[thelist] rentacoder.com

Steve Lewis nepolon at worlddomination.net
Mon Jul 28 13:10:09 CDT 2003

bruce wrote:

>New things supplant old things, technology makes some industries obsolete,
>etc... I recall that there used to be rows of guys doing drafting work in
>certain companies, Cad-Cam applications ripped that profession to shreds...
>While the draftsman complained, technology continued!!!
Interesting observation but I would say that technology is not the 
culprit here, jobs are not being lost--they are just moving oversees; it 
is cheap oversees labor that is our culprit.. 

>who has the first app might complain, he now has to lay off someone, you
Innovation is irrelevant, what is significant seems to be:
- living in a country where $6.00/hr is great money,
- and where you learned to speak a second language (often english),
- in addition to finding a way to gain access to the technology and 
learn to wield it.

>you might feel doing software in Atlanta, or whereever... And in fact, the
>quality is reasonably comparable... The barriers to developing software in a
>distributed fashion are being removed... It's becoming a different world...
My experience is different.  My experience says that the general quality 
of work done oversees in the cheap market is passable but that if you 
have a large ongoing project you will sooner or later have problems if 
your entire development team is 11 hours away and speaks your tongue as 
their second language.  At my current employer, we are the North 
American development team for an international corporation.  That 
corporation also employs two development teams oversees.  One in Russia, 
the other in India.  They maintain one person in North America for every 
two people oversees because they need quality folks (ok, so my place 
amongst my coworkers may be a bit dubious ;) here to fix bugs, direct 
product development, and 'manage' the teams oversees.  Left to their own 
devices empirical evidence here over three years has shown that if the 
ratios drop too far in favor of oversees hours, the overal product 
quality suffers and the bottom line of the parent corporation is 
effected.  This reflects what I have seen from other crews producing 
code oversees too: 

1) there are some clever and even brilliant developers to be had but 
communication *will* become an issue at some point and it is only a 
matter of time until wires get crossed and major time and trust is lost. 

2) you still get what you pay for to a degree.  In manufacturing 
sneakers, a single lapse in quality costs you $8 to replace the shoes if 
the customer discovers it and returns them.  In software a single lapse 
in quality with an oversees development team could easily cost you more 
than that in time, and energy when you have to explain to a 
client/customer why it takes 3 days to fix a typo.

Based on what I have seen, many development jobs will continue to flow 
out of the G8 countries, but the cream of the G8 software/web 
development crops will still be useful.  Job hunting will continue to 
become more difficult for folks like me however.


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