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.

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