June 6, 2007 10:33 AM PDT

Google: Foreign workers are key to our success

WASHINGTON--A Google executive on Wednesday credited the company's phenomenal success to the United States' openness to immigrants and called on Congress to let in more foreign workers.

Laszlo Bock, the search giant's vice president of people operations--Googlespeak for human resources--said the company may never have come into existence if co-founder Sergey Brin and his parents hadn't been able to flee the Soviet Union for the U.S. when he was 6 years old. Wednesday's testimony represents the first time that Google has testified before Congress on immigration issues.

"Within Google, there are countless examples of immigrants and nonimmigrant foreign workers playing a vital role in our company," Bock told the politicians at a House Judiciary oversight subcommittee hearing focused on business community perspectives on immigration law changes. The hearing took place as the Senate continues to debate a massive immigration bill that has proven worrisome to Silicon Valley companies.

Holders of H-1B visas, which allow foreigners with certain credentials to hold U.S. jobs for up to six years, compose about 8 percent of Google's U.S. workforce and represent 80 different countries, Bock said. He estimated that 75 percent of those hires have degrees from U.S. universities. Some led the development of Google News and Orkut, the company's social-networking site, he added.

"It is no stretch to say that without these employees, we might not be able to develop future revolutionary products like the next Gmail or the next Google Earth."
--Laszlo Bock, Google vice president of people operations

"It is no stretch to say that without these employees, we might not be able to develop future revolutionary products like the next Gmail or the next Google Earth," Bock said. He added that the influence is not limited to Google: Intel, eBay, Yahoo and Sun Microsystems are among the prominent Silicon Valley firms that were also founded by immigrants.

Bock himself said he fled communist Romania with his family as a child in the 1970s. His mother, who started a business consulting firm upon the family's move to Claremont, Calif., sat behind him at the hearing and, after she was publicly introduced, pulled out a handkerchief to dab her eyes behind wire-rimmed glasses.

Because of a current shortage in H-1B visas, Google has ultimately been forced to deny jobs to more than 70 qualified foreign candidates in the last year, Bock said. Echoing the stance of large high-tech companies like Microsoft, he urged Congress to enact "significant" increases to the annual cap, which currently numbers 65,000 but can grow by tens of thousands more when various exemptions are taken into account.

The Google executive also asked Congress to take actions to alleviate the significant backlog in awarding green cards, which grant permanent residency. The lack of rapid assurance that foreign-born employees on temporary visas can remain on U.S. company payrolls forces "tens of thousands of highly trained professionals into legal and professional limbo for years."

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), who counts Google in her Silicon Valley constituency, said she was sympathetic to those requests. Particularly in the high-tech sector, "without consistent, simple access to the best and brightest minds in the world, America will likely face stiffer competition from abroad," the subcommittee chairwoman said at the hearing.

Not everyone was so eager to make changes without further assurances. A handful of Democrats questioned whether Google has been doing enough to recruit qualified Americans, particularly blacks. Bock admitted Google would like to boost the number of blacks on its payroll, but he said the company offers scholarships in partnership with the United Negro College Fund and has done recruitment on the campuses of historically black colleges.

Before Congress moves forward with an overhaul of immigration law along the lines of Bock's requests, politicians need to focus on what to do about the some 12 million illegal immigrants living in the country, said subcommittee ranking member Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa). He said he supported a point system aimed at determining who is most qualified to enter the country legally.

"Could Google produce the software that would identify for us the very top 1 million people on the globe who would want to apply to come to the United States who could give the best enhancement to our country here?" King asked the company executive.

"It's an interesting question," Bock responded. "I'm sure we'd have lots of people who would want to tackle that problem in their 20 percent time."

See more CNET content tagged:
H-1B, immigrant, Google Inc., worker, Google Earth


Join the conversation!
Add your comment
I could care less how big or global you think you need to be. America has plenty of technically skilled people to build your company. We don't need no new stinking immigrants doing our jobs. Bottom line, more cheap labor and global elitist attitudes.
Posted by Sunidaze (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Pull the talent from other countries
We should suck other countries dry of there talent and bring them here. This should include people who do other types of skilled work like weilders and mechanics.

If you loose your job, it is because of problems you have, likely personality problems.
Posted by georgescott (48 comments )
Link Flag
Um, No and, Um, No
Google isn't doing enough to hire Americans, period.

Google, Microsoft and Oracle ceased being 'american companies' long ago. They deserve no special treatment from the United States.

Let them move to another country, and see if their IP is as well protected as it is here.

Go be China and India's whipping boys. You'll all of a sudden find out that no H1Bs are a small price to pay for doing business in the largest domestic economy in the world.
Posted by bluerain44 (25 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Curiously it's not just Americans that are affected
If you emigrate to the US legally - in other words are not dependent on an employer for your legal residency, you are just as disadvantaged by these laws as any US Citizen.

These sorts of visas are simply a method that enables greedy corporations such as Google, Microsoft, Sun and Intel to hire cheap labour from overseas (thereby committing injustices in those countries too, by suppressing their wages) - and use that labour to facilitate outsourcing.

So as a legal immigrant I would be equally discriminated against when applying for a job the employer wants to fill with a HB1 Visa holder. The idea is to get cheap labour, train them sufficiently in the US to deal with US customers then send them home to work for peanuts.

Hiring a legal resident or US citizen would mean paying US level wages - so that's out of the question.

So the upshot of this is that those that emigrate to the US legally - usually because they've married a US citizen - are just as against this BS as laid off American workers.

As far as I'm concerned a US hire law needs to be enacted in this country, a law that insists that 90% of all jobs in any profession are filled by either US Citizens or US residents - residents that don't rely on their employer for legal status.
Posted by ajbright (447 comments )
Link Flag
Google uses h-1b body shops to find employees
Google: splendid case of friends hiring friends

The 8% h-1b workforce at Google, is gearing up to increase to 30% and then massively offshore.

It took while for me to piece this together, but you really have to know someone at Google to get hired into Google. Of the 4 people I have know who have gone to Google, all had contacts inside the company that they said landed them an interview.

I have interviewed several candidates coming to my company from Google, at least three claimed to be Unix gurus but couldn't use (some not even aware) the Unix "ps" command or similar simple Unix commands.

I have also know several people who have applied to Google, and were never even considered for a phone interview, some with more than 10 years of experience, earning well into six figures at their company. These are excellent workers, top-notch people, and Google wouldn't consider them. Google's a nice company, but you need contacts to be hired their. That is the reason for the big h-1b push at Google. Indian nationals stick together (can you blame them), they hire eachother into positions, Google works for them.

Additionally, it's clear that Google uses h-1b body-shops right and left. Of the Google candidates 3 were working for a 3rd party recruitment agency and were here on an h-1b.

As for success, well Google is Wall Streets darling. And I attribute much of their success to basically this:

- Very thin and quick load time
- Exploiting Usenet posts to get 60-minutes (and other news org-time) focused on them. (Reminds me a lot of the early body-part sales on Ebay)
- Now moving into the exploitation of copyrighted material (which could be a big mistake if content-provider lawsuits are successful)

You cannot discriminate in the hiring by race, creed, or NATIONALITY.

When Indian companies only consider h-1b candidates (and then only from from India), for jobs based in the United

States, it is a clear case of discrimination.

Prejudice in hiring decisions is a crime in the United States, it violates Federal Civil Rights laws. When

companies are found to have violated such laws the punishment can include criminal sentences.

The main question is, if there is a job in the United States, do Indian IT companies (that are h-1b dependent)

even consider a non-Indian candidate?

So far all evidence, and all the numbers point to a the startling fact, U.S. engineering candidates are barred

from applying for U.S. jobs created by Indian IT companies.

Some of these Indian IT companies have U.S. staff that is 90% or more Indian, and almost all here on h-1b visas.

In open testimony before congress, a U.S. Citizen and job applicant tried to get an interview with for an open

position in the United States. She was told that she could not apply for the job, just (and only because)

because she could not be hired under an h-1b Visa.

Congress is merely asking questions, and India is protesting way-to-loudly. Something aweful (a complete

disregard for Civil Rights) is being coverd up by the whole Indian IT industry and the Indian government.

There is no equality in the hiring practices of these h-1b dependent Indian IT companies, either you are Indian

or you are not, that is the hiring criteria for an Engineer at an h-1b dependent Indian IT company for a job

based in the United States.

This clearly is discrimination, this is prejudice, this is wrong, and against U.S. law.

The american people have the right to know when companies are destroying the very fabric of our society, by

planting the seeds of racism, prejudice, and discrimination.

India threatens us with trade sanctions unless allow their companies to continue to discrimate. Call their

bluff, India needs trade with the U.S. more than the reverse. Further what good is trade, if it leads to riots,

protest, and civil unrest. Discrimination, more than any other, is something that we all agree needs to be


The Senators are merely asking questions. Clearly though, we need to subpoena these companies. This is the

biggest case of open-discrimination, bigotry, and prejudice in the United States today.

Karmal Nath (the Indian Commerce Minister) and NASSCOM (the Indian Service Companies group) knows Indian IT

companies discriminate against U.S. citizens. They know that that Indian IT companies practice discrimination in

the United States. And they are trying to black-mail the U.S. into letting it continue.
Posted by Jake Leone (143 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Go to MySpace and get a Google friend then
LOL, what are you crying about there? Nobody can finish reading your thesis there.
Posted by joelam888 (300 comments )
Link Flag
Why ? Corruption!
At the level of business filtering into government. It is time to hold all of them responsible.
Posted by mrobzob (13 comments )
Link Flag
H1B experience
My company posted a job for a web developer. After reading the requirements I went to HR and told them that no one could possibly meet the requirements because some of them were just made up acronyms or proprietary software only used within the company. I was told that the posting was written that way because legal told them that before they could get an H1B they had to look for an American. The ad was written so that anyone applying for the job that wouldn't work for half pay could be rejected for not filling the requirements. There is a reason that the fat cats want more H1Bs and it is definately not because they can't find Americans to do the work. They just can't find them at the slave market. I mean the guys from Google, Microsoft, et al are worth how many billions? They disgust me!
Posted by wildcat1975 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
H1B "jobs" are easy to spot
Like wildcat1975 said the ads in newspapers have impossible to
meet requirements.
Posted by davez2006 (17 comments )
Link Flag
He is SO right
Subpoena their records and force them to prove that the H1B hires actually met the advertised requirements. Then send them to jail for fraud when the records show just the opposite.
Posted by dmm (336 comments )
Link Flag
Google rejects capable US citizens
Google sets its recruiting requirements 3 levels up from the job
for which they're hiring and then whines "shortage".
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.kermitrose.com/econ200701.html#20070124" target="_newWindow">http://www.kermitrose.com/econ200701.html#20070124</a>

When their recruiters do call back it's to play "trivial pursuit",
quizzing about rarely used bits of CS trivia rather than the sorts
of things one would need every day on the job. This is also
biased in favor of guest-workers from countries in which rote
memorization is emphasized and handicaps them by rejecting
those with "dynamic" and creative problem-solving skills as
Vivek Wadhwa, former body shopper and now assistant prof. at
Duke University called it.

So, at the same time firms such as Google are whining that they
can't find people with these creative abilities, which occur more
amongst people in the US, they are recruiting for rote

And they're doing dirty work for the Red Chinese government.
Posted by BatmanG8 (74 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Worst excuse ever
Tell them you're an Indian, you think you'll be given an offer???

It's GOOGLE, idiot!
Posted by joelam888 (300 comments )
Link Flag
Re: Google rejects capable US citizens
This has been my experience after several Google interviews. I am surprised that a company that claims to have such critical needs would not impose more quality control on their interviewing process.
Posted by CPCcurmudgeon (51 comments )
Link Flag
Make US Education Affordable!!!
I know 3 Indian programmers - very talented. They said they went to universities in India for next to nothing.

Here in the US, it costs you more for 1 semester of text books.
Posted by theitdude (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Go to state univerities, period.
Get a scholarship or financial aid, add a work-study program, don't make any excuse.
Posted by joelam888 (300 comments )
Link Flag
Not to mention enormous debt
And when you get out of school, half your pay will go to an enourmous student loan debt, where they can add thousands of dollars in "administration" fees if you pay late, and capitalize the interest, so it soon grows bigger than the national debt. So naturally you have to ask for a bigger pay than a foreign worker, who has no debt. And he who offers to work cheapest gets the job.
Posted by cybervigilante (529 comments )
Link Flag
The key to their success?
It's not foreign workers.

It's highly overvalued stock. It's frightening when people will allow themselves to get ripped off like that.

Charles R. Whealton
Charles Whealton @ pleasedontspam.com
Posted by chuck_whealton (521 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I ceased to think well of Google today
The accumulated good will they had with me, the "do no evil" slogan, etc etc.. all of that is gone for me. They're just another company filled to the gills with H1Bs who will only hire people of their own race, who are filled with racial superiority, who are determined to bring their 3rd world mentality to the US.

Don't tell me that H1Bs don't torpedo the candidacy of non-H1bs. I have sat there in interviews for MAJOR companies while H1B after H1B desperately dig around in their memory for some detail of my expertise I might get wrong, and when that didn't work, openly used a school book in front of me and asked me the most obscure questions and when THAT didn't work, then told me that I was pretty smart and began asking me questions like how would I react if I wasn't in charge of everything and similar non-sequitors.. looking for anything to cite as a "reason" for not hiring me.

Don't tell me employers don't deliberately exclude Americans from consideration for positions. I sat there while my employer slyly admitted to me that as soon as he got a resume from the local in his state, he just threw it in the garbage without looking further. He had all H1Bs except for myself and I was there only because of my specialty.

Don't tell me that Sun and MS and Google don't discriminate based on nationality, because we all know they do, we the real people who really are deep in the bowels f the machine and really know what happens.

Your government is a government by for and of big business. They're not gong to enforce their own laws, investigate wrong doing or anything else. They ceased to be a government by for and of the people a while ago. That's a terminal condition. IF America believes it can replace manufacturing and technology jobs with "service sector" jobs and the creation of money through "financial services" , i.e. loans to consumers who are losing their jobs and will never pay back with interest that money despite the banks having booked it as revenue... if America believes that it can keep on borrowing t buy junk at Walmart where all it citizens work and the dollar won't crash... then they're delusional.

The only ting for rational people to do is - get out. Just leave America, because it's going to implode under the Enronesque accounting practices that are telling us the economy is "booming" ... it's a den of thieves (Haliburton Carlyle Group, Exxon, Enron, Global Crossing, on and on and on), of players Randy "Duke Cuninningham, McCain, Kyl, Hatch, Hillary and all the other politicians, of liars (see above), of amoral, valueless predators out to get "theirs" any way they can end of story (the CEOs of these companies and their lackeys...).

It's a house of cards that's going to collapse. Europeans don't do this to themselves but then Europeans aren't being run by criminals and cronies.

Get out and go to Europe and take your brains and innovation with you. We'll see how the US does when it's filled to the gills with the H1Bs Google so desperately wants. Our ancestors came here for freedom and to our revolution was about the rights of the People. Now a corptocracy has taken over and people who work are back to being serfs who merely rent land and their ability to survive from the Lord, er, I mean corporation , that effectively owns them.

Get out and go to Europe where they don't put up with innovation-killing crap like software patents
and non-expiring copyrights (just search for Disney and copyright law) and all the rest of the rules that are tailored to keep the wealthy wealthy.

It's not impossible to make it in America, it's just much less likely than other countries :
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.sightline.org/daily_score/archive/2007/05/29/bye-bye-economic-mobility" target="_newWindow">http://www.sightline.org/daily_score/archive/2007/05/29/bye-bye-economic-mobility</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.economicmobility.org/assets/pdfs/EMP%20American%20Dream%20Report.pdf" target="_newWindow">http://www.economicmobility.org/assets/pdfs/EMP%20American%20Dream%20Report.pdf</a>

and the consequences for failure- no health care for you or your children, no meaningful job, no social security, work until you're dead just to keep alive... are murderous.

The US used to be a place that rewarded work. Now it rewards being rich and has nothing but contempt for people who work. It's time to do what our forefathers did- leave. Leave the US to the cockroaches like this guy from Google. Europe is not a fifth as corrupt as the US. Do you want to take your best ideas and best energy and best years of your life making the dirtbag CEOs at Google and other companies yet richer so they can turn around tell you you're not fit for their job as soon as they get a new boatload of H1Bs here? That's a slave's mentality. Is that what you had in mind for your life? Is that what you dreamed your life would be about when you were young?

Break Google. Take them apart. They want to drive you into poverty so they can have another billion in their bank account. They're just like Microsoft- not one ounce better. Let's see how Google fares now that millions of the world's most capable programmers hate their guts and want them to fail. Let's see what kind of market share they hold onto now that they've lost developer mindshare.
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Most properly skilled American engineers and computer scientists have no trouble getting good paying jobs.

Of course, you have to have the right skills and the background to advance your skill set.

Just because you taught yourself VB and HTML doesn't mean you are a computer professional.
Posted by MSSlayer (1074 comments )
Link Flag
Google should extend out of the USA
Instead of bringing talents into the USA Google should employ people in their own countries, or in countries that are easier with foreign workers of international companies. From the story it seems that many people who study in US universities with student visas that usually require them to go back to their homelands for some minimal period after they complete their studies (so that they can get jobs there).

Google would do more good by spreading out to the rest of the world. It is not that difficult nowadays to collaborate without being physically present in the same campus.

And when time comes for physical meetings, there are much better places to meet than the USA which makes it very difficult to enter the country. (Canada or Europe are much more accomodating for travelers).
Posted by hadaso (468 comments )
Reply Link Flag
not good news for american workforce.
If your company depends 100% on H1 and L1 transfers and illegals to keep your building clean then your company deserves to fail.
Posted by inachu (963 comments )
Reply Link Flag
100% ?
Odd, since I know for a fact that Google spends a lot of time recruiting at universities with computer science and engineering departments.
Posted by MSSlayer (1074 comments )
Link Flag
Google Should Stop Being Evil
The CEO Leeches are whining to keep their Green-Card-Whip.

The green card system has been consistently used against h-1b employees in order to keep people at their jobs until the Green Card arrives. Employers use this system to keep free-market forces at-bay, and keep an indentured class of workers.

This ridiculous system has removed a fundamental right of self-determination from h-1b immigrants, that all U.S. citizens utilize in their daily lives.

The hi-tech employers are battling to keep a position of overseer, which is ridiculous, because the power to become citizen should rest with the individual, not the employer.

This is more true today than ever before. Individuals get themselves educated, acquire skills, learn about the workings of their new country. Employers should stop being LEECHES, AND GOOGLE SHOULD STOP BEING EVIL, and stop whining about losing the Green-Whip.
Posted by Jake Leone (143 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I have set up Google as default.....
on over 2000 computers. Apparantly its about time for a change. Can anyone recommend a search engine who is second best and wants to be the best??? You know... the one that will show up after you and I start up Internet Explorer. Oh wait a minute, Microsoft is leaving the USA to find "better" workers. Change that to Fire Fox please, that is unless there is something better.
Posted by Ted Miller (305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wisenut and Teoma
both able competitors
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Link Flag
Good for google - they hire the best people from all over the world
and it shows. Meanwhile, the whiners / incompetents / morons continue to blame everyone except their own lazy butts for not getting a job.

Some jobs require advanced degrees like a PhD - a BS in C.S. may be grossly inadequate for such jobs. Just because it is an 'I.T. job' doesn't mean you're qualified for it! And that applies even more for the MCSE monkeys. It's an absurd situation - you don't see HVAC guys whine about why they don't get to design CPUs, do you?
Posted by Hardrada (359 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Thank you!
There are way too many people lacking the background and skills, yet think they are entitled to a good paying job.

A BS in CS is only the smallest beginning of knowledge required for many jobs. Which is one reason I am working towards a masters-emphasis on software engineering and network security. Which will leave me unqualified for a huge amount of tech jobs, but I will have no problem getting good work in either areas.
Posted by MSSlayer (1074 comments )
Link Flag
Google Happy To Admit It Exploits Foreign Labor
Google is happy now to come out and admit that it exploits foreign labor - even here in the US - contributing to the undermining of the American IT professional.

There is no excuse for being uninformed about this issue now because there are countless studies available - all on the web - that discuss the abuse and misuse of the visa program, and the literal saturation of the IT field by foreign workers that caused the layoff of thousands of American IT workers.
By the way, the studies agree that companies find that Americans are typically more inventive and productive workers.
70% of the applications are for Indian owned offshoring companies operating here in the US and are level one positions.
Posted by dornbear (21 comments )
Link Flag
Not only do I have my degree in Comp Sci from a major university ad a good paying job... what's more I actually MADE something the market thought well of and sold it...

But who CARES what you think.. my God readers, he has suspicions about other readers!!.. you know his stellar reputation on CNET talkback... Why.... HE wouldn't have suspicions unless there was something there I tell you!

What kind of alternate reality are you from? NO ONE cares what YOU think of another poster on CNET.. no one CARES if you want to pass judement on other posters in CNETs talkback column.. who does that?? WHo uses an opportunity to discuss matters as a venue to spout off that he has *suspicions* about another poster ????


We all know what's going on. If the Elaine Chows and the corporate execs and their lawyers and lobbyists think we'll all be individually convinced that blue is green and up is own, they're dreaming. The Bush admin and the CompeteAmerica and Dan Griswold and the ITAA and all the rest seriously believe that if they just use appropriate "management" techniques on the general population to control perception of reality and supress and demoralize people who stand up and tell it like it really is, that somehow not only public opinion but reality itself will confirm itself with their demands.

That , my friends, is called magical thinking. We see it in the pre-war planning for Iraq, we are seeing it in the immigration bill and we are seeing it economic planning...

I am not unemployed .. I have a job programming, (but thanks for playing anyway!) but the people who are KNOW what is REALLY going on with unemployment in the tech sector just as the people who are unemployed KNOW what is going on in the job market just as the people who work for a living KNOW what is going on with wages and the divide between the very very very rich in this country and the rest of the people....

The issue is that the Bush admin and Congress is packed with Managers ad owners who really believe in the omnipotence of their top-down management techniques that serve them so well in the hermetically-sealed container of their companies...they make up a just so story about reality as they go along and never hear back from anyone about how WRONG they are... until of course Katrina hits or the Iraqis exercise they're power to ACT or te dollar collapses like Enron etc etc....

We're being run by insular, delusional, dangerous amoral ideologues who will tar this nation to shreds and go to be every night under silk sheets while it happens....

We've already had just a rndom CNET poster TELL us that Elaine Chow and Bush could give a damn about workers and it's all a sham... that they're cooking the numbers like they're cooking he numbers on the rest of the economy and the debt and all the rest of it..

the problem is, they're delusional.. they think if they can keep it under wraps, the worst won't happen.. ust like Bush's buddy Key Lay and Enron...

But it IS going to happen...and when the dollar collapses , remember this-- Bush and the Elaine Chows and Greenspans and the rest of the free market freaks and their policies is what did it.
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Your claimed background is weak
You claim Java and J2EE as your skills, and a vague assertion about an alleged CS degree.

Any monkey can learn that.

How is your math, algorithm design and analysis, security, networking, hardware level programming, AI, graphics, performance, automata knowledge? This is the sort of knowledge that is in high demand.

Most programming boils down to making a long series of API calls. That takes very little skill and those kinds of jobs are thusly rewarded. You took the easy path with all the other unmotivated API monkeys. Deal with it.
Posted by MSSlayer (1074 comments )
Link Flag
See someone for help, because buddy, you need it.
You're sick. You sit on cnet and you make up accusations against people you don't even know. Further, you vest yourself with some kind of imagined authority to demand answers from people you have no relationship with. You're just a deeply disturbed personality with nothing to do with their time.
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Stop cryingt
You already told us your background, and it is truly dime a dozen.

Yet you blame "foreigners" on your inadequacies.nd

Go beyond basic programming skills and you won't have to compete with as many people.
Posted by MSSlayer (1074 comments )
Link Flag
Why then is Google and the hitech industry pushing Bachelor level Visas?
Again this is all part of the Mythology surrounding many hi-tech companies that they are on the "Cutting Edge". When in fact most are just accreting technology already developed by other individuals and companies.

Google is busy accreting and they need grunts to help them literally copy the work of others. Man, its as plain as back of your hand. Google isn't just organizing the world's information, Google is breaking copyright protection right-and-left. Google is making money off/exploiting the pains of people who wrote to the Usenet. Google is disregarding the privacy of individuals right-and-left.

Google doesn't care, that's Gorilla marketing at its worst.

Google is being Evil. Unethical. Google doesn't have a conscience man!

Google is pushing for more Bachelor level h-1b visas.

...and continued control over the Green Card application process.

...and less oversight into their h-1b hiring practices. (which seems to be centered on h-1b body shops, and not actually checking if the person can really do the job).

If they really wanted PH-D's, then they would push for just that type of Visa, because there would be more available for Google, but that is not what Google actually wants.

It seems likely, based upon first hand interviews with Google employees, that Google is pushing too hard to hire workers and that many are just not competent.

The cause of this?

First, You can't rely solely on in-house referral, because their is usually a referral bonus that taints the process.

You need to do the hard work of interviewing a wide variety of candidates, and digging hard for competency. H-1b body shops will rip-you-off, so pushing for more h-1bers, and not doing your home work, is a recipe for rip-off.

So far all evidence that I have seen is pointing to huge oversight and bloat at Google at the lower levels. When the hard-times hit, this will turn to into sand-bagging and politics, which might damage the company badly.

Meanwhile, Google execs are busy creating Gorilla hype about the company right-and-left, and I think people should get wise to that. It's common to see retailers rise and fall (like convection bubbles on the Sun), does anyone remember Woolworth, Ben Franklin? When the economy sinks (as it will when the war stops), Google will likely shrink (possible dramatically) and investors risk getting burned badly.

It's sad, because new Google options probably aren't attracting people the way the old-ones did. Now Google is experiencing its own bloat, and is clawing to replace its non-motivated workforce with h-1b-(Green-Card-Whipped) workforce.

Listen, I love the h-1b program, but I love to see people become citizens more. I just want the h-1b program work for the U.S., not againt the U.S. I want a high-performance h-1b system, that keeps the jobs here in the U.S. That allows for an open competition for jobs, and that doesn't create different class system based upon residency. A system that empowers applicants to get Green cards on their own, without the dubious-duality of (employer over country) or green-card-whip.

And that getting a Green-Card is meant to encourage only those that want to become citizens.
Posted by Jake Leone (143 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Companies are pushing for qualified H1B's
For 1 simple reason:

There is not enough QUALIFIED people in the US.

Major emphasis on qualified.

As we have learned today there are people who think they are qualified, but sadly aren't.

They are part of the problem. If they upgrade there skills and background knowledge and are otherwise good workers and communicators, they will have no problem finding the work they want.

"Maybe if a get a BS in pre-med, a hospital will hire me as a doctor"
Posted by MSSlayer (1074 comments )
Link Flag
MSSLAYER : professional moron
wow you're relaly something. Let's see.. notable luminaries who did not get CS degrees..
steve jobs
larry ellison
bill gates
uh.. who am I missing here???
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What has Ellison and Gates done?
You are missing a lot.

Look at the parts of old MS software that Gates claims to have done, it is all shoddy. No one would hire Gates in a technical position. Not even MS.

He is a good business person and marketer.

Ellison runs a business.

Look at the people who create programming languages, write OSes, write network protocols, etc. THEY ALL HAVE AT LEAST a BS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE.

Just because Gates was able to hire CS people and make a ton of money doesn't mean he knows enough to actually work with them.

Same with all the people you mentioned.

Show me one person that actually did something significant that do not understand the theoretical background of CS. You might be able to come up with a few people that significantly contributed to the field in a real technical way, that do not have a CS or similar degree.

But those are exceptions that prove the rule.

If you really did have a CS degree you would understand this.
Posted by MSSlayer (1074 comments )
Link Flag
Jobs and Woz
Jobs and Woz are living proof that paper means nothing. Especially Woz.

Glad to see that someone has the sense to live in the real world!
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
Wow it's the MSSLAYER
is this the same person as Joe888 from eralier.. b/c he mysteriously disappeared and MSSLAYER mysteriously appeared.

One thing that's instructive.. if you ever get the idea that problems can be ultimately be worked out because people are rational, this thread should give you pause for thought. You only have to look at the obsessive, nattering insistence and desperate need to get the last word in, although nothing of any substance is being said from MSSLAYER to see that, quite frankly, the world is not full of rational people who have rational disagreements. Listening to him call yet another poster a loser because MSSLAYER has unilaterally decided that he knows all about that poster and can judge him is an object lesson in WHAT exactly is out there and why people can't come to rational agreements.....
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Reply Link Flag
100% right...
MSSLAYER sounds like your average corporate CEO when it comes to an attitude towards people. Perhaps we are dealing with someone who is a CS expert, but that doesn't make a person any more intelligent than someone who isn't.
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
Programmers are a dime a dozen.
"Programmers are a dime a dozen." -- MSSlayer

I'd have to agree with MSSlayer on this one! Companies don't want to pay for experienced programmers as they believe anyone can do the job. Why pay full price for a quality programmer here in the states when you can pay half-price for one in India?!?!?

The only problem here is that corporate America actually believes the crap that Microsoft and Google purport: they get quality programmers offshore. The reality is that while there are a few gems out there in these third world nations the vast majority are merely button pushers that cannot think for themselves. Time and time again I've been brought into projects they have absolutely failed at because they can?t work outside the little box of knowledge that they have been "trained" in.

On top of that it just blows my mind on how arrogant many of these foreign workers are. If they don't know how to do it then it is a "system limitation". They push back technical problems to the business units as if the business units have the technical skills to fix the problem. They take no responsibility for anything and it's always someone else's fault. You have to ask them 5 times if something is finished using different angles before you find out the truth; it's not finished and they don't know how to finish it.

Frankly I think this is a cultural issue. If you are brought up in a society where you have to fight for the basics such as food you will do and say anything to survive. That same mentality sticks with them in the workplace today.

More H1B visa? Sure, let 'em come on over and try and compete. But before the program is blown wide open the government better have REAL governance in place to insure it is talent that is being brought over and they are being paid a fair wage.

I think the title of the article was truncated. It was supposed to read:

"Google: Foreign workers are key to our success at controlling our costs"
Posted by kojacked (1129 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dude, check out all the strategic open source projects
out there, about 90% of them are always written by some foreign guy who doesn't write English very well. I guess they have more time rather than watch Jerry Springer like you
Posted by Tawani (27 comments )
Link Flag
Totally agreed
One interesting point is that some of the CEO-level people, such as Gates, seem to understand and bemoan this situation. They'd rather pay more for really good quality employees than what they typically get through H-1B abuse. But somehow their opinions don't filter down to the actual hiring level at large companies like Microsoft. (Either that or their just blowing hot PR-air.)
Posted by fredmenace (159 comments )
Link Flag
Top 3 suggestions for Google
Yeah I think we all agree that the John Von Neumanns of the world should be welcomed. If Google wants those men and women to work for them, who can blame them? And that has NOTHING to do with the H1B issue.

One thing is- the American media likes to keep Americans in what I call the American box- you really don't know how other countries are responding to the exact same forces that the US is currently subject to.

In Germany, for instance, they have a flagging population also.. know what they did? They gave women 9 months maternity leave. That's right.. the German government treats it citizens like citizens...like people who respond to incentives and not like employees who need to be shown who runs the show by flooding the market with labor... it MEANS something to be German... and they like it that way....

I am not anti immigrant.. I am anti corporate-pig .. I am anti- management-who-could-give-a-crap-about-anything-but-their-mansion-and-coke-habit..
.. I am sick of seeing America run by insular, delusional corporate types who think that their management techniques for controlling their employees have any applicability, either moral or reality based, to countries. That's hubris of the worst kind, and we're all going to pay for it.

The solution? Public funding of campaigns. There. Done.

The fact is that Google could, if they wanted to, pay for the advanced education, MS ad PhD of undergrads if they wanted to... they could have scholarships and they could sponsor kods out of high school.. in other words, they could help grow the talent.. and grow the country...rather than just trying to roam the world snorting up what some other country has paid for...

Americans have fantasitical levels of debt.. foreigners have none, and what's more, five years of 86 k and they go home to their contries exchange rate adjusted millionaires....

How would Google like to compete with a search engine that has 1/10 of their cost structure? But Google sure does like the infrastructure generations of Americans have paid for... they just don't think it's their job to give back...

Hey Google... people don't have the skills you need? Let me tell you it takes about 2-5 years to take a sow's ear CS graduate and turn him or her into a well-honed special purpose machine... it's just a matter of incentives. So in that spirit, here's the top 3 things Google can do to make sure it has the talent it needs-

1) sponsor undergrads with a Google scholarship... Google puts you through school, you take concentrations / courses in things Google is interested in, Google pays your way.. you work for Google for some years after college... Google treats you right, and you choose to stay past that time... everyone wins....

2) pay CS grads to get their PhDs, with above arrangement.

3) innovate within the educational sphere within your company.. so you can hire people who aren't up to snuff and turn them into people who are fantastic...

America has this idea that they can't create smart people... our top universities don't create brilliant minds- they select them through a process of competitive enrollment.. they make students compete to get in, and in this way make sure that their university stays a place where smart people will compete to get in....but they're not CREATING anything.. they're taking what's already there...

How about thinking outside that box? How about Linear Algebra summer camp? How about courses in linear system formulation, learning what it takes to get people to understand what subdominant eigenvalues are , on and on and on.... how about something other than skimming the cream off an educational system you apparently depend on?

But of course, is it really about growing talent? Is it really about talent at all? Isn't really about the cost of labor... about concentrating wealth into management's hands instead of trying to grow the pie? Because what's a big pie slice if everyone has one? Your trophy wife isn't REALLY going to stay with YOU if you're not 10xing everyone else's income, now is she?
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Oh and by the way
Can I please have access to my GMAIL account again? And when I try to connect to Google, please don't tell me I can't ....I mean I am sure I pissed your engineers off and what not, but it seems only fair I can at least get in there to shut it down or whatever....thanks....
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Link Flag
THe difference betwen innovation and politicking
You know what it is? It's the difference between a company that innovates its way around it's problems and a company that tries politicking its way out of it's problems.

Supposedly Google has a problem with talent. So what do they do? They run to Congress and demand the floodgates be opened to UNLIMITED labor, rather than saying. OK , we have this problem, how are we going to act differently to solve out problem? What are we going to do that 's new, innovative, unheard of revolutionary so that we dont' have this problem anymore?

Once companies learn that they can go to congress, about whatever, software patents, H1Bs, copyright extensions.. once they learn, as Google has and as MS did , that there's a POLITICAL solution around their growth problem and they don't have to DO anything about it except talk to the right people, then that's the beginning of the end...and we're all going to be made to suffer while these companies dedicate more and more resources to lawyering their way in the world ... we're all going to get poorer and quality is going to go down as they grasp and claw at every problem with that one golden hammer of "lobby Congress"...

UNLIMITED LABOR that's what MS and Google are lobbying for with your Senator...what does that even mean HYPOTHETICALLY to an economic theory... hell, why not just turn it around and declare all goods and services are to be free from now on.... why not? UNLIMITED labor.... I hear the bottom falling out of buckets all over Econ departments... hell, let's just try it and see what happens.. if it all blows up, it's not going to blow up on us...

UNLIMITED.. what does that even MEAN in an economic theory? There is no economic theory that even allows for that possibility... it's like saying everyone should get their things for free... theories just break down...
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Link Flag
sign me up for linear algebra camp!
Linear Algebra camp is not the answser, what kid in their right mind would want to go to linear algebra camp? As a MIS major you don't even need linear algebra. Anyways, I am offended that you claim that universities do not create talent. Have you gone to college or been there lately? I started school four years ago. I went from knowing very little about the IT field and web development to working for a global corporation because of my education and the univeristy I attended. The university I attended trained me but also challenaged me and my peers to think outside of the box. Also getting your PhD right out of college is a terrible idea. No one wants to pay someone a PhD wage who has barely any experience; it would have been much harder to find a job if I had my masters or PhD.
Posted by alstatr (53 comments )
Link Flag
just make education Affordable
Top 3 suggestions for Google
companies always seek profit...so dont wait for handouts from google esp for ur MS scholarship...

maybe the US Govt should just make education Affordable...Indians are highly educated while the Chineese have the political will power..
Posted by raymondsilveira (1 comment )
Link Flag
No Surprise there
that's not surprising
Posted by asdf (241 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ADMIT IT ONLY those who CANNOT COMPETE oppose foreign workers
Competitions are bad for them, a
Posted by joelam888 (300 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ADMIT IT! ONLY those who CANNOT COMPETE oppose foreign workers
That's because:
- You are a high school grad/college dropout/ITTech alum.
- Your skills are only so-so, so a clueless Indian worker is way better than you.
- You hate your boss because he thinks you suck and anybody can replace you.
- You make less than your peers so you have to put a blame on something/somebody - foreign workers.
Posted by joelam888 (300 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A clueless Indian worker is still a clueless Indian
And very noisy on the phone too.
And smells like he sleeps in a dumpster and eats out of a dumpster. I've never seen one wash hands before exiting a restroom.
And oh, - America does NOT run on Dunkin, God no!
And why is it that we here get the most disgusting types?
And who wears sandals in the dead of winter???

That's what I'd like to know.
Posted by jones1999 (3 comments )
Link Flag
Why bring them here???
There is no need to give out H1B visas - do the quick and dirty development oversees! Why bring this so called cheap labor here? Everyone knows that Silicon Valley is no more, and most of the software is develpoed out of India and China anyway.
Posted by jones1999 (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It turns out that outsourcing is kind of a mess and not all it's cracked up to be. It's difficult to maintain quality or schedules, or control costs, and it's extremely common to have lots of re-work needed to clean up the mess that was created. It doesn't often save much money in the long run, if it actually saves any at all. And this may be even when counting only direct expenses, not even looking at lost sales due to poorer-quality products or services, etc.

It turns out routine face-to-face communication (not just one or two conference calls or even video conferences a day) is hugely important, and those cultural issues we've all probably experienced with outsourced call centers also negatively affect development work.

Outsourcing seems really to be more a way of shifting management problems onto someone else's shoulders (which, of course, doesn't actually fix them, but at least they're someone else's problem now...) and budget problems into someone else's budgets, and also a way of saying to top management and shareholders "we're doing something to improve productivity and reduce costs", even if it's only "in theory" or in a particular spinning of the numbers.

No, far better to get cheap employees here, in person. But the emphasis is still on "cheap", meaning, "below market rate". Which is what H-1B abuse allows them to do (particularly when combined with creating a limited working life for tech employees so most never reach the promised salary heights that would be expected with many years of experience).

Which leads us to the other purpose of outsourcing: it's a red herring. A diversion. Everyone can moan and groan about outsourcing, while overlooking the worse problem, of H-1B visa abuse.
Posted by fredmenace (159 comments )
Link Flag
ADMIT IT: Many U.S. jobs are h-1b only, U.S. citizens barred from applying
It's a fact that hundreds-of-thousands of jobs in the United States are only being given to h-1b workers, U.S. citizens need not apply, and are never considered.

Indian IT Outsourcers are the biggest users of h-1b Visas. They have no interest in hiring U.S. citizens. These Companies use h-1b Visas to outsource U.S. jobs (whole departments), the h-1b program is the most-used outsourcing tool used in the United States today.

Discrimination against U.S. citizens is well documented, and was publicly witnessed by Congress.

All U.S. Citizens are asking for is fair consideration, equal opportunity within their own country.

The h-1b program and green card program, as they are currently enacted, make that impossible.

- H-1b workers are not getting paid properly, they get 20% on average less than their U.S. citizen counterpartes.

- In many cases their aren't even paid (see the fine of Patni associates on the web).

- In some cases whole shops are h-1b only, U.S. citizens cannot apply. I know that GOOGLE for example uses such shops, this makes some GOOGLE jobs h-1b only.

- The green card keeps h-1b immigrants at the same job, for fear that the process will have to start over again, if they leave the company that sponsors them.

Admin IT: Karmal Nath wants more h-1b Visas, because whole Indian companies cannot compete (or even function) in the United States without preferential, bigotted, discrimantory hiring practices of these companies.

U.S. citizens simply want equal opportunity, not preferential hiring. We want an equal competition for U.S. jobs, the Green-whip and the h-1b program currently make it possible/desirable for companies to OPENLY discriminate against U.S. Citizens.
Posted by Jake Leone (143 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Good points, especially...
This one: Job shops. Since most tech companies use a large proportion of contract labor, they can have a much higher percentage of below-market H-1B workers than their official statistics indicate. If 40% of your workers are contractors, and 80% of those are H-1Bs, then reporting an official 8% H-1B employee rate really translates into 40% of your employees (including contractors) being on H-1B visas, and hence likely earning 20-30% below market rate and working long hours without paid overtime.

(Most of the rest are likely 20-somethings with 1-5 years of experience, also earning toward the lower end of the scale due to being early in their careers, and also working long hours without overtime pay.)
Posted by fredmenace (159 comments )
Link Flag
Boo To Google
Boo To Google.
Boo To Microsoft.
Boo To Oracle.

Americans will have to decide if they still want to support these corporations.

Breaking the spirit of our immigration law.

Our Immigration Law
An excerpt:

"In general
Any alien who seeks to enter the United States for the purpose of performing skilled or unskilled labor is inadmissible, unless the Secretary of Labor has determined
and certified to the Secretary of State and the Attorney General that -
(I) there are not sufficient workers who are able,
willing, qualified (or equally qualified in the case of an alien described in clause (ii)) and available at the time of application for a visa and admission to the United States and at the place where the alien is to perform such skilled or unskilled labor, and

(II) the employment of such alien will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of workers in the United States similarly employed."
Posted by dornbear (21 comments )
Link Flag

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot



RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.