good and skilled employees go is a quick way of ruining a company.

  • Well, that's what I assume. Because according to his own theory, that's when he was at his best, and it went downhill from then on. After five years, Scott Corley is a bumbling idiot, after ten years an imbecile.
  • Companies collude illegally to limit wage competition and when that was discovered they started to pay lobbyists to work on H-1B reforms instead. If they want to lower their wage costs let them burn more billions into overseas outsourcing.
  • ...accountants, engineers, and all the other professionals who must stay current in their training.

  • The H1B visa holders have less experience and require equal or more training than the old workers. They just do the job at $50K instead of $75K.

    And that's the REAL reason the companies like them.

  • Eventually, tech workers are going to have to demand pay like sports stars, and for the same reason: you only get an extremely abbreviated career, in your youth, that lasts maybe ten years, and by the time you hit your mid 30s, you're done. During that time, you need to make enough money to last the rest of your life. The only difference is that a tech worker doesn't face the risk of a work-related, career-ending injury in the same way that a pro athlete does.
  • The reasonings that are given mean nothing.
    The only reason they want H1B worker is financial benefit. All the rest is spin.

    Please don't take this as H1B's are cheaper or inferior -- that argument is a distraction.
  • Per the article,

    The further you get away from your education the less knowledge you have of the new technologies, and technology is always moving forward

    The thing is, if you got a quality education, or even a sub-par one but made up for it with natural talent, you never "get away from your education" because technology, like other science, just builds on existing technology. The core of it doesn't change.

    Obviously as it becomes more complicated, it requires more specialization, so there is a chance your chosen specialization may get pruned off the technology tree, but again that only means you have to go back to the last branch that goes to

  • by Greyfox (87712) on Friday March 21, 2014 @06:25PM (#46547673) Homepage Journal
    I've worked at companies where they used temp workers like Kleenix; blow your nose in it once and throw away. Their in-house software is noticeably harder to maintain and lower quality than the rest of the industry. And that's saying a lot since the rest of the industry is shit. No one there knows anything about the company, its business process or anything in-depth about the software. If all you care about is making shit products for people who don't know any better and who probably won't sue you very often if your shit products suck, I guess that's a decent business practice. At least until a company that takes the smallest amount of pride in its work comes along and runs you out of business.
    • the worst in-house software I've ever been forced to use is HP's Service Manager, the worlds worst ticketing system. I was shocked that we actually sell it as a product, it's a crime against humanity. Even inside the company I had to complain three levels up my management before I could even get ahold of anyone that "supported" it. I had more problems using it than I did actually doing my job...all in Java, they "implemented" their own tabbing system inside a single window, you couldn't Undo anything, th
  • We can't learn new technologies when your whole day is spent working on OLD technologies.

  • 'The further you get away from your education the less knowledge you have of the new technologies, and technology is always moving forward.'"
    I guess that assumes that
    1) We, as techworkers, don't learn from our experience.
    2) That there is no carry over of concepts from one tech to another.
    3) That the technology changes so much that we cannot or do not learn new stuff constantly in the process of working and learning.
    4) The technology is the sole thing. There are businesses to be understood and ade
    • More worrisome is our recruitment of workers from the same area we're "fighting terrorists" in. When I was at ATnT, we had a "scandal" were some contractors in Malaysia were funneling money to Al Queda, the FBI was involved and such. It's awesome to have a contractor from some place who is contracted to some Indian company, who is then contracted to IBM, who is then contracted to National Grid, who runs the power system in a large chunk of the northeast US. They don't need to hack anything, we just hande
  • make min wage $20 hr so that worker can live on that mcjob they get after being pushed out of tech.

  • by GerryGilmore (663905) on Friday March 21, 2014 @06:34PM (#46547749)
    To me, the whole concept of the former "personnel" department becoming "human resources" is a reflection of the mindset that real people with real desires to advance, and real desires to keep up with technical changes and advances, and real desires to feel like we're really contributing to the success of our company are, well, passe. In that mindset, we're all just "resources" that can fit onto a spreadsheet or HR template. A true story from my days at Dialogic - a company that made telecom gear. After finally getting management buy-in to release a Linux version, I was in a meeting with engineering management and they started wondering about getting the "resources" to do the driver and porting work. I suggested looking at working to get some input from some experienced open-source driver maintainers on a contract basis to get some of our existing Solaris versions ported. They laughed and said "Oh, we can't do that! We'll just pull some resources from our Windows team and they'll be fine." Ha! For some reason, they just couldn't grasp the concept that there was experience, knowledge and - ultimately - passion for what you are doing that translates into real achievement.
  • by JustNiz (692889) on Friday March 21, 2014 @06:35PM (#46547757)

    >> H-1B guest workers are a much better choice. 'It's not easy to retrain people,' Corley said. '

      In my experience most H1B guest workers are exactly the ones who need the most training, even just in order to properly perform the job they are already coming in for. Learning valuable skills appears to be exactly the reason many come to the US in the first place.

    There is no lack of IT workers in the US, just a lack of IT workers who will work for minimum wage. The only reason companies claim they need more H1Bs is because H1B workers will work for cheap.

  • to know how transferable this view is. Does it apply to lobbyists too?

  • Now if we could keep finding new doctors where each new doctor does the job for 25% less then the old one until the cost is 25% of what it originally cost... hmmm. Then we'd have doctors that suck as bad as new code and outsourced tech support.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Every time a company treats me as disposable, I treat them as disposable. Quid pro quo, Clarice. Oh jeez I wonder why Microsoft is failing and Linux is exploding... I wonder why Adobe is going to hell... I can't wait to see Google go down in the near future as well.

  • by russbutton (675993) <russ AT russbutton DOT com> on Friday March 21, 2014 @07:36PM (#46548155) Homepage
    We are rapidly reaching a fundamental breaking point in our economic system. Here's how our current system works.

    On one hand, it is normal business practice to maximize profits, though not necessarily for the benefit of the share holders. On the other hand, it is normal for the working class to sell their skill, ingenuity and labor in exchange for money (profit). Furthermore companies expect some amount of loyalty from the employees, valuing it only for so long as it benefits the company. The company on the other hand is under no obligation to have any loyalty to the employee.

    This is a workable system so long as the required skill set changes slowly enough for employees to adapt and sustain themselves. This is still the case in certain industries like construction, home remodeling, etc. But in technology, new skill requirements pop up as fast as they can be invented and job experience greater than 3 years is irrelevant.

    With the development of advanced IT management systems, as well as the outsourcing to lower paid foreign workers, American workers and their jobs are being eliminated. This is to be expected because it is normal to think that companies are always going to be trying to lower their expenses. The problem here is that this is creating an imbalance between the demand and supply of skils and labor.

    The reason this is a problem is that it is eroding the middle class and it is middle class demand that is the source of economic activity. The reason 3rd World countries have stagnant economies and a lack of economic opportunity is there is no middle class and no middle class demand. Without a middle class and the money it has to spend, there's nobody to sell goods and services to. Sadly this is the direction that America is inexorably headed.

    Today middle class jobs are being eliminated by outsourcing and advancing knowledge systems. We're not that far away from AI systems that will much, much further erode middle class jobs. It won't just be IT workers that will get it. it will be bankers, lawyers, workers in the insurance industry, etc.

    IBM's Watson is now being used to invent new cuisines and is doing a pretty good job of it.

    The demand for human labor and ingenuity is quickly being phased out as technology advances along with the issues of globalization. Therefore the fundamental premise that people can provide for themselves through the exchange of skill, ingenuity and labor is quickly being made obsolete, and this will fundamentally break our economic system. Futurists of the past would speculate that our society would become so rich that humans would only work because they wanted to and that we would have almost unlimited wealth and leisure time. But that isn't the way it's going is it? When there no longer is enough work to be had, there will a permanent underclass of poor in America, just as it is normal in the 3rd World.

  • by crunchygranola (1954152) on Friday March 21, 2014 @07:47PM (#46548199)

    For the company, he argued, H-1B guest workers are a much better choice. 'It's not easy to retrain people,' Corley said.

    No doubt this is true - hiring cheap indentured laborers without rights is more profitable. Which is why they must be denied that option.

    Corporations would employ sweat shops with child labor here*, if we let them. But we don't because while it would be profitable for the sweatshop operator, it would be bad for everybody else.

    If the choice is retraining workers, and not having the workers they need, they will most definitely stop throwing away their workforce.

    *Yes, I know they do that overseas.

  • Some of us "wingnuts" wanted to slow down the immigration flood, you know ... but we must just be racists. Yeah, that's it.
  • by Jim Sadler (3430529) on Friday March 21, 2014 @10:31PM (#46548917)
    There are many companies and industries that do not have a good reputation among workers for taking care of older or burned out employees. Unless it is a time of very limited job openings it means that younger workers will demand far higher starting wages and better raises to stay with a company. If a potential employee is not smart enough to insist upon fair pay and some very real assurance of doing well then you really do not want to hire him anyway. The old, vague promises of yesteryear will no longer work. One tactic an employee can use is to start a new job by casually asking how many people around him in the business are long time employees. If there are too many fairly new workers it may be time to leave before you even start.

Economists state their GNP growth projections to the nearest tenth of a percentage point to prove they have a sense of humor. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

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