SPUG: Living in Seattle

Jacinta Richardson jarich at perltraining.com.au
Wed Aug 10 17:29:02 PDT 2005

Fred Morris wrote:
> My $0.02US:
> If you're H1-B, just remember that you can't talk about politics or you
> will be deported. Your employer may interpret that very liberally,
> including saying anything negative about them. Basically if you're in the
> software industry in the US on a work visa, they own you.

Not talking about politics is a very broad condition.  Where can I go to find
out more about that?  I'm not the kind of person who feels it necessary to talk
about politics in general conversation, but I could still imagine things like
that coming up.

> The government's answer to any workplace abuse is going to be to deport
> you. They don't investigate anything which isn't safety-related and in a
> construction or industrial setting even now.

I guess that makes some sense.

> May I ask one really obvious question before I go? Thanks. This is the
> software industry, right? So why do you need to work full-time in the US,
> why can't they just bring you over occasionally (or temporarily), and then
> cut you free to work from wherever you wish? It's just a rhetorical
> question, but it's worth asking and it's worth seriously pondering the
> answer you get to see if it has the ring of truth.

I suspect the answer has to do with IP laws.  This big company loves its
patents.  Wants more of them in fact.  From what I've gathered working from home
or telecommuting will probably be out of the question.  I can't say that for
sure though as I haven't actually seen any proposed conditions.

I'm not a big fan of patents in the software field.  Patents on mechanical
devices I'm cool with.  If someone spends a couple of years designing the
perfect do-whatsit and it's the first of its kind then I'm all for them
patenting it, because it's really easy for the competition to see what it does,
pull one apart even, and then make their own.  Of course if two separate
companies come up with a sufficiently similar thing independantly, then that
makes it interesting.

Software patents bother both of us, which is another thing Paul and I have to
think about carefully.

All the best,


   ("`-''-/").___..--''"`-._          |  Jacinta Richardson         |
    `6_ 6  )   `-.  (     ).`-.__.`)  |  Perl Training Australia    |
    (_Y_.)'  ._   )  `._ `. ``-..-'   |      +61 3 9354 6001        |
  _..`--'_..-_/  /--'_.' ,'           | contact at perltraining.com.au |
 (il),-''  (li),'  ((!.-'             |   www.perltraining.com.au   |

More information about the spug-list mailing list