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H1B 65000 quota filled for 2004

Eddy Chang
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Joined: Apr 05, 2001
Posts: 27
Source: http://www.visalaw.com/blog.html
Press Office
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
February 17, 2004
Contact: USCIS, Public Affairs
202-353-8472
Press Release
USCIS ANNOUNCES NEW H-1B PROCEDURES - REACHES CAP
Washington, D.C.-- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced today that it has received enough H-1B petitions to meet this year's congressionally mandated cap of 65,000 new workers. After today, USCIS will not accept any new H-1B petitions for first-time employment subject to the FY 2004 annual cap.

[Full text removed--Mark Herschberg]
[ February 20, 2004: Message edited by: Mark Herschberg ]
ChanSan Mehbubani
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Joined: Dec 30, 2003
Posts: 108
Thanks Eddy.


I am a Papad
Rufus BugleWeed
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Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551

Kishore Dandu
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Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
I think that does not mean anything for someone working in US(or someone looking for a Job)
It is because, many IT firms that are dependent on bringing people to US on H1 are already staffef sufficiently for the next couple of months. It won't make things any better for people on the hunt(for the time being).
There is the other alternative to bring people here. That is L1. This is something that needs to be changed to make situation for people in US(those are looking for jobs for quite sometime).
Dan.


Kishore
SCJP, blog
poornima karanth
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 22, 2004
Posts: 13
It does not matter either ways to the corporate in US. If H1/L1 limit is reached, the work would be outsourced at a lesser cost. Wouldn't it be better to revisit the policy than talk about Asian competitors?
Rufus BugleWeed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
If H1/L1 limit is reached, the work would be outsourced at a lesser cost.

There is a lot of work that cannot be outsourced. The savings from outsourcing are not as great as advertised. Getting the savings is not that easy.
It is just much better to get an indentured servant in the US.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
"poonam",
Please look carefully at official naming policy at javaranch & reregister yourself with proper first & last name, with a space between them. Please adhere to official naming policy & help maintain the decorum of the forum. The naming policy can be found at http://www.javaranch.com/name.jsp
--Mark
poornima karanth
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 22, 2004
Posts: 13
Hi Mark,
Sorry about the late response. I have changed the name according to the policy.
poornima karanth
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 22, 2004
Posts: 13
Hey Rufus,
Not much idea about indentured servants - but all the corporates right from Microsoft, SUN, Oracle etc have their own huge development centres in India. One of the main reasons for this is the low cost revenue model. Of course, there might also be other considerations & factors here. I am just stating a fact, no hard feelings.
Who knows after some years the same outsourcing could go to China, Malaysia.. hence it would be better in revisiting the policies.
[ March 23, 2004: Message edited by: poornima karanth ]
Rufus BugleWeed
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Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
I have repeatedly made my position clear. If people want to buy their software from India, China or Ghana that is their business. That is their right.
On the other hand, flooding the US with hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of non-immigrant workers, is wrong. Bringing them to the US and giving them indentured servent status is wrong. Allowing them to stay in the US and extending their three year visas to 6 years is wrong. They need to Go Home
Look like the job market picked up just as soon as the H1-B quota filled. Was it a coincidence?
Rufus BugleWeed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
I am going to one step farther. Just to show you how much I like the products of my foreign brothers( someday I aspire to own a Japanese car).
IMO, US consumers should be able to buy prescription drugs from foreign countries.
poornima karanth
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 22, 2004
Posts: 13
hmm.. so you mean to say, its all right to develop software from India, China etc. however these people should not visit US on non-immigrant status and work there.
My point is exactly an effect of this causal analysis. What i say is, if the H1B Cap is closed, then the US/UK companies would have no option but to send the very SAME WORK to INDIA, CHINA, GHANA etc.
So, why show the ire on the foreign workers instead of rethinking on the existing policy of outsourcing?
Rufus BugleWeed
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Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
Not so. Did you read the Foreign Affairs article referenced in the the The Outsourcing Bogeyman thread?
Similarly, most current predictions are not as ominous as they first sound once the numbers are unpacked. Most jobs will remain unaffected altogether: close to 90 percent of jobs in the United States require geographic proximity. Such jobs include everything from retail and restaurants to marketing and personal care -- services that have to be produced and consumed locally, so outsourcing them overseas is not an option. There is also no evidence that jobs in the high-value-added sector are migrating overseas. One thing that has made offshore outsourcing possible is the standardization of such business tasks as data entry, accounting, and IT support. The parts of production that are more complex, interactive, or innovative -- including, but not limited to, marketing, research, and development -- are much more difficult to shift abroad. As an International Data Corporation analysis on trends in IT services concluded, "the activities that will migrate offshore are predominantly those that can be viewed as requiring low skill since process and repeatability are key underpinnings of the work. Innovation and deep business expertise will continue to be delivered predominantly onshore." Not coincidentally, these are also the tasks that generate high wages and large profits and drive the U.S. economy

Did you read the work of Dr. Norman Matloff? BTW Matloff has not marked his web page as copyright material...
9.5 A Bogus Threat
Industry lobbyists have threatened that if the yearly cap on H-1B work visas is not raised, employers will ship software work to foreign countries, where the labor is even cheaper.
This is a bogus threat, demonstrably so: Programmer wages in India are much lower than in the U.S. Given that, why does the industry want to bring Indian programmers to the U.S. as H-1Bs? Why not just employ those programmers in India in the first place? The answer is that it is not feasible to do so.
While it is true that some companies have experimented with having work done abroad (mostly old mainframe software), this will not escalate to become the major mode of operation of the industry. The misunderstandings caused by long-distance communication, the problems of highly-disparate time zones and so on result in major headaches, unmet deadlines and a general loss of productivity. See the author's analysis at
http://heather.cs.ucdavis.edu/pub/Immigration/ImmigAndComputerIndustry/SVReport.html
for extensive details on this point, including many quotes from industry figures.
For example Bill Gates says (San Jose Mercury News, March 9, 1997):
For a company like Microsoft, it's worth a real premium for us to have very strong collaboration. We have found projects that make sense to do other places, in Israel, in Tokyo for example. But it makes sense for the bulk of our operations to be in one location and for the foreseeable future we're going to stick with that. We will spend what is necessary to have most of our development groups at our headquarters and have them meeting face-to-face every day. We want to make sure there is a place where customers can come in and talk to us in person and make sure the products fit together in the right way.
These problems are so severe that Northwest Airlines, which had experimented with offshore software development, decided to move operations back to the U.S., according to a November 1, 1999 report in CIO Magazine. NWA's vice president for information services, said ``It can be difficult to work through language barriers and time-zone differences.''
Symmetrix CEO Paul Hiller is engaged in a joint venture with a company in India. He said that the problems of long-distance communication had really impeded progress on the project. He added, ``You really need to be able to talk [about the project] face to face.'' (Interview with the author, July 20, 1995.)
This point is made quite forcefully in UC Berkeley Professor AnnaLee Saxenian's study of the computer industry, Regional Advantage (Harvard University Press, 1994, pp.156ff). For example, she quotes Tom Furlong, former manager of Digital Equipment Corporation's workstation group in Palo Alto as saying, ``Physical proximity is important to just about everything we do...The level of communication is much higher when you can see each other regularly. You never work on the same level if you do it by telephone and airplane...An engineering team simply cannot work with another engineering team that is three thousand miles away, unless the task is incredibly explicit and well defined - which they rarely are.''
Just look at Silicon Valley. This is the most ``wired'' place in the world, yet those massive Silicon Valley freeway traffic jams arise because very few programmers telecommute. They know that face-to-face interaction is crucial to the success of a software project.
In the May 29, 1998 issue of the Raleigh News and Observer, an article describes Rila Software, a firm in Bulgaria hoping to do software subcontracting work for American companies. Again is shows why this will not become a major mode of operation:
Still, Triangle companies involved in Year 2000 solutions say that hiring Eastern Europeans is not a panacea to any labor shortage. Mike Pileggi, a manager who helps distribute Sapiens International N.V.'s Year 2000 correction product, said foreign software shops are not always as quality-driven as domestic ones. And it can be harder to supervise their work. Sapiens uses a group of 30 to 40 programmers in Russia, but it took significant time and investment to give them the adequate training. ``They have some very key core skills [in Eastern Bloc countries],'' Pileggi said. ``But even at the discounted rates, it can end up costing you more in the end.''
A CNN television report on February 7, 2000 reported:
[Internet entrepreneur Joe Kraus] knows why Internet services, which by their nature can operate anywhere in the world, still cluster in Silicon Valley.
``It is ironic that the Internet is a global phenomenon - yet if you're not in Silicon Valley, it's really hard to get a sense of the pace and the connections between those companies. So many of the ideas get transferred in hallway conversations, meetings over lunch and the casual interactions of the companies that are proximate,'' said Kraus.
There's a lot of idea-sharing across the backyard fence and at other social gatherings in the valley. The ambiance alone, he said, helps drive the industry.
``I think it's very difficult to be a successful Internet company that isn't based in Silicon Valley,'' said Kraus.
Actually, the computer industry has the lowest percentage of overseas research and development of all major industries. (D. Dalton and M. Serapio, Global Industrial Research and Development, Dept. of Commerce, 1999, cited in cited in Building a Workforce for the Information Economy, National Research Council, 2000.)
In an October 9, 1995 Wall Street Journal article, William Schroeder, chief executive officer at Diamond Multimedia Systems says ``There is a `natural limit' to how many skilled jobs can be moved abroad because of the costs of communication and other factors.''

I'm anxious to compete with Indians in India. I have met several of them fresh off the boat in the US. Their English is not up to where they can communicate with US customers until they have been here for quite some time. Even then the complexities and subtleties of US culture escape them.
The Indians in the US are much more adept at the transformation than the Chinese.
So let me reiterate. There is no shortage of available hi-tech labor in the US. There never was a shortage of hi-tech labor in the US. H1-Bs are brought to the US to flood the market with supply. H1-Bs and L-1s are brought to the US so that the industry can exploit them and in turn ravage the domestic labor force.
I have no ire with the foreign workers. All of my ire is directed toward my government and my fellow Americans.
[ April 02, 2004: Message edited by: Rufus BugleWeed ]
Scott McKinney
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Joined: Nov 29, 2002
Posts: 13
"I'm anxious to compete with Indians in India. I have met several of them fresh off the boat in the US. Their English is not up to where they can communicate with US customers until they have been here for quite some time."
---------
Well said. I see it (hear it) everyday. I work with them...and I ignore them. I get tired of saying "what?...what did you say?...what?". And that's just verbal communication. Just look around here at Javaranch and you can witness poor communication skills en masse.
Today, I learned we hired an Indian for a Struts project...who doesn't know Struts. The over/under says he lasts 3 months max. I dont fear them technically and smile when they try to communicate progress at staff meetings and everyone pretends to understand them. Some of them are good. Damn good. But many of them are just cheap. The Indian Bogeyman is a facade. Like the Japanese of the 80s, they too shall fall.
Alan Ford
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Joined: Oct 26, 2003
Posts: 107
Their English is not up to where they can communicate with US customers until they have been here for quite some time."

Well how is your Indian and Chinese my frend? many interesting sites I encounter are on those languages.
Japanese did quite well in my opinion. For resources they have they are doing heroic job. and they do compete successfully.


TNT<br />MCP, SCJP 1.4,
poornima karanth
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Joined: Feb 22, 2004
Posts: 13
I understand, Rufus, your point of view . However I do not agree about poor communication skills.
Indians are very good in written English, probably because our education system is modelled after the British. However, spoken English with especially Americans is still a barrier to cross.
However Alan & others, Indians are much better compared to Japanese, Chinese.
This was not quoted by me, but by Bill Gates who had paid a visit to our Company during his visit to Bangalore.
Probably you might be comparing a fresh Indian Graduate against a seasoned Japanese. Think Again.
Sadanand Murthy
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Joined: Nov 26, 2003
Posts: 382
Originally posted by poornima karanth:
I understand, Rufus, your point of view . However I do not agree about poor communication skills.
Indians are very good in written English, probably because our education system is modelled after the British. However, spoken English with especially Americans is still a barrier to cross.

I don't agree with this fully. Those Indians who have studied in English-medium school (i.e. schools where the medium of instruction is English) tend to be good at written English as well as verbal communication. I believe this is because Indians learn english as a language along with its grammar.
There are different problems when it comes to verbal communication with Americans.
The primary difficulty is the accent & the diction. English, as spoken by US, Britain & other English-language countries, places different emphases on different syllables in the words. Indians don't see any difference in the emphasis. They tend pronounce a word phonetically. They also enunciate every syllable in the word. Americans tend to elide over certain syllables.
One major area is the difference between the letters 'u' & 'w'. To the Indian ear, there is no difference. To the American, there is. (Incidentally, it took me a few years to figure out the difference, after my wife showed me how the lips are shaped when trying to make the sounds made by these 2 letters & now I can hear the difference myself.)
Then there are cultural differences and the inherent differences in the understanding of words & phrases. Certain words & phrases mean different things to Indians & Americans. In addition to this, the same word has a nuance in the meaning to the Indian that is different from that to the American. For example, Indians will use the words 'want' & 'need' rather interchangeably. For them, the phrase 'I don't care' when spoken in reponse to a question like 'will you have tea or coffee?' has a more drastic meaning than it does to the American. I've come to understand that when the American says this, it means that he/she is rather indifferent to it and either would do just fine. To the Indian (when I 1st heard it) means that the person doesn't give a damn.
There is one more area that causes some minor problem & that has to do with vocabulary. My experience has been that Americans, generally, don't have an extensive vocabulary. For sure there are exceptions, many exceptions. I've had to cut words out of my vocabulary in order to get my thoughts across.


Ever Existing, Ever Conscious, Ever-new Bliss
poornima karanth
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 22, 2004
Posts: 13
Wow..you've done a research on this! Yes there are differences. However i feel Indians are much better at hold of this language than Japanese or Chinese.
By saying Indians I mean only the miniscule White collared population.
Arjun Shastry
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Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 1874
But does language really plays an important role in technology?If somebody has mastered all 50 word lists from Barron's guide,does it mean he knows technology well than others who know less English?


MH
Pradeep bhatt
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Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8904

Originally posted by Capablanca Kepler:
But does language really plays an important role in technology?If somebody has mastered all 50 word lists from Barron's guide,does it mean he knows technology well than others who know less English?

Yes you are right. if he knows the technology well he must be able to communicate to others , right?


Groovy
Arjun Shastry
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Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 1874
Originally posted by Pradeep Bhat:

Yes you are right. if he knows the technology well he must be able to communicate to others , right?

Might be in his language not necessarily in other language.But person with good communication skills does not necessarily mean he is great technologist.Stating what Mr.Matloff said in one article:
{
..These kids have an excellent daily working vocabulary,� says Matloff. �Good for them. But it doesn�t mean they are �brilliant� engineers
}

Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 15952
    
  19

There's communication skills, and there's language skills, and the two are not identical. In business, it's more important to get the message across, although presentation can make a difference in how well the message is received.
Most American programmers can barely spell their own names correctly, from my experience. The main thing that you can depend on them to do it not display dialogs like "Please to avoid deviousness while actuator preparing to scanning".
The point becomes moot when the overriding criteria is how cheap you'll work.


Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
Scott McKinney
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 29, 2002
Posts: 13
"There's communication skills, and there's language skills, and the two are not identical"
And it's a matter of semantics. For all intents and purposes they are identical. For example, on another thread here, somebody is saying they wrote a test. Hmmm. ok. But wait. If you read further, they said they did very well on it as far as they could tell.
They did not *write* a test. They took a test. Hell, I thought the guy was an author.
Not a big deal? Ok. I'll go ask a developer to take some code for the company. Am I implying theft or otherwise shady behavior? Or did I ask him to write some code?
Speak for yourself if you believe developers are nothing more than technical, but uneducated blue collar workers. You can have the $5 hour Indians that "write" tests. My team depends on crisp, clear communications and it's hard enough to communicate to business analysts, the user community, executives, QA, et al. Coding is the least difficult part of our jobs.
[ April 09, 2004: Message edited by: Scott McKinney ]
Pradeep bhatt
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Joined: Feb 27, 2002
Posts: 8904

Originally posted by Capablanca Kepler:

Might be in his language not necessarily in other language.But person with good communication skills does not necessarily mean he is great technologist.Stating what Mr.Matloff said in one article:
{
..These kids have an excellent daily working vocabulary,� says Matloff. �Good for them. But it doesn�t mean they are �brilliant� engineers
}



Successful people are good communicators. I have found that many who are technically good but not so good in communication have not achieved much success.
Mike Gershman
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Joined: Mar 13, 2004
Posts: 1272
They did not *write* a test. They took a test. Hell, I thought the guy was an author.

Actually, that is a UK/US language difference. As George Bernard Shaw said
England and America are two countries divided by a common language.

Getting back to IT, someone who can learn a full suite of www technologies can certainly learn colloquial spoken and written American English if it proves necessary.
The impediments to effective use of off-shore programmers will inexorably diminish.
Managing and teaming by voice, text, and graphic telecommunication can be very effective once you get used to it. I've done it.
The quality issues will go away once the supply meets the demand and employers are able to ditch marginal workers who lack the aptitude.
Salaries will rise, but nowhere near US or European levels.
The political angle is a non-starter. Any futile attempt to raise trade barriers will only invite retaliation. Besides, the positive national security implications of a growing middle class in less developed countries far outweighs the jobs issue in terms of national interest.
So what do US/UK IT people of average ability who are either unemployed or whose jobs are threatened and who are not in a position to retire do?
1. Compete for the limited supply of face-to-face or culturally specific IT jobs.
2. Find a new field and adjust to the pay drop.
3. Grab on to the next new thing. Biotech??
4. Move to Asia.
5. ???
Not every question has an answer.


Mike Gershman
SCJP 1.4, SCWCD in process
Scott McKinney
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 29, 2002
Posts: 13
Actually, that is a UK/US language difference

Hmmm...so that would mean that I could write a test so that you can write it?
Alternatively, I hear that Marcus Green has written some nice tests that people wrote?
UK origin or not, this is absurd. The American way isn't better, which implies superiority...it's clearer. Books are written. Manuscripts are written. Plays are written. Songs are written. Tests are written, by the author/publisher and *taken* by the test taker.
If I write a song, am I listening to it? Is this another UK usage?
If I write a book, am I reading it? Or am I writing it?
That said, I'm sure people will continue to this term in this fashion, if not by habit, then for spite.
bollocks...bollocks...bollocks...wanker....bollocks
[ April 12, 2004: Message edited by: Scott McKinney ]
Mike Gershman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2004
Posts: 1272
Here are a few more:
In NYC, I can take a subway, then walk through an underpass beneath a traffic circle.
In London, I can take the underground, then walk through a subway beneath a roundabout.
In business, my favorites are "revert", meaning "respond to you", as in "I will revert by Friday", and "billion", which can mean 1,000,000,000 or 1,000,000,000,000
Then there is the Indian term "fresher", meaning, I think, a job applicant fresh out of school.
[ April 12, 2004: Message edited by: Mike Gershman ]
[ April 12, 2004: Message edited by: Mike Gershman ]
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 15952
    
  19

Originally posted by Scott McKinney:
"There's communication skills, and there's language skills, and the two are not identical"
And it's a matter of semantics. For all intents and purposes they are identical.
[ April 09, 2004: Message edited by: Scott McKinney ]

Semantics isn't just a "blow-off" word. In compiler technology one very quickly learns the difference between syntax and semantics and why the difference is important. Semantics has to do with meaning, and meaning is what business communication is about.
Take one aging physicist. He had a thick German accent, but nonetheless, was absolutely brilliant at getting the point across that time and space and matter and energy are all part of a unified whole even to lay audiences (Albert Einstein).
Take cartoonists like Berkely Breathed. Ever so often they indulge in high-quality artwork. But their primary semantic channel is "syntactically" crude cartoons artwork.
The medium is not the message. The medium is only the transport. A poor transport can hinder a good message, but a good message is more important than a good transport. Unless you're in advertising.
Scott McKinney
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 29, 2002
Posts: 13
Then there is the Indian term "fresher", meaning, I think, a job applicant fresh out of school

Awwww...damn. I thought freshers were young women (the fresher, the better?)

I know the brits go to "uni" (university) whereas Americans always go to college, even if it's a university. And I made the mistake of thinking chutney was jelly (or was it marmalade?)--either way I spit it out very fast.
Taking the "tube" was nice, thankfully not as painful as a colonoscopy.
So about those freshers....
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Aluminium Aluminum
Antenatal Prenatal
Aubergine Eggplant
Autumn Fall
Elastoplast Bandaid
Estate Agent Realtor
Flyover Overpass
Pelican crossing Pedestrian crossing
Pilchards Sardines
Scotch Tape Sellotape
Both Americans and Indians would call a brolly an umbrella and a carrier bag, a shopping bag.
Brits and Indians would agree on chips unless they were in Mc'Ds when everyone would agree on fries.
Actually , I think most Brits say Sellotape and sardines now.
See what a free market does !
And spot how many wars were sparked by letters / books.
A Nation made of poetry
All relevant to the topic off-course.
In the US Hollwood stars have handlers , in the UK dogs have handlers.
[ April 12, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Warren Dew
blacksmith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
Originally posted by poornima karanth:
[However Alan & others, Indians are much better compared to Japanese, Chinese.
This was not quoted by me, but by Bill Gates who had paid a visit to our Company during his visit to Bangalore.

In my personal experience, it is somewhat easier to understand and communicate in english with Chinese immigrants than with Indian immigrants. Bill Gates' opinions are his own, and they might reflect more on him than on any real differences between the groups.
Knowing the grammar better might not help communication if one doesn't also know word connotations and idiom. for example, one might write a document that appears to be perfect english, but actually miscommunicates badly because of problems like the "write test"/"take test" problem. (Consider "I contract to write unit tests for your 2,000,000 lines of code, running them on my Linux cluster, for $5000." Rather different if you substitute "take" for "write".) In my opinion, such a document is far more dangerous than a document that's written in what's clearly broken english; in the former case, one might proceed a long ways before realizing there was a miscommunication, resulting in a lot of problems down the line, while in the latter case, it's more likely that one will seek clarifications immediately, avoiding future problems.
Scott McKinney
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 29, 2002
Posts: 13
Well said Warren. I guess the whole point of your theory (and mine) is that software development is extremely communications intensive. Extremely. And it is so easy, too easy, to mess things up really, really bad---when the parties are both from the same culture and speak the same language, with the same accents.
Now add another culture with different accents...throw in some idiom differences, sprinkle in some resentment and you have a recipe for very very bad things to happen which offset the supposed savings. Swap out Indian for Russian for Irish and the same thing applies.
My first European project had me talking to an Irish guy about a dev environment setup...I had NO idea what he was saying. None. I pretended. And his country was speaking english long before America was even a discovered. Was his english the "correct english"? Who cares. Who had the accent, him or me? That's a matter of perspective of course. What is undeniable is that we could not communicate effectively with each other in a job that requires constant communication.
The more I think about it, the more I dont see offshoring as a viable option to software development to the extent that ite been attempted or protrayed. I used to fume about how our industry (app dev) was so loose, so non standard, so fly by the pants, so anything but repeatable. We're not "software engineers". Engineers have a common standard that they could measure themselves by. They have repeatable solutions and a discipline. They follow science. We, on the other hand, keep reinventing the goddamn wheel. How many friggin web frameworks do we need? How many languages do we need? Who the hell had the time or inclination to invent Ruby, Jython, Python, PHP, and all that other crap out there. Ant's not good enough so some fool invents Maven. Even UML cant stand still and now we'll add crap like MDA, aspects, generics and a bunch of other useless stuff. All in the name of cool. All in the name of "this is more elegant". So here we are in 2004, coding stuff that looks a lot like structured programming using an object oriented language. Where are all those objects that we could reuse? Remember...that was the selling point. Reuse. We dont reuse anything. VB widgets was the closet thing I saw to reuse. EJBs? Most people cant even get it right, much less reuse them around the enterprise.
The whole point of this is a mickey mouse industry that just wants to reinvent the wheel all the time. And reinventing the wheel requires coding. And coding requires communications. Among team members and between teams. This is not manufacturing. We can send shoes to Malaysia to be sewn/manufactured by peasants, or TVs to China. Get a machine out there to do it and it could be outsourced. Cost is the issue. Communicating with the Malaysians or the Chinese is not the central issue. Fortunately for those unemployed in the states, communications is required for software development.
Now all we need to do is convince them to USE that fact. But no. No. These same folks are gonna get certs. They're gonna talk aspects or generics. They're gonna visit Slashdot. They focus so much on tech that they will contribute to their demise. If tech is the issue and the commodity, then go for the lowest price. Ergo...you deserve to be unemployed. You bring nothing to the table if all you have is tech skills.
Name me one project...one, where failure was due to lack of tech skills. I'll show you 5 that failed due lack of communications. And this was among Americans. No accents. No language issues. No excuses to fail.
They did fail. They do fail. And they will continue to fail until either software gets easier to write (remember CASE) or people value and use communications within a project team.
There is a third option. Standardize this stuff. Stop reinventing the wheel. Make a "software engineer" a true engineer like a Civil Engineer or an architect.
But it wont happen. And that's where I'll make my money.
HS Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
I think it's not communication but culture differences that would hinder tight integration of development projects between countries. On a system I worked for we had to interact with German developers sometimes. Some spoke beautiful English but quite a lot refused to speak anything but German. For the latter we had to ask a series of questions and get either 'yes' or 'no' as answers and from that build up an idea of interfaces between our systems.
as well as looking at code. Documentation ? Pooh! They invented Agile ages ago.
They were obviouly good software engineers - the system lasted for quite a few decades well before my time, undergoing several changes. Very sociable when they visited us for face to face meetings.
[ April 13, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 15952
    
  19

Originally posted by Scott McKinney:
And they will continue to fail until either software gets easier to write (remember CASE) or people value and use communications within a project team.

Actually, form what I've seen, software projects are more likely to fail for political reasons than purely technical ones.
#1 reason for failure is overplanning up front. Generally followed by increasing panic as the deadline approaches and all the time was used up in the planning.
#2 reason for failure is feature creep. EVERYBODY wants to add features - users, managers, and programmers (often looking for an excuse to try out some neat new technology).
#3 reason for failure is management treating the process as a mechanical, predictable sequence of events which can be rigorously controlled. Of, as I call it, the "hamburger grinder". You don't expect to be able to bake cakes faster by cranking up the oven, you can't assign more women to have a baby faster. Some things are just going to have to develop on their own schedule, and, while you can help or hinder that schedule, the fundamental amount of time it's going to take is the time it's going to take, no matter how many Gantt charts you produce.
It's really ironic, I think. Software is a product to be consumed by computers, which are the ultimate mechanical deterministic devices. Yet software itself is practically organic. Unlike the materials that engineers work with, software systems have no "strength of materials", no "unit cost", no "physical dimensions". Components do, but components can be - and constantly are - replaced as platforms evolve. At the macro level, there's always something that can stretch and distort the planning process, even if you were to attempt something as cut-and-dried as a General Ledger system.
Part of it is the immaturity of the industry, but ultimately, I feel it may be just because software is about as pure a product of the human mind as you'll ever get. About the closest thing you could get up to now was composing music.
poornima karanth
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 22, 2004
Posts: 13
Originally posted by Warren Dew:

In my personal experience, it is somewhat easier to understand and communicate in english with Chinese immigrants than with Indian immigrants. Bill Gates' opinions are his own, and they might reflect more on him than on any real differences between the groups.
Knowing the grammar better might not help communication if one doesn't also know word connotations and idiom. for example, one might write a document that appears to be perfect english, but actually miscommunicates badly because of problems like the "write test"/"take test" problem. (Consider "I contract to write unit tests for your 2,000,000 lines of code, running them on my Linux cluster, for $5000." Rather different if you substitute "take" for "write".) In my opinion, such a document is far more dangerous than a document that's written in what's clearly broken english; in the former case, one might proceed a long ways before realizing there was a miscommunication, resulting in a lot of problems down the line, while in the latter case, it's more likely that one will seek clarifications immediately, avoiding future problems.

I understand what you say Warren, there's a difference between 'Written English' & 'Spoken English'. Some prefer broken English if the communication is quite clear & others prefer grammatically correct English. It depends on the kind of job one is in.
Recently i'd been to a 'Soft Skills' training program where it was emphasized that body language plays a huge role apart from the language. One can say the same thing & mean entirely different with a different body language.
[Personal opinion: I still stick to the fact that Indians are better at English language]
poornima karanth
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 22, 2004
Posts: 13
Hey, just a thought.
Is this discussion going in a different thread altogether? I mean, look at the topic
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
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