Sunday, January 13, 2013

Another First World Problem

You may be familiar with the category known as "First World Problems": these are horrible, tragic disasters in life that anywhere but in the First World would be recognized as joy:

“I have to get dressed so that I don’t look too lazy when I go out to pay the gardener.”

Now that I have a flatscreen HDTV, I can join the fun:
It is such a bummer that there is no remote control for the TV stand to move it left or right, depending on where I am sitting.
More seriously, it is very easy to feel sorry for yourself, and sometimes I find myself doing that. The last couple of weeks I have been part of the interview team for filling a position at my day job. We have interviewed quite a number of extremely qualified people for a QA test position that pays $14-$21 per hour.  Every time that I see employers complaining about a shortage of qualified people, and therefore we need more H1B visas, I get angry.  There is no shortage of people with many years of experience, with degrees in computer science (sometimes master's degrees in computer science), who have done some pretty amazing things, applying for low-level, low-paying positions. It would be like having Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, and Vermeer applying for a job painting your house.

UPDATE: Curious: I see in today's Idaho Statesman that the problem is a shortage of software engineers here in Boise:
What Boise startups really need is a bigger workforce.

Entrepreneurs, government officials and educators agree the city’s best path to becoming a thriving startup community is through software companies. Boise just doesn’t boast a surplus of software designers, constraining the growth of the city’s tech sector.

“There’s a whole number of businesses that have tried to start up in this Valley over the last 10 years that have either started here and moved, or they just flat couldn’t find the people to get started here,” Lokken said.

Read more here:


  1. So are many of these candidates over 40 years of age and thus having problems getting the local web companies interested in them? Companies such as those mentioned in ?

  2. DaVinci? Man, do you have any idea how long it took that guy to paint ONE ceiling? :-)

  3. I saw the article in the Statesman and wondered the same thing. There's no shortage of overqualified people in the valley right now. But I'm afraid what employers want is freshly graduated software engineers they can use and abuse, not seasoned workers.

  4. H1B's -- until they get permanent resident status -- won't look for other jobs.