It was very gratifying to discover this article on the Internet. I have been rather despondent about the Obama administration’s indications that it would expand rather than contract the H-1B visa program, which has arguably decimated the information technology (IT) field in the United States. As much talk as there has been about “offshoring” IT operations to foreign-owned private firms, the practice of hiring people located in America at the time of the hiring has arguably done more damage to the field. This is what the H-1B visa program allows to happen.
This bill, the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act, is bipartisan. And with the recent surge of populist sentiment on both the Left and the Right, it is my hope that enough senators will join from both sides of the aisle not just to pass this bill, but to pass it with a super-majority that could override a veto if necessary.
The H-1B visa program allows companies to “legally discriminate” against U.S. workers and displace them, said two U.S. senators who today introduced new legislation to “mend,” not end, the controversial program.
The H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act, introduced by Sens. Chuck Grassley, (R-Iowa), and Dick Durbin, (D-Ill.), is similar to legislation the two senators introduced last year. But while the bill may be similar, what has changed since then is the economy.
It would be very difficult to end the H-1B program altogether, and I recognize this reality. (Read more…)
I began a new job on Monday, and during the day, the subject of website development came up—specifically, what my level of knowledge in that area was. To illustrate with a concrete example, I opened a browser window and pulled up this blog and my personal site. I got a nasty shock. No, the site had not been hacked by a lowlife sending out X-rated spam, nor did the site crash the browser or come up as a disjointed, disorganized mess. I have tendencies toward obsessive-compulsiveness when it comes to a project I have voluntarily undertaken, so what happened was an unpleasant surprise for me despite its minor nature.
I am a Firefox user. I avoid Internet Explorer like the plague, because it is a security threat and is hard to customize to one’s own needs. I love the Firefox add-on database. (Lately I am getting very fed up with some antics of Firefox 3, namely its incessant crashing for no apparent reason and its multi-version, multi-release problem of RSS feeds causing it to freeze at startup. When Google releases a customizable version of its Chrome browser, I may very well switch.) However, Internet Explorer was the only browser available to me on the work computer, and I was immediately faced with the horror of cross-browser incompatibilities. I vowed to do something about this as soon as I returned home. (Read more…)
Do a web search for “how to use two routers on a home network” or something similar, and the overwhelming majority of the search results will be blog posts or forum topics directing you to put one of the routers in “bridge mode” and/or to turn off DHCP.
(Bridge mode is a mode that, in a nutshell, has the device simply forward whatever traffic it receives from the “downstream” router. It effectively disables that router as a recognizable network device. Rather than a true “stop” on the network, it is a bridge. You can then forget connecting anything to that router and expecting to get a functional Internet connection, unless you have a non-bridged router in between. DHCP is a protocol that automatically assigns IP addresses to machines on a network. The idea behind turning it off for one of the devices is to avoid getting conflicting addresses assigned to machines.)
I have a rather unique situation in my home network, and it is such that neither bridge mode nor deactivating DHCP would work well for me. The network has two devices with routing capability — a Westell 6100 combined DSL modem/network router with a single Ethernet port, provided by the ISP, and a Netgear WGR614 wireless router that I own. I had been using the Westell in bridge mode, with the Netgear acting as the DHCP server and the router for the network. There are four computers that could conceivably connect to the network, two of them requiring wireless because of their locations, and the Netgear’s capabilities were clearly required.
There was a problem, though, and a pretty significant one. (Read more…)
…and it’s very likely to offend virtually everyone, but there you have it. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately because of some very in-depth (and heated at times) discussions with a friend, which is why I’m writing about it now.
OK, I’m going to go ahead and just say it, and let the chips fall where they may. Two trends that I fear are going to destroy the profession of software development are offshoring (companies moving their IT or programming divisions overseas for cheaper labor) and… open-source software licensing.At least, the most common types of licenses that the open-source developers put on their products.
When I say "destroy the profession," I don’t mean that it will cease to exist, or that eventually no one will write software anymore (or that no one in countries with decent labor standards will). I mean that the profession will cease to be a viable way of making a living. It will go the way of most types of craftsmanship, with very few people able to make their livings that way. It will be reduced to a hobby.
The trend of offshoring has obvious long-term effects on the profession. Contrary to what the big-business lobby would have people believe — and we must remember not to trust any articles on this topic that come from the mainstream media, since these news companies are all owned by companies that do it — offshoring isn’t good in the long term for anyone except for the executives. (Read more…)