It seems that there is a class action lawsuit involving something like 64,000 engineers and software developers in my old neighborhood of Silicon Valley (San Fransisco Bay Area) that alleges that there has been a collusion between the heads of such companies like Apple, Intel, Google, and Adobe to not ‘poach’ each others technical talent.

The New York Times article can be read here – http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/01/technology/engineers-allege-hiring-collusion-in-silicon-valley.html?hpw&rref=technology

According to the EETimes – http://www.eetimes.com/document.asp?doc_id=1321247 – “The DoJ settled the 2010 case; the companies agreed to end the practices, but the deal still allowed engineers to sue for damages”. Which is what is happening now.

So if I am reading this right then it appears there has been a huge restriction placed both secretly and most involuntarily on the career mobility of these professionals employed at  those companies especially from 2005 – 2009.

I was literally adding my last period to my comment to the article when the comments section abruptly closed. So I thought I’d publish it here:

I worked as an electrical engineer for Intel from 1989 – 1999 so it appears that my tenure of employment predates this no-poaching agreement; but the very idea of this happening today doesn’t surprise me.

I have also been following this thread of the engineer as a ‘well paid villain’ (concerning the San Francisco Bay Area real estate market) and it is here that I would like to weigh in with my comment.

I began my career as an electrical engineer after graduating from university in Texas back in the ’80s, before the PC and internet boom. I was attracted to the field of engineering because I wanted to know how the world worked and I wanted to build beautiful things. Engineering used to be such an elegant profession. But no more. Engineers can’t seem to get a break these days. They are being squeezed by their own management, job outsourced, and now made out to be over-paid villains.

I dropped out two years ago and went from working in the defense industry in Washington, DC to making leather sandals in Mexico. My pay as you can imagine is much (much) lower but the job satisfaction is incomparable.

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