WTF #12: In the Belly of the Beast

WTF #12: In the Belly of the Beast

That beast being China, the one that’s devouring all the jobs from the West. For the past two weeks, I’ve witnessed my team of chip designers at work, both analog and digital. I must say, they’re really good for their experience level. Companies similar to ours continue to expand operations in China. And we’re not hiring technologist either. These are real engineers with real engineering experience with some of the big names in the industry — Intel, Broadcom, Analog Devices, etc.

What most multinationals tend to do is to see their Chinese (and Indian) engineers as mere supporting casts for their team of engineers in their home base, be it North America, Europe, or other parts of Asia (Japan/Korea/Taiwan). The Chinese engineers simply don’t have the same depth of experience when compared with developed nations. Hence, they simply cannot take on as much. But over time, as Chinese engineers gain more experience and insight into the latest technologies, they are no longer content being second class engineers. They too have career aspirations and want growth in their chosen fields. In fact, some of my staff have told me outright that their wish is for HQ to assign them more challenging tasks. Why wouldn’t they? No one likes to eat someone else’s leftovers.

This trend is simply too powerful to reverse. The beast will continue to devour jobs, first eating those cold and crappy leftovers, but soon enough, it’ll be feasting on the main meal.

Speaking of eating, having now spent two weeks in China and three weeks away from home, I can say I pretty sick of living in a hotel and eating out. My all-you-can-eat ways when traveling on business has given way to heeding Chris’s advice — Eat Healthy. Being the new guy in town, I’ve been taken out to numerous lunches and dinners. Sometimes, I don’t even know what I’m eating. I’m pretty sure there were pig intestines and lungs in one meal and bullfrogs in another. Thus, I was really tempted today to fall back to something a bit more familiar. In fact, I walked by this in a mall today and snapped this photo (Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, Pizza Hut):

If China is stealing engineering jobs from the US, at least the US is exporting its culinary expertise to China. That’s got to be some kind of solace, isn’t it?


What The Flux is a semi-regular weekendish feature on EngineeringBlogs.org that follows the follies and jollies of an engineer in industry, yours truly.

4 comments

Great post. I’d like to hear more about your team’s (and the overall Engineering community there) knowledge and professional aspirations.

Hopefully as time goes on they demand increasingly higher salaries as well… Western diets aren’t cheap after all!

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