Outsourcing is not the Devil

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Now I’m every bit as much the bleeding heart liberal as the guy to my left, but I have to say that I believe the outcry against offshoring and outsourcing is purely a reactionary response to the current bad economy. I don’t believe that opposition to outsourcing is not based in sound economic principal nor is good for the country in the long run.

This coming from a software developer who makes his livelihood on custom software development. However, as jobs start to get created again (they will) I think the furor will die down a bit because everyone will be too busy working.

In the meanwhile, read this article I found from my economist friend Michael Krimm’s favorite magazine. He will be quite proud of me.

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  1. Avatar for Koba
    Koba April 6th, 2004

    Beware, you are quoting the self-proclaimed "mouthpiece of global capitalism"... Not that I disagree, I'll be the last person to surrender my income to a labor union. But, the thing that bothers me about this "outsourcing" debate is that very little attention is paid to corporate inefficiency (beyond headcounts and wage levels). On some of the projects that I've served, the corporation would have been better served by cleaning up their inefficient processes. But, rather than figure out how to make software (or provide IT services) more efficiently, these organizations "offshore" their inefficiencies to a country where inefficiencies (read wages) are cheaper.

    In an industry where the difference between a good programmer and a bad programmer can be a ten-fold gap in productivity, many more companies should be taking a hard look at how they deliver their products... and ask themselves, "do I really need all these managers?" Just kidding... I'm just reflecting on the last project I was on that had a 3 to 1 manager to programmer ratio (and why are bad programmers always promoted to manager to get them "out of the way"?)... Companies should get real about how their building software and who they're paying to do it. Where are the metrics? Has anyone heard of refactoring? What about testing first? How about realistic requirements and evolutionary planning?

    But I digress... I'll leave you with a quip my friend used to spout when things got a little top-heavy, "too many chiefs, not enough indians". I should wish it would be "too many chiefs, not enough productive programmers".