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How the 'Tech Worker Visa' Is Remaking IT In America

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the good-intentions dept.

Education 436

theodp writes "Back in 2008, the Department of Homeland Security enacted a controversial 'emergency' rule to allow foreign students earning tech-related degrees in the US to work for American employers for 29 months after graduation without a work visa. The program would allow US companies to recruit and retain the 'best' science and tech students educated at the top US universities, explained Microsoft. But two-and-a-half years later, it turns out the top US universities are getting schooled by less-renowned institutions. Computerworld reports the DHS program is dominated by little-known, for-profit Stratford University, whose 727 approved requests for post-graduate Optional Practical Training (OPT) STEM extensions tops all schools and is more than twice the combined total of the entire Ivy League — Brown (26), Columbia (105), Cornell (90), Dartmouth (18), Harvard (27), Princeton (16), Penn (50), and Yale (9). In second place, with 533 approved requests, is the University of Bridgeport. In another twist, the program's employers include IT outsourcing and offshoring 'body shops' like Kelly Services, whose entities snagged about 50 approvals, more than twice the combined total of tech stalwarts Google (15), Amazon.com (2), Yahoo (2), and Facebook (3)."

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Win for the free market. (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301286)

Clearly the private, for profit schools produce more competitive students.

Re:Win for the free market. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301398)

Clearly the private schools are really good at funneling foreign workers into our job positions. Win for private sector, a loss for the rest of us.

Consider this: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301420)

We get to eat better prepared hamburgers!

Re:Consider this: (0, Troll)

Cwix (1671282) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301444)

At least we know the Indians (Hindu) arn't eating our precious hamburgers!!

Re:Consider this: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301668)

Have you ever seen horses fuck?

The stallion will mount the female horse, kicking her back with his forelegs, and then he will thrust until his massive cock enters the mare.

Mere seconds later, the stallion's tail will flick up and down as a ridiculous amount of jissom sprays out of the mare's vagina before the stallions limpening penis falls out and swings pendulously, dripping with goo.

Human-assisted horse breeding is much more fun. The mere sight of two hillbillies with mullets jerking off a horse is pure gold, man.

Re:Consider this: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301692)

I'm extremely hesitant to ask this, but what does this have to do with the parents reference to hamburgers?

Re:Consider this: (0, Offtopic)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301840)

Both are made from horsemeat. *Ba-DUM PISH!*

Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week.

Remaking IT to be an anti-citizen? (3, Insightful)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301318)

"Back in 2008, the Department of Homeland Security enacted a controversial 'emergency' rule to allow foreign students earning tech-related degrees in the U.S. to work for American employers for 29 months after graduation without a work visa.

While citizens who could use the training and work, are given the short shaft, thanks to various loopholes in need of closure. They have the skills, it's time we made companies actually recognize that.

Think about it before you throw your exception to the rule about a specific thing not being found.

The program would allow U.S. companies to recruit and retain the 'best' science and tech students

Bullshit. We have all the people we need, we just aren't willing to engage in fraud. Businesses however, are.

  But two-and-a-half years later, it turns out the top U.S. universities are getting schooled by less-renowned institutions. Computerworld reports the DHS program is dominated by little-known, for-profit Stratford University, whose 727 approved requests for post-graduate Optional Practical Training (OPT) STEM extensions tops all schools and is more than twice the combined total of the entire Ivy League -- Brown (26), Columbia (105), Cornell (90), Dartmouth (18), Harvard (27), Princeton (16), Penn (50), and Yale (9). In second place, with 533 approved requests, is the University of Bridgeport. In another twist, the program's employers include IT outsourcing and offshoring 'body shops' like Kelly Services, whose entities snagged about 50 approvals, more than twice the combined total of tech stalwarts Google (15), Amazon.com (2), Yahoo (2), and Facebook (3)."

This might be the real story. Either the fraud's moved over to those universities, or the fraud shops got seriously blindsided.

Re:Remaking IT to be an anti-citizen? (5, Insightful)

TheSync (5291) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301366)

We have all the people we need

I'd kind of prefer if the US had more smart people, even if we have to import them...

Re:Remaking IT to be an anti-citizen? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301418)

I'd kind of prefer if the US had more smart people, even if we have to import them...

So would I, but this program doesn't accomplish that. It just gives the offshoring companies a couple of years to train the "graduate" before sending the job to Asia.

You're obviously "not too smart" then (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301422)

If you don't realize that what businesses go for, as far as labor, is the cheapest they can find... always.

"I'd kind of prefer if the US had more smart people, even if we have to import them..." - by TheSync (5291)
on Sunday November 21, @07:01PM (#34301366) Homepage

See my subject-line: Especially in regards to that rather STUPID statement from yourself.

I mean, either you are a dolt, and don't realize what's really going on in business out there (and in gov't. as well) as far as the labor force, (not execs though, they steal the difference between paying US folks vs. foreigners) OR, you are truly, stupid.

(Bottom-line though? Heh, no small wonder why your comment was modded flamebait)

Re:Remaking IT to be an anti-citizen? (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34302164)

We do. The big proponents of importing employees just don't want to hire THEM because they have families here and might (gasp) want to spend a few minutes with them. That and they might want to be paid better since they don't get to send it somewhere where it goes further.

hmmm (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301400)

This reminds me of the Stephen Colbert + Mexican farm workers demonstrating how even when offered US workers didnt take the farming jobs. It is not that Americans dont have the skills - it is just that the ones with the skills didnt want to do the back breaking work for the pay offered.

IT consulting is a legitimate need. You may not think so - but most companies dont want a hoard of IT employees. Most of them want a few dozen when starting on some boring implementation (Say Oracle ERP.. or SAP), and once done - they want these dozens to leave. They dont want to train them - they want consultants who can come do the job and then leave. Google etc. do cool stuff and get the best - unfortunately such jobs are few - most IT jobs are now boring jobs which involve pedestrian work.

Most americans want to join Deloitte and Accenture and become 'Functional Consultants' not coders - or they want jobs where they can code something interesting - and at a good wage. They get paid a starting salary of 60K-70K to be analysts who neither program, nor know the applications. All the boring coding is done by Kelly services or other 'body shop' consultants who are here on H1B or F1-Opt, and they get paid around $40-50K. These jobs which involve travelling 4-5 days a week, coding something in PLSQL or JAVA or even just testing are not usually taken by Americans because most americans CS grads want a 'programming cool stuff' job without any travel.

Give these indians and chinese H1Bs.. or watch the coding completely move offshore. Virtualization and companies like oDesk have already provided enuff technology to make coding offshore completely viable. Then - the result will be what happend with manufacturing - nothing here at home! You cant expect to get paid 2x-4x for similar skills and productivity.

As long as mexicans are required to pluck fruits in Cali... you can be sure there will be indians here to do testing and boring IT coding. And just like a Stanford degree doesnt help much in plucking fruits - ditto with basic dirty IT jobs - you need warm bodies ... not ultra innovative geniuses to do the job!

Re:hmmm (2, Informative)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301500)

This reminds me of the Stephen Colbert + Mexican farm workers demonstrating how even when offered US workers didnt take the farming jobs.

A "program" offered by a character on a Comedy Central program isn't exactly a valid cite. How many people actually thought it was real? And for most people who live on the coasts, how many farms are there around them that would actually hire that kind of worker. I think the closest one to me is about a 3 hour drive - one way.

Re:hmmm (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301730)

Ya right dude, no one wants to do that kind of farm labor. It's not easy. Imagine climbing up and down ladders all day, moving your hands faster than you thought possible, picking cherries or something. And then at the end of the day getting paid almost nothing because you are too slow to keep up with everyone. That's how it starts out. After a month or so you get a lot better at it, your stamina goes up, and if you are lucky, you'll get paid $8 an hour. You can get as much on welfare and watch TV all day. I only did that kind of thing when I was a teenager and had no other skills (incidentally most of the other white teenagers I was working with got fired because the Mexicans are so much better workers. White teenagers have trouble focusing on work, sorry if that sounds racist, I'm not looking down on either race). Mexicans truly do the jobs no one else wants to do. If you have any skill at all, you can do better than picking cherries.

Incidentally, most cities have places you can go to get day labor work. The WSJ did an analysis a few months ago of the kinds of jobs that are available now. They found that there are lots of jobs for unskilled workers, and lots of jobs for highly skilled workers (like programmers), but not much demand for medium skilled workers (like middle managers). And that matches my experience. If anyone is having trouble finding a programming job, it is because A) they suck, B) they have no clue how to find a job (one of my friends is like this: every time he goes in for a job interview he tells them he doesn't want to work hard. And yet he still has an ok job....at a university). or C) you are looking in the wrong place. You won't find many programming jobs in Modesto, California.

Re:hmmm (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301734)

Well it comes down to how desperate you are, really. 3 hours travel one way is nothing for someone truly desperate. So a better interpretation of the Colbert demo is that average Americans aren't nearly as desperate for jobs, yet, as we are led to believe.

Re:hmmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301710)

We're scraping the bottom of the barrel now.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to work with some really great outsourced employees. They were the top of the class, the elite that knew their stuff well enough that companies would pay the money to bring them over. But along the way something happened. Just like the tech degree mills that popped up over here during the dot com boom, India and China are experiencing the same thing. Now we longer get the cream of the crop, but often a bunch of half-wits who don't know crap. Given imported half-wits or domestic half-wits, I'd go with the domestic half-wits.

Case in point... Earlier this year I worked with some folks who claimed to have Unix/Linux experience. One of the first things they called me about was that the 'ls' command wasn't working. Silly me, I figured that a hung NFS mount was probably hanging the command. Nope. The directory was actually so 'ls' didn't return anything. These are the same idiots who called because the 'network copy was slow'. They were trying to move a multi-gigabyte file from one server to another one sitting about two inches away in the rack. I thought perhaps the bonding configuration was screwy. Nope, the idiot was mapping both servers to his Windows desktop and doing an Explorer copy. This might not have been so bad except that the idiot was accessing the servers across a VPN. I.e., rather than copying directly across the network, he was moving these massive files across a (probably cable or DSL) connection to his endpoint and all the way back again.

Now I'm just your average IT worker. I don't claim to be an expert in anything. My perl is decent. My Java is functional. I can put together a simple web app given enough time. But even with my meager skills I am constantly having to fix or assist these morons with simple things like connecting to a datasource or pulling in a module for session awareness.

Re:hmmm (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301908)

It is not that Americans dont have the skills - it is just that the ones with the skills didnt want to do the back breaking work for the pay offered.

No, it's that _FARMERS AREN'T PAYING ENOUGH_ for Americans to want to do the work. If you offered $100k to pick crops on farms, you'd see a queue of people ready to do it.

Of course in reality they're using cheap foreign labour to avoid the cost of automating most of those jobs, which is likely consequence of having to pay viable US wages instead.

Re:hmmm (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34302170)

That's interesting, since Americans don't want to travel to the site, the jobs will go offshore to teleworkers? Why not just offer telework to the Americans?

Re:Remaking IT to be an anti-citizen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301434)

They have the skills, it's time we made companies actually recognize that.

This is complete rubbish. US workers simply don't have the skills.

Now, you can blame the DHS and TSA and other Federal agencies who forbid American workers from utilizing TARDIS travel to gain ten years of experience in technologies that have only been around for one to three years, but that's a different matter entirely.

Re:Remaking IT to be an anti-citizen? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301514)

It would be great if there was a requirement that any company hiring outsourced IT folks fund equivalent scholarships for US citizens and green card holders. It's perfectly logical. The companies argue that they go the H1B visa route because ostensibly there is no local talent. It's not about saving money, they say. By requiring that companies pay into a scholarship an amount equal to the difference in pay between local talent and the outsourced employee, we can make it fair.

If there is indeed a shortage of local talent then that position will command a high salary for that area. By making the cost of outsourcing equivalent to hiring a local employee there is no doubt about the reasons. If there is local talent, and funding education means that within a couple years, there *will* be talent, then local prices can go down.

This helps balance both sides. The employing company wants to remain competitive by lowering costs. The IT worker wants to maintain his/her skillset.

Now I don't believe in a guarantee of work. Be smart, be relevant, and work appears. But I also don't believe in artificially reducing labor costs by bringing in cut-rate workers that drive down local salaries.

Re:Remaking IT to be an anti-citizen? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#34302004)

The problem is that they pay the fair wage. If the didn't they couldn't get the visa.

If a system was in place to demonstrate they didn't, they wouldn't be able to get the h1 b anyway.

Re:Remaking IT to be an anti-citizen? (4, Interesting)

jonwil (467024) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301888)

People have the skills, they just dont have the experience.
I see it time and time again on IT job sites. I see companies that ask for "3 years experience in " yet no-one is willing to give people like me (someone who has plenty of skills but not enough experience) a chance so that I can GET the jobs where they want experience.

And I see the same job listed again and again.

I see article after article where people claim there is an "IT worker shortage". If IT firms were more willing to hire people who have University qualifications and good skills but havent necessarily done real world work, there wouldnt BE a shorage.

Re:Remaking IT to be an anti-citizen? (4, Insightful)

jshackney (99735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34302176)

"IT worker shortage"

Marketing-speak to English translation: The market is full of highly experienced and expensive talent. We're looking for cheap talent, and nobody wants to work for what we're paying.

See also: Teacher Shortage; Pilot Shortage; Nurse Shortage; [________] Shortage.

Re:Remaking IT to be an anti-citizen? (1)

tacarat (696339) | more than 3 years ago | (#34302188)

Paranoid types might suggest nobody wants legal workers, only illegals. Then you can treat them like crap for less and still threaten deportation whenever you like. The only question is where the US citizens go for our illegal work.

Data viewer + entry must have been outsourced (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301370)

Wow, that's an astonishingly piss-poor data viewer from the summary. Slow, buggy, and shows clear signs that the people responsible had no idea how to normalize data (WTF are there not only fields with a 'null' employer name, but also with 'none'? Intel's in there with at LEAST two different capitalizations as well...)

Re:Data viewer + entry must have been outsourced (1)

theodp (442580) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301410)

Good enough for government data. :-)

Re:Data viewer + entry must have been outsourced (5, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301780)

Also, the numbers involved seem hilariously small to me. Ooh, wow, 50 people went to work for J Random Outsourcing firm. I care because .... why exactly? I'm sure you could fill a small office building with these people. Scary.

And even then, the real difference is probably going to be that most of them will be paying US income tax instead of Indian / Chinese income tax.

Been there. (5, Insightful)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301448)

From the 4th page:

The contractor that Serrano trained at IBM was from China, but Serrano didn't know her immigration status. And despite having to train her replacement, ...

I had to do the same thing at another company and he was the one who asked me what the '*' by variables mean and "what's a pointer?"

That's why when I hear some big shot at Intel, IBM or any other big corp says that they are hiring overseas because 'they can't find qualified Americans", I have to go off and mumble "Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit. ... "

Just tell the fucking truth. They want cheaper labor. That's why as Indian salaries go up, they move to other countries.

Nope. It's corporate America. How do you tell when a PR person is lying? Their lips move.

Of course the economists will say this is good for the entire economy. Really? Then why have real wages been stagnant for over a decade - for everyone?

Go up the food chain? How can we when even the upper food chain jobs are leaving. Except of course upper management. But that will change. Some foreign based company without the obscene upper management pay of IBM or Intel is going to come in and eat their lunches - you'll see.

Re:Been there. (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301592)

It's corporate America and the selling walk around. Would you invest in a company has feel good US generation brands all over its kit?
Or like to trust a company with the low cost ugly no brand kit?
Whats the difference? One box is built to order in Peoples first class export electronics factory 12, the other cloned in factory 48 a mile away for a fraction of the cost.
The US still has the design edge. Build on that :)

Re:Been there. (5, Insightful)

wampus (1932) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301846)

'they can't find qualified Americans"

They aren't lying, they just aren't saying the rest of that phrase, "for what we are willing to pay."

Re:Been there. (1, Interesting)

Baba Ram Dass (1033456) | more than 3 years ago | (#34302128)

I agree with everything except your conclusion regarding it not benefiting the economy. Competition on the global scale does indeed benefit the global economy. Global is the keyword. Proof is the rising wages in the countries where outsourcing work is going. You've got to remember that there is an enormous wage gap between the western world and the more poverty stricken world. Competion--in this case of labor--is doing what comppetiton does best: making the commodity more efficient to produce on the whole.

That's not to imply it doesn't suck for us developers in the States. But the fact is a $3 cut in our pay doesn't have anywhere near the effect a $3 increase on pay has on someone in India or China.

In the end globalization will benefit everyone in the world. It's like when computers became popular; no one can deny they were good for everyone ultimately. But in the beginning it sure did suck for the people who made and used typewriters.

aka RTFM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301450)

Reading comprehension alert:

The program would allow U.S. companies to recruit and retain the 'best' science and tech students educated at the top U.S. universities, explained Microsoft. But two-and-a-half years later, it turns out the top U.S. universities are getting schooled by less-renowned institutions.

Why "But"? The truth of the second sentence doesn't negate the truth of the first sentence. MS never said that would be the only result of the program.

Ivy League schools... (5, Interesting)

mixed_signal (976261) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301472)

... probably aren't high on the recruiting list for IT and technology professionals. MIT, Carnegie-Mellon, U.C. Berkeley, Stanford, ... several state universities, and on down are where the action is for engineering and computer science. So clearly there are more "tech" jobs in the specialties where these schools are hiring, likely those requiring less education. The problem with this data is that it has no basis for comparison to how the visa program is actually changing anything.

I had tried to recruit some talented MSEE grads for some time back in 2007 and found, frustratingly, that most were here in student visas and the pool of H1-B visas were much smaller. We couldn't count on obtaining an H1-B and had to turn down a few very talented people. And, no, at the time we did not find as many U.S. citizens available.

A better data point would be to show the percentage of student visa holders that have remained the in U.S. with this program.

And if anyone wants to complain about these programs taking jobs from U.S. citizens, then it should start by reducing the number of student visas on offer. Once someone is well trained by our schools it's insane to not let them stay and add to our GDP.

727 whole jobs? The sky is falling! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301474)

I'm willing to bet that 1/3 of the program that IS in Ivy League schools is more than worth the other 2/3s leeching off the program; people of that caliber don't grow on trees. Not one of the IT monkeys whining in this thread would qualify for the jobs that need these people.

Re:727 whole jobs? The sky is falling! (5, Insightful)

Just Brew It! (636086) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301534)

Going to an Ivy League school doesn't necessarily mean you're smarter; it just means your parents have a lot of money.

Re:727 whole jobs? The sky is falling! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301566)

International students with full scholarships are smarter.

Re:727 whole jobs? The sky is falling! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301604)

I find it hard to believe that there are not enough smart domestic students who could use a scholarship.

Re:727 whole jobs? The sky is falling! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301728)

I find it hard to believe that there are not enough smart domestic students who could use a scholarship.

I don't. Not after seeing the people that come in to interview for job openings.

Look, kids, it's just like /.'s view of musicians and the RIAA: the world doesn't owe you a living working in IT just because you want it. I hire the best I can get and if some non-American is better than you, I'm going to get them a visa and hire him/her without batting an eyelash.

Re:727 whole jobs? The sky is falling! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301928)

If they are better than me, than so be it, hire them.

But if I am equal to or better than them and an American citizen and you throw me to the curb and snatch him up like a pedophile at an Amusement Park cause he will work for dog crap while I am trying to actually make a decent living, you can go fuck yourself.

I have seen plenty of decent jobs where the employer is only willing to hire foreigners cause of the pay issue. It is kinda messed up to go to an American company only to see half the people barely speak English and it doesn't even have to be at the highly skilled jobs either, except at the lower end of the pole they don't even go for the visas, they just flat out hire illegals and if they can't get them they go for convicted felons cause they know they have them over a barrel.

Sorry man, you can try and make excuses and sugarcoat it but the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of the people admitted under this program are not here due to their skill or lack of qualified labor and everything to do with keeping their wages low and removing as much control from the workers as possible. You have a better chance of sifting through raw bit-torrent trafic for a legal download than you do sifting through the stack of Visas for a worker who honestly got the job due to his qualifications and not his pay scale.

Re:727 whole jobs? The sky is falling! (2, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34302006)

Look, kids, it's just like /.'s view of musicians and the RIAA: the world doesn't owe you a living working in IT just because you want it. I hire the best I can get and if some non-American is better than you, I'm going to get them a visa and hire him/her without batting an eyelash.

It's not the ones who are the best who are the problem. Maybe 1% of the H-1Bs are among the best. The other 99% are code monkeys who went to the local equivalent of a tech school, know barely enough Java or whatever to get by, and have resumes "enhanced" by agencies who specialize in such things (because their qualifications are foreign, they are unlikely to be verified by a US company). This has all sorts of bad effects, including cutting off the bottom rungs of the ladder for American grads. Why hire an unproven new grad from a non-top-10 school when for the same price or cheaper, you can get an H-1B with "5 years experience" in anything you like?

Re:727 whole jobs? The sky is falling! (1)

ATMAvatar (648864) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301628)

You're making an assumption that an international student is more likely to have a full scholarship. Most of the international students in my CS graduating class were from rich families who simply paid extra to have their children educated in the US.

Re:727 whole jobs? The sky is falling! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301718)

...where the meaning of "full scholarship" can be quite flexible indeed.

Re:727 whole jobs? The sky is falling! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34302044)

troll.

Re:727 whole jobs? The sky is falling! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301602)

So I suppose that those of us who busted our butts to get into an Ivy only were admitted not because we worked hard but because mommy and daddy had plenty of money?

Fuck off.

Re:727 whole jobs? The sky is falling! (2, Insightful)

Just Brew It! (636086) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301678)

No, but your chances of being able to afford it would've been significantly less. Good for you that you were motivated to bust your butt to get in. But for every Ivy League student, there are a hundred other students who are just as smart who are attending other schools because they couldn't afford the tuition.

What I object to is the implication (as embodied in the post I responded to) that Ivy Leaguers are somehow automatically better than everyone else.

Re:727 whole jobs? The sky is falling! (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301776)

A hundred? I doubt it. It's not only about being smart. My experience with many Ivy leaguers is that they are not only smart, but also extremely motivated. That is why they are so rare- you might have a 1% chance to be either, but .01% to be both.

Re:727 whole jobs? The sky is falling! (2, Insightful)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301612)

That's true, but the idle rich tend to not take technical courses... It's a safe bet that Ivy League CS are smarter (on average).

But that's tangential; even if intelligence were the same, the training is totally different. These private mills are turning out day laborers (of whatever intelligence) and, as the original poster pointed out, not a whole lot of them.

Still, that there is more demand (in raw numbers) for code monkeys than theoretical computer scientists in the DHS (which I can imagine is a true bastion of intellectualism...) shouldn't be particularly surprising to anyone. It follows immediately that a program for generating the former would be more successful.

If one were from Mars, it would seem a little bit strange that the US is running a welfare program (DHS) whose principal recipients are private companies and foreigners, but for anyone living here it ought not be surprising.

Re:727 whole jobs? The sky is falling! (3, Interesting)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301620)

Going to an Ivy League school doesn't necessarily mean you're smarter; it just means your parents have a lot of money.

Except that's lot of people at Ivy league schools are students there on scholarships. I wasn't one of those. I went to Yale, and both my parents were Yale grads. I like to think I'm smart, but being from a high income bracket with legacy obviously helped a lot. But many if not most students didn't fall into that sort of category. For example, I knew one person who was the first female in her family to go to college ever and the first one in three generations not to have a teen pregnancy. She got to Yale by being very smart and working really hard.

Re:727 whole jobs? The sky is falling! (1)

lorenlal (164133) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301624)

Or it means you had high enough performance numbers (GPA, tests, etc) to make them take notice of you. Granted, you meed a way to get enough loans/grants/whatever to pay for what you're getting.

...because they'll work for even less than women (1)

wagadog (545179) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301476)

or blacks. Besides, we have rights -- whereas cheap immigrant labor doesn't.

This sorta reminds me of Los Alamos preferentially hiring male foreign scientists while treating American female PhD's no better than prostitutes...and then wondering why all their "nucular" secrets go walkabout time and time again.

Re:...because they'll work for even less than wome (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301544)

Dude. Nuclear stuff would be top secret - meaning foreign scientists wouldn't be allowed to work on them.

Re:...because they'll work for even less than wome (2, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301616)

Dude. Nuclear stuff would be top secret - meaning foreign scientists wouldn't be allowed to work on them.

Uh, dude, nuclear weapons were largely developed by foreign scientists in America.

Re:...because they'll work for even less than wome (1)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301658)

What decade are you talking about? 1940?

Re:...because they'll work for even less than wome (1)

wagadog (545179) | more than 3 years ago | (#34302076)

nope. mid-1990's to the present.

Re:...because they'll work for even less than wome (1)

wagadog (545179) | more than 3 years ago | (#34302118)

Yup. and BTW "nuclear stuff" does not require a TS, it requires a Q clearance for which naturalized citizens are also eligible, even if they maintain dual citizenship with their country of birth.

I've got a BETTER emergency rule for you... (5, Insightful)

PhilipTheHermit (1901680) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301486)

How about we eliminate H1-B and L-1 visas and start hiring Americans again?

The economy is going down the tubes because greedy corporations aren't willing to pay a living wage. They don't even want to hire Americans, because the indentured servitude of the H1-B visa is too attractive to them. This is the primary reason why the middle class is shrinking: there aren't that many good jobs left (unless you're an ivy-league child of the rich, in which case "daddy" or one of his friends will make room for you somewhere).

Between the end of WWII and the start of this outsourcing nonsense, spending by the middle class was the engine that drove our economy. Now that the middle class is in rapid decline, corporations are trying to expand third-world markets to preserve their profits. So Congress is writing love letters to India and China by doing things like expanding foreign-worker visa programs.

This in turn is eliminating any desire for young people to study science or technology. Why should they, when all those jobs have moved overseas or are being handed out to visa holders? The kids are going to study law or business, things they can use in a third world economy (i.e. the future America).

The corporations are run by idiots who think the executive levels are the only important parts of the corporation to keep in the U.S. They are going to find out the hard way that they should have kept their tech staff on board, when India Inc. and China realize that they can manufacture their own executives TOO. All they have to do is drop-kick American corporations out of the country, and replace them with home-grown alternatives. This will happen within a decade, I think.

By then, there won't be ANY Americans bothering to study STEM subjects in our schools -- it'll be nothing but foreign kids, who will go right back where they came from when they graduate. We Americans are already a minority in graduate programs here. And it'll simply be too late. The professors are all foreign. The kids are all foreign. When they all go home, we won't have anything left at all.

It's all so pathetic. Rich people are so petty and stingy they're destroying their own future to make a little extra bread in the present. If they weren't destroying our future as well, I'd wish them bon voyage, but as it is they're taking the whole country down the tubes.

The only ones among us who will still know anything are hobbyists and small-scale manufacturers and hackers. And we aren't going to be inclined to try and help the corporations when they finally realize they need us.

Re:I've got a BETTER emergency rule for you... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301610)

How about we eliminate H1-B and L-1 visas and start hiring Americans again?

How about a middle ground: we eliminate H-1B (H-1B, not H1-B, and that's how I can tell you've never dealt with whatever they renamed the INS to after 9/11) and L-1 visas and start handing out green cards again?

You wanna come here and sling code for us? Fine. But none of this six-years-of-getting-expertise-at-the-expense-of-our-corporations and then you're out (H1-B) unless you get an extension through one of these degree mills. That was the same problem with the H-1B program in the first place: a quota of ~65K, now ~130K, and they were also all filled by bullshit body shops from India.

Those abuses happened because getting a green card takes years, and a company (and an employee) has to go through a year-long charade to demonstrate that "this furriner candidate isn't merely the best candidate for the job, we even tried to hire a lesser-qualified American but failed" (they call it a "Labor Certification"), and spend years more waiting for it to be approved, and years more for the green card to be granted, in order to get one.

The root cause of the problem hasn't been fixed, so the old abuses continue under new names.

So yeah, how about the compromise option: You come here, you pass the basic tests for H-1B ("Is this person qualified to do the work? Are they being paid the prevailing wage in their local area?"), you get a green card.

In the time it takes to hire an H-1B and walk them through the green card process, and then the five extra years it requires them to become eligible for citizenship, most companies have sold out and shut down, never mind most positions.

Give these alien bastards a shot at citizenship in exchange for 5 years of working here, and they might just sign onto that deal. (Even if what it means to "Be an American" has changed a lot over the past 5 years. If being an American means that when your boss tells you to do this [imgur.com] to to a 13-year-old, you say "How hard?" instead of "Fuck you, Sir! I quit!", maybe it's not all it's cracked up to be.)

Disclaimer: Lawful permanent resident who can renew once a decade for the rest of his life if he has to. Was considering naturalization until two weeks ago. If one - just one - of the tens of thousands of TSOs across this country says "enough", and quits in the next month, and goes public with his or her reasoning, I'll fucking file. If you're a TSO and you're reading this: Yeah, that's right, I'm not an American. So no, I don't know what it means to be an American. You are. Show me what it means. You're an American. Act like one.

Re:I've got a BETTER emergency rule for you... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301898)

If one - just one - of the tens of thousands of TSOs across this country says "enough", and quits in the next month, and goes public with his or her reasoning, I'll fucking file. If you're a TSO and you're reading this: Yeah, that's right, I'm not an American. So no, I don't know what it means to be an American. You are. Show me what it means. You're an American. Act like one.

Remember folks, "just following orders" is a perfectly valid excuse as long as you're not working for the Nazis.

Re:I've got a BETTER emergency rule for you... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301966)

Hows about go home? The corps are sending our middle class jobs overseas, we are being filled with people from other countries taking the lower class jobs, it means no jobs for us. Hows about fuck you and the horse you rode in on. This is coming from someone who got downsized when my companies workforce upsized the number of H-1Bs.

Re:I've got a BETTER emergency rule for you... (1, Interesting)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301614)

"This in turn is eliminating any desire for young people to study science or technology. Why should they, when all those jobs have moved overseas or are being handed out to visa holders? The kids are going to study law or business, things they can use in a third world economy (i.e. the future America)."

Law or business are the disciplines of the master class, EVERYWHERE, while science and technology are not. The exception of some scientists and geeks doing well is often due to _business_ skill (Bill Gates).

If one would be one of the masters, studying serf jobs is pointless.

Re:I've got a BETTER emergency rule for you... (1)

jfern (115937) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301646)

How about we eliminate H1-B and L-1 visas and start hiring Americans again?

Damn straight. Anyone worth a damn can get an O-1 visa. The incompetent people hired on those visas by incompetent HR can quit driving down wages and taking jobs from Americans.

Re:I've got a BETTER emergency rule for you... (3, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301708)

It's all so pathetic. Rich people are so petty and stingy they're destroying their own future to make a little extra bread in the present. If they weren't destroying our future as well, I'd wish them bon voyage, but as it is they're taking the whole country down the tubes.

You're correct about the effect but mistaken about the motivation.

Yes, the ruling elite in America are destroying the middle class. No, they aren't doing that because they're stupid or can't figure out what that will do to the country. Destroying the middle class has taken generations of effort that is only just now coming to fruition.

They're acting in their own long-term interests, as usual. You see, when you already have a stranglehold on most of the wealth in a country, and can already buy anything you please, and can already secure the financial future of your great-great-great grandchildren, and you still aren't satisfied and you still want more and more and more ... at that point only one thing remains: political power.

A strong, independent middle class is a gigantic barrier to this. When most of the country's population is a strong, independent middle class they want government to take care of what is reasonable and then to stay out of their lives and their wallets as much as possible. For those who don't think the US Federal Government is already more than powerful enough, that won't do. It won't do at all. People who can house themselves, feed themselves, and take care of their own children don't want the kind of "help" (dependency) that government can offer. People who have not just material and financial independence, but an independent spirit, well to the elites they also have this annoying habit of not easily cowering in the face of every little crisis.

For those reasons and many more, a society like that is easy to govern but incredibly difficult to rule.

A contrary view (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301722)

Because of globalization and the Internet, some intellectual labor is becoming commoditized the way unskilled labor was 80-100 years ago (when the clothing mills started shuttering across the northern US) and skilled factory labor was in the '70s and '80s, because of smart competition from the Far East and elsewhere.

Some intellectual labor, but not all. The part that is becoming commoditized is the stuff that an average American college graduate could learn to do by taking a six week training course, along with basic familiarity with computers, the Internet, phones, etc.

To survive with a good career we need to individually raise our games above the commodity level, or find a different line of work (law perhaps).

We have a choice. We can go the route of labor unions in the US, who succeeded in propping up jobs for their membership for a couple decades, before the whole structure collapsed into bankruptcy and massive plant closings. Or we could choose to adapt as individuals, lobbying the US administration and Congress occasionally for modest things such as not allowing US corporations to take tax breaks for creating American jobs that they're not creating, but also not expecting the US government to protect our domestic industry by shutting out well-educated foreigners who are willing to work for much less than we are.

Otherwise we'll repeat the same sad experience of the AFL-CIO, Teamsters, UAW and the like.

Re:I've got a BETTER emergency rule for you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301762)

> So Congress is writing love letters to India and China by doing things like expanding foreign-worker visa programs.

The BETTER, if the US wants to stay competitive in any sense. Go look at the better US universities. Any of the top 20 will do. Go peek into their physics PhD program. Or math. Or chemistry. Or a bunch of others. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Did you spot any Americans? Chance are you didn't see many. Mostly it's Indian and Chinese people getting advanced educations.

Go pick up research journals in any of those or other similar subjects. Now try to spot the papers written by American sounding names. Not many, are there?

The problem is that Americans equate knowing Java with having an education. Yes, a bazillion Americans know Java and can build a web site - great, that's the burger-flipping of the technology world. But there is a critical shortage of Americans with advanced math and science skills. We damn well *better* get the best and brightest we can out of anyone willing to come here. Without them, we're fucked as a nation.

Isn't this just a free market? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301536)

It's amazing how Slashdot's usual libertarian attitude to just about everything develops a strong protectionist bent as soon as American tech jobs are on the line.

Re:Isn't this just a free market? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301548)

Damn right!

Re:Isn't this just a free market? (5, Insightful)

keeboo (724305) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301630)

That's a fundamental truth:
it's easy to have ideals, until it starts costing you.

No. It's the hypocrisy. (2, Interesting)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301634)

It's amazing how Slashdot's usual libertarian attitude to just about everything develops a strong protectionist bent as soon as American tech jobs are on the line.

If American firms said, "We're going overseas for cheaper labor." I could accept that. But when they say they are going overseas because US workers aren't good enough, that's just a down right lie and shitty of them and I'll remember - Intel and IBM.

I understand that there are billions of people on Earth and all of them are just as capable as Americans and as a result, all labor is now a commodity. I accept that. Nothing can be done either and even if there were, I wouldn't want it to be done because that outcome would be worse - I know enough about economics to know that much (See what happened in the 30s when tariffs were enacted ).

And it's really frustrating when you try to get more education and training to move to another line of work (resulting many times in a shitload of school debt), you have trouble because of age or every other out of work IT guy is jumping at the opportunity (I think there's going to be a HUGE glut of nurses in a few years for one), and you see more go overseas - but you're told the same trite line "you just need to retrain and get education" - it's not working anymore. The economy isn't growing fast enough to employ all the new college grads let alone the millions out of work.

Shit's not good.

Re:Isn't this just a free market? (1)

visualight (468005) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301790)

Hey Coward, insisting on honesty and integrity and being generally intolerant of corruption is not the opposite of being libertarian.

Re:Isn't this just a free market? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34302066)

The H-1B program causes foreigners to serve as indentured servants. If they want to switch jobs, they have to get the new employer to sponsor their visa, *and* their green card application resets. Nobody is willing to lose five years of waiting on a green card, so they won't switch jobs. So they'll put up with any conditions. It creates an uneven playing field.
If you gave H-1B workers green cards, or at least let the apps not reset if the employee switched employers, it could be a reasonable thing. As is, it makes Americans compete with slaves, and employers prefer having slaves.

It's entirely possible to take a principled stance against the system for other than selfish paycheck related reasons, it's downright inhumane as it is implemented.

extinct - made in usa (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301560)

how about starting by moving the manufacturing sector back to the USA, it will definitely create millions of more jobs (compared to a very few thousand in IT) leading to a flourishing middle class and turn the economy around like a miracle... when was the last time you saw something made in u.s.a.?

Like the old saying goes - penny wise pound foolish, there are bigger things we should be worrying about..

An odd comparison (0, Troll)

Eskarel (565631) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301570)

Ivy League schools are not technical schools. I can't think of a single one of them which has a computer science or engineering program worth mentioning. Hell I don't think they even have much in the way of a general science program. We all presume that the Ivy league is awesome, but if you're not going for some sort of liberal arts degree you're pissing your money away.

Re:An odd comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301736)

Ivy League schools are not technical schools. I can't think of a single one of them which has a computer science or engineering program worth mentioning. Hell I don't think they even have much in the way of a general science program. We all presume that the Ivy league is awesome, but if you're not going for some sort of liberal arts degree you're pissing your money away.

Cornell and Columbia?

Re:An odd comparison (1)

mjpaci (33725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301798)

That's right, I forgot about Columbia.

Re:An odd comparison (2, Interesting)

Corporate T00l (244210) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301738)

Is a $76K/year salary in 2009 for the average engineering school computer science undergraduate (up from $72K in 2008, despite the downturn, according to http://www.engineering.cornell.edu/student-services/engineering-coop-career-services/statistics/upload/2009-CS-PGR.pdf [cornell.edu] ) really pissing your money away?

Re:An odd comparison (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 3 years ago | (#34302014)

Please keep in mind that that is the average salary counting those students who got a M.Eng degree, which is a joke of a degree even at good schools like Cornell. That degree exists soley for the ability to claim to have a master's Degree.

Furthermore, I tend to doubt the numbers reported there are actually representative starting salaries, as the vast majority of companies I've seen do not have starting salaries that high. I'm wondering how many people responded to their survey giving their expected salary in a few years, or something to that effect. Either that or a few people got million dollar a year jobs through a "friend of the family".

Re:An odd comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34302136)

You can get that same salary after attending a much cheaper state school, or even a community college followed by a cheap state school. So, yes, it's still pissing your money away.

Re:An odd comparison (3, Informative)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301774)

I can't think of a single one of them which has a computer science or engineering program worth mentioning.

Cornell, Princeton, Columbia, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, and Brown are all top 20 for Comp Sci.

Re:An odd comparison (1)

mjpaci (33725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301808)

But you only get a BA in CS from HU.

Re:An odd comparison (1)

mjpaci (33725) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301794)

Ivy League schools are not technical schools. I can't think of a single one of them which has a computer science or engineering program worth mentioning. Hell I don't think they even have much in the way of a general science program. We all presume that the Ivy league is awesome, but if you're not going for some sort of liberal arts degree you're pissing your money away.

Cornell, Princeton, and U Penn are all quite strong in science and engineering

Re:An odd comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301850)

Really? You can't think of a single one with a decent CS department? Were you educated at Stratford University, perhaps?

Cornell is in the top 5 of American CS departments, immediately following the MIT/Stanford/Berkeley/CMU big boys. Princeton is well within the top 10. Columbia is probably close. There are three highly regarded ones for you.

Yale, Brown, Penn, and Harvard have smaller departments and so probably fall closer to top 20-30. I don't know where Dartmouth stands. These might not be research powerhouses, but they typically have excellent undergraduate programs.

Oh, and most of those schools have _phenomenal_ programs in natural sciences. How is this post considered even remotely insightful if it is factually wrong?

They took our jobs! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34301572)

takerdew!

Why Is This So Fucking Complicated? (5, Insightful)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301652)

This system pisses me off greatly (and I am an American citizen, born in the US; but I have seen many good colleagues end up deported under this idiotic legislation). If a student from another country comes to the US to do their PhD, they will - on average in the hard sciences - be here for 4-7 years doing work for an American lab. That time they are doing important research, in our country, in English. Then when they finish, we give them an agonizingly short amount of time to get a work visa or leave. I am being far too kind to call this shortsighted on our part. If there was any law I could change in this country today, it would be this one. Students who come to the US for doctoral research should be, in my opinion, short-tracked for citizenship.

And it is even worse if that student wants to visit their birth country while studying here or immediately after finishing. I know someone from an Eastern European country who did her PhD here and was told if she went back to see her family after finishing she would not be allowed back into the US for 6-9 months minimum. She has spoken English since she was about 3 years old. Why should we punish her for doing her research (and contributing to American science) here?

Re:Why Is This So Fucking Complicated? (5, Insightful)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301674)

Because that's what the electorate wants. And most of the reactions on /. prove it.

Note that I absolutely agree with you.

Re:Why Is This So Fucking Complicated? (4, Insightful)

cowdung (702933) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301786)

People are very anti-immigrant in the US (and elsewhere as well). Especially if the immigrants in question have dark skin.
Sorry we haven't gotten over old prejudices so easily.

US Science really took off when we imported all those Germans during and after WW2. This made the US the technological leader of the world.

Maybe we shouldn't listen too much to old prejudices and do what is better for the country: attract the best minds, it doesn't matter what skin color they have.

Re:Why Is This So Fucking Complicated? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#34302056)

Because that's what the electorate wants. And most of the reactions on /. prove it.

I'm not sure that most of the electorate wants it the way it is (any more). I have spoken to people of a variety of political persuasions, including ones about as far from my own as you can get. I rarely encounter anyone who truly supports throwing out people who have come to our country for PhDs as soon as they finish.

I suspect that this has instead been kept on the books out of laziness than anything else.

Note that I absolutely agree with you.

I suspect more than a few other people do as well.

Re:Why Is This So Fucking Complicated? (2, Insightful)

value_added (719364) | more than 3 years ago | (#34302064)

I know someone from an Eastern European country who did her PhD here and was told if she went back to see her family after finishing she would not be allowed back into the US for 6-9 months minimum. She has spoken English since she was about 3 years old. Why should we punish her for doing her research (and contributing to American science) here?

Going a bit off topic here, but as a FYI ...

My understanding (from personal experience) is that once you open an application, you are not[1] allowed to leave the country until it's finalised. The length of time for the process (whatever form it takes) to run its course is highly variable, and it isn't at all unusual for it to exceed statutory or reasonableness standards (think 15 years for a green card and you'll get the picture). However, one can put through a parole request (yes, the form really does say PAROLE OF AN ALIEN or some such nonsense in all caps and in bold at the very top). If granted, you are allowed to leave for a short duration. IIRC, it's a "once-only for family emergencies" type of thing.

As for fast-tracking those coming to the US for doctoral research, tbat's an excellent idea. In the interim, however, I'd happily settle for not seeing high school honour students detained or deported for immigration violations^H^H^H^H^H^H paperwork errors. The system is rife with inequities, and the climate so political, that I see little hope for any sane merit-based policy to prevail.

-----------
1. Actually, you're free to leave at any time, but doing so typically terminates your application, leaving with you no practical hope of obtaining legal residency in the future.

Tons of Openings (5, Interesting)

Corporate T00l (244210) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301712)

My company (a giant company that purveys giant software to giant customers) and my customers have a never-ending thirst for technical candidates who can speak and write good English, in a way that someone who barely passed TOEFL would not be able to handle.

The question is not about how "those damn foreigners" are taking jobs away from "us". It's about how we can re-tool ourselves to consistently stay ahead and take advantage of our own unique abilities.

Think about it, a good programmer isn't just writing code, he or she is also writing specs, writing documentation, and presenting the same. With good communication skills borne of many additional years communicating in English, a domestic candidate has a natural advantage over a foreign candidate. Plus, as people advance in their career and become either engineering managers or architects, what do you think they do more of? Communicating or solo coding?

The irony is that what I see happen a lot is that the foreign colleague is far more eager to take on what might seem as a less desirable job. Nobody really likes to write 50 pages of specs today, even if they know that it's the specs and the author by-line on those specs that will get spread throughout the organization and live on for years, whereas code only gets unburied from source control where there's a bug. A person's brilliance is demonstrated in their English, less so in their C or Java. Somehow, even though everyone sees this, many people willingly give away this opportunity to a few who are eager for it. And it seems that those who should have a natural advantage, inexplicably, more often give away their edge to those who are less suited, but are hungrier and more eager.

Re:Tons of Openings (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301858)

>My company (a giant company that purveys giant software to giant customers) and my customers have a never-ending thirst for technical
>candidates who can speak and write good English, in a way that someone who barely passed TOEFL would not be able to handle.

You didn't give the location and the address to forward one's resume.

Re:Tons of Openings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34302194)

That's because writing technical documentation is hard, and not just in a Barbie "Math is hard" way. To make good documentation, you have to purge your brain of all your assumptions and recognize that someone who is not you and does not know what you know will be reading it.

You have to know your audience, and write to that level. So you want to create an invoice for a customer. Do you know how to select the customer? Do you know how to start your application? Do you know how to left click? Good documentation knows what the user should know and starts from where the user left off when they decided they wanted help.

Ideally documentation is a team effort, where each person can catch and correct the assumptions of others. The programmer tells the technical writer that the doctor will need to set the radiation dose before using the X-Ray machine. The technical writer will ask "How does the doctor set the radiation dose" at which point the programmer tells the technical writer "by going to Tools, Zappomatic Configuration, and entering the dose in rads" at which point the technical writer gauges whether or not the doctor will know what "going to" means and writes "Prior to using the Zappomatic, the operator shall click on Tools in the menu bar at the top of the screen, followed by Zappomatic Configuration. In the window that appears, enter the amount of radiation to administer, in rads, in the box labeled Rads:" using whatever formatting standard has been developed for the documentation, and including whatever other Zappomatic configuration options are important that the programmer did or didn't think of at the time.

University of Bridgeport is run by Sun Myung Moon (4, Informative)

Graff (532189) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301714)

The University of Bridgeport [wikipedia.org] is pretty much run by the Unification Church and its leader, Sun Myung Moon. For years now they have heavily recruited international members of the church to come to the United States and attend the University.

The Unification Church uses the University as a means of extending their empire further into the United States and the extended visa program works exceptionally well for this. I'm not one to say if this is a good or bad thing.

I'm not interested in where these students go.. (4, Interesting)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301800)

I'm more interested in why U.S. citizens are consistently found unqualified. And why, in that scenario, we watch as citizens go jobless and even legal visa holders get those jobs.

Where I'm working, the workforce is changing from fairly well split between U.S. citizens and Indian nationals to a three way mix between citizens, Indians, and Asians. I'm not sure how that is happening. I also see various silos of technical work in many regions, on every continent except Africa and Antarctica. Every continent. Oh, with the notable exception of Europe, where it seems we do precious little development work. Hmm...

If I had to guess, I think current work allocations are favoring nations where the workers get little protection (Australia, for example has some interesting laws, while Chile doesn't) or the workers have already done the onshore shuffle and rotated back 'home'. Oh, and I dare not start asking about the visa status of some of these workers. It's a sensitive subject. Many will just get up and walk away.

It's frustrating to see what is clearly basic, everyday work going to visa holders when you know someone who is truly overqualified, but couldn't get past the first interview. As far as I can tell, pay is not the issue.

But I'm hypersensitive to this. I may be wrong about a lot if what I think, but I'm not yet convinced.

Re:I'm not interested in where these students go.. (1)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301824)

Where I'm working, the workforce is changing from fairly well split between U.S. citizens and Indian nationals to a three way mix between citizens, Indians, and Asians.

Yeah, those damn Europeans from Mumbai!

Re:I'm not interested in where these students go.. (-1, Troll)

grepya (67436) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301838)

I'm more interested in why U.S. citizens are consistently found unqualified. And why, in that scenario, we watch as citizens go jobless and even legal visa holders get those jobs.

Where I'm working, the workforce is changing from fairly well split between U.S. citizens and Indian nationals to a three way mix between citizens, Indians, and Asians. I'm not sure how that is happening. I also see various silos of technical work in many regions, on every continent except Africa and Antarctica. Every continent. Oh, with the notable exception of Europe, where it seems we do precious little development work. Hmm...

If I had to guess, I think current work allocations are favoring nations where the workers get little protection (Australia, for example has some interesting laws, while Chile doesn't) or the workers have already done the onshore shuffle and rotated back 'home'. Oh, and I dare not start asking about the visa status of some of these workers. It's a sensitive subject. Many will just get up and walk away.

It's frustrating to see what is clearly basic, everyday work going to visa holders when you know someone who is truly overqualified, but couldn't get past the first interview. As far as I can tell, pay is not the issue.

But I'm hypersensitive to this. I may be wrong about a lot if what I think, [...snip...]

Yes. You are.

Holy Shit!!! (1, Troll)

Rivalz (1431453) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301822)

You mean smart people from relatively poor families are choosing to send their kids to schools that cost less than the families combined income for the year or more?
Thats fookin news to me. Only reason why I would attend a ivy league is to make connections, open doors, and play with expensive toys, and land a trust fund baby as a gf.

I would be nervous going to any now because most of the projects that get you a good job are collabrative and if you are stuck with some rich kid that is just along for the ride.. Well that would suck

It aint all about the money (5, Insightful)

buybuydandavis (644487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301862)

While foreign IT workers come cheap, I don't think that is the biggest draw.

They are deportable indentured servants, who are dependent on their sponsoring companies for their right to pursue a visa and remain in the US. Companies like employees who will put up with anything, and not complain. I doubt that they have the same labor rights as citizens, and even where they do, are they going to try to enforce them against their sponsor? And how would they go about enforcing any rights they actually have after they've lost their right to live and work in the US?

Importing labor doesn't just import a worker, it imports entirely new labor rules.

But more importantly, don't think of a corporation and treat it like it is one entity with integrated goals.

Sub contracting firms provide one big advantage - huge opportunities for kickbacks and corruption. If your company hires individual citizens, it's unlikely that kickbacks are paid, and they're certainly difficult to concentrate. Sure, friends, family, and former coworkers get hired, but that is more an issue of limiting risk through trust and knowledge. But if you subcontract a dozen positions to a head shop, the relationship with the headshop is now associated with a continuing revenue stream that is worth a good chunk of change, and those who make the decisions about the relationship with the head shop have concentrated power over that revenue stream.

So if you're a crook and in a position of power to make the decision, do you want to hire a bunch of random citizens, or do you want to have a relationship with a head shop where a fat revenue stream is entirely dependent on your decisions of which head shop to choose?

statistics and fud (1)

arnott (789715) | more than 3 years ago | (#34301878)

the DHS program is dominated by little-known, for-profit Stratford University, whose 727 approved requests for post-graduate Optional Practical Training (OPT) STEM extensions tops all schools and is more than twice the combined total of the entire Ivy League — Brown (26), Columbia (105), Cornell (90), Dartmouth (18), Harvard (27), Princeton (16), Penn (50), and Yale (9). In second place, with 533 approved requests, is the University of Bridgeport.

The post-graduate Optional Practical Training (OPT) STEM extension (17 month) is applied by the e-verified employer and not by the school where the international student graduates from. You can read more about opt here. [wikipedia.org]

US companies like other companies in the world are greedy and do not care about people, that's true.

Economy is the reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34302062)

The reason why top universities don't use the STEM extension is because it's been trivially easy to get a H1B these past few years. Thanks to the recession, fewer companies are actually hiring and thus the H1B quota, previously exhausted in a day, is now actually reasonable. Of course, there are still employers like Kelly Services looking for cheap labor and these will use the STEM extension instead of going through the expense and trouble of applying a H1B for their Stratford University graduate.

When the economy recovers and hiring is back up to previous levels, the H1B quota will disappear quickly and you'll find many more STEM extensions being used for top graduates.

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