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1) please read the following report:
Aspray, W., Mayadas, F., & Vardi, M. Y. (2006) Globalization and Offshoring of Software - A Report of the ACM Job Migration Task Force,
Available at

2) are you concerned about: "the future of computing as a viable field of study and work."

In the short term I am not concerned about the future of computing work in the United States. After the Dot-Com bust, things were looking bleak, which I experienced first hand while attempting to find a job when I moved from Rhode Island to California. Although the job market improved, having only a bachelor's degree was not enough to secure a worthwhile job. Jobs were available, but they were difficult to get. California is a worst-case scenario most likely, as they had probably the most people effected by the Dot-Com bust and there were a large number of people looking for jobs.

As long as I obtain a higher degree, I do not see finding work to be a difficulty. Likewise, as long as other people also get as much education that they can then I do not see them having a difficulty finding work. The problem I see is that low level jobs will continue to be outsourced in increasing numbers, which effects the long term job market. The work I am most interested in doing is teaching and research, which are two areas not likely to be outsourced, but if I was a programmer I would be more concerned. Another area that will not be drastically effected by outsourcing is in-house technical support positions. Someone actually has to be present to fix the computer problems as they arise.

In regards to study, I believe computing has not completely recovered from the Dot-Com bust. Technology still scares many people away and it is also a fast paced field. You really have to commit to life-long learning to be successful and that may be a turn off for many people.

3) what are the issues in the report

I agree that security and privacy risks are extremely important in the globalizing world. Even in our own country, there are security breaches on machines that expose personal data stored there. Transferring data between countries makes it vulnerable to interception. Having large amounts of sensitive data in other countries makes it vulnerable to hacking, copying, or tampering. If a terrorist organization knew that the department of defense emergency plans for a terrorist attack were being stored in Washington D.C. and also India, they would target India as it is the potentially weaker link.

"On the other hand, the lower cost and faster production could allow the
development of new features in old software and could contribute to the creation of new, well priced
software products, which would in turn increase income for these firms and perhaps lead
to greater hiring."

  • A general business goal is to maximize profit and minimize loss. I do not see a company lowering prices on software or offering features in older products because of outsources. If we look at Microsoft, they add new features to software, but release a new version instead of updating the older software.

I also disagree when they refer to "multidisciplinary information technology institutes" as being a reasonable experiment. It is not an experiment, but an evolution of information technology needs. The die-hard programmer who never goes outside and never talks to anyone is a dying breed. The world today requires communication in all forms and being able to think about issues in ways other than how a programmer might do so.

4) name one action which our department should undertake to address your major concerns

Compiling a list of graduates and what they are doing now would help indicate the types of jobs former CS graduate students at CU have found and give a good indication of what we may be able to find when we are finished.

Last modified 22 October 2007 at 1:26 pm by JeffreyLaMarche