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Open Source Globalization? 76

Posted by Cliff
from the a-boon-or-a-bane dept.
Carl Rosenberger asks: "In this article at IT Managers Journal [which is another part of OSTG, Slashdot's parent publishing company], db4objects CEO Christof Wittig speculates about the future effect of open source globalization on organizations and individuals. According to his opinion 'Engineers like globalization', although it may mean tougher worldwide competition for jobs. What is the opinion of Slashdot readers on this article? Is open source globalization going to happen? Will it make our jobs better or worse?" As the referenced article puts it, open source globalization is the ability to hire programmers from all over the globe to collaborate together on a single project with low overhead. Heck if it works for open source projects, why not for corporate software? Do you see the corporations you are familiar with embracing or fighting this concept?
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Open Source Globalization?

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  • Who cares ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pegasus (13291) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @06:05AM (#16482433) Homepage
    I don't care if the shortterm effect to my job is bad, as long as the longterm effect to the world is good.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by westlake (615356)
      I don't care if the shortterm effect to my job is bad, as long as the longterm effect to the world is good.

      explain to me again what is good about driving wages and working conditions down to third world levels.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        ... and third world wages will rise up until both meet.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by DrSkwid (118965)
          Increased supply of workers will make wages rise. Which school of economics did you go to ?

          • Increased supply of workers will make wages rise. Which school of economics did you go to ?

            You are mixing globalization and imigration here. We are not talking about moving workers to local markets, but moving jobs to other places. Amount of workers isn't rising in 3rd world countries, amount of work is. When there isn't enough skilled people in 3rd world countries to meet the needs of globalizatiolized jobs, companies have to start fighting fot the best. And I'm not talking about Guantamo like coding camps
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by xappax (876447)
              We are not talking about moving workers to local markets, but moving jobs to other places.

              This is exactly the problem. In a globalized market, jobs can get up and move anywhere in the world at essentially no cost, but employees are still restricted by the high costs and difficulty of relocating themselves. This gives employers a tremendous upper hand, and reduces job-security to almost 0.

              In 1997, Billy worked as a programmer in Austin, Texas. He worked for a local company, and they paid him enough t
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by cyberon22 (456844)
                This is a thoughtful post. Three comments however from someone working in China:

                (1) Workers in the west are already benefiting from the low costs of imported products, and there is still room for prices to fall in many areas. Wage adjustments in the west are simply lagging behind adjustments to consumer prices. This doesn't mean that falling product costs are unconnected with changing job stability. You can't have one without the other.

                (2) The factors which make American employees uncompetitive wage-wise ar
                • by xappax (876447)
                  Don't get me wrong, I think government has every bit as much to do with the economic plight of people, both here in the US and in China and other developing countries. There are many domestic policies that could be executed better, and people should absolutely hold their governments accountable for inept and corrupt behavior.

                  I also agree that for the most part, globalization harms workers in poorer countries more than it harms those in developed countries. This is Slashdot, though, so I figure people ar
                  • I also agree that for the most part, globalization harms workers in poorer countries more than it harms those in developed countries.

                    Not quite, globalization helps poorer countries. Take a look at either China or India. The income of average workers is much higher in both countries now than they were even just 5 years ago.

                    In 1997, Billy worked as a programmer in Austin, Texas. He worked for a local company, and they paid him enough to survive relatively comfortably in Austin. In 2006, the company rea

                    • by xappax (876447)
                      the more diverse a local market is the less businesses can play one region against another

                      Maybe the term was confusing, but when I was talking about diverse local markets, I wasn't talking about "a bunch of diverse companies within a region", I was referring to how the many different regions in the world have different economic conditions and needs, and are therefore "diverse". The point was that if one region has a lower cost of living, companies will gravitate there, however the moment another region
                    • the more diverse a local market is the less businesses can play one region against another

                      Maybe the term was confusing, but when I was talking about diverse local markets, I wasn't talking about "a bunch of diverse companies within a region", I was referring to how the many different regions in the world have different economic conditions and needs, and are therefore "diverse". The point was that if one region has a lower cost of living, companies will gravitate there, however the moment another region

                    • by xappax (876447)
                      I think this discussion is just about played out, but I wanted to make one more point:

                      A company may not have to be concerned with whether it's workers can afford the product or service but they still had to be concerned about whether any anywhere can afford them.

                      This really is the position of many "pro-business" globalization advocates. They believe that even though irresponsible and exploitive behavior in poor countries doesn't affect their customers or their bottom line, companies will refrain from
                    • If you choose to put faith in the wisdom of giant organizations whose sole objective is profit-making to preserve a reasonable society, I guess that's your call. But to me, that's just as naive as trusting a power-hungry government to do the same.

                      I don't put my faith in anything, I don't have any faith, not even religious faith. The closest I get is in science, however science requires verification of results and peer reviews. Sceince can be and is constantly tested. So it's not real faith, it doesn't

          • by CastrTroy (595695)
            I think it works like this. If nobody in the third world is using computers, then there is no demand. If you increase the number of people in Africa using computers, rather through outsourcing or otherwise, then you have increased the demand for computers, software, and other high tech devices that did not previously exist. By bringing the third world up the the level of the first world, we increase demand for a whole plethora of items which there was previously less demand for. My only fear is what wil
        • Wages will rise in whichever, currently, 'Third World' country the jobs move to until such time as another region has the combination of a skilled population and low standard (and therefore cost) of living who can be employed for less. At that point the jobs will move on again and the cycle starts over. Eventually the, currently,. 'First World' countries will be the new 'Third World'. In all likelyhood the rate of job migration will increase and the period of time jobs spend in one particular location wi

          • Wages will rise in whichever, currently, 'Third World' country the jobs move to until such time as another region has the combination of a skilled population and low standard (and therefore cost) of living who can be employed for less. At that point the jobs will move on again and the cycle starts over.

            That's what Mexico found out. NAFTA created some jobs in Mexico at first because of lower employment costs, but then they saw jobs outsourced to China with even lower employment costs.

            Falcon

      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Cheap shoes.
      • It gores both ways (Score:5, Insightful)

        by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot AT keirstead DOT org> on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @07:24AM (#16482755) Homepage
        People in the First World complain because we are driving their wages downward, but what is being lost is globalization is driving wages and employment standards in the third world upward.

        Sure, the wages are low compared to here. Sure, the employment standards are lower. But change does not happen overnight - the amount of improvements seen over the last 25 years are more than were seen in the first 50 years of the industrial revolution in the first world.

        Eventually, what will happen is the wages and employment standards of the entire world will meet somewhere in the middle. Then, they will only go up, as competition for skilled labour drives them that way.

        You have to think long term - like on the 50-100 year scale.
        • "Eventually, what will happen is the wages and employment standards of the entire world will meet somewhere in the middle. Then, they will only go up, as competition for skilled labour drives them that way.

          You have to think long term - like on the 50-100 year scale."

          That still doesn't make the transition period for those who lost their jobs, or just wasted years in college into a (now) lower wage field with massive 1st world debt any easier.

          And I doubt the world will really meet in the middle, corporations
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by chrismcdirty (677039)
          I really don't care about the 50-100 year scale. Is it a little selfish? Yes. But on that scale, it means that I went to college for no reason, since I could have gotten a low-paying job right out of high school. It would have skipped the few years in college and the few years working in the business only to have my job moved to somewhere the people will work for cheaper.

          In the best case (50 years), I hopefully won't be working. But if I'm working low-paying jobs because the ones that I studied for are movi
          • Yeah, if you only care about money then it was wasted. You should have gotten an MBA and stuffed your nose up someone's ass.

            Me, I don't really care about how much I make as long as I can do what I love and have enough to live on.
            • by CastrTroy (595695)
              I'm with you there. If you want to make money, get an MBA, become an accountant, become a lawyer, or a doctor or do something along those lines. Tech is not for people who just want to make money. If you aren't going to enjoy it, there's places where you can make much more money than in the tech industry. If you enjoy working in tech, well, stop worrying about how much money you make, because you are most likely making a pretty good living. You may not be making $100,000 a year, but neither are most oth
              • Nobody said tech is for people who just want to make money. On the other hand, nobody goes to college and majors in Engineering or CS without an expectation of a decent salary. It's just too expensive, difficult, and time consuming an effort to do strictly for "love". Those student loans have to be paid off by somebody.
            • I don't only care about money. I love tech. If I had no other worries in the world, I'd probably sit around and program all day. But when I can't get a house because I the companies don't pay enough to afford one where I'm living, then I have an issue with it. That's my prime issue.. not having enough to live on.
        • by quandrum (652868)
          This is not the way it should have worked.

          In the appropriate world, we all are properly educated to higher levels. Our dirty or repetitive jobs get shipped to the third world and we get better jobs. 200 year ago we were selling agrarian and textile goods to the world. We industrialized and made better products. 100 years ago we were selling manufactured goods to the world.

          And today? Our current account deficit grows every day. Instead of coming up with new products and ideas, we buy them from Japan, Ch
        • You presume that the world can achieve "full" employment. I'm beginning to wonder if that is truly possible. As artificial intelligence and automation rise, the number of jobs in the low-end diminishes. It's not likely that high-end jobs will ever be plentiful to the point of providing a job for everyone in the world.
        • People in the 3rd world do not and never will buy anything from the United States.

          What they buy is US stuff made in factories abroad.

          That means no matter how much East India's or Africa's income rises, it will never create a rise in any jobs in the US - not until our wages are rock bottom - in which case even US citizens will be unable to buy much.

          I for one do not support making everyone else rich while my country's working class withers at the vine of globalism.
      • explain to me again what is good about driving wages and working conditions down to third world levels.

        Some domestic wages may go down but third world wages go up, they then are able to spend more there which has a positive effect on their local economy which further improves because others will benefit as well. The trick is knowing what fields are good to be in, that won't get outsourced, or what domestic jobs will be created.

        Falcon
    • Altruism is for the weak.
  • by tf23 (27474) <tf23@lFREEBSDottadot.com minus bsd> on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @06:22AM (#16482489) Homepage Journal
    I was recently hired for a short spell to help someone develop a website. It appears they started the project (they're a US Company, based in NY) by hiring a developer from Africa at $10/hour. Now, I would presume for some parts of Africa $10/hr is good money, while others maybe not so much. However, here in Ohio (US), that's squat.

    They got into a bind, their developer didn't know what he should know (or, rather, needed to know for this project, possibly not his fault) and ended up contacting me. First wanting my help/advise for free, because, well, the website is based on an open source project I participate in. At first a few questions here or there is fine, but after a while, finding out it's a for-profit venture, enough is enough. I balked at the continued "free help".

    First they complained they're only making $10/hr. Later, they begrudgingly offered me half my going rate. Again, I baulked. Eventually they antied up the full rate, and I worked with them till they had a hardware disaster and gave up.

    Moral of the story? Globalization of IT is difficult; The language barriers and the difference in time-zones can be frustrating and complex. The difference in pay can be astounding.

    However, Globalization rather scares me more then not. Looking at what happened to me, the company seemingly purposefully went out and hired a developer, in Africa, just to save money so they didn't have to pay an American, who'd require more pay. My only saving grace was that this developer they hired didn't know as much as me (and especially didn't know as much related to the open source project's code they were using).

    But one day, he may (or will)! Then what? Any US company can hire him, at a far lower wage then what I require (to feed/cloth my family as they currently are, etc etc). Where does that leave me? Scrambling for a job/career that has steady employment from which I can sustain this lifestyle.

    I don't relate this experience to complain about the un-named company that hired me, nor the across the globe developer. I bring this up to tell my story of a project which was global in nature and which, after experiencing it, leaves me skeptical regarding IT's future in higher cost of living countries.
    • by RetlawST (997563) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @06:34AM (#16482539)
      The thing is, as he starts to learn more, he'll be worth more. We're learning that in India right now as more IT professionals are becoming competitive, threatening to take their knowledge elsewhere if companies don't pony up. While this is still considerably less than workers in the US, it just underlines the fact that knowledgeable people are a commodity and the more you know, the more you're worth.
      • by xappax (876447)
        people are a commodity and the more you know, the more you're worth

        What this means is that all (say) DBAs with a certain level of proficiency, all over the world, are worth the same. This may seem neat and clean, but it's actually a real problem. Although multinational corps may see the world as one big market, the world is not a vast homogenous pool of workers/consumers. There are many differences between regions, both econonic and cultural, that restrict who can work where, and for how much.

        If, fo
    • by Aladrin (926209) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @06:38AM (#16482557)
      Don't you mean 'lower cost of living countries'? It seems it's pretty clear... You get what you pay for. If you try to hire someone for a fraction of what it's worth (in your country), you get someone that doesn't know what they are doing and needs to be helped constantly. The same as if you'd hired someone locally for that price.

      There are exceptions, I understand that.

      But my company outsources some of it's programming work to India, and it's been nothing but headaches on anything larger than a simple script. It's gotten to the point that, like you saw, they ask me for help on their problems instead of trying to figure them out on their own.

      I have to wonder, though... Did they REALLY have a 'hardware crash', or did they realize they had spent more on the project than they had earned, and saw no way to fix it? It's not that they are stupid, it's just that they try to do jobs they aren't qualified for because the pay is so good. The same thing happens here in the US, but the market is fairly stable, and they don't last long. IT is booming overseas, and there's many more jobs than qualified people to fill them.

      I see this getting worse before it gets better.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by trojjan (994851)
        IT is booming overseas, and there's many more jobs than qualified people to fill them.

        I completely agree. Right now the situation in India is that the companies are almost hiring anyone that can read and write as 'programmers' because a lot of work is being outsourced to them. Although what you are being paid is quite low even by Indian standards(somewhere around Rs 200,000 i.e around $4.5K a year). I don't see how long can this continue, these people aren't magically going to turn super intelligent and
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tf23 (27474)
        Don't you mean 'lower cost of living countries'?

        Actually, no, I didn't. I'm skeptical about the future of IT labor in countries which are established and have a much higher cost of living. When a US company can hire someone (with equivalent skills, knowledge, experience) across the globe at half my rate, and they can only do this because this person's cost of living isn't even half that of mine, that scares me.

        you get someone that doesn't know what they are doing and needs to be helped constantly. The same
        • by Aladrin (926209)
          "When a US company can hire someone (with equivalent skills, knowledge, experience) across the globe at half my rate, and they can only do this because this person's cost of living isn't even half that of mine, that scares me."

          Can they really, though? Reliably? I mean, it's -possible- to hire someone like that here in the US. It just isn't likely. I think the same is true there. For a while, the US managed to underpay overseas people for their work. They have now 'advertised' themselves by allowing th
    • by dmayle (200765) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @07:13AM (#16482703) Homepage Journal

      Any US company can hire him, at a far lower wage then what I require

      I must admit, I see this attitude so often here on Slashdot, sometimes it really astounds me. I live in France, where we also have problems with this kind of attitude.

      What do you do when no companies will hire you at a price you find reasonable??? There are a couple of options:

      • Whine and complain on Slashdot
      • Go on unemployment, and then get the media to be interested in your hard-luck case
      • Do something about it:
        • Move
        • Start your own company

      Really, people, globalization is not the end of the world. Not only that, but people in open source are poised to reap the greatest advantages of globalization. People living in lesser economies simply can't afford the prices of proprietary software from G8 countries. This leaves them with three options: 1) Build it themselves, 2) Pirate it, 3) Open Source.

      This means more users, more coders, and eventually, more money . It's quite simple, folks. If you wanna give out free advice, that's your choice, but until localized support is in place, it's up to them to learn from the source, at your rates.

      • by tf23 (27474)
        this kind of attitude

        There's no attitude in what I wrote - it was a statement of fact. His cost of living is far lower then mine.

        Whine and complain on Slashdot

        I'd say you're the one whining.

        Do something about it: Move, Start your own company

        Yes, both of those are doable, for most people. For me, moving isn't an option (kids, schools, sick parent). But I did do your 2nd suggestion there, a few years ago. It's of that where my story originates.

        but until localized support is in place, it's up to them to learn
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Fire Dragon (146616)
          And what happens once they've learned? There is now more competition for you - with which, at your income, at your tax level you may not be able to compete. If this were to continue on, you'd find quite a few jobless people. And jobless people cannot pay taxes. Yes, I'm generalizing, but hopefully you get the idea.

          Usually what happens when people learn skill to do their job, their market value increases. They get more work that they can handle with their original rate. Usually smart people understand that t
      • If you start your own company you stand to be undermined by lower paid independent contractors, or corporations run by lower paid managers and CEOs.

        Every single last person working for IT's corporate America today - from the programmer to the CEO - can be outsourced and replaced by lower paid counterparts.

        Every
        single
        last
        person.

        Then America will no longer have an IT workforce and our skillset will descend into 3rd world status.

        That is, if we follow your advice.
    • Welcome to globalisation.

      Globalisation can be a good or a bad thing - if you can hire from anywhere in the world, then everywhere in the world is competing for the same jobs.

      Initially, thanks to the vast disparity in economies, engineers from the developing world can generally undercut their western equivalents. However, thanks to shared cultural values, better education, easier communication and easier contact/oversight western (well, in-country) engineers can generally offer better service and/or solutio
    • by savio13 (995182)
      The 'horror' stories about 'Indian programmers' are interesting because I wonder why Indian outsourcing providers like Infosys [yahoo.com] and Tata Consulting [tcs.com] are doing so well if 'Indian programmers' as a whole are not able to deliver what Western clients expect. Or why companies like IBM, Intel, Oracle and Microsoft are investing heavily in the region.

      We had/have a team of engineers working in India on WAS CE and many of them also contributed to Apache Geronimo. I don't remember a situation that was caused by a
    • I'm sorry, but when the unskilled workers saw their jobs move overseas, did educated people such as you or me so anything more than shrug? If they had put in a little more effort in school, they wouldn't have been in that situation right? We basically told them not to whine and develop some new skills.

      So today we, educated people, buy Chinese made affordable clothes, gadgets and doodads at very low prices, and we have an incredibly high standard of living as a result: our income buys us far more luxury than
    • The difference in time zone can be complex, but it can also be wonderful. Leave for the day after having sent issues 1-10 to the manager in India, and come back at 8am the next day with issues 1-10 resolved. Like anything else, you have to know what you're doing to manage an outsourced project like this. If you're just doing it to cut $40/hr to $10/hr with no consideration for the extra overhead costs required, you're probably not ready to do this...
  • People always compete with each other individually and in teams. What the global open source movement does is expand opportunity. Lowering barriers to entry is key to being able to quickly and effectively set up teams large and skilled enough to take on genuinely challenging objectives. There is a vast supply of business opportunities even if one restricts possible domains arbitrarily, for example to focus on humanitarian crises.

    This is a case where slicing the pie differently causes it to grow, thereb

    • by argoff (142580) *
      I'm glad you mentioned that, because while I keep hearing about this global outsourcing threat, I never seem to experience it. In fact, just a few decades ago, it used to cost over 100 million to roll out a competitive OS. Now I can roll my own OS in a matter of minutes from my desktop. When I was a kid, calls just 200 miles away would cost over 25 cents per minute, now they are less than 3 cents per minute using VOIP asterisk to the other side of the planet. CRM solutions that used to cost $30000 are
  • Globalization in IT is the 'better' Globalization - because it levels faster. A guy in india that has reliable broadband, a working development pipeline, good planning skills and team good enough to compensate for the spacial and timezone distance will ask about as much as I do (living in germany). The cost to maintain his infrastructure in india, is a about as much as mine here, allthough distributed differently.
    It's like I said earlier this year: I wouldn't panic to much. Globalisation is allmost once aro
  • Open source works because people who are passionate about developing software can work on software projects that interest them. The internet helps connect people with similar interests, no matter where they may live.

    While I'm sure most of these people would love to get paid to do what they do for free, there are a lot of bad coders out there who just code for the money. (Yes, I'm sure there are also good programmers who just code for money as well but that's not my point.)

    Now third world countries will be d
  • by plopez (54068)
    What if someone wants to move to a place with lower wages but much lower cost of living? Are we going to address this? There can be no true free labor and job market until labor can freely migrate after jobs. That is where the inequities are. Borders must be open otherwise true globalization can never happen.
  • Do you see the corporations you are familiar with embracing or fighting this concept?
    Three letters.


    I
    B
    M

    I think you just described about a third their corporate vision.

  • Open Source requires transparency, corporations require secrecy. Not until corporations realize that software is a cost center, not a profit center for them will they embrace free software. The large profits to be made are more in use of the product than in marketing it.

    Open Source is just a path to Free Software (libre).

    Like major shifts in science, this will be generational. Expect it to take a couple of lifetimes.
  • by Thumper_SVX (239525) on Wednesday October 18, 2006 @09:44AM (#16484007) Homepage
    Sound like a management mantra, but it's true. Globalization sucks for the people caught in the middle today (the high-tech workers who actually directly drove up the price of tech workers during the dot-com boom) and will continue to. There are two sides to the story, though and that is that in losing a little in the "first-world countries" we are actually pulling the "third-world countries" up to our level.

    However, there are problems that I think people are only now beginning to see. For a start in India in general now that a small percentage of the populous has suddenly become relatively well paid, the cost of items in the economy is going up. This either forces the majority of the population to get increases in pay relative to the increasing cost or they run the risk of destroying the economy of their own country. Increase in wealth must be managed or it risks the entire economy. India is starting to learn this.

    Now, so long as it's all managed properly then India will be bought up to the level of the US in terms of quality of life, cost of living and so forth (well, maybe a little lower), then their jobs will all be offshored to some other country and so the cycle begins again. Over time this will have a generally levelling effect and will result in a world that is better placed to actually improve the lives of those living on the Earth rather than in-fighting and bickering. This is generally a good thing.

    The utopia envisioned by science fiction writers for years will not come about without a great deal of pain. There's going to be a great wailing and gnashing of teeth, and the economies of the first world countries will crumble. The high-horse that the West has ridden for centuries has finally run itself out, and we're all going to feel the pinch.

    There are ways to make sure you survive through this; be flexible. Be ready to work where and doing whatever it takes to make ends meet and support your own families. Don't get too attached to the "everything on credit" lifestyle to which we in the West have become accustomed, that lifestyle is going to end in a huge and extremely ugly crash. The foundation of this crash was founded in the early 1970's when the dollar value was seperated from gold. Then with the additional weight of the effect of networking and decentralization on top of that it will lead to a complete crash of our lifestyle. I don't know if it will happen in our lifetimes, but I really believe it will happen.

    We're in a new market now where our jobs can be done anywhere. This is going to lead to a short term situation where jobs will migrate away from the West. We can't prevent it. We can complain about it, and we can whine about it but the best we're going to do is delay it and in doing so make the crash that much worse when it comes.

    Yes, I've been hit by globalization myself but even I have to realize that the future is going to change radically. Many are going to hate it, I don't claim to like the short term picture myself... but I have to accept it. In fact, as one of the drivers in the dot-com boom and the decentralization projects of large companies I also have to claim a certain amount of responsibility. Many of us on Slash do. We wanted this brave new world where the Internet made things possible like improving the lot of others in the world. Well, now our visions are becoming a reality... but the utopian vision we had has a down side that we're all feeling.

    Get used to it, or complain about it... but we can't prevent it. Not now. Not ever.
  • I work for a large consulting firm, and we do it all the time, but only in areas where we have "US" offices. For example, we might have an Indian wing of the firm, but we only deal with the US wing's office in India. We send US consultants over there to manage developers we hire into that office. We also send developers to US.
  • To me, as an engineer, globalization means shoddy parts made by a fly-by-night shop in the darkest reaches of whichever backwater corner has the lowest wages. Long lead times, shoddy workmanship, and low levels of accountability. This applies to hard parts and "soft goods" like drafting, analysis, etc.


    Ohhhhh. He meant programmers like globalization. Yeah. Thats different. I guess it's possible.

  • I am constantly astounded by the vigor with which some seemingly otherwise intelligent programmers pick up the Open Source banner and run with it.

    Open Source is better for the world-at-large. Make no mistake about it. The world-at-large is more productive for getting software for free. They can spend the money they would have spent on software on other things.

    But how could you think that this is better for *programmers*? I *always* ask this of my fellow IT professionals and they *always* respond w
    • by bnenning (58349)
      But how could you think that this is better for *programmers*?

      In many cases, software and programmers are complements, not substitutes. What would the demand for web developers be if Apache and PHP cost $1000 per server?
    • I don't know how old you are, but once upon a time, one of the main ways a dedicated computer hobbyiest learned to program was by typing in code into the machine from a magazine - or by getting a floppy/tape of the code and loading it. At all steps (with the exception of some ML programs), you had the code, you could learn from it. In the business world it was similar: a lot of code was "passed around" (some legal, some not) on tapes (magnetic and paper), floppies, printouts and trade journals, for users to
  • I have a slightly cynical view of the corporate world. In my experience, corporate powermongers are most likely to do what is simply the best for their bottom line. The backlash on outsourcing is happening as we speak, without regard to your opinions on the subject. India is outsourcing to China, and the chain of events just gets more complex. Globalization will simply be the final effect of managers chasing ever last bit of 'value for money' that they can find. While finance institutions may not want to sh

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