30 Aug 2003 bjf   » (Journeyer)

Evil Bug

This damned flu is killing me. My throat and sinuses are all swollen and on fire, although apparently this is a good thing, since it means that I'm getting the last of this evil bug's symptoms. Popping a codeine occasionally makes me feel something resembling normal but given it's less-desireable side-effects, I'd better go easy.

I'm told that the strains of influenza going around this year weren't the same as the ones innoculated-against in the 'flu shots being sold. Regardless of whether or not I had my act together enough to get my shots, I'd still be Shit Out of Luck.

The Unstoppable Shift of IT Workers Overseas

I really doubt, during the boom, that anybody honestly thought that the good times would last forever. Now that jobs everywhere are vanishing overseas permanently, it might give your typical IT worker a taste of what reality is like for your average accountant. After a three year degree and two years of on-the-job probation, they can earn their CPA (Certified Practicing Accountant) and start on a salary of something like $28,000 a year. Your average accountant working for a sweatshop like Accenture works his or her arse off, having time billed in 6 minute units. If he/she works hard enough and demonstrate loyalty long enough (like decades), they might have a shot at being made partner.

I wonder if things will get nearly as bad for IT people and if (or when) it happens, whether IT specialists will consider taking membership of a professional societies more seriously.

The biggest hurdle to this, I think, even if salaries, conditions and hiring practices get really bad, is an ideological one. If Slashdot is any indicator, your average IT worker would have to be screwed pretty hard before considering joining a union. Collective bargaining only really works if the majority of workers are being represented by the entity doing the bargaining. I could just imagine the econo-fundies screaming blue murder at the mere suggestion that the Government make membership of the ACS (ACM, etc) mandatory for IT grads.

The last thing I heard in public (about making membership of a professional society for IT specialists mandatory) was from a speech I attended by Alan Underwood, a past president of the Australian Computer Society (back when the boom was still happening). He claimed that such efforts were going nowhere, because governments and big businesses were fighting it every step of the way. When things get considerably worse, we'll see how long IT types will maintain their distain for collective bargaining and setting of minimum standards. I'm not holding my breath though.

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