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Industrial Estates in India Make Programmers Think Twice About Coming to the USA

Monday's New York Times suggests that newly constructed industrial estates in India give qualified programmers a high quality-of-life without the effort and difficulty of getting a job in the United States. This article is interesting, but it leaves out a few dimensions of the decision Indians typically make when they come to the United States or Europe to work in IT. One obvious irreplaceable element of a job in the United States is the opportunity to have the complete cultural experience of living here, as opposed to the creature comforts of living and working in a modern environment.

Indians who come to the United States on H1-B visas seem to get a lot out of living and working here, in spite of the fact that many of them return to India on extended vacations periodically, or to take managerial jobs with the companies for which they work. Either way, it's hard to believe that the Indians who return to their country don't tell their friends that life in the United States is a great opportunity.

Another issue the article doesn't address is the job placement process in the United States. Many Indians come to the United States as employees of Indian technical services firms, and have pre-negotiated contract positions at Fortune 500 companies. So, the risk of coming to the United States and finding a job is not as great as it might seem.

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