The decline of the West

The decline of the West

Summary: The U.S. tech industry, as represented by North American universities, is demonstratively losing it edge.

TOPICS: Tech Industry

The U.S. tech industry, as represented by North American universities, is demonstratively losing it edge.

Topic: Tech Industry

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Barrett and the others are part of the problem

    Sending development, support, and other operations out of the country are directly and indirectly paying for the performance of the people in other countries in these competitions while taking these duties out of the people in this country. No wonder there are less and less computer science students in the US. I haven't yet heard of an offering called Project Management of an Offshore Team.

    The compensation of CEOs seems to be tied to short term stock performance which seems to be tied to how much work they are sending offshore: For all of the talk about losing technical leadership, none of them seem to want to take a few hundred thousand less (and stay very wealthy) to keep the jobs here, and it starts at the top. There can be no technical leadership here if there is nobody here to lead and nobody coming up the ranks.

    Anyway, from my software development experience, much of the work that comes from India, for instance, is of very low quality. When work is sent there, it is being given to a unseen (and changing) entity that of course, is getting the job done as cheaply as possible, which means using college students or recent grads. None of the companies for which I have worked has ever seen a resume of a person doing work offshore. But we know quality is not an issue here, cost is the only metric that matters these days, and short term cost at that. Eventually, the companies that do not have their customers as hostages will have to spend to fix their broken offshore processes. Didn't Dell bring back support for their corporate customers because they were getting frustrated to the point of finding another vendor? Cost can matter when the price of spending little is losing revenue.
  • To a large extent, Mr. Friedman's article is clueless.

    You did him the courtesy of selecting some of the better aspects of his article, but as you went through it, did you see various incomplete understandings, even errors?

    As shown in the discussion of the programming contest in the Talkback here, the results would be misleading: the programming skills were described as "limited."

    And are you sure about your concerns with whether there are enough people to fill the jobs? Have you looked at the unemployment rate in US tech, including those somewhat older workers who might need some retraining compared with the number of jobs available?

    As stated in the last post, the problems in the US may be the results of corporate policies more than a shortage of willing and capable candidates. That's worth considering.

    And an important part of the context is that not many people are needed to supply innovation. If the number of graduates in computer sciences and related fields were reduced by half, but the most dedicated and innovative came through, the US would still probably have enough to fill its needs.

    Are any shortages, any excessive transfers overseas the results of the US population or decision-makers?
    Anton Philidor