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For those who think Indians stole American jobs!

I know many of you, who come to this so called 'Software forum' talks a hell lot about H1-B visas/ outsourcing. I came across a book  called 'Debugging Indian computer programmers' with a subtitle 'Dude, did I steal your job?'

Being an Indian living in India, I hated it as much as I loved it due to the author's bias towards America.

I would like to know if any Indian American or American programmers read the book. I am kind of disturbed with the authors comments.

Naresh

Naresh Srinivasan
Thursday, July 29, 2004

I thought we stole the Indians land?

Bicuspix
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Dey took yer job!

Stan
Thursday, July 29, 2004

I just saw the desc on Amazon. Looks like it's more serious and Indian bias than American.

Book Description
The backlash against outsourcing American jobs to countries like India had transformed into an anti-immigrant and anti-Indian atmosphere lately. While looking at outsourcing and high-tech visa programs from a completely different angle --and giving an enjoyable account of Indian programmers -- this book answers, in an extremely balanced way, the following complicated questions that have been raised by many American programmers and politicians:
. If outsourcing is inevitable, what’s next for Americans?

· Did America really benefit from immigrant programmers?

· Was there never a need to bring immigrant programmers to the U.S.?

· Are Indian immigrant programmers nothing but corporate lapdogs?

· Are Indian programmers dumb as rocks and incapable of thinking outside of the box?

· Did Indian immigrant programmers support the September 11th attacks?

· Did Americans invent everything that belongs to the computer industry?

· Is the Indian education system far below world standards?

· Is there an organized Indian mafia in American universities that hires only Indian cronies?

BrooklynBoy
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Indians did steal American jobs. Get over it the fact that you don't like the connotation of the word "steal".

But that's capitalism. American programmers just want more money than they're worth on a global labor market.

Ankur
Thursday, July 29, 2004

You are right. That was my initial impression: But the book claims American programmers are superior than Indians and Chinese. The author claims Americans have more business sense so they are capable of producing better software - which I completly disagree.

Naresh Srinivasan
Thursday, July 29, 2004

> In an extremely balanced way

I doubt that.

. If outsourcing is inevitable, what’s next for Americans?

Powerty and hopelessness, with the occasional brief joy from driving around in our pickup trucks with baseball bats looking for them damn foreigners that stole our jobs and wimmin.

· Did America really benefit from immigrant programmers?

No.

· Was there never a need to bring immigrant programmers to the U.S.?

Never.

· Are Indian immigrant programmers nothing but corporate lapdogs?

Yes, absolutely.

· Are Indian programmers dumb as rocks and incapable of thinking outside of the box?

That's what I've observed but surely there are two or three exceptions.

· Did Indian immigrant programmers support the September 11th attacks?

Not all of them did.

· Did Americans invent everything that belongs to the computer industry?

No, we did not invent solder.

· Is the Indian education system far below world standards?

Not below world averages at all - their 50% literacy rate beats most of africa and china. Below standards of the industrialized world? Absolutely
.
· Is there an organized Indian mafia in American universities that hires only Indian cronies?

Yes, this is certainly true. I have personally seen it and benefited from it too.

An Indian in America
Thursday, July 29, 2004

"American programmers just want more money than they're worth on a global labor market."

The cool thing about hat is that now that we are making wages the same as those 3rd world countries, we don't have the money to import food or crafts from overseas. As long as the indian economy dosen't rely on exporting low cost goods or food to the west and can provide jobs for all their low skilled people, they won't have any massive social unrest due to riots and terrorist activity from desperate hungry people.

Corporate Lapdog
Thursday, July 29, 2004

"The author claims Americans have more business sense so they are capable of producing better software - which I completly disagree. "

Yes his is certainly false. Most all of the innovative software that sells like flapjacks has come from India and China.

Rah rah India
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Naresh:
You are an Indian living in India, right!?
The book migh be intended for Americans for their own consumption.So what was the need of putting it on the "Forum".

What really were you expecting....a productive discussion!

I don't know...why people often do this?
Thursday, July 29, 2004



Doesn't anyone think it's silly to simultaneously keep the H1-B Visa program *and* complain about unemployment in the tech sector *and* complain about stagnant wages?



It's simple supply and demand.  If the supply is increased and the demand stays the same, then price goes down.  It gets even worse if the demand goes down too.

KC
Thursday, July 29, 2004

C'mon guys, things are looking up. Heck, just today I called GEICO and saved a lot of money on my car insurance!

Vikram S. Gupta
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Then why do American publishers sell these books in India?

I just wanted to know what you guys think about the book.

The author claims he is balanced - and he is to an extent.

But at the end, he compares Indian programmers to Americans and concludes that AMericans are better programmers who could think much better than Indians - outside of the box. Which I don't agree.

The reason for me posting it here to have a contructive discussion. I was little disturbed and wanted to have a good discussion with someone who is open in his/her views.

Naresh Srinivasan
Thursday, July 29, 2004

I think you ought to have a discussion with an American who works with lots of Indian programmers.

I have only worked with one, and she was rotten. But I'm not going to make my mind up about outsourcing or the quality of programmers from India based on a sample with a population of 1.

We're all in such a rush to solve this "Mystery of the Universe". Time will tell if outsourcing works. If, in 5 years time, American companies have stopped outsourcing work to India, I guess we'll know that it doesn't really work. Contrariwise likewise.

Rob VH
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Naresh:
I am also an Indian living in India.

Part, you don't agree-----

"But at the end, he compares Indian programmers to Americans and concludes that AMericans are better programmers who could think much better than Indians - outside of the box."

If you are living in India ,then you can very well figure out .That our present education system, never takes the creativity and imagination of a person into consideration. We are asked to cram things from childhood till graduation and then reproduce it during examination.

I am not really in the position to comment, whether Americans are better programmers or Indians. But certainly I see many flaws in our education system which may effect the way we think.

And even you can never figure this out here, on this forum!

It would rather turn out into many of the threads where people will abuse or insult other's.
 

Anyway let me change this :-)
Thursday, July 29, 2004

>That our present education system, never takes the creativity and imagination of a person into consideration.

Hah that is funny...everyone always thinks that their country's public education system sucks. I hear the same thing from Americans and even from the Japanese and somehow that has never been an impediment in the development of their country.

The basic fact is that once people have their basic needs taken care of -- literacy, food and living people they feel free to explore their more creative sides and inexorably that is what will happen to India and China...as it happened to Japan, South Korea.

Code Monkey
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Code Monkey:

"The basic fact is that once people have their basic needs taken care of -- literacy, food and living people they feel free to explore their more creative sides"

In general, if you say, then it's true.

But here, Naresh was talking about " Programmers". Who are having decent education and comparable to other's enjoy a high standard of living. 

Oh! I changed this again...
Thursday, July 29, 2004

"We are asked to cram things from childhood till graduation and then reproduce it during examination."

Yes, US schools are like this also.

Code Monkey is right though and the rebuttal doesn't address the issue.

Dennis Atkins
Thursday, July 29, 2004

>But here, Naresh was talking about " Programmers". Who are having decent education and comparable to other's enjoy a high standard of living.

Programming is a creative job...even if it is writing batch files :-) 

The fact is that the notion that creativity is suppressed by public education is not true.  Most people in a rut whether in their jobs or in life blame it on the education -- or rather the lack of education -- they had. 

You have to learn the basics and sometimes you have to pay your dues by doing it by rote because unless you do so how do you ever know what you are good at and what you are bad at?  For a Japanese student learning the approx 1800 Kanji necessary to read a japanese newspaper is the doorway to future creativity not a barrier to it.

Code Monkey
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Programmers are all the same, no matter where they're coming from. Some are good, some are not so good.

What makes a problem when outsourcing is the cultural barrier: an Indian living in India will undestand of the American culture as much as an American would understand the Indian culture.

Thinking outside the box in the wrong cultural context is rather difficult if not impossible. Nothing personal.

To make outsourcing work teams need a liason who understands perfectly both cultures. He needs to translate everything between the 2 worlds or chances are the outsourced project won't deliver (to be more exact the total costs of development & operation will exceed many times the expected figures).

Good specs? That may help!

Dino
Thursday, July 29, 2004

If we made a small manual to sell to wannabe code monkeys outside of USA, we would be rich. The manual would cover all the stuff, know how, how to do just enough to be considered as a better than US based code monkey. 1$ from 10 million people can be some considerable cash. I don't work for a big corporation, so I would have no credibility as an author, but those who do, could start with. "I work at such and such Fortune 500 corporatio and I am considered as an adequate programmer. Here is what I do...."

James Thomas
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Is there a name for the phenomenon where one subconsciously reinforces stereotypes?

For example - you have an Indian who writes crappy code, so you subconsciously add a point to the "Indians can't write good code" column. But when you have an American who writes crappy code, they're just a crappy coder.

In other words, we only note the data points that reinforce the beliefs we hold. Data points that dispute them (no matter how many) are set aside as anomalies, and data points that suggest the stereotype isn't just based on the race/sex/nationality we think it is isn't considered a data point.

Does that make sense?

Philo

Philo
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Boy, that would be an important term. (For describing that heightened sensitivity for judging a group based on the actions of some members.) Hypocrisy comes close, but probably doesn't capture the gradual spirit.

Been happening a lot. There needs to be a neat term to tie it all up.

Tayssir John Gabbour
Thursday, July 29, 2004

> Is there a name for the phenomenon where one subconsciously reinforces stereotypes?

Perhaps it's a "bias", for example as used in the following definition:

  "Double-Blind Trial, Double-blind clinical study . A study in which none of the participants, including the experimental subjects, examining doctors, attending nurses, or any other research staff, know who is taking the test drug and who is taking a control (or placebo) agent. The purpose of such a research design is to avoid any inadvertent BIAS of the test results. In all such studies, procedures exist to "break the blind" if circumstances require it."

Christopher Wells
Thursday, July 29, 2004

So Chris, for these cases with a placebo vs an active drug, would these active drugs be ones that have occasional side effects? And if so, wouldn't that break the blind? So wouldn't you have to say that in any clinical trial with drugs that have any side-effects whatsoever, a double-blind study is technically not possible? that is unless you spike the placebo to create side effects, right? But that is not done now is it?

Dennis Atkins
Friday, July 30, 2004

For good programmers , there are always jobs.

for bad programmers , he (or she ) has always reasons to explain why he (or she ) lose.

Now comes to outsourcing and all the sort of quarrels about it . I can tell for sure (because I am a Chinese programmer, now in China). Good programmers in China will never touch those foolish-java-kind-mis-erp-outsourcing-sh*t.

In China, good programmers (like programmers in other countries) know the only valuable thing in this Business is to invent ,  to develop our own software for our people,  then for the people around the world.

foolish projects, foolish people in America  are also regarded  foolish in China, in India, in any country.

redguardtoo
Friday, July 30, 2004

Code Monkey:

Does culture plays a role in it? Culture contributes a lot!Isn't it? Like the way a person thinks, whether he/she is innovator or risk taking... 
What do you think?

redguardtoo:

"In China, good programmers (like programmers in other countries) know the only valuable thing in this Business is to invent ,  to develop our own software for our people, then for the people around the world."

Sorry, If I am harsh. But reality is this is not at all the case with India. Most of our good programmers are always having one eye on US. The dream destination. Good! One should grow and learn as much as possible. But the thing I hate is, when these people criticise India one way or the other.

I tell you how,
I have read few articles written by NRI ( Non -Resident Indians), Indian American, ex-IITians from Silicon Valley literally criticising and abusing another ex-IITian " Narayan Murthy" ( The founder of Infosys) for lack of good R&D programme, why has he send his son to US University  blah....blah.

I am having personally great respect for Narayan Murthy for his positive contribution towards India. These NRI ( Not all) would never encourage and help people here, although they completed their engineering degree on our hard earned money.

I have nothing against them personally, what I don't really like about them is "if you can't help or encourage us, then atleast don't discourage us"
 

I am not gonna change this, anymore!
Friday, July 30, 2004

> So Chris, for these cases with a placebo vs an active drug, would these active drugs be ones that have occasional side effects?

Probably, Dennis: drugs tend to.

> And if so, wouldn't that break the blind?

My uninformed opinion would be that:

- Take the antipsychotic drugs, for example: they all have similar side-effects (e.g. dry mouth, weight gain, ...); so you could be a subject in a trial without knowing *which* of the drugs you are being given.

- If some side-effect is known to be an obvious give-away (e.g. one causes hair loss where a placebo doesn't) you might design the trial accordingly (e.g. subjects wear hair-nets while being interviewed) to at least keep the clinicians blind.

> So wouldn't you have to say that in any clinical trial with drugs that have any side-effects whatsoever, a double-blind study is technically not possible? that is unless you spike the placebo to create side effects, right? But that is not done now is it?

The presence of side-effects is likely one of the things that the trial is attempting to ascertain.

You may be right (I have no experience with this subject).

I've just woken up from dreaming, and I think that subjectivity and objectivity are both illusory.

Christopher Wells
Friday, July 30, 2004

Naresh,

You wanted an open opinion, right?. I read the book.

Here are my thoughts:

The Author is an Indian American.

Overall I liked the book due to the great flow and humour. It's definitely a page turner.  But I have few disagreements with the author.

The author defends the contributions of Indian ( and immigrant IT workers) to the American economy with some very solid points, which I am defintly not familiar with.

He bashes anit-Indian activists who flood the message boards. I think his statements were very harsh.

He makes fun of Indian programmers ( the curry factor etc).

And finally he gives a great comparison of American, Indian and Chinese programmers. I liked that particular chapter. It's well analysed and written.

The outsourcing chapter has these phrases which I liked a lot.

"A country is made up of people, not buildings and corporations. If the people of a country are suffering, then isn't the whole country suffering?" And he claims the American companies have taken a overnight outsourcing strategy and dumped the American workforce.

In summary. I liked the book. I don't know how well a hard-core Indian programmer will take it. I also think many American programmers who have developed ill feelings towards Indians ( specailly H1-Bs) will not like the book.

AmericanTechDude
Friday, July 30, 2004

I don't think anybody can make a clear cut conclusion as far as who is better programmer. Here are a few thoughts.

Most of the best programmers are in US or Europe because real good programmers do it for the love it. Indian or Chinese programmers do it for money and for career.

In the hight of outsource, for example, Oracle announced to hire 5000+ in India. IBM, Accenture,...., too. The fact is that the best India programmers are in USA already. What's left is ok, but to fill such a big demand, lousy ones get in. I have a co-worker left a medicore job in US and got a senior partner position in Deloitte & Touche India. I like him, but in US he got no chance.

In short I have doubts on the qualities of outsourcing work. Hey, you get what you paid for.

Jack
Friday, July 30, 2004

>Does culture plays a role in it? Culture contributes a lot!Isn't it? Like the way a person thinks, whether he/she is innovator or risk taking...

Culture ofcourse plays a role but not as much as people think.    Innovaters are called that precisely because they are able to make break from the confines of their culture. In Japan you have Masayoshi Son, in India Narayan Murthy, in Britain Richard Branson and Clive Sinclair.  Every culture has these, it is just that they need a chance to flower and that does not happen unless one has a stable country with the basic human needs taken care of. 

There was this article sometime back which said that more students are graduating in Park management rather than technology...does that mean that America is about to lose its technology base...hardly so.

Outsourcing is a fact of nature.  I asked a friend of mine who always rails against it..why he buys stuff from Amazon when he can buy the same stuff from his local Mom and Pop store which is going out of business and he says that he does because Amazon is cheaper and has better service (package lands at his house) fine then by the same criterion should not oursourcing also be acceptable? 

Do the ethics change suddenly when you cross from America into Mexico? Why is it OK for Bechtel to move jobs from San Francisco to Mayland but not to India? I know most people say that people in Maryland still pay US taxes but then corporate profits are lower and corporate taxes are smaller too.  I think Kerry has it right in that we should give companies who want to create and maintain jobs inside America an incentive to do so rather than just bitching and moaning about what  they are doing.

Code Monkey
Friday, July 30, 2004

>> Indian or Chinese programmers do it for money and for career.

>> But reality is this is not at all the case with India. Most of our good programmers are always having one eye on US. The dream destination.

Much to my chagrin, the above are, to a certain extent true.

But a growing number in the 25-35 range are proving to be a pain in the proverbial of our folks for not wanting to do that. We are in it for the love of it AND the wages. And we are in it in India.

I, sir, am not one of them
Friday, July 30, 2004

Thank You, Code Monkey
I have never been to US or for that matter to any other country. So I thought that it has something to do with our education system or culture that we lack so far behind. For India it's a long and difficult road ahead....Real disturbing scenario!
Thanks again!

Jack:

"Indian or Chinese programmers do it for money and for career."

Yes, it is correct. But so do some American programmers. On the contrary some Indian or Chinese programmers can do the programming, for love of it.

Jack, it seems you are an Indian-American. Sorry, if I am wrong. But, You people are good for nothing....just move on with your life. 

I am not gonna change this, anymore!
Friday, July 30, 2004

Sorry, not for all Indian-American, but for people like Jack...if ofcourse he is!

I am not gonna change this, anymore!
Friday, July 30, 2004

I am born Chinese, live in USA. I am good for nothing. You are pretty harsh. Take it easy, man.

Jack
Friday, July 30, 2004

Sorry Jack!!!!

That comment was not intended for you. At All !!!!

I am not at all criticising them because they are working and living in US. Fair enough! Grow and learn as much as possible. Widen your horizon! It's your life!

I wrote that comment because I have come across many Indians-Americans who don't take a second to judge there counterparts in India.

Often their comments and articles are discouraging and full of criticism for Indian IT industry just because they happen to work in US in the same field.

I mean why do they have to criticise any constructive and positive change here, in India, where they took birth and did all their formal education that too on tax payer money (IIT).

This was my point!
Don't take it personally Jack!
The comment was not intended for you.

   

I am not gonna change this, anymore!
Friday, July 30, 2004

Boy! the thread is losing track.

Coming back to some of the discussions about the book ( and Naresh where are you? sleeping in India?)

The chapter on Programmer comparison, claims that Average Indian programmers do not have the passion for the job, and most of them got into IT solely for money. But it also claims that Indian programmers are hard workers than Americans - which I disagree to an extent.

The author also claims that Indian programmers are the ones who did all the 'code walking' and code maintenance  projects ( he calls them shit work) which no one wanted to do. hence he appreciates the Indian programmers- I agree.

AmericanTechDude
Friday, July 30, 2004

· Did Americans invent everything that belongs to the computer industry?

No, we did not invent solder.

Nor did you invent the computer - the first computer was built by Prof Williams at Manchester University in England in 1946.

p/p Prof K C Williams
Saturday, July 31, 2004


MAYBE the books just give the points which will sell (at least the author believe it sell) in America.

I cannot believe that most india programmers are the people as the book described (from your cited text) when considering the country had Gandhi (like American had Lincon).

Before I began to read good books about Americans, I also believed that Americans are very open in sex, they are rich, they do not care about religion (from American movies and TV serials).

before I went to Japan, I also believed that Japanese always work overtime, Japanese are serious in soft-engineering.

I also believed every American C programmer , or European C programmer  knows what is ASSERT and asserts everthing .

...

redguardtoo
Saturday, July 31, 2004

They have stolen the jobs BUT with the HELP OF OUR OWN CORPORATIONS AND CITIZENS. Get it?

Lets get down to the bottom line as they say. The ONLY REASON that Indian programmers are hired is they are CHEAP.  As they say in the hood, its about the bling-bling. Its not that they are smarter, faster or better educated. Its that they are cheap.

Companies want to increase their profit margin and lower their costs. When all other things are constant labor is the one thing where you can enact arbitrage and force salaries down. Unlike for example the price of oil.

When you can hire someone for 1/10 the salary of someone in the US and get the same work done guess whats going to happen? Particularly when there is a pro-business pro-globalization bent now.

Its not about you, me or the Indians. Its about the executives in the companies and the never ending desire to make more money.

Here is a tip: once Indian salaries rise to a level where they the executives no longer feel they are getting the lowest possible cost they will just move those jobs somewhere else to say Vietnam or Africa.

We are being exploited by the man.

Don Quiote
Sunday, August 01, 2004

All I remember was the damn indians in my college courses all cheated...

:-( ... maybe the author was right ?

Jonny Boy
Sunday, August 01, 2004

AmericanTechDude,

Thanks for your comments. I am back. As I said earlier,
I liked the book as much as I hated it due to the author's unorthodox comparison
of programmers from India and America.

Indian programmers are hard workers ( as the author claims).
But I don't agree with his comments saying that Indian programmers do not compare
well enough to Americans when it comes to core competency.
I know you probably agree with the author on this one. But I don't and I also think there will be Indian programmers waiting to shoot him if he comes to India.

But he may also get lot of fans in India. Because he has written lot of good things about Indians and India.

Naresh Srinivasan
Monday, August 02, 2004

Naresh,

You are so pathetic man. Americans should be going out to shoot the Author for most of his comments ,not Indians. This shows the freedom in this coutry which the Author ( being an Indian) recognizes. We respect the views and opinions of others. You better get a life. You guys must be proud of the book - not hate it. My gut feeling is the book is written in a balanced manner to give the facts about Indian programmers.

I don't understand your reasonings. You are disturbed, for sure!

AmericanTechDude
Monday, August 02, 2004

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