The Return to Program Hiring

If you live long enough, everything comes around again. Well, hopefully not leisure suits, but it appears some things from the 70s are making a comeback. In this case it is mass hiring of tech workers from college.

During the 60s and 70s there was a massive software development effort under way. There, quite literally were not enough programmers to go around. Large corporations needing order entry, inventory, accounting, warehouse management, payroll and any number of systems people just think “exist” were being written for the first time at most companies. Programmers at many companies belonged to a group called SHARE  which helped develop much of the early IBM mainframe software.

Please do not confuse SHARE with the Linux Open Source groups of today. While SHARE was sharing source with members the focus was on creating maintainable business class software for production environments. This is a completely different mentality from the “hurl it and burn it” mentality of most Linux distros. If you have used Linux distros for about a decade, you are all too familiar with the vast quantity of single release packages. These packages are rolled into one release then are simply never maintained – or – they get completely rewritten by someone else because nobody wants to maintain someone else’s code, especially the tweens and teens writing most of those packages.

Corporations were forced to manufacture the programmers they needed. Many developed internal training programs where they would hire 30-100 college age kids and run them through various programming courses teaching them how to develop software for this particular corporation. At the end of the training program those who did well would be given full time jobs within various units of the corporation. For most corporations these were not unpaid training courses, they were actual salaried positions which lead to hire paying positions within the company. In today’s world, most corporations are intent on replacing all of their U.S. workers with H1-B or other visa workers in a race to the bottom.

It is actually very telling if you can find out just how many visa workers a corporation has because as that number climbs the well being of the corporation seems to directly decline. It is also next to impossible to identify just how many visa workers are at a company without interviewing the token few U.S. citizens they still have employed. You see, most subcontract these visa workers through various services firms.

Before you paint the previous paragraph as a slam at visa workers and those who employ them, you should take a look at this recent article.

Companies which are Wall Street darlings today have massive program hiring practices. Facebook, Intuit and many others have brought back forms of this practice with gusto. Conversely companies like IBM and HP who have massively embraced off-shore workers are headed down the soil pipe and into the sewer.

The lesson is clear. You can either race to the bottom and an inevitable bankruptcy (ala the GM bailout of several years ago after they massively chased off-shore IT workers) or you can build what you need and rocket over the top.

Do not just lay this at the feet of the visa workers though. Management at companies pursuing this path to riches are simply incompetent. This seems like a “quick fix” to “cut costs” for a short term bonus, and it might well be. The trouble is this line of thinking sacrifices any future the company might have had. In truth, the race to embrace visa workers is a red flag for investors that upper management is routinely making horrible decisions. Those decisions might not yet show in the financials or the stock price, but, when they do it will be like trying to hide an ocean liner in a bath tub.

You Probably Cannot Access Your ATM Today

I bet you cannot even get through to many call centers. How many Fortune 50 companies have come to a screeching halt today because they decided it was “cheaper” to off-shore their data center to a land of zero background checks and non-existent wages?

http://news.yahoo.com/electricity-grids-fail-across-half-india-112537220–finance.html

If you cannot access your bank accounts today, check around to find a functioning bank and transfer everything as soon as possible.

If you hold stock in a company which is having an “outage” today, sell all your shares. The infrastructure in India has been on its last legs for decades and it was never a “good business decision” to go there.

You Are to Be Fully Trained for a Job That Doesn’t Exist

President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors issued a report on the future of the U.S. job market which stated: “Well-trained and highly-skilled workers will be best positioned to secure high-wage jobs, thereby fueling American prosperity.” What they failed to state was that as long as the criminal enterprise of offshoring is allowed to continue unchecked, there will be no high paying jobs left on the American continent. Oh, there will be a handful of those jobs handed down to family members of the Aristocracy, but none that could be had by education and gumption alone.

The policies of the Clinton administration, which went unchecked during the W. Administration have put in motion a two class society or America. The “Have Mores” and the “ Have Nots”. Until there is a $45,000 per head tax placed on companies who either create or maintain a job offshore, either directly as an employee or indirectly via service contract or partnership, there will never be high paying jobs created in this country again. Right now the plug has been pulled out of the drain and we are watching the whirl water gets just before the last of it goes down the drain.

Even after all of the historical evidence, they still keep leaving the same policies in place. The bankruptcy of GM because they and EDS lead the charge in offshoring. The collapse of the housing market, due in large part to the removal of IT workers from the “Flip this House” group. Those of you who need further reminding need to read a previous blog here title “Welcome to the Age of Corruption”.

What is disheartening to see and hear is the fact nobody involved in the economic planning and advising has taken it upon themselves to fix the one thing which will fix most everything else, stopping the whirl down the drain. Perhaps one could cut the administration some slack with the old adage “when you’re up to your ass in alligators it is hard to remember your objective was to drain the swamp.” Well, you need to pay for all of your programs President Obama. One of the best ways to pay for that is to charge the $45,000 per head tax on offshore jobs created or maintained either directly or indirectly. The fastest way to bring those jobs back is to remove the economic viability. There is no reason to fund college education when the very jobs the graduate will be qualified to hold have all left the country.

 

Backshoring is Now Officially a Megatrend

It was an inevitable outcome for a failed policy. The criminal fraud which has occurred with wanton abandonment over off-shoring had to end with Bernie Madoff style arrests and thousands of companies quickly trying to tidy up their books before the feds come in for a closer look. The beginnings of the legal brew-ha-ha began today with the auctioning of a piece of Satyam.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/India-outsourcing-firm-buys-apf-14909847.html

The criminal cases are going to drag on for years and involve many companies. Given the news and the closeness of growth reported by most other offshoring companies, Satyam wasn’t the only offshore company going for a Pulitzer with their financials.

Now, it appears, that the Fed has offered up something of a get-out-of-jail-free card to companies who were willingly participating in the offshoring scam which ran rampant through the business community. All you have to do is jump onto the backshoring bandwagon with both feet like this company did.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090406/ap_on_bi_ge/sallie_mae_jobs

It’s really quite amazing that you could be a company engaging in a practice which brought about world wide recession and have the Fed offer up a get-out-of-jail-free card. At least they are going to force one of the leading culprits into bankruptcy now. GM and EDS were at the root of the offshoring debacle, and they both need to be forced into bankruptcy with upper mucky-mucks servering lengthy prison sentences. Yes, HP owns EDS now, but they should have thought about the prison time before offering to buy a company which was going to be held accountable for its role in the global economic resession.

What to look for?

Over the course of the next 6 months, you will see large companies who couldn’t talk enough about their offshoring suddenly start talking about how many jobs they are bringing back to the U.S. They will also go deathly silent about their offshore divisions. Most of the offshore divisions will be spun off into “ partnership” type companies so the parent company doesn’t have to admit they have an offshoring business. The companies who don’t do this simply won’t be in business right now. Mom, dad, and Aunt Carol simply aren’t going to buy stock in your company. The “green” and “social conscience” funds seem to already be migrating to companies that have publicly sworn they will abandon offshoring before the end of the year. In less than 18 months, if you are a company that still has offshored some portion of your IT jobs, you simply won’t be able to give your stock away. Your competitors, on the other hand, will enjoy a rising stock price along with available credit.

Second thing to look for:

A re-writing of the charters for many “green” and “social conscience” funds. Oh, they will still be sticking to their values. They simply will want the investors of those funds to let them issue loans directly to companies which meet the fund’s investment criteria. The green wave is taking off and will run for at least 5 more years (longer if all governments officially admit we’ve passed the tipping point for crude oil). You can only help a company become green so much by purchasing its stock. The SEC will only let the company sell a limited number of shares. So, the next big thumb screw will come from the funds themselves issuing loans with a magnitude of strings and inspections to the companies they are trying to force to be green.

 

You’re Only an Ass Until You Are Proven Right

Quite a few months ago I started writing my first novel, “Infinite Exposure”. The first 18 chapters are available for free in PDF format here:

http://www.bookhabit.com/book/1452/Infinite-Exposure

I hadn’t really thought about writing a novel prior to writing this one. Yes, I had ideas, but I liked focusing on writing geek books. During an on-line interview for one of my geek books I was asked to explain where I saw IT going in the next five to ten years. I couldn’t adequately answer in the space allowed. Most people handed that question have some pat prognastication about computers which fit in the palm of your hand and expand to a full desktop on command, or some other SciFi type answer to satisfy the reviewer. I didn’t want to give such a brush off answer, instead, I chose to give an honest answer.

“The off-shoring of IT jobs will lead to the largest terrorist strike the free world has ever seen, and ultimately nuclear war.”

There were several follow up questions from the interviewer, but you could tell by the way they were phrased that they didn’t really understand what they had been told. In short, you could tell they were listening to MBA types who thought I was just being an ass because off-shoring was cutting into my livelihood. While that was a plausible cover story, it simply wasn’t the truth.

In the book “Infinite Exposure” I attempted to tell a story which would lay it out in terms a non-geek could understand. Admittedly, I shied away from taking the story about black market organs and stem cells as far as I shoul d have, but I didn’t want to detract from people focusing on the larger threat.

The news is now telling a tale about a very small time version of the attack I fear most.

FBI Uncovers Worldwide $9M ATM Card Scam (RBS WorldPay)

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-atm-fraudfeb04,0,7303260.story

http://www.bankinfosecurity.com/articles.php?art_id=1150