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YAH1BT

If our long term goal is to keep programmer wages at an acceptable level, we need to maximize the inflow of H1B workers. This will bring the foreign programmer talent into a higher cost living environment. H1B's will need to raise the hourly rate they accept in order to sustain in this environment. Furthermore this leaves their country of origin with less programmers driving up the wages over there in turn.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Right Right completely flawed....

Do the math!  How many people live in India again?

Yep defintely flawed

1+1 gereally equals two
Wednesday, July 10, 2002

How many IT people. I don't think their as easily replaceable.

Just my two Australian cents

anon
Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Why H1B rather than greencard (i.e., permanent) immigrants?

mackinac
Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Well... somebody has to do the work, and what better than H1B's and their slave attitude?  Green card people think they are actually Americans and deserve a free ride.

Joe AA.
Wednesday, July 10, 2002

"This will bring the foreign programmer talent into a higher cost living environment. H1B's will need to raise the hourly rate they accept in order to sustain in this environment. "

This won't work. Most of them are willing to live cheaply (i.e. low cost housing, multiple roomates, eat at home etc) that would allow them to keep the rate low.

The only way this could be made to work is to raise their living standard expectations up to ours. When they want/need a 2500 sqft house with a pool and 2 new cars plus all of the toys we want then they will raise their rates.

MKH
Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Citizenship and green cards should do that trick!!

"The only way this could be made to work is to raise their living standard expectations up to ours. When they want/need a 2500 sqft house with a pool and 2 new cars plus all of the toys we want then they will raise their rates.

MKH

"

Lazy Yank
Wednesday, July 10, 2002

"If our long term goal is to keep programmer wages at an acceptable level"

What's flawed is the goal. This is exactly what I mean by "aint it awful" and "remember when".  Programmer wages from 1995-2000 were an abberation. A weird little peice of history never to be repeated.

Your goal should be to keep YOUR wages at YOUR acceptable level. If what you were doing from 1995-2xxx no longer meets that criteria, you'll have to "add value" to what you're doing or do something else.

"asset"
Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Asset,

this was just a hypotesis reacting to the apparent beleive by some that everything would be fine and dandy if it weren't for these H1B's polluting the market. I meant to show that you can also reason that an increase in H1Bs could result in a less declined wage horizon. Sure, regardsless of the H1B position, that resulting wage will be relatively low for the "pure" programmer.
Let's face it. Advances in transport and communication technologies made the world a small place. Ask the textile industry workers. All production is done in low wage countries, and in that case they even have to physically ship the resulting produce. Shipping bytes is free. There is nothing that makes a "born in the USA" a better programmer by nature. So, if all you are is being the anonymous "Java grinder", expect to work for 3'rd world wages in the longer term (add a little extra for being local and therefore more easily hired, but not much). Maybe relocating to India will be better for you to reduce your external living expenses.

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, July 10, 2002

"This won't work. Most of them are willing to live cheaply (i.e. low cost housing, multiple roomates, eat at home etc) that would allow them to keep the rate low. "

Funny how this is viewed as some incredible self discipline when in reality if someone offered me a chance to work in a foreign country for 4-5 times what I could make here and on top of that the job market here was in the can then I would gladly jump at the chance. I could save every dime I made and send the money back to my family and build my own private idaho. All the foreign workers could never compete because their standard of living would be well beyond mine and if they ever complained that I was taking work from locals I would simply point the finger and call them lazy instead of thinking rationally about if they actually have a legit argument. Doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out why so many foreign workers make the "sacrifice" to come to the US to work.

Lets at least keep things in perpective.

Ian Stallings
Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Agreed about the low level vs high level programming. I'm sure that The US (American) employees of Infosys are happpy to be outsourced but I'm sure that most of the low level coding is done in India. I just see programming skills as marketable in jobs outside of the IT industry and IT departments.

Just as yesterdays skills are pared to down to one-liners on the resume, programming or software engineering itself can be just another line item. The trick is to flesh it out with something else that you love to do.

And yes, I am trying to get all developers to leave the industry to keep my rates up ;-)

"asset"
Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Adding to what Ian says;

the other factors are :

1.) how much is the US $ worth back "home"( wherever home is). eg: 1 US $ = 1 Euro; 1 US $ = 2 Singapore $.

2.) Whether you will be taxed in your "home" country for earnings outside the country.

Prakash S
Wednesday, July 10, 2002

I wouldn't worry too much about overseas outsourced coders taking the work away from US/Western Countries.

I spent a year working in an Indian company which outsourced development projects to Bangalore. And noticed some major advantages Western Countries still have over India, or at least Bangalore.

English Ability
-----------------
I'm sure that there are a lot of Indians with great English ability, but the almost all the ones I met didn't speak English at all well. Aside from the major communication problems, they weren't able to take advantage of all the literature in books and on the internet as their language comprehension wasn't enough. The worst though is that most Indians don't seem to realise how bad their English, thus keeping them from thinking they should improve.

Education Environment
------------------------------
Speak to some Indians and many will tell you that they didn't actually have any computers at their University as the costs were too high. I release again that this isn't universal, but on average I'm sure a western university will offer computers to all it's students.

Cost of computers
------------------------
The average monthly salary in India is about US $500 a month for an IT engineer, whereas computers are similarly priced in India as the West. This puts computers in the home out of reach of a lot of Indians.

Power Cuts
---------------
Bangalore seems to be plagued with daily power cuts, and internet outages. Simple utitlies that westerners take from granted are not reliable in India.

Brain Drain
---------------
Most of the really good Indian coders seem to leave India for higher paying work overseas. The ones who remain in India seem to be the less able coders.


Just to re-iterate I have nothing against India or Indians and wish them all the luck in the world in building an IT industry. But I think that at the moment Western IT companies have major advantages over Indian companies.

anon
Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Stop whining, you millionaire whores and learn some new skills, so you can compete with the rest of the world.

Szasz Attila
Thursday, July 11, 2002

Nice observations anon, but there are certain things I would like to clarify.

English Ability
-----------------

Yes, quite a few Indians have communication problems( pretty obvious since English is not the primary language), but the people who communicate with the companies in the US/ Europe have very good command of the language.

Education Environment
------------------------------

Most Indians supplement their undergraduate course work with “Computer Courses”  from training institutes like NIIT, SSI, APTECH. (These are like the Chubb’s, New Horizon’s, ExcuTrain’s in the US.) These institutes have computer labs( places where you have about 20-30 computers) open 24 hours , 7 days a week. If you ask most of the H1 programmers they would have at some time or the other done a course in Unix, C, < insert your flavor here> from these institutes.

Cost of computers
------------------------

This is pretty much the same, but an important thing is that software piracy is so rampant that most of the people who buy computers, have not paid a dime for software. However, this is changing now.

Power Cuts
---------------

All companies have stand by units called generators, etc that provide uninterrupted power for a few hours in case of a power cut, so this is not such a big factor.

Brain Drain
---------------

I would not complete agree with you on this. I am not sure which companies you worked in B’lore, but if you have been to companies like Infosys, Wipro, TCS, Cognizant, Polaris, etc you will find extremely talented coders.

Overall, there are some factors that need to be ironed out to make it the destination for outsourcing.

Cheers!

Prakash S
Thursday, July 11, 2002

Just a small note about english ability.

The english spoken in the sub continent is English at base, and not American English.  This, as well as an unfamiliarity with the accenting used might well confuse an american english speaker into thinking that the quality of english is somehow inferior.

Simon Lucy
Thursday, July 11, 2002

Actually we noticed that it wasn't the accent so much as the grammar. We had Australians, Brits, Americans, Canadians and Japanese who all had major problems communicating with the Bangalore office

anon
Thursday, July 11, 2002

I don't want to thrash the language thing out, but my original point was that there is a lot to be said for being able to talk to another native English speaking developer in your own room, as opposed to a non-native speaker over Indian quality phone lines in a different time zone.

anon
Thursday, July 11, 2002

Anon:
“Actually we noticed that it wasn't the accent so much as the grammar. We had Australians, Brits, Americans, Canadians and Japanese who all had major problems communicating with the Bangalore office”

Well it would be really difficult to Australians, Brits, Americans, Canadians and Japanese in English ‘cos their accents vary so vastly.

Anon:
“I don't want to thrash the language thing out, but my original point was that there is a lot to be said for being able to talk to another native English speaking developer in your own room, as opposed to a non-native speaker over Indian quality phone lines in a different time zone. “

I agree with you on this except for the fact that Indian phone lines are pretty good. Again, I am not sure which company you worked for, but if you have seen the infrastructure at companies like Infosys, etc;  they are as good as Oracle or Microsoft.

Prakash S
Thursday, July 11, 2002


And the point about language and books is not very accurate. I have big problems spelling (and writing) english, but I can understand it almost perfectly.

Leonardo Herrera
Thursday, July 11, 2002

I've found irc and similar more than sufficient to work with people internationally. 

Simon Lucy
Thursday, July 11, 2002

I've worked in English with people native to the States, Canada, England, Australia, Japan, China, India, Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland, Italy, the Pacific, the Carribean, Mexico, and many of the ex-Soviet countries. Sometimes a person mentions that they have difficulty understanding some other person whose English I have no trouble with.

Christopher Wells
Thursday, July 11, 2002

Infosys, an Indian IT servies/consulting company is huge and very profitable. 60% of their work is in the US.  Language is not an issue for them.

"asset"
Thursday, July 11, 2002

That's why I do documentation. They may be able to code: but can they write English well? :)

A
Thursday, July 18, 2002

i am an Associative Eng. of Textile Spinning as well as
i am the IT Eng.
i can work on different languages of computer as:
Vb.Net
Vb
C++
C
Java
GW Basic
HTML
i need a job
please pay ur best for me
i will be thank ful to u
for this kindness
all the best !

Muhammad Nauman Safdar
Monday, July 19, 2004

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