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Programmer, or engineer?

By jkameleon ·

Matloff also has an interesting theory as to the context of the report. The ACM, he says, is dominated by academic computing professionals. Computer science department chairs, he argues, are extremely alarmed at the decline in computer science enrollment. Declining enrollment means declining funding and power in the university rat race. So their motivation is to present the offshoring phenomenon as not destroying American IT jobs, because they don't want students to be scared away from the discipline. Matloff even quotes an unnamed source who worked on the report as "saying that the atmosphere was such that anyone dissenting from the pro-outsourcing line was gently marginalized." And finally, Matloff argues that in any case, a significant proportion of the "new" jobs are actually going to foreign workers in the U.S. who have received H1-B or L1 visas.

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Techie vc Project Mgmt

by jerome.koch In reply to Programmer, or engineer?

As far as large Corp IT shops are concerned, the real "value" workers are those that can deliver and manage projects that increase a corp value. Tech skills are not necessairily going offshore directly, but many corp are outsourcing thier email, data centers, voice, and thier ERP coding. They want shrunk-wrapped apps where no expensive customization occurs.

This leaves developers, high level admins, as well as IT generalists in a bad spot. Many of these service companies who host corporate IT services outsource thier tech positions offshore. The people who do have careers in IT are those who can manage vendor performance, project delivery, the delivery of new technologies, and cost downs. It is not unusual to see in many Fotrune 500 Corp a high percentage of IT "managers" and project leads.

The question remains: Why would someone spend a lot of money, not to mention effort and time learning Comp Sci if all he can expect is severe wage compression during his career? Many people are more than happy to remain VB, C, and Linux gurus thier entire life. What will happen when the Indians begin to demand higher salaries and benefits? Outsource to Vietnam or Afghanistan? Will we eventually come full circle and find that the US to be the least expensive place to operate, only to find that no one has the skills anymore?

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