Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




offshoring

http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=FT.com/StoryFT/FullStory&c=StoryFT&cid=1073280861178

"Americans who think that foreign workers are no match for US workers in knowledge, skills and creativity are mistaken," said the report by the Computer Systems Policy Project, which includes the chiefs of the leading US computer companies.

Jon G
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

All apologies, but this topic has been done to absolute death.

Dennis Forbes
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

zzzzzzzzzz

A moderator please, put us out of our misery!

uncronopio
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

What is this "offshoring" you speak of?

Huh?
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Yes, this topic has been done to death but maybe not in this particular vien.  Threads on this topic here and other places are full of that fatuous 'done better here' kind of attitude.  People that truly believe that are setting themselves up for a very rude awakening.

What is the justification for this attitude other than the color or culture of the outsourcees? Are brown or yellow people incapable of quality programming?

Sorry to drag it to a racial level, but that's what it amounts to.

bemused
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

::cough:: troll ::cough::

vince
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Justify "you can't work from home ten miles away, but I can send the project halfway around the world" and I'll listen.

Philo

Philo
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

ohhh...let me....

"Sorry to drag it to a racial level, but that's what it amounts to."

no it doesn't.

There is a perfecetly good reason for developers to be against other developers getting work that they want.

ie, they want the work.

If I want to win a contract, and you want to win a contract, then Im going to be against you winning the contract.

Its that simple.  People _justify_ that desire using all sorts of odd argumentsd, but thats what it amounts to.

FullNameRequired
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Can't we offshore all discussions about offshoring?

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

>What is the justification for this attitude other than the color or culture of the outsourcees? Are brown or yellow people incapable of quality programming?

Do you think that people who are bothered by outsourcing today would suddenly stop bothering if their work was outsourced to Russia or eastern europe instead of India or China?  Race does not enter into it....self economic interest does.

The problem is for most people once they are many years into their career find out that the experience gained over the years and sometimes the loyalty shown to the profession and company comes to naught just based on some bottom line calculated by a bean counter looking at the next quarter instead of some long term plan.

It is not that such people are themselves blameless...many  refuse to see the writing on the wall and get themselves trained on new technologies or not astute enough to have put together a nest egg when the going was good in the dot com days.

Race has nothing to do with it....survival has everything to with it....

Code Monkey
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

hahaha, stephan, thats classic.  But it won't work.  I think we all know that Americans are the best at discussing offshoring, and our indian and chinese counterparts won't do as good of job.  ::ducks:: 

(come on people, take a joke)

vince
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

There's a new angle in this thread. The story that the OP linked to reports a new PR effort by industry to try and stop complaints by people who are losing their jobs. (Of course, the people trying to stop the complaints themselves are on fortunes.)

One of the most interesting aspects to this discussion, as an Indian poster pointed out, is how come management jobs aren't getting outsourced.  India actually does produce some very good managers, including with good education and MBA's and the rest of it.

The chief executive of Infosys only gets $500,000, I think from memory.

Managers from $25,000 to $500,000 - bargain
Wednesday, January 07, 2004

You think it's not a racial issue?  So many times in threads like this somebody will make a generalization about the poor quality of code produced in India or China and it goes unchallenged.  Often people will make claims about the good quality of code from Eastern Europe, which similarly goes unchallanged.  If you outsource to another city, with poor results, do you automatically assume all programmers from that city are idiots?  Of course not.

We often relate our experiences of the idiotic programmers around us, but nobody ever makes the generalization that American programmers are bad.  How is this when when the prevailing opinion is that 80% of programmers are 'bad'?  Those very same people often claim that American programmers produce high quality code.  I don't know how these people reconcile those inconsitencies and keep a straight face.

The number of people of any given racial background, that 'make it' in any given industry reflects the number of people of that background that participate.  There are no races that are intrinsically 'better' at anything.

The generalization that the Indians and Chinese can't code, is a stupid lie swallowed by people in denial about the direction of this industry.

bemused
Thursday, January 08, 2004

bemused, you are letting your own prejudices get in the way. Lots of Indian programmers imported under H1B were mediocre or worse. Especially with bodyshoppers.

It was an established industry to put people through pathetic courses, present them as experienced, dummy up their work background in India, then farm them out. Many people including me worked with such people.

Similarly, many people examining the output of offshorers has found crumby code.

The views are not racially based, but industry based. If people were rounding up English lords and touting them as software engineers, we would be condemning the English outsourcers. Happy?


Thursday, January 08, 2004

bemused, I don't know hwere you come from, but the racism your so badly looking for doesn't exist on this board.  I've alway said 90% of all programmers are crap.  That means US programmers, indian programmers, chinese programmers...etc. 

Now stop trolling and go do something productive.

vince
Thursday, January 08, 2004

blank, you say "Lots of Indian programmers imported under H1B were mediocre or worse", that may or may not be the case.  But in my experience most programmers are mediocre period, why the need to make a distinction between them an Indian programmers?  You're no more likely to get bad code from India than Michigan.

And vince, the troll you are so badly looking for is not me.  Why does anybody that says anything you don't want to hear a troll?  I think that's just another convenient characterization people make so they can avoid thinking.

I don't think most the people claiming Indians are bad coders are racist per se. I think it's more of a lazy, unconciously racist attitude.

bemused
Thursday, January 08, 2004

ok, bemused, give an example of racism on this board.  A specific example. 

vince
Thursday, January 08, 2004

Another interesting angles in offshoring:
- the countries often associated with offshoring have single-word names.
- the countries have a different culture and their ethnic composition is different.
- the countries have a different diet. Maybe is not about race, but carnivores versus vegetarians.
- Indians are mostly non-Christian, so maybe is a religious issue.
- if you record the word offshoring and play it backwards you can hear "America is evil", I swear!

uncronopio
Thursday, January 08, 2004

Fuck you bemused, I am sick of being called a racist every time I disagree with someone, or that I voice my opinion that Americans should have jobs. If you have such a problem with racists go live with whatever people your people (whoever they are) and quit whining.

By the way how do you even know that the people posting threads about outsourcing are white? There are many many out of work US citizens who are Chinese, Korean, Indian  and every other nationality.

No, no one one this board is a racist

No No one one this board (except idiots like yourself) feel we owe India, or China or Russia or Rumania (or add you own 3rd, or 1st world hell hole) anything, and In fact most of your hellholes owe us more than you will ever admit

Yes, most of us do feel that , it would be a good thing to have jobs in America, as long as your corrupt sham democracies refuse to allow us workers  the same privilages to work as our sham democracy allows foreigners.

So please go outsource yourself to some place far far away

the artist formerly known as prince
Thursday, January 08, 2004

No bemused, it's not racial, it's cultural.  The East has been about adherence to tradition for millennia while the West is about agility and innovation.  If you want paint-by-the-numbers, cookie-cutter code, by all means, hire yourselves an Indian.  But if you want innovation, you'll need an Eastern European or an American.  Nothing racial about it!  People are products of their cultures and this has nothing to do with their genes.

anon
Thursday, January 08, 2004

I think there are brilliant indian and chinese programmers. I Just think a lot of them come to america because they know they'll do extremely well here.

vince
Thursday, January 08, 2004

wow, its amazing to see how successful a careful chosen troll can be.

<g> brings everyone who has had a bad day out of the woodwork and makes them look genuinely stupid.

Im beginning to understand the fun to be had with a 'good' troll...

FullNameRequired
Thursday, January 08, 2004

Dear artist...........,
                            Of course no one hers is a racist. It's perfectly normal to call other countries hellholes. It's perfectly normal to want American programmers to have jobs whilst Indian and Romanian programmers queue for a place in the bottom of the trawler that will take them somewhere they can get clandestine jobs emptying the trash of the great American programmer who lives off the money that other countries pay for using his software.

                          And another thing. Has nobody noticed that all these born-again rednecks who are screaming about community and protecting fellow Americans (about whom at least half the members of this forum couldn't give a shit) are the same people who think American panhandlers should be swept off the streets, that people who work at Macdonalds or Walmart are subhumans with no right to have a family, and that the minimum wage is a communist ploy to subsidize those who can't stand on their own two feet.

                          And that is apart from the fact that they have been dedicating most of their professional career making products intended to put humans (especially fellow Americans) out of work.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, January 08, 2004

---"The East has been about adherence to tradition for millennia while the West is about agility and innovation."----

Be innovative and agile. Start up a Rent-a-Platitude web site and charge for it!

Incidentally why is everyone talking about Indian and Chinese programmers. Last I knew software companies in the People's  Republid of China were about as common as hardware assembly plants in India.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, January 08, 2004

For me it isn't racial or cultural, I just think American companies are willingly handing over our lead in technology to the rest of the world which will result in our becoming a 2nd or 3rd rate economic power.

I can't help but laugh when I read the rosy forecasts about how we'll keep the high-skilled jobs here and just offshore the grunt programming.  The people writing these reports are either in denial or just plain stupid, because they never consider how the people who have the 'high-skilled' jobs get skilled in the first place.  I've been doing software development for about 10 years now professionally and I've yet to run into someone who was Architect material right out of school.  In software, you learn by doing, by starting out with the 'grunt work' programming jobs and working your way up.  By outsourcing all of these lower jobs, we're cutting off all the on-the-job training the 'high-skilled' architects get, so the next generation of architects will come out of these countries we're outsourcing to and not here.   

If that still isn't scary enough for you this keeps traveling up the ladder.  Now India, China, Russia, etc will have not only the 'grunt' jobs and the architect jobs, but they'll realize that hey, all of that management overhead in America is just holding them back, so lets just bring that on-shore.

The logical end result of current trends is total decimation of the American technology companies, and the idiots are starting us down the road willingly for short term gains.  Meanwhile, you can't pick up a newspaper whose business section doesn't mention some CEO who is getting millions per year even when the company is recording record losses.

Enjoy the coming class war!  I give it about 8-10 years to really kick off, if things continue as they are now.

Mister Fancypants
Thursday, January 08, 2004

---"Enjoy the coming class war!"---

As in High School class, yea? What are you going to do? Fry the national guard with the laser pointers for your data projectors?

I'd dispute the 8-10 years. You actually need experience doing real work before you can join the proletariat!

Stephen Jones
Thursday, January 08, 2004

"Can't we offshore all discussions about offshoring?"

We did, but we keep the meta-discussions here for QA. ;-)

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, January 08, 2004

"Are brown or yellow people incapable of quality programming?"

No. Only green and purple beings are capable of quality work. Everyone knows that.

Aktar from Potar 5
Thursday, January 08, 2004

"Has nobody noticed that all these born-again rednecks who are screaming about community and protecting fellow Americans (about whom at least half the members of this forum couldn't give a shit) are the same people who think American panhandlers should be swept off the streets, that people who work at Macdonalds or Walmart are subhumans with no right to have a family, and that the minimum wage is a communist ploy to subsidize those who can't stand on their own two feet."

Watch a lot of movies do you then?

Redneck
Thursday, January 08, 2004

I'm sorry to dissappoint you guys, but I'm not a troll.  The original poster is probably a troll, anon is very likely a troll, but not me.

Obviously this is an uncomfortable issue for some people. I'm not calling anyone bad or evil, just careless.  I am not calling people racists just to upset them, or howl them down because I disagree with them, I am merely pointing out a very real instance of thoughtless racism.

I was asked for a specific example of racism on this board, I will provide one.  Note, I am not talking about the kind of racism where people wear white hoods, here is an example of the kind of thoughtless racism I am talking about:

<quote>
By the way how do you even know that the people posting threads about outsourcing are white? There are many many out of work US citizens who are Chinese, Korean, Indian  and every other nationality.
</quote>

The above quote is loaded with racist assumptions.  Does this poster believes only white people are racist?  Where did I say anything about believing other posters to be white? I am sure this poster is not a card carrying member of the KKK, but it demonstrates the kind of deeply ingrained racist attitudes we *all* unconciously perpetuate.

Here's an example of the kind of overt racism that I am *not* talking about, from someone we probably shouldn't take seriously:

<quote>
If you want paint-by-the-numbers, cookie-cutter code, by all means, hire yourselves an Indian.  But if you want innovation, you'll need an Eastern European or an American.  Nothing racial about it!
</quote>

I hope you can all appreciate the difference and not feel unjustly insulted.

For what it's worth, I happen be against outsourcing. From a programmers perspective, I think it's stupid and self defeating.  I also think it's seriously stupid for people to twiddle their thumbs, expecting outsourced projects to fail and all the work to come flooding back, because "Indians can't code".  The people that think this will find themselves to be the dinosaurs of this industry, if they don't wake up.

I agree wholeheartedly that a community should take care of itself. You only make it harder for yourself if you allow your neighbor to fall into poverty, but people elsewhere in the world are your neighbors too.

Boy, I could write a lot about corrupt sham democracies.  Who does all this outsourcing really benefit anyway?  As industry stakeholders,  this is where our attention should focus without the distraction of wishful thinking.  Face it, you're not going to compete on 'quality' and you're not going to compete on 'price', so what are you going to do?

Anyway, this has devolved into an unproductive discussion so this will be my last reply.  It's a pity people are too reflexive in reaction to the 'R' word.

bemused
Thursday, January 08, 2004

As a redneck, I'll say that the class war is already starting. People in rural communities, especially the upcoming generation, have given up hope. There's no future for many of them and they know it.

So they turn to drugs and become violent and dangerous. Rural communities that hadn't had a single killing in decades are seeing waves of violent murders inspired by drug use. The upper middle class is often a target, the wealthy if they can get to them.

To me, I see this as the beginning of a class war. The middle class becomes teh lower class untouchables and gives up hope. they turn to drugs to numb the pain and the drugs make them crazed. They then turn on the upper class.

Rioting and cities burning to the ground is coming. This is the natural order of things when hope is taken away. Why do you think the Palestinians engage in suicide bombing? Because they have hope of a brighter future?

Redneck
Thursday, January 08, 2004


bemused, when I say significant numbers of H1B programmers were mediocre or worse, I mean they were worse than typical poor American programmers. That is, with respect to H1B's during the boom, I refute your claim that "you're no more likely to get bad code from India than Michigan." In my experience, you most certainly were.

The reason for this, as I mentioned before, is that there was an active industry pushing people through, complete with rubbish courses and fudged backgrounds. This industry was substantially associated with India, and the reason for that lies in the pay differences, the enthusiasm of poor people to conform with dodgy practices in order to work in America, and the ease with which backgrounds could be fudged.

Please note that has nothing to do with Indian people as such. I know and have very good friends who are Indian. They're great people. India also has dodgy entrepreneurs.

Uncronopio, the only relevant difference in offshoring is that the pay rates in those countries are much lower.

Stephen Jones, your allegations are offensive. I for one have never and would never condemn any worker. In fact, I haven't seen any connection between examinations of offshoring and condemnation of lowly paid workers on this board. If anything, if you do some checking, you will notice that the posters who condemn lowly paid workers are the same ones who cheer for free markets and offshoring.


Thursday, January 08, 2004

I think I'll ask you to do the checking. It would certainly be logical that the supporters of offshoring and globailization were also those against government interference and minimum wages but logic doesn't enter into it.

The people who are demanding that support be given to the home team, and the value of jobs in the community, don't even care about the fate of their fellow coders, whether White-American or Korean-American  or Martian-American. It's just that they are suddenly worried that their job might go, and all the talk they gave previously about the necessity to compete, to retrain to do what the market wants, disappears and they suddenly don the patriotic stars and stripes baseball cap.

If people "supported the home team" MS would be selling nothing outside of the US (or maybe even nothing outside of Seattle) and Hollywood stars would ba as unknown outside the United States as baseball stars are. That incidentally was what the companies were pointing out in the article that started this thread out - they were right, though I agree with you that it was for the wrong reason.

As for it being offensive to say programmers have dedicated their whole life to automating people out of jobs, would you prefer me to say that most programmers have actually contirubuted nothing to the economy, had no effect whatsoever on productivity until 1999, and their code and products has been so crappy that 90% of it has had to be junked before it ever entered production. Because you can't have it both ways.

None of the people who are whining about outsourcing and the collapse of the American nation because they can't afford to download crap to their iPod and run the second car and swimming pool, were complaining in the 80's and 90's when other members of the Middle class saw their jobs taken away by relocation or automation. And who do you think set up the communcatiions infrastructure that made outsourcing possible?

Incidentallly you're right about large numbers of Indian "programmers" having done dodgy courses, having fudged or downright invented CV's, and as little aptiitude for the job as they have inclination to collect the salary. When the houseboy spends half his salary on doing a course to become an Oracle DBA, even though he has never done more than email and word processing before, you begin to realize there's a scam on.

But I don't believe the situation was any worse than with all the HTML cowboys there were around in the dotcom boom. The difference was that the Indians weren't cool enough for web design, so, to fiit the stereotype, they graduated into hard core coders, giving the false impression that the proportion of incompetent Indians was higher than that of incompetent Americans.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, January 08, 2004


It is patently false for you to say that those campaigning against offshoring care nothing for their fellow coders, including immigrants. Many of the most vocal and most informed have backgrounds in looking after and caring for the interests of their fellows in the workplace. Many also happen to have immigrant backgrounds, including Indian.

The argument that programmers have no right to complain is a classic libertarian pro-business argument, yet you seem to position differently from that, so I don't understand why you advance that claim. In a democracy, any group losing their jobs due to the decisions of others, particularly where those others benefit from the harm inflicted on the group, is certainly entitled to campaign for change.

Arguments about productivity are bigger than this thread. Some schools put the contribution to the economy as high as 50 percent. If software and technology was so crummy, why is it used everywhere?

Again, your arguments about campaigners being excessively privileged are actually wrong, and reflect a view formed from media reports. Many people affected by offshoring are suffering hardship. Sometimes seriously so.

As to automation, it has many good effects, creates many jobs, improves learning and medical care and raised the general standard of living, benefiting everyone. Offshoring is quite a different matter.

Indian bodyshops did not and could not provide HTML writers because it required English-specific skills. Programming was more removed from management control and cultural factors, and so English facility was not so important.

It's time to move on from this type of point scoring though.


Thursday, January 08, 2004

I'm not sure about whether there are racists or not that happen to read here but as there's no 'spot a racist reader' Bayesian filter as yet its likely there are.

Mind, if I applied the 'spot a racist writer' filter I could probably find some trends.

People get upset with labels, especially if they've been doing the labelling so perhaps rather than racist the kinder epithet would be generaliser.

Simon Lucy
Thursday, January 08, 2004

'Culture' is the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes a social group.  Some cultures are conservative and value tradition above all else.  I'm sorry, you whining, politically correct pissants, but it just stands to reason that some cultures will be more adept at providing solutions to problems given certain goals and constraints.  If you want innovation, you need to go to a society that is inherently skeptical and mistrustful of any authority.  This is American culture.

It is *not* racist a racist statement.  If you're of Chinese descent, or Indian, or Eskimo, or Martian, you'll be more ready to question the assumptions handed down from on high if you were raised in this society.  You *will* be more innovative. 

anon
Thursday, January 08, 2004

Ok, I couldn't resist.

The idea that a developer educated in an Indian university in any field doesn't have an acceptable level of written english is (generally speaking, see I can be a generaliser too), silly.

Do not confuse cultural differences which obscure verbal language, accent and vocabulary with competency in written english.

If the Raj did anything it made english the lingua franca amongst a whole strata of Indian society that persists today, and not just remnants of high castes either.

Simon Lucy
Thursday, January 08, 2004

When I met a team of Indian developers that had been imported to replace a company that we outsourced to in the US, they told us that there were enough dialects in India that they would often rather speak English to each other than their native tongue because the English they spoke was much more standardized in comparison.

www.MarkTAW.com
Thursday, January 08, 2004

Here is a nice snippet written by some indian who seems to have been on both side of the fence...

http://www.ics.uci.edu/~sumitg/essays/workFrame.html

Code Monkey
Thursday, January 08, 2004

I was shocked by the red herring they tossed out about the US needing better education. There are still plenty of highly educated engineers in the US and US universities are still cranking them out at an astounding rate.

I would even guess that on an annual per capita basis, We are still generating as many degreed professionals as we have over the last century. (Although I've done no research on this...)

I think what they really want is a highly-educated, poor working-class (Similar to a few foreign countries I won't mention due to the fear of being called racist). This will help drive IT wages even lower and then they can do the offshoring right here at home without all the logistical issues.

Andy in Austin
Thursday, January 08, 2004

And a very very pertinent article about this issue in the San Jose Mercury News...

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/business/7659988.htm

Code Monkey
Thursday, January 08, 2004

That blog entry about the differences between working in India and America is pretty useless in much the same way that report comparing Open Source to Closed Source software (cited previously on these forums) was.  He seems to be mistaking his experiences at ONE American company as the 'American way'. 

Examples:

"The Indian work environment is like the culture of India; if you have to discuss (or interface with) some work a colleague is doing, you go over to his cubicle and thrash it out. US culture and therefore, US work environment is IMHO a bit more formal. Usually, people prefer to call a meeting, which may include people with peripheral interest in the subject."

Maybe at some companies.  Not the ones I've worked for (in America), where informal cubicle discussions have been the norm.

"In general, the office environment is colder and more impersonal in the US. It is uncommon for people to hang out and just talk."

Huh?  Not in my experience.  At most of the places I've worked it was common for people to hang out and just talk, both at work, during lunches, beers after work, etc.

"The American work environment is very professional and will almost never allow things such as nepotism or favoritism. "

I don't even know what to say to that one.  Needless to say, I disagree.

There are many other places where his statements do not meet up (at all) with my experiences working in America.  Obviously I can't comment on his observations about working in Indian since I never have.

Mister Fancypants
Thursday, January 08, 2004

>There are still plenty of highly educated engineers in the US and US universities are still cranking them out at an astounding rate.

Bzzzz....wrong answer.  Here are some real statistics

United States

    * Bachelor degrees in engineering in 2001 were 65,195, down from 71,386 in 1988, an 8.6 percent drop. (2)
    * For the same time period, electrical engineering degrees declined 47 percent, from 24,367 to 12,929. (2)
    * Only 18 percent of American high school students were proficient in science in 2000. (1)
    * Approximately 25 percent of all freshmen engineering students need remedial math. (1)
    * Last year, 46 percent of Chinese students graduated with engineering degrees. In the US, that number was 5 percent. (1)
    * Europe graduates three times as many engineering students as the US, Asia five times as many. (1)
    * Less than two percent of U.S. high school graduates will earn an engineering degree. (1)
    * In 2001, almost 60 percent of those receiving Ph.D.s in Electrical Engineering were foreign born. (2)
    * Among the more than 1.1 million seniors in the class of 2002 who took the ACT Assessment college entrance exam, fewer than 6 percent planned to study engineering, down from 9 percent in 1992. (11)
    * Even in the current economy, the unemployment rate for electrical engineers was 4.0 percent at the end of the third quarter 2002, below the national average. (3)
    * Of those who enter engineering school, fewer than 40 percent complete the degree programs. (1)
    * In a 2001 winter salary survey, electrical engineering BSEE graduates had an average starting salary of $50,850, with offers for hardware design positions starting at $55,000 and higher. (4)
    * Less than 15 percent of U.S. students have the math and science prerequisites to participate in the new global high-tech economy. (1)
    * In the US, more students are getting degrees in “parks and recreation” than in electrical engineering. (6)
    * US high school students who only complete Algebra 2 have a 40 percent chance of receiving a bachelor’s degree. The likelihood of receiving a bachelor’s jumps to 74 percent with the successful completion of pre-Calculus. (10)

Nah...I did not make this up. See  http://www.ti.com/corp/docs/press/company/2003/c03033.shtml

Code Monkey
Thursday, January 08, 2004

Dear Stephan

Thank you for reading only those parts of my post which appealed to your sense of guilt over something you or your family did.

As for me, it would be hard for me to be a redneck since I was born in Lithuania, and live in San Francisco. I can assure however Steve that people in Lithuania, as well as India, Rumania, and every other  country we outsource to, that they like to have jobs in there country too, see wanting to be employed is kind of a universal thing, And I don't believe anyone in any country should be ashamed of that. liberal idiots like you who confuse self interest with racism (and please understand that there are smart liberals, you just aren't one of them) really piss me off.

the artist formerly known as prince
Thursday, January 08, 2004

Redneck

Not true for me, I think what Walmart and McDonalds do is bullshitt

the artist formerly known as prince
Thursday, January 08, 2004

"As a redneck, I'll say that the class war is already starting. People in rural communities, especially the upcoming generation, have given up hope. There's no future for many of them and they know it.

So they turn to drugs and become violent and dangerous. Rural communities that hadn't had a single killing in decades are seeing waves of violent murders inspired by drug use. The upper middle class is often a target, the wealthy if they can get to them."

As someone who grew up on the edge of nowhere, and visits for a couple weeks every year, the idea of a class war is ridiculous. Sure there are few job prospects in rural north dakota, but you can also buy a house for $10,000. You can buy a DVD player at wal mart for $39.99. Drugs are on the rise, but it is hard to work a community into a riotous frenzy when everyone can go home to their double wide at night and watch sex in the city reruns like everyone else. 

...
Thursday, January 08, 2004

Actually, I don't think that quality is necessarily different between the US and outsourcing countries.

The problem is really the plug-interchangable-engineer fallicy.  If you don't really care about your programmers, try to think of them as little interchangable identical cogs in the macine, and try to get them for as little money as possible, then you will hire crappy programmers, probably from a body shop, and probably from India.

If you actually care about programmers, you will hire ace programmers wherever they are.  You will probably put them wherever they can be happy and do their jobs well.  You will probably hire locals at least some of the time.  And you aren't going to fire somebody who's doing a good job just because you might be able to find somebody cheaper in India.

Thus, the market forces are not encouraging India to have quality engineers.  Most of the really good programmers there are either doing things other than working at a body-shop or have already moved over to the US.

Flamebait Sr.
Thursday, January 08, 2004

posted by anon:

"... it just stands to reason that some cultures will be more adept at providing solutions to problems given certain goals and constraints.  If you want innovation, you need to go to a society that is inherently skeptical and mistrustful of any authority.  This is American culture."

People pull this line out all the time.  Does it make you feel warm and fuzzy knowing that because you're an American, you must be inherently smarter?  There's plenty of thoughtless sheep in America and plenty of repression (see evolution).  There's also plenty of historical examples of people innovating in repressive environments. You're kidding yourself if you think Americans are smarter or more creative than other cultures.

It seems to me most people everywhere are pretty unimaginitive. Most creativity comes from a relative handful of people, usually on the fringe of the culture they belong to anyway.

getting tired of this
Thursday, January 08, 2004

Simon Lucy, I know Indian people have good English. However it was not generally good enough for the HTML writing jobs, which require a high level of cultural facility. By the way, it was not me who made this judgement, but the people who hire HTML writers.


Thursday, January 08, 2004

-----"However it was not generally good enough for the HTML writing jobs, which require a high level of cultural facility"----

What the hell are you talking about and what the hell is "a high level of cultural facility" and what the hell is an HTML writer?

I presume you're referring to content providers who are journaliists or writers, not programmers. You don't need a major in creative writing to produce a di v tag.

And I always thought most "web designers" were hired because they looked cool.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, January 08, 2004

All of the Indian H1Bs I knew who had good enough English skills to do web page work were much too talented to waste on web page work.

Richard P
Thursday, January 08, 2004

I couldn't care less why Indian bodyshopping didn't prosper in HTML and Web land, but it didn't. To get the answer to this question, go ask the cool dudes who were in charge of HTML.


Thursday, January 08, 2004

Yes entirely blank space, I know not whereof you are talking.

There's a universe of difference between creating web pages and creating the content to go on them.  Considering the average poor spelling, confusing grammar and tendency to use buzz words on many american web sites (you do realise the rest of the world creates such things as well, I imagine), requiring a high cultural education (whatever that might be), would seem no longer to be a requirement in the present cycle.

Simon Lucy
Friday, January 09, 2004

Simon, why do you presume I'm from America? I'm not.

Commenting on the quality of web sites is not relevant to this point - that Indian H1B's were not hired in droves to participate in HTML writing, whereas they were for programming.

In any case, you're wrong. The quality of professional web sites is now generally very high in cultural terms, and is equivalent to the standards in equivalent print media. That type of work requires deep familiarity with the relevant cultures.


Saturday, January 10, 2004

American economy exports more than one third of its output in services, manufacturing and what not to other parts of the world. This in value terms is much more than the GDP of most countries of the world except the top five or six.

What is that you get from this stat. The world feeds america. If you are paid 100 dollars 33 dollars is paid by the third world.

It is so simple, the US needs the other countries to thrive and make a living, and so is the case vice versa.

Wake up to reality, it is a competitive world. If US wants the jobs to stay in US, innovate find ways to make it as good and cheap as it is in India or China.

If i get a good quality stuff near my  house, would i go all the way to Beirut to buy stuff.

Eternal Optimist
Wednesday, January 14, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home