Tuesday, April 4, 2017

H1B Visas and Software Development

I’ve worked in the software development world for almost 13 years now.  I’m damn good at what I do and I aspire to be an architect within the next few years or so.

And I’ve seen my share of immigrant workers get exploited in the tech world.  It’s pretty bad on the East Coast, and I imagine its much worse on the West Coast.  I hear the cost of living in Silicon Valley is comparable to the rich areas of New York City, which really sucks for them because they aren’t paid enough to live in those areas.

Many of these H1B visa holders are exploited by these companies because they have high demand skills and can be paid much less.

Now, I know that some people believe that these workers are given a fair market salary based, but that’s not necessarily true.  You see, the H1B visa restrictions are more or less lifted when the salary amount goes above 60,000 dollars.

And most software development jobs easily go over that amount.

I’ve worked for companies where this happened a lot.  Mostly to Indian immigrants, but I’ve worked with Russian ones as well, the latter being far more talented and adept than the former.  Not to say that there weren’t decent Indian developers as well.

Good software developers tend to have imagination.  They understand the ins and outs of development and can see the trade-offs in nearly all the cases presented.  I have noticed that many Indian workers lack this talent, probably because of their educational background, and instead often write cookie-cutter code.

Yes, this does happen with other races.  But not as much.  And the Russians tend to be really good at not doing this.

But top-level executives don’t give a damn about these subtle differences.  Many of them are still operating on the factory model of development, where they view the problem being solved by just adding additional workers into production.  And while that logic holds weight in factory work or many other product lines, it doesn’t work in the case of software development.

So what you end up with is a team of software developers who lack imagination and instead focus on doing what other people do.  And you get these generic, lackluster products that don’t do as much as they could.

While I definitely think there is a market for such things, I believe that Silicon Valley’s lack of imagination in software development will lead to a serious economic depression for them.  Already Twitter is dying with many top executives leaving the company and their leader more concerned with sucking the dick of the leader of Black Lives Matter than actual leadership.

The other alarming thing about H1B workers is that they tend to follow orders and don’t take a stand.  Part of this is cultural and part of this has to do with the fear of being deported should they get on their boss’s bad side.  That is why we have all these spyware technologies in our various devices.

Unfortunately, I don’t see this trend ending anytime soon.  H1B workers are cheap skilled labor for a lot of companies out there who either want to make a quick buck or who want to virtue signal or both.

It’s going to take an executive order to fix all of this.  At least one.