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Businesses The Almighty Buck IT Technology

Short of IT Workers At Home, Israeli Startups Recruit Elsewhere ( 137

New submitter Alex Wilson shares a Reuters report: Driven by startups, Israel's technology industry is the fastest growing part of the economy. It accounts for 14 percent of economic output and 50 percent of exports. But a shortage of workers means its position at the cutting edge of global technology is at risk, with consequences for the economy and employment. When Alexey Chalimov founded software design firm Eastern Peak in Israel four years ago he knew he would not find the developers he needed at home. He went to Ukraine and hired 120 people to develop mobile apps and web platforms for international clients and smaller Israeli startups. "I worked for years in the Israeli market and I knew what the costs were in Israel and I knew there was a shortage of workers," he told Reuters.

The government's Innovation Authority forecasts a shortage of 10,000 engineers and programmers over the next decade in a market that employs 140,000. Israel has dropped six spots in three years to 17th in the World Economic Forum's ranking of the ease of finding skilled technology employees. In the meantime, many Israeli startups are looking abroad.

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Short of IT Workers At Home, Israeli Startups Recruit Elsewhere

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  • by __aaclcg7560 ( 824291 ) on Tuesday June 27, 2017 @11:04AM (#54698845)
    Do they need miracle workers? ;)
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      In that region, the need for fanatically loyal employees is exploding.
      • In that region, the need for fanatically loyal employees is exploding.

        That's fine for young people. I'm too fat and old (according to Slashdot) to be wearing a vest at work.

        • I was thinking along the lines of what Billionaires are saying, "American Engineers are two stupid to work for us, unless its at 10 cents on the dollar." So lets apply that to the culture of Israel and we get what any inner bred redneck would say. Its amazing how an excuse fails when nationality is exchanged for culture.
        • The right kind of vest is the fastest weight loss program known to man. Your pounds will suddenly leave you before you can blink.
    • Not at all. They only want people with a Master's, five years' experience in something that's only existed for three and are under 24.

  • .... I bet salary is skyrocketing, right? :-)
    • Not too long ago, I read about high unemployment in an Israeli town that hosts a couple of Intel fabs, despite the high skill of workers there.

      Given all the people Israel is getting from aliya, can't they channel a whole bunch of them into STEM? Also, since the biggest influx has been from Russia and Eastern European countries, shouldn't they get a good supply of STEM graduates already?

  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Tuesday June 27, 2017 @11:07AM (#54698869)

    For most tech jobs you can actually pull any person off the street and train them to do the job that is required (I apologize for hurting the feelings of Slashdot readers). However a professional job, requires professional pay. Many companies just don't want to deal with that. So they outsource to cheaper countries, where they pick up their guys off the street and train them to work for less in their counties.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I've worked in a few places that did this. Pay was excellent for everyone. The problem is that not everyone is technically inclined, even those with degrees in technical fields and it places an extra burden on those who are. Fixing mistakes is often more difficult and takes longer than doing things right the first time. I worked with one guy who had difficulties with the concept of folders and directories even after years on the job and he had a degree in CS (I don't). You end up doing your job and theirs.

  • by EvilSS ( 557649 ) on Tuesday June 27, 2017 @11:09AM (#54698883)
    That missed the word "of" when first reading the headline?
  • So I'm sitting here trying to figure out where you want to rank in the "World Economic Forum's ranking of the ease of finding skilled technology employees". If you rank first, then there are no jobs and skilled talent goes wasting. If you rank last, it can be because there are zillions of job opportunities sucking up all the talent or, maybe, your country hasn't gotten reliable electricity and certainly no infrastructure to support the creation of technical companies. Maybe dropping 3 spots to 17th is a goo
  • "shortage" ... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cascadingstylesheet ( 140919 ) on Tuesday June 27, 2017 @11:52AM (#54699173)
    ... uh huh. Shortage of those who will work cheap, you mean.
    • by Pascoea ( 968200 )
      Sounds vaguely familiar.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Don't they have some unemployed Palestinian workers next door to them?
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Does anyone have any good data on the availability of skilled workers in IT?

      I find that my skills are in high demand and that companies will pay for them. Maybe it's just embedded systems stuff, and not representative of IT as a whole. When the company does get foreign workers in, it's because they are genuinely the best or the only ones with particular skills (e.g. language).

      Maybe I'm lucky, and I'm sure there are some companies abusing the system, but there does also seem to be a genuine skill shortage in

  • by DatbeDank ( 4580343 ) on Tuesday June 27, 2017 @11:57AM (#54699209)
    In one of the most notoriously difficult countries to immigrate to for non-Jews, I find it deliciously ironic that they're having problems with a worker shortage. The question is, will they ease immigration requirements for non-Jews? I highly doubt it.
    • Why would non religious gentiles wanna immigrate there? And when people talk about those difficulties, they are talking about Pali resettlement into Israel. Palis left Israel in the 1960s, and by now should have integrated into whichever countries they fled to, so they have no business asking Israel to reabsorb them
      • It's much more complex than that.
        They didn't leave in the 60s. They left in the 1948 war. Often because they were expelled. []

        • No, they were encouraged by the Jordanians & Egyptians to leave. The Jews who were there had bought land from them at above market prices in the period b/w the world wars. After the war, the case for a Jewish state was stronger than ever, and some Arabs there left at the urging of the leaders of Jordan & Egypt. Since then, generations have passed and their families have settled in other Arab countries, but due to the desire to keep the issue alive, the Arab League forbade members from granting th
          • you have a very biased view of history. Read that wikipedia link I posted earlier. You will learn a lot.

    • by Sun ( 104778 )

      There are talks of relaxing that exactly. The discussions about high-tech visas centers precisely around how not to allow employers to use this channel to import cheap labor, but instead focus on truly solving the the high knowledge shortage


  • I've spent the last half-decade deep in the bowels of a product that is the result of an Israeli code from the early 00's being supported and maintained largely by Ukrainians for the latter half of it's lifetime. So, personal experience here.

    It's almost impossible to work with Israeli companies when it comes to actual production stuff. There's such a massive difference when it comes to their logic. They assume they are *always* right. And I have yet to see Israeli code that has error correction built into

  • by Anonymous Coward

    From around 2005 to 2006 I worked for an embedded software company on a gaming (think casino "gaming") system that was used to create video slots and poker games for American casinos. Before you ask, no the Russians didn't hack the system to give themselves jackpots. They get certified in a different way and often by the casinos themselves. That kind of crap gets you killed, and being in the Ukraine wouldn't save you (ahh, the stories I could tell).

    Nonetheless, when I started it was because they'd had the f

    • I tend to agree. I don't have any first- hand knowledge of the job situation in Israel, but it sounds parallel to what I see all the time in America, really.
      People come up with all of these startup business concepts that (of course) require custom code to be written to build the software that will run on phones, tablets or computers to make it all happen. But they view the code building process a lot like hiring people to build a new shed in their yard or to do landscaping work.

      Basically, they want cheap l

  • Unless you're some kind of crazy zionist, any halfway-intelligent person is not going to want to move to Israel. Aside from being a theocracy and giving different rights to people based on their religion, they've also elected disgusting conservative governments for countless years now. This is all without even going into the atrocities and human rights violations. Israel needs to be written off the map. If they really want to be secular, as so many claim, they need to deliver. Change the name, unite wi

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, because the Palestinians don't support Hamas or Hezbollah. They aren't murdering Israeli's, or shooting rockets daily into Israel. The Palestinians also don't have a government which pays family members money if they kill Israelis or suicide bomb Israelis. /s

      Israel is not perfect, but this ridiculous notion that they are evil incarnate committing war crimes and atrocities every second of every day is just ridiculous. They are surrounded on 3 sides by people who believe they do not have a right to exist

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Clearly you've never been to the country and are spouting nonsense based on what you heard 3rd-hand.

      Please, come visit and judge for yourself.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by gtall ( 79522 )

      You don't really understand the Mid-East, its Peoples, and their Grievances. The grievances are as old as the people. Were every Jew dead tomorrow, the Arabs would be pissed because they had not been the ones to kill them out of revenge.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There would be peace tomorrow if the Palestinians laid down their weapons. if the Israelis did, there would be no Israel. Put that in your pipe and smoke it...

  • Whenever talk of "shortage" hits a certain pace, a recession pops up. We are almost due. Recessions have hit roughly around the end of the decade for roughly 40 years, and even longer back if you ignore the Vietnam spending bubble.

  • The summary is very confusing.

    First, they claim a shortage of IT workers.

    Then they go on to talk about developers, engineers, and programmers, instead of IT workers.

    Then they go back and talk about IT workers: "skilled technology employees".

    I can understand that they might also have a shortage of those other things as well as IT workers, but what do developers, engineers, and programmers have to do with answering the phone at the help desk, pulling cat 5/cat 6 cable, using puppet to configure systems, or sw

    • I can understand that they might also have a shortage of those other things as well as IT workers, but what do developers, engineers, and programmers have to do with answering the phone at the help desk, pulling cat 5/cat 6 cable, using puppet to configure systems, or swapping out disks on raid arrays (aka the stuff that "IT workers" do)?

      Ya, weird, I have no idea why people that chemically treat film, drive trains, or schedule TV shows would be put in an IT department. I guess it's just part of the corporate culture in Israel.

  • Immigration to Isreal is easy if you can make the cut.

  • by Hognoxious ( 631665 ) on Wednesday June 28, 2017 @02:40AM (#54703199) Homepage Journal

    Instead of bringing them in on an H-1B it'll be an Oy-1Vey.

Stinginess with privileges is kindness in disguise. -- Guide to VAX/VMS Security, Sep. 1984