4 April 2005

Oh, the IT worker, that's all a bunch of nonsense

Writer/NY Times columnist Thomas Friedman flaunts his ignorance once again.
Show me a qualified software engineer today anywhere in America who is looking for a job and can't find one. Some of them may have had to move a little horizontally. But show me one person who really has qualifications, is an IT knowledge worker, and just cannot find a job. I don't believe that.

I am a qualified software engineer today, with a college degree in Computer Science, in America who is looking for a job and thus far, unable to secure one. I am fluent in a range of computer languages from the mainframe dinosaur likes of COBOL, CLIST, to the modern dialects of C, Java, Perl, PHP, Python, HTML. Experienced in network communications and relational databases.

And I am not alone, many of my colleagues and peers have been affected by the new model of outsourcing and the importing of non immigrant visa workers. Within a few minutes drive of my house, I tally thousands of jobs lost to outsourcing or supplanted by non immigrant visa workers who have replaced American engineers and programmers. I know this from firsthand experience, because I've had to train my offshore replacements.

I don't believe I am "entitled to a job". I do think that targeting an entire profession for extinction is a grave mistake. Then some foolishly wonder why our youth choose not to pursue careers in computer science or engineering. Duh, it's not a difficult riddle — lowered earnings prospects and career duration variablility due to this phenomenon have most definitely pushed prospective students away.

It is astonishing to read and listen to those who advocate the full scale shredding of an occupation, while not considering that if all fields (and just about all jobs potentially could fit into this new paradigm, even if they can't be moved offshored, a job certainly can be manned by a guest worker immigrant, willing to work for less or agreeable to lesser work conditions due to the non-competitive arrangement they will work under).


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