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More On the Disposable Tech Worker

Soulskill posted about 6 months ago | from the always-recycle-them-when-you're-finished-using-them dept.

Businesses 323

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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Recycle! (5, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | about 6 months ago | (#46547143)

Don't throw your disposable tech workers in the trash. Recycle!

Re:Recycle! (5, Insightful)

gtall (79522) | about 6 months ago | (#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.

Re:Recycle! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547285)

That depends on whether the CEO wants a company that needs institutional memory, or not. If his/her thought is that the current product line is ephemeral (possibly because he/she plans to sell the company and move on), then institutional memory doesn't matter. Of course, this means that he/she leaves behind a trail of discarded workers (American workers now, H1B workers later on).

Re:Recycle! (2)

jythie (914043) | about 6 months ago | (#46547325)

In other words, it is sound advice for go-go 80s CEOs who can not plan past the next quarter.

Re:Recycle! (3, Insightful)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 6 months ago | (#46547493)

It's sound advice for those who are so driven by greed, that they marginalize the victums they create; and they don't care.

Re:Recycle! (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 6 months ago | (#46547343)

And discarded companies, possibly.

There are Laws about that, from the 1970s... (4, Insightful)

turp182 (1020263) | about 6 months ago | (#46547467)

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! (3, Insightful)

maz2331 (1104901) | about 6 months ago | (#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! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547727)

Don't throw your disposable tech workers in the trash. Recycle!

How? By sending them to Soylent News?

its not asy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547145)

No, its not easy to retain people with an attitude like that....

Re:its not asy (2)

Stormthirst (66538) | about 6 months ago | (#46547693)

That's ok - he's an executive director. I bet he gets a golden fuck off. It's like a golden parachute except ... well there's no except. He gets paid to fuck off. Unlike any other sector of the work force. He gets paid to be a cunt to people.

This is true. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547149)

If foreign workers can do the work better, cheaper, etc then we should be flooding the market with H1-B's. It's the free market principle at work - trying to artificially inflate the value of tech jobs by limiting competition is a fool's errand that will ultimately not work. We live and work in a global economy now, and trying to fight it goes against all the free market principles that this country was founded on and made us great a hundred years ago.

Re:This is true. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547185)

Free market principles that this country was found on? Are you out of your fucking mind you Ayn Rand fool.. jesus open up a text book and read you simpleton.

Re:This is true. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547189)

And because most of the world is in poverty means we should all be in poverty too! Nothing like race to the bottom equality.

Re:This is true. (2)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 6 months ago | (#46547243)

We live and work in a global economy now, and trying to fight it goes against all the free market principles that this country was founded on and made us great a hundred years ago.

Ahh yes. The "Because, Markets ; Go Die! [nakedcapitalism.com] " school of philosophy. Neoliberalism (aka the I-had-fun-playing-a-hippie-when-I-dodged-the-draft-but-now-I-want-cash) thinking at its finest.

Re:This is true. (5, Interesting)

jythie (914043) | about 6 months ago | (#46547349)

The thing is, they are not better. They are cheaper in the short run but bad for companies in the longer term. The problem is that the people making these decisions are insulated from the impact of them, so naturally the people who actually pay the cost of short term thinking take it upon themselves to try to do something about it.

Re:This is true. (2)

jythie (914043) | about 6 months ago | (#46547407)

It should also be noted tat these workers are an excellent example of how poorly "free market" implementations do when they collide with other forces. Foreign workers are cheap for non-economic reasons, employers hold their immigration status over their head, they can squeeze lower wages out of them due to the ever present threat of having to leave the country. Citizens are harder to threaten so you have to pay them closer to what they are worth.

There is also the classic game theory problem here that every industry wants OTHER industries to have well paid domestic workers since those are its customers.

Re:This is true. (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 6 months ago | (#46547453)

It should also be noted tat these workers are an excellent example of how poorly "free market" implementations do when they collide with other forces. Foreign workers are cheap for non-economic reasons, employers hold their immigration status over their head, they can squeeze lower wages out of them due to the ever present threat of having to leave the country. Citizens are harder to threaten so you have to pay them closer to what they are worth.

Which is why H1-B's should come with visa portability. After say, 3 months, they can change employers and keep their visas. That would show if they truly are paid "US market wages" and just how important they are to address a "shortage of US workers with the requisite skills."

Re:This is true. (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about 6 months ago | (#46547517)

but if foreign CEOs can do the work better, then surely we should be flooding the market with replacement CEOs who can maximise shareholder value way better than the old, stuck-in-the-mud, golden-handshake-even-if-they-screw-up CEOs who have done very little to deal with the changing world of technology and business and much to feather their own nests.

Surely....

But of course... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547151)

...IT people are special! They don't need unions because they are so *valuable* to their company that the company wouldn't dare not treat them well!!

Right until their company dares to do so. And they have no alternatives. Idiots.

Re:But of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547235)

IT people are less valuable than janitors. Once trained, janitors can work until they drop dead of old age, and their replacement can dispose of the body too. Technology isn't always moving forward in the field of cleaning-shit-up.

Re:But of course... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547483)

as someone who works on new ways to clean shit up i must disagree

Re:But of course... (1)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about 6 months ago | (#46547529)

Technology isn't always moving forward in the field of cleaning-shit-up.

IT technology isn't always moving forward. Occasionally, it just moves sideways, or it even moves backwards. This is largely due to how immature IT is as a discipline, which is ironically because IT workers are disposable.

Not easy? (3, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 6 months ago | (#46547153)

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? (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about 6 months ago | (#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? (5, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | about 6 months ago | (#46547399)

> "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.

Re:Not easy? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547439)

You may not like the reasons because they are based on short term, short sighted economics, but that fact remains that managers who pursue the quarterly bottom line by minimizing their budget are rewarded by executives whose stock options, which only became expensible under supply side economic dogma a la Reagan and his 'conservative' ilk, are valued in a financial sector (Wall Street) which is increasinly beholden to greed and 'speculation'. If the board of directors gave a whit about the front line employees, their families or the communities in which those people lived, there would be some emphasis on a longer term strategy. There's the rub. It's easier to drive the US middle class into poverty by promoting neoliberal market fundamentalism than it is to convince the wealthy to accept progressive taxation as a necessary economic component, even though Adam Smith, himself, realized and wrote about this very aspect of capitalism, without which he claimed such a system would tend toward wealth concentration and ultimately, collapse.

The fact is that 30% of the US population now lives at or below the official poverty level while the financial sector has grown from 20% of the US economy in 1980 to 40% of the US by replacing domestic manufacturing with off-shored facilities and jobs and outsourced customer service jobs have trickled away to India, Malaysia, Columbia and the Philipines where cheaper English speakers clamor for the opportunity to work in cubicles for higher wages than they would otherwise command in economies that are dictated by World Bank and IMF policies that the US, GB, Germany, France and Luxemburg all promote because it serves the interests of Swiss economists and principle shareholder in the ideology of wealth.

Orwellian though it sounds, there's truth to be found in George H. W. Bush's heralding of, "... an new world order," and it's not pretty.

Re:Not easy? (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 6 months ago | (#46547647)

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 or the Mediterranean or wherever.

It's a pretty good deal, if your job's going to be going away anyway, unless you're the wrong person to be doing the training, and if you are, you're not going to be able to compete for jobs with your displaced coworkers because you aren't better at the job than they are (hence "the wrong person to be doing the training").

In general, though, the bottom line is that they *could* be training Americans to replace those jobs, but few Americans would likely be willing to expatriate to India to work where the jobs are located, at the wages offered. It's not like the person in the article was training H1-B workers intended to work in the U.S..

Re:Not easy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547685)

If I can get good-enough-to-turn-a-profit talent for cheaper-than-American wages, it would be irrational for me not to.

one word sums it up (1, Insightful)

geoskd (321194) | about 6 months ago | (#46547155)

Yup...

The almighty dollar wins again

Re:one word sums it up (0)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 6 months ago | (#46547313)

I counted six.

Re:one word sums it up (0)

roc97007 (608802) | about 6 months ago | (#46547405)

Maybe not, in the long run.

Re:one word sums it up (0)

Slayerwulfe (3440869) | about 6 months ago | (#46547565)

"Dollar" what does that mean ? do U hate what U covet ? we r all a part of it,myself included. what is a good cig to some? cannabis?. copyrighted only prevents U from selling, Ur allowed to duplicate tech 4 personal use, even KFC Grease. if i try to sell i'll have to face some of the most intelligent ppl on this planet. patent attorney, i back off. slayerwulfe

Can we start killing all these fucks now? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547161)

When is it time for the revolution? Why do 99+% of us have to be dominated by a handful of psychopaths?

Re:Can we start killing all these fucks now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547373)

You can start, if you want.

Minorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547165)

Nevermind that. We need more programs to train inner-city minorities in platform specific technology. It's important for the inner-city youth to hit the work-force just in time for their jobs to be obsolete. Whatever you do, don't you dare teach them abstract concepts that would allow them to synthesize their own intelligent approaches to the ever-changing technological landscape. No. Let them eat iPads.

Re:Minorities (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547331)

Let them read textbooks full of abstract concepts...on their iPads. Let them jailbreak their iPads and learn about Unix. Let them install Wireshark on their iPads and learn about networking. Let them learn...but they still won't find jobs, because Daddy didn't have connections in Silicon Valley.

Really enlightened individual there. (1)

Majestix (41486) | about 6 months ago | (#46547173)

No that doesnt sounds like a conflict of interest there.

Biggest load of (5, Interesting)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 6 months ago | (#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...)

Re:Biggest load of (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547361)

Unit-testing is such a colossal waste of time.

Re:Biggest load of (1)

jythie (914043) | about 6 months ago | (#46547385)

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.

But, I just upgraded to Windows 8.1 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547181)

I'm still with it, see?

Old dogs, huh? (5, Insightful)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | about 6 months ago | (#46547191)

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? (4, Insightful)

preaction (1526109) | about 6 months ago | (#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.

Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547397)

I have retrained myself a number of times - even paid thousands of dollars of my own money for it.

The question: How do you get around the requirement for 'on the job' experience of your new skills?

All of my re-training was worthless because I didn't have any paid experience in those skills. I volunteer and that is not good enough either. It has to be paid experience and at least two years of it - from the feedback I am getting.

A great example was back in the late 90s, I had an intensive Java class and I interviewed with Accenture ('Anderson Consulting' back then). The manager was great, actually. He complemented me on the fact that I was the ONLY one who wore a suit to the interview but he needed more Java experience - as relayed to the recruiter and then to me.

Say what you will about Accenture, that the nicest and respectful interviews I have ever had in my tech career of 20 years - that looks like it is over.

I have recent examples but it involves the disparagement and abuse of myself by interviewers - not by Accenture because I have never had an interview from them since the late 90s.

The things I go through to get a job.

I would get a job as a burger flipper, but it is hard to even get an interview in that these days. I was a line cook when I worked my way though college, but my local restaurants demand 5 years of RECENT experience (i..e. Unemployed need not apply) for those jobs - McD's wants BiLingual people in my area so I am learning Spanish now.

I would be happy with a $8/ hour job - burgers or pulling RJ45 through walls, whatever, but it's not happening.

And I have $48,000 in student loans from my last attempt of getting more retraining from GA State (GSU) - yeah, MBA (so what?!) - tech is obviously out of my reach now as a middle aged old fart.

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547641)

Move. I know of at least 6 places in my community that will hire pretty much anyone. Call centers. The only thing you need to try for is a neutral accent, but even that isnt a sticking point. Gallup, Verizon, Cabellas, Paypal, Dell, etc. all have call centers within 30 minutes.

Take a bridge job. (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 6 months ago | (#46547697)

I have retrained myself a number of times - even paid thousands of dollars of my own money for it.

The question: How do you get around the requirement for 'on the job' experience of your new skills?

All of my re-training was worthless because I didn't have any paid experience in those skills. I volunteer and that is not good enough either. It has to be paid experience and at least two years of it - from the feedback I am getting.

Take a bridge job, where some fraction of your time can be dedicated to applying those new skills. Presto: two years experience on your resume.

Sometimes a lateral move is not actually lateral, if it gets you resume-fodder that you believe you're going to need to advance your career.

Consider the Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547193)

Even a very quick search indicates that group's interests are on immigration--by that I mean making it easier for more and more people to get into the country and obtain jobs.

Arguing for H-1B to replace trained staff advances this with a nice low up-front cost... But I wonder how such a tech staff would function in the long run?

Hilarious! (2)

digsbo (1292334) | about 6 months ago | (#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.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547217)

Disposable? I don't think that is how that reads at all, unless you are unwilling to keep learning.

Experience is needed... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547231)

... to write good, maintainable software. Most college kids these days don't even know what a pointer is. I've had recent college grads ask me how to read a stack trace. I've had college kids who don't know the difference between unit testing, integration testing, and system testing. Sure, maybe they could crank out a Ruby on Rails web site as efficiently as someone with 10+ years of experience. But those are entry level jobs. Most things I learned about software development, I didn't learn in college. I learned them first as a hobbyist, and second with experience in industry. In summary, this argument is BS. Yes, you have to work to keep up on your skills, and yes, it can be time-consuming and hard. But companies who are looking to save money by hiring less experienced workers who happen to have the right skills are setting themselves up for long-term failure. Luckily there are companies out there who realize this.

Education != Industry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547233)

I'm 54, and I've been working in IT for well over 30 years. None of the technologies I use today existed when I started in the industry. Retraining - either by self education or by evolution in the workplace - is the key to keeping workers relevant.
I think Corley must have been misquoted. His real words must have been something like "We don't care about skills and experience, as long as we can get keyboard fodder at $10/hr".

Re:Education != Industry (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 6 months ago | (#46547441)

Right in both cases. I narrowly avoided a layoff by learning a new skill and jumping at the right time. But the issue in our case wasn't retraining (the company ended up blowing time and money training the H1-B "guests" anyway) it was simply the desire to pay third world salaries.

Here's an idea. (3, Insightful)

greywire (78262) | about 6 months ago | (#46547245)

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.

Re:Here's an idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547395)

Only one problem in your idea: Scott represents people who can afford to buy Congress, so they can do anything they want and nobody can stop them.

Idiot (5, Insightful)

Bodhammer (559311) | about 6 months ago | (#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.

Re:Idiot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547337)

Reading the article I couldn't help but wonder how he justifies his own position. Surly there have been advances in Economics since he got his M.A. at Johns Hopkins? Perhaps a new graduate with more up-to-date economic models could come up with a better argument for raising H-1B visa quotas.

Re:Idiot (1)

sribe (304414) | about 6 months ago | (#46547341)

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 ;-)

Re:Idiot (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 6 months ago | (#46547465)

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.

Re:Idiot (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 6 months ago | (#46547711)

You are an idiot.

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

Too much trouble to teach older workers new tech.. (5, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 6 months ago | (#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."

Jackasses (4, Insightful)

kheldan (1460303) | about 6 months ago | (#46547265)

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:Jackasses (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547345)

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.

Re:Jackasses (2)

stenvar (2789879) | about 6 months ago | (#46547563)

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 relationship with you, you'll know it, because there will be retention bonuses and other kind of long term incentives.

Re:Jackasses (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 6 months ago | (#46547389)

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.

Re:Jackasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547403)

Haha you don't have to tell them to do what they are already doing. And don't bother trying to appeal to a conscience that doesn't exist.

Re:Jackasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547481)

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

Maybe you should stop being - god help me for sounding like a fedora-wearing neckbeard - livestock, and do something about it. Like stop bitching and pick up a book. I hear O'Reilly publishes a few.

"Corporate America" owes you nothing. You are not entitled to a lifelong job just because you fucked around with Basic back in the 80s.

Charge American prices, pay foreign wages (1)

Beeftopia (1846720) | about 6 months ago | (#46547525)

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

Re:Charge American prices, pay foreign wages (1)

kheldan (1460303) | about 6 months ago | (#46547669)

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.

Re:Jackasses (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about 6 months ago | (#46547741)

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 (5, Insightful)

Christopher McGinnis (2906511) | about 6 months ago | (#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.

Re:Aging Business (2)

stenvar (2789879) | about 6 months ago | (#46547581)

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.

Re:Aging Business (2)

ItsJustAPseudonym (1259172) | about 6 months ago | (#46547713)

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.

Re:Aging Business (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 6 months ago | (#46547759)

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.

Dear Scott Corley: (0)

fredrated (639554) | about 6 months ago | (#46547319)

The next time you decide to make such a brain-damaged statement, let me suggest the following:
1st, climb down off the whore you are fucking in the ass
2nd, pull your head out of the toilet you are eating shit from
finally, take another huff of glue to clear your head.

disposable tech worker (0)

Slayerwulfe (3440869) | about 6 months ago | (#46547335)

we throw things away everyday, why ? a need 4 retraining states that there was a lack of discipline 4 the original training to be effective. retraining does not exist, only trying to create discipline in an undisciplined mind. slayerwulfe cave

Re:disposable tech worker (1)

Wintermute__ (22920) | about 6 months ago | (#46547615)

Put down the crack pipe. That stuff is bad for your teeth.

Important message for Scott Corley (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547365)

Scott Corley, you are obsolete. Please report to the extermination center (my house) so you can be disposed of.

no agenda here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547379)

from a nytimes op-ed:

Compete America, a coalition of technology companies, is pleading with Congress to boost both the number of H-1B visas available to companies that want to bring in skilled foreign workers and the number of employment-based green cards given to high-tech foreign workers who want to stay here.

Garbage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547381)

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

This is utter crap. I'm in my 40s and I work at a "hot" hi-tech company where the median age is like 25. I interview a lot of job candidates. These fresh-out-of-top-masters-programs kids have the same trouble solving the programming questions as we did 20 years ago. They get hired because they're smart and can learn, not because they know "new technologies".

Nothing New (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547383)

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

Not really. Mostly it's the same shit, different day.

Little does he Know... Training H1B (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547393)

Scott Corley is rather naive. Most of the offshore we onboard somehow learn on our bill. Padded resumes, fake interviews, imposters, and the such.

Scott Corley, fresh from university... (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 6 months ago | (#46547415)

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.

Tech companies hate paying high salaries (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 6 months ago | (#46547431)

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.

I guess he's never heard of doctors, lawyers... (2)

scottbomb (1290580) | about 6 months ago | (#46547459)

...accountants, engineers, and all the other professionals who must stay current in their training.

Except half the time... (1)

PortHaven (242123) | about 6 months ago | (#46547473)

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.

Like a sports star (2)

nerdonamotorcycle (710980) | about 6 months ago | (#46547487)

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.

learning is personal responsibility (0)

stenvar (2789879) | about 6 months ago | (#46547491)

If your employer trains you in some hot new technology, he won't ever be able to recoup the expense from you: if he keeps your salary low to pay for it, you'll leave for some place with a higher salary right away, and if he raises your salary to what you're worth after training, he won't recoup the expense of training. Either way, the employer is screwed.

Given that employees have the right to quit whenever they want to, the only thing that makes sense is that employees take responsibility for their own training and keeping their skills up to date.

Re:learning is personal responsibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547675)

If your employer trains you in some hot new technology, he won't ever be able to recoup the expense from you: if he keeps your salary low to pay for it, you'll leave for some place with a higher salary right away, and if he raises your salary to what you're worth after training, he won't recoup the expense of training. Either way, the employer is screwed.

Given that employees have the right to quit whenever they want to, the only thing that makes sense is that employees take responsibility for their own training and keeping their skills up to date.

That's a common but shortsighted approach. If you need X skill valued at Y dollars you have three choices:
1) Pay for it by hiring someone at Y dollars plus Z, a consultancy profit for the duration it takes them to come up to speed with your business specific needs.
2) Pay your existing X guy for training, then give him a raise to Y. If Z> training costs, you've already got a positive ROI. Plus your X (now Y) guy has a zero incremental cost for any other consultancy on boarding. Generic consultant Y' needs 0oboarding every time.
3) Say F it and roll the dice. A popular choice, but most business fail because of this sort of thing. Flip a coin often enough and eventually it comes up tails, even if you are the 1 guy in 1024 than got 10 heads in a row. You may think you're a visionary Howard Roarke, but you're really just the Peter Keating patsy of the law of large numbers.

Re:learning is personal responsibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547763)

If your employer trains you in some hot new technology, he won't ever be able to recoup the expense from you: if he keeps your salary low to pay for it, you'll leave for some place with a higher salary right away, and if he raises your salary to what you're worth after training, he won't recoup the expense of training. Either way, the employer is screwed.

Given that employees have the right to quit whenever they want to, the only thing that makes sense is that employees take responsibility for their own training and keeping their skills up to date.

If you treat your employees that way (as disloyal trash), you can't reasonably complain if they get the training and a job somewhere else, then quit with two weeks notice, as they take their 2 weeks backlog of vacation days.

If you paid for training and then gave the employee a raise, they'd be more loyal and you'd have the higher skilled, ALREADY VETTED employee. Instead, now you have to pay for a new, more expensive employee with the extra skills, and you need to get that person to deal with every other quirk of your environment along with everything the ex-employee used to do.

On a personal note, I had an (hourly consultant) employer offer to pay for my training on a technology, but not for my time to attend it. So in exchange for this pretty specific training (which I wouldn't really be able to use elsewhere), they'd pay for $X of training, but I'd lose 2X in pay. Not much of an incentive for me, so I passed. I continued to work successfully for them in other roles until I moved away and we parted ways.

They offered because I was a known quantity and they were confidant they'd get their investment back. I declined because I knew I wouldn't. It was in use at maybe three comparable companies in the area and I had no intention of working for the other two. Had they paid for my time as well, I'd have gone and saved them 20x as much in (other) outside consulting fees when a different group borked the project. That would have been win win, but they were short sighted.

Scott Corley? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46547503)

What a douche. /ignore

Nothing to do with experience, knowledge, ability (2)

wh1pp3t (1286918) | about 6 months ago | (#46547575)

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.

You don't leave your education (1)

Yakasha (42321) | about 6 months ago | (#46547667)

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 something active.

Furthermore, once you're done with school, you start your next round of schooling: conferences, documentation, "nothing we have now will do it right so lets find a new way." It is the very basis of every creative mind out there.

This is about money. More of it in his pocket at any expense to others. Pure and simple.

Yeah... (2)

Greyfox (87712) | about 6 months ago | (#46547673)

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.

you want your cake and to eat it too (1)

jafac (1449) | about 6 months ago | (#46547701)

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 (2)

deodiaus2 (980169) | about 6 months ago | (#46547723)

'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 adequately communicated and documented. There is misinterpretation between two engineers who speak the same language, so of course there will be misinterpretation amongst different cultures and standards.
I think there have been plenty of times where I really did things right was after I did them wrong the first time. Other times, one must know a lot to be productive. Yes, we can write 100K lines of code, but if we don't understand how it all interrelates to other components, most of that is not used.
5) That foreigners want to work as slaves for their American masters. I bet within the next decade, we will lose our ability to do any technology here because we will have lost the number of experienced workers to do the design and architecture. I welcome that because it is the only way that the elite will see that tech just doesn't happen overnight. A society that looses its competitive edge will not get it back easily. Look at Germany after WWII. Prior to WW1, Germany was the scientific and intellectual powerhouse in the world. look at the number of Nobel Prizes in physics and chemistry. Since the end of WWII, most intellectuals left to contribute elsewhere. After WWII, there has been a massive brain drain on its economy at a time when Germany needed to rebuild its cities and infrastructure. Another point in fact is that many German rocket scientists went back in the 1970's.
Very soon, you will have major businesses spring up in India and China run by people who repatrioted after learning here. If you ever talk to your Indian counterparts, you will learn that many of them intend to return after their 7 year visa runs out. They know that they are not wanted here, so this will happen from a variety of factors.

make min wage $20 hr so that worker can live on mc (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 6 months ago | (#46547725)

make min wage $20 hr so that worker can live on that mcjob they get after being pushed out of tech.

Thinking of us as "resources" (2)

GerryGilmore (663905) | about 6 months ago | (#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.

Corley is a clueless talking head. (2)

JustNiz (692889) | about 6 months ago | (#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.

I'm currious... (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | about 6 months ago | (#46547767)

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

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