I worked for over 30 years in tech, have over 20 years experience in Java and C++, and have learned and done work in R and Python. However, I can't buy an interview these days. How can this be with the widespread claim that "by 2020, there will be 1.4 million computer-science related jobs in America, with only 400,000 computer science graduates to fill them (google it)? Hilarie Gamm does an excellent job in explaining why in her new book. In Chapter 4, she states "Ageism is the single biggest factor affecting U.S. jobs in the information technology sector. From Silicon Valley to every industry in the U.S. that employs tech labor, the belief exists that youth trumps all else in the hiring and retaining of tech talent stateside." Of course, tech companies cannot admit to this or that they love the savings that they get from outsourcing or from bringing in young, foreign workers who are essentially tied to the companies who sponsor them. So they came up with the Skills Gap Myth, mentioned later in Chapter 4.
Of course, most people who work in tech know most of these facts. We know to remove any evidence of our age from our resumes. We know that, if we are out of work for more than 6 months, companies will start to avoid us. We know fellow workers who have been driven out of the industry. How can this be if companies are desperate for qualified workers? The fact is, they're not. They're desperate for cheaper workers and bigger profits. They will then take a portion of those profits and contribute them to politicians. As a result, the American worker is way down the list of priorities for our government.
One unique thing about Hilarie's book from some others that I've seen is that it proposes that these policies are not just unfair to American workers. It proposes that they are hurting America as a whole, causing billions of dollars to be lost from our economy. They are creating risks for our country in terms of National Security, Data Privacy, and Education that could have dire effects in the future. This counters the common unspoken belief that some of these policies may be unfair to some but that the country, as a whole, will benefit. I've become more convinced that Hilarie's arguments are correct. I can see it in my own case. I could be doing something productive and I do continue to study in case I am given a chance to do so. However, I'm now spending some time studying how to play the market. It doesn't strike me as productive but that's all that this economy is offering me at this point.
Hilarie begins the last chapter with the sentence, "To effect positive dialogue and engage active change, I have outlined 20 goals and action items the U.S. as a nation can consider...this is The Road Map to Change." This is important. She does not offer these items as some final answer but offers them to promote a positive dialogue. That is something that this topic desperately needs - an open, honest dialogue. We need to sweep away these claims (like the skills gap) that nobody can present good evidence of, much less prove. Both sides need to present their evidence, respond to honest criticism, and begin an open dialogue.
- Paperback: 378 pages
- Publisher: Createspace Independent Pub (18 February 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1985690357
- ISBN-13: 978-1985690356
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.4 x 21.6 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 562 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item