Firstly, defining the 7 Year Itch. Many IT professionals who have grown in a service firm, especially those with an extended experience working on hot technologies in more than a few projects feel the need to explore the grass-on-the-other side. These Tech-lead/Junior-Architect level folks are also backbones of successful IT sourcing projects, and are much in demand.
What do I do? I turn to sub-contractors in the local market. The sub-con has a database of Websphere professionals working for other tier-1outsourcing and offshoring firms - possibly my competetors. These also happen to be folks either going through a 7-Year-Itch at their firm, are looking for a subcon to sponsor their immigrant visa or simply an opportunity to make a few dollars more as an IT contractor.
There are a few interesting market forces coming together here, something that the body-shops are looking to capitalize on.
- Sluggish global economy with continued outsourcing. Sluggish global economy means most companies either have a hiring freeze or a slowdown in hiring. The slowdown in hiring does not always mean a corresponding freeze in the technology initiatives, which translates to an opportunity for sourcing vendors.
- Let the big dogs fight over the slice of the same pie. A client may decide to award an eCommerce project to a Vendor A and a SAP upgrade program to Vendor B. Vendor A scrambles to put together a team of Managers, Architects, Tech Leads and Developers proficient in eCommerce technologies. Vendor B likewise does it for the SAP program. Just like organizations realize they can easily interchange and deploy resources across client programs, the ‘resources’ realize they can switch employers and continue to work on same technologies.
- Fewer Work Visas: Not wishing to go against political headwinds, service companies are applying for fewer work visas. Even the few applications are going through additional scrutiny by immigration officials, which means one thing: fewer experienced IT professionals available in any geography.