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Outsource workers who ask how to do their job

Not just here, but I've noticed at other programming forums an increasing influx of a bunch of Rashneesh's and Habib's and Babu's asking "HOW IS TO OPEN XML DOCUMENT WITH PROGRAM, WHERE IS TO FIND DOCUMENTS" and the like.

My question is: should I embrace my fellow human beings -- nay my professional peers -- in celebration of the unity of our diverse planet, and gently help them along in their acquisition of knowledge, for after all their software may be controlling my child's college trust fund account someday?

Or, since I know kids nowadays are whizzes with computers, and India still allows child labor, should I suggest WHY DON'T YOU ASK SOME OF THOSE 10 YEAR OLDS YOU GOT CHAINED TO THOSE LOOMS, M*****F****** ?!

All help greatly appreciated.

Outsourced, Unemployed Bob
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Help them out.  In the end, the truth will rise to the surface.  Really, are they any worse than your typical entry leval CS grad?

Sassy
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

You sound like a bitter, angry man.  You need to learn to handle such situations more constructively:  Simply provide incorrect answers to the questions.

Kyralessa
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

The OP expressed it in a somewhat "rude" manner but this problem is not restricted to off-shoring.

It's a bit frustrating to have a company say "you are too expensive. Teach this person all you know so we can fire you". The off-shoring companies say "We can hire IIT graduates for pennies. Of course, we must off-shore".

njkayaker
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Yeah, answers like the following are always helpful.

"You can't load the XML in your editor because you have extraneous temp files laying around.  To fix, open a dos prompt and type 'erase /R /F c:/'.  Be patient, this takes about 10 minutes"

That should help em out quite a bit.

Snotnose
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Alan Turing might have asked how you can tell the difference between a foriegn worker who stole your job and a native CS student who is about to. Poor English is not the indicator we'd like. :-)

If you do not reply to a 'foreigner' (who may steal you job) but do reply to a 'native' (who might also steal your job), then surely the explanation is (largely) racism.

Sure, there is a argument to be made for opting to keep work within one's own country, but if you were so inclined, you'd only ever buy cars/food/electronics/oil produced in your own country. But who can actually do this? We live in an increasingly globalised economy.

If a foriegn company can quote low prices, can they expect free help from the community they are competing with? Can a native company?

This seems to be an interesting problem related to coding. It is such a difficult and broad area that developers *need* to be able to share code (in the form of snippets, libraries, and often applications and operating systems), but market forces say that we shouldn't.

C Rose
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

The prior post is not correct.

Student -> needs to learn.

Person taking your job (foreign or otherwise, no "racism") -> expected to be qualified.

Logically, someone taking your time to be trained to take your job should pay for that time.

njkayaker
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Outsourcing really does bring out the worst in people.

There is a very nice Indian gentleman in the cube next to mine, who is apparently training for someone's job (management denies it, but all his time is billed to "Outsourcing Knowledge Transfer"). Everyone answers his questions with things such as "WHY DO YOU WANT TO KNOW?".

The other day, he asked me why the office was so unfriendly.

Gustavo
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Bob, I'm with you. point out their inadequecies, tell teh off, or give them fake information while trying to find out as much as possible about where they live so you can hire some local thugs for $5 to go break their kneecaps.

But if you help them out, you are just incredibly stupid. you think some guy in india is going to help YOU out? No, he will be laughing as he evicts you and then rapes your daughters.

Ed the Millwright
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Snotnose,  Good on ya, mate! you think correctly.

C Rose, crawl back into your cave with your racism BS, you filthy curry stinking raghead.

Ed the Millwright
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

its a good question.  its hardly his fault if your management has decided to replace someone with him.
I hope you are all taking your ire out equally on your management?  or, at least, expressing your disappointment with their decision?  perhaps getting together and coming up with a group strategy?

no?  all you are doing is being rude to some poor schmuck?  that would make you a bunch of whinging, impolite and petty children with all the moral courage and integrity of a shithead on heroin.

FullNameRequired
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Erhapspay eway ouldcay artstay ostingpay answersay inay a oreignfay anguagelay ichwhay ethay outsourcersay ouldn'tway understanday.

Kyralessa
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

LOL! That's not very foreign to the outsourcers! Not that I am one, but I happen to share the same nationality of most outsourcers! Nice try though! Better learn Sanskrit or Pali. Now, *that* would be a foreign language to most of us.

KayJay
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Wow Ed, in my kneck of the woods kneecaps generally run $20 a piece.

Ain't competition grand?

My rule of thumb is that if they ask the question in a way that makes me think they at least went through the trouble of Googling for more information, then I'll answer the question if I can.  Granted, there aren't a lot of questions that I can answer that a quick search won't give a better answer to, but that's my rule of thumb.

Plus, a poster's name doesn't mean diddly, there are plenty of Americans with foreign sounding names, no point in being unecessarily rude.

Steve Barbour
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Incidentally, who is the _outsourcer_ and who the _outsourced_ ? Is an outsourcer one who has work outsourced to or one who does the outsourcing of the work? In either case how does the other become _outsourced_? Or should is it about time that _outsourcee_ gets into the lexicon?

KayJay
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

oh poor "Outsourced, Unemployed Bob". for years you tought that you are the best and now it turnes out that your knowledge means nothing for your employer or possible employer. poor guy. maybe you wasn't that smart.

now you play the sad 5-year old child, whining, because those ugly people take your job. poor bob. poor bob.

it's time to wake up, and spend time not posting your anger here but do something positive with your life. help those guys out and maybe someday you can build a company and help those guys, and at that time you will be a true professional. until that, poor bob, just whine, because you worth iy.


Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Be nice to him Bob; you never know,, he might begin to appreciate you and let your kid carry his kid's books to school.

And if times get really hard he might let you live in the shack in his back yard, and perhaps find you some work rolling his beedies for him.

Stephen Jones
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Yep, and maybe he'll let Bob bang the guy's wife while the guy's at work. And who knows? Maybe Bob can start a new business this way.

Go for it, Bob. Dare to dream, and there's nothing you can't accomplish.

Wisea**
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

"now it turnes out that your knowledge means nothing for your employer"

Hmmm, if Western knowledge "means nothing," why do these Indian "CMM Level 5" employees need to ask us why they get link errors to standard Win32 API functions?  And  why do they accept work for complicated banking software, when their programmers have to search the web to find out what a credit card is?

Outsourced, Unemployed Bob
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Dear Bob,

I'd suggest a third option: Don't answer the question. If you don't feel like answering the question (whatever your reason is lack of time, knowlegde, interest, etc.) noone will blame you for not doing it as it's likely that somebody else will answer it.

I don't see the point in flaming other people because they are Indian and maybe have a job that has been outsourced from the U.S.. What good will it do? It certainly won't get you your job back and maybe it'll work against you when searching for an other job.

Peter Monsson
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Helping students is different in that they are part of the balanced economy where everyone has a job. New people come along, get trained, help out, but their jobs are lower down.

They're not replacing you and your colleagues.

Offshorers on the other hand are directly taking your job, and on false premises too.


Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Returning to the topic, I had exactly this experience at Australia's largest Telco. They are massively outsourcing work to any company with an Indian face.

One group to be outsourced was technical support for a system to which I had provided data management consultancy. The system used an Oracle DBMS running on a UNIX platform.

The previous support people were knowledgeable, helpful, and reasonably timely in their problem resolution. Their only flaw was that they were Australian.

One week into the outsourcing contract I had a call from their Project Manager, and their "Oracle Technical Specialist". He started the conversation by saying "We are reading your conversion specification, and we do not understand your meaning of SQL*Loader". The conversation ended when I laughed, and suggested that he needed to outsource some skills to Australians.

(In case you are not an Oracle user, SQL*Loader is a standard utility for loading external data into the DBMS. An Orace specialist who doesn't know about SQL*Loader is like a driver who can't find the accelerator)

HeWhoMustBeConfused
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

"Their only flaw was that they were Australian."

...and that they get paid ten times as much as their Indian replacements?

Money talks and the greedy managers listen.

m
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

And greedy managers will weep later this year and next as outsourced projects come back a steaming pile of crap, not realizing the best and brightest in India fled to the West long ago, and there is a reason India is a third-world country living in disease and filth, unable to feed their own people...

Babu Jones
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

m,

What I don't understand is that the project budgets I have seen for Infosys and Satyam related contracts are not very much different to those previously in place with companies like BearingPoint and IBM Global Services.

There is certainly not a decimation, nor even a halving, of the costs in moving to Indian outsourcers.

HeWhoMustBeConfused
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

I have to say I'm very disappointed reading this thread with the outright racist comments espoused above. I had hoped for better from the programmers on this board.

Sanjay
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

I have to say I'm very disappointed by a country that treats its "lower caste" like filth and stuffs its own children into disgusting industrial factories and dooms them to a life of servitude. I thought the world moved beyond that degredation over 100 years ago.

Babu Jones
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

"I thought the world moved beyond that degredation over 100 years ago."

come on, dont overstate things.
_yes_ there is great poverty in america, and _yes_ the way our homeless, our children and our poor are treated is often shameful (not to mention the way we apparently treat our POWs), but india has its own problems, there are people of differing castes there as well, and poverty and the suffering of the children is equally as great as in america.

america isn't perfect, and we've never claimed to be, but by attacking her with that kind of overstated zeal you prove nothing except your own ignorance.

FullNameRequired
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Ti desont eevn hvae ot eb a freiogn lnagguae, jsut imx pu hte ltretes a ltltie.

Inoursce
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

"I have to say I'm very disappointed by a country that treats its "lower caste" like filth and stuffs its own children into disgusting industrial factories"

Yes that is terrible. But every country has its warts. If you were truly interested, I could point you to some sources of information about how things are changing. if you were truly interested that is...

I don't know why the caste system is brought up in EVERY discussion of outsourcing. Is it relevant? Shall we start talking about what America and Australia have done to the original natives of those countries in every discussion of technology in those countries.


Wednesday, May 12, 2004

"Shall we start talking about what America and Australia have done to the original natives"

Yes you shall, because America and Australia and the rest of the civilized world stopped that long ago and moved on, yet India is still a country living in primitive times, filth, and an archaic caste system based on how and where you were born.

Just walk down any filthy, feces and urine-strewn street in India and see the starving, bloated bellies and corpses of the throwaways and ask yourself: is this the highlight of civilization and all Man has accomplished? Or the blight on the anus of the world?

But I think we should get back to the topic.

Babu Jones
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

"Yes you shall, because America and Australia and the rest of the civilized world stopped that long ago and moved on, yet India is still a country living in primitive times, filth, and an archaic caste system based on how and where you were born."

As a note, the way that African Americans are treated in US is quite appalling. It is hardly enlightened. I know how most Americans like to pretend its all hunky dory, but scratch the surface and explore the real attitudes, the distrust, the streotyping of African Americans. And lets not talk about whats going on in Iraq with the abuse of prisoners right now.

I personally do not belong to any of the higher castes. But I have had every opportunity possible. I am also a woman. Things are changing. Many people of my generation are ready to move beyond caste and try not to to focus on it. Many of us grew up in filthy streets that you seem to hate so much.

All this is irrelevant to the discussion of software professionals, and whether one should answer questions posed by people of other countries. So shall we move beyond the terrible deeds and practices in our respective countries and talk technology?


Wednesday, May 12, 2004

<rant scale="screaming mad">

What's all this "caste" stuff that seems to prop up every time India is mentioned? What do you know of "caste", it's structure in the greater polity, it's influence on the extended family and the alleged impact on a market economy? So do you understand what "caste" is as opposed to reliegon, race, creed or colour of your underwear? Could you define "caste"?

Caste is a dead social institution in India. It had its sway. It no longer does. It had its validity. It is losing it. It had its function. That has been superceded.

Come over here, take a look at the colleges and their graduating ceremonies.  Read the students' bio-data. Move into the offices. Check out their HR database. And then come and scream here on "Caste in the Indian Economy and its impact on American Models of Employment Efficacy and Proffesional Prowess".

</rant>

KayJay
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

KayJay, I have done what you suggest. Caste Hindu's dominate the staff of offshorers. High castes dominate the senior management and owner classes.

Dalits and adivasis are nowhere to be seen, except through the windows of the corporate cars driving through the streets.

You say it's not an issue, but that's because your world excludes these people. Then you say it's not a problem. We say it is. We say it's time you governed India for the benefit of everyone, not just the 10 percent of upper caste people.

By the way, that's why the BJP lost votes in many electorates. The ninety percent are getting sick of being screwed.


Wednesday, May 12, 2004

" ", I have done what you suggest. White Americans dominate the staff of software companies. Blacks and Latinos are nowhere to be seen...

We say it is time to change that.

rs
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Dear Anonymous,

I am not for the BJP, but certainly for Mr. Vajpayee, but then again I just missed losing an arm and an eye and a family for that! I'm more of a Congress fellow.

Have you been to the South? Andhra, TN, Kerala, Karnataka and I do not mean Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore or Trivandrum. Do you know the number of BC, MBC and  enrolling into Engineering Colleges? Have you seen the scale of IT operations in State Government Offices in the districts? Do you know anything about any other proffessions. The number of Doctors and Teachers and Proffesors and Politicians and Poilcemen and Construction Managers? The number and demography of entrepenuers in Manufacturing and Trade and Shipping?

Yes, the face of Indian IT to the whole wide world is of the clean shaven, neck-tied, vegetarian OC boys.  But they are not the whole of India nor the whole of the Indian workforce. Incidentally, I am against this outsourcing business for a completely different reason altogether.

Yes, the Adivasis have been disadvantged. Yes, they have opportunites. Yes, they do take them. Yes, some don't. No, we do not obstruct them. And yes we do encourage them.

Note: OC, BC, MBC, SC/ST - The government defined "castes". Other Castes, Backward Castes, Most Backward Castes, Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes. Yes, there are no Upper Castes and Forward Castes. They are only Other Castes. India is the only country that had a 67% _minority_ reservation policy in Colleges and Employment. Yeah, a *67% minority*. That is still sub-judice, IIRC.

So, please. Enough. We had a bad case of superiority complex. True enough. No, we do not have it now.

KayJay
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

My question is - why the hell would you *NOT* want your staff to ask questions about how to do their job. If someone walked in on day one and starts typing away without asking any questions, I would be very worried.

WoodenTongue
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

"No, we do not have it now."

in america we still have it.  check out some of those college threads, if thats not a bad case of upper class/lower class I dont know what is.

<g> or is it?  the place of each graduate is assured by their skills and their wealth and the wealth of their family...you can get away with vast amounts of either one by itself or a more even amount of each..is that evidence of class structure or evidence of capitalism at its best?

FullNameRequired
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

All men are born equal. They do not remain so.

The inequality is a function of many parameters. Some say, only nurture. Some say only nature. I say nature and nurture and a great deal of Lady Luck's good graces. Personally, I lack the last.


When you get a chance, read "In Praise of Idleness" by Betrand Rusell. You will have see family wealth justified in a very orginal way.

KayJay
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

I have to say I love rs's and FNR's responses.

Clean up your own gddamn backyard before you go screaming "They TkRJbbs." (Some of the latest southpark episodes battled outsourcing)

M
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Ive just been watching an interesting documentary on child slavery within the united states.

it appears its actually surprisingly common....both for sexual abuse and child labour.

way to go america, before we can clean up our own backyard, lets focus on the problems in india.

with any luck no one will notice that we have *big* problems of our own.

proud american
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

"My question is - why the hell would you *NOT* want your staff to ask questions about how to do their job. If someone walked in on day one and starts typing away without asking any questions, I would be very worried."

If I was laid off and replaced by anybody, I would expect that person to know how to my job without having to ask stupid questions.

T. Norman
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

"I would expect that person to know how to my job without having to ask stupid questions."

because you knew how to do your job when you first started without having to ask _any_ stupid questions?

<g> your smarter than me, I tend to ask at least 1 stupid question a day...sometimes I have good weeks though, I can get that down to only 3/week during those times.

and Im the boss :)

FullNameRequired
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

I never did ask stupid questions to get my job done.

And if I was laid off for someone else to replace me, they should be able to do my job.  Otherwise they're not worthy of replacing me and management is wasting money instead of saving it.

T. Norman
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

"I never did ask stupid questions to get my job done."

to me that indicates that youve done essentially exactly the same job for too long.
try branching out a little, if you are not expanding your horizens then they are shrinking on their own.

why not get your boss to hire someone a little cheaper to do your unchanging, mechanical job and use the spare cash plus some more to pay you to do something interesting?

FullNameRequired
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

There is a difference between asking questions and asking stupid questions.

NoName
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

"There are no stupid questions, only stupid people."

<jk>

Wisea**
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Wouldn't it be more worrying if all the Indian programmers could do their, and your jobs, perfectly  without asking any questions.

Stephen Jones
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

No that wouldn't worry me.  If they're being selected based on real cost-effectiveness, then I have a chance to compete by being more cost-effective (by being 2X the per-hour cost but 3X as productive, for example).

Whereas if they are more expensive overall because their productivity is too low, and they are still being used to replace me, then it means there is no chance to compete because the game has already been decided before the players step on the field.

NoName
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

> White Americans dominate the staff of software companies ...

Really? If you opened your eyes, you would notice enormous numbers of Chinese and Indians, including at the highest levels. You would also find people from poor rural areas and poor suburbs, who had done well at school and gone through university. There are blacks and Latinos.


Wednesday, May 12, 2004

KayJay, I'm pleased to hear you're a Congress man. I'm sorry to hear you nearly lost your arm, eye and family because of that. What happened?

Regarding the definitions of caste, you're talking about formal government definitions, which were made for the purpose of addressing what we're talking about - caste discrimination. They were made back during the Gandhi years.

There are higher castes, as you well know. The reservation system is being dismantled by the BJP, and holders of reserved jobs have generally been treated poorly, in a way that would not be tolerated in America.


Wednesday, May 12, 2004

I was at school with a guy who was a bit slow on the uptake and always, always asked questions if he didn't understand something. He got a lot of abuse and even some of the teachers made out he was stupid.

The fact is, he just asked the questions everyone else was too lazy to ask, or were too afraid of looking stupid to ask. He knew he what his capabilities were and didn't care if he looked stupid. He wasn't stupid.

He's a brain surgeon now.

WoodenTongue
Thursday, May 13, 2004

A brain surgeon should not be asking "what is the cerebellum?"  What is a good question for a student or trainee may be definitely stupid for someone who claims to be a skilled professional.

Some of these outsourcing vendors are getting contracts by claiming that they have a staff of programmers just as skilled as those at their clients, when in reality many of them are just trainees.

T. Norman
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Yep, what T. Norman said, er, wrote. An owner of a local IT consulting firm told me that a state govt. agency interviewed someone from an Indian IT consulting firm over the phone, and the guy sounded like the perfect match. However, once the guy they thought they were getting arrived and started working, it became apparent that this guy and the guy who did the phone interview weren't the same person. The guy didn't have the skills and experience indicated in the phone interview.

Rorschach
Thursday, May 13, 2004

My boss refuses to tell somebody when he is going to conduct a phone interview in case they get somebody else to substitute for them.

As we hire over 20+ time zones it makes for fun scheduling the interviews.

Stephen Jones
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Someone in this thread mentioned this being a management problem.

It really, really is. At the micro level, the off-shore folks will  get some shmuck to answer how to open an xml document. The problem is these idiots in the suits over here who've "got all the answers".

We have a huge accountibility problem in my company, and there has been passing talk of off-sourcing R&D. I'd love to see them try: without at least R&D accountibility, who's going to work to get anything done?

Trust me. Sit tight. Off-sourcing will bite these managers in the ass. If it already hasn't. Its strategic suicide.

Some guy
Thursday, May 13, 2004

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