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Article - "Offshoring: Good for Business, Bad for America"

Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Offshoring: Good for Business, Bad for America
Tax the value of software developed and services provided overseas as the imports they are.
For example, if the testing for Windows Longhorn is done in China, let's figure out what the value of that work is to the total project and then slap an import tax on every copy of Longhorn that Microsoft sells.
This would be easier on coding projects, where you might determine that 25 percent of a program was written overseas, making 25 percent of that product's revenue subject to the import duty.
This tax wouldn't be collected just from software publishers but from corporate IT departments as well. The goal would be to make sending U.S. jobs overseas just a little bit more expensive. OK, maybe a lot more expensive.
Rufus BugleWeed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
Tax them? They are taxing the US..
and The Devaluation of Intellectual Property
While many would argue that IP theft abroad does not have a significant impact on our economy, the math provides the grim truth. If 85 percent of the assets of the S&P 500 shrinks by even 1 percentage point, it devalues U.S. corporations by billions of dollars. And, while worldwide IP enforcement needs drastic improvement, the attitudes and activities of many U.S. corporations are equally as problematic. While most IT firms insist that outsourcing exists solely because of reduced production costs abroad, we are not asking a very obvious question. Why are workers abroad able to produce our IT at all? The reason is because they know how to � because they have our IP.
Marc Peabody
pie sneak
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

If you believe the Intellectual Property (IP) theory, you'd better stop posting to javaranch! You're part of the problem.
Besides, I say IP is overvalued anyway (at least in USA). It causes the "owners" to sit on their laurels and become less productive.
The perceived value of education is inversely proportional to the perceived value of IP. I think this is why offshoring is such a "problem" now. Our country wants to be like that guy in IT that never gets fired because no one else ever learned what he knows about the company's systems and he's not going to let anyone else in on his secrets... and the guy knows nothing BUT the knowledge of a few systems.
That's not how to go about job security. Shame on us for thinking it was.


A good workman is known by his tools.
Jeroen Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
IP is vitally important. Maybe not AS much for in-house software, but when you're talking outsourcing of commercial product development you're talking about throwing away your country's expertise.
When car manufacturers started outsourcing production to Asian companies it was thought to be a cheaper way to make cars.
Now, a few decades on, those Asian companies have taken the data they were given to build those cars and used it to build competing cars at an even lower price thus driving the American (and European) companies out of business.
Same with electronics, optics, etc. etc. and now software.
We're also loosing our ability to create strategic assets which hampers our capabilities in national defense.
What if Japan were to decide they don't like the US and shut off the supply of vital electronic components?
Same with software. Who's to say that Indian company doesn't build in a backdoor that allows them to shut down your mission critical system at the behest of their government (or whomever) if you have no people of your own anymore to go over the code and check for such things?


42
Sharma Ashutosh
Bartender

Joined: Apr 06, 2001
Posts: 346
I agree with Marc's comments. I dont know why it is such a loud cry for offshoring/outsourcing. Americans want open market to sell their products-they see asian country as markets. But when it comes to outsourcing where the project/product services are being done at much lesser price and in a better manner-americans have problem. It's totally double standards-on one side u want to sell arms/weapons to india and pakistan and on other side u wannna bi-leteral talks between the 2 countries. If u want open market/open economies-u shud be ready for outsourcing also. If we are getting better in terms of all the work that has been outsourced to us. U hav the advantage of being the originating place to advance much more than ur counterparts asians.


Ashutosh Sharma
SCJP 1.2, SCEA 5, Brainbench certified J2EE Developer, Documentum Certified Professional
Blog : http://scea5-passingpart2and3.blogspot.com/
Steven Broadbent
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2002
Posts: 400
but the quality is very rarely better - it may be cheaper, but that is something different altogether.


"....bigmouth strikes again, and I've got no right to take my place with the human race...."<p>SCJP 1.4
Kishore Dandu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
Originally posted by Steven Broadbent:
but the quality is very rarely better - it may be cheaper, but that is something different altogether.

Do you have any concrete proof or resources to substantiate this claim??
How about different quality projects that are completed or being done by Infosys/wipro/Motorola Bangalore etc.
I have a feeling it is equal in some projects and much better in some others(at least when it comes to software projects).
I would take a 70% equal or a little less quality & 30% better quality(compared to 95% equal or less quality & 5% better).


Kishore
SCJP, blog
Mohan Panigrahi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 142

Originally posted by Steven Broadbent:
but the quality is very rarely better - it may be cheaper, but that is something different altogether.

The quality is usually better and it is cheaper too, though they are something different altogether.
I get to see a lot of code written over the years by *quality* developers and I see a complete obliviousness to coding standards, hardly any documentation with the code, lot of redundant routines and the code which is manifestation of *laziness, impatience, and hubris*
And I see code written by me and my colleagues with all the opposite attributes.
So now the question is : Whom should I beleive, your rampant generalization of poor quality of *cheap indian coders* or my first hand experience of *quality coders* ?
Jeffrey Hunter
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2004
Posts: 305
I have a feeling it is equal in some projects and much better in some others(at least when it comes to software projects).

Sorry, I'll have to disagree. In my opinion, the U.S. has been an industry leader in the area of software development. Our country has a large pool of brilliant and motivated programmers, and one of the major reasons we are not tapping into it fully is because U.S. programmers are expensive. Naturally, foreign countries will have their own population of capable programmers who are just as talented, but my point is, it is much more likely that outsourcing code will lead to lower quality. Realize, I'm not talking about any Hello World projects either. These are high-profile, mission-critical systems such as financial software, ATMs, telecommunications, etc. In fact, I'm wondering just how much of this type of software is outsourced (very little, I imagine).
And this quality issue extends to other areas of the industry as well, primarily the Help Desk. No offense, but when I'm having a conversation with someone from a different country who can speak English, but with a accent heavy enough to make it a chore to comprehend, my satisfaction level goes way down. At the very least, it is a different culture, and when communication is absolutely imperative to performing your job, it is not a very good idea to ship this responsibility overseas.
Jeffrey Hunter
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2004
Posts: 305
Originally posted by Mohan Panigrahi:

The quality is usually better and it is cheaper too, though they are something different altogether.

Where is this coming from? What makes you so sure the quality is better? Simply because you're seeing code written by some armchair programmers who sat in on a C++ Programming for Dummies lecture and do not know a pointer from a piece of chalk? Sure, there are plenty of incompetent programmers, and maybe your simply getting their trash code, but all in all, you're judgement that the quality is better is faulty, simply because you are comparing your code, with the code that you've seen over the years, and there is probably a reason that you've seen this code -- it's so helplessly broken and inefficient and not worth spending big bucks on, that they've outsourced it overseas.
Mohan Panigrahi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 142

Originally posted by Jeffrey Hunter:
And this quality issue extends to other areas of the industry as well, primarily the Help Desk.

Couple of things:
1. Software development and helpdesk are two opposite sides of the same coin. Completely different skillsets are called for in these jobs. Lets not link them to suit the generalization - *offshoring is always cheap low quality job *
2. The overuse of *thick indian accents* suggest that it is something abominate, loathesome and repelling. However the fact of the matter is that people in that part of the world have *vocal sanskrit-ized accents* whereby they pronounce each word and letter neatly and clearly and not fumble and mumble and eat away the syllables in words. So you have your preception of good accent and I have mine. None of them is good or better and generally it is good to accept and live with diversity that we find around, instead of judging them as good or bad.
3.
it is much more likely that outsourcing code will lead to lower quality

In arguments, generalizations are rarely good and they dont bear any weight.
Mohan Panigrahi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 142

Originally posted by Jeffrey Hunter:
Where is this coming from?

From my personal experience.

Originally posted by Jeffrey Hunter:
you've seen over the years, and there is probably a reason that you've seen this code

Generalizations rarely help, intuitions are rarely trustworthy.

Originally posted by Jeffrey Hunter:
Your judgement that the quality is better is faulty

I substantiated it with my personal experience. What more could I summon ?
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16145
    
  21

Originally posted by Kishore Dandu:

Do you have any concrete proof or resources to substantiate this claim??
How about different quality projects that are completed or being done by Infosys/wipro/Motorola Bangalore etc.
I have a feeling it is equal in some projects and much better in some others(at least when it comes to software projects).
I would take a 70% equal or a little less quality & 30% better quality(compared to 95% equal or less quality & 5% better).


I'm afraid that I have no direct knowledge of superior-quality software projects coming out of India. NOT that I think that such a thing doesn't exist, but that the only software I have direct knowledge of is being produced by unhappy people (or so they tell my spies) and is of markedly low quality.
Superior quality is often claimed by CEOs as a reason for outsourcing, but I read just last week, for example, of one now ex-CEO who claimed that and the company had to bring the whole project back onshore and rewrite it.
Another joke running around the Internet last week was that the reason that Kemper's website has a big hole in it is that the offshored project was not only botched, but when it came time to onshore it, they'd allegedly lost the source code so they couldn't ship it back.
However, Oracle is a big offshorer and I did note that something noted the trouble I was having downloaded CDs and caused a thickly-accented message to alight on my answering machine with an 800 number to call if I needed help. So maybe they have developed a successful CRM system.
As I mentioned last week, I don't think that offshore programmers are necessarily any less talented than domestic ones. Although I have equally no reason to believe that they are any more talented either. But the primary reason for offshoring is cost-cutting, and when price is the overwhelming consideration, quality suffers, no matter what continent you're working on.


Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
naveen567
Greenhorn

Joined: May 03, 2004
Posts: 2
Hi Jeffrey,
There is no point in arguing with these guys.. you are an american .. those guys are programmers from india..
.. as you are saying
that their code is lower quality .. they will disagree for sure.
Mohan Panigrahi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 142

Originally posted by Tim Holloway:
produced by unhappy people (or so they tell my spies) and is of markedly low quality

1. The onus is on American managers. While they want to go for vacation on weekends, they expect the offshore programmers to complete the job by sunday night. But where managers are sensitive [ conscientious is right word ] and to understand that the voice on the phone and thousand of miles away is of a human being who wants to take some rest and be with his family, the results are astounding to say the least.

Originally posted by Tim Holloway:
one now ex-CEO who claimed that and the company had to bring the whole project back onshore and rewrite it

This is simple. See the percentage : 1 Unhappy CEO ( reported ) / 1000 happy CEOs ( reported ) = 0.001 %

Originally posted by Tim Holloway:
Another joke running around the Internet last week

Generalizations rarely help, intuitions are rarely trustworty and contept and condescension mars the argument
Kishore Dandu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
Originally posted by Tim Holloway:


I'm afraid that I have no direct knowledge of superior-quality software projects coming out of India. NOT that I think that such a thing doesn't exist, but that the only software I have direct knowledge of is being produced by unhappy people (or so they tell my spies) and is of markedly low quality.
Superior quality is often claimed by CEOs as a reason for outsourcing, but I read just last week, for example, of one now ex-CEO who claimed that and the company had to bring the whole project back onshore and rewrite it.
Another joke running around the Internet last week was that the reason that Kemper's website has a big hole in it is that the offshored project was not only botched, but when it came time to onshore it, they'd allegedly lost the source code so they couldn't ship it back.
However, Oracle is a big offshorer and I did note that something noted the trouble I was having downloaded CDs and caused a thickly-accented message to alight on my answering machine with an 800 number to call if I needed help. So maybe they have developed a successful CRM system.
As I mentioned last week, I don't think that offshore programmers are necessarily any less talented than domestic ones. Although I have equally no reason to believe that they are any more talented either. But the primary reason for offshoring is cost-cutting, and when price is the overwhelming consideration, quality suffers, no matter what continent you're working on.

Statements from thin air and jokes from the net does not qualify for reality.
one of the measures for software quality is CMM compliance. As of last year there are equal number of Indian firms(compared to American Software companies) that are CMM level 6 certified. How about that?
Please don't give general statements just watching 'EX-CEO' interviews and so called "Net jokes".
Please observe my statement "I would take a 70% equal or a little less quality & 30% better quality(compared to 95% equal or less quality & 5% better).".
A project that is brought back on-shore is a possibility, but it is not a regularity. Software initiatives can fail, this happens here in US aswell. Poor quality code is produced anywhere(it can be in US, India, Israel, Pakistan). Afterall we are all humans right.
[ May 03, 2004: Message edited by: Kishore Dandu ]
Kishore Dandu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
Originally posted by Jeffrey Hunter:

Sorry, I'll have to disagree. In my opinion, the U.S. has been an industry leader in the area of software development. Our country has a large pool of brilliant and motivated programmers, and one of the major reasons we are not tapping into it fully is because U.S. programmers are expensive. Naturally, foreign countries will have their own population of capable programmers who are just as talented, but my point is, it is much more likely that outsourcing code will lead to lower quality. Realize, I'm not talking about any Hello World projects either. These are high-profile, mission-critical systems such as financial software, ATMs, telecommunications, etc. In fact, I'm wondering just how much of this type of software is outsourced (very little, I imagine).
And this quality issue extends to other areas of the industry as well, primarily the Help Desk. No offense, but when I'm having a conversation with someone from a different country who can speak English, but with a accent heavy enough to make it a chore to comprehend, my satisfaction level goes way down. At the very least, it is a different culture, and when communication is absolutely imperative to performing your job, it is not a very good idea to ship this responsibility overseas.

Jeffrey, Dude,
Be a realist man.
The other day I was talking to helpdesk guys from Citibank. I coule not make out any accent from them. After lot of prodding they revealed that they are talking from Bombay. I agree that many of the helpdesk reps from outsourced projects may be not easy to understand sometimes. But we Americans buy a $500 PC and expect great communication from helpdesk. That is not possible anymore due to cost effective reasons.
Do you know that initial design of a ATM is from a Indian(ofcourse he is now in US and is a US citizen; his wife ranaway with their kids;but that is a different story).
How about Cadence, Motorola, GE, Intel etc?? You think expense is the only reason they are settingup R&D centers in India??. They for sure did their due-diligence before going after these initiatives. Only if there is reasonable talent with satisfacory output is possible, these kind of actions are taken.
Its very easy guesstimating quality of products or services coming out of outsourcing just by watching Lou Dobbs and reading Time magazine.
Mohan Panigrahi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 142

Hi Jeffrey,
There is no point in arguing with these guys..

Hey Naveen, Welcome to JavaRanch! We ain't got many rules 'round these parts, but we do got one. Please change your display name to comply with The Javaranch naming policy.
Hope to see you 'round the Ranch!
Kishore Dandu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
Originally posted by naveen567:
Hi Jeffrey,
There is no point in arguing with these guys.. you are an american .. those guys are programmers from india..
.. as you are saying
that their code is lower quality .. they will disagree for sure.

Not true. I am from America too.
Jeffrey Hunter
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2004
Posts: 305
Please be advised, I am in no way saying there is not talent in India. I know some extremely talented individuals from India, one of which is a personal friend of mine. I mention this only because, as it has become abundantly clear in this thread, personal experience greatly weighs on our own perceptions of things.
The overuse of *thick indian accents* suggest that it is something abominate, loathesome and repelling.

Of course this is not the case. There is nothing inherently ugly about any language. But yes, as I said before, when communication is a key factor in providing services (Help, etc.), a thick-accent is bad for business.
One of the better points which has been brought up so far, is that arguing these points is futile. You can throw names of famous Indians who did great things in technology, as I can throw names of famous Americans into the pot. The discussion itself is interesting, nonetheless, as it compels us to do our own research so that we may be better armed to respond to the next thread. But of course, when comparing Indian programmers to American programmers, where exactly do we go to gather research?
Perhaps, as it has already been pointed out, it lies in our own experience. I could care less what Lou Dobbs has to say on the subject, although Time magazine remains a reputable source for me. And yes, I can afford to generalize when responding to statements like: the quality is better overseas, because I emphatically believe this is not the case.
And finally, I am a realist and this is my realist opinion -- outsourcing to India has predominately been a result of the financial squeeze faced by American companies, not because India produces a higher quality product.
Marc Peabody
pie sneak
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

This thread sounds like a:
We've got spirit, yes we do.
We've got spirit, how 'bout you?
Both sides are trying to convince the other that "We're better than you". I can't imagine someone saying, "You're right, you're better than us."
I believe the original topic was whether or not offshoring is good for America, not who writes better code.
Kishore Dandu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
Originally posted by Marc Peabody:
This thread sounds like a:
We've got spirit, yes we do.
We've got spirit, how 'bout you?
Both sides are trying to convince the other that "We're better than you". I can't imagine someone saying, "You're right, you're better than us."
I believe the original topic was whether or not offshoring is good for America, not who writes better code.

Hello,
I did say that instead of 95% projects are of less quality, it is more like 60-70%.
Please try to deduct info from statements.
I still agree that US has the greatest talent. But, outsourcing has more to do with using other venues of talent + in a cost effective way.
You have to remember that many Indians working here are just waiting to get their citizenships to jumpship and start working from India(for better living standards, close to family and at the same time have a option to comeback to US when things become negative in India).
The people working on some of the outsourced projects(plus R&D projects) in India were working in US at some point in their career. They are now working in India possibly due to better chances to move vertically and other reasons I mentioned above.
Mohan Panigrahi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 142

Originally posted by Marc Peabody:
Both sides are trying to convince the other that "We're better than you".

I categorically state that the point in contention is
*Indian labour is cheap and low quality* and all my arguments are to refute that generalization
And if I were to state that Indians are better than Americans then I would be no more but be a poor arduous jingoist.
Marc Peabody
pie sneak
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

If you wish to start a new thread on the topic of generalizations, be my guest. Quote statements from this thread if you need to.
Steven's comment was uncalled-for and I can understand your disgust. Comments that maliciously slander the skill of any group of people does not provoke intellectual thought, only quarrelling and hate.
My point is that this thread was not posted to argue about stereotypes. This thread was posted to discuss whether or not offshoring is good for America or how certain government policies/laws make it good or bad for America. I rarely see comments on this topic from non-Americans. Your insight would be greatly appreciated here.
Warren Dew
blacksmith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
Originally posted by Mohan Panigrahi:
However the fact of the matter is that people in that part of the world have *vocal sanskrit-ized accents* whereby they pronounce each word and letter neatly and clearly and not fumble and mumble and eat away the syllables in words. So you have your preception of good accent and I have mine. None of them is good or better and generally it is good to accept and live with diversity that we find around, instead of judging them as good or bad.

Er, wrong. From the standpoint of running a help desk, the accent that facilitates communications and helps solve the customer's problems in the least amount of time is objectively better. The accent that the customer cannot understand represents inferior service, no matter how aesthetically pleasing that accent is in the abstract. 'Better' and 'worse' can be objectively measured in terms of how effectively the mission - helping the customer - is accomplished.
I think people staffing help desks and such are wising up to this and being more careful about their choices of employees, irrespective of the continent those employees live on.
Mohan Panigrahi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 28, 2001
Posts: 142
Well I could argue that thick accents are no less easy to understand and that my clientele can talk, joke and laugh with me though I have thick accent.
But I am aware of general inertia to change and probably an average american customer would be too prejudiced to accept this sudden change.
But as they say *Time is ultimate leveler*, lets wait for globalization to percolate and take roots, where you would have american call centers catering to Indian customers where they would be instructed to be little thick in their accent and indian call centers with accent specialists speaking more slippery english than even native americans......
One good point that this globalization will nail in, is that americans ( layman or technocrats doesn't matter ) would increasingly perceive and probably respect the newly found diversity. That was my point.
Warren Dew
blacksmith
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
    2
Originally posted by Mohan Panigrahi:
But as they say *Time is ultimate leveler*, lets wait for globalization to percolate and take roots, where you would have american call centers catering to Indian customers where they would be instructed to be little thick in their accent and indian call centers with accent specialists speaking more slippery english than even native americans......

Agreed. Though I would think that the workers in the American call centers serving Indian customers might not be speaking English at all!
One good point that this globalization will nail in, is that americans ( layman or technocrats doesn't matter ) would increasingly perceive and probably respect the newly found diversity.

One can only hope.
Seriously, though, there are growing proportions of the U.S. population that would be perfectly happy reverting to isolationism - no imports, no exports, produce everything we consume ourselves, domestically.
I think that would be a real shame, but I do think that it's in the interests of those overseas people and organizations that benefit from outsourcing to press their own governments to remove any trade barriers to imports from the U.S., in order to encourage a continuation of globalization rather than a reversal to isolationism. And picking up on the intellectual property issues mentioned earlier in the thread, that means pressing for stronger copyright protections and a crackdown on piracy where those things are an issue - perhaps, for example, when it comes to software tools written in the U.S. - and in general, reductions or removals of tariffs and other barriers to U.S. imports.
Sharma Ashutosh
Bartender

Joined: Apr 06, 2001
Posts: 346
If i have to summarize all this i will say. All the countries first of all try to give the jobs to the local citizens first then look out for foreigners. Rather than calling the foreigners to come to US and work from there-it's always better to let them work from their own country(then it's otsourcing). But in any case it shud be that the US manager dont push too much these poor chaps and worsen their weekends. Everyone shud work in his time-zone at appropriate timings. It shud not be the case that US citizens working for 5 days a week from 9 to 5 and indians working 7 days a week from 9 to 11.
And only for some specific training needs people shud go from here and there.
But these are all ideal conditions-will they ever happen???
Outsourcing is more of cost cutting with getting the job done at almost the same quality. If someone is balmming abt quality-i can bet with him-if we r not higher we r not lower also. We are at equal levels and there cud be exceptions to this one-based on some rare personal exp. If that is not a case not only the services companies but it's the product companies also doing a lot of outsourcing work.
sunitha reghu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 12, 2002
Posts: 937
According to a report published by MIT last june by examining more than 100 projects coded by developers in India, Japan,US and Europe, the overall defect rate(errors found in the first year of use per thousand lines of source code) of three percent worldwide Japan did well with 0.5, then US AND India with 3 and europe and other did less well with 5 percent. So that means Indian programmers are not developing "cheap code".
complete report

There is another report saying that India produces prgrammers make fewer errors per line of software code than programmers trained in US.

but when I'm having a conversation with someone from a different country who can speak English, but with a accent heavy enough to make it a chore to comprehend, my satisfaction level goes way down. At the very least, it is a different culture, and when communication is absolutely imperative to performing your job, it is not a very good idea to ship this responsibility overseas.

I dont mind if the accent is heavy, what i care is to get the service at the right time with out waiting long hours on phone.
Last month I changed my cell phone service provider from "a" to "b". And b agreed that there wont be any change in cell phone number. I called "B" after two days saying that " i can not connect to internet and I can not send pictures from one phoen to another. They starting transferring the calls to one person to another. And to make matters worse my number got disconnected and they gave me a new number saying that its only for two days. Two months passed and I spent lot of hours hearing music on Phone. Finally to console myself sent a letter to FCC. Within two days they called me back and reimbursed two months telephone bill and sent a new phone.
.....yea my experience. So accent doesnt matter service matters...
Jeffrey Hunter
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 16, 2004
Posts: 305
There is another report saying that India produces prgrammers make fewer errors per line of software code than programmers trained in US.

I thought we had put this aspect of the thread to sleep. Did we not gracefully agree to disagree?
Remember statistics? Research methods? The methodologies can be strategically designed, the numbers can be manipulated all day long, re-interpreted, re-sampled, cleaned and polished until it reflects something in line with the researcher's or reporting party's agenda.
If I were so compelled, I'm sure Google might serve up some well-documented reports which contradict those you found.
It's like beating a dead horse (or arguing politics).
sunitha reghu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 12, 2002
Posts: 937
May be ....and I bet you will. The point is advantages and disadvantages.
Jesse Torres
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 25, 2004
Posts: 985
If America did little to prevent so many Blue collar manufacturing / factory jobs to go overseas, I don�t think that they will do much over current offshoring practices. I remember family friends and family members that lost their manufacturing / factory jobs throughout the 80s and 90s. Most retrained for Information Technology Jobs. They are once again unemployed.
My Indian friends here in America believe that companies choose India for offshoring because Indian IT workers are smarter. I have never been to India, so I can�t provide comments here. However, I can say that Indians, whom I worked with in America, aren�t any better than the average American worker. In fact, most committed many programming errors and couldn�t completely translate requirements into software code, just as often as an average American IT worker. The reason why companies choose India is the obvious apparent reason that India is cheaper.
I have worked with many Indians in the past and they are very eloquent in English.
[ May 04, 2004: Message edited by: Jesse Torres ]

-- <br />4 8 15 16 23 42
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
US companies offshore because they find it cheaper in the short term. That said, the point which I thought noteworthy from the article I posted was the proposal to tax software and IT services produced overseas as the imports they are.
Sadanand Murthy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 26, 2003
Posts: 382
Originally posted by Jesse Torres:
My Indian friends here in America believe that companies choose India for offshoring because Indian IT workers are smarter. I have never been to India, so I can�t provide comments here. However, I can say that Indians, whom I worked with in America, aren�t any better than the average American worker. In fact, most committed many programming errors and couldn�t completely translate requirements into software code, just as often as an average American IT worker. The reason why companies choose India is the obvious apparent reason that India is cheaper.
I have worked with many Indians in the past and they are very eloquent in English.
[ May 04, 2004: Message edited by: Jesse Torres ]

It is true that Indian IT folks believe they are smarter. I've seen this also. Even on this forum some Indians have said as much. And I agree with you - they are no more or no less smarter than American IT workers.
One will always see varying levels of "smartness" within a group. That is true for the group that contains American IT workers; and it is equally true for the the group that contains Indian IT workers or any other race/nationality.
What some Indians may be seeing is the fact that the American group is larger than the Indian group and as such the less smart numbers may be more in the former than in the latter. I am not saying that this is so; I'm just speculating.
Will some of the Indian ranchers who believe that Indian IT is smarter than the US IT post their reasons as to why they think so and what proofs they have of it?
There is no dearth of skilled IT professionals in US. So, for anyone to argue that offshoring of projects to India is happening solely or even primarily due to the skill of the Indian IT professional is disingenuous.
I too believe that the reason for offshoring to India is primarily the perceived cost-savings by virtue of the available cheaper labor pool. But that in itself would not had been enough. The labor pool had to be quite at home with the English langauge and also qualified to do the tasks. And Indian IT labor pool meets all these qualifications. Unfortunately, it takes more than a technical skill sets to make a project successful. And that is now becoming glaringly and often times painfully obvious. Some of these can be fixed for the offshoring model to be successful. Others cannot be.


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Steven Broadbent
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very well put, the notion that there are some IT skills that are not available in the US is very silly.
HS Thomas
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There is another report saying that India produces prgrammers make fewer errors per line of software code than programmers trained in US.
You mean they follow the spec. The spec is usually full of errors. Things change and usually make half the spec redundant...
sunitha reghu
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Originally posted by HS Thomas:
There is another report saying that India produces prgrammers make fewer errors per line of software code than programmers trained in US.
You mean they follow the spec. The spec is usually full of errors. Things change and usually make half the spec redundant...
Jeffrey Hunter
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Inspired by this thread, I brushed the dust of my February issue of Wired and re-read the article The New Face of the Silicon Age, which, through delightfully descriptive prose, takes the reader on a journey to India, to meet the competition first-hand.
It is a good read, objective, and will give you some perspective on the issues (if you haven't already dug yourself into a trench with the steadfast determination to defend your position).
Whether outsourcing to India is a good idea or not, well, we all have our opinions, but what we all can agree on is that it is happening now, and only gaining steam.
So, Wired brings up a good point, as did someone else in this thread -- India's wages are rock-bottom compared to the U.S., but the quality of the product must also be there in order to attract the heavy-hitters in the American tech industry. So there is little doubt that India has become a formidable competitor.
Perhaps it is advantageous to us (America) in one respect -- innovation. As our tech jobs cross the seas and bumble there way to India, we are left with the simple realization that we must fall back on what has always been our strong point -- creating and mastering new technologies.
Of course I speak with the realization that my job is quite secure from ever leaving the shores of America, so in this case, I may be speaking out of my ass. But I understand and commiserate with the new breed that is rapidly developing in the IT industry -- the Pissed-off Programmer.
HS Thomas
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Ritesh Maniar reminds me that Hexaware has scored a Level 5 rating from Carnegie Mellon's Software Engineering Institute, the highest international standard a software company can achieve. The others are quick to note that, of the 70 or so companies in the world that have earned this designation, half are from India. Over several days, here and at other companies, I hear this factoid repeated like a campaign talking point.

Translation: We're not just cheaper, we're better.

And that, they say, is good for everyone. Maniar, a senior technical architect, describes one American client: "We helped them become process-oriented, which they were not before. They were spending again and again on the same thing. We explained the process that we follow, because we would like to bring them up to our standards."

"Don't you think we're helping the US economy by doing the work here?" asks an exasperated Lalit Suryawanshi. It frees up Americans to do other things so the economy can grow, adds Jairam.
Hem and Haw

"But isn't part of this country's vitality its ability to make these kinds of changes?" I counter. "We've done it before - going from farm to factory, from factory to knowledge work, and from knowledge work to whatever's next."

She [Shirley Turner ] looks at me. Then she says, "I'd like to know where you go from knowledge."


What comes after knowledge? The answer, perhaps, is an update of the slogan that appears in giant steel-and-neon letters on the Trenton Bridge, just a few miles from Turner's office. That slogan, affixed to the bridge in 1935 to proclaim the region's manufacturing strength, reads TRENTON MAKES - THE WORLD TAKES. Now that the rest of the world is acquiring knowledge, and we're moving to work that is high concept and high touch, where innovation is essential but the path from breakthrough to commodity is swift, the more appropriate slogan - of both admonition and possibility - might be this: AMERICA DISCOVERS. THE WORLD DELIVERS.

[ May 04, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Warren Dew
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Originally posted by sunitha raghu:
According to a report published by MIT last june by examining more than 100 projects coded by developers in India, Japan,US and Europe, the overall defect rate(errors found in the first year of use per thousand lines of source code) of three percent worldwide Japan did well with 0.5, then US AND India with 3 and europe and other did less well with 5 percent. So that means Indian programmers are not developing "cheap code".

Actually, it doesn't mean that at all, necessarily. It might mean that they are producing exactly 'cheap code' - code which involves a lot more lines than would be necessary with a better quality design. You can't tell from these statistics.
That's the problem with statistics - one has to read them carefully and understand what they are talking about, as well as understand their limitations. For example, it helps to read that table carefully enough to understand that those numbers are not percentages, as you seem to imply. In addition, one's credibility could be damaged by dropping decimal points to make a point - 0.033 and 0.030 aren't actually equal, are they?
Thanks for the link to the report, though - it's quite interesting. It looks like the U.S. and India specialize in opposite approaches to software development - waterfall for India, agile for the U.S. - for example, with India using detailed designs more than three times as often as the U.S., but using daily builds less than half as much.
In my opinion, the most interesting question raised by this report is how the Japanese manage to get a defect rate of only 1/6 that of anyone else, while maintaining the highest productivity rate (469 lines per programmer month, more than twice India's 209). I'd like to know what processes the Japanese are using!
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: Article - "Offshoring: Good for Business, Bad for America"