The list goes on and on. This may be old news but it’s news that should be revisited.
Generation X and Y were severely side-swiped by H-1B Visa workers coming in and taking all the jobs they trained for in college. New grads were either forced into the dark ages or to work with no benefits next to H-1B Visa holders. To a female I.T. professional, this meant working with men from India that despised her presence.
Below is one woman’s story…
“I graduated in 2006 with a degree in I.T. with Emphasis in Programming. At the time, my future seemed so bright. I was always told that if I put my mind to something, I can do anything. Well, when deciding to choose my career path it seemed all to clear that Information Technology would be the way to go. Numerous accredited colleges touted immediate job placement and at the time, there were more jobs then bodies to fill them. Perfect. So within three months of graduating I landed one. I can’t tell you how satisfying it was to get a job title of Programmer on my first position. I was so elated. Sure, the language was not the one I had learned to code with in college (.Net) but again, I would put my mind to it!
So I did and within a year I was promoted for all of my hard work. My family was so proud and I felt great about myself.
About a year later (in 2009) the recession hit hard and sadly, the company had to cut out all I.T. workers that weren’t working on newly acquired business assignments. Unfortunately, this was a magazine fulfillment company and although magazine companies still needed a means for subscribers to order their magazines online, many were going out of business themselves due to the fact that they were in the print business and they hadn’t planned for the digital revolution just yet. Anyway, although I was one of the unfortunates, I felt confident that I would still find a way to make it somewhere. What I was about to find out was that it was about to be without benefits or guaranteed employment!
Welcome to the world of H1-B. Contract work. Staffing Companies. Let’s be real, in 2009, you were lucky to get a job–no matter what the industry. Bringing everyone back to this painful moment in time is not a pleasure. We all want to block it out of our memories. I can attest to this because I just had to stop to look at my resume to see which staffing company gave me my last decent paying position.
Anyway, I got a new start. This new job also gave me the opportunity to keep up with some of my programming skills too. It paid $35 per hour which was nice, but the downside was that it was a six month contract position. While this sounds bad I was told that there is usually a light at the end of the tunnel on these contract jobs–which is that your manager usually renews your contract every six months.
So, I took the job and was surprised to find that the entire team (except for me) was from India. And I must add this was a total disaster because different team members came from different regions of India and were raised to hate one another because “they were from a low class” or because of obvious religious differences. There was strife and one of the men took every measure possible to try and de-throne my boss (an American woman, which rarely gets a leadership position in the I.T. industry to begin with). Honestly, I don’t think I would have even been given a shot if it wasn’t for this woman.
Anyway, this unnamed Muslim Indian male had been given a team leadership position under my lady boss and had already graduated into Green card status (I believe within 1 year, via EB1-C). Thus, nothing stopped him from tirelessly hammering upper management for a promotion. He played a really dirty game (lying about my boss, saying her quality work was bad when it was superior, saying she couldn’t handle business when she could, etc.).
Well, after my first contract renewal he got exactly what he wanted and her career (as well as mine) was demolished.
Within the first week I was let go and believe me when I tell you that my work was of top quality too. I had already overproduced the work done by my counterparts but it didn’t matter. What mattered? I’ll quote my new Indian Muslim leader “Surah Yunis”.
Surah Yunis is a quote from the Quran that references the next realm of existence. He announced this to the team in front of me the day that he ended my contract. What I took this to mean was that the remaining Muslim team should celebrate the beginning to the end, as, today marked the day of the end of Americans working by their side and the beginning of the new I.T. workplace. …And that’s what it was.
The next few places I saw job openings in the field I was either interviewed by Indian men or by fresh start-ups that were scared to hire non-Indian workers for fear that they would lose their jobs.
To date, I.T. opportunities have never been the same. Sure, I’ve continued in the field, but it has been in the global marketplace and more than half of the opportunities I receive are ones with the sole purpose of to re-doing work done by Indian workers. Heck, I have even been contracted by an Indian web development company to do work that an American company is entrusting them to do!
Seriously though, I hope that Trump will do something for the American I.T. grads of generation X and Y. And as for the new generations coming into the I.T. workforce–I feel for them too. They have no idea what’s in store for them. Immediate change is needed to turn around the I.T. workforce in America. It’s only been a few years. WE ARE ALL STILL HERE…Waiting!” ~Anonymous in FL