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In Defence of Outsourcing

This is a thoughtful and well-written article on this emotive subject:

http://comment.zdnet.co.uk/0,39020505,39119248,00.htm

David B. Wildgoose
Thursday, January 22, 2004

If management made thoughtful decisions I don't think anyone would be so worried. As it is, decisions of this type are too often made by people whose only concern is the stock price.


Thursday, January 22, 2004

"emotive subject" is just about right. And getting a bit emotional about it: talking about the "big picture" and how its going to help in the long run and generate new jobs etc. etc. is all very fine and (maybe) correct. But how do you explain this stuff to a guy who's just got laid off and is now worried about how (s)he's going to support his/her family and pay off the loans/mortgages ....

No I don't mean this to be a troll or to be taken up as a flamebait. Its just something that I mull about sometimes. Don't such articles totally ignore the "human" angle?

PS: I noticed that this guy talks only about programming/software tasks. He doesn't talk about other job areas like call centers or Medical Transcriptions etc. Just an observation...

T-90
Thursday, January 22, 2004

Maybe I need some fresh air!! :)

T-90
Thursday, January 22, 2004

Call Centre jobs are a big deal here in the UK right now.  So much so, that a number of major companies (Nationwide, Royal Bank of Scotland and the Alliance & Leicester) have made public announcements that they will *not* outsource such jobs.  Much approval, and no doubt more business.  (I already have accounts with Nationwide and RBOS).

Contrast this with the opprobrium heaped on Norwich Union, et al, and doubtless a corresponding reduction in business.  (I know I'm not interested in giving them any more).

The bottom line is that whatever hits these businesses on the bottom line will decide their actions.  The best way to influence their decisions is by giving our business to those companies we consider ethical.  Persuasion rather than coercion.  Always the best way.

David B. Wildgoose
Thursday, January 22, 2004

My experience of Call centres is that you never get througn anyway, so the quesion of their location is moot.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, January 22, 2004

Good article!

Everytime an outsourcing debate gets started, I'm always reminded of "Who Moved My Cheese?".


Thursday, January 22, 2004

Um, who cares if there are no more call center jobs?  They can all go work for McDonald's.  You don't study for nine years of your life to get MS Math & MS CS to work in a call center.  They are irrelevant to the conversation.  What interests me is what people who have devoted their lives to CS are going to do. 888

anon
Thursday, January 22, 2004

Customers care about the call center jobs.  They don't like to speak to people whose language/accents make them difficult to communicate with, nor to people who don't understand the products or services well enough to solve problems quickly.

--
Thursday, January 22, 2004

"But how do you explain this stuff to a guy who's just got laid off and is now worried about how (s)he's going to support his/her family and pay off the loans/mortgages ...."

Well, the article does make a couple of suggestions for Western programmers facing the overseas outsourcing challenge.  In a nutshell, develop your people skills as someone in Bangalore can't interact face to face with a customer.  Your advantage is you can sit down with people to develop requirements and system design, respond immediately to requests, and share culture and probably the same accent with the people who are paying you.

So you need to leverage those things if you want to stay employed as a Western software developer these days.

Jim Rankin
Thursday, January 22, 2004

Well-well look. I already told you: I deal with the god damn customers so the engineers don't have to. I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?

Tom Smykowski
Thursday, January 22, 2004

The problem with call centers is that they don't hire enough second and third level people who know how to actually solve problems that aren't in the call center's trouble shooting manual.

If I call the DSL company's line I get someone who's probably in India. If they had their call center in Fremont, CA, the person would have the same accent, culture, so this doesn't really matter.  What does matter is that they don't know anything, aren't trained enough, and there aren't enough higher level people who actually do know something.

pdq
Thursday, January 22, 2004

Law pay, high stress dead-end coll center jobs will stay in thee west. The high pay, high prestige development jobs will go over seas. This is a good thing because it will result in more free and open source software for everyone. India should continue to invest in high tech and the US will continue shipping $1Billion in free food aid to India to feed their poor.

Analyst
Thursday, January 22, 2004

Oh dear, you go away for a few weeks and when you check back there's an imposter.  Analyst above is not analyst, who would never defend offshoring or open source.

analyst
Friday, January 23, 2004

Will the real analyst please stand up? Maybe 'Analyst' is from a parallel Earth in an alternate reality?

Jay Garrick
Friday, January 23, 2004

can someone give me any ideas on how to ethically and culturally defend outsourcing to india, and conversely argue ethically and culturally against outsourcing to india?

Manjit Sidhu
Tuesday, March 02, 2004

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