Posted inInformation Technology

There Never Was a Skills Gap

It’s quite refreshing to find out that now even the Wall Street Journal is supporting the very statement I have made for years. There is not now, nor was there ever a skills gap.

I love this quote from the article:

 I had an employer write to me the other day saying they had a skills gap, and they really did. It wasn’t wages, because they did market wage surveys, and they were paying what everybody else was paying, and all the employers, by the way, are having a skills gap, so it’s a big problem. Well, if everybody’s got the same problem, and you’re all paying the same wage, it’s probably the case that you’re not paying enough. So the way markets work isn’t you set the wage and say, “Well, this is good enough.” You pay what it takes to get the people you need, and if wages have to go up, then so be it, right? You wouldn’t say, for example, that there’s a shortage of diamonds. Diamonds are very expensive. They cost a lot, but you can buy all the diamonds you want as long as you’re willing to pay.

This is almost the same example I gave a recruiter many years ago.

Recruiter: “We are paying market rate, $40/hr on-site in NJ.”

Me: “That’s not market rate.”

Recruiter: “It’s all the employer is willing to pay.”

Me: “I am only willing to pay 50 cents per gallon for gasoline, go get me all I want.”

Recruiter: “I can’t”

Me: “Why not?”

Recruiter: “It’s over $3 at the pump!”

Me: “Then why are you shopping around $40/hr when it costs around $90/hr just to live in that part of NJ?”

Recruiter: “That’s all we have for a billing rate?”

Me: “And you feel that justifies your wasting everybody’s time?”



Roland Hughes started his IT career in the early 1980s. He quickly became a consultant and president of Logikal Solutions, a software consulting firm specializing in OpenVMS application and C++/Qt touchscreen/embedded Linux development. Early in his career he became involved in what is now called cross platform development. Given the dearth of useful books on the subject he ventured into the world of professional author in 1995 writing the first of the "Zinc It!" book series for John Gordon Burke Publisher, Inc.

A decade later he released a massive (nearly 800 pages) tome "The Minimum You Need to Know to Be an OpenVMS Application Developer" which tried to encapsulate the essential skills gained over what was nearly a 20 year career at that point. From there "The Minimum You Need to Know" book series was born.

Three years later he wrote his first novel "Infinite Exposure" which got much notice from people involved in the banking and financial security worlds. Some of the attacks predicted in that book have since come to pass. While it was not originally intended to be a trilogy, it became the first book of "The Earth That Was" trilogy:
Infinite Exposure
Lesedi - The Greatest Lie Ever Told
John Smith - Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars

When he is not consulting Roland Hughes posts about technology and sometimes politics on his blog. He also has regularly scheduled Sunday posts appearing on the Interesting Authors blog.