To the guy (or the girl) with an H1-B, says Jack Baruth:
[T]he fact that you helped design the Cisco PIX or build the first generation of AT&T’s prepaid-phone infrastructure counts for precisely nothing. All the tough jobs in technology have, by and large, been done. Everything from TCP/IP to SSL has been invented, refined, put into stasis. The hockey-stick acceleration of technology has become a featureless plain where processors from a decade ago work just about as well as the new stuff and the Web browser is the sole interface to everything. The Chinese do the hardware work. Google and Microsoft do the software two thousand miles away. What’s left is mostly janitorial: Windows server maintenance. Coding applications that are designed to be disposable and forgettable. Third-level support that used to be considered first-level support before the first two levels were sent overseas to be operated by people who had never owned a computer themselves and rely on a script to tell someone how to put a new hard drive in a PC.
Our own home-grown applications at the shop may indeed be forgettable, but this is due mainly to the fact that most of them were first coded in the 1980s and updating them to this century will actually take until next century, so I’m not worried. Much.