Open the H1B Gates

Credit (and blame) where due: Kudos to Bill Gates for clearly saying that H-1B caps should be scrapped. Yes, and so should all other restrictions on travel and work across borders.

Gates and others have warned that American companies need foreign engineering talent to stay competitive. I believe that is the case for most businesses, but if there was an exception it should be Microsoft. There should be no advantage to being close to the customer in developing shrink-wrap software, as the customer is everywhere. Why should a shrink-wrap developer care about where engineering talent is located? Why not, e.g., move all Microsoft Office development to Hyderabad? Inertia I suppose. It may be hard to relocate Office development anywhere outside the Seattle area. Surely any wholly new shrink-wrap development teams ought to be located outside the U.S, barring H-1B liberalization.

Via Techdirt.

2 Responses

  1. […] Move to the Startup Hub or Why to Move to Silicon Valley). Probably more obvious, but it’s a theme of this blog: Immigration difficulties might be another reason to stay put. Dealing with […]

  2. […] Open the H1B Gates. The narrow industrial policy tweak of scrapping H-1B visa limits wished for by Bill Gates in no way supports generally removing restrictions on travel and work across borders. Shrink-wrap software development not leaving the U.S. for India and elsewhere shows just how little value could be obtained through the disruptive policy of scrapping H-1B visa limits, let alone removing all citizenship-based restrictions. […]

Leave a Reply