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Polarized job market for SAP pros

Mark Laughing all the way to the bank not too long ago that SAP experience, particularly programming, was still highly valued even in this job market. Now I know SAP skills are valuable but $840,000? Obviously whoever that was wears a suit and probably doesn’t know anything of the differences in key bindings between vi and emacs. Today some cold water came down on the above story when I came across this article about Daniel Soong’s difficulties in finding a new position (he even volunteered to relocate to India) and he has what sounds like excellent SAP experience.

I have to believe experience with SAP software, particularly development, would make some difference even in this climate. Don’t give up Daniel.

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  • The article about Daniel Soong is completely inaccurate regarding the project at ChevronTexaco.  I was a contractor and a lead on the Finance development team on that project.  Although the on-site development team was fairly large (about 75 people split across two floors at its peak), I don’t have any idea who Daniel Soong is, nor did I hear the other leads mention his name.  In fact, at the time he describes being let go from the project, there was only a skeleton crew of contract developers left on the project. 

    Contractors were never promised jobs at CT; in fact, we were fully aware that CT was cutting back on consultants and contracts at the end of 2002.  It was no surprise to come in on a Monday and find out that 5 more contractors had been let go.  We were told in several company meetings that all contractors would be off the project by the beginning of February, so I don’t know where his ‘I got kicked out in the middle of a 6 month contract in January’ came from.  Of course, as a contractor, his job was not outsourced! 

    CT always treated contractors with great respect.  It was the first project on which I ever received a bonus as a contractor, and as far as I know, there were no ‘layoffs by managers you’d never seen before’.  And hey Daniel, I’m sorry for your position, but you’ve got to be kidding me if the first time you noticed the market had changed was after the CT project!

    • I totally agree.  I think this article has more to say about the current sentiment towards immigrants in the US rather than the availability of SAP jobs.  Besides, instead of sulking and hanging out with a bunch of “No More H-1B” losers and handing out flyers – perhaps he should consider retooling his skillset and working on his presentation skills? 

      Sure, there’s tonnes of jobs that are going “offshore” to places like India, etc… but it’s all second line support stuff and who wants to do that anyways?  Besides, if complete acceptance of “open market” forces are what has given America so much of its power and wealth – isn’t it a little hypocritical to all of a sudden get upset about it when it bites you in the behind?  It’s about time the first world started sharing the wealth instead of hording it.

      Of course, the reality of all this is that our boy Daniel is just a pawn being used to serve the right wing conservative agenda of CIO magazine.  And equally as misleading is Mark Rednick hyping up the rates of SAP Consultants and the fat cut he’ll be taking on their contracts. 

      • I disagree, I’ve read the article and do NOT see any negative sentiment toward immigrants.  Furthermore, there are not that many SAP jobs available because corporations would rather use H1-B Visas, L-1 Visas, and Offshore.

        This NOT second hand support that is going Offshore to India.  These are the good jobs.

        What is happening nationwide is not the result of “open market” forces.  It is the result of CHEAP LABOR.  The CEOs want cheap labor.  The money that is saved is added to their lavish compensation.  And voila – the distruction of the middle class.

        • I agree.

          This is happening not just in SAP.  This is happening in accounting, finance, marketing, etc.

          PeopleSoft in Pleasanton, CA offshored their IT to Bangalore, India.  Delta Airlines in Atlanta, GA offshored their marketing call center to India.  Bank of America in Concord, CA offshored their Technology Group in India; 3,000 people lost their jobs.  AOL offshored their technical support and call center.  This list goes on…

          Our boy Daniel was victimized by the abuse of the H1-B Visa.

    • You mentioned, ‘CT always treated contractors with great respect’

      Brad, you’ve got to be kidding.  Do you work for Tata Consulting of India by any chance?

      I was an SAP Manager at ChevronTexaco in Houston, TX and I heard about and experienced the horror stories about the CA project and extensive abuse of the H1-B Visas.  You CA folks decided to Offshore to Tata as well.

      I sympathize with this poor wiz kid, Daniel, that got caught up in the middle of this.  Unfortunately, he represents millions of Americans in a similar position.

      I was guilty for not saying anything when I was a Manager at ChevronTexaco.  I wish I would have know this poor kid’s predicament; I could have transfered him to Houston, TX to work under me.  Now that I’m gone, I’m experiencing the aftermath : ‘underemployment’.

  • I have read the article referenced in the blog over and over again, but I havent been able to comprehend the possible basis on which the author commented that Daniel has ‘what sounds like excellent SAP experience’ ?

    Are we not overreacting to ‘offshore outsourcing’ ?

  • Hang in there Daniel!  We are all in the same position.  I was a consultant out at HP and they layed off 3000 of us and replaced us with 3000 H1-Bs.

    There are at least a million H1-Bs in this country.

    How many unemployed Americans in IT are there?
    1 million.

    Brad Smith
    SAP SD Functional Consultant

  • Not only that, but they control most of the recruiting firms now. One trick they use is tying up every resume in the job databases that meet the job description they are working on, then only submitting their own Indian candidates for the postitions.

    Most American resumes solicited by recruiting firms for specific positions never reach the hiring company. They only want to remove the competition from the market.

    • This is the reason that most US recruiting firms are going out of business.  I have been in HR for 15 years and have seen our profession decimated as well.

      former HR Director

    • The politicians should do something about this.

      They need to create a level playing field between the US and India.  I have lost my HR business as a result of the forementioned “unethical” tactics.

      Scott J.
      SAP Recruiter

  • I read the article as well as the main article in CIO Magazine about Mike Emmons, who lost his job at Siemens in FL to an Indian firm:

    Also, the article about Daniel stated his 6 month contract with ChevronTexaco started on October 2001. He was replaced by an H1-B worker on January 2002.  That is only 3 months.

    It is terrible that ChevronTexaco treats it’s people like that.  Unfortunately, this is happening at every Fortune 500 corporation in America.

    Edward Baxter
    SAP FI ABAP Analyst
    Chicago, IL

  • SAP has Offshored it’s software development and research to Bangalore, India:

    As a result, our cutting edge skills are no longer valuable.  The job market is polarized for SAP pros.

    Even at my current company, the majority of the SAP developers are H1-B Visas and L-1 Visas from India.  The company also offshores to India.

    However, the quality of the deliverables has degraded.  Our users are not content with all the errors in the functional configuration and code.

    We are currently spending more money to clean up the mess that they made.

    Mark Adams
    SAP Development Director

  • CNN covers the loss of the US service sector to low-wage countries like India in it’s “Exporting America” series on Lou Dobbs Tonight:

    The Massachusetts high technology sector which includes ERP such as SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle, etc. has been decimated.

    I have my MBA and can’t find a job in SAP after my last client replaced the whole department with Indians.

    Stacy Passarelli
    SAP FI/CO Functional Consultant
    Boston, MA

  • This is the mantra to justify the invasion of our country by cheap foreign imported ‘temporary workers’.  Notice that this story was submitted by a ‘Special Contributor’ – that means Public Relations. 

    I sent the following message to the editor:

    “There has never been a programmer in the history of world that got $840,000 for ANY product. Technical people never make it to that kind of salary. If this isn’t a typo, then the person referred to in the article had to come out of sales. To get a salary like that requires the ability to ‘baffle them with BS’. This is not a skill that programmers have.

    If he wasn’t a programmer, then the author of the story is mixing and matching job categories within the same story which misleads the reader.

  • Although my specialty is not SAP, I saw the side effects of the artificial shortage over the last three years when competition for my sort of IT job skyrocked as people who were obviously from other specialties got really, truly, desperate. There was and is no true shortage of any skillset or level of skill in the American IT worker population. There is definitely a war of “dirty tricks” being played on us workers. Most of it is underneath the line of sight of the “experts” who tell us not to worry. Much of it is in the trenches where the greedy bodyshops and desperate foreign workers will do and say anything to grab as many of our jobs as they can.
  • SAP professionals never made up to $840,000.

    The salary you just described was for a Partner or CIO.

    I have been in the SAP profession for over 15 years.  I started off my career in the R/2 days and transitioned into R/3.  Furthermore, I have spend 10 years as an SAP ABAP developer.

    The maximum salary that I have ever made was $70,000/year.  I am now unemployed because the industry has decided Offshore and import cheap labor from India.

    I have my BS in Computer Science and minor in Marketing.  I am willing to work for less.  I am willing to work for $10,000/year or $10/hr contract.

    Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find work in any field except McDonalds.

    Joe O’Donald

    • My question is we all are talking about it.  What we need to do is get together in the firms we represent and file a class action suit against the companies for whom we worked on reverse descrimination on the grounds of a better bottom line.

      Who is going to buy all the products made overseas if non of us have jobs or discretionary income.

      I will be in touch again in a day or two if I cannot get satisfaction in my own case.  I will speak up and I will let everyone know what it means to be desriminated against especially when it is in our own country, by the officials who we elected.

      Either they do something or they won’t have a pot to piss in, because we will all be out of a job.