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Tech Sector Slow To Hire 450

Posted by Soulskill
from the because-hp-might-sue-you dept.
Iftekhar25 writes "The NY Times is running an article about soaring unemployment rates for IT in the US (6 percent) despite a tech sector that is thirsting for engineering talent. Quoting: 'The chief hurdles to more robust technology hiring appear to be increasing automation and the addition of highly skilled labor overseas. The result is a mismatch of skill levels here at home: not enough workers with the cutting-edge skills coveted by tech firms, and too many people with abilities that can be duplicated offshore at lower cost. That's a familiar situation to many out-of-work software engineers, whose skills start depreciating almost as soon as they are laid off, given the dynamism of the industry.'"
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Tech Sector Slow To Hire

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  • Read closer (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:03PM (#33502368)

    IT is not engineering. The two fields are not analogous

    • by Yvan256 (722131) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:06PM (#33502400) Homepage Journal

      They're digitalous?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Idbar (1034346)
      On top of that, companies are not interested on hiring IT or engineering guys, they are interested on hiring CEOs! It would be a shame all those bonuses go to waste!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Korin43 (881732)

        No, more like they want to hire people who can actually write programs, and more than 6% of "software engineers" don't know what they're doing.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by humblecoder (472099)

          Funny you should say that, because I was just thinking today that the company I work for (big multinational) has about 4000 people in the Information Technology group, but it seems like only about 40 actually do any coding. The rest of us are architects, business analysts, testers, project managers, etc, who tell the 40 how to do their job.

          Maybe 40 is an exaggeration but it isn't off by much!

    • Re:Read closer (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AK Marc (707885) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @01:53AM (#33505674)
      Nothing is engineering. Engineering is like the scientific method. It's a process, a philosophy, a framework. You can be an engineer and be in IT. You can be an engineer and not be in IT. You can have not gotten an engineering degree and still follow the principles of it. It's only the US that has the hard-on for "engineering" only being what a select few professional organizations claim it is. If they want to be purists, then anyone that designs, builds, fixes or operates engines is an engineer. If they get assholish about it, anyone with a driver's license is a licensed engineer.
  • Six percent (Score:4, Informative)

    by paazin (719486) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:04PM (#33502386)
    My sincerest wishes to those unemployed, but 6 percent considered soaring?

    Sure, it's not great but it's perhaps not as terrible a crisis as newspapers would like to make out; considering how every section of the economy is impacted right now I would read too much into it.
    • No kidding (Score:4, Informative)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:11PM (#33502470)

      Especially since the national average is over 9% currently. Seems to me a more accurate story would be "Tech sector hasn't recovered to previous levels, but has much lower unemployment than many other areas."

      • Re:No kidding (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:33PM (#33502694)

        Especially since the national average is over 9% currently. Seems to me a more accurate story would be "Tech sector hasn't recovered to previous levels, but has much lower unemployment than many other areas."

        Presuming that the majority of people in the tech sector have at least a 4 year college degree and thus average nearly the same unemployment rates as other primarily white-collar sectors, I believe "soaring" is appropriate.

        This chart [mybudget360.com] shows that people in that category have had no more than 3% unemployment for nearly the last 20 years - including the dot-bomb fall-out. Given that unemployment was roughly 2% before the latest crash, a 200% increase is pretty drastic.

      • Something I put together: http://knol.google.com/k/paul-d-fernhout/beyond-a-jobless-recovery [google.com]

        I predict we'll see continually increasing unemployment (short of massive government intervention in make-work ways). To cope with massive unemployment, we need a new economic paradigm (some mix of a basic income, a gift economy, democratic resource-based planning, and improved local subsistence in stronger face-to-face communities).

        Frankly, as programmer who's been working with computers for 30 years or so, I can co

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Iamthecheese (1264298)
      I have been looking for an IT job for a year. Any job. I would gladly take one of those soul sucking script reading help desk positions. I'm a damned good computer repairman and I have my certs. And I've been looking for a year. looking hard. I have applied at every company in the three towns I have been in. I know all about resume tweaking, interviewing, how companies search. I could write a damned book on looking for a job. The only thing I don't have is a degree. So I keep reading about how the average
    • Re:Six percent (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Caerdwyn (829058) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:43PM (#33502820) Journal

      Agreed. Six percent? One in eighteen? Consider the people whom you know who are out of work. Are there at least one out of eighteen whose behavior or lack of skills means they're unemployed for a REASON? Consider the people whom you know who do have work. Are at least one of eighteen of those people whom you think are more of a liability than an asset?

      I know several IT/engineering folks who are out of work. With perhaps one exception, I wouldn't hire any of the individuals in question. They're slackers, or in way over their heads, or behave badly in a professional environment. Sure, I'd have a beer with 'em, but hire them? No. That's a higher standard. Wages don't have anything to do with it; the people in question I wouldn't take on at any price.

      Tech is doing just fine, at least here in San Jose. I get daily emails or calls from recruiters, my company has unfilled jobs (and is offering a bounty for referrals), and I know that others have the same experience. I'm no hot-shot super-star either, I'm almost 50 (so it's not a cheap-because-I'm-young factor) and it surely isn't because of my looks. I read the required H1B notices that get pinned to the break-room cork board that include the position and salary; we are certainly not lowballing imported labor (I have yet to see one that was less than six figures).

      If you're good, you're in.

      Other regions may differ; I can't speak to that.

      • Re:Six percent (Score:4, Insightful)

        by 0111 1110 (518466) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @06:11PM (#33503182)

        How do you know that they are good before you hire them? You have psychics in the HR dept? Being good is never enough to get a job. You also have to be good at selling yourself. The particular interviewer has to like you. Your particular experience has to be a good match with what the company wants. There are lots of factors besides being "good". I think the hiring system is very broken at most companies. There are so many better ways than are currently used. For a coding job there should only be one standard: code that you have already written. The applicants should have to submit the code for a fully functional application that they have written themselves from start to finish and that code should be submitted to several of your best programmers, who can grade it. The person who submits the most impressive and well written program gets the job. Is that what you do? Because if it's not then you are talking out of your ass, hiring based on all sorts of bullshit psuedo-qualifications that ultimately don't matter.

        • Re:Six percent (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Caerdwyn (829058) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @07:07PM (#33503742) Journal

          What do you suggest? Hire everybody then fire most? HR doesn't decide who's in. They just do the paperwork. The hiring manager, with input from their team, does.

          Yes, we have a coding test, even for QA. We also do background checks to weed out people who are argumentative, confrontational, slackers, or can't stay on the good side of the law (meaning real crimes, not irrelevant stuff like "caught with a lid in college"). We have plenty of ways of knowing they're good before we hire them. So do most companies. It's not rocket science (unless that's the position, of course).

          It's not "talking out of my ass", thank you very much.

          As for "written entirely by themselves"... coders who have never had to work on a team, work on others' code, or have others work on their code will have a very bad time on a team of more than one. You have to be able to write to coding standards that differ from your personal habits whether you like it or not, you have to be able to read code written in a style other than your own, you have to produce code others can understand and maintain, and you have to do it without turning into Smartass Simpsons Comic Book Guy. Doing it all yourself demonstrates very little of that. A REAL coding test would be to hand someone existing, broken code and tell them to fix it, in the coding style shown... without bitching.

          If someone is a standalone coder, then they're not interviewing anyway since they're already working for themself, right? Then they can be as prima dona as they like. Anybody else, check your ego at the door.

          When I interview, I am on the lookout for more than just raw skills. I look for Apple haters. They don't get hired. I look for Windows haters. They don't get hired. I look for people who turn into raging assholes on hour fourteen in a row on the Sunday night before release. They don't get hired. Not being a jerk is a requirement, not an "plus", and that is not negotiable. And not to put too fine a point on it, I also look for people who think they know what "bullshit psuedo-qualifications ultimately don't matter". They don't get hired here either.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dkleinsc (563838)

        If you're going to argue by anecdote, then I should point out that most of the unemployed folks I know are smart and capable, but are out of work because they were viewed as too old, too young, or were just plain unlucky. A lot of them got caught in layoffs, where the boss got the word from on high that he needed to fire 10 people, and because the boss had built up an effective team those 10 people were pretty good at what they did. And because all the local firms (including startups) that hire lots of deve

  • 50% right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:07PM (#33502406)

    not enough workers with the cutting-edge skills coveted by tech firms,

    Complete bullshit.

    and too many people with abilities that can be duplicated offshore at lower cost

    This is 100% true.

    And don't forget this reason I am adding:

    Too few people willing to work heroic hours for non-heroic pay.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jaymzter (452402)

      Cutting-edge? How about just getting someone that lives up to their resume? My employer is hiring, both full-time and contractor. My previous employer was hiring as well. In neither case could we get qualified candidates. I don't know if it's just applicants misrepresenting themselves or headhunters just throwing something against a wall and hoping it sticks, but when you get guys who claim to be CCNAs but don't know what traceroute does, there's a problem.

      I know the above doesn't apply to everyone, but rea

      • Re:50% right (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bhcompy (1877290) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:16PM (#33502528)
        That's because you're requiring the piece of paper instead of a demonstration of skills. Instead of saying "oh, no CCNA on the resume, let's roundfile this one", take a deeper look at the resume and recommendations instead. I was a victim of that for nearly a year, until I got lucky and had someone read my resume and verify my credentials(and overlook the lack of certification despite the training being there). I can't afford the 4k for a VMWare class that's required in order to receive certification from VMWare, but that doesn't mean I don't have the skills.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          jaymzter didn't actually say his employers required a CCNA, he said that candidates who claimed to have one didn't have any networking skills. Not the same thing.

          I see this as well when interviewing. Lots of candidates put down that they have, for instance, ten years of experience of Java. And maybe they do! But depressingly often they can't do trivial tasks, like select a random element from an array. Or they fail at understanding what happens under the hood, eg, they have no idea what garbage collection

          • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:27PM (#33502630)

            Lots of candidates put down that they have, for instance, ten years of experience of Java. And maybe they do! But depressingly often they can't do trivial tasks, like select a random element from an array.

            I see that a lot. There needs to be a differentiation between "experience" and "drawing a paycheck".

            If you get hired by a company to drop workstation images onto workstation hardware ... and you do it for 10 years ... do you have 10 years of experience working with those OS's?

            No. You have 1 week experience ... repeated 520 times (not counting vacations).

            You have 10 years of drawing a paycheck.

            That's why I prefer to test candidates myself.

          • Re:50% right (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:30PM (#33502656)

            Lots of candidates put down that they have, for instance, ten years of experience of Java. And maybe they do! But depressingly often they can't do trivial tasks

            Sometimes what seems trivial to you might not to someone else. For example, I legitimately have 10 years of professional Java experience, and character encoding has been relevant to my work precisely zero times in that 10 years.

            (That's not to say I probably still couldn't answer a question about it, but I think as developers we tend to take for granted that the kinds of tasks we run up against are universal.)

          • Re:50% right (Score:5, Informative)

            by Ironhandx (1762146) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:34PM (#33502700)

            It is a real issue, but HR is the most massive problem in the IT sector today. They get a list of requirements and filter based on those. Many of the folks that have those requirements that are unemployed are unemployed for good reason. There are however a whole slew of people that could do the job that don't have exactly those requirements that get thrown in the trash by many an HR clerk.

            In my experience the above is the leading cause of IT understaffing. Personally I look for a "Skills" section on a resume, and test the claimed skills in an interview. If they can get past my cursory test they're worth a shot, if they are just good at BSing then its obvious within a month, or at least well within their 3 month probationary period. You get more quality employees that are actually interested in what they are doing that way. Of course you end up interviewing more complete idiots as well, but its no loss, as you were going to interview (approximately, again, in my experience) the same amount of unsuitable candidates regardless.

            Its partly a problem of the jargon too. Most of the HR folks aren't going to have a clue how your previous job relates to this one or how your own pet projects relate to the job you are applying for, but for an engineer say, they realize that working as building designer for 5 years necessarily includes that you have a lot of civil engineering requirements even if you don't have a degree in civil engineering. If you have 10 years experience working in C with some minor experience in Java but the job requires almost pure Java, the HR girl/guy likely doesn't have a clue how the skills could be transferable and will dump you in favor of someone with a college/uni degree that focused on Java at some point, meanwhile they end up firing the guy because he cheated his way through school and doesn't actually have a clue.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Lonewolf666 (259450)

              Good points, and it seems the list of requirements is often excessive because employers don't want to invest into training. So instead of hiring someone with generally good skills and giving him a few months to learn the specifics of the job, they insist on somone who already knows all the tools in the work environment.

              When they don't find that perfect candidate, they whine about a lack of qualified candidates.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Ironhandx (1762146)

                Yes, this is my point exactly. They've also probably skipped over a few otherwise qualified candidates because they didn't have the proper thing they were looking for in the education/experience sections.

                Also, everyone, everywhere, seems to be looking for 5+ years experience. That doesn't happen. Yes if you're looking for a project manager or something, 5 years experience is a good qualification to look for but usually then they'll tack on "in Project Management" which again, isn't going to happen. Instead

          • by bsDaemon (87307)

            Well, those job listings/employers who require or say they require all sorts of certifications and knowledge of areas that you never actually end up using in the job probably cause a lot of people who "inflate" their resumes or outright lie, hoping to just get past the filter and sort it out later. The thing about certs from vendors like Cisco or RedHat is its pretty easy to check on the veracity of the claim as to whether the candidate even has the certificate or not, even without doing your own skills as

          • Re:50% right (Score:5, Insightful)

            by jeff4747 (256583) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @06:24PM (#33503312)

            But depressingly often they can't do trivial tasks, like select a random element from an array

            Well, if you're hiring a junior level developer, that might a decent question to see if they have any exposure to the language.

            If you're hiring a senior level developer, the proper response from the candidate is "I'd have to look up what the API is called. Since I'm here to solve hard problems, I don't spend my time memorizing near-useless trivia that I can look up in under a minute".

            I really hate the stupid "we're gonna throw minutia at you" tests used for hiring. They're a useless measure of a developer who has any decent experience, and they're an annoying pitfall when you correct the errors on the test - Some interviewers don't like it when you point out the errors, and others use the errors as another test and expect those corrections.

      • by Surt (22457)

        I suffer with this also, and it seems like every time I see one of these complaints (e.g. doesn't know traceroute), it is for something even I know (e.g. traceroute), even though it is waaaaay remote from my day to day work. Depressing.

      • Re:50% right (Score:5, Insightful)

        by vlm (69642) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:34PM (#33502704)

        My employer is hiring, both full-time and contractor. My previous employer was hiring as well. In neither case could we get qualified candidates.

        Thats because HR is requiring 10 years of experience with winders 2008 server, so by definition the only resumes that make it thru the HR filtration plant are liars / con men / inside-referrals.

        • Parent has got it! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by AnonymousClown (1788472) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:52PM (#33502932)

          My employer is hiring, both full-time and contractor. My previous employer was hiring as well. In neither case could we get qualified candidates.

          Thats because HR is requiring 10 years of experience with winders 2008 server, so by definition the only resumes that make it thru the HR filtration plant are liars / con men / inside-referrals.

          Whenever I see someone say that "they can't get qualified people" it's always for these reasons:

          Unreasonable qualifications as the parent stated or incompetent HR. And it's not just tech skills, it's also for subjective reasons too; such as, "they wouldn't fit in" or some nonsense.

          Here's an example that I over heard fixing a friend's computer who lives with an HR person that works at home. They were on a conference call and it was on speaker phone. One of the HR people came on to talk about a candidate. The candidate by her own admission had an impressive resume - all the skills, education and experience required by the job. Anyway, this person commented that when the candidate came in the room "he sucked the air out of the room" and he wouldn't be good for the company.

          Now, was it brought up that the guy could have been a bit nervous because he was unemployed for several months? Nope. He was passed over because the HR person didn't think she was allowed to have enough air.

          You want qualified candidates? Bypass HR.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by sjames (1099)

            While there may be something to the HR observation (nobody wants to work with "the code nazi"), at the same time many developers think that HR types disturb the atmosphere and vice versa such that the people HR selects will be the worst fits.

          • Sad that even with unemployment at record highs, somehow companies still have the gall to whine that they can't find qualified people. Granted there's a lot of lying on resumes. But those making the hiring decisions still make amazingly poor calls even accounting for that.

            My most recent experience was with this crazy recruiting agency. You can't persuade them to send your info to their clients. They filter out people for the most astonishingly flimsy reasons. They wanted a C++ programmer, and I have

    • Re:50% right (Score:5, Insightful)

      by inKubus (199753) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:14PM (#33502506) Homepage Journal

      Yes, companies are "milking the recession". This usually happens at the tail end of a recession, when interest rates are low and inflation is also low, companies are making profits but they are not investing in labor supply. The main thing is maybe capacity isn't fully utilized, maybe they want to buy new equipment, maybe they want to reward the shareholders that stayed through the rough times. I see it at a lot of places, and people I know are seeing it as well. Companies with good balance sheets aren't replacing people as fast, they are milking more work hours out of salary people and they are utilizing temps and contractors as a way to avoid permanent expenses. A few more good quarters and things should start trending back down to the normal structural unemployment rate of around 5-7%. IT is a growth industry so it in turn should return to a normal growth structural unemployment of 3-5%. Having been present on more than a few interviews recently, there's not too many good people out there. If you're out there and you're good, you shouldn't have trouble getting a job. If you can't, you should consider washing your beard and not wearing that T-shirt that looks like the front of a tuxedo to interviews...

    • by Altus (1034)

      My company cant find competent C++ developers to develop desktop applications. I don't think their requirements are totally out of line since I was hired in the last 6 months. We would like our develpers to understand inheritance and const and some basics of polymorphism. We develop on windows, linux and the mac and proficiency in any one of those goes a long way.

      The pay here is reasonable though not overwhelmingly awesome it is certainly in line with the area.

      We have managed to find one good hire since

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by vlm (69642)

        but if the economy is so bad, where are the people hammering on our door?

        Whats your (approximate) pay and location? That might be the problem.

        The other problem is what does the HR resume filtration system look like? Too specific, perhaps?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by abigor (540274)

        In all honesty, get HR out of the way. When I was a permanent employee (ie not self-employed) and doing interviews etc., HR was the biggest problem - "Oh, they don't have this TLA that I don't know the meaning of? Into the trash!"

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        If you were fishing for engineers, it would help to know which city you're in.
  • grapes of wrath (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bugs2squash (1132591) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:08PM (#33502434)
    Oh no, there are not enough highly skilled engineers available to depress wages even further. The CEO will starve if he can't drop the payroll enough.
  • by sethstorm (512897) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:10PM (#33502454) Homepage

    ...then complain about a lack of "qualified" candidates.

    • by Surt (22457)

      I'd really like to see someone who can solve trivial problems in java. Maybe our internal recruitment team just sucks, but I just did yet another interview with a candidate who got stuck for almost 3 minutes trying to figure out why eclipse was complaining about their HashMap<String>.

      Where are the qualified candidates!
         

      • by Stiletto (12066) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:26PM (#33502610)

        Where are the qualified candidates!

        They're already employed and fairly happy. If you want to get them to uproot and move to your company, your HR department is going to have to offer more than the standard "kinda above average" salary and "competitive" benefits.

        What does the job posting look like? Is how it's worded attracting the wrong candidates?

        When I was job hunting, I could always tell the "dog" jobs because they said nothing interesting about compensation besides (sometimes) "competitive pay and benefits".

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          hey're already employed and fairly happy. If you want to get them to uproot and move to your company, your HR department is going to have to offer more than the standard "kinda above average" salary and "competitive" benefits.

          Not necessarily sure about the "fairly happy". It may also be that in an insecure economy, the devil you know (and have experience with that might save you from a layoff) is better than the devil you don't. Either way, your solution is correct - a risk premium in salary or benefits

          • by vlm (69642) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:42PM (#33502812)

            the devil you know (and have experience with that might save you from a layoff) is better than the devil you don't. Either way, your solution is correct - a risk premium in salary or benefits are in order.

            Or, if they're coasties, their house is (financially) underwater and to switch jobs they'd have to move and declare bankruptcy. I've heard this is an issue, folks whom rent can move, and are making bank, folks with houses can't move and are stuck. Even worse for security clearance type jobs where bankruptcy equals no clearance.

        • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:42PM (#33502808)

          Had a friend who had a long stint of unemployment. A large part of the problem was companies that use recruiters, and have morons write the job requirements. There were so many jobs that when you filtered through the bullshit, he probably could do. However he'd have to lie about his qualifications to get them, and he won't do that. Shit like "Must have 7 years experience in Ruby, Java, Perl, PHP, and MySQL." Ok so they are looking for a web app and they don't know what they want it in. Fine, he can do that, he's a real programmer in that he can learn new languages. He also has done all those. However he can't truthfully say 7 years of Ruby experience. He's got 15 years of Perl experience, but only 1 of Ruby. Doesn't mean he's bad at Ruby, just that he didn't see the need to use it till recently. However he gets filtered since he doesn't "meet the requirements" and instead they get the liar types who don't know what they are talking about.

          That was actually something that the people at the job he did get commented on. He had very little Ruby experience, but generates code faster and of much higher quality than the "Ruby people." They were amazed and he had to explain that he'd done all this before, the specific language isn't really relevant.

          So if you want good candidates, make sure the description is written by someone who knows what the fuck they are talking about, and that what it asks for is reasonable. Reason is a good candidate is probably also someone who's honest and thus won't lie on the app just to get in the door. Figure out what you actually need, and put down also what you'd like as optional and go with that.

          No "10 years of experience with every single web related language," kind of shit. Instead something like "Someone with 5+ years of software development experience, at least some of it with web programming. Experience in one or more of the following a plus: Perl, PHP, Ruby, etc." Something that tells people what the job actually is, and gives them an idea what you want.

    • by sabs (255763)

      Like the Helpdesk position I read once that wanted someone with Java, C++ experience and the ability to write his own support tools.

      • by Surt (22457)

        I can picture that at a small company. Sometimes it's a budget stretch to hire two different people for those roles. E.g., you have some highly technical, low volume product with a very small number of support calls, you don't need to fund a full support staff, and in fact, maybe you want the one guy doing this to do some IT work for you too. You could pay the right, capable person 1.5-2x a normal salary for simple helpdesk, and still save money.

  • by sethstorm (512897) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:12PM (#33502490) Homepage


    The result is a mismatch of skill levels here at home: not enough workers with the cutting-edge skills coveted by tech firms, and too many people with abilities that can be duplicated offshore at lower cost. That's a familiar situation to many out-of-work software engineers, whose skills start depreciating almost as soon as they are laid off, given the dynamism of the industry.'"

    Then train them or make it a legal requirement to hire & train them. It's one thing to complain about regular people having to settle with less, why can't a business be made to do the same?

    Reads like an justification for offshoring if you'd ask me.

  • All we have to do is get rid of the H1B bastards and BOOM instant high tech employment.

    Let's get going - time for a "change"

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:43PM (#33502836) Journal

      All we have to do is get rid of the H1B bastards and BOOM instant high tech employment.

      I love how Slashdot is dominated by liberal sentiments until it comes to our jobs, then it's 100% anti-immigration, dominated with rhetoric that sounds like theminute men [wikipedia.org]. It's sad that you were modded insightful instead of troll.

      What we actually need is more immigration, and more emigration, so we can all get to know each other and realize that we're all human brothers and sisters and won't want to kill each other for reading one book or another, and can be happy when someone else gets a job instead of calling them bastards. :) That's my happy dream.

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:44PM (#33502840) Journal
      H1Bs are not offshore outsourcing, they are importing skilled workers. If you fire them all, you'll replace them with people who live and work in another country and you won't get any benefit from them paying taxes to the same government as you.
  • I prefer the 6% unemployment rate in my industry compared to the unemployment rate in my sisters field of expertise (architectural engineering), IIRC it is above 20%.

  • Skills Mismatch (Score:2, Interesting)

    by iso-cop (555637)

    So, let's do some logic here.

    U.S.A. citizens get their training at U.S.A. universities.
    Countries around the world send their citizens to U.S.A. universities.

    Skill mismatch? Where do the foreign folks get their unique skills? Should the U.S.A. be sending folks abroad to universities?

    Is the unique skill "low cost"? Are businesses finding it totally unacceptable to train their employees?

    Does this mean employees are throwaway after five years since "the next big thing" has come out and it did not exist when the

    • by sethstorm (512897)

      How about pre-empting them and putting all our own in first? Train our own, hire our own, prosper with our own.

      Then there might be a leg to stand on regarding complaints.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jeff4747 (256583)

      Is the unique skill "low cost"?

      Yes

      Are businesses finding it totally unacceptable to train their employees?

      Yes

      The CEO's gotta buy his third yacht somehow. Can't make that happen if you want pay adequately or invest in the long-term health of your company. Besides, he only has to milk this company for about 2 more years for all his options to vest, so the crap will hit the fan on some other CEO's watch.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)

      Competent US citizens can easily get jobs abroad or in the USA. Competent foreign-born US graduates now find it difficult to remain in the USA. This means that you have an increasing number of people graduating from US universities who are not able to work in the USA. Add to this the fact that both Obama and Bush have been quite unpopular with a sizeable (although largely disjoint) subset of the population, and you get a lot of US citizens who are interested in seeking jobs elsewhere.

      Skilled workers a

  • What do you expect (Score:2, Insightful)

    by BeanThere (28381)

    when you take more and more of the cash companies make from them to fund an ever-expanding state and "bail-outs" (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-20014563-38.html) ... *of course* it gets harder for companies to be able to afford to hire people and thus create more jobs. No sh-t. Let companies keep more of what they earn and they'll feel more comfortable hiring people, it's that simple. But all those billions floating around, it's just too tempting for governments to not want more of it.

    • by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:49PM (#33502892) Homepage

      Let companies keep more of what they earn and they'll feel more comfortable hiring people, it's that simple.

      Ummm, it's not that simple. In general, corporate earnings have been improving since Q1 2010 (when the "official" recession ended). Targeted business tax cuts were instituted in 2009 as part of the stimulus package. There are still not robust increases in hiring. If you look at financial reports for companies that are having increases in earnings you find that these corporations are either (a) hoarding cash, (b) using extra cash for acquisitions, or (c) instituting share buyback programs. None of these things "hire workers". In fact, choice (b) often depresses employment, as redundancies are eliminated in the merged entities. Nor is there any indication that lowering the tax rates further at this point would encourage corporations to hire more workers, either theoretically or empirically.

      Do you actually observe the economy and research these things, or do you just get your talking points from Glenn Beck?

      • by MarkvW (1037596) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @06:20PM (#33503274)

        No. You obviously don't get it. The free market is "magical," as Ronald Reagan once said. The free market takes care of everybody's needs.

        No big government is needed, because we can trust big business to take care of us. Don't worry about the minimum wage, because the free market will provide what you need.

        What? You're not cutting it? It's your fault, you should be succeeding. If you're not, there is something wrong with you.

        Trust in the Free Market! Big Business is your Friend!

  • by XaXXon (202882) <xaxxon&gmail,com> on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @05:31PM (#33502682) Homepage

    Software development is more about problem solving and communication skills than actually writing code. These abilities don't atrophy nearly so fast. A solid developer can pick up whatever technologies are needed for jumping into an existing problem space with little effort and apply their problem solving skills.

  • by nixNscratches (957550) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @06:03PM (#33503082)

    Sure, there are companies out there doing it right or at least trying, but there are many who are looking to

    1. Replace experienced workers with inexperienced ones at half to 2/3rds salary.

    2.Hire architects to design and document complex systems and then hire the equivalent of janitors to do maintenance and upgrade work. Eventually the center cannot hold and you end up with a complex nest of band aids and workarounds worthy only of submission to TDWTF.

    3.Replace creative thinking, problem solving and innovation with documentation of procedure whereby routine tasks are accomplished by following rote procedures and recipes that a trained monkey can follow, but which don't really address all the real world failure points in the process or how to even detect them much less correct them. Worse yet, since policy is to follow the procedure, updating said procedure is usually next to impossible to get approved.

    Most of this comes from a fundamental mistrust and misunderstanding of the value and role of IT within an organization. IT as a whole is viewed as a sausage grinder into which many companies pour their most critical business problems and hope that what comes out is a solution everyone can stomach. IT doesn't fix business problems, it fixes Information and automation problems. If you make poor decisions and ask IT to implement them, and the whole thing goes up in flames it doesn't mean IT failed you and many companies don't seem to grasp that.

  • by HeckRuler (1369601) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @06:07PM (#33503132)

    whose skills start depreciating almost as soon as they are laid off, given the dynamism of the industry.

    Huh, that doesn't seem to jive with my experience. Of course, I stayed away from the framework of the week and learned C in college. Oh look, it's still relevant.

  • Complete Nonsense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SoftwareArtist (1472499) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @07:16PM (#33503818)

    That's a familiar situation to many out-of-work software engineers, whose skills start depreciating almost as soon as they are laid off, given the dynamism of the industry.

    The only skills that depreciate that quickly are ones that any competent programmer can pick up very quickly and with very little effort. The important skills are the ones that take years to acquire, and those don't go out of date just because Magic Web Framework 3.0 gets released.

  • Talent (Score:3, Informative)

    by hackus (159037) on Tuesday September 07, 2010 @09:17PM (#33504586) Homepage

    The job situation in I.T. has nothing to do with talent, much like manufacturing has nothing to do with American Unions.

    Pure and simple, they want slave labourers that live in dormitories and once they get old you throw them in the oven.

    We have the slave labor camps and dormitories, we just don't have the ovens yet back in vogue.

    The surf sector, I mean the service sector economy is a direct goal of this.

    Do you people honestly believe in any of the people you vote for? Do you think congress is stupid?

    Quite to the contrary, congress and the people who pull their strings know exactly what would happen if you took away manufacturing.

    It was planned. It will continue...and they won't stop till everyone is living in a dormitory in public housing and you have nothing left.

    -Hack

  • by ClosedSource (238333) on Wednesday September 08, 2010 @12:50AM (#33505462)

    that these "cutting-edge skills" that employers always complain are so hard to find in job candidates are always left undefined? That's because if they name them they'll receive thousands of resumes from unemployed software developers who already have those skills.

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