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Old 10-15-2004, 11:18 AM  
Frankie Frankie is offline
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US 'programmers' to join the unemployed?

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...susprogrammers

Thu Oct 14, 7:32 AM ET

Endangered species: US programmers

By David R. Francis, The Christian Science Monitor

Say goodbye to the American software programmer. Once the symbols of hope as the nation shifted from manufacturing to service jobs, programmers today are an endangered species. They face a challenge similar to that which shrank the ranks of steelworkers and autoworkers a quarter century ago: competition from foreigners.

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Some experts think they'll become extinct within the next few years, forced into unemployment or new careers by a combination of offshoring of their work to India and other low-wage countries and the arrival of skilled immigrants taking their jobs.


Not everybody agrees programmers will disappear completely. But even the optimists believe that many basic programming jobs will go to foreign nations, leaving behind jobs for Americans to lead and manage software projects. The evidence is already mounting that many computer jobs are endangered, prompting concern about the future of the nation's high-tech industries.

Since the dotcom bust in 2000-2001, nearly a quarter of California technology workers have taken nontech jobs, according to a study of 1 million workers released last week by Sphere Institute, a San Francisco Bay Area public policy group. The jobs they took often paid less. Software workers were hit especially hard. Another 28% have dropped off California's job rolls altogether. They fled the state, became unemployed, or decided on self-employment.

The problem is not limited to California.

Although computer-related jobs in the United States increased by 27,000 between 2001 and 2003, about 180,000 new foreign H-1B workers in the computer area entered the nation, calculates John Miano, an expert with the Programmers Guild, a professional society. "This suggests any gain of jobs have been taken by H-1B workers," he says.

H-1B visas allow skilled foreigners to live and work in the US for up to six years. Many are able to get green cards in a first step to citizenship. Another visa, L-1, allows multinational companies to transfer workers from foreign operations into the US.

The H-1B visa has been highly controversial for years. This fiscal year, Congress set a quota of 65,000 visas, which was snapped up immediately after they became available Oct.1. Now, US business is pleading for Congress to let in more such workers.

The US Chamber of Commerce (news - web sites), for instance, wants Congress to revisit the cap "to ensure American business has access to the talent it needs to help keep our economy strong."

That rationale makes no sense to the Programmers Guild and other groups that have sprung up to resist the tech visas. Since more than 100,000 American programmers are unemployed - and many more are underemployed - the existing 65,000 quota is inexcusably high, they argue. H-1B and L-1 visas are "American worker replacement programs," says the National Hire American Citizens Society.

Further, the H-1B program, set up in 1990, is flawed, critics charge. For example, employers are not required to recruit Americans before resorting to hiring H-1Bs, says Norman Matloff, a computer science professor at the University of California, Davis.

And the requirement that employers pay H-1Bs a "prevailing wage" is useless, he adds, because the law is riddled with loopholes. Nor are even any remaining regulations enforced.

The average wage for an American programmer runs about $60,000, says John Bauman, who set up the Organization for the Rights of American Workers. Employers pay H-1Bs an average $53,000.

A programmer, Mr. Bauman was out of work for 20 months before finally taking a job with a 40% pay cut. His experience is common enough that programmers are organizing to fight in Congress against H-1B and L-1 visas.

But they face an uphill battle, says Mr. Miano, as business groups are far better organized and funded than the smattering of programmer groups. "They have the best legislation money can buy," he says.

Miano sees such a dim future for programmers that he decided to enter law school. "I saw the handwriting on the wall," he says.


Copyright 2004, The Christian Science Monitor
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Old 10-15-2004, 11:20 AM   #2
unlurking unlurking is offline
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Ahh, who cares?

There's always community college.
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Old 10-15-2004, 11:21 AM   #3
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Old 10-15-2004, 11:26 AM   #4
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Wow, what a hot new problem. Can you imagine if this would have happened in some other industry, like textiles, auto manufacturing, steel, electronics, any kind of assembly, etc.

I mean, if this were not just an isolated incident that is Bush's fault, and instead were part of the cyclic nature of maturing industries and observable repeating labor patterns, we'd be in some real trouble.
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Old 10-15-2004, 11:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unlurking
Ahh, who cares?

There's always community college.
Actually community colleges are starting to phase out computer programming courses for this very reason...

I guess you could get your 'Administrative Assistant Diploma'.
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Old 10-15-2004, 11:34 AM   #6
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3 years ago I graduated with a CIS degree but I couldn't program my way out of wet paper bag. I hate programming and I hated learning it but alot of my friends were very good programmers and it was easy for them. This has to suck for them.
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Old 10-15-2004, 11:34 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by memyselfI
I guess you could get your 'Administrative Assistant Diploma'.
A number of possible retorts come to mind, but I will abstain in favor of allowing another poster to knock this meatball over the fence.
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Old 10-15-2004, 11:39 AM   #8
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Just curious. Who on the CP are programmers?
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Old 10-15-2004, 11:40 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memyselfI
Actually community colleges are starting to phase out computer programming courses for this very reason...

I guess you could get your 'Administrative Assistant Diploma'.

Denise as expected you are not paying any attention.

Hey you never did come back to respond to my posts the other day about Kerry pulling out. Also today why have you not reponded to the reports on the economy and Greenspan talking about the oil prices.

NOt good news for you Huh?
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Old 10-15-2004, 11:41 AM   #10
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Maybe Frankie will have someone in the unemployment line with him he can bitch with.
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Old 10-15-2004, 11:52 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frankie
Just curious. Who on the CP are programmers?
I am.

For what it's worth, I decided to look for a new job and found one within 2 weeks with a >10% pay increase. And the company I work for has hired more than 1,000 people since the first of the year (headcount increase >10% in 2004)
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Old 10-15-2004, 12:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by KingPriest2
Denise as expected you are not paying any attention.

Hey you never did come back to respond to my posts the other day about Kerry pulling out. Also today why have you not reponded to the reports on the economy and Greenspan talking about the oil prices.

NOt good news for you Huh?
Did you respond to the list of news I posted yesterday...the list that would cause someone to be 'offended' by the Mary Cheney remark and thus divert attention from such news?
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Old 10-15-2004, 12:03 PM   #13
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Well, here's an idea...dont go into computer programming.

Remember how sad it was when the last Buggy Whip mfgr went out of business? It was devastating to the economy.
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Old 10-15-2004, 12:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memyselfI
Did you respond to the list of news I posted yesterday...the list that would cause someone to be 'offended' by the Mary Cheney remark and thus divert attention from such news?

Yes

and why have you not responded to mine?
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Old 10-15-2004, 12:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCTitus
Well, here's an idea...dont go into computer programming.

Remember how sad it was when the last Buggy Whip mfgr went out of business? It was devastating to the economy.
Block Ice sales went down in the 40s.


DEVASTATING!!!!
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