Archive for June, 2006

The SOX Noose Tightens

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

So there’s a new manager here that is trying to acclimate us to his way of doing things.  For the most part, I get along pretty well with him because we both worked for Accenture a while back, although not together.  But I also know, which others might not, that successful Accenture people are really motivated by climbing the ladder of success and are trained through the “up or out” methodology whereby you either achieve the next level after a certain timeframe or you are asked to move along. 

I had a mixed review at Accenture myself, the year that I was expecting to get to the next level.  It pissed me off, and I had also recently been offered a new job.  So I gave notice during the annual review that I was leaving.  Basically, I was going to turn down the other job if I got the promotion, but since I didn’t get it I moved along instead.  I’ve learned since then that I might have been a little too ready to leave, but I can’t live life regretting everything that I’ve done.

Anyway, I found out in the meeting that there are 3 groups of consultants here working on SOX compliance.  Group 1 Ernst and Young who is responsible for auditing our financial statements for the outside world.  Group 2 is from KPMG who is checking to make sure that we will pass the E&Y audit.  Finally, there are internal employees monitoring to make sure that KPMG doesn’t find out something that they don’t already know about.

Talk about a productivity drain!  Gawd, I can’t login to production without an ITG ticket logged by a user at this point.  It’s a dilemma.

The H1-B Visa Program is a Sham

Monday, June 12th, 2006

The thing about H1-B visas as I see it is that they are an exception to American immigration policy. We’re supposed to screen foreign people from migrating to the US so that the terrorists don’t end up over here. Plus, we’re told that we need these H1-B visa holders in order to fill the employee reqs that can’t be filled by Americans that could do the job.

The thing is though; both of these things are not really true. As far as I can tell, the H1-B visa holders are not subject to the same screenings that we would subject other immigrants too. I guess the US Government thinks that terrorists wouldn’t get a degree in computer science. Well, for my part, I never met any non-social, young and single men that work as programmers. Have you? And who would imagine that an educated computer scientist would believe in fanciful stories with an antithetical posture towards modern life? Certainly not the Yoda loving, mushroom in the dark-sitting programmers of the world, eh?

My beef is that is that there are usually Americans ready to do the work. The issue is that there are no trained American citizens that are willing to work for the amount of money that corporations want to pay. It’s a vicious cycle. Programmers work their arses off to get through a computer science curriculum with the promise of a rewarding and well-compensated role at a company. The companies need these programmers because they provide the tools to improve workplace productivity. But then the companies start rooting around for highly compensated employees that aren’t directly contributing to the bottom line through sales and think, hey how can I cut the budget. Wait a minute, I’ll sunset a bunch of programmers that contributed greatly to my growth in the past and send their jobs to foreign and distant lands where dinosaur programmers can be paid much less. Next, I’ll hire an H1-B programmer to do the work that absolutely has to be done over here.

And the best thing for the companies is that the H1-B programmer is really an indentured servant of sorts. They can’t apply for another job, because another company will need to sponsor them. So they use them for a while for the cheap labor and then send them home after a few years to replace with a fresh new H1-B.