Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Worker Shortage? Not if you're looking in the right place.

Someone finally gets it.

I wrote about three weeks ago about how large companies were complaining there will be shortage of IT workers in coming years. Jim Rapoza understands the real problem. (See eWeek) The problem is not a shortage of IT workers. The real problem is a shortage of IT workers who are willing to work 80 hour weeks for low wages.

My big question is when will companies learn the economics of employment. If they paid their CEO only $1 million instead of $20 million they could hire 190 developers at $100,000 a year. The real question is will a $20 million CEO earn a company more money than a $1 million CEO and 190 developers? Based on the fact that I've always worked on development teams of less than 10 people and we were able to turn out some really neat products I would think you could develop profitable ideas with far less than 190 developers.

I think our companies should stop whining about there not being enough H1B visas for them to import cheaper IT workers and cough up some bucks and pay developers what they're really worth. Their current method of operation, layoff and outsource, is only going to lead to a real shortage. They also need to realize that developers with experience really are worth more money than a novice developer. Simply knowing the proper syntax doesn't mean you'll produce great software. Through experience you learn efficient algorithms and clever techniques that a novice would be oblivious to or never even thought was possible. If you need to chop down a tree you can use an ax or you can use a chain saw. Both will get the job done, but one will do it a lot more efficiently.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Bushisms for the history books

Great column by Molly Ivins in today's tribune on her favorite topic, Bush.
On May 24th, Bush once again demonstrated his mastery of the English language with this great quote, which he has been rightfully criticized about.

"See, in my line of work, you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda."

Hmmm. I never knew truth and propaganda meant the same thing. Let's look it up shall we.


  1. the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person

  2. ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause; also : a public action having such an effect


  1. (1) : the state of being the case : FACT (2) : the body of real things, events, and facts : ACTUALITY (3) often capitalized : a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality b : a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true or accepted as true c : the body of true statements and propositions
Looks to me like truth and propaganda don't exactly mean the same thing. Propaganda can contain truths, but propaganda by definition is not the truth.

The other item Molly wrote about was Bush's repeated use of the phrase "culture of life" and how he said "The use of federal dollars to destroy life is something I simply do not support." I think Bush is confused on what "destruction of life" really means. How can he say he doesn't support federal dollars to destroy life and at the same time wage a very expensive war using federal dollars that is doing a very good job at destroying life. According to Ivins article more than 1600 American's have died and more than 15,000 have been wounded. Bush has some nerve to stand before the people of this country and defend the right to life of a frozen embryo while at the same time sending fully formed (and thawed) citizens to their death on the other side of the world.

One of the best arguments on the right to life of frozen embryos in the whole stem cell research debacle was a letter to the editor in the Tribune the other day. The argument was that if a firefighter ran in to a burning building and there was a freezer filled with 100 frozen embryos and a 5-year old child, the firefighter wouldn't even think twice about saving the child.

I highly recommend you read Ivins' column [from May 31, 2005,] it's well worth the read.