American jobs for American programmers, send the H1Bs home, now.


D

DANIEL HENEGHAN

Read up on Norm Matloff's latest rebuke to the software and EE industry and
their lobbyist's who continue to spread the lie of a dearth of software
development talent in the U.S. We never need H1B's to begin with and we
certainly don't need them now.

Screw you, Bill Gates. Why don't you spend your time fixing that damm OS of
yours (yea, I have switched to Mac OS and I'm not going back) instead of
politicking for your own personal greed.


Johnny can so program

By Norm Matloff
http://news.com.com/Johnny+can+so+program/2010-1007_3-5700858.html
Story last modified Tue May 10 04:00:00 PDT 2005

"America is slipping!" It's become a standard lead, guaranteed to grab
readers' attention. Add in a few alarmist quotes from self-serving
lobbyists with hidden agendas, along with the obligatory conclusion
that "Education is the answer," and you've got the economic horror
movie that Americans love so much to watch.

CNET News.com has got this formula down pat. Its piece, Can Johnny
still program?, laments that in the annual collegiate programming
contest held by the Association for Computing Machinery, the best that
any American team could do this year was a miserable 17th place. The
United States hasn't won a world championship since 1997--"an ominous
sign for the U.S. tech industry," News.com fears.

"Oh my god," readers must have thought. "How could the quality of
American computer-science students have sunk so quickly in the short
time span of just eight years?" It's an absurd conclusion, of course,
but readers have been conditioned to believe any claim, no matter how
outlandish, about the decline of the U.S. educational system.

But let's see what News.com didn't tell you.

Start with what it means statistically to perform well in this contest
today. News.com didn't tell you that the number of teams competing has
grown nearly sevenfold from 1994 through 2005. In other words, for a
team to finish at, say, third place, in 1994 would be equivalent to
finishing 21st this year. So a hypothetical team that News.com would
have lauded in 1994 would now be dismissed as having badly "slipped"
in 2005, even though it would be of the same quality.
The American showing in the ACM contest does not mean that the U.S. is
losing its technological mettle.

Second, News.com seems to have forgotten the history of the Olympics.
Long before Olympic athletes from all countries became
quasiprofessionals, the Eastern European countries were seeing to it
that training for the Games was their athletes' full-time job, giving
them a major advantage over other nations' athletes.

Some nations, or some individual universities, make similar time
commitments in the ACM contest. Xu Jun, a public-affairs officer at
the school which fielded this year's first-place team in the
programming contest, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, put it in
Olympian terms: "All their time was spent in preparation except for
their class work."

A faculty colleague of mine who is a veteran coach in the ACM contest
estimates that many foreign teams devote at least 10 times the amount
of time to practice as do American teams. Xu's statement suggests that
the factor is much greater than 10.

As someone who married into a Shanghainese family, I congratulate the
bright, dedicated members of the winning Jiaoda team, which also took
first place in 2002. But it would be wrong to view their victories as
measures of general superiority over other schools, let alone other
nations. Indeed, a number of ethnic-Chinese universities that are
considered far more prestigious than Jiaoda weren't in even the top
10, such as Peking University (11th place), Tsinghua University (13th
place) and National Taiwan University (Honorable Mention, below 30th
place).

In a companion editorial, News.com Executive Editor Charles Cooper
repeated the lobbyists' favorite example, the seemingly poor showing
of American kids at the grade-school level on international math and
science tests. Yet it has been repeatedly pointed out by education
experts that differences in test scores are primarily due to America's
struggle to deal with a social underclass.

Consider the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study
eighth-grade science test, for instance, and the scores achieved by
Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana,
Nebraska North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Had these states--none of which has a substantial underclass--been
treated as separate nations, each of them would have been outscored
only by Singapore. (China, the nation that produced the ACM contest
winner this year, has refused to participate in TIMMS.)
Differences in test scores are primarily due to America's struggle to
deal with a social underclass.

So the American showing in the ACM contest does not mean that the
U.S. is losing its technological mettle. To News.com's credit,
after I brought some of these points to its attention, it did include
them in a follow-up piece on April 19. But it is a shame that News.com
did not cover the real threat to American technological
competitiveness--a threat that comes from the very entities News.com
quoted as saying that the contest means America is doomed.

The earlier CNET article, for instance, quoted Jim Foley, chairman of
the Computing Research Association, David Patterson of the ACM and
former Intel CEO Craig Barrett, all of whose organizations have hidden
agendas in playing the education card. And those interests, I contend,
form the real technological threat to the states. Here's why:

In the late 1990s, the computer industry claimed a desperate labor
shortage. No independent study ever confirmed that shortage, but the
hidden agenda behind the shrill shortage claims was to push Congress
to increase the yearly cap on the H-1B work visa program, which
enabled industry to import cut-rate engineers from abroad. Government
data show, for instance, that Intel, which claims that its H-1Bs have
master's degrees and Ph.D.s, pays them far less than the national
medians for engineers with these degrees.

University computer science departments used the "labor shortage"
claims to get more faculty, more doctoral students, and more research
dollars from Congress and industry. Since research funding and Ph.D.
production are key to prestige in universities, the claims of a labor
shortage were manna from Heaven, and a number of prominent academics
rushed to publicly support the industry's push to expand the H-1B
program to remedy the "labor shortage."
University computer science departments used the "labor shortage"
claims to get more faculty, more doctoral students, and more research
dollars from Congress and industry.

To be sure, research should indeed be an integral part of a
university's work. But academics long ago abandoned the noble notion
of scholarship for the less noble goal of empire building, a
transition that should have been better covered in News.com's
interviews with Foley et al.

Congress, openly admitting that it was responding to industry campaign
donations rather than the popular will, complied by increasing the
H-1B cap in 1998 and 2000, the latter action coming at the time the
mass layoffs began. This past December, despite a continuing abysmal
tech labor market, Congress enacted another expansion of the program.

Contrary to these parties' putative goal of maintaining American
technological competitiveness, H-1B has brought great harm. How can
American engineers compete with cheap, imported labor? And now the
industry, notably including Barrett, is promoting the offshoring of
tech work (in which the H-1B program also plays a key role), obviously
even more harmful to maintaining America's technological skills. And
yet these guys now have the nerve to make the claim that the solution
to all the layoffs of engineers is to have our educational system
produce more engineers. Sadly, News.com never questions such "Alice in
Wonderland" claims.

Nor does News.com challenge the rich hypocrisy of those whom it
quotes. Foley, who now cites the results of the programming contest as
signifying America's decline, told the same News.com reporter last
August, "It does not make sense to become a programmer...(because)
programming jobs will continue to go offshore."

No, Johnny's ability to program hasn't slipped. What has slipped,
though, is his respect for our cherished major American
institutions--industry, academia, Congress and, most sadly, the press.

Copyright ©1995-2005 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved.
 
Ad

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B

Brian Henry

stop spamming

DANIEL HENEGHAN said:
Read up on Norm Matloff's latest rebuke to the software and EE industry
and
their lobbyist's who continue to spread the lie of a dearth of software
development talent in the U.S. We never need H1B's to begin with and we
certainly don't need them now.

Screw you, Bill Gates. Why don't you spend your time fixing that damm OS
of
yours (yea, I have switched to Mac OS and I'm not going back) instead of
politicking for your own personal greed.


Johnny can so program

By Norm Matloff
http://news.com.com/Johnny+can+so+program/2010-1007_3-5700858.html
Story last modified Tue May 10 04:00:00 PDT 2005

"America is slipping!" It's become a standard lead, guaranteed to grab
readers' attention. Add in a few alarmist quotes from self-serving
lobbyists with hidden agendas, along with the obligatory conclusion
that "Education is the answer," and you've got the economic horror
movie that Americans love so much to watch.

CNET News.com has got this formula down pat. Its piece, Can Johnny
still program?, laments that in the annual collegiate programming
contest held by the Association for Computing Machinery, the best that
any American team could do this year was a miserable 17th place. The
United States hasn't won a world championship since 1997--"an ominous
sign for the U.S. tech industry," News.com fears.

"Oh my god," readers must have thought. "How could the quality of
American computer-science students have sunk so quickly in the short
time span of just eight years?" It's an absurd conclusion, of course,
but readers have been conditioned to believe any claim, no matter how
outlandish, about the decline of the U.S. educational system.

But let's see what News.com didn't tell you.

Start with what it means statistically to perform well in this contest
today. News.com didn't tell you that the number of teams competing has
grown nearly sevenfold from 1994 through 2005. In other words, for a
team to finish at, say, third place, in 1994 would be equivalent to
finishing 21st this year. So a hypothetical team that News.com would
have lauded in 1994 would now be dismissed as having badly "slipped"
in 2005, even though it would be of the same quality.
The American showing in the ACM contest does not mean that the U.S. is
losing its technological mettle.

Second, News.com seems to have forgotten the history of the Olympics.
Long before Olympic athletes from all countries became
quasiprofessionals, the Eastern European countries were seeing to it
that training for the Games was their athletes' full-time job, giving
them a major advantage over other nations' athletes.

Some nations, or some individual universities, make similar time
commitments in the ACM contest. Xu Jun, a public-affairs officer at
the school which fielded this year's first-place team in the
programming contest, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, put it in
Olympian terms: "All their time was spent in preparation except for
their class work."

A faculty colleague of mine who is a veteran coach in the ACM contest
estimates that many foreign teams devote at least 10 times the amount
of time to practice as do American teams. Xu's statement suggests that
the factor is much greater than 10.

As someone who married into a Shanghainese family, I congratulate the
bright, dedicated members of the winning Jiaoda team, which also took
first place in 2002. But it would be wrong to view their victories as
measures of general superiority over other schools, let alone other
nations. Indeed, a number of ethnic-Chinese universities that are
considered far more prestigious than Jiaoda weren't in even the top
10, such as Peking University (11th place), Tsinghua University (13th
place) and National Taiwan University (Honorable Mention, below 30th
place).

In a companion editorial, News.com Executive Editor Charles Cooper
repeated the lobbyists' favorite example, the seemingly poor showing
of American kids at the grade-school level on international math and
science tests. Yet it has been repeatedly pointed out by education
experts that differences in test scores are primarily due to America's
struggle to deal with a social underclass.

Consider the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study
eighth-grade science test, for instance, and the scores achieved by
Colorado, Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana,
Nebraska North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Had these states--none of which has a substantial underclass--been
treated as separate nations, each of them would have been outscored
only by Singapore. (China, the nation that produced the ACM contest
winner this year, has refused to participate in TIMMS.)
Differences in test scores are primarily due to America's struggle to
deal with a social underclass.

So the American showing in the ACM contest does not mean that the
U.S. is losing its technological mettle. To News.com's credit,
after I brought some of these points to its attention, it did include
them in a follow-up piece on April 19. But it is a shame that News.com
did not cover the real threat to American technological
competitiveness--a threat that comes from the very entities News.com
quoted as saying that the contest means America is doomed.

The earlier CNET article, for instance, quoted Jim Foley, chairman of
the Computing Research Association, David Patterson of the ACM and
former Intel CEO Craig Barrett, all of whose organizations have hidden
agendas in playing the education card. And those interests, I contend,
form the real technological threat to the states. Here's why:

In the late 1990s, the computer industry claimed a desperate labor
shortage. No independent study ever confirmed that shortage, but the
hidden agenda behind the shrill shortage claims was to push Congress
to increase the yearly cap on the H-1B work visa program, which
enabled industry to import cut-rate engineers from abroad. Government
data show, for instance, that Intel, which claims that its H-1Bs have
master's degrees and Ph.D.s, pays them far less than the national
medians for engineers with these degrees.

University computer science departments used the "labor shortage"
claims to get more faculty, more doctoral students, and more research
dollars from Congress and industry. Since research funding and Ph.D.
production are key to prestige in universities, the claims of a labor
shortage were manna from Heaven, and a number of prominent academics
rushed to publicly support the industry's push to expand the H-1B
program to remedy the "labor shortage."
University computer science departments used the "labor shortage"
claims to get more faculty, more doctoral students, and more research
dollars from Congress and industry.

To be sure, research should indeed be an integral part of a
university's work. But academics long ago abandoned the noble notion
of scholarship for the less noble goal of empire building, a
transition that should have been better covered in News.com's
interviews with Foley et al.

Congress, openly admitting that it was responding to industry campaign
donations rather than the popular will, complied by increasing the
H-1B cap in 1998 and 2000, the latter action coming at the time the
mass layoffs began. This past December, despite a continuing abysmal
tech labor market, Congress enacted another expansion of the program.

Contrary to these parties' putative goal of maintaining American
technological competitiveness, H-1B has brought great harm. How can
American engineers compete with cheap, imported labor? And now the
industry, notably including Barrett, is promoting the offshoring of
tech work (in which the H-1B program also plays a key role), obviously
even more harmful to maintaining America's technological skills. And
yet these guys now have the nerve to make the claim that the solution
to all the layoffs of engineers is to have our educational system
produce more engineers. Sadly, News.com never questions such "Alice in
Wonderland" claims.

Nor does News.com challenge the rich hypocrisy of those whom it
quotes. Foley, who now cites the results of the programming contest as
signifying America's decline, told the same News.com reporter last
August, "It does not make sense to become a programmer...(because)
programming jobs will continue to go offshore."

No, Johnny's ability to program hasn't slipped. What has slipped,
though, is his respect for our cherished major American
institutions--industry, academia, Congress and, most sadly, the press.

Copyright ©1995-2005 CNET Networks, Inc. All rights reserved.
 

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