Discussions

News: Survey: More Offshoring than Outsourcing in Software Development

  1. Outsourcing is often closely related to offshoring in software development, but you can outsource onshore and you can create offshore subsidiaries. This seems to be the current trend for large western organisations that want to profit from lower costs in countries like India, and maintain a high control on the process. However, developers in Europe or North America feel no differences if their Asian "competitor" work for a subsidiary or for another organisation. A recent poll from Methods & Tools wanted to know if applications are developed exclusively inside organisations or if outsourcing software development services are used. The majority of the 346 respondents were equally split between those that are not using outsourcing and those that use it, partially or completely. Complete outsourcing is done by only 6% of participants. There is a need to keep internal expertise when outsourcing is used. The phenomenon of outsourcing of IT services is well known. An article of McKinsey Quarterly estimated the global market for IT and business process outsourcing to $30 billion. The part of software development in this growing market is less known and discussed. In another recent survey published by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), 60% of the participants were offshoring software development efforts and half of them were doing it with external providers. The results from the poll, along with supporting material, are published here: http://www.methodsandtools.com/dynpoll/oldpoll.php?Outsource Note from the Editor: This trend toward offshoring may be healthier than outsourcing. Companies implementing it are aware of operational and morale issues. Enterprises perceive an advantage when sharing work with subsidiaries because this tends to create new opportunities for all participants while reducing costs at the same time. How is your organization addressing this issue?

    Threaded Messages (57)

  2. The consulting company I work for increasingly uses both offshore and onshore, providing the client an attractive blended rate that encompasses both the U.S. based and offshore staff. I for one feel pretty good about my future prospects in the U.S. (where a tech shortage looms... or so they say). You can't offshore everything (or shouldn't). So an onsite tech lead with good business and communication skills is essential and I think companies will continue to pay good money for those individuals. At one time the mindset seemed that all you needed were BAs and PMs onsite and could offshore *all* the tech talent. I think the smarter companies have already learned that doesn't work. At the end of the day, you still need technical people close to the business too.
  3. So an onsite tech lead with good business and communication skills is essential and I think companies will continue to pay good money for those individuals. At one time the mindset seemed that all you needed were BAs and PMs onsite and could offshore *all* the tech talent. I think the smarter companies have already learned that doesn't work. At the end of the day, you still need technical people close to the business too.
    I agree. In one of the successfull offshoring efforts I was involved with, I had to bootstrap a development team in India for a startup. My role here in US was a blend of architect, requirement analyst and team lead.
  4. From my experience at two large US IT management software companies the usage of offshore talent in key product design and developments has been successful at all. Off shoring of testing and application maintenance does seem to work when the original development teams house is in order. What I personally find troubling though is the increasing usage off shore companies for testing (including performance engineering) with no corresponding increase in the licensing of commercial testing tools caused in large part by the fact that these countries have very little in the way of intellectual property protection and enforcement. A company can now out-source both human resources and software license costs ($0). Should companies be made accountable for any possible license abuse during the creation of software development consumed by them irrespective of the location? I think so. regards, William
  5. has been successful at all. change to has NOT been successful at all.
  6. A paramount concern of mine in all this is that companies continue to employ and provide meaningful oppotunities and a career path to entry level IT professionals. They need to insure that they nuture the pipeline that takes them from entry-level to the senior and top level IT jobs and that they require hard skills along the way. That cannot be done if all of your major projects are outsourced or off-shored. If we don't then we are eating our seed corn. In 15 years, after I retire, U.S. businesses will find that there are few U.S. senior IT professionals with years of hands-on experience in a variety of areas in projects large and small. Will they have to then import their senior IT management and architects from China, India and eastern Europe? Or do they think they can get by with IT leaders who don't have an in-depth understanding of how IT is done?
  7. A paramount concern of mine in all this is that companies continue to employ and provide meaningful oppotunities and a career path to entry level IT professionals. They need to insure that they nuture the pipeline that takes them from entry-level to the senior and top level IT jobs and that they require hard skills along the way. That cannot be done if all of your major projects are outsourced or off-shored.

    If we don't then we are eating our seed corn. In 15 years, after I retire, U.S. businesses will find that there are few U.S. senior IT professionals with years of hands-on experience in a variety of areas in projects large and small. Will they have to then import their senior IT management and architects from China, India and eastern Europe? Or do they think they can get by with IT leaders who don't have an in-depth understanding of how IT is done?
    Amen, I say this all the time to coworkers. Since we are hiring entry-level talent overseas, that's where the next generation of leaders will have to come from. Breaking into this industry is a lot harder than it was when I did 14 years ago, that's for sure.
  8. You are right .. and what is wrong in that ? where there is talent, people should go there ? Do u think its wrong in going to India or somewhere else if talent exists there ?
  9. I've seen offshore and outsourcing on a couple of projects now (for consultancies), and every time it has been a raging fiasco. The obvious reasons are communication problems, cultural differences, time differences, process difficulties, and to be perfectly blunt: a complete incompetence on the behalf of the company providing the developers. Usually one of two things tend to happen (apart from the difficulties): - You get expensive £50-80K a year consultants doing mindless stuff like administer boxes, CVS and build processes while development (which is the complex part) is done 4000 miles away (makes you wonder what really should have been outsourced/offshored). - You have to spoon-feed lowly skilled developers to the point where it actually takes longer to communicate rudimentary and simple design/architecture than it would have taken to just write and test the code. A lot of developers I've come across barely know what an interface is in Java, nor do they have any understanding of things such as threading or asyncronous behaviour. I'm not terribly impressed by the level of skill Indian universities seem to be churning out. So my experience of offshoring and outsourcing in a consultancy context is that it is utterly useless, a waste of time and money. It may work for a software shop that does the whole project elsewhere, but not for a consultancy.
  10. WOW!!!![ Go to top ]

    Great, Seems like you are crying too much.
  11. I've seen offshore and outsourcing on a couple of projects now (for consultancies), and every time it has been a raging fiasco.
    The obvious reasons are communication problems, cultural differences, time differences, process difficulties, and to be perfectly blunt: a complete incompetence on the behalf of the company providing the developers.

    Usually one of two things tend to happen (apart from the difficulties):
    - You get expensive £50-80K a year consultants doing mindless stuff like administer boxes, CVS and build processes while development (which is the complex part) is done 4000 miles away (makes you wonder what really should have been outsourced/offshored).
    - You have to spoon-feed lowly skilled developers to the point where it actually takes longer to communicate rudimentary and simple design/architecture than it would have taken to just write and test the code. A lot of developers I've come across barely know what an interface is in Java, nor do they have any understanding of things such as threading or asyncronous behaviour. I'm not terribly impressed by the level of skill Indian universities seem to be churning out.

    So my experience of offshoring and outsourcing in a consultancy context is that it is utterly useless, a waste of time and money.
    It may work for a software shop that does the whole project elsewhere, but not for a consultancy.
    Agree 100% with everything. It has to be very carefully evaluated and usually works better when a larger software shop can actually establish off-shore presense and manager the people/projects there. Ilya
  12. I was with you until you said this, "I'm not terribly impressed by the level of skill Indian universities seem to be churning out" With all due respect ! If you have hired some cheapos to save those extra few cents, that is not the problem of Indian Universities.
  13. Stop blaming Indians for your own failings. Most developers think they are better than they are. I'm just an average developer...you probably are too. This wasn't directed towards you Sudhir. Westerners need to stop thinking of this as a zero-sum game. And politically, Indians are pretty good guys.
  14. I was with you until you said this,

    "I'm not terribly impressed by the level of skill Indian universities seem to be churning out"

    With all due respect !

    If you have hired some cheapos to save those extra few cents, that is not the problem of Indian Universities.
    I didn't hire them. I'm not saying there aren't smart people coming out of India. But one thing is for sure, the big outsourcing companies aren't hiring them (and my guess is that their "volume" of people are quite high). My guess is that the smart people work for software shops, local consultancies or go abroad. And yes, I'm pretty sure in the cases I've come across, there has been an element of "hiring cheapos", clearly the ones making the decisions thought cheap resources are better than good ones.
  15. I think the problem is not Indian or any other foreign nationality, the problem is our H1B system. Let's see, in the last few years I have received tens of resumes from H1B holders that were basically BS. Yes, resumes exactly copied from some other google resume they found, when interivewed their skill reflected 0 of what they claimed they knew. Why do you say they do such things? Well, they have to maintain a steady job in order to stay here on H1B and are unfortunately being taken advantage of by a lot of consulting firms in the US, which promise them a steady job and don't deliver. They are then forced to lie. This is still not a good excuse for lying, but at least we can see the root cause.
  16. Hi All, I have got the offer for H1B visa from one of the consultant company. I have good job in India but I am don't know can I accept this job offer or not. so can anybody guide me for that? Also my some friends are in USA, still they are finding job over there but consultant company pay the salary to them. so please friends guide me for H1B visa and should I leave my job and do the struggle in US for finding job or not?
  17. I think the problem is not Indian or any other foreign nationality, the problem is our H1B system.
    +1 Assuming we really need H1B developers in the U.S., they should be given the opportunity to compete, i.e. change employers and negotiate truely prevailing or better wages. As it stands now they are basically indentured servents. The so-called prevailing wage they are paid is almost always much lower than what is paid to citizens and green card holders. Also, I've seen and heard (from collegues) of a number of places where the work rules and hours are different (much worse) for H1Bs than others. These companies are blatantly abusing the H1B system, the H1B employees as well as citizens and green card holders. They are not trying to fill scarce skills so much as they are seeking cheap compliant labor. If H1B's were given similar work rights as their green card and citizen counterparts there might be fewer of them because they wouldn't be so cheap, but they and everyone else (except the employees) would be better off.
  18. H1B visa or any other visa program is highly abused in USA. I came to USA 10 years ago in H1B visa. I used to work for a sub contracting firm in NJ. I was never aware of the term sub contracting before I came to USA. When my employer's personal development manager told me that I have to prepare for job interviews, I surprised and asked WHAT???. He told me "YES" we have to go through our major vendors and we don’t have direct clients. It was hard to understand, but I had to face it. Later after 7 months, I decided to leave the company, the company owner threatened me, but when I told him that I will report to INS he later became silent and let me go. I went to Bank of America in San Francisco with a condition; I will take a job on which I have to support a trading application being developed in weblogic 4.5 and JHTML in 1998 starting from morning 5 AM PST (8 AM EST). I took the job cuz it was a great opportunity to learn a lot. I left BOFA after one year joined BEA system as a Senior Consultant in PS. BEA used to give me share options for my best performance. One time they send to me Germany where I had to go through an immigration issue. When BEA law firm got involved in the issue, they address me as "immigrant from third world!!!". There was a racist used to manage BEA's PS named Grant Lopez, he used to threaten immigrants and stop them being promoted. After 9/11 there was a big lay off in BEA when I also got laid off. Suddenly one day a paper millionaire immigrant became job less in America. I also reported racist Grant Lopez behavior to immigrant worker to Bill Colmen (The B guy in BEA name), nothing happened. However one thing is very clear, America is a land of opportunities. I took a break and thought about what made BEA to give me more stocks for my performance?, nothing but my ability to deliver a work. I started thinking whether I can capitalize that quality?. Later I joined a partnership with a company to keep me as a legal immigrant in this country. I talk to a couple of BEA partners which I know through my work relationship. I got some amazing contracts where I worked as an Architect for BEA products. I made 150.00 USD per hours in next 6 years. I architected, developed and delivered numerous applications across USA. Since I have gone through a tough time as a H1B visa holder and also I work with a lot of visa holder, I always used to check with people about there life as a visa holder. I have came across many situations where they are being abused in different level even in work place that include US government office where their real employer pay them nothing but sometime a hotel room plus 50 dollar plus food plus their Indian salary. After I left BEA, I always try to learn their behavior by applying for jobs there even though I never ever have an intension to go back and work there. BEA have a recruitment facility which is sub contracted to some other company. So when ever they see a resume with 18 project implementation in BEA platform, they jump and call me, arrange interviews. However when the real BEA guy come to talk, they ask me, “Are you the Shaji Nair used to work in BEA and write in serverside. com?” . I laugh and say "YES" you got a problem?. Over all, immigration systems are complicated and widely misused, but America is a nation with great power and opportunities, qualified people can survive here always through right legal rights and hard work. Finally even thought for BEA's law firm, I am an immigrant from third world. I have worked so hard Paid pure tax of minimum 40 - 60k (tax itself) to IRS Adopted two kids Fathred another three kids and pay back whatever this country give to me. So all failed, cola driniking racists can play video games, be a manager who never know how to manage him self. Talk about SOA where he don't even serve his/her services. For all hard working individuals irrespective of their nationality and origin or color, Weclome to USA if you are a hard working enthuciastic individual!!!.
  19. I've seen offshore and outsourcing on a couple of projects now (for consultancies), and every time it has been a raging fiasco.
    The obvious reasons are communication problems, cultural differences, time differences, process difficulties, and to be perfectly blunt: a complete incompetence on the behalf of the company providing the developers.

    Usually one of two things tend to happen (apart from the difficulties):
    - You get expensive £50-80K a year consultants doing mindless stuff like administer boxes, CVS and build processes while development (which is the complex part) is done 4000 miles away (makes you wonder what really should have been outsourced/offshored).
    - You have to spoon-feed lowly skilled developers to the point where it actually takes longer to communicate rudimentary and simple design/architecture than it would have taken to just write and test the code. A lot of developers I've come across barely know what an interface is in Java, nor do they have any understanding of things such as threading or asyncronous behaviour. I'm not terribly impressed by the level of skill Indian universities seem to be churning out.

    So my experience of offshoring and outsourcing in a consultancy context is that it is utterly useless, a waste of time and money.
    It may work for a software shop that does the whole project elsewhere, but not for a consultancy.
    Are you living under rocks or in some stone age ? communication problems, cultural differences .. etc for how long will u be cribbing about these issues ? Do u even feel the face that other end of the pipe has all highly skilled intellectuals .. so what if there is slight communication problem .. can u really compare ur intellectual level with a person from India or China or Europe or any other place .. If yes, then also u don't have a right to comment that "indian univs are not churning smart folks" .. how many indian people have u worked with ? I have worked with 100s and come across with many on a daily basis and I find majority of them smart, well behaved and intellectually capable of churning out results .. maybe u r just culturally shocked looking at urself in the mirror and comparing ur jeans with the old khakhi the other person is wearing .. grow up !
  20. How about insourcing?[ Go to top ]

    My company is a big IT shop with thousands on developers. Everything related to software development is done in-house, i.e. zero outsourcing/offshoring. I can do some comparisons with other projects I have worked on before as a consultant in a Big Five company, with oursourcing/offshoring. Let me get this straight: in-house works. Most projects have I worked on or seen as a consultant that involved offshore teams did not work, i.e. if I had to do them again in-house it would have been more cost effective, delivered earlier - and the project would have been a success. I have seen a team of 12 senior in-house people do more in 1.5 year than 100 people including offshore in 3 years. A lot more. And the systems work. The thing is, software is the core of my company's business, so we don't really have a choice. But beyond that there are some fundamentals that explain why offshoring is so risky. The first one is your chances of success are directly related to the quality of the people you hire. Period. No amount of process and methodology and tools will ever change this. So here is a question for all project manager that work with an offshore team: have you even met your developers? The other big reason is communication: it is way more efficient to have everyone in the same building. You don't have to write everything to get things done for example. By the way my company is one of the most successful one in the US for the past 20 years, so we must be doing something right :)
  21. Keep talking as you the best in this world. One day an Indian company will buy your company too (Look into the case of Management and IT consulting firm “Keane”). If you are a parent, instead being narrow minded like this, teach your kids mathematics and science instead of video games, so that they can face the world competition with a dignity. Also I think but not sure, you are still working as a programmer/developer in your 20 years old company because you just a high school diploma holder. For your information, at least in India, in order to get a clerical job he/she need to have a 4 year degree.
  22. You did not understand what I wrote. I believe there are good software programmers and managers everywhere including in India: that is not the point. Read again.
  23. Time for an attitude check??[ Go to top ]

    "One day an Indian company will buy your company too (Look into the case of Management and IT consulting firm “Keane”)." Now that, Shaji, just smacks of arrogance.... Are you sure you're worthy of it??? "If you are a parent, instead being narrow minded like this, teach your kids mathematics and science instead of video games, so that they can face the world competition with a dignity." You don't seem to be able to think in anything other than gross over-generalizations that you read about in the press. [I think I've answered my question above.] Many of us do educate our children well, as I see many in India do as well. India isn't "entitled" to any place as a first-world economic power any more than the US or Europe is entitled to keep a top-tier place. Everything must be earned today. Right now, you have an advantage in good part because of low-cost. The hard part will be keeping that advantage as costs rise. "Also I think but not sure, you are still working as a programmer/developer in your 20 years old company because you just a high school diploma holder. For your information, at least in India, in order to get a clerical job he/she need to have a 4 year degree." Let's please not confuse education with skills and effectiveness here. There are people without college or advanced degrees that are highly skilled. [Or, are you really suggesting that Bill Gates is just a complete wanker?] Similarly, there are also some people that despite even having advanced degrees (or worse yet get churned out by "diploma mills" of which India has many) lack real value. It would be good to be discerning enough to see the difference.
  24. Re: Time for an attitude check??[ Go to top ]

    "One day an Indian company will buy your company too (Look into the case of Management and IT consulting firm “Keane”)."

    Now that, Shaji, just smacks of arrogance.... Are you sure you're worthy of it???


    Are you worthy of it ??
    "If you are a parent, instead being narrow minded like this, teach your kids mathematics and science instead of video games, so that they can face the world competition with a dignity."

    You don't seem to be able to think in anything other than gross over-generalizations that you read about in the press. [I think I've answered my question above.]

    Many of us do educate our children well, as I see many in India do as well.


    Good for you. You really think so ?? Looks like u sincerely lack the exposure to the so called "news" channels ..
    India isn't "entitled" to any place as a first-world economic power any more than the US or Europe is entitled to keep a top-tier place. Everything must be earned today. Right now, you have an advantage in good part because of low-cost. The hard part will be keeping that advantage as costs rise.


    True. So, don't boast. We are sliding towards that ..
    "Also I think but not sure, you are still working as a programmer/developer in your 20 years old company because you just a high school diploma holder. For your information, at least in India, in order to get a clerical job he/she need to have a 4 year degree."

    Let's please not confuse education with skills and effectiveness here.


    It is surely tied with education. In majority of the cases, the skills and effectiveness of an individual is tied to his/her level of education. Even if a person is highly skilled and he is a college drop out (I know u can quote 1 in 1000000s), he may be smart (well that's a god gifted talent. But the reciprocal is never wrong. If a person has had a good level of education, he/she wud surely have good skills - unless u close ur eyes to it. There are people without college or advanced degrees that are highly skilled. [Or, are you really suggesting that Bill Gates is just a complete wanker?] Similarly, there are also some people that despite even having advanced degrees (or worse yet get churned out by "diploma mills" of which India has many) lack real value.

    It would be good to be discerning enough to see the difference.
  25. Keep talking as you the best in this world.
    One day an Indian company will buy your company too (Look into the case of Management and IT consulting firm “Keane”).
    Dude, please shut up. After reading that quote, it makes me not want to read the rest of your reply.
    If you are a parent, instead being narrow minded like this, teach your kids mathematics and science instead of video games, so that they can face the world competition with a dignity. Also I think but not sure, you are still working as a programmer/developer in your 20 years old company because you just a high school diploma holder.
    If you work as a programmer for 20 years, doesn't reflect lack of skills. Some developers unlike you, actually like what they do and don't want to go into the bureaucratic management positions. And the high school diploma or a PHD have nothing to do with it.
    For your information, at least in India, in order to get a clerical job he/she need to have a 4 year degree.
    And you're proud of that? Dude, that's great efficiency. Let's see, how many years do you have to complete in a University to work at McDonalds there? I think the qualifications in India don't reflect something you want to brag about. This is a way to disqualify otherwise more qualified candidates, but unfortunately Indias population and supply and demand don't quite balance out. This is a cause of the overpopulation, not qualification. Ilya
  26. learn English, n00b
  27. learn English, n00b
    Just because eng is ur first language that doesn't prove that u know eng and u can ask someone else to learn .. can u even spell "institution" ?? look at urself in the mirror and then read ur comments ..
  28. If you are a parent, instead being narrow minded like this, teach your kids mathematics and science instead of video games, so that they can face the world competition with a dignity.
    The way things are going in India, Indian kids will be glued in front video games in near future, instead of learning math and science. In a global economy, instead of being so critical of each other, our focus should be on the positives and strenghts of every culture and economy. If you have bad programmers, your project is in trouble any way, no mather in which continent they live. In general, India tends to have more of them , because larger number of people flock to CS and IT for the quick buck, and in many cases without any strong interest and passion for it.
  29. I have worked with software guys from everywhere and my feeling is that guys are generally good everywhere. I would'nt blame Indians for outsourcing in the software Industry.Jobs move where the skilled professionals are.Its sheer economics of numbers and India produces more software professionals than anywhere in the world. The dotcom burst and the resultant tightening of visa restrictions in the US led to jobs moving to where the people were (ie overseas).Remove the visa restrictions ,allow free movement of skilled professionals ,and the jobs will flow back onsite again.
  30. Survey not representative[ Go to top ]

    This survey is not representative. Just an online poll. It lacks methods & tools. The numbers are pure fiction.
  31. A problem on both sides ...[ Go to top ]

    I think this thread is more open to rubbish debate than to a proper view of the issue ... first: there are crap developers/designers/managers in all sides, on-shore, off-shore; the amount of high-quality people is small - and percentually, it doesn't make any difference, as the 'good' people will be either missunderstood and sidelined or will be snowed under unsuitable amounts of work. second: people off-shore/out-source because of cost, it is irrelevant if the out-source partner has or doesn't the right experience/team/equipment - what matters is that they fit within the right budget! If IT streamlined like Ford did at the beginning of the 20th century, solutions would cost a fraction of what they cost today - and would be easily replaceable. If my project is going to cost me a fortune here - and will fail - I rather it fail for a fraction of the price (my current client is seeing this happen after they have outsourced to a big SI ... and the big SI is starting to bring more and more of his off-shore staff in order to get the project to 'work' ... but too late!) I think the real solution is to use the right tools across - doesn't matter if you are offices in NY & LA or London & Bangalore ... as long as everyone speaks the same 'lingo' and is focused on delivery ... you will have a successful 'global' operation !
  32. If IT streamlined like Ford did at the beginning of the 20th century, solutions would cost a fraction of what they cost today - and would be easily replaceable.
    You make a lot of good points. Without talking too much about the subject, I will say that whether your think outsourcing is completely the solution or the source of your IT problems, you're wrong. I will however, like to point out that there is a huge difference between production outsourcing (Ford, Nike, etc) and project outsourcing. The first is about copying an existing product and is quite easy to outsource. The second is so much more complex and while it certainly is possible, is a lot more difficult. I definetly do believe that IT can be outsourced and successfully so, but I do take mild offense, when ignorant people compare development projects (be it IT, real-estate or something else) with pure production. In production, it is mostly the number of hands that count. In projects it is almost entirely the brain-power - whether it is embodied in 2 or 20 persons is less important.
  33. Re: A problem on both sides ...[ Go to top ]

    If IT streamlined like Ford did at the beginning of the 20th century, solutions would cost a fraction of what they cost today - and would be easily replaceable.


    You make a lot of good points. Without talking too much about the subject, I will say that whether your think outsourcing is completely the solution or the source of your IT problems, you're wrong.

    I will however, like to point out that there is a huge difference between production outsourcing (Ford, Nike, etc) and project outsourcing. The first is about copying an existing product and is quite easy to outsource. The second is so much more complex and while it certainly is possible, is a lot more difficult.

    I definetly do believe that IT can be outsourced and successfully so, but I do take mild offense, when ignorant people compare development projects (be it IT, real-estate or something else) with pure production.
    In production, it is mostly the number of hands that count. In projects it is almost entirely the brain-power - whether it is embodied in 2 or 20 persons is less important.
    Wow! As an Indian myself, it feels so good to hear people mentioning that Americans are the only people capable of doing any work which has anything to do with brain and Indians/Chinese are only good enough to physical labour. Its true some attitudes never change.
  34. Re: A problem on both sides ...[ Go to top ]

    Wow! As an Indian myself, it feels so good to hear people mentioning that Americans are the only people capable of doing any work which has anything to do with brain and Indians/Chinese are only good enough to physical labour. Its true some attitudes never change.
    Please read my post again. I do not believe I made any statements, regarding one nation or peoples superiority to do anything over another. As a side note, I'm not American but European. My point was on outsourcing projects vs. production. If it can bring some peace to your mind, I would not be surprised if the issues and comments regarding outsourcing would be approximately the same if the tables were turned (Indian companies outsourcing projects to US/EU).
  35. I think this thread is more open to rubbish debate than to a proper view of the issue ...

    first: there are crap developers/designers/managers in all sides, on-shore, off-shore; the amount of high-quality people is small - and percentually, it doesn't make any difference, as the 'good' people will be either missunderstood and sidelined or will be snowed under unsuitable amounts of work.

    second: people off-shore/out-source because of cost, it is irrelevant if the out-source partner has or doesn't the right experience/team/equipment - what matters is that they fit within the right budget! If IT streamlined like Ford did at the beginning of the 20th century, solutions would cost a fraction of what they cost today - and would be easily replaceable. If my project is going to cost me a fortune here - and will fail - I rather it fail for a fraction of the price (my current client is seeing this happen after they have outsourced to a big SI ... and the big SI is starting to bring more and more of his off-shore staff in order to get the project to 'work' ... but too late!)

    I think the real solution is to use the right tools across - doesn't matter if you are offices in NY & LA or London & Bangalore ... as long as everyone speaks the same 'lingo' and is focused on delivery ... you will have a successful 'global' operation !
    I agree generally. Although I somewhat disagree on the first. More people graduate from Indian universities with CS degrees that probably anywhere else. There are more people therefore there are more people that chose their profession incorrectly, just because there is more demand for CS grads, and maybe a good place to find job quickly. And no offense to Indians - because this is their culture. Indians are extremely conservative. So far I have seen no ordinary Indian developer that is passionate for what he does(I hope to find one anytime now). And always they do it the "good old way", innovation and new tech is a scarce thing to find. BTW: The most important thing for global operation is to facilitate culture differences. For example: American type management is plainly demoralizing to europeans (felt it on my own skin). Working with indians for europeans is hard, since we expect that when he/she says "I understand", "OK" and "Sure" he/she means it.
  36. And no offense to Indians - because this is their culture.
    Indians are extremely conservative. So far I have seen no ordinary Indian developer that is passionate for what he does(I hope to find one anytime now). And always they do it the "good old way", innovation and new tech is a scarce thing to find.

    BTW: The most important thing for global operation is to facilitate culture differences. For example: American type management is plainly demoralizing to europeans (felt it on my own skin). Working with indians for europeans is hard, since we expect that when he/she says "I understand", "OK" and "Sure" he/she means it.
    Another generalization, this time by "Mr. Passionate" or is it "Mr. Creative" ?
  37. I dont know if he is Mr. Passionate" or is it "Mr. Creative" ,but i can say that he is not aware about the Indian IT market and its figures thats is sweeping away the old EUROPEAN figures.Its not because of the "cheap cost" that the s/w are outsourced to india and china but its the lack of "good new" Developers in their countries. "And no offecnes to u sir -because of your culture"
  38. Re: RE: A problem on both sides ...[ Go to top ]

    I dont know if he is Mr. Passionate" or is it "Mr. Creative" ,but i can say that he is not aware about the Indian IT market and its figures thats is sweeping away the old EUROPEAN figures.Its not because of the "cheap cost" that the s/w are outsourced to india and china but its the lack of "good new" Developers in their countries.

    "And no offecnes to u sir -because of your culture"
    Keep convincing yourself of this:-) This is deffinitelly a shortage of "qualified" developers here, but mostly due to the booming product industry and the worlds strongest economy. No one is saying that Indian developers are in general worst than American/European ones. This might be true for the H1B program I discussed above, since programmers flock here and then are forced to lie about their skills to retain jobs. But in most cases and most of the large corporations I've worked for, India or China was only mentioned when we wanted to reduce costs, not when we had a shortage of talent.
  39. Re: RE: A problem on both sides ...[ Go to top ]

    then why not just hire from the Philippines with a large pool of english speaking and skilled developers =)
  40. Re: RE: A problem on both sides ...[ Go to top ]

    then why not just hire from the Philippines with a large pool of english speaking and skilled developers =)
    Exactly .. if you think "money" is the criteria then go and hire from south east asian countries or as a matter of fact from Mexico or south american countries .. but the companies are smart .. they know where the talent is and they wud choose that ..
  41. Re: RE: A problem on both sides ...[ Go to top ]

    It's true - the only reason companies offshore is to reduce cost. Working from India, I can see the kind of work that comes out here is mainly maintenance or low level coding or testing work. Design and architecture work is rare. About the quality of resources, have to agree that it's not great over here. I know. I interview a lot of candidates and my rejection rate is high. But I guess this is a general trend all over the world, only the amount of applications we receive are huge, which makes it look worse :) ...and anyway the better ones are already onshore somewhere (on an H1 maybe) Cheers, Al
  42. If IT streamlined like Ford did at the beginning of the 20th century, solutions would cost a fraction of what they cost today - and would be easily replaceable. If my project is going to cost me a fortune here - and will fail - I rather it fail for a fraction of the price (my current client is seeing this happen after they have outsourced to a big SI ... and the big SI is starting to bring more and more of his off-shore staff in order to get the project to 'work' ... but too late!)
    Except Ford didn't streamline simply by searching for lower wages. Ford streamlined by systemizing the production process using the assembly line. Ford actually paid higher than the market rate for workers because he thought it was good for business and production. Outsourcing and offshoring are typically the antithesis of streamlining. You outsource to someone with better economies of scale, and you offshore to a lower wage country, but there is no wide scale streamlining of software development or other IT operations.
  43. Offshoring is much more likely to happen to those organizations which can not run their in-house IT applications department effectively and efficiently. Instead of figuring out how to runt their IT department more effectively, these organizations tend to think offshoring will automatically fix their problems.
  44. There are lotsa developers who have been brought in to work at US companies from India, China, Philippines etc. That has not been accounted for in this survey. As a side note, many of those inshored are financially exploited by the indian and US firms/individuals who bring them in here with a L1 or H1. They end up with dreams of settling here on a green card and suffer the financial exploition for years for that chance. Till they get a green card they are literally slaves to the firms or individuals who bring them here. And it takes long(7-8 years??) to get a green card nowadays with the new immigration policies after sept 11th with backed up priority dates...and Lou Dobbs never seems to mention anything about this in his daily rant:)
  45. Here are some of my thoughts: 1) You need a very good architecture 2) You need a talented team that can understand and implement that architecture 3) Biggest problem is communication. 4) You will have to use 80-20 rule in this. That is, 80% of the team (whether onshore or offshore) is average or below average in skillset. The rest 20% is a talented team. The same goes with most of the university grad's (onshore or offshore). 5) The architecture needs to be understood by all the team members involved in the project. I think, this is where lot of outsourcing head-aches occur. Remember, the 80% of the team will have problems understanding the architecture thoroughly and implementing it accordingly (whether onshore or offshore). 6) A lot of software related projects will be working on a moving target of requirements. Requirements keep on changing. Most of the time, the timelines and the budgets are static, but not the requirements. The architecture needs to be able to take this changing requirements into picture. And think of this flexible architecture being implemented at a geographically distant place, in a different timezone. There is more chance of error during communication. So, there is more chance of the architecture being implemented inflexibly or not implemented well at all. 7) What this does is, that there is more and more time spent on re-doing the stuff to make sure that the development goes inline with the architecture.There are cases, where more and more time is being spent on communication to-and-fro between on-shore and off-shore teams, that its not actually a cost issue anymore. 8) Most problems occur at the requirements and design phase itself. Your outsourced team should be involved in this phase to understand what are the requirements and how the design is evolving. 9) Some advantages of outsourcing could be more man power, lower cost (if outsourced to a low cost country), distribution of expertise (your outsourced firm might be good at design and testing, but poor in development or vice-versa, so try to see what you can outsource accordingly based on that firm's abilities). 10) One has to understand that its all about business. Businesses lead - processes follow. Processes lead - tools follow. Not the other way. So, even if the decision to outsource could be a pure business need, outsourcing is not a piece of cake. It has its own pro's and con's attached to it. You could outsource the stuff to a firm that is 1500 miles away in your own country or to a firm that is 8000 miles away in a different continent. The problems are still the same. The challenges are still the same. To a certain degree, there might be some impact on communication and timezones. But, the success or failure of the project is determined by a carefully crafted strategy of outsourcing or in-sourcing. The ultimate goal is to get the quality projects executed at lower costs. Then only, the business objectives are met. Then only, the businesses can stay agile and react to the rapidly changing market. 11) By no means, is this a US problem or India problem or China problem or whatever. Its a global problem when it comes to how effectively the projects can be executed. We need to realize why the project is there in the first place. What requirements are driving that project. By knowing that, a flexible architecture can be created and development works can build and support that architecture. Most firms don't even look at this level. Now add the outsourcing to the mix. 12) Outsourcing is not THE solution. But, it can help with one key requirement, which is the cost. But, what good it is, if I get a chaper but lower quality product. So, there should be a very effective outsourcing strategy with well defined project specifications, quality metrics etc. There are a lot of firms who have this and they succeed. Most of them don't, because they simply think that outsourcing solves all their problems. Even if they do not outsource, they will fail, if they do not have a good strategy of quality and cost.
  46. I think agile came out as a desparate response to the growth in CMM-style outsourcing. Attack the offshore weak points - communication, responsiveness to change, cycle time, and formal documentation. Good stuff. Anytime you put a contract between you and the developer, things slow down. Companies that offshore are looking for cost savings but usually pull back a bit because of the hit on the revenue side in way of loss of business agility. Outsourcing is just giving up the ghost. Your company or business is a cash cow and it is in maintenance mode and cost reduction. Stick a fork in it and tell me when it's dead.
  47. The delivery model used for the software development is governed by the requirements of the project mainly. I think it depends on the type of project we are going to develop what percentage of the work should be developed where. Offshoring does help in the cost reduction of the development but adds some risks also to the project. It is fairly important to have a project manager or a team lead who is technical enough to understand the system from the technical angle as well as from the business angle to be present onsite to make the project a success.
  48. Please stop this stupid discussion...[ Go to top ]

    Hi, I think we are wasting our enegry in discussing stupid topic. Talent prevails everywhere and same is the absurdity. I am working with a BIG MNC which has opened it's shops in india. Almost 6 locations and they are recruiting at phenominal rate. But, sometime even i too wonder "Are they all talented ppl?". ( One day a software engineer guy with 4 yr Degree Asked me, i want to do Internet, Although machine was connected in network and had access to net, Guy was not able to locate the iexplore.exe icon, as it was missing from desktop. It was pathetic.) But, you know the reality it's the COST diffrence which drives the success story. Because, it's highly difficult to find real good skilled engineer. Because those are talented will move to onsite to earn more money. Also, the work these MNCs wants from the ppl recruited is like routine/mechanical. They dont develop a product but just a support/testing. And at the end of day, you need someone to do such job and hence MNCs are here, because to have employee to work such thing in USA will cost more then 10 enginners(4 yr Degree holders) in india/china. So, it's all about generating profits and keeping margins up. So, now please put an end to the discussion. "TALENTED GETS PAID AND NO ONE CAN DENY, BE ANYWHERE ON EARTH."
  49. Offshoring rarely works[ Go to top ]

    I have seen an offshoring project fail miserably. A project where we had 12 developers that understood problem domain was offshored to 50-100 developers in eastern europe, the 12 developers did need some training transitioning to a newer platform, but most of them would've made the transition. Instead the 12 developers that understood problem domain were reduced to analysts and spent their time writing lengthy specifications that were not understood anyway. Project is now 4-5 years delayed and 1000% over budget. What management fails to understand is that software development is not an industry and their attempts to apply industrial methods like offshoring are bound to fail. The only thing many offshore shops have proved is that they are 100% marketing speak compliant. Quality in software is a product of colaboration between customer and developer. As communication between customer and develper becomes increasingly difficult software quality suffers.
  50. Re: Offshoring rarely works[ Go to top ]

    So you think that these 12 onsite developers could handle work of 50-100 ones from Eastern Europe? Maybe real problem here is that you didn't bother teaching your team prior to development so they all (or at least offshore tech leads) could understand domain as well as onsite 12 did. I think that onshore/offshore rate could be treated as domain knowledge/cost so you could either minimize cost of onshore development (could you?) or invest slightly more money on preparation of offshore team.
  51. Re: Offshoring rarely works[ Go to top ]

    I have been involved in a project in which the client had offshored development work to our company. The client built a rapport with the offshore team, and our company assigned dedicated resources for the client. It is a fact that the client took the decisions about the architecture, and the platform (OS, application server) themselves. However one team member from offshore participated in the requirements gathering and documentation, and when it came to detailed design and development we were free to write technical specs and suggest the best way of implementing the solution. I think the offshore team benefited by learning the development process at a large organization, since we were practically a part of the client's development team. The main issues were that our holiday season differed from that in the client's country. This was a cultural hurdle, the client wanted development to go ahead at a good pace, when some of the team members wanted to take time off from work. Also the leave requirements of the offshore team members (who were from different towns but had migrated to a single city where offshored development was done) had to be matched with the development schedule, and this too was not easy. But together the team was able to make it work and now it is more than 2 years since our client began using this model. We have made 5 releases of the software so far, and look forward to continuing the partnership with the client.
  52. I have been involved in a project in which the client had offshored development work to our company. The client built a rapport with the offshore team, and our company assigned dedicated resources for the client. It is a fact that the client took the decisions about the architecture, and the platform (OS, application server) themselves. However one team member from offshore participated in the requirements gathering and documentation, and when it came to detailed design and development we were free to write technical specs and suggest the best way of implementing the solution. I think the offshore team benefited by learning the development process at a large organization, since we were practically a part of the client's development team. The main issues were that our holiday season differed from that in the client's country. This was a cultural hurdle, the client wanted development to go ahead at a good pace, when some of the team members wanted to take time off from work. Also the leave requirements of the offshore team members (who were from different towns but had migrated to a single city where offshored development was done) had to be matched with the development schedule, and this too was not easy. But together the team was able to make it work and now it is more than 2 years since our client began using this model. We have made 5 releases of the software so far, and look forward to continuing the partnership with the client.
  53. Hi Hardik, I think you are absolutely right, talented and experienced engineers will always demand top dollar here in the states. The real concern that I would echo however is that when the gaps increase here or anywhere, the barrier to entry for those just coming into the field becomes very high b/c the tasks that engineers originally trained on as they advance professionally become commoditized offshore. That's pretty troubling I think, and as most immigrants I know, it becomes more troubling once you actually become a citizen here, then I would imagine there would be at least some perspective reeavaluation.
  54. Hi,

    I think we are wasting our enegry in discussing stupid topic. Talent prevails everywhere and same is the absurdity. I am working with a BIG MNC which has opened it's shops in india. Almost 6 locations and they are recruiting at phenominal rate. But, sometime even i too wonder "Are they all talented ppl?". ( One day a software engineer guy with 4 yr Degree Asked me, i want to do Internet, Although machine was connected in network and had access to net, Guy was not able to locate the iexplore.exe icon, as it was missing from desktop. It was pathetic.) But, you know the reality it's the COST diffrence which drives the success story. Because, it's highly difficult to find real good skilled engineer. Because those are talented will move to onsite to earn more money. Also, the work these MNCs wants from the ppl recruited is like routine/mechanical. They dont develop a product but just a support/testing. And at the end of day, you need someone to do such job and hence MNCs are here, because to have employee to work such thing in USA will cost more then 10 enginners(4 yr Degree holders) in india/china.

    So, it's all about generating profits and keeping margins up.

    So, now please put an end to the discussion.

    "TALENTED GETS PAID AND NO ONE CAN DENY,
    BE ANYWHERE ON EARTH."
    Perfect. I agree to your point. If you are talented, you get paid be it anywhere in the world.
  55. The problem with Outsourcing/Offshoring/Insourcing/whatever is that it only exacerbates the state of the inhouse development scenario and exposes every hole in terms of lack of agility, customer buy in, process (agile/high ceremony, whatever) and sometimes C-level or mid-level managers only look at the cost savings instead of doing a complete ROI analysis not just in terms of raw $ saved (blended or otherwise) but in terms of quality and time. The ideal situaion IMO is to always have the ability to have a onshore team (wherever that happens to be) close to the person(s) who are the business reps (ideally they would of course not just be experts in their domain, but also have the authority to make decisions on the spot in terms of requirements) and to have the dev teams iterate quickly with their client (biz rep or someone else in a similar siutation). If that onshore team is dysfunctional, or any part of the "this is what I want"/"is this what you want" circle is dysfunctional, then it becomes exponentially multiplied once you move to physically separated teams. By physically separate, they don't have to be timezones away. We once (long ago) solved a classloading problem with WebsFear months before another dev team inhouse had contracted a team to investigate it literally half a world away, all the while being just 2 stops on the elevator below us. Many teams have been creative in solving the communication gap (there is an MIT/Sloan study somewhere that concluded the communication efficiency drops off a cliff once physical separation reaches a certain level, I don't remember the exact number, but something like 30 ft, interesting, b/c they hooked people up to GPS devices for tracking like migratory birds from Canada), however, these tend to be at least in my experience, workarounds for the lack of tools/processes/understand that existed in the first place, regardless of where the "software" is being developed. And there lies the rub, everything we do is "soft", meaning it is somehow a translation from one communication mechanism to another. In some respects, there is little difference in how this whole thing breaks down from writing programs to settle financial accounts or writing a script for a network sitcom. So much of what we do relies on human to human communication (whether directly or through proxy forms) that what may seem "cheap" may actually be MUCH MORE expensive in terms of time. How much that time is worth is all relative I guess, for some, it doesn't matter, b/c they are able to say something like "We saved 30% off our development costs by offshoring". Hidden behind that is usually the lack of any analysis that would instead say "But truthfully, I would have saved a years worth of stress and you would have received delivery 6 months sooner had you staffed up here or invested in the tools necessary to pull this off". I had lunch recently with a friend of mine that is doing fantastic work around Agile processes and had mentioned how he was doing value stream analysis as well from lean. Sounds like more of this kind of stuff should be done in general, because the real value of software delivery is not of course just the cost of our salaries. If that were true, we would all be buying IBM hardware and software and outsourcing b/c as the saying goes, noone gets fired for buying IBM ;-)
  56. There are awesome developers in the US. There are awesome developers in India. There are American developers in India. There are Indian developers in America. There are many many bozo developers in the US. There are many many bozo developers in India. The reason outsourcing and offshoring have a high rate of failure is because it is much more difficult to manage multi-site development than single-site development and because contractors are harder to manage than your own employees. The fact of the matter is that most IT managers are not up to the task. Most IT and software development managers can't even really manage a single-site effectively. I think part of this is that many smart, talented people in IT and software prefer not to go into management.
  57. There are many more viewpoints than the stated here. Actually, offshoring does not mean just getting more hands. You can contract also the project management, even the architecturing. I know big shops usually do India or China, but there are other places. Think of Costa Rica (not mentioned anywhere), they have companies in Silicon Valley, provide complete project development, with high quality engineers, project managers and architects. Are they cheap? Not at all times. But the time zones are great (one hour ahead of PST), a quick flight away. You can even go to a meeting and stay at the beach! Is Costa Rica a place that will lead all US engineers to loose their jobs? Not in a million years. Are they useful to work on those difficult projects, when you rather be working in the interesting ones? Sure, why not. The problem is not the offshoring or outsourcing. The problem may be the expectation you are putting into it. William Martinez Pomares
  58. Strict equivalence here???[ Go to top ]

    "There are awesome developers in the US. There are awesome developers in India. There are American developers in India. There are Indian developers in America. There are many many bozo developers in the US. There are many many bozo developers in India." Are all of these things strictly equivalent or even close to being so? In particular, I'm thinking of "There are American developers in India. There are Indian developers in America.". If not, why the strong emphasis on trying to make the sound equivalent when they clearly are not close to being so???