Tunnel Rat posted on April 7, 2014 08:07

...resulting in a large amount of anti-H1B comments:

Wanted: Foreign workers. H-1B visa requests leap

Here are some good ones:

  • The ones who get degrees here are the worst! The entire purpose of the student visa is for people to study here then go back to their homeland to build up their native nations. NOT to stay in the US so they can live large. Such people are not only greedy and opportunistic, but unpatriotic and I believe that character should figure into immigration laws. What is the difference between a foreign STEM grad and an American STEM grad? Answer: the foreign STEM grad is taken by the hand and ushered into an extremely desirable American job. Whereas the American STEM grad has to move home and wait tables. This must end.

 

  • It is all about bringing in chaper labor from India . Does anyone really beleive that we don;t have the skilled labor in IT and acounting to do these jobs? If you do I have a bridge in NYC to sell you cheap. Its all about outsourcing to cheaper labor. Have to raise profits to keep investors happy. Can;t do it by 9increasing revenue so need to cut Laborl. Look at IBM . IN 10 years they have gone from over 200K employees in US to a target number of about 40K by 2015 yet the World wide number of employess is about flat. WHY ? Cheaper labor to grow profits. Look at the top 3 companies applying for the Visa.....they sure aren;t American companies and they sure do have access to some really cheap labor.

 

  • this is a perfect example of what these H1B d**cks do. They steal from each other in their own country, and then they come here and steal, and then they justify it by saying "everyone does it", so now stealing is ok, or they call it some fancy name like "globalization". They can't make their own country livable/it's filthy, so they come here and rob others, and then make it sound like everyone is a thief, like them. At least you're honest about how you all operate, I'll give you that.

 

  • Tech firms aren't even bothering to interview domestic candidates, despite the resume queues being full of them, before they hire foreigners. Its absolutely a travesty. Top grads can spend years sending out job applications not even to receive the basic courtesy of a response from many of those named employers.

 


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Get ready to have your personal medical data pilfered...

 

"Reuters reports that CGI Federal, the contractor behind the disaster that is the federal ObamaCare website, is out and another large contractor, Accenture, will take its place with a new $91 million contract. One expert in this area of federal procurement and IT told Reuters that Accenture is no better than CGI, "We'll see how well they do," He said, "but Accenture doesn't have a strong reputation of doing this stuff successfully."

"At the end of the day, you have a company here that turned in subpar and visibly high-profile work. I think that that's a fireable offense," said Clay Johnson, chief executive officer of the Department of Better Technology, and former Presidential Innovation Fellow who has pushed for procurement reforms.

But the government appears poised to replace CGI with another large contractor. The Washington Post, which first broke the news, reported that Accenture will get a year-long contract for the website worth about $90 million. …

Johnson called the news "disappointing" and pointed to examples of poorly managed Accenture contracts highlighted by the Project on Government Oversight, a watchdog group.

For example, the company was publicly faulted by the California Public Employees' Retirement System (Calpers) for costly delays and other problems during a major IT overhaul, Johnson noted.

"We'll see how well they do, but Accenture doesn't have a strong reputation of doing this stuff successfully," Johnson said.

President Obama has tried to blame the website's problems on the federal government procurement system, but that don't stop him from victimizing millions of American by placing  them at the mercy of that procurement system through ObamaCare.

Obama not only cancelled the insurance of millions of Americans, he then forced many of them into a website that didn't work and that still has a number of back end problems. And now it looks as though Obama's solution to the botched website has been to find a new boss who looks just like the old boss.

Unless you want to count the non-renewal of CGI's contract as a firing, President Obama has yet to fire anyone associated with the disastrous roll-out of ObamaCare."

 

Accenture Delivery Centers in India

 

 

Our clients have direct access to our top talent, deep industry knowledge and industrialized breadth of capabilities—to achieve measurable improvements in performance. India is one of the largest geographies for Accenture globally.

Locations:

 

  • Bangalore
  • Chennai
  • Delhi
  • Hyderabad
  • Kolkata
  • Mumbai
  • Pune

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Tunnel Rat posted on November 1, 2013 01:11

Readers of my blog knew this was coming, but this story was on the front page of the Wall Street Journal yesterday, on the front page of it's B section today, and also in the New York Times:

 

October 30, 2013
 

Federal Inquiry Into Indian Firm Puts a Focus on Widespread Visa Abuses

 

A federal investigation into visa use by Infosys, the Indian technology outsourcing giant, has brought to light widespread abuses in the industry and prompted investigations into other foreign outsourcing firms, federal officials said Wednesday.

In the largest settlement ever in an immigration case, Infosys admitted no visa violations but agreed Wednesday to pay $34 million to resolve claims made by federal prosecutors in Texas.

The amount of the settlement was relatively small for Infosys, a Bangalore-based global enterprise with 160,000 employees worldwide and reported revenues of $7.9 billion, 70 percent of it from consulting in the United States. But the case added to intensifying legal scrutiny and political skepticism in the United States facing Indian companies that use temporary visas to bring in thousands of guest workers each year for technology and software jobs in American companies.

As part of the settlement, Infosys acknowledged major errors and omissions in records it kept on its employees in the United States, including Indian temporary technology workers brought in for contract work with American companies. But it did not admit to systematic fraud, and the agreement includes a point-by-point rebuttal of prosecutors’ accusations that it tried to increase profits by illegally using short-term business visitors’ visas to bring workers from India, instead of a more expensive and less accessible temporary employment visa, known as H-1B.

“This is not a settlement about systemic visa fraud,” Stephen A. Jonas of WilmerHale, the lead lawyer representing Infosys, said Wednesday after the settlement was made public by prosecutors in Plano, Tex., where Infosys has offices. “The company adamantly denies the visa abuse allegations. They are not true.”

But federal prosecutors and investigators insisted Wednesday that they had uncovered extensive misuse of visas at Infosys. They said they agreed to the settlement because Infosys had cooperated with the investigation and moved speedily to overhaul its record-keeping and improve its visa procedures.

“While Infosys is not admitting any wrongdoing, its leadership did appreciate there were substantial problems in the way they were conducting business in this country,” said John Malcolm Bales, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, in Plano. “We think they’ve cleaned up their act.”

Each year there is a scramble among technology companies for H-1B employment visas, because there is a basic annual cap of 65,000 visas. In the past three years, Infosys and two other Indian companies — Wipro and Tata Consultancy Services — were among the top five recipients of those visas, according to Ron Hira, a professor at Rochester Institute of Technology who studies the visa system.

The largest user, Cognizant, is an American company that brought in nearly 18,000 foreign workers, almost all from India, Mr. Hira said.

American technology companies have been clamoring for an increase in H-1B visas, saying they face shortages of Americans with advanced skills. A large increase was part of broad immigration legislation that passed the Senate in June, and there is also a measure to raise the limits before the House of Representatives. But the Senate bill also included new protections for Americans that would make it more difficult for foreign outsourcing companies to bring in temporary workers.

It is not clear whether Congress will take further action on those bills this year.

In recent years Congress has sharply raised visa fees for foreign outsourcing companies while immigration authorities imposed new regulations to limit the movement of foreign technology workers in the United States.

“In the past few years there has been a real assault by the federal government on the information technology consulting industry, and it has hit the Indian companies particularly hard,” said Avram Morell, an immigration lawyer in New York.

Infosys has vigorously disputed the government’s accusations. Mr. Jonas, the company’s lawyer, said the government had failed to prove that foreign workers on business visitor visas, known as B-1, were doing any work that was not authorized under their visas. He said no evidence had emerged that any foreign workers ever remained in the United States after their visas had expired.

Since 2011, Infosys put in place new record-keeping and visa procedures and later placed new limitations on the activities in the United States of B-1 visitor visa holders, improvements that were acknowledged in the settlement.

But federal investigators said Wednesday that they had uncovered numerous cases in which Infosys had brought in Indian workers on B-1 visas, to do work not allowed under that visa. Investigators from the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security examined 6,500 B-1 visas Infosys had used to bring in Indian workers over five years.

“The vast majority were illegitimate,” said George M. Nutwell, a special agent in charge of the State Department Diplomatic Security Service in Houston. Investigators went to the American companies where the B-1 workers were placed and discovered they were doing programming and technology engineering work similar to H-1B workers. The business visitor visa is primarily for attending training sessions and meetings, not for work.

“Infosys cheated, plain and simple,” Mr. Nutwell said.


Pamela Kripke contributed reporting.

 

THERE WILL BE RETRIBUTION

 


Tunnel Rat posted on October 21, 2013 05:49

The disaster called Obamacare may be the best thing for American techies in a long time.  Its implementation is being increasingly linked to slumdog sweatshops and Indian outsourcers.  First came the Huffington Post, in this article:

Implementing ObamaCare by Outsourcing Illinois Jobs to India

 CHICAGO- While everyone debates the policy points of ObamaCare, few understand that billions of dollars in IT contracts are wrapped inside the law. To meet federal mandates, states must upgrade their legacy Medicaid Management Information Systems (MMIS). These IT contracts are some of the largest awards in state history.

Last week, Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn became national news for circumventing a three year procurement process on up to $190 million in no-bid IT contracts. Now we find that one of the largest bid-contract MMIS awards will outsource state jobs to India.

In June, Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn's administration awarded a ten year $71.4 million staffing contract to Cognizant Technology Solutions. Cognizant ranks in the national top 10 for procuring H-1B visa workers. Evidence shows that the company is staffing operational headquarters in Chennai and Bangalore, India for the Illinois work...

Then The Atlantic piled on with an article entitled "Behind the 'Bad Indian Coder'" that, while not directly related to Healthcare.gov, was timely:

It started, as many deep philosophical Reddit debates do, with a one-line statement, “Got a contract to fix some outsourced Indian PHP code,” accompanied by an image macro of Toy Story characters Woody and Buzz Lightyear gazing off into the distance. “Security flaws,” the overlain, blocky white text reads. “Security flaws everywhere.”

Moments later, other developers chimed in with their own grievances.

“Code from India can be truly awful if you work with most companies,” another Redditor said. “A lot of them treat programming as a task to be completed with numbers and fire those that can't work fast enough, rather than a task requiring quality where people are educated to avoid mistakes and fired only as a last resort.”

“I am currently working with outsourced code,” said another. “I never knew how bad it could get.”

The thread bounced around nerd circles for a bit before dying down, but it was just the latest example of the perennial grumbling by American programmers who are assigned to work on code that was crafted in Delhi or Mumbai. Indeed, as America has increasingly relied on Indians to program our software on the cheap, we’ve also increasingly griped that cultural differences seem to penetrate even the formulas and algorithms that one would think would be the same in every country.

A few years ago, American web developer John Larson wrote that outsourcing code has caused him, among other woes:

  • real-time communication made inconvenient and response times made long by the time zone difference,
  • a reduced sense of accountability, commitment and partnership inherent in the long distance relationship,
  • and text like “Link will be sent to your mail for to update your Password.” sprinkled throughout public facing parts of the website, which just doesn’t give your customers the best impression of you and your business.

The accusations often incite Indian developers to jump in to defend themselves. Sri Rangan, a developer from Delhi, said he was offended by the Reddit thread, arguing that a combination of living conditions, education, and the country’s economic structure handicaps Indian developers so severely that they can’t be expected to compete with 26-year-old Stanford graduates.

He points out that while American coders ride private, Wi-Fi-equipped shuttles to work, their Indian counterparts sometimes commute hours to their city-center jobs from slum areas. And for much of India’s recent history, working in IT and software development was the surest ticket out of poverty, so the field likely attracted some young people who were more interested in simply putting food on the table than perfecting recursions.

“Maybe, just maybe, there could be a correlation between quality of life and quality of work?” Rangan wrote.

Of course, there’s a reason that Indian code always seems to be the target: The country dominates as a destination for Americans’ outsourced IT work—taking up 65 percent of the U.S. outsourced IT market in 2008—all carried out by an educated, English-speaking young people who toil for 30 to 40 percent of the cost of an American developer. Some estimates hold that IBM now has more workers in India than in the U.S.

Meanwhile, problems are always bound to arise when a crucial chunk of a company’s workforce operates off-site, as Marissa Mayer might attest, especially when there are time zones and linguistic barriers at play.

Indian coders, it seems, have partly become victims of their own success—offering such a good deal to American CEOs to do a job just as well (or at least almost as well) as similarly-trained Americans, that their code has become pervasive. Over the past few decades, Indian programmers have done everything from create a virtual Oscar figure for the 2004 Academy Awards to ensure the millennium bug wouldn’t kill us all at the end of 1999. With so much Indian output powering our technology, some of the work is bound to be sub-par.

“Working with legacy code, regardless of how well it is written, will always be a challenge,” Rangan wrote.

When Vasu Kulkarni, an entrepreneur who grew up in India but went to college at the University of Pennsylvania, launched his online sports-analytics company in the U.S. a few years ago, the entire development team was initially based in Bangalore. Recently, though, he closed down his entire India office and moved all the programming onshore...

Another blogger nailed it on the head with this post:

 

OBAMACARE CRASHES RELATED TO OBAMA’S OUTSOURCING THE WORK TO INDIAN COMPANIES

It’s another slap in the face to American software engineers, two of the main companies that implemented the faulty crashing Obamacare exchanges – Infosys and Cognizant – are American subsidiaries of Indian body shopper and outsourcing companies. In fact, Cognizant and Infosys were the top users of H-1B visas in America. The H-1B visa, the visa which allows low level Indian programmers with fake degrees to get US citizenship, is used to throw better qualified American engineers into the streets or drive down pay. Imagine if we fought the high cost of doctors salaries by bringing in 577,428 (the number of H-1B applications approved in 2012) Indian doctors who took a two week course and worked for 20 dollars an hour.

The GAO has conducted three studies of the H-1B visa and each time found extensive fraud in more than 25% of all applications. And that was only obvious fraud in depth examination would probably expose that many of these applicants either had no degree at all or went to a dubious or fraudulent fly by night university. Even if they have a valid degree often their entire resumes are falsified. So many companies that have fired their American engineers and replaced them with cheaper Indian programmers find out all too fast that they either go bankrupt or struggle (Dell is the latest case in point). (Note: Xerox was one of the few American companies which was awarded work as well)

Infosys was awarded the 50 million Washington DC exchange contract and at least four other states. With defense work slowing, the Indian companies are making a big push to own the exchanges as these promise work for years. But there’s a problem. Programming the exchanges is quite complicated, involving interfacing with legacy Medicare systems and if not done correctly they may seem to work but fall apart as soon as large numbers of users begin using them...

 Speaking of Infosys, it appears that some people are SUING THE SHIT OUT OF THEM:

Former U.S. Infosys Employees Allege Discrimination on Basis of National Origin

A class-action lawsuit filed in August against Infosys, alleging that the company has engaged in systematic, company-wide discrimination against Americans and others who are not of South Asian descent, has been amended to include two former Infosys employees, and a contractor working under Infosys’s management, who have come forward to allege that they, too, suffered discrimination. 

As I wrote at the time, the original lawsuit, filed on Aug. 1 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, was brought on behalf of Brenda Koehler, an American IT project manager in Milwaukee who was allegedly denied employment at Infosys because she is not of South Asian descent. The lawyers who filed it were subsequently contacted by two former Infosys employees who gave similar accounts of discrimination: Layla Bolten, a software analysis and testing specialist in Dickerson, Md.; and Gregory Handloser, a sales manager in Sarasota, Fla. Also contacting the lawyers was contractor Kelly Parker, an IT help desk support specialist in Minocqua, Wis. The lawyers amended the lawsuit to include the allegations from these individuals, and filed it on Sept. 27...

 

THERE WILL BE RETRIBUTION

 


Tunnel Rat posted on August 7, 2013 08:47

Our favorite slumdog sweatshop is facing yet more legal action.  Former collaborator turned pro-insurgent blogger Don Tennant was the first to break the story:

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against Infosys, alleging that the company has engaged in systematic, company-wide discrimination against Americans and others who are not of South Asian descent. The suit details alleged discriminatory practices stemming from the company’s abuse of the H-1B and B-1 visa programs, and makes extensive reference to alleged illegal and discriminatory activities revealed by Infosys employee and original whistleblower, Jay Palmer.

The new lawsuit, filed on Aug. 1 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, was brought on behalf of Brenda Koehler, an American IT project manager in Milwaukee who, the suit alleges, was denied employment at Infosys because she is not of South Asian descent. According to the complaint, “this matter is a class action with an amount in controversy of greater than $5 million.” Daniel Kotchen of Kotchen & Low LLP in Washington, D.C., lead counsel on the legal team that filed the lawsuit, was adamant about the egregiousness of Infosys’s actions.

“We are convinced there are very serious issues with Infosys,” Kotchen said. “We believe strongly in the case, and we look forward to prosecuting it...”

Tennant was a shill for the slumdog slave trade until insurgents hounded him into reporting the truth about the curry scented wage pirates.  He was doing extensive coverage about the Jay Palmer case, and recently blogged about it in regards to the latest case:

It’s been almost two-and-a-half years since I began covering the remarkable case of Jay Palmer, the Infosys employee from Alabama who summoned the courage to blow the whistle on alleged visa fraud at the Indian IT services provider. Those allegations would prompt grand jury subpoenas and spark a multi-agency investigation of Infosys’s conduct by the U.S. government.

Beyond the government investigation, it was evident from the outset that the case would have far-reaching consequences. The first of many times I would interview Kenny Mendelsohn, Palmer’s attorney, was in March, 2011. Among the questions I asked Mendelsohn in that very first interview was this one: “Do you think there's a case for a class-action lawsuit by U.S technology workers who believe visa fraud is depriving them of job opportunities, because positions are being filled by people working here under fraudulent circumstances?”

There was a pause, and then Mendelsohn responded in his slow, Alabama drawl.

“I haven't really studied it. In the back of my mind, it makes me think there could be,” he said, clearly intrigued by the question. “I haven't really gathered all the factual information or ever focused on it. But as you ask the question about class action, I'm thinking maybe there is a potential there...”

This lawsuit may have legs and may be the final nail in the coffin for Infosys. 

Grant Gross, a worthy insurgent, has also covered the story at ComputerWorld.  The Wall Street Journal, that notorious pro-slumdog publication, has even picked up the story, in an article written of course by some Desi writer.  Slashdot is on the case, as is much of the IT media.  

THERE WILL BE RETRIBUTION

 


Tunnel Rat posted on June 11, 2013 23:35

I am starting to do some recreational interviewing again and a recruiter was trying to get me into Hyundai.  Normally those are the type of gigs I would be interested in, but this one sounded fishy.  Sure enough, I got this email from the agent:

You will be on a call tomorrow with Vijay Mehta (Project Manager) and Rajesh, his Lead Architect. Rajesh will be talking during most of the interview cause he will be asking most of the technical questions.

I attached a document with my notes from a phone screen I listened to. Below, you will also see questions from another phone interview we listened into as well. I’d rather give you too much, and I’m hoping you won’t be blind-sided.

Good luck tomorrow! Please give me a call after the interview.

Carlo

OMG!!!!!  Two slumdogs and the agent is sneaking me the questions?  WTF?

Here is what I sent him this morning:

Sorry, this is not going to work.  Just between you and me, I don't think this is a good cultural fit.  I've worked in shops dominated by Indians, and it has never worked out well.  They don't share my work ethic, and I don't like being treated like a slave.  The communication problems are just the beginning.  It is a very hierarchical, nepotistic environment and Anglos like me don't do well in such a workplace.
 
Send me a req where I am not the token white boy and we can talk.   No hard feelings.
 
He's already called me twice this morning and I had to tell him about all my slumdog horror stories.  He was really desperate.  But fuck it, those two slumdogs and their cracker collaborator boss can take a hike.  
 
I urge the rest of you insurgents to do the same.

It is now official, now that the Wall Street Journal has stopped being the cheerleaders for more H-1Bs.  And it is also amazing that the "Indian outsourcing giants" can call this bill discriminatory when they refuse hire Americans to staff consulting gigs in the US, and instead turn every fucking project they take over it a nepotistic curry den:

A fight is brewing between Washington and New Delhi over provisions in the U.S.'s draft immigration bill that could hobble Indian outsourcing firms' businesses in the U.S.

The proposals, which include cutting back sharply on the number of foreign workers these outsourcing companies can send to their U.S. offices, have won broad support from rival U.S. technology firms, including International Business Machines Corp. IBM +0.05% and Accenture ACN +1.98% PLC, lobbyists say.

India's $110 billion IT industry, which performs back-office tasks such as software programming, makes about half its revenue from the U.S.

Indian companies such as Infosys Ltd., 500209.BY -0.84% Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. 532540.BY -1.16% and Wipro Ltd. 507685.BY -0.82% have set up large U.S. offices to be closer to clients, staffing the sites overwhelmingly with Indian expatriates, who earn significantly less than their American counterparts.

The model has been challenged in recent years by U.S. politicians, who argue Indian outsourcing companies are misusing the program to undercut local technology-sector workers.

Now, big U.S. tech companies, which want to hire more foreign workers but can't because of competition with Indian firms for available visas, have joined the fray.

U.S. tech firms successfully lobbied for the draft immigration bill to include caps on the number of foreign workers a U.S.-based company can employ on skilled-worker visas, according to lobbyists working for U.S. firms and another representing Indian outsourcers.

The bill doesn't name countries. But Indian outsourcing giants sponsor more than half the 65,000 skilled-worker permits, known as H1-B visas, that the U.S. issues annually to workers with at least a bachelor's degree.

Many of these firms have as much as 80% of their staff in the U.S. on H1-B and other visas. The draft legislation, which is being debated in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week, would prohibit companies with more than 75% of their employees in the U.S. on such visas from bringing in additional workers. That figure would fall to 65% within a year, and in the years after that the limit would be 50%.

IBM and Accenture declined to comment.

The U.S. firms are seeking to hire more foreign workers for high-skilled jobs but face a visa shortage because of competition with Indian firms.

Earlier this month, U.S.-based employers exhausted the annual 65,000-person quota for H1-B visas within days of the opening of applications, a sign of the strengthening domestic economy.

The immigration bill also seeks to raise the yearly cap on H1-B visas to 180,000. The cap on foreign workers means U.S. companies could benefit, while Indian firms would have to hire more U.S. employees.

Firms that don't comply will be barred from sending consultants to work in clients' offices, a business that accounts for roughly 50% of Indian companies' revenue in the U.S.

The foreign-worker caps were designed to get political backing to increase the number of available H1-B visas, people familiar with the negotiations said, and U.S. firms were concerned that a broader curb on visas would reduce their ability to hire more from overseas amid a dearth of U.S. computer graduates

Som Mittal, president of the National Association of Software and Services Companies, an India IT trade body, warned the bill was "discriminatory" and might ignite a trade war. The association estimates the regulations could wipe out a quarter of the Indian IT sector's global revenue.

Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram raised concerns about the bill with U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew during a meeting last week in Washington. He told Mr. Lew the issue of short-term work visas shouldn't be mixed up with immigration, according to an account of the meeting Mr. Chidambaram gave to Indian media.

Commercial relations between the nations are already tense because of recent Indian regulations that would impose a sweeping "Buy India" mandate, requiring that large portions of high-tech products purchased by the government be manufactured locally. U.S. and other foreign companies are lobbying against the rules, saying they conflict with free-trade norms. Other areas of contention include India's efforts to increase its tax haul, which overseas companies complain has caused confusion for investors.

India argues the provisions are needed to curb technology imports from the U.S. and spur domestic manufacturing.

Indian companies claim the U.S.'s latest proposals to restrict visas could also amount to restrictions on free trade.

But many U.S. members of Congress contend India is misusing the H-1B system to bring in fairly low-skilled employees, denying those places to higher-skilled workers that U.S. firms want to hire.

On Monday, at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss the immigration bill, Brad Smith, Microsoft Corp.'s MSFT +3.79% chief counsel, said the company couldn't get enough visas for high-skilled jobs that it can't fill through hiring in the U.S.

"We are not able to fill all the jobs that we are creating," Mr. Smith said in testimony. He told the committee that Indian outsourcing firms must "evolve their business models" by hiring more Americans.

Microsoft and IBM have recently expanded their presence in India, where they have hired thousands of local employees.

Sen. Richard Durbin (D., Ill.) said in response that the situation was an abuse of the visa regime. "Most people would think, well, Microsoft needs these folks," he said. "And they'd be shocked to know that most of the H-1B visas are not going to companies like yours. They're going to these outsourcing companies."

Indian firms say that over the past three years, in anticipation of the visa changes, they began hiring U.S. employees at a faster rate than new foreign workers.

Nasscom, the association of Indian IT firms, said the efforts faced roadblocks because of a lack of qualified U.S. graduates.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2013, the U.S. economy will create approximately 120,000 new jobs for people with degrees in computer science.

In his testimony before the Senate committee, Mr. Smith of Microsoft said that, by his own company's calculations, U.S. colleges produce under half that number of graduates annually.

 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323551004578441070153741766.html


Tunnel Rat posted on October 28, 2012 02:07

Robert X. Cringlely has been covering IT for decades and has been critical of Indian Bowel Movement's (IBM) labor practices and ethnic cleansing of American techies.  Here he destroys many of the myths regarding the slumdog scabs and their (ab)use by the high-tech junta:

The H-1B visa program was created in 1990 to allow companies to bring skilled technical workers into the USA. It’s a non-immigrant visa and so has nothing at all to do with staying in the country, becoming a citizen, or starting a business. Big tech employers are constantly lobbying for increases in H-1B quotas citing their inability to find qualified US job applicants. Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and other leaders from the IT industry have testified about this before Congress. Both major political parties embrace the H-1B program with varying levels of enthusiasm.

But Bill Gates is wrong. What he said to Congress may have been right for Microsoft but was wrong for America and can only lead to lower wages, lower employment, and a lower standard of living. This is a bigger deal than people understand: it’s the rebirth of industrial labor relations circa 1920. Our ignorance about the H-1B visa program is being used to unfairly limit wages and steal -- yes, steal -- jobs from US citizens...

http://betanews.com/2012/10/25/h-1b-visa-abuse-limits-wages-and-steals-us-jobs/

This article also his getting traction at Slashdot, and the many comments are revealing.

THERE WILL BE RETRIBUTION


Tunnel Rat posted on July 3, 2012 22:29

This pretty much says it all:

To fill the jobs, CSC recruited heavily in India – over half the staff, according to CSC workers who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of being fired. CSC did not respond to questions about foreign workers.

And this is pretty fuckin' absurd:

CSC celebrated the amended contract with an invitation to a July 28, 2011, picnic at Umstead Park: “Please plan to join us for BBQ and Indian Cuisine! It will be a great time to get to know your co-workers as well (as key CSC and DHHS) executives. You might even have the chance to challenge them to a game of bean bag toss or horseshoes!”

WTF? 

Costs soar for updating NC's Medicaid computer system

- jneff@newsobserver.com
Trouble in New York

In 1998, the state of New York hired Computer Services Corporation to design and run a new processing system. The new system came on line in 2005, 33 months late and $166 million over budget, a cost overrun of 47 percent. The state comptroller blamed the delay and cost overrun on both CSC and the state Department of Health.

As it built the new system, CSC was also operating the old claims system. The dual roles meant the state was paying CSC for both jobs, giving the company little incentive to bring the new system in a timely manner, according to the comptroller’s office.

The comptroller also found that the system was not based on the best technology available at the time and was unable to make timely changes when state or federal laws changed. The problems in New York were not solely the fault of CSC. The comptroller found that the Department of Health provided ineffective oversight and missed opportunities to levy penalties allowed under the contract. The department didn’t have a contingency plan in place, and when it came time in 2006 to negotiate an extension, CSC demanded a three-year extension at a cost increase of 62 percent. The comptroller initially opposed the new contract but relented when CSC said it would stop processing claims.

 

[THIS LOOKS LIKE A TARGET RICH ENVIRONMENT]

 

MEDICAID.NE.061312.TEL

People walk to and from the employee parking lot during lunch hour at CSC in Raleigh. CSC holds the biggest contract in state history, a half-billion effort to replace the state's antiquated Medicaid claims program. The computer system is years behind schedule, with hundreds of millions in cost overruns.

RALEIGH In a bland office park off Lake Boone Trail, two computer teams toil away on behalf of the biggest contract in state history – the computer system that processes 88 million Medicaid claims each year.

The 500-plus team of workers from Computer Sciences Corporation, a tech company from northern Virginia, is working to finish the new system by next summer. Upstairs, 200 workers from Hewlett Packard, the technology giant from California, keeps the old 1980s-era system running, receiving, auditing and paying about 250,000 claims each day.

The project has gone in fits and starts since it began in 2004: cancelled and rebid, then amended and extended. Costs have kept rising, so much so that the expense of setting up the new system and running it for seven years, plus maintaining the old system, now adds up to an eye-popping figure: $851 million.

And that’s if it goes on line next summer, as scheduled.

Little in this project has gone as scheduled. The first contractor was dismissed, only $16 million into the work. The second, CSC, is two years behind its original timeline. In the world of information technology, the delays and overruns earn it the title of a “black swan” project.

Most of the delays and cost increases come from changes in federal and state laws and regulations, according to Al Delia, secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services. He likened it to a home construction project where the owner asks the builder to add a second floor and garage midstream.

“Most of what have been called cost overruns aren’t really cost overruns,” Delia said.

In the long run, state officials say, the new system has the potential to save the state hundreds of millions of dollars. Along with processing claims for Medicaid – the government health care plan for the poor and disabled – the contract requires the system to be able to process claims from other payers, such as the State Health Plan or the state prison system.

“We expect this will be cutting edge, state of the art,” Delia said.

If so, it will be an unusual cutting-edge system: it’s largely written in COBOL, a computer language developed in the 1950s that is scarcely taught in North Carolina – just community colleges in Hickory and Charlotte. CSC has imported workers from India to fill the jobs in Raleigh.

Legislators wonder if state officials will ever be able to get the project finished.

“The $640 million question is, will the Medicaid system operate as billed?” asked state Rep. Nelson Dollar, a Cary Republican who co-chairs a committee that oversees DHHS. “We are skeptical until we see it.”

CSC declined to answer questions, but released a statement saying the project would be completed on time and within budget: “This new system will enable the State to better manage costs, improve healthcare administrative efficiency and enhance customer service for healthcare providers and recipients.... We are focused on delivering a high performance healthcare system that meets the specific needs of North Carolina and its constituents.”

High hopes

In 2003, the state solicited bids to replace the outmoded Medicaid claims system, which had been operated for 35 years by EDS, a Texas company later purchased by Hewlett Packard. Millions of lines of computer code power the program, which accepts claims from some 70,000 providers – doctors, clinics, hospitals, nursing homes and others.

It’s a big business: the Medicaid program will cost nearly $13 billion in North Carolina this year, about 23 percent from state funds and the rest federal. The new system is designed to detect fraud and avoid waste.

Federal tax dollars pay for 90 percent of the design of the new program and half of its operating costs.

There were high hopes in 2004 when the state gave the $171 million contract to Affiliated Computer Systems to replace the 1980s system.

The project “continues to forge ahead with great expectations,” according to a 2005 letter from Angeline Sligh, the director of the project. “It is our goal that this be one of the best replacement implementations in the nation.”

The project soon fell behind, with DHHS officials and ACS arguing over timeline and payments, each blaming the other for the mess. In May 2006, State Chief Information Officer George Bakolia threatened to kill the project unless the two sides could resolve their differences and come up with workable plan. Bakolia demanded new project managers at DHHS and ACS.

In July 2006, the state cancelled the contract, and eventually paid ACS $16.5 million, partly for work, partly to settle a lawsuit.

The state replaced its project managers, who run the program day to day. Their supervisors – Sligh and her boss, Assistant Secretary for Finance Dan Stewart – remained on the job.

An extension, a picnic

Round two began in 2008, when the state awarded a $265 million contract to CSC, with a go-live date of August 2011.

The contract sparked a fierce fight. HP, which runs the 1980s system, was a bidder on the new contract and protested on technical and political grounds: CSC had retained former DHHS Deputy Secretary Lanier Cansler as a lobbyist. Weeks after the contract award, Cansler was named DHHS secretary by Gov. Bev Perdue.

Stewart denied the protest.

In its bid documents, CSC estimated that 90 percent of the millions of lines of computer code needed could be copied from its New York Medicaid program. CSC later revised that to 73 percent; in the end, because of big differences between the New York and North Carolina Medicaid programs, only 32 percent of the New York code was used.

The program soon fell behind, and in the summer of 2010 CSC asked for an extension. Following a lengthy negotiation, the state granted an 18- to 22-month extension and raised the contract price to $495 million.

CSC celebrated the amended contract with an invitation to a July 28, 2011, picnic at Umstead Park: “Please plan to join us for BBQ and Indian Cuisine! It will be a great time to get to know your co-workers as well (as key CSC and DHHS) executives. You might even have the chance to challenge them to a game of bean bag toss or horseshoes!”

Delia, who became DHHS secretary in February, says CSC added six months of delay by overestimating how much code it could bring from New York. The company agreed to pay the state $10 million in damages, an amount criticized as unsubstantiated and low in a subsequent state audit.

The rest of the delay, Delia said, stems from changes in federal and state laws and regulations, and was out of the control of DHHS.

A January report from State Auditor Beth Wood questioned the six-month figure, saying that DHHS did a poor job of documenting how it made key decisions: determining the six-month delay; calculating the damages owed by CSC; and tracking $30 million in unauthorized changes that CSC made in the program.

The audit was contentious from the start. Stewart told Wood that his staff was too busy to answer questions and provide documents. Their cooperation “will, by necessity, be minimal due to the lack of staff time, the urgency to complete the project and the liability related to delaying the IT contractors working on the project.”

The department’s response, twice as long as the audit, disagreed with virtually every paragraph, calling the audit biased, inaccurate, unproductive, ill-informed, unfounded and asinine.

Wood called the audit the most difficult of her career.

“It was the most uncooperative, dragging-the-feet, missing-deadlines audit like I’ve never seen,” she said.

During a hearing in January, legislators looking into the project asked Angie Sligh to grade her management of the contract. She gave herself an A.

Writing in COBOL

The audit did not touch on the fact that the state contracted in 2008 for a program written in COBOL, a computer language written in the 1950s. According to Bakolia, the former state chief information officer, COBOL is used in banking, transportation and federal systems that have been in use for decades, but it is almost never used in new systems.

“If the programs are written well and operate, companies don’t want to rewrite them,” Bakolia said. “If I were to write something today, it would not be COBOL. You can’t support it.”

In North Carolina, classes in COBOL are as popular as 8-track tapes. Wake Tech’s extensive computer science offerings don’t have COBOL, and neither does N.C. State.

Frank Mueller, an N.C. State computer science professor, said the supply of COBOL programmers is dwindling as people retire.

“As a consultant to any company, I would probably advise them against using COBOL,” Mueller said. “The problem is that it’s harder to find someone to change the code. If you change the law, you have to change the code.”

Asked about COBOL in an interview Thursday, Stewart said: “This is the first time I’ve ever heard that question raised.”

To fill the jobs, CSC recruited heavily in India – over half the staff, according to CSC workers who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of being fired. CSC did not respond to questions about foreign workers.

Stewart said he had no idea about the staff makeup.

“I have never seen their staff,” he said.

Delia said it is not an issue.

“It’s a private company, we have no way of knowing,” Delia said. “They are legal workers, it’s kind of a non-question.”

After working through a tough audit, firing a contractor and enduring multiple extensions, state officials have now turned their attention to another participant in the project: their own watchdog.

They are threatening to fire Maximus Inc., the Virginia firm paid to police the project for the state. Maximus, nearing the end of a three-year contract, is paid $1 million a year.

Neff: 919-829-4516

http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/06/17/2142627/state-contract-for-updating-computer.html


Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/06/17/2142627/state-contract-for-updating-computer.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/06/17/2142627/state-contract-for-updating-computer.html#storylink=cpy

Half the team at the heart of the RBS disaster WERE in India

Chiefs warned repeatedly on quality of offshored work

Exclusive Cost-cutting RBS management had halved the team within which the banking group's recent data disaster happened, sources have told The Register. The sacked British employees were replaced by staff in India, and there had been concerns about the quality of the work done in India for a lengthy period prior to last week's catastrophe.

Mishandling of batch schedule data while backing out of an update to CA-7 batch processing software last week caused the disruption [1] that led to 16.9 million customers at RBS, Natwest and Ulsterbank being frozen out of their accounts for days, and ongoing issues in some cases.

The actual CA-7 software support team is wholly based in the UK and according to our sources, RBS has not cut that team.

However the batch scheduling team in the UK was cut, and certain of the jobs taken from the UK were made up with staff from RBS's Indian offices at Technology Services India [2]. Though there were competent people working there, our sources said quality of work from India was patchy and that they had raised these problems with RBS management for the past two years.

Batch scheduling and why it's important

Batch scheduling is intrinsic to the process of the nightly data crunching performed by CA-7. The batch scheduling team prepare and schedule data for input into CA-7, gathering it from RBS's systems.

One source said:

The batch team was about 60 guys ... they ran applications that chose the jobs that ran - maintaining the CA-7 schedule, not the CA-7 support ... There were no redundancies in the CA-7 team but the batch support were taken down to about 30.

A second source told us that all UK-based RBS IT teams in areas considered non-critical had suffered redundancies of 50-70 per cent, depending on the individual teams. In many cases the headcount in the cut departments was maintained by hiring staff in RBS's Technology Services India.

The job advert we have previously reported [3] for a CA-7 consultant in India would have been for the batch scheduling team, not for the CA-7 software support team itself. These screen grabs of a CV from LinkedIn, supplied to us by the cantankerous blog [4] (the information has now been taken down) confirm that RBS runs at least one batch scheduling team in its offshore branch in India.

may not be used without permissions

This meant RBS lost experienced employees familiar with their complex mainframe systems:

On the batch team a lot of them were lifers, had been working on that for many years.

As noted in previous Reg stories, it is understood that the error was made when backing out of an upgrade from CA-7 v11.1 to v11.3. The CA-7 upgrade took place at the weekend of 16/17th June and a problem was noticed on Monday which prompted a back-out from the upgrade on Tuesday night. In the back-out, an "inexperienced operator" made the wrong move and the day's data was wiped from the system. This created the backlog that has taken so long to clear.

Quality problems with work from RBS India

Both sources told us that though RBS's Technology Services India branch contained very competent people, the quality of work from there was patchy, and team managers frequently flagged up problems from about the quality of the work from India.

In several cases it was hard to recruit enough staff with the right skills.

"Team managers were struggling to get enough qualified staff, and were forced to take on people they had previously rejected. They were forced to take them to keep headcount," one source says. "People were considered to be fine technically but inexperienced."

A second source backed that up: "They obviously learn UNIX at uni but they don't know about IBM mainframes."

As a result there seemed to be frequent issues with the work performed. "We experienced great frustration" said one source, "some teams were great, but many we found we couldn't trust or struggled with."

One of our sources described an instance where he had overseen an upgrade to one of the bank's important systems (not the batch processing in this case) and described how the whole team involved in RBS UK and RBS India had to collaborate on the upgrade plan and the back-out plan:

I sent an email about the back-out plan [to the team in Technology Services India] and had to send it to them three times. All they had to do was copy and paste something into the back-out plan. In the end I had to get the quality control guy to cut and paste this into the back-out plan document. It took three emails just to copy and paste something.

The same source said that he was disappointed, because he been loyal to the company for years and felt that this mistake was very avoidable:

"It could have been prevented if the management had listened to us."

Asked for comment, RBS supplied The Register with this statement:

We have been clear we will fully investigate the causes of this incident. We hope people will understand that right now our complete focus is on fixing this problem and helping our customers.

The management and execution of batch processing is carried out in Edinburgh as has been the effort to recover and resolve this issue.

 


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- Vineet Nayar, CEO, HCL Technologies

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