The Fruits of the “Dot Com”: the Migration and Integration Processes of Colombian and Puerto Rican Software Engineers in the United States

Lina Rincon, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)

This paper compares the strategies Colombian and Puerto Rican software engineers that migrated to the United States during the “dot com boom” used to negotiate their incorporation to American society. During the “dot com boom” (late 1990s), governmental funding and the investment of venture capitalists contributed to the research and development of Internet and computer technologies in the military and financial industries in the United States. Based on sixty in-depth interviews with Colombian and Puerto Rican engineers employed by IT companies in the American Northeast, this research shows that these migrants negotiate the opportunities and constraints of their incorporation to American society by displaying and enacting forms of identity that support discourses of national and/or global citizenship. In addition, the paper examines the push and pull factors motivating the migration of these groups of professionals, as well as the recruitment mechanisms used by information technologies companies in these territories.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Migration and Urbanization; Population, Development and the Environment