Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Outsourcing - the milk of human kindness

It reads like a sop for any residual guilt of IT directors who read this magazine: 

http://www.optimizemag.com/issue/027/ednote.htm

What think?

Disgruntled
Sunday, January 18, 2004

A synopsis of this article would be as follows :
"IT meet Free-Market"

Smitty
Sunday, January 18, 2004

I was pretty disgruntled myself, but you get over it. You really have to move past this stuff otherwise you spend the rest of your life on this one hang up. Move on, move up, learn.

m
Sunday, January 18, 2004

Ah, so outsourcing makes companies more agile, now.  That's a new one by me.  I can't imagine anything that makes a business more agile, than being spread out all over the Earth.

no_globalization_yet
Sunday, January 18, 2004

I think this magazine should be printed in Hindi only, or for those who take the oath to serve and protect the consitution of India.

Then again, like the other guy said, you've just got to get past the fact that jobs will have the rod stuck up them as far as it can go.

Brian R.
Sunday, January 18, 2004

I wonder what this guy would think if suddenly all magazine editors were outsourced to India.

Mitch & Murray (from downtown)
Sunday, January 18, 2004

... "completely understands the underlying need for companies to consider alternatives, like outsourcing, that help them remain competitive in a global market"

Bzzzzt.  Wrong!

Through incessent media coverage laced with corporate spin, ordinary people are bullied into thinking that their profit is less important than someone else's profit.  People are made to feel selfish and guilty about wanting a stable job on a stable career path.  As long as common people allow self interested corporations to set 'the rules', they will continue to be screwed.  We should set the parameters in which corporations operate, not the other way around.

refactor your attitude
Sunday, January 18, 2004

"The CXOs making the outsourcing decisions must concentrate on the innovation angle: How will an outsourcing initiative help the company tap into intellectual capital, new markets, and diverse cultures that can advance the business' core competencies? Can outsourcing make the company more agile and able to pounce on new business opportunities?"

What the hell has this guy been smoking? Has anyone here ever heard *any* reason for outsourcing other than "it's cheaper"? (I mean, apart from the silly rationalized ones that are obvious lies [grin])

"Intellectual capital"? There's plenty in the US
"New markets"? I don't believe that many, if any, of the outsourcing companies plan to use "our HR system was written in Bangalore" as advertising for their services in India.
"Diverse cultures"? What country is he living in? Because if he's in the US he needs to get out of his neighborhood more. Within 50 miles from my house I can find neighborhoods that speak spanish, chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), german, russian, urdu, arabic, etc, etc, etc. Of all the BS reasons to outsource from the US, "diverse cultures" is the biggest pile of bull I've heard.
And by the way, how exactly does a business leverage those "diverse cultures" when they're all twelve thousand miles away?

Seriously, what's this guy's deal? Is he a corporate shill or a liberal dreammonger?

And to repeat my stance on the issue - outsourcing is about saving money. You're not going to do it successfully until you learn to write requirements and specifications (but if outsourcing teaches 1/4 the managers in the US the importance of that, I'm all for it!). And I still won't support outsourcing projects halfway around the world until you support letting your employees work from home ten miles away.

Philo

Philo
Sunday, January 18, 2004

Shameless toady enough said

the artist formerly known as prince
Sunday, January 18, 2004

What's real sad for me is that my dad was saying was last night "if not for India where would we be".  I was speechless, I can't think of a time when I corrected my father.  This was after I had only mentioned the phrase of jobs going overseas.

OTH, my step-father basically thinks anyone who complains is a self-interested whiner, and doesn't know how good they have it, whilst at the same time, that person is also an underachiever, and "unemployable".

The media has dumbed down the average citizen; it's a tragedy in itself.  People who otherwise may strike you as being reasonably intelligent.

Brian R.
Sunday, January 18, 2004

"And I still won't support outsourcing projects halfway around the world until you support letting your employees work from home ten miles away"

Ah, but you see, that would actually display an acumen for managing IT operations, versus managing "labor."  The former implies actual people skills, which requires a seriously-competent management team; the latter requires only an MBA.

no_globalization_yet
Sunday, January 18, 2004

"I wonder what this guy would think if suddenly all magazine editors were outsourced to India."

Oh I bet you would hear a different tune from Mr. Gillooly.  He'd be all up in arms about what a travesty it would be to the profession of journalism to outsource and how necessary it was for integrity of journalism for it to stay in the united states (we just couldn't trust those foriegners with the news).  I'd bet he'd rally his fellow journalists for government action against this hideous evil against humanity.

Smitty
Sunday, January 18, 2004

Nope, he said:
"Jobs are not and never were an entitlement; all professions, ***including my own***, are a choice. Staying relevant in one's job requires foresight, planning, and training. If the job you chose can be done better or less expensively by someone else, be prepared to advance your skills or consider a new profession."
[emphasis added]

And I believe him. Really I do.

Philo

Philo
Sunday, January 18, 2004

"We should set the parameters in which corporations operate, not the other way around."

Or start ypur own corporation.

doobius
Monday, January 19, 2004

"I wonder what this guy would think if suddenly all magazine editors were outsourced to India."

Maybe that was the question industry workers asked themselves when IT people didn't care that their job went abroad.

I understand why people are afraid, but really there are to many topics on outsourcing in this forum. Also, as developers, we've built a lot of systems that were used by companies to shrink their workforce. The constant whining about outsourcing is really tiring.

And if Indians are stealing your jobs, by the same logic you must have stolen them to someone in the first place? I'm not saying it's ok or it's just, but bitterness is the solution to noting.

gunga
Monday, January 19, 2004

"And if Indians are stealing your jobs, by the same logic you must have stolen them to someone in the first place?"

I'm afraid your logic broke down somewhere in that sentence.  Stealing something doesn't require the item to have been stoled in the first place.  Duh!

David Schnebly
Monday, January 19, 2004

I have no problem competing with Indian (or other) programmers.  One World, One Human Race, and ultimately One Market.

I just want a fair set of rules that apply to everyone equally.  That means an end to outrageous subsidies like the EU Common Agricultural Policy or its US equivalent that dumps subsidised food on World Markets, depressing prices and making it impossible for the World's poorest to compete.

And that includes outsourcing as well.

Realistically, our living standards are going to remain static whilst those in India, etc. will rise.

And at some point, we will have a reverse in the outsourcing flow.

Or at least it will reverse if it is allowed.

But judging by the one-sided Visa programmes that allow non-UK (or non-US, etc.) workers to work here, but that forbid the reverse, I have my doubts.

As I understand it, non-Indian programmers will not be granted a Visa if there is anyone with the same skills to be found in India.  Considering that's one sixth of the World's population, that is a de facto veto on Visas for non-Indians.

And until there's a proper balance, I have problems.

The fairest solution is to forbid outsourcing for any projects paid for by governments out of general taxation, but allow free reign for private interests.

David B. Wildgoose
Monday, January 19, 2004

Actually, I hear India has relaxed some its restrictions for foreigners to get work Visas.

Now, if I only I could learn Hindi and Gujurati, I'd be set!

SG
Monday, January 19, 2004

I'm a libertarian, and, as such, I believe in free markets, but what my fellow free-marketeers seem to be omitting from their analyses is the fact that there is real value in having a business in the US.  First off, you get the luxury of having the strongest military in the world defending you.  How much is that worth?  You get perhaps the most modern infrastructure in the world.  What about the value on that?  These things, among many others, are provided for businesses at great expense to the American citizen, and when Carl Fiorina (a.k.a. the whore of Bangalore) decides that Americans are whiners and pests because they expect something back for their onerous tax burden, I - with only a touch of sarcasm - suggest we ship her ass the heck out of this country, and allow her make it without the insane corporate welfare of the US.

anon
Monday, January 19, 2004

"Staying relevant in one's job requires foresight, planning, and training"

He left out becoming dirt cheap.


Monday, January 19, 2004

"Now, if I only I could learn Hindi and Gujurati, I'd be set!"

- You shouldn't need to.  English is one of the official languages of India, and is thus an "Indian" language.  The same thing that enables Indians to compete so well for jobs in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. is the same thing that *should* allow the reverse.

David B. Wildgoose
Monday, January 19, 2004

A company ought to be able to hire whoever they want and get their work done wherever they want and let the marketplace reward that company or not.  Personally I think the outsourcing and hiring of foreigners is done more because of the morons in charge than for any other real reason.  Nutshell.

Me
Monday, January 19, 2004

"A company ought to be able to hire whoever they want and get their work done wherever they want "


I used to think the same thing.  Then in 7th grade I read "The Jungle". 


Monday, January 19, 2004

I wonder if he'll write a piece on how easily an editorial position could be outsourced.  As far as my former bosses go, by far the best writer with the greatest command over the English language was a well-educated scholar from Sri Lanka.

no soup for you
Tuesday, January 20, 2004


void CCorporation::Operate()
{
  CActionIterator actionIterator;
  CAction* pAction;
  while((pAction = actionIterator.Next())!=NULL)
      if (pAction->IncreasesRevenue( ))
          if (CCorporation::CanGetAwayWith(pAction))
              CCorporation::Do(pAction);
}

The Machine
Tuesday, January 20, 2004

"I wonder what this guy would think if suddenly all magazine editors were outsourced to India."

It wouldn't even have to go that far. If the media companies even thought about importing lots of cheap journalists to reduce the salaries of journalists, let alone editors, there would be a strike tomorrow and the media companies would lose millions every hour.

That is why it never happens, and those jobs are never offshored, and why Mr Gilooly or whatever his name is sits comfotably and writes about things he does not comprehend.

Working journalist
Friday, January 23, 2004

> English is one of the official languages of India...  The same thing that enables Indians to compete so well for jobs in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand should allow the reverse.

No, that's not how it works. India does not allow Westerners to accept jobs with Indian firms in India in the same way Western nations let Indians work in the West.


Friday, January 23, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home