Given the circumstances surrounding programming these days:
1)Outsourcing of jobs to India, China and elsewhere in the World;
3)Continuing wide range of system process methodologies used from RUP through Agile to Extreme down to Waterfall;
4)Continuing high risks of project failure: 1/4 projects will fail; nearly 50% will be over budget, over delivery date, and under full feature set compliance with more than 1 dozen severe bugs to be discovered within two weeks after delivery;
5)Continuing prospects of ill treatment by User and/or IT management – Meet the New Boss Offthe Record, Infoworld march 20th 2006 and Microsoft workers roiled by job reviews and Developer disenchantment;
is it surprising that Unions are starting to court coders – and coders are not rejecting the overtures ?
However, the biggest factor is basic wage economics. With 750 million Chinese and nearly the same number in India woefully underemployed while in both countries education, science, computing and engineering are seen as paths out of poverty, there is a great deal of talent to draw upon and keep wages low for some time to come. This is a huge pool that will be depressing wages in the technical sector until Asian wages start to approximate North American and Western European. Until then, multi-national companies will have to employ lowest cost coders, designers and engineers or risk being priced out of markets. This pool will therefore act as a moderator on wages and employment elsewhere in the developed world. Not government foreign aid, but Adam Smiths invisible business hand with the help of the Internet will bring about a massive movement of wages and earning power into Asia and Easter Europe. Thus with employers perpetually having the upperhand in wage negotiations, programmers and coders will be looking for some countervailing wage negotiation power – sounds like a natural for unions.