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US needs computer game programmers

Thu, 2006-07-27 01:46 PM
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The next generation of computer games is always under development. With advances in computing technology, exciting opportunities exist for spectacular gaming experiences on state-of-the art computers. And, the United States has been the world leader in cutting edge games. Always.

Now there is (and has been) a "Game Developers Wanted" sign hanging on the industries door. There aren't enough programmers and creative artists to develop the game market to its full potential, according to industry lobbyists. Positions are going unfilled. Extremely specialized and high-paid positions.

Increasingly, development of all software is an international effort. People from the entire world contribute to a project over the Internet. Not only do people work from their home country and send work to a coordinating company, but there is a need for the programmers and developers to physically meet and interact with each other.

The IT industry has been lobbying the U.S. Congress strongly for several years now. Ever since the H-1B visa caps were lowered to 65,000 annually, they have complained that the U.S. does not produce enough programmers and specialists to fill the need. They also argue that hiring people from around the world keeps the specialty skills in the U.S., thereby lowering the potential competition from outside the country.

Congress even allows a 20,000 'cap extension' by exempting certain specialties from the 65,000 cap on H-1B's. A total of 85,000 H-1B's are taken every year currently, in record time this year.

Meanwhile, the software, and especially the gaming segment, industry is experiencing what has been called a "hiring frenzy." The competition is intense to get the best developers to create the new generation of games and applications. The winner in this race stands to make profits measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars, even the billions.