The Scourge Of Silicon Valley

from the he's-everywhere dept

Every month or so Norman Matloff seems to pop up somewhere. There are so many articles about him it’s sickening. I’ve seen him (and his friends) argue on mailing lists. I think it’s good that he’s out there fighting, but I still have seen no real evidence that his claims are true. He says that the H1-B visa program is hurting America. Specifically he talks about how companies are using it to force out older techies and bring in younger, cheaper, foreign workers. However, unemployment among techies is incredibly low. I don’t know a single qualified techie who can’t find work these days. He backs this up by pointing out how many engineers are no longer doing engineering 20 years after graduating. I’m not sure if this is a problem, or just the natural progression of things. Many engineers chose to move on into management jobs. Others let their skills atrophy. It takes a lot of work to keep up with the latest skills. Plenty of engineers do so, and they seem to be able to find jobs as well. While I do agree that the H1-B process may need to be revised (it unfairly shackles foreign workers to companies), I think the question of age discrimination is probably seperate from H1-Bs.

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pyrotek says:

older techies not unemployed, just screwed

When I worked at IBM, we had a software development group of about 45 people. Of those, only 8 or 9 were actual IBM employees. About 25 were Indian/Chinese contractors working out their indentured servant contracts to their sponsoring contracting company.
The rest (15+) were older techheads who used to be IBM employees. After being laid off, they were forced to get jobs with a “Vendor company,” from whom IBM would hire them back at a severely cut pay rate and fewer benefits. Most of these guys were supporting families on less money than I was getting as an intern!

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