Don’t Bother Learning to Code

“The shotgun blast reverberated across the parking garage of Bank of America’s Concord Technology Center in the Bay Area suburb of Walnut Creek, California.

In the front seat of a pickup truck sat the lifeless body of Kevin Flanagan beside a 12-gauge Remington. Behind him were boxes of his personal effects from his office at Bank of America, where the programmer had worked for nearly a decade.

In the months leading up to his 2003 suicide, Bank of America had forced Flanagan and his colleagues to train their foreign replacements before laying them off. These transplants entered the United States on the H-1B worker visa. After months of the humiliation of having to train his replacement, a broken Flanagan climbed into his truck and shot himself in the head the day Bank of America let him go. “Kevin losing his job with Bank of America was the defining event in his decision to end his life,” said Tom Flanagan, his father”.

Vivek Paul, then vice chairman and president of Wipro Technologies, told reporters he felt confident, despite Flanagan’s suicide, that his business would outlast the outcry. “We know how this movie ends,” he sniffed. “If a decade ago we discovered that manufacturing can be done anywhere, in this decade we are learning that knowledge can be learned anywhere.”

Americans like Flanagan were just extras to be killed off in the Silicon Valley slasher film.

On September 19, 2019, reportedly after a bad performance review and driven to the edge by the corporate bullwhip, Qin Chen, an H-1B worker, jumped to his death from the fourth story of Facebook’s Menlo Park office in California. The Silicon Valley masters of the universe gazed on Chen’s body, lying 45 miles from where Flanagan ended his life nearly two decades before, and put a bloody finger to their lips.”.


But the reality is workers in these other locales lack creativity – a key ingredient in innovation. It’s not just about knowldge. It’s about creation too.

Asia has never invented anything of any significance.

Wipro and the Indian Mafia might think it can just fly its looters in, get them trained by Americans, fly them back and they’ll be America.

But it doesn’t work that way. Many great American tech companies such as Apple and Microsoft took decades to build – decades of painstaining work – 80 hours a week – and trial and error. R+D isn’t just black and white like manufacturing is.

And so far, the track record for India Inc is abysmal – countless US companies built by Americans have been destroyed by these looters.

The other mega problem here is that historically, Silicon Valley and its companies were built by Americans – including Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Facebook. Silicon Valley has no future if it is made up entirely of cheap labor wannabe replacements.

Takeover does not equal building.