Continuation

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Brownout, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. Brownout

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jan 10, 2012
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    I don't know if you remember, but not that many years ago, there was article after article about how many engineering jobs there was supposed to be about right now, and how there wouldn't be enough graduates to fill all those jobs. Also, how employable anyone with an engineering degree would be. What happened to all those jobs? Was that just hype and propaganda? Many thing that was a deliberate sham to try to flood the job market with graduates, a market that wouldn't materialize. After living in California in the 90's and seeing how firms there tried every scam to lower wages, I would have to agree with that assessment.
     
  2. JohnInTX

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    Jun 26, 2012
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    Yep. There's no shortage of engineering positions. But I agree with you completely, our corporate masters have discovered the miracle of the H1-B whereby you can import talent for a fraction of the cost of a US trained engineer. Many of them are pretty good too.

    Ultimately, we will pay a price for contracting our innovation skills but, I don't make the rules either. Outfits like Caterpillar say they can't get qualified help, what they mean is that they want more engineers that will work on the cheap.

    Sorry for the rant. But I sure do know lots of really talented people working for way less than they have a reason to expect. My own brother, a competent DBA, has trained lots of his own replacements from outsourcing outfits. He's finally secure since working for NASA position which requires a US citizenship.
     
  3. MrChips

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    I don't think it was hype, propaganda or scam. I believe it is just simply that politicians, governments, economists and just about everyone else did not understand that growth is not sustainable and we still don't understand or are willing to accept that simple fact.

    Yet, since 1972, that's over 40 years ago, Dennis L. Meadows, Donella H. Meadows, Jorgen Randers and William W. Behrens, wrote Limits to Growth presenting the results of computer modeling predicting that growth would come to an end.

    If there is a scam being perpetrated it is by the banks, corporations and financial elite who understand that without growth they all have much to lose as a result of the imminent collapse of the entire global monetary system.

    The whole monetary system of creating money out of nothing is a grand ponzi scheme.
     
  4. JohnInTX

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    Considering that the resources that generate hard wealth are finite i.e. dig something out of the ground and beat it into something useful, one would think that growth would eventually have to come to an end. An enlightened society could postpone that event to a large degree by making more with less by innovation but eventually.. nada.

    It will go on for some time but my personal view is that the banksters and corporatists know this and are aggregating wealth any way they can to stave off the inevitable. One only needs to consult history to see how it ends.

    Boy! Am I in a bad mood. Sorry!
     
  5. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

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    I am a software engineer. Our company uses a LOT of H1B1 workers. Work is usually sub par and takes much longer to do than their American counterparts. About 90% of the issue there is a language barriers. Many workers speak no English at all requiring a supervisor to translate requirements. Others that do speak English are extemely hard to understand.

    I just cannot figure why if you are going to invest in someone's education why you would not also invest in their English skills. And why workers that speak some English dont use it our a regular basis even with friends and family.

    When you see you co-workers being laid off to be replaced by these people and knowing your job will most likely be next, it is extemely difficult to remain civil.
     
  6. WBahn

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    Well, what was the magic involved in cracking the H1-B nut so that you could "import talent for a fraction of the cost of a US trained engineer"? We hired numerous people on H1-B visas and each time it was because we could not find anyone that we were willing to hire -- and our standards didn't strike me as being ridiculously lhigh. If they had a reasonable grasp of junior level circuit analysis and design they were likely to get an offer, yet frequently we couldn't find anyone that we were willing to make an offer to (and, if we did, they were likely weighing offers from many places because they were a diamond in the ruff). So we would eventually go the H1-B route and first we had to document our efforts to hire a U.S. citizen. Then we had to show that the compensation package was competitive for similar positions and that information had to be posted so that all other employees could inspect it. Then we had to pay the costs of the visa and generally the relocation costs for someone coming half way around the world. Then we had to show that we were continuing to search for a U.S. citizen that met the minimum requirements for the job and were required to replace the H1-B holder with the U.S. worker even if the H1-B holder was much better qualified and you were completely satisfied with their work. So our other engineering staff had to continue devoting time recruiting for positions that were already filled!

    It cost us a markedly greater amount of money to have an H1-B engineer than a U.S. citizen engineer. About the only benefit to having an H1-B employee is that their visa is tied to that employer, so they don't have the option to go find a better job and quit. But that wasn't an issue with us because people basically never left the company -- in fact, almost everyone that ever did eventually came back to work for us. In fact, there is a good possibility that I may go back as well (I still consult for them). It is an extremely good place to work with outstanding benefits and comparable wages. Even so, the "indentured servant" nature of the H1-B comes with a price. We were bought by another company and so even though everyone was working at the same office at the same desk at the same computer doing the same job on the same projects, we were all going to be working for a different employer meaning that our H1-B folks were going to be in violation of their visas and would lose them and be deported. So it cost us several thousand dollars per visa holder to go through the hoops of getting a waiver and then had to do it again when the company that bought us folded and we restarted the original company under the original name.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013
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  7. WBahn

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    Our experience was the opposite (at least in parts). Our H1-B engineers were among the best performing. One of them eventually became the vice-president and then headed up a joint-venture firm that ended up being ten times as big as our company (but tiny compared to the other joint-venture partner). They all had at least passable English skills, though communication could be a problem at times.

    Then again, we didn't hire them at random. Because of the additional expense on our part and commitment on their part, we were much more selective in who we hired to fill an H1-B than we were for U.S. citizens.
     
  8. Brownout

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    HAHA! Don't worry about it. It's easy to have moods these days. I remember when I worked in California, seeing TJ Rogers lobby for more H1-B visas. TJ was our main competitor, but his company also second sourced many of our products, and we did the same for his. He was an H1-B evangelist, and nobody could figure out why he was so maniacal about it. During that time, there was an influx of foreign engineers in Cal. We were being told at the time it was because the industry was growing so fast that the universities couldn't keep up, and forecast for engineering jobs was so great, that we would all have jobs in the future, so no need to worry. We were all happy and didn't worry at all. But that market never materialized and now just having a job is remarkable. Evidence is now emerging that what we were being told was pure hype, and design to flood the market and bring down the cost of labor.

    About 5 years ago, I was working at Cisco as a digital system designer. Cisco contracted with a foreign engineering firm and began to transfer the design effort from our department to the firm. We had to train our replacements. Answering hundreds of questions every day was alot like answer noob questions in this forum. Basically, we had to spoonfeed them everything they needed to know. At the time, management was telling us that our jobs were safe, and the firm was just here to help with the workload. Sound familiar? After about a year, the design effort was outsourced and the entire design department was laid off. Management has mislead all of us about the purpose of contracting the outside firm, and their story was eeriely similar to all the hype I had been reading.

    I was never really fooled by management, even as I had fallen for the media hype. I began to prepare for the layoff as soon as I heard about the decision by management.
     
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  9. MrChips

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    Imagine you are an IT expert and your role is to train foreign workers to replace you at your job.

    This is what was revealed happening at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) as it seeks to outsource and offshore its information technology workforce.

    The public outcry has resulted in RBC making a public apology. We know this will not stop the practice at this and many other companies. The banks are making huge profits and yet they continue to want to make more money at the cost of their own local citizenry.

    http://www.thestar.com/opinion/commentary/2013/04/19/rbcs_real_mistake_in_the_outsourcing_uproar_was_embarrassing_the_harper_tories.html


    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/jobs/royal-bank-apologizes-to-employees-over-outsourcing-move/article11061489/
     
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  10. Brownout

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

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    When I was young and stupid, I believe that when companies were making good profits and/or revenue, they would want to reward their employees who were responsible for those riches, and want to be a good citizen. Reality finally sunk in.
     
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  11. Papabravo

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    Loyalty is a one-way street.
     
  12. killivolt

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    Jan 10, 2010
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    When I learned that, I started my own company.

    I influenced more than half his clients and buried him.

    10yrs later the economy, free credit and low shipping cost, buried me...

    Edit: Moral, don't put all your eggs in one basket.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013
  13. spinnaker

    AAC Fanatic!

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    Guess what industry I work in? How do you think it feels when you walk around the floor and you hear lots of people talking in a language that is not English and you live in an American country?

    I try to keep in in but I still get angry every time I hear that accent be it in their native language or in English.

    We are switching to become a Microsoft shop. I am convinced it is because they can find more foreign workers that program in the MS products and we will be replaced.

    Our department develops in a different method than most software development companies. We use RAD and work one on one with our users. They give use just a basic sketch of what they want and the project evolves from that, phone calls are made, emails exchanged to refine the project. It works because most of our projects are under 150 hours. Our users love the process and appreciate how we turn out some fairly complex applications so quickly.

    Once they go offshore or bring in more H1B1 that relationship is all going to change. Our users better have all of their specs completed in detail of exactly what they want or the project will never be completed.

    In addition to language barriers, many of these H1B1s are temporary. This is a real issue with bringing someone new up to speed especially with language barriers.

    Franky I don't see how any company can trust any offshore company for anything. Not that a domestic service company can't commit crimes, they can but try to prosecute a crime in some 3rd world nation from the homeland. Good luck.

    I just don't buy the fact that talent cannot be found. The US has an over 7% unemployment with real unemployment probably closer to 15%. Parts Europe are even worse. It is hard to believe with so many people out of work that domestic talent cannot be found.
     
  14. atferrari

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    Simply because it is not natural, sp.

    Imagine yourself living abroad. I much doubt that you would do it with family that started in your original home. Which is not the case of Maxima in Holland... :)

    But maybe it would be natural to do that with grandchildren, let's say.
     
  15. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

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    Oh yes, how true! I had never thought of that.

    Now, my divorce and my past / current laboral life are much easier to explain.

    From now on I will be regreting my awareness...
     
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  16. spinnaker

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    I would do what ever I had to do to provide for myself (no family) but if I did live in another country then I would expect to have to be able to communicate in whatever language is spoken in that country. I must admit I am very lucky that my first language is English. No matter where you go someone is going to speak it but I will still want to learn the language of the country where I lived.
     
  17. spinnaker

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    Oh get this. I mentioned we are switching to MS products. They have put an immediate sunset on new development and major enhancements in our current technology, yet no infrastructure is built, no procedures are in place (we are highly regulated being a bank), no training is in place, basically no plan at all.

    Plus it is estimated to cost in the high tens of millions of dollars to convert existing applications.

    Oh yeah the business units are going to love that.
     
  18. killivolt

    Active Member

    Jan 10, 2010
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    The difference between developing countries and existing countries such as ours.

    When their infrastructure begins, ours is in decline. It takes Millions or billions to convert.

    e.g. They get fiber from the start. While we have to remove, installing the fiber as we go, always at an increased cost.

    Low labor cost in their country, coupled with low manufacturing cost and add companies that invest heavily to their industry, drives us further down.

    There maybe more examples than the one above.

    If we don't invest, it's inevitable, we loose all together.

    It's real problem, with few answers.
     
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  19. WBahn

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    Are you sure you mean H1B1 and not just H1B? There are only a few hundred H1B1 visas issued each year and all go to Chilean and Singaporean workers.

    Very much depends on the specifics for each company, but in general H-1B visas are down. The numbers fluctuate a lot from year to year, but they are roughly half what they were ten years ago. They peaked in 2001 at over 200,000 and were at less than 80,000, their lowest ever, in 2010. The last H1-B visa request that the company I used to work for filed would probably have been in the 2003 time frame and I'm pretty sure there are no H1-B folks working there any more.
     
  20. WBahn

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    It's pretty much a zero way street. What fraction of workers would leave their job at lunchtime for a new one that paid 10% more without any notice at all?

    And there is still employer-employee loyalty out there, particularly at smaller companies. When the company that bought ours went belly up the owner of the original company cut a deal with the bankrupty court to accept personal liability for the owed wages and benefits for his original employees in exchange for the assets that were owned by the original company. Since the liability was significantly more than the assets, the court agreed. This severed us from the bankrupty proceedings so that we could get about the process of rebuilding more quickly. He then gave about 60% ownership in the company to the employees that stayed. Because of the nature of the work we did, it was nearly a year before we started realizing significant revenue and during the time the owner (who now owned only a plurality of the company) took out loans against his home in order to ensure that no employee, except him, missed a paycheck.
     
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