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disturbing ( to me )

Brian Glodde
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Joined: Jun 27, 2001
Posts: 171
I recently bid a small java job to a client, who subsequently hired another subcontractor to do the job. My bid was in the 3500 range, which I felt was a good deal, considering the amount of work and customizations they were looking for. Months later, he needed me for other things, but I was curious, so I asked what happened with the previous task. He said he had outsourced it overseas for 600. This was a full blown java chat application to support up to 15000 people...for 600??? You can't purchase a 3rd party tool for that.
I find it disturbing and think it devalues what we do.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Damn... Guess there's no way to compete with the third world.
Sounds like a good argument for a union to me. A strong union could blacklist unscroupulous businesses like that for hiring what would effectively be scabs, and ensure that the only IT they could get was overseas unless they chose to deal with the union. It wouldn't take them long to come around when they realized the hoops they'd have to jump through for even the smallest job.
But I guess that's just a pipe dream.
Anthony Villanueva
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Joined: Mar 22, 2002
Posts: 1055
Do you find it disturbing because the outside competition is charging an uncomfortably low price, or is it because the work is going to the, uh, "scabs", was it?
Pradip Bhat
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Joined: Jul 04, 2002
Posts: 149
Originally posted by Brian Glodde:
This was a full blown java chat application to support up to 15000 people...for 600???

Who decides the absolute price of chat application?
[ July 17, 2002: Message edited by: rahul rege ]

Yeshwantpur
Randall Twede
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Joined: Oct 21, 2000
Posts: 4347
    
    2

hey, maybe the only solution is to move to some country where you can buy a $200,000 home for $20,000


SCJP
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Mark Herschberg
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Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Coincidentally, I just wrote the section of my book on this topic, earlier tonight.
I think this is just fine, and the trend will continue. I know many major consulting firms who have set up shops in India. Russia and China are other good sources. As the third world gets more technical capabilities, it will offer more and more cheap labor.
From what I've seen and heard (granted, it's not much, so i could be off), the programming capabilities of most people in these shops aren't very strong, but they're cheap enough that enough body-hours can be thrown at a problem to still make it cost effective.
So why don't I care? Writing code will be moving overseas. I don't write code; I design and implament software. The former is a task of the latter. It's easy to outsource the former. For various reasons, the latter can't be. Technical people will be required to design the systems, which will then be outsourced to cheap labor to implament it. If you think you can write code and make money in the US, you're in trouble. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it will get harder. if you can understand systems and design them, you'll be ok.

--Mark
David O'Meara
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Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

and given the current exchange rate, Australian programmers are about as cheep as our Indian neighbours and I'm confident in our ability to write crap code and throw many people at the problem.
Hmm, now I'm not sure if I'm being serious or not. Lucky this is MD
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
I think this is just fine, and the trend will continue. I know many major consulting firms who have set up shops in India. Russia and China are other good sources. As the third world gets more technical capabilities, it will offer more and more cheap labor.

Ouch. I hope Shura wont be too lazy to explain the difference between "Russia" and "the third world", and I think our Chinese friends may have something to say also... And our Indian friends are just too busy to react
"gets more technical capabilities" - what's wrong with current technical capabilities?
"cheap labor" - from very American™ point of view. In their countries they are not cheap at all. And it's all relative, does a house *really* cost $200,000 or $20,000 or maybe $2,000? (this comment is intended for general public entertainment, not for Mark enlightening)
From what I've seen and heard (granted, it's not much, so i could be off), the programming capabilities of most people in these shops aren't very strong, but they're cheap enough that enough body-hours can be thrown at a problem to still make it cost effective.
What do you mean by "the programming capabilities"? I believe there is about the same percent of genius/damn smart/just smart etc. people in every nation, the difference as I see it is that there is far less methodological support overseas. I cannot say for all countries, but in Russia programming is still more craft or art than discipline, science, or technology.
So why don't I care? Writing code will be moving overseas. I don't write code; I design and implament software. The former is a task of the latter. It's easy to outsource the former. For various reasons, the latter can't be.
Yet, what are these reasons?
If you think you can write code and make money in the US, you're in trouble. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it will get harder. if you can understand systems and design them, you'll be ok.
Mark, do you think "designing systems" can be learnt separately from "writing code"? If there are not enough "writing code" jobs, where "system designers" will come from?
[ July 18, 2002: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]

Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
Ashok Mash
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Joined: Oct 13, 2000
Posts: 1936

Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
And our Indian friends are just too busy to react..

May be. Or it could be because Indians are not feeling confident in addressing the fact that India is still a third world country after 50 years of independence. Especially when *some others* think 'third world' status of a country is its entire citizens fault!
Originally posted by Mark:
Writing code will be moving overseas. I don't write code

Planning/Designing may take the same route in future. Trained *third-world* people will be asked to travel to carry out Implementations, because they claim less in travel allowance.
I think this is a natural route - balancing act. This has been happening in ALL other fields, medicine and textile industries for example. Because of the nature of the IT industry, its a slightly faster and more visible this time. I think down the road, this will reach another balance when East becomes slightly more expensive (like salaries in India has doubled/tripled up in last 4 years), and west becomes more efficient (and slightly cheaper too).


[ flickr ]
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
So why don't I care? Writing code will be moving overseas. I don't write code; I design and implament software.
Your concern for your fellow developers overwhelms me. I can just feel the love pouring thorugh the computer. But don't worry, Mark. I'll save a spot for you on the bread line.


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
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pamchau
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Joined: Feb 29, 2000
Posts: 47
There is not an easy answer to this problem. I also make soap, clear soap with embedded toys, and sell it at craft fairs. I have listened to people at these shows complain for years about imports taking away their business. I have heard complaints of how people still their designs and take them to China and have them reproduced then undersell them. Then I see signs of protest showing how horrible people are treated in many factories in China. And on and on. Many years ago, my brother-in-law was one of the first to design SCII cables. He holds a number of patients on different cables. He is also Chinese, his parents being from the elite that managed to escape to Taiwan. The family has factories in Taiwan and China now. At one time they had them in Malaysia, but the Malaysian government had so much red tape that they closed the factories down. The cost of labor in Taiwan has become expensive and they like many other Taiwanese are moving the factories out of Taiwan to mainland China. They are now considering moving into programming as well. So I suppose you could consider me on the "bad" side. To those that complain about the evil way the factories are ran, they should read about the Toyota Production System. Most Chinese factories I have been are ran very efficiently. In the long run, it does not make sense to treat employees bad, your biggest research is your employees. Why train them only to have them leave when a new factor opens up down the street. However, in the places I have worked in the States, I have seen so much fighting, mismanagement and inefficiencies. The typical American worker (and I am not taking pot shots at any one) simply does not work as hard or as dedicated as the typical Asian worker. In fact the company I work for now is hiring more and more Asian, Indians and Russians. I have to grit my teeth when I hear employees that are half as qualified talk about the stupid Russian, how can he do the job he can't speak English! (Since when did speaking English equated with intelligence?) I am sorry that you did not get your contract, but perhaps America as a whole is going to have to redefine the way an American company operates. There is an old Chinese proverb that wealth cannot go beyond 3 generations. Meaning that the 1st generation works hard to get the money, the next works, but not as hard, then the 3rd does nothing but spend and forgets about the hard work that made the money to begin with, and of course the 4th has to begin all over again. One would hope that America does not have to get to the 4th generation. There seems to be a big movement right now to try and have companies reevaluate themselves and the way they do business. The root problem seems to be go deeper then just cheaper labor in "3rd world' countries. Any way that is my 2 cents worth on a very controversial topical with no easy answers.


Pam Chau
Ashok Mash
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Joined: Oct 13, 2000
Posts: 1936
Originally posted by pamchau:
There is an old Chinese proverb that wealth cannot go beyond 3 generations.

Old Chinese proverbs are always correct.
Paul Stevens
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Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
And why can't implementations be done remotely? I supported a system where installs where done on servers in Plano and Sacremento for a client in Chicago. The only thing you need is for someone onsite to put the cd in. That wouldn't really require you now would it Mark
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Software is not 'TANGIBLE'. It can be produced anywhere in the world and moved across very easily without any effort. And, you should note that we belong to the generation which thinks about 'Global Village/Global Economy'. Hence, the competition (and price wars) are not restricted to one small local area/country.
I don't think it is right to say 'third world' countries produce only CODERS. They produce excellent (and cheaper) managers/designers too! I have plenty of examples to prove.
By the way, the company which bought the Chat Client for $600 could have gotten the same software on a shareware for $25!
Regards.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Anthony Villanueva:
Do you find it disturbing because the outside competition is charging an uncomfortably low price, or is it because the work is going to the, uh, "scabs", was it?

Well, since I plainly stated that "there's no way to compete with the third world", I thought I was being clear that the issue is that there is no way Americans can possibly compete with those kinds of prices.
As for the thinly veiled misguided attempt to infer that my motives may be racial... When I wrote, "a strong union could blacklist unscroupulous businesses like that for hiring what would effectively be scabs", I again thought I was being pretty clear. I am talking about a hypothetical situation in which a union exists. I can only assume that you do not know what a, uh, scab is.
Scab - A nickname for a workman who engages for lower wages than are fixed by the trades unions; also, for one who takes the place of a workman on a strike.

The bottom line is that it may soon be time for the government to step in and put a stop to this sickening trend. These businesses are flourishing and able to reap in huge profits very much because of the fact that they are operating in this country. As such they have a responsibility to this country outside of simply paying taxes, and that includes using domestic resources whenever possible. Since most politicians are in the pocket of these corporations, it will be up to the workers to organize themselves and force the government to listen, and force the corporations into compliance.
Ironically, I'm fairly certain this mere coder will be one of the last ones on the unemployment line, and most of the "architects" with their graduate degrees and impressive titles will be there long before me. However, the danger is in thinking that it won't affect you, and that only "the other guy" has to worry about this disturbing trend. Then one day you wake up and realize that you are "the other guy".
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Intel just announced that they are laying off 4,000 employees. Did they lose money? No! In fact, they had a very profitable quarter. Then why the layoff? Because it wasn't as profitable as somebody decided it should be. Corporations pretend that their only concern is to shareholders (read themselves) but they have responsibilities beyond just the shareholders.
SJ Adnams
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Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 925
The game is capitalism, you should all know the rules by now.
Jason Menard
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Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by <Gokul>:
Software is not 'TANGIBLE'. It can be produced anywhere in the world and moved across very easily without any effort. And, you should note that we belong to the generation which thinks about 'Global Village/Global Economy'. Hence, the competition (and price wars) are not restricted to one small local area/country.

The concept of the "global village/global economy" is not realistic unless all participants are at an even footing, IMHO.
I don't think it is right to say 'third world' countries

I can understand why this term may bother some. However it would be more appropriate to bring it up to the sociologists and economists. Basically the term refers to nations with high infant mortality, high poverty rate, or high dependence on industrialized nations:
From the Third World Traveler.
The First World is the developed world - US, Canada, western Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, etc.. The Second World was the Communist world led by the USSR. With the demise of the USSR and the communist block, there is no longer a Second World. The Third World is the underdeveloped world - agrarian, rural and poor. Many Third World countries have one or two developed cities, but the rest of the country is poor, rural and agrarian. Eastern Europe should probably be considered Third World. Russia should also be considered a Third World country with nuclear weapons. China, has always been considered Third World, and still is. In general, Latin America, including Mexico, Africa, and most of Asia are still considered Third World. The Asian tigers - South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, except for their big cities, their maquiladora-type production facilities, a small middle class and a much smaller ruling elite should probably be considered Third World countries as well, since their populations are overwhelmingly rural, agrarian and poor.
Some of the very poorest countries, especially in Africa, that have no industrialization, are almost entirely agrarian (subsistence farming), and have little or no hope of industrializing and competing in the world "marketplace", are sometimes termed the "Fourth World".

I do not disagree that maybe these terms can be seen as distasteful for some, but it is common parlance. The use of such terms isn't to offend, it is to effectively communicate.
By the way, the company which bought the Chat Client for $600 could have gotten the same software on a shareware for $25!

He never said the job was for a chat client. Chat clients don't need to support 15000 users.
[ July 18, 2002: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Tony Evans
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Joined: Jun 29, 2002
Posts: 579
The good news is that a lot of companies who outsourced software development to countries such as India, found that it was more trouble than it was worth, and there is a trend to move back here UK or USA.
Cheers Tony
Shura Balaganov
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Joined: Apr 22, 2002
Posts: 664
Map and all from "third world" countries, I think I have to apologize on behalf of Mark, he is still under the impression that US is in charge of all these processes... I am rather observing the fact that it's been long gone out of control.
I've said that about cheap labor before, US NEEDS latin-american and eurasian cheap and/or educated immigrants. Because who's going to flip your burgers, mow lawns and support your networks? Oh, besides your own kids, of course, their free labor is "nicely" called volunteering.
According to International Labor Office, US job hours are on a big rise in last 20 years (more than in any industrialized nation), and the trend will likely to continue; read sample article here. All this is needed to keep over-inflated money-hungry egoes going. Tough luck for hard-working individuals like Jason, they'll have to give up their personal lives completely.
Jason, to counter your quote, 74% of Russian population is urban (so it is not "agrarian"), close to 100% is literate, most urbanites learn at least one more foreign language (besides Russian and local language they might already know). There are more Mersedeses in Moscow than in any other city in the world. More than 10% of ALL Russian young adults in their twentieth have technical or engineering degrees, that's WAAAY ahead of any other country, including US with their 5%. Russia is 2nd in amount of ALL WEAPONS (not just nuclear) sold on world market, which means they are VERY technologically advanced, and they are not just "poor nation with nukes". Yeah, their business is a little immature, but what do you expect?
If Mark would have some spare time defining a "third world" country, it might also be really beneficial. Because according to some analyses, Finland, Sweden, Netherlands and such are overall a little bit ahead of "number one" US.
Can someone quiet down this 400-some year old kid, there are 2-6 thousand year old civilizations out there.
Shura
[ July 18, 2002: Message edited by: Shura Balaganov ]

Any posted remarks that may or may not seem offensive, intrusive or politically incorrect are not truly so.
RusUSA.com - Russian America today - Guide To Russia
Anonymous
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Joined: Nov 22, 2008
Posts: 18944
Intel is talking about layoffs in the US, but they are hiring in India.They recently doubled their workforce.
Many Americans have this patronizing attitude that, most jobs going to other "third world " countries are just coding jobs. Maybe it is their way of consoling themselves.
The trend Iam seeing is that, many companies are moving their entire Research and Development to India and Russia. They have only their sales and marketing offices in the US.
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Regarding Russia (only because I know the subject better, not for nationalistic resons): the main problem with "communistic" way of development is not that it failed to develop the country, it didn't, but it developed distorted and disproportional economy. While under some indicators Russia (or fUSSR for that matter) does belong to "Third World" other suggests that it doesn't. This is the problem with "Third World" term, it includes such diverse... entities, so it serves us no better than if we combined goats and tables to the same category on the ground they both have four legs
Regarding "agrarian, rural" Shura already put some light, I would only add some numbers (in case somebody believes 74% or so of urban population is still agrarian, rural)
2001 World Population Data Sheet
Percent Urban
Canada78
United States75
Russia73
http://www.prb.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Other_reports/2000-2002/sheet4.html
Originally posted by Jason Menard:
I do not disagree that maybe these terms can be seen as distasteful for some, but it is common parlance. The use of such terms isn't to offend, it is to effectively communicate.

The use of such terms does more harm to the speaker, IMHO, because "underdeveloped world - agrarian, rural and poor" somehow suggest what qualities their inhabitants can exhibit. Come on, what kind of programming can be there in an "agrarian, rural and poor" country? Isn't this where Mark's opinion about "weak programming capabilities of most people in these shops" and intransferability of design originated from? Such an approach effectively leaves "First World" unprepared for "Third World" threat
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
So why don't I care? Writing code will be moving overseas. I don't write code; I design and implament software. The former is a task of the latter. It's easy to outsource the former. For various reasons, the latter can't be. Technical people will be required to design the systems, which will then be outsourced to cheap labor to implament it. If you think you can write code and make money in the US, you're in trouble. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it will get harder. if you can understand systems and design them, you'll be ok.--Mark

Mark, perhaps you didn't intend your vision of coding as a "lowly" task, but I am afraid it is being read so. For myself I would say that "designing" and "coding" are like different literature genres. "Designers" write in "science fiction" genre, "coders" in " gloomy realism" - that's all the difference.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Jason is wrong about the Eastern Europe and Russia belonging to the third world. Although the CIA factbook tells us that Russia's economy is not yet "first world", it is certainly better than third world. For example, a quick comparison reveals that Russia has a 98% literacy rate while India, for example, has a 52% literacy rate. In Russia, 15% of the population is involved in agriculture while in India that number is 67%. However, the % of the population living below the poverty line is actually higher in Russia. However, the safety net for the very poor is virtually non-existent in India and "more than a third of the population is too poor to be able to afford an adequate diet."
Mark Fletcher
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Joined: Dec 08, 2001
Posts: 897
Just my two cents.
One of my colleques at work is from India. Weve had a few conversations on comparing life in the UK and India. One of the things that strikes me is that in some places in India, the drive for attaining IT skills is unbelievable.
Looking around at where I live in the UK, sometimes I feel that people take their standard of living for granted.
Well I for one feel that if a lot of labour is going over to India and these other so called "third world" countries, then why not? You cant gripe at market forces for exploiting the cheaper labour, and these people are highly skilled, or at the very least have the thirst to better themselves.
It seems to me that we (Im a UK citizen by birth) in the first world have no qualms about capitalism and market forces when it benefits us, but as soon as the tables are turned its "Hey no fair!".
As someone pointed out in an earlier post, and as Ive pointed out in other threads, historically its the norm for industries to move to other countries and over time become commoditised due to cheap labour. However its also important to note that at the same time, developments in technology lead for new industries to come along and replace the industries that are in the process of being commoditised.
As an example, in Scotland, at the height of the British Empire, Glasgow was famous for its shipbuilding and steel works. Over time however the work was able to be done overseas at a cheaper price and so the industry died. There are very few (1, even 2?) shipyard left in Glasgow, and certainly no steelworks.
Despite that, the outgoing industries have been replaced with other industries such as Semiconductors and other Finance/IT. Over time I expect these will be replaced with other industries. On the horizon we can look forward to an explosion in Bio technology companies as we further unravel the Human Genome. And of course theres the promise of Nanotechnology which will hopefully revolutionise our ways of viewing production.
Phew! Thats enough!
Mark


Mark Fletcher - http://www.markfletcher.org/blog
I had some Java certs, but they're too old now...
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Now I always say that my opinions are open for debate. However, my opinions are patently NOT open for misinterpretation. :-)
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

Ouch. I hope Shura wont be too lazy to explain the difference between "Russia" and "the third world", and I think our Chinese friends may have something to say also... And our Indian friends are just too busy to react ;)

Well, I generally go with the definition Jason gave. Of course, please note that I made to claim, in my earlier statement as to which countries were and were not in the third world, I merely said "third world" and also explicitly named a few countires, which I may or may not have felt belonged in the third world. I intentionally left it vague.

Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

"gets more technical capabilities" - what's wrong with current technical capabilities?

I guess you've never been to Uganda, or Sierra Leone. They seem to be lacking in pentiums. Yes, India and Russia and China have capabilities today. but I was referring to my entire list above.

Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

"cheap labor" - from very American™ point of view. In their countries they are not cheap at all. And it's all relative, does a house *really* cost $200,000 or $20,000 or maybe $2,000? (this comment is intended for general public entertainment, not for Mark enlightening)

Of course I'm talking form an American point of view. So what? That's the point. America spends more money on software then any other country. in capitalism "cheap" is always from the consumer's perspective.

Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

From what I've seen and heard (granted, it's not much, so i could be off), the programming capabilities of most people in these shops aren't very strong, but they're cheap enough that enough body-hours can be thrown at a problem to still make it cost effective.
What do you mean by "the programming capabilities"? I believe there is about the same percent of genius/damn smart/just smart etc. people in every nation, the difference as I see it is that there is far less methodological support overseas. I cannot say for all countries, but in Russia programming is still more craft or art than discipline, science, or technology.


Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

From what I've seen and heard (granted, it's not much, so i could be off), the programming capabilities of most people in these shops aren't very strong, but they're cheap enough that enough body-hours can be thrown at a problem to still make it cost effective.
What do you mean by "the programming capabilities"? I believe there is about the same percent of genius/damn smart/just smart etc. people in every nation, the difference as I see it is that there is far less methodological support overseas. I cannot say for all countries, but in Russia programming is still more craft or art than discipline, science, or technology.

Ok, I should have gone into more detail. My point is exactly what you expressed above, that you have the same percentage of smart people, etc, but a lack of methodologicial support. Currently there's also a slight lack of tool support, in that US priced software is out of the prince range of many companies--but this will change quickly. I would also argue that there is *generally* less support for higher education, where most computer training is done, outside of the US and Europem (you milage may vary depending on country).
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

So why don't I care? Writing code will be moving overseas. I don't write code; I design and implament software. The former is a task of the latter. It's easy to outsource the former. For various reasons, the latter can't be.
Yet, what are these reasons?


Bceuase as software matures it will become less of a technical problem and more of a business problem. Cultural barriers alone will inhibit this from moving overseas. I'm not syaing it won't happen at all, just that there are additional barriers.

Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:

If you think you can write code and make money in the US, you're in trouble. I'm not saying it can't be done, but it will get harder. if you can understand systems and design them, you'll be ok.
Mark, do you think "designing systems" can be learnt separately from "writing code"? If there are not enough "writing code" jobs, where "system designers" will come from?

See my above statement.
Originally posted by Ashok Manayangath:

Originally posted by Mark:
Writing code will be moving overseas. I don't write code

Planning/Designing may take the same route in future. Trained *third-world* people will be asked to travel to carry out Implementations, because they claim less in travel allowance.

Great! I don't care if they implament over there or over here. It's all the same to me, as long as they're chesaper, from the perspective of this argument.

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Your concern for your fellow developers overwhelms me. I can just feel the love pouring thorugh the computer. But don't worry, Mark. I'll save a spot for you on the bread line.

Thomas you should know me well enough to know I'm an advocate of "tough love." I'm not going to sit there and hold you hand saying, "it'll all be better tomorrow" when I see the train coming down the tunnel. I'm telling you how I think it will be so you can switch tracks. If you want to continue to "write code," go ahead. Personally, I'm jumping ship.

--Mark
[ July 18, 2002: Message edited by: Mark Herschberg ]
Jason Menard
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Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
The use of such terms does more harm to the speaker, IMHO, because "underdeveloped world - agrarian, rural and poor" somehow suggest what qualities their inhabitants can exhibit.

While I'm sure that nobel prize winning economist Robert Mundell (father of supply-side economics) as well as a host of other highly regarded economists, sociologists, and environmental scientists are worried about the damage to their reputation when they use such terms, our search for political correctness is leading us away from the topic.
I am not debating what any particularly nation's standing in the world is, or "my country is better than yours, so there", or where the US falls on the PPP scale in regards to other countries, or any other such thing. This would be a topic for another thread if anyone was so inclined.
Speaking only for myself, I am referring to "nations that are able to provide labor at a price that for various social and economic reasons cannot be competed with by Western Europe, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Israel, Canada, and the United States" (my apologies to any nations I have omitted who are also unable to compete with the wages from these countries. :roll: ).
From what I understand, Russia's education system rivals anything in the West. I believe it is the prevailing economic conditions of Eastern-Europe and Russia which bring about the wage disparity compared with Western Europe and the US, as I understand it.
Brian Glodde
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Joined: Jun 27, 2001
Posts: 171
Ok! Let's come full circle. I didn't realize this topic would light up such incredible passion. This is why I love JavaRanch...lots of love for the art of creating/designing Java code.
In all examples, the bottom line is money. My point definitely was...how can I possibly compete with those prices? I have kids, a mortgage, etc...I am trying to make it as a successful independent consultant. When I see prices like that for a full (client and server) chat application, it just makes me sad because it will eventually bring down the value of what we do.
We've all worked hard to reach the levels we're at, so I don't believe any of us want to see that knowledge and skill devalued.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Jason is wrong about the Eastern Europe and Russia belonging to the third world.

*I* did not say Eastern-Europe and Russia belong to the third world. I clipped a definition of "third world" off of a web page, and provided a link.
I personally do not consider Eastern Europe or Russia part of the third world, but then again I do not think I am qualified to say one way or another.
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Shura Balaganov:
I've said that about cheap labor before, US NEEDS latin-american and eurasian cheap and/or educated immigrants. Because who's going to flip your burgers, mow lawns and support your networks?

You forget, pretty much everybody here is an immigrant. Immigrants do often fill a need in the job market. However there is a big difference in people emmigrating to the US and fitting into the job market, and US corporations sending American jobs to third world countries when there are Americans able to fill them.
According to International Labor Office, US job hours are on a big rise in last 20 years (more than in any industrialized nation), and the trend will likely to continue; read sample article here. All this is needed to keep over-inflated money-hungry egoes going.

I'm not sure what the comment about over-inflated money-hungry egoes is supposed to imply, or if it's an appropriate remark after the unemployment thread, but let me provide a few quotes from that article:

Workers in the United States put in the longest hours (among industrialized nations) on the job, nearly 2000 hours per capita in 1997, and in the period from 1980, the annual working hours in the US has been steadily rising.


The long working hours of workers in the US (rising trend) and Japan (declining trend) is in sharp contrast with those of European workers, who are progressively working fewer hours on the job.


"The number of hours worked," comments ILO Director-General Juan Somavia, is one indicator of a country's overall quality of life."
But, "while the benefits of hard work are clear, working more is not the same as working better," he said. But other factors including productivity, compensation, unemployment, levels of technology, social benefits, job security and cultural attitudes to work and leisure need to be considered for any meaningful analysis of working time, he said.


Comparing the productivity data, Johnson notes that currently the US worker works more hours than his or her counterpart in other industrialized nations, but also leads the way in terms of productivity.
In 1996, the US outpaced Japan by nearly $10,000 value added per person employed, and $9 value added per hour worked, but in recently Japan has been rapidly closing the gap.

As I've said before in that other thread, we are a culture that generally places a high value on hard work.
As someone who makes a living as a tech worker in this country, the problem of sending American jobs overseas affects you as well as any other worker in this nation.
Can someone quiet down this 400-some year old kid, there are 2-6 thousand year old civilizations out there.

Another way to look at it is that we've been able to maintain the same form of government for 300-some odd years.
[ July 18, 2002: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Mark Herschberg
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"you're going to hear a giant sucking sound of jobs being pulled out of this country..." --Ross Perot, 1992 (on NAFTA)
Anonymous
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I can't just stop laughing at this whole discussion. I can't believe everybody brings up so many Facts and Figures here. Interesting though....building a good knowledge base in JavaRanch.
Regards.
Mark Fletcher
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:

Another way to look at it is that we've been able to maintain the same form of government for 300-some odd years.
[ July 18, 2002: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]

Im sure the United Kingdom has enjoyed some kind of political system for just as long, and oh, I attended a University whose lifetime is nearly twice the United States.
In the end whats your point caller?
Best Regards,
Mark Fletcher
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:

Im sure the United Kingdom has enjoyed some kind of political system for just as long, and oh, I attended a University whose lifetime is nearly twice the United States.
England is an interesting case. Although England has had parliament for hundereds of years, it is only within the last 200 years that the lower classes had a say in the government and only since 1911 that the House of Lords lost their veto power. Prior to that, one could say that rather than an elected government, England had an oligarchy.
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:

*I* did not say Eastern-Europe and Russia belong to the third world. I clipped a definition of "third world" off of a web page, and provided a link.
You don't expect me to remember all that by the time I get around to posting do you? I should have said that Jason's source is wrong about Eastern Europe and Russia.
Mapraputa Is
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Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
Now I always say that my opinions are open for debate. However, my opinions are patently NOT open for misinterpretation. :-)

That's how terms intended "not to offend but to effectively communicate" work - they easily make us emotional and then misinterpretation is inevitable!
I guess you've never been to Uganda, or Sierra Leone. They seem to be lacking in pentiums. Yes, India and Russia and China have capabilities today. but I was referring to my entire list above..
Ah, I see. I wouldn't worry too much about Uganda or Sierra Leone, considering combined population of ICR (I decided to abbreviate "India, China, Russia" as main culprits for the sake of precision ). How many programmers does West needs anyway? Unless programmers in Uganda or Sierra Leone are far cheaper
Ok, I should have gone into more detail. My point is exactly what you expressed above, that you have the same percentage of smart people, etc, but a lack of methodologicial support. Currently there's also a slight lack of tool support, in that US priced software is out of the prince range of many companies--but this will change quickly.
Not sure what your "lack of tool support" means, that some tools (databases etc.) are too expensive for ICR? That's true, but every medal has two sides. Interesting, I was also thinking about "lack of tool support" yesterday, but from other point of view. Most of tools used in but large corporation are, alas, illegal, and for long time such thing as "technical support" was unknown. This taught local "users" important values of self-reliance and promoted creative thinking and ability to make everything work.
Another side of "lack of tool support" phenomena is that cheap illegal copies of just about everything are abundant and a good part of programmer's time is devoted to installation and examination of latest products of First World programming industry. (They do buy legal copies for serious development, though).
Then, until recently such thing as "company paid training" was also unheard of, so improving qualification was up to individuals... I would speculate that an average "Alternative World" programmer is less methodologically grounded and less disciplined, but more agile.
Bceuase as software matures it will become less of a technical problem and more of a business problem. Cultural barriers alone will inhibit this from moving overseas. I'm not syaing it won't happen at all, just that there are additional barriers.
That's another side: what kind of "system" are going to be outsourced? I was thinking mainly about tools, that aren't depend on business model too much. It's hard to imagine that information/transaction systems for company's inner use can be effectively outsourced, and this should ensure good "home" market for programmers, but this may be only my wishful thinking, of course.
Thomas you should know me well enough to know I'm an advocate of "tough love." I'm not going to sit there and hold you hand saying, "it'll all be better tomorrow" when I see the train coming down the tunnel. I'm telling you how I think it will be so you can switch tracks. If you want to continue to "write code," go ahead. Personally, I'm jumping ship.
There are two alternatives: one is to jump ship and another, as Jason suggested, to try to stop the train. "Free market" is an abstraction, there are always some kinds of market protection laws, so why capitulate in advance?
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:
Im sure the United Kingdom has enjoyed some kind of political system for just as long

I'm sure. Your current form of government has been around since 1911, if I'm not mistaken. And technically, the United Kingdom has only been around since 1707.
and oh, I attended a University whose lifetime is nearly twice the United States.

And teaching the same curriculum the entire time no doubt.
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
"you're going to hear a giant sucking sound of jobs being pulled out of this country..." --Ross Perot, 1992 (on NAFTA)

The idea is right, but NAFTA hardly seems the culprit where IT is concerned. Ross Perot's feigned concern for American jobs beyond his own is about the most interesting element of that quote.
All I can say to this discussion is don't get stodgy. If someone does work for one-fifth your price, congratulations! You've just been washed up in your industry. That, my friends, is a totally American tradition. We're Just now seeing that other countries have learned how to play that game on our soil.
The solution is the same, too: move on. If you want to make more money, move to an area of business where there is more money to be made.
Take as an example someone I know who lives in California. Over the last few years he's taught programming, systems administration, performance, and systesm design and trouble-shooting classes. He's got a lot of programming background and has even written part of a book on Java certification.
My friend saw the writing on the wall with Linux and a pre-publication review of a book called 'The Cathedral and the Bazaar.' Deciding that programming was going to become a commodity game far faster than most people realized, he got out of it immediately rather than wait for the decline to affect him.
Strangely enough, he still teaches and speaks on programming topics -- where there appears to be ample opportunity and margin -- but does almost no actual programming of his own anymore. He does seem to make a comfortable living on fixing other people's code, however. There appears to be quite a bit of business on taking cheap code and making it maintainable. Every once in a while he expresses surprise that no one else seems to have caught on to this idea...
Tony Evans
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We've all worked hard to reach the levels we're at, so I don't believe any of us want to see that knowledge and skill devalued.

Welcome to the New World Order, the future belongs to the fast shiny suit talker. Talk the talk it pays better than walking the walk.
Cheers Tony
Anonymous
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{{In all examples, the bottom line is money. My point definitely was...how can I possibly compete with those prices? I have kids, a mortgage, etc...I am trying to make it as a successful independent consultant. When I see prices like that for a full (client and server) chat application, it just makes me sad because it will eventually bring down the value of what we do.
}}
Maybe the guy who got the project for 600$ is also trying to support his family.Maybe the value of the chat application is 600$.Maybe software itself is overvalued.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: disturbing ( to me )