You hear it on the news all the time: American businesses must, just MUST, hire foreigners to come over here to do technical jobs (or send the jobs to them) because, darn it all, we lazy, ignorant, stupid Americans just don’t have “skills” as do the Indians (dot, not feather), Pakies, Ruskies and whatnot. Businesses whine and wring their hands that we, their countrymen, just can’t cut the mustard.
In looking through the want ads today, I came across an IT job hereabouts. The job wanted the applicant to be a team player, have good communications skills, smell nice, be trustworthy, loyal and kind, yack, yack, yack — the standard boilerplate. Near the bottom I found the technical qualifications for this job. I copied and pasted the following directly from the ad: “Must have experience with Oracle, Tuxedo, SQL, Unix shells, C, C++, HP-UX, Java, and XML. Must have experience with telecommunications software development”. Oh, really? This mix of “skills” will be about as scarce as hen’s teeth — especially the last one, the telecommunications software development.
With this ad’s mix of requirements, you might find a half dozen people in the country, Indian or American, who fit the bill. Most programmers spend their entire careers working with just two, perhaps three, of these, not all ten. To be sure, most programmers will have looked over someone’s shoulder and taken a squint at the others, but to have any meaningful experience with all ten means being in post-grad for ten years.
Not finding anyone who meets these unrealistic standards, this company won’t hire anyone.
This employer simply wants too much; it’s not looking for a human being, it’s looking for a superhero from the funny papers. It’s like the spinster who never married because she never found a suitable candidate. All she was asking is that he look like George Clooney or JFK, cook like Escoffier, be as rich as Warren Buffet. be as good in bed as a French cocksman, have the compassion of Mother Teresa, the brains of Einstein, the wisdom of the Dali Lama, plus the wit and humor of David Letterman or Jay Leno. Oh, and he has to know how to fix leaking toilets.
The business running this ad will not find anyone until it cleans up its shop by consolidating languages, thereby eliminating half of the “requirements”. But of course, it won’t, so with today’s puppy-like worship of Indians, it will bring a few over here. In short order, the employer will find the Indians don’t have all those skills either — the job broker in India will have shined him on. In addition, the Indians won’t be able to speak and understand the American language and so make a hash of the project. The code will be late, over-budget, and full of bugs.
You just watch.