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The Almighty Buck

The New Face of Global Competition 410

Valluvan writes "Here is an article in Fast Company on "The New Face of Global Competition". The article is focused on Wipro, a big IT company in India, but applies to many other companies in India that have been highly successful. A long article with some stupid errors like saying developers code with UML, but brings out the business facts well enough."
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The New Face of Global Competition

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  • by signifying nothing ( 520593 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @10:47AM (#5094192)
    Although this is in industries close to Slashdotters' hearts, there is nothing particularly new here. The textiles industry, which was one of the very first high-tech industries, largely left the developed world a long time ago.

    Other industries will follow as the necessary skills and infrastructure become more wide-spread.

    The rich world will continue to specialise in those industries which require the latest cutting edge infrastructure and skills, and slowly discard the rest.

    • Maybe, maybe not (Score:4, Insightful)

      by laetus ( 45131 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @11:04AM (#5094301)
      The nascent internet industry (yes, it's still very young) as well as application development in general is NOT a mature industry as were textiles.

      Don't be so quick to cede entire industries, writing them off as "discards". India's getting the business for TWO reasons, cheap labor and EDUCATED labor. It's no secret that the American education system is, shall we say, lacking in almost every regard except being flush with funding. We may be losing the industry simply because they are better at it, not just cheaper.
      • It's no secret that the American education system is, shall we say, lacking in almost every regard except being flush with funding.

        No. We shall not say that.

        The United States is home to more elite colleges and universities than any other country in the world. Is that a sign of a lacking educational system?

        If you were referring to primary and secondary schooling, public schools in particular, yeah the US school system cranks out a lot of idiots. But this is because most people ARE idiots. While we may not have the best scores of all the first-world nations, we're not THAT far below the rest either.

        I also object to your 'flush with funding' comment. Have you ever met a public school teacher who was sufficiently compensated for the work they do?

    • The textiles industry, which was one of the very first high-tech industries, largely left the developed world a long time ago.

      I think the point here, though, is not so much that coding is leaving the "Developed" world to go to some sweatshops in India, but rather that Bangalore has become a sort of First world island: They have the infrastructure and the education, so why couldn't they compete? There is a huge danger in all of these articles, though: The United States (I'm personally a Canadian, and I laugh a bit because in some ways Canada is a mini India: We've always attracted this sort of work because of our low dollar. Indeed when this article claimed that software development in India was 40% less than the US...well that actually puts it right on par with Canada then. I think we need to advertise our sweatshops more!) could truly fall behind not because India has shot ahead (and VB type coding that they're doing now is NOT shooting ahead despite this absurd article), but rather because everyone stops going into computer science because of articles like this. Already I've seen a lot of bright minds leave computer science for "management" pathed careers, all because they've bought into the notion that the field is dead here. Of course it isn't, and this article certainly doesn't forbode any new threat that didn't already exist, and of course the mad rush to India will cease, costs will equalize, and then they'll be consumers of the big worldwide information field.

      Ironic, though: It'll be interesting to see what happens when developer pay skyrockets as new shops are set up.

    • by feed_those_kitties ( 606289 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @11:23AM (#5094448)
      The rich world will continue to specialise in those industries which require the latest cutting edge infrastructure and skills, and slowly discard the rest.

      And by doing so, the "rich world" will eventually give away so much work that they will be poor.

      Think about it - if the United States economy continues to send good-paying jobs overseas, what's left for the people in the U.S.? Yes, some "rich" people will get even richer, but a LOT of us will get poorer. Is that what we want?

      I'm a developer with over 20 years experience. Cobol, SQL, VB, C, Java, HTML, UML, XML - I can do them all pretty well. My old company fired me after nine years claiming I couldn't do my job. Why? Because they can send my job to India and find someone with 2 years of experience who will work for $6 an hour...

      Multiply that by the number of people who earn a living here in the U.S. by writing code, and where does that leave us? Claiming to be a 'Java developer' because we write some code at home, while earning a living working fast-food?

      Anyone looking for a skilled developer?

      • by JanneM ( 7445 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @11:49AM (#5094644) Homepage
        Well, yes and no.

        The specific sector (in this case IT) that is being squeezed certainly loses some in competition. For the economy as a whole, though, the money freed by getting cheaper IT solutions won't be stuffed into mattresses, but will enable more investment in other sectors (including up and coming areas). The economy as a whole doesn't get poorer; depending on the situation it may get richer at a somewhat slower pace.

        Meanwhile, the poor countries get a _lot_ wealthier; each transferred unit of fund is a far larger fraction of total wealth in the poorer country receiving the payment than it is in the richer country paying it. The net result is that the difference in wealth between the countries are asymptotically diminishing - and at the same time, both the wealthier economy and the world economy increases its wealth.

        Yes, it sucks to be a 'line programmer' or general consultant in our industry right now. It sucked to be a textile worker in europe or north america for most of the twentieth century, it sucked (and still sucks) to be a high-volume parts supplier to major manufacturing corporations. One day, it will suck to be a human bioengineer or nanotech designer.

        However, if you have specialized skills, or work for a niche or speciality company, things are different. Being a cloth designer or speciality weaver does not suck. Being a nimble small-volume and/or speciality parts integrated designer and manufacturer is good eating. And being a highly skilled specialist (VLSI designer, for example) in our industry is still viable and likely to remain so.

        Churning out app code or designing yet another business database bridge app is the equivalent to sowing slacks for off-the-rack or molding ten million stereo volume control knobs. They are the equivalent of sowing Nike's. Those jobs will leave - and will leave India as well as even more low-cost countries develop the population skills and infrastructure to take them.

      • And by doing so, the "rich world" will eventually give away so much work that they will be poor.

        Historically, that's a fallacy. How many farmers are there in the US now as a percentage of the population compared to a century ago? Is the country richer or poorer now? Standards of living have gone up over the last 50 years, despite the auto industry moving overseas. Did you know that textiles was once a high-tech industry, and textile manufacturing technology was a jealously guarded secret? Where are all the textile workers now, and is the country richer or poorer since they left?

        Multiply that by the number of people who earn a living here in the U.S. by writing code, and where does that leave us?

        What about all the people who earned a living cleaning out stables? The country is wealthier now that those people's jobs were obsoleted by the car - and funnily, there weren't hordes of unemployed stablehands, they just went to do something else.

        • The numbers of farmers have gone down because agriculture has changed from a labour intensive industry to a highly mechanized industry. This allows a much smaller numerically industry to be equally good, or better, at generating money for the economey.
      • by enjo13 ( 444114 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @12:26PM (#5094968) Homepage
        Touching... really.

        You could read up on economics while you work at Burger King, as a matter of fact I would reccomend it. While it sounds cruel, 'developed' nations actually benefit from this kind of displacement in many ways. Experience has shown that 'shipping jobs overseas' actually CREATES more jobs here at home. It allows the developed nations to develop a competitive advantage in areas that require the education and high-skill manpower that a nation like the U.S. has.

        Software development isn't an incredibly difficult skill.. in particular the types of software development that is being shipped overseas. I have made it a strong point to become an expert in system architecture and design, and that has kept me very comfortably employed no matter the economic conditions. In economic terms, I have given myself a strong competitive advantage over low-skill programmers by becoming an expert in a high-skill area of software engineering.

        It's time that we all realize that programming is not difficult. People are willing to work for $6 an hour to do it simply because a LOT of people have learned how to do it well. Yet their remain certain parts of the development process that are extremely difficult to master. Types of projects that require expertise above and beyond anything the low-skill 'labor programmer' can do. If you have those skills, then you will have no trouble finding gainful employment no matter what the economic conditions are.
        • Experience has shown that 'shipping jobs overseas' actually CREATES more jobs here at home

          And what kind of jobs might those be this time? Starbucks? Burger King?

          I can kind of see your point when it comes to manufacturing jobs, but now that the 'thinking' jobs are leaving I'm not sure what'll be left for us to do . In the 80's as manufacturing jobs left the US many of those displaced workers were encouraged to get into software engineering since it paid better anyway. What should software engineers be studying now? Dentistry? Auto Mechanics? (at least those jobs can't be sent overseas)

          Software development isn't an incredibly difficult skill.. in particular the types of software development that is being shipped overseas.

          You're deluding yourself if you think that it's only the lower-end development jobs that are being sent overseas. Check this article [portlandtribune.com]
          . It's an interview with a venture capitalist about his take on where the Oregon economy is headed. Towards the end he talks about the impact of outsourcing engineering jobs and how that will slow the recovery in the high-tech sector. He talks about how Mentor Graphics [mentorgraphics.com] is opening a $40million R&D center in India. When he asked them why, they told him: "they said they can't hire anyone graduating from engineering schools here because they're just not prepared, they're just not ready to go into that sophisticated end of the business." Now personally, I don't think that's the real reason (the real reason is that they can pay Indian engineers about 1/3 of what they pay their American counterparts) but that quote should be sending chills down the spine of every US developer who reads it.

          I have made it a strong point to become an expert in system architecture and design, and that has kept me very comfortably employed no matter the economic conditions. ...keep dreaming. Read the article that started this thread. India is moving into the high-end of the development process now. It's time we software engineers woke up and smelled the chai.
        • by Featureless ( 599963 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @03:54PM (#5096838) Journal
          It doesn't look like you read the article - and you obviously haven't been there, or seen it for yourself. While there may be some basis for your economic theory, your notions about the difficulty of system architecture and design making you valuable enough to keep living in the 1st world are utterly mistaken. You (and I) will have to change careers, or move to the 3rd world ourselves, within 15 years. I virtually guarantee it.

          In addition, due to other unrelated macroeconomic and political factors, it's getting much harder to "start over" here. Conservative politics and rising higher-educational costs might seem unimportant now, but people always find themselves thinking differently when they land back down at the bottom of the ladder.

          As for America as a whole, when in a few more years we find ourselves really on the rocks and try to turn to our vaunted "education and high-skill manpower," we will discover we have neither - the price of the broom-fucking we've given public education (at all levels) over the past 3 decades.

          Good luck.
      • Perhaps we should shoot all the Buffalo so the Indians will have nothing to eat. That will teach them to compete with us.
      • by ChaosDiscord ( 4913 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @12:41PM (#5095078) Homepage Journal
        And by doing so, the "rich world" will eventually give away so much work that they will be poor.

        As a professional software engineer in the US, I sympathize. I certainly want the US to keep all of its software development in the US. But it's worth keeping in mind that the cheaper software engineers in other countries want those jobs just as badly as we do. While I'm certainly against exporting jobs to countries were the employees will be threatened, abused, and subjected to inhuman working conditions, my understanding is that software engineers in say, India, enjoy very good working conditions by their standards. Also, these low wage industries have been the foundation for growth for a number of countries in Asia, creating many jobs and generally increasing the technological level of the countries, changing them from "a cheap place to get labor" to "high tech competitors." So my selfish side says, "We should keep all programming jobs in the US", but I have to balance it against "Why should my job opportunities be given more weight than the job opportunities of people in other countries."

      • 1. Yeah. Uncle Sam [opm.gov]. Good money, usually interesting work.
        2. Leave the attitude home. No one owes you anything.
        Good Luck.
    • Other industries will follow as the necessary skills and infrastructure become more wide-spread.

      Many will, but I don't think this one need go.

      To keep development work here, we must exploit the one advantage we have over people 10,000 miles away: we're closer. Sure, that sounds too simple. But hear me out.

      The traditional dominant development process, the Waterfall, assumes that you can put every important fact about a piece of software into a requirements document. That document is then turned over to the geeks, who could be kept in a sealed room, for construction. N months later, perfect software comes out.

      We all know this is bunk. And not just from practical experience; if the requirements document really had all the needed information, then you could just write a requirements document compiler and dispense with the programmers completely. But it's the bunk that allows outsourced development companies to work. Not just because it allows them to pretend a development center on the other side of the planet is just as good. Even worse, because we believe this bunk, their development centers are just as good as keeping the engineers in the building (or city, or state) next door, as is common practice here.
      So what should we do instead? We should pick development methods that take advantage of the highest-bandwidth, lowest-latency communication available to us: physical presence. If we put the engineers in the same room as the domain experts and the product managers, then we can build software more quickly and more efficiently than before.

      But we get more than that. If you put everybody together, then you get unmatched ability to respond to change, change in the market, in your customer needs, in your competitor's products. A bunch of people in a room can turn on a dime compared with the difficulty of changing specs, changing contracts, and updating people who are asleep when you are awake. Even better, you can create change, forcing your competitors to try to keep pace with you.

      So for those interested in keeping at least a few develoment jobs in the US, check out the book Agile Software Development Ecosystems [aw.com] (prices [isbn.nu]). Or look at one of the many Agile methods directly:
      And for the record, I think world trade is great. If somebody in India can really do my job for 1/10th as much; then I should find something new to do, something that provides matchable value to my clients.
    • The thing that I found intertesting that I hadn't thought about is not the tech jobs going over seas but other jobs going over seas. If they can setup a computer software engineering center which can turn out code as good as the rest of the companies in the states what prevents them from creating a medical facility and training doctors who also work for cutthroat rates. If you can train people to be good at computer science in india I don't see why you can't train people to be good doctors, nurses, etc and cut medical costs down to the price of a plane ticket.

      If all high paying jobs are shipped over then the cost of what the high paying jobs were providing software, medicare, etc falls to the point where you don't need a high paying job to cover it. Just think, the biggest expense is medicare, if that is cut by not paying doctors $300K year then why do you need a high paying job.

      There are of course times when patients can't be flown to have an operation but in generally the most expensive procedure could be taken care of in an Indian medical facility with doctors trained at a North American level but costing a fraction.
      • They can't ship doctor jobs to India for the same reason they can't pick up my local McDonald's and ship it to India and expect to get the same clientelle. As much as I like McDonald's french fries I am not going to Bangalore to get them. Most of the really expensive medical stuff is stuff you do in an emergency, and flying me to India when I need a triple bypass (due to massive french fry consumption, do doubt) is not likely to solve the problem for anyone but the insurance company. I will almost certainly die in transit and then the insurance company can save themselves the cost of the operation.

        On the other hand, I already know plenty of people that have gone to Canada for their laser eye surgery. However, with a little searching my wife was able to find a nearby U.S. doctor that had even better prices than were available in Canada.

  • Creative Labs (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Hack ( 637833 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @10:47AM (#5094193)
    To me the first "surprise" success that came out of Asia was Creative Labs (of SoundBlaster fame). I mean, sure, we all know Yamaha and Fuji and the rest, but Creative Labs was just a soundcard manufacter... Now their products run the gamut from digital cameras to MP3 players... and they own the two remaining American professional synthesizer companies - Ensoniq and E-mu. They have research labs in the States and "back home"... Mind-boggling, really.
    • Re:Creative Labs (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ChrisWong ( 17493 )
      They are from Singapore, which these days is practically a first-world nation. Creative Labs is a bit of an aberration, though, in that its management is quite a bit more aggressive and, well, creative than that of most companies from that part of the world.

  • ...JonKatz...?

    Is that you??

  • I live in Bangalore (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Omkar ( 618823 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @10:52AM (#5094217) Homepage Journal
    And it is more boring than my hometown, Canton OH. This article gets the basic business facts right, but it neglects the massive operations companies like GE and Intel are running/starting. Many companies are doing their work inhouse at low cost here.
  • the word "global" (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Maeryk ( 87865 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @10:53AM (#5094222) Journal
    Makes me want to kill someone. At the very utterance of it an anything other than a purely scientific or geographic sense. The company I contract for has gone "global" now. Every possible place for that damned buzzword to get jammed in has been used.

    Whats worse, the BOD has been seeded with European managers. Now, dont get me wrong, I have nothing against europeans, but you cannot take a company that has been doing NE Corridor style work processes for 20+ years and suddenly kick it over to the "european" business model. Things apparently get done a lot more slowly over there.

    You wouldnt think there would be much of a difference, but its subtle, yet huge. Just the minute changes in our response contracts are huge.
    Going from a 4x8 SLA to a proposed 8x36 on a hardware repair? (Which might sound great.. but it means less money, and once you have been 4x8 for five years, its REALLY hard to switch gears).

    Our "accident prevention" issues are now tied to India, Sri Lanka, Korea, and europe. And we _all_ pay when some plant in some third world country where emissions arent an issue suffers some injury. I am all for "safety in the workplace".. but you should really be only tied to that which you have some influence or control over.

    Its a completely different business culture, and some cultures just shouldnt mix like that.

    YMMV, of course.
    • by pubjames ( 468013 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @11:46AM (#5094621)
      Whats worse, the BOD has been seeded with European managers. Now, dont get me wrong, I have nothing against europeans, but you cannot take a company that has been doing NE Corridor style work processes for 20+ years and suddenly kick it over to the "european" business model. Things apparently get done a lot more slowly over there.

      I can't help but feel that the USA is in danger of losing its global dominance because of the general attitude of Americans that "We're just better". Your insight above has prompted me to say this, but some of the other responses to this article also make me think it.

      It is true that the USAs economic success is in part down to the intelligence, innovation and hard work of its natives. But it is also down to its unique historical position of being a very young country with a single unified people. (In other words, a huge homogenous market - a startup company in the USA has a massive easily accessible market on its doorstep. That's not so true in the rest of the world.)

      Don't sit on your laurels, Americans. The rest of the world isn't as stupid, or as lazy, as many of you seem to think.
  • Wipro and UML (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16, 2003 @10:55AM (#5094236)
    Having worked on a project in which large portions had been outsourced to Wipro, I can say that saying they can code Java and follow OO methodologies is lot like saying that because I have seen a football thrown, that I can play football.

    Another issue many companies haven't yet realized, is that the majority good engineers in India, have left India. Those remaining for the most part are not the sharpest knives in the drawer.
    • I believe a lot has changed in India in the last 10 years. There are much higher salaries (compared to what they were around '93 time), the internet and the satellite/cable TV has bridged a cultural gap (you get the same info from anywhere in the world), the work environment seems to be very good (as more and more people stay back in India, or opt to return to India, it becomes autocatalytic).

      S
  • 80s hysterics? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lutzomania ( 139132 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @10:56AM (#5094238)
    This is very reminiscient of the "Godzilla has arrived" mania that swept the US back in the 1980s. Mayne serious people then believed that Japan was going to buy the US (in cash) and then enslave us all in their Toyota factories. We know now how wrong they were.

    India is certainly becoming a force in the global IT industry, but let's not get swept away by Fast Company's muscular prose and usual hyperbole.

    Also, I think it's important to remember that real economic growth comes more from innovation than from cheap labor. Companies are willing to pay developers $150K a year if the products they're creating will cover those costs and return a large profit to boot. A lot of the work being offloaded to India (or at least the work that my previous employer shipped there) was maintenanced release testing, legacy OS ports, code cleanup, etc. Nobody was asking them to design the next killer app.

    Of course, maybe it's good that these waves of paranoia wash ashore every few years. They prevent us from getting complacent.
    • Don't you see that this is 100% different than the 1980s? In the 80s, employers were loyal to employees. Now, the US companies they mention (specifically EDS) ships everything they can to subcontractors in India.

      This WOULD all blow over if our companies weren't taking advantage of the cheap labor over there. As it stands, it will continue to rack us in the nuts until our salaries match the ones in India.

      Globalization = cheap shirts, fewer jobs, and a fast-paced race to the bottom.
      • Don't you see that this is 100% different than the 1980s? In the 80s, employers were loyal to employees.

        Can you back that up with something other than mere nostalgia?

        In general employers are as loyal to employees as employees are to employers. If someone gets a better offer (more money, fewer hours, shorter commute, whatever) they will happily resign and go take up the offer - effectively sacking their employer and getting a new one. That's as it should be, because it forces companies to compete for the best employees. And similarly, there is competition for the best employers, which happens whenever more than one person applies for a job.

        This WOULD all blow over if our companies weren't taking advantage of the cheap labor over there. As it stands, it will continue to rack us in the nuts until our salaries match the ones in India.

        Or until their salaries match yours, which is far more likely.

        Globalization = cheap shirts, fewer jobs, and a fast-paced race to the bottom.

        Bad news for shirt makers, good news for shirt wearers.
      • "employers were loyal to employees"

        In the 80's? Are you for real?

        The myth of the loyal company seems to die hard. People believe it stopped sometime right around when they were born.

        It has never existed; or I should say, if it did, ir probably existed through the 40's and part of the 50's, but that was more out of necessity than any great moral force.

        When I was a kid (in the north), the battle cry was "they're moving all the good jobs to the south!". Who knows if it was true, but certainly, there was never any qualms about moving factories to the cheapest place.

        Nothing new here at all, except a new generation grows up and finds out the world is a little bit harder than it looked when you were a kid.

    • Re:80s hysterics? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by guacamolefoo ( 577448 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @11:18AM (#5094410) Homepage Journal
      If people want to continue to earn their big fat paychecks and live at lifestyles grossly exceeding those in other countries, then they have to prove that they are economically worth it.

      Why does anyone born here in the US have an entitlement to a lifestyle while someone in Bangalore doesn't? If they are putting out quality work at half the price, then too fricking bad. Being in the US doesn't mean a lifetime entitlement to a lifestyle far exceeding that found in other countries just by the virtue of the accident of your birth.

      If the US wants to stay on top, you'd better stop crying when you find out that someone overseas can do your job just as well you can only for a bowl of rice and a fish a day (or a bowl of rice and curry a day) instead of $75,000. Get used to it. Textile workers, assembly plant workers, etc., have all had to deal with that for years. Why are tech jobs so different?

      You want paid well? You earn it in the marketplace. And guess what -- competition is global, and your fat paycheck is a fat target. Remember that each day you go to work.

    • Actually, a major factor in derailing Japan's world domination was their economic collapse in the early 90's. (They're still in a bit of a recession from it.)

      Of course, that crash was largely due to the overly close and trusting relationships between businessmen (bankers giving huge loans at good rates to friends who promised to repay them, but later couldn't).

      That was the Japanese achilles heel, America's might have been unions, or company loyalty; what remains to be seen is where or if India will falter.

      Of course, with companies so internationally diversified, they won't hurt too much either way, now their employees...

    • Why are we so adversarial? We are on top now, and we like it that way, but now that we're slipping we're afraid we're going to be enslaved like you said. Maybe those countries just want a better place for themselves, and I don't see a problem with it. It's not like it's economic war. And it makes sense that a company would move it's production somewhere cheaper. Bitching and moaning isn't going to help. The thing is, it would be natural for them to stay here, they don't even need a reason not to move. However, there is a big one to move, so they do.
    • Yes Japan is mired in a deep recession, but Japanese companies sell the top-selling sedan in America and dominate consumer electronics.
  • One quick question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 16, 2003 @10:57AM (#5094249)
    The article falls over itself to heap praise on the Indian IT community (I think it ran out of adjectives eventually), but one particular line stood out to me:

    They are as good at doing all of that as anyone in the world. Perhaps better. And they are cheaper -- on average about 40% cheaper -- than comparable American companies.

    By what metrics are they "As good or better than anyone else in the world"? What ridiculous verbal spewage from someone throwing together a ridiculous little article. The Indian IT industry has gotten attention for one reason and one reason alone: They are very cheap (though the percentage cheaper is steadily declining to the point that it'll be a moot factor), however claiming that they are as good or better than anyone? I'm not being arrogant, but I find that there's a stunning lack of Indian software in the commercial software arena: which would be TRUE proof of homebrew abilities in an arena. Instead the industry is relegated to throwing together post-design highly-redundant type apps for countless life and bank organizations.

    I'm not blindly claiming that India isn't a credible force in the software development force, but so are many other countries: This doomsdayish end-of-the-world attitude of this article just strike me as ridiculous.

    ergo98
    • Well, from a managent point of view, they are the best in the world. I dont know about where you work, but at most places I've had experience with, software quality is a much lower priority to management than cost.

      An the Indians are as good as anybody in the world at making cheap software.

    • "'m not being arrogant, but I find that there's a stunning lack of Indian software in the commercial software arena: which would be TRUE proof of homebrew abilities in an arena." Well, Indian software industry is mostly active in services business and not in the products. As far as a shunning lack of commericial software, you would be surprised how many commercial softwares contain software from Indian companies, and for that matter how many embedded devices that you use have software from Indian companies. I know that my first company sold the bluetooth protocol stack to a pretty big laptop manufacturer and now they use the stack in all their bluetooth products.
    • They are positioning to take on Accenture, EDS, Andersen, etc.

      These companies have too many MBA's with nice haircuts.. Nothing ever gets done, except for more analyses and ass covering.

      When one of them finally starts to attempt actual implementation, they try to fill your building with more of the parasites.

      If this is WIPRO's model, we have little to fear.

      Also, 40% cheaper than Accenture or EDS still leaves us with some FAT profits, IF we can get our proposals heard by upper management.
  • A long article with some stupid errors like saying developers code with UML

    Is it any wonder Pud used Fastcompany as the parody basis for his better site? [fuckedcompany.com]
  • Good.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Thursday January 16, 2003 @11:00AM (#5094271) Homepage Journal

    Better they appear in Fast Company [fastcompany.com] than Fucked Company [fuckedcompany.com]
  • UML (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sql*kitten ( 1359 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @11:02AM (#5094283)
    some stupid errors like saying developers code with UML

    These days you can "program" in UML. The actual underlying code is C++ or Java generated by the CASE tool from your UML diagrams, but it's still programming, just at a higher level. For example, instead of programmatically declaring a member variable of a class, you click on the UML class diagram and add a property, instead of typing class Z extends X you drag a line.

    You usually have to go to real code to actually implement methods, but using a RAD tool to layout your GUI, a CASE tool to do all the object defintions and database connectivity, only writing code by hand when you have to, is a very productive way to work. Programming Swing or Motif or MFC is very repetitive and can be highly automated, as can writing wrapper code for database tables to present them cleanly to objects.

    You'll get a lot of geeks sneering that a text editor is the only way to write code, but that is an obsolete way of working. Computers are built to automate repetitive tasks, and once you've written one form or report by hand to show that you can, doing it again is just a waste of time.
    • You'll get a lot of geeks sneering that a text editor is the only way to write code, but that is an obsolete way of working.

      But CASE tools are so bloated when they setup your classes, I mean, I can hand code them so much better. Don't you know that we still need to optimise our classes? Take a look at this example:

      UML generated (C#):

      public class Foo : Bar
      {
      public class Foo()
      {
      // ctor logic here
      }
      public override string ToString()
      {
      // method logic here
      }
      }


      Now, the hand coded version of Foo:

      public class Foo : Bar {
      public class Foo() {
      // TODO: Finish Constructor
      }
      public override string ToString() {
      // TODO: Finish ToString Method
      }
      }

      Even in this small example the CASE tool generated 50% more lines of code!!!
    • Obsolete my ass (Score:4, Insightful)

      by varjag ( 415848 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @12:00PM (#5094761)
      You'll get a lot of geeks sneering that a text editor is the only way to write code, but that is an obsolete way of working.

      For anything but GUI drawing, good old text editors still beat all these point-and-click thingy.

      Writing and adjusting your code is faster with text editor (unless you type with two fingers).

      Non-boilerplate coding can't be done with point-and-click interface, be it UML, RAD or whatelse. Programming is not about changing superclasses and adding member variables: at some point you have to implement actual algorithms. At this point you have to resort to text editor and all the glory of CASE tools fades, since when you actually do want to change superclass you have to move your hands off the keyboard to mouse, swith to different window, and often you are not allowed to change CASE-tool-controlled parts of code by hand. I've yet to see any evidence that a CASE user beats competent developer with editor in terms of performance.

      Those thinking of pointy-clicky interfaces being a magic wand should go and try writing bubblesort with mouse.
      • Those thinking of pointy-clicky interfaces being a magic wand should go and try writing bubblesort with mouse.

        Why would you want to? No-one in the real world ever writes a sorting algorithm. If you want it sorted, add ORDER BY to your SQL and you're done. 90% of software development is about getting data into and out of databases in different ways, and doing some processing on it along the way. The complexity is not in the code itself, it's in the real-world problem the code is written to solve.

        You're right that non-boilerplate code can't be automated, but the amount of work that is non-boilerplate is relatively small, particularly in terms of lines of code. I've written apps that maybe 60% were pure GUI code, just creating widgets and adding them to forms, etc. Maybe 30% more is just the initialization, connect to DB, open files stuff that's the same between most apps, just calls to libraries. That leaves 10% new code. Using RAD and CASE and c'n'p reduces development time to a fraction.
    • For example, instead of programmatically declaring a member variable of a class, you click on the UML class diagram and add a property, instead of typing class Z extends X you drag a line.

      Graphical languages are highly overated. Just look at what you are reading. It's letters, not pictures.

      The demise of "programmers" have been predicted since there were computers. One of the early cries was:

      "You are not going to need programmers with our tool. Instead of knowing all those numbers for computer instructions, you can use human readable symbols like 'ADD' or 'LOAD'. This new fancy tool is called an 'ASSEMBLER' and even managers can use it!"

  • by jj_johny ( 626460 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @11:04AM (#5094302)
    So there are some smart people in India, Russia.... So they are starting to compete with US and Western European firms and winning... So what! This is a trend that started a long time ago, has continued, will continue for the foreseeable future.

    So the question that I would like to be answered is what will India, the US, etc. look like in 25 years due to this trend. (OK 10 years even.) Most of these folks writing these articles can't extrapolate more than a couple weeks.

    So rather than right puff pieces about some new and insidious trend, tell me what it really will mean. Does it mean that US companies will need to stay sharp? Does it mean that the US is dambed to a life of living off of greatness like the UK as its empire fell?

    Here is the answer - wealth is created when inputs are moved from a lower value use to a higher value use! So what does that mean? Well it means when we buy something and put it to better use than what we paid for it, we are making wealth. And nobody does it quite like the big economies of US and Western Europe. But what about all those Indian programmers? Well they had better hope that every other country in the world does not get into their business too! The globablization of everything will continue and thank god for that.

    You can't stop the future, you can only pretend by stopping progress.

    • The globablization of everything will continue and thank god for that.

      No, globalization is EVIL. Third-world workers would much rather be sustenance farming than coding software or making sneakers. I mean haven't you heard? Didn't that trash can I just threw through the Starbucks window make that abundantly clear? Capitalist pig!
    • The British and the Dutch have both controlled international trade extensively at various times in the past four hundred years. Ultimately they over-financialized their economies (trade instead of create) and they suffered as a result.

      There is ample data to show that the US is in the midst of a long term permanent decline:

      • Massive overfinancialization
      • Declining standards in public education
      • Wages too high with respect to competing nations
      • Massive public and private debts
      • High degree of foreign ownership of economy
      • Over militarization
      Many of these same indicators plagued previous economic empires.

      There is no avoiding the base truth of globalization: foreign nations can now produce adequate goods and services for a much lower cost. When I say "much lower", I mean it is cheaper to manufacture something in China and have it shipped to and stored in North America than it is for a North American company to sell products at cost in their own factory parking lots. There is simply no way American workers can produce competitve goods with the current wage disparity.

    • So the question that I would like to be answered is what will India, the US, etc. look like in 25 years due to this trend. (OK 10 years even.) Most of these folks writing these articles can't extrapolate more than a couple weeks.

      You don't get it, do you? The article is an obvious plant; notice how it mentions only Wipro and no other Indian IT company doing similar work.

      But to answer your question politically, I'll hazard a guess. The nitwits in power in India will continue to fight among themselves and with the Great Enemy Neighbour (tm) before figuring out some other way to attract attention to themselves. In the meantime, those in the software industry will continue to earn millions and be better off than the others. This will make the right-wing jealous and they'll start theories about how computing is un-Indian and all that, never mind the fact that, by then, nobody would listen to them anyway.

      Extrapolating for the US is left as an exercise to the reader.

  • hmm (Score:3, Funny)

    by JeanBaptiste ( 537955 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @11:10AM (#5094344)
    with some stupid errors like saying developers code with UML


    Maybe they farmed out the editing of the article to India...
  • . . . and how many others are like it?

    Even if this article is spot-on about everything, its about one company. And it sounds so fantastic that frankly I'm not sure how much of this I buy.

    The good tactics mentioned here are things ANY GOOD PROGRAMMER uses. Study. Work. Learn about your client. Develop people skills. Think ahead. These are not "Indian" or "American" or "Japanese" traits or whatever, these are traits for a good programmer. Period.

    Taken with a grain of salt, the article tells me there's a company in India that has good people and good tactics. That's about it.

  • Great. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Bisifiniti ( 635115 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @11:13AM (#5094368)
    Another couple hundred million people ensuring I'm never going to get a job. I'll just have to work an inane patent on jobhunting, then sue them all on a DMCA technicality.
  • by SgtChaireBourne ( 457691 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @11:16AM (#5094387) Homepage
    "More explosions: From Wipro's rooftop, you can see a string of holes blown out of farmland nearby. Wipro is excavating the foundation for an 8-acre third phase of its Electronic City facility,..."

    What ever happened to distance independent work / telecommuting, and so on? That was the Next Big Thing(tm) in the 1990's. Instead, part of this globalization trend seems to be to turn the best farmland into the best business parks. In the U.S., the asphalt of Chicago covers some of the richest farm land in the nation. Places like Sweden have be enthusiasticly paving the Mälar river valley and the plains of Scania. Germany and most other countries are doing the same? It's not possible for every country to import food and certainly not economically feasible (yet) for India to think about it.

    It would be more effective to knock down the Indian variants of the late Cabrini Green -- urban renewal would be good for the people living in the city, and it would keep the programmers closer to the cafés.

  • then I'm not worried. $EMPLOYER has worked with Wipro before, and basically all they do is transcribe standards (e.g. the 1394 spec) line-for-line into either HDL or C. The result may be functional, but it's rarely robust or maintainable and never efficient.

    By the time we get the Wipro stuff into marketable form, we've spent more time and effort on it than it would have taken to do the job ourselves from scratch.

    Our people in Bangalore are similar: good people, but pretty much turn-the-crank implementors. I'm glad we have them because so much of our work really is turn-the-crank work, but I'm quite happy making periodic trips to Bangalore to train them while spending most of my time doing Kewl Stuff at home.

  • by Badgerman ( 19207 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @11:19AM (#5094411)
    Considering the conflicts with Pakistan and the past fear of possible nuclear or conventional war in the region, do companies work that into their calculations? What of other kinds of issues in foreign countries that companies outsource to?

    I'd figure foreign outsourcing would bring in a hell of a lot of variables one would have to work with.

    • Considering the conflicts with Pakistan and the past fear of possible nuclear or conventional war in the region, do companies work that into their calculations? What of other kinds of issues in foreign countries that companies outsource to?

      You know, one of the very interesting things about last year's brinkmanship was what it did to the value of the Indian rupee and to India's forex reserves. Usually, in times of political or economic uncertainity in a certain country, you'd expect a dip in the currency's value; the US dollar, for example, dipped (primarily in relation to the Euro and Swiss franc) after Enron and Worldcom broke out.

      I honestly was expecting the rupee's value to dip in mid-2002; the Monsoons had failed, agricultural produce in a largely agarian economy had taken a plunge, manufacturing was in a largely self-inflicted slump and then there was that dickheaded brinkmanship with Pakistan (dickheaded because it acheived absolutely nothing; Islamist terrorists still attack Indian targets with impunity, people still die in Kashmir and what's more, there seems to be no end in sight to all this violence.)

      But the fact of the matter is, the rupee is still going strong (bad for exports, good for people like me), and, while nowhere near China's, forex levels are at an all time high. Most believe that it's largely due to software exports and by bank remittances by Non Resident Indians.

      Now, it's important to remember the political clout that the software industry has in India's corridors of power. A power that have, on earlier occassions, not shied from wielding; IT companies, for instance, get fabulous tax breaks, get allocated prime land and in general, have direct access to state chief ministers and central (ie federal) ministers. One of the bigger things that affected me a long time back was the IT industry's silence over most central ministers' biligerent statements, statements that would be populist within India but would definitely be seen as provocative in the international community (and hence detrimental to business interests).

      I guess we now know the reason more or less; the IT industry hasn't really been affected by the stand-off. In fact, I'll extend it even further:- tech (whether Indian, American or Tristan-da-Cunha-ian) will flourish despite irresponsible politicians.

      I'd figure foreign outsourcing would bring in a hell of a lot of variables one would have to work with.

      Hope I answered your question.

    • There is risk everywhere. How many Indian business parks have been the target of jetliner-missiles?
  • Business 101 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gpinzone ( 531794 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @11:21AM (#5094430) Homepage Journal
    It seems business folk like to latch onto a tech concept, exaggerate it's claims, then run blindly with it like lemmings to a cliff.

    This recent love of Indian software companies strikes me like the love affair businesses had with the Internet in the late 90s. "We can run our businesses so much cheaper on the Internet!" "Banner ads will pay for all our expenses and then some!" Of course, no one bothered to really ask the question whether or not the Internet was profitable. All they saw were dollar signs and were more than happy to ignore the negative aspects of this new business paradigm. I don't think we're going to have a software "crash" like we did with the dot com bust, but anyone who thinks they can pay a little bit of money and magically get high quality code from the underpants gnomes...er, I mean India, they're going to be disappointed.
    • Re:Business 101 (Score:4, Informative)

      by NineNine ( 235196 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @11:31AM (#5094509)
      anyone who thinks they can pay a little bit of money and magically get high quality code from the underpants gnomes...er, I mean India, they're going to be disappointed.


      I only wished that were true. From the article:

      At the same time, Wipro has embraced quality. In six years, it has trained 7,000 employees in Six Sigma and completed 1,000 quality projects. Six years ago, Fast Company proled a team at Lockheed-Martin that wrote nearly perfect code ( "They Write the Right Stuff," Dec : Jan 1997 ). The team's claim to fame: It was one of only four outts in the world to achieve Level 5 certication from the Software Engineering Institute. Wipro has Level 5 certication in three different categories. It's eye-glazing stuff, but an amazing achievement.

      • Wipro has Level 5 certication in three different categories. It's eye-glazing stuff, but an amazing achievement.

        I find it impossible to believe that every one of Wipro's 15,000 developers is capable of writing code to this standard.

        Maybe Wipro have 3 teams of a few dozen or so elite programmers who work on very well-defined long term projects, where the software has one specific job to do and everyone on the team has a decade's worth of familiarity with the codebase. But the rank and file are likely to be about as talented as the rank and file at EDS or CSC.
  • In America's information economy, we have become comfortable framing our competitive advantage in terms of knowledge and innovation. We justify charging premium prices because we have the best-trained talent delivering top-quality information solutions.

    Oh, c'mon. The writing's been on the wall for over 20 years now. So much 'knowledge' and 'innovation' has originated from Europe and the Far East since then & it's beginning to be noticed in mainstream journals like Fast Company. Those of us in the industry have already known this for years ....

  • From the article:

    Within two years, Wipro says, three-quarters of the employees its customers see will be local nationals: American, European, or Asian.

    This means that any advantage the Indian's have had by being able to compete on price is going to be erased. Then they will just be another EDS or IBM Global Services division.

  • Not surprising (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Edmund Blackadder ( 559735 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @11:26AM (#5094475)
    "The new face of global competition" is nothing innovative, just some really bright people that are being exploited to work long hours for low salaries because they live in an impoverished country.

    Meanwhile they pull down the salaries of professionals working in america, and those lower salaries combined with the ever increasing fear of losing one's job (which is another result of global competition), so professionals decrease their spending and their standard of living and the result is a recession, we may not be able to get out of.

    I am not racist and really like the fact that India is breeding smart hardworking engineers, but wish they were payed decent salaries for their sake and our own sake.

    At least there is one thing that never changes. Fast Company is as always willing to give blowjobs to large corporations. I wonder what the folks at fast company received for thisd article. And i wonder if they are under pressure from third world journalist with no ethical standards.
    • I am not racist and really like the fact that India is breeding smart hardworking engineers, but wish they were payed decent salaries for their sake and our own sake.

      But they are paid decent salaries. Currency works like anything else, supply and demand. Lots of people want dollars, so dollars go up in value relative to other currencies. Or Euros, Sterling, Swiss Francs, Yen, etc. These are the "hard" currencies, because you can use them to do cross border business (among other reasons). You can't use Rupees for this, so the value of Rupees relative to dollars goes down (because Indians are converting Rupees to hard currencies so they can import stuff).

      The effect of this is that in dollar terms, India is very cheap - an Indian on $4/hr doesn't need to work a whole hour to afford a cup of coffee, like an American on the same dollar salary would! The Indians are getting paid in, and spending, their local currency.

      Anyone who claims Indians on $4/hr are getting exploited doesn't know what they are talking about and should be dismissed out of hand.
    • At least there is one thing that never changes. Fast Company is as always willing to give blowjobs to large corporations. I wonder what the folks at fast company received for thisd article. And i wonder if they are under pressure from third world journalist with no ethical standards.

      The article was written by a certain (first-world sounding) Keith H. Hammonds. But yes, I agree; the article is basically advertising for Wipro and yes, corporate-planted stories of this sort are increasing these days.

  • Economics at work (Score:4, Interesting)

    by abhikhurana ( 325468 ) on Thursday January 16, 2003 @11:54AM (#5094706)
    Firstly, I am in Indian but I dont work in India. Now to the crux of the matter. Its trur that Wipro is a great company. Infact during the peak days of dotcom boom, its chairman, Azim Premji was the second richest person in the world just behind Bill G. Wipro does have many good engineers like most big Indian software companies. But if you look at the salary of the guy, around 21000 USD, its not that low. Thats how the global economy works I assume. Eventually skilled people from poor countries get richer and to retain them the corporations have to pay more, and so the cost edge reduces gradually. Thats gonna happen with India as well, sooner or later. The only thing which is stopping this from happening is that India has a population of 1 billion, so we obviously have more skilled people as well, but still we have seen a gradual increase in the pay in IT industry and I dont think this trend is gonna stop. So eventually the competition between India and the rest will not be on price but on quality. Even my present company outsources work to India but again we feel that the quality of the work is not very good. But we can't go to a big company as it disturbs our budget calculations. But even then, now the consensus is emrging that we should give some work to a big Indian company. In future this cud be any company in the world.
  • stupid errors? (Score:2, Insightful)

    with some stupid errors like saying developers code with UML

    Uninformed errors, maybe. Or blatant, significant, major errors. Whatever. But why stupid? Do you really need to be arrogant and insulting? Yet another "1337" syndrom, I guess. Sigh...

    Repeat after me 50 times, I'll put it in a language you can understand :
    Knowledge!=Intelligence
    Ignorance!=Stupidity
  • Remember Edward Yourdon's "The Decline and Fall of the American Programmer"? That was years ago, but it covered the same topic. Yourdon opened his book with an alarming chapter that fits the title, but at the end of the book he concluded that India is not a threat. It was in part because the demand for software work is so high that even India's universities cannot keep up. Later, he followed up with "The Rise and Resurrection of the American Programmer". Go figure.
  • I'm a senior in CS at UAH and I've already disuaded at least three or four people from majoring in Computer Science. "Yeah buddy, all the jobs are headed to India, General Business, Accounting, Management, that's the ticket." Less competition for me in a few years :)
  • Can anyone share a single success story where software was ousourced overseas?

    I've been watching companies outsource to India and elsewhere for years. Every single episode has been a flaming catastrophe, yielding unusable product and hideous code.

    The funniest instance was when a friend's team at Anderson Consulting (now Accenture) outsourced to India -- outsourcee outsourcing to an outsourcee, 2 layers of bad abstraction Total mess, complete garbage delivered, even by Anderson's standards it had to be rewritten.

    The problem is not, I think, that people overseas are dumber than people in the US. The problem is that outsourcing is bad, for many reasons, including differences in motivation between outsourcer and outsourcee, and loss of control. Overseas outsourcing can mean an astonishing lack of control, and a long, long link between the ultimate customers and the coders, which invites mayhem.

  • Comparing to Japan (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Kallahar ( 227430 ) <kallahar@quickwired.com> on Thursday January 16, 2003 @12:51PM (#5095166) Homepage
    Before Japan started making cheap cars, their economy was similar to India's. They weren't a high-tech nation, and the Yen was very poor compared to the dollar. Then the figured out how to make cars, and how to sell them to the comparatively rich Americans. They found that even charging large amounts (taking into account the Yen/Dollar exchange) for their cars they could still attract buyers, and pay their workers well. Lo and behold, given time the value of the Yen went up due to all the money being dumped into their economy. As the relative value went up, the profit margins went down, and now Japan has been in a recession for the last 12 years.

    Now, apply that model to India. What we'll see is a mad rush where everyone tries to save money by outsourcing projects to India. The US companies will see huge savings (I disagree, but that's a different argument) and the Indians will see huge profits (again taking the exchange rate into consideration). However as the Indian rupee gains in value, the economic attraction of other countries to outsource to India will fall.

    Hence, the economy is constantly balancing itself.

    This lesson brought to you by Travis
  • I know this proess of outsourcing has already begun but finally its hitting full steam. At long last the arrogant and formerly overpaid techies with arrested social development are getting their comeuppance and how!

    No more latte sipping, all black wearing "consultants" pulling in $300/hour. And never again for that matter. The profits shall now go back to the shareholders and executives where they belong!

    Now all we have to do is repeat the process for the BioTech industry and enjoy the next boom it will bring us! Then we get to watch as THOSE jobs are exported to Indians who played with chemistry sets all day after school while they were growing up.

    After the BioTech Boom/Bust cycle there will be a prolonged global recession that will only be ended when the world's final Boom/Bust scenario begins, the Second Space Race.
  • Hey, guys:

    Here is what I think is going to happen:

    First, the outsourcing trend is going to worsen. Corporate America is going to increasingly ship its IT work overseas to companies like Wipro. Mostly this is because corporate America is greedy, short-sighted, and fairly stupid, and has absolutely no problem with skewering the economy and destroying the middle class if they can squeeze a little more profit out of the system in the short term. India, which seems fairly pragmatic and which wants to improve its position, will capitalize on this and take all the work given it. This doesn't make India evil; the SITUATION is pretty rotten for the US though.

    The result of this is that the U.S. IT industry is going to be gutted. As companies discover that outsourcing works, they'll outsource other jobs as well, including that of the managers who fired all the IT staff. Why have IT staff in India and not managers? Move everyone offshore except the executive, sales, and client-service staff. Hell, even some of those can go -- India is already the site of several call centers.

    As a result of this trend, which will accelerate over time, the only jobs available in the US that pay well will be for executives and support staff. The only corporate IT that's going to be done in the US is going to be low-level tech support (for the executives) and some consulting (for network setup at a new location, etc). The consulting will mostly be done by -- you guessed it -- Indian representiatives of consulting firms. There may be a few Americans left, who suck it up and take the low salaries. Who knows?

    There will still be a middle class, it'll just be a lot smaller. They'll be people who do things that you just can't outsource. Mechanics. Plumbers. Electricians and carpenters. Cops and Firemen. They'll be local, and they'll serve their communities. Computer repairmen might make a living doing house calls. You might be able to make some money setting up home networks and such. Government will still be strong, and lots of programmers (and a whole variety of other white-collar workers) will work at the county, state, or federal level. And, of course there's always academia, if you can stand all the backstabbing and infighting. The middle class will get a lot smaller, but it'll still be there.

    The majority of people will be working class, either in retail or some sort of support function, like security or building maintenance. The economy will shrink, possibly a lot, and prices will fall because of this. Some communities will be hit harder than others.

    I don't think it'll be a total disaster, it'll just be a change. Local economies will be more visible, people will be more connected to their community as a result (because jobs won't be for companies anymore, but local businesses).

    I'm still not sure how I feel about all this, but I'm pretty sure this is what's going to happen. As for me, I'm staying in government, and I'm going to try and build some kind of side business doing consulting for regular joes and small businesses. Local, small, and comfortable. No worry about outsourcing there...

    Just my $.02...

    • Additional thought:

      I've just thought of one more thing: some sectors which might have trouble outsourcing could be the utilities, telephone and cable companies, regional ISPs, etc... So a clever IT professional might be able to find good work in such an industry. Actually, a range of jobs will probably survive in all sectors like this. So that's cool too.

      It might not work out all that badly for us overall... It won't be the Great Depression again, maybe just depressing.

      Interesting note: the article mentioned that as education becomes more widespread in India and conditions there improve, companies like Wipro will probably end up outsourcing to even less expensive countries like Thailand because wages in India won't be cheap anymore! How's that for irony? Work for American companies will be handled by Indian companies which contract out to, say, Cambodian companies (which may in turn subcontract elsewhere). Amazing.
  • ....Wipro's developers follow Six Sigma practices.

    That means they are high quality developers at bargain prices. Not just dollar an hour coders who don't know what they are doing.

    Does anyone have a clue as to how American or other Western programmers are supposed to compete with this?

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