Before the executive order limiting immigration from several countries, tech workers employed by the United States were outside the country and they stayed in touch through emails, social media, video conferencing and chat programs. Since most of the tech work was done through computers, it does not matter if the employee is inside the Google campus in Mountain View or waiting for a flight in Tehran.
There are no walls when it comes to creative intellectual work that can be done through a computer. Because of the upheaval caused by the executive order, it will become harder for tech companies to hire highly skilled foreign workers. However, the restrictions will only result into more tech workers working remotely. High paying software development jobs may move permanently to offshore companies. Eventually, big tech companies will decide to relocate to other countries that are more committed to openness.
It is inevitable that more jobs will be done overseas. For example, coding is one of the most popular jobs that are outsourced to other countries. At present, tech companies want their employees to work in the same room together because of the idea that proximity may inspire creativity. However, this is already an outdated idea that people have to work face-to-face in an overpriced office in Bay Area to create tech magic.
Some tech companies would certainly prefer to keep their teams intact than outsource the job elsewhere but there is no stopping the company if it wants to outsource the whole project. If skilled workers cannot be bought to the US, the entire company might as well be moved to another country.
This is already happening because some giant tech companies like Microsoft, Apple, Google, Facebook and Cisco have opened hubs in Canada. The success of technology depends on skill and this gives tech company’s the initiative to seek out talent no matter the nationality.
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