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This is an old page from Rod Begbie's blog.

It only exists in an attempt to prevent linkrot. No new content will be added to this site, and links and images are liable to be broken. Check out begbie.com to find where I'm posting stuff these days.

Entries for Tuesday, October 25, 2005

October 25, 2005


Ooh, I’m grumpy at this InfoWorld article which makes your standard “Bloody foreigners! Coming across here and stealing our jobs, sleeping with our food, and eating our wives and children” argument about computer programmers. For those unware, H1B is a specific visa that allows a non-US citizen to work in the US for a specific employer, for no more than six years. And it’s how I entered the country in 1998.

Unfortunately, he fails to link to the original report, instead cherry picking facts like “On average, applications for H-1B workers in computer occupations were for wages $13,000 less than Americans in the same occupation and state.”

Note that he just refers to “workers in computer occupations”. Not “workers in computer occupations with three years experience”. Apparently, every programmer is created equal. I’d hazard that most H1-B holders are like I was—Just out of university, and wanting to move to the States. If that’s the case, then it makes sense that the “average” H1-B holder gets paid less than the “average” permanent resident. They’re probably less experienced.

Also, the sources quoted seem very apples and oranges. The H1B salaries were taken from the information filed at the time the H1B holder was hired. In my first job, my salary went up by 50% over the two years I was employed there, but that was never reported to the immigration services. On the other hand, the Bureau of Labour statistics are refreshed every few months by asking employers for salary information.

I’d love to see the original report to know for sure, but for now it looks like nothing more than fodder for anti-immigration fuckwits.

UPDATE: Although the report isn’t on their site, I’ve just found the authors, The Programmers Guild. Wow, they’re a lot closer to the Minuteman Militia than I’d imagined.

UPDATE2: Ephraim Schwartz, author of the article, has responded in my comments. Thanks, Ephraim.

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Flickr screensaver for Windows. Rather nicely, it displays different photos on each monitor if you’ve got multiple screens.

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Letter database

Handy Unicode resource — A lookup tool for glyphs.

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About This Site

This is an archive of groovmother.com, the old blog run by Rod Begbie — A Scottish geek who lives in San Francisco, CA.

I'm the co-founder of Sōsh, your handy-dandy guide for things to do in San Francisco this weekend.