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Lowering the Odds of Being Outsourced 355

Lam1969 writes "Computerworld points to a study by the Society for Information Management, which concludes that the best thing young IT workers can do to avoid being outsourced is beef up their management skills. The article quotes Thomas Tanaka, a recent computer engineering graduate, describing a recent job interview: 'While the Santa Clara, Calif., resident has generally been looking for entry-level software jobs with IT vendors, he recently had an interview with a financial firm looking to fill an in-house IT position. That's where his lack of business background was exposed.'"
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Lowering the Odds of Being Outsourced

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  • eventually we'll have too many managers and have to outsource them too :-0

    on a side note I just got promoted and a 16.change% pay hike Yea me!
    • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:10PM (#15030544)
      is to get into management? doesn't that kinda defeat the purpose of getting into IT? That's kinda like saying the best way to avoid losing your job in the steel mill is to get a degree in medicine.
      • by caffeinemessiah ( 918089 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:31PM (#15030668) Journal
        That's kinda like saying the best way to avoid losing your job in the steel mill is to get a degree in medicine.
        Not necessarily. Management is a sort of meta-job. There would be no managers if there weren't people to manage (well, then they're consultants). Following your analogy, it would be like telling the steel mill worker that the best way to avoid losing his job would be to learn a little management so that he can float for a little while longer than his buddies.

        About TFA, the solution seems more like jumping from a sinking ship to one with termites eating at a wooden hull.

      • Only if you consider IT management to not be part of IT. I however disagree. IT management is not general purpose management. The best IT managers tend to grock technology.
      • by Irish_Samurai ( 224931 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:43PM (#15030759)
        It sounds that way, but it isn't entirely. From what I have experienced, the suits have a real problem getting an IT guy to see their point of view, and the same is true in reverse. Someone who has the experience to understand why some of the ridiculous things managers ask for aren't as foolish when looked at from their perspective also knows how to employ the inverse.

        That is a person who can lead a tech team from the frontlines and then come back to the Meeting Room and be an evangilist whos opinion carries weight. I view it as a redefinition of what a "project manager's" responsibilities and place in the corporate structure are.

        Sometimes it isn't about a business wanting you to add up time cards and crack the whip. I think any geek would bend over backwards if it meant they could show some young turks through all the mistakes they had to figure out alone. Maybe business are learning that PHB's screw the IT shit up, so they go to their fall back option - can one of these geeks speak our language and will he wear a suit twice a year?
      • by Captain Tripps ( 13561 ) * on Thursday March 30, 2006 @08:59PM (#15031172)
        Like say, those of us who went into the field 'cause we liked it. If I wanted to be a manager, I'd have gone to business school in the first place. I hate when people just automatically assume that if you're successful, you'll inevitably end up in management. It's even in TFA: "The time period one spends as a programmer is becoming compressed." Like it's just a natural stepping-stone.

        I'm a programmer, I'm proud of it, and I'm glad I can make a living at it. The head research programmer at my last job was 40, and still hacking Scheme and C. I hope that's where I'll be when I'm 40. Maybe it won't be possible, but if I have to go back to school to retrain, the last thing I'm getting is an MBA. I'm gonna look around for another career I like.

    • on a side note I just got promoted and a 16.change% pay hike Yea me!

      Congratulations. My increase was 1.95% of my salary, and when you combine that information with the fact that I'm in the 8th Percentile salary-wise for what I do and where I live, I am working up a new resume and moving my bones on.

      No promotion after two years of promises, two consecutive paltry (less than cost of living) raises == me wandering off down the highway to a new gig.
  • Professor Weinstein, if you want to know his name.

    And a lot of people listened to him and minored in business. The problem is, when companies require x years of experience managing or in engineering/IT to get a job, where will we get those people?
    • I wish I'd had your professor. It took me a while to figure out that, as technology people, our value comes down to two things: how well we can document business requirements, and how good we are in some domain. And if you can document business requirements, your competency in some domain becomes secondary. So the question becomes, how do you get the experience if you don't have the experience? And the answer is: you find whatever the hell you can, fight your way into it, and then hold onto that job for de
      • by AngryNick ( 891056 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @10:31PM (#15031555) Homepage Journal
        And the answer is: you find whatever the hell you can, fight your way into it, and then hold onto that job for dear life until you have five years and some certifications.

        You've got it exactly right. I see too many kids walking in expecting to be paid for what they think they already know, but unwilling to invest the energy to learn about and build the business they are supporting.

        In '93 I moved 500 miles for an $8.00/hr job coding tax software--possibly the most boring software known to man -- because I thought it would be useful experience for a "real job." It was a crappy job with crappy hours and a very limited crappy life outside of work. When everyone else was bouncing from job to job, I stuck with it and worked my way up. When I finally left after 6 years, I was in charge of two product lines and a dozen programmers and CPAs. I'm now working on 14 years in the tax software industry and have little fear of being outsourced. Now I know the business, I know the issues, and I know the driving forces behind our decisions. They no longer pay me to write code (though I still sneak in a little); they now pay me to help them make more money.

        I suggest that you get your foot in the door any way you can, smile while they dump sh!t on your head, show them that you're there for more than a paycheck, and most importantly, stick with it. As you demonstrate your commitment you will quickly be given more responsibility, money, and a more secure career.

  • not that we have enought manager who think they can manage but have absolutly no management skill. Now tons of IT people who also have no management skill are forced to manage too. Oh holy manage-o-runi!
    • Maybe that will mean that those same IT people who also have no IT skills will be forced to manage too. If you have an incompetent person, is it better that they are in management, or IT?
  • from replacing your job.

    Even the overseas marketing skills.

    It all comes down to the economics. If you want to stop it, you either have to affect the demand side (by corporate reforms, limits on L1/L2/H1B visas, or a dearth of skilled workers worldwide) or the supply side (by say, making it so Indian tech workers start getting paid more, as is already happening).

    Me, I love working for the feds in medicine. That works a lot better.
    • (by say, making it so Indian tech workers start getting paid more, as is already happening)

      Where are you getting this information from?
      • by eln ( 21727 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:09PM (#15030543)
        Here's one source [upi.com]

        There is huge demand for skilled technical people in India. As a result, wages are going up and turnover is a huge problem. Headhunters literally roam the streets outside of the major tech employers looking to entice workers to different jobs.
        • Well there you go, all the Indian outsources need to do is advertise in the US for all those unemployed IT people. Of course training in management will decrease unemployment, just think if all the jobs in the management training companies that will be created when all the unemployed tech people train to become unemployed managers.

          Hint, to be a good manager you need skill and knowledge in what you are managing. Fourtunately some of us have skills and qualifications in other industries (building industry f

      • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:12PM (#15030551)
        Here's one easy to google for.
        Search for "Lakh inflation salary programmer".

        Lakh is one of the currencies in india (about the same as our dollar?).

        http://www.the-week.com/25dec04/currentevents_arti cle10.htm [the-week.com]

        At 13.8 per cent, average salary hike will be the highest in India

        By K. Sunil Thomas

        Charu Malik is a quick learner. After finishing her master's at the Delhi School of Economics last June, the 22-year-old joined Pipal, a research firm in south Delhi, at an annual salary of Rs 4.8 lakh. If Charu thought she had landed a decent bundle, there were more, nicer, surprises in store--the company had two appraisals every year. This meant her salary went up by a whopping 40 per cent within six months, and that is not including the chunky bonus she got. ... article continues...

        When their wages reach 40 to 50% of US wages then the outsourcing will be less of an issue and -maybe- wages and job security will recover here in the States.
        • Lakh is one of the currencies in india (about the same as our dollar?).
          There is only one currency in India -- the rupee. A lakh is colloquial for expressing 100,000.
        • by Xeger ( 20906 ) <slashdot.tracker@xeger@net> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:27PM (#15030640) Homepage
          Not to pick nits, but a lakh just means 100,000 of something. So the girl in the article, being paid "Rs 4.8 lakh," was being paid 480,000 rupees per annum.

          At about 40 rupees to the dollar, you can see that her pay in dollars -- $12,000 -- is quite low. Even though salaries in India are rising dramatically, they've still got a long way to go before they close the gap with US salaries (especially in fields like tech, which are on the rise even in the US).

          And now for my spot of commentary:

          In the long run, those jobs that can be outsourced effectively, *will* be. The corporations that form the basis of our free-market economy are compelled BY LAW to reduce costs as much as possible, in order to increase margins and enhance shareholder value.

          As one would expect, not every job can be outsourced efficiently. At the moment the pendulum is swinging TOWARD outsourcing, as greedy CEOs experiment with new ways to lower the bottom line. However, there have been (and will continue to be) numerous incidents where jobs are inappropriately outsourced. Given a few decades, the economies of "insourcing" countries will rise as money floods in, corporate types will learn which jobs need to stay in country, and the system will reach equilibrium.

          Those who don't like what the future has to hold can choose to move to a country with a controlled economy, or find a protected niche such as health care, palm reading or burger flipping -- none of which are amenable to outsourcing.
          • Excellent!

            Learned something new today.

            If they can maintain 10% inflation, then it would take roughly 7 years for her salary to double to 24k U.S. However, as the article says an unknown portion of her compensation is in bonuses, trips, new cars, and other benefits. My "bonus" last year was about $160.

            I have seen (and some part of one of the linked articles in this thread refers to) rates more like 20% referred to. At that rate, it would only take about 4 years to double. So even by those "optimistic" es
            • I have a feeling that we might see Indian inflation rise even faster in the next few years. Indian companies are actually outsourcing some of their work to China, and a lot of Indian IT workers who moved abroad in the last decade are choosing to return home with (comparatively) huge nest-eggs.

              All in all, the Indian economy is quite healthy right now, and corruption in the public and private sector (formerly a huge problem) are slowly dwindling. Growth rates are rising; with growth comes wealth; with wealth
          • The corporations that form the basis of our free-market economy are compelled BY LAW to reduce costs as much as possible, in order to increase margins and enhance shareholder value.

            Bullshit. They do it to increase their bonuses. Absent blatant corruption or theft, there's very little the shareholders can do but sue, which they'll do no matter what the officers do.

          • The corporations that form the basis of our free-market economy are compelled BY LAW to reduce costs as much as possible, in order to increase margins and enhance shareholder value.

            No, they aren't. Fiduciary duty implies no such thing. Quit spreading misinformation. I'm very sick of seeing this lie.

            Corporations are bound to their charter, which may include things such as "no outsourcing" or "no buying foreign copper" or similar restrictions.

            Even if it doesn't, there's no law that compels people running a
            • Hmm. Well, ya learn something new every day. However, even if the law only covers fiduciary duty. I could still argue that a CEO who refuses to outsource a job when it would save even 50% of the job's cost and have no foreseeable negative consequences, isn't doing HIS job very well.

              At what point do I come off as a socialist? At no point did I suggest that our capitalist system is bad, or that there's a better alternative -- I'm just trying to keep things in perspective. If you want to live with the benefits
          • Not to rain on your parade, but your logic depends on a system with no rules.

            Fortunately for everyone, the system is full of ways to keep all the jobs from being outsourced. The only rational reason in pure economic terms to outsource a job is a wide disparity of resources. So wide that it makes up for the enormous infrastructure costs of exporting it.

            What we have here instead are a set of artificial rules we've set up that make stuff from one place much less expensive in tokens than stuff from another p
            • by Xeger ( 20906 )
              Beg pardon, but I believe we *do* have a wide disparity of resources between US and India, which is the underlying cause for the favorable exchange rate. AFAIK the rupee-dollar exchange rate is not fixed; it's set by whatever people in the currency exchange market are willing to pay (and who knows how *those* people make their valuations -- but the theory of efficient markets would have us believe that their valuations are more-or-less correct).

              If you were making the same claim about China, then I'd whole-h
        • No, lakh [wikipedia.org] means 100,000. Rs [wikipedia.org] is an abbreviation for rupee, which is the currency. Right now, there's around 45 Rs to a dollar.
        • by Gopal.V ( 532678 ) on Friday March 31, 2006 @07:56AM (#15032912) Homepage Journal
          I *am* an Indian programmer working in India. I too got a pay hike in lakhs, but do you understand why the hikes in India are so high ? The hikes are so high because of two important factors -

          • huge number of entry level engineers willing to settle for less for their first job
          • trouble retaining existing employees

          My first job paid about 250 USD per month before taxes. I stuck to it because I was a geek with no great academics to speak of, coming from an outside (read as - not from IIT or NIT) college and hadn't got the financial backing to follow up my GRE score. And in about seven months, I'd end up replacing my father in the earning capacity. It was so scary that I was grabbing at straws with my first job - I'd worked for more than 40 days at a stretch, working weekends and taking five days off to rush home every quarter.

          So I settled for less for my first job, but that salary was good enough to live in for one person - though not enough disposable income to buy something like a computer for my own. Amidst all this, I went through a lot of personal troubles and ended up losing the only light in my life - out of sheer neglect towards her. After all that my first raise was a 67% - which pulled up my salary to 400 USD levels and that's a huge inflation percentage wise but it was 2500 USD per year for the company. Interestingly that's about 1/4th of what I was billable for to the customer per month.

          Anyway, I left that job because I couldn't put up with the shit. Impossible deadlines drive managers nuts. They start ignoring the non-performers when it comes to work distribution and overload the performers. Finally, no matter how brilliant you are, you burn out. I was a charred shell of no motivation when I quit - and people wonder why code from India sucks. Because the rewards of work, is more work and then it continues. In about a year (which is when your first pay review kicks in), you'll probably have lost all of your work ethic and become a lazy slob who realizes he won't get fired if he puts in 1/5 th of the work someone similar in US needs to put in.

          The hike percentages look promising, but the reality is that as companies grow - only overhead per actual coder increases, without actual increase in code quality, outputs or schedules. Sooner or later the system has to fail.

          The Software Services industry is a nightmare I'd rather not return to.
      • Indian wages (Score:3, Informative)

        I knew this was happening from several sources, a quick google turned up many results. Here's one [computerworld.com]

        India Aims to Tame Soaring IT Wages is the headline for anyone too lazy to click.

    • Imposing/tightening limits on L1/L2/H1B visas would affect supply, not demand, as would having a dearth of skilled workers worldwide.
  • by Marxist Hacker 42 ( 638312 ) * <seebert42@gmail.com> on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:04PM (#15030497) Homepage Journal
    No- really. For anybody who has been out of college for more than 2 years, that's what the article recommends. No advice if you're not a people person, hate people, and went into computers to avoid working with people. No advice if you're not a natural entrapreneur running your first ecommerce site before you've left the dorms in college.
    • MBAs are quickly becoming the most diluted degree you can get. Lately, it seems that everyone is getting an MBA, and they are becoming increasingly easier to obtain.

      "Get an MBA" is the new mantra because everyone assumes managers can't be outsourced. I think that's a load. Yes, if you're an American company, then by definition you're going to need at least a few managers in the US, but the more you outsource your workers the more of your management will have to be moved offshore as well.

      Hell, if McDonald [usatoday.com]
      • No offense, but I've worked for companies that hired managers with MBAs and I've worked for (the vast majority of) companies that "promote" programmers into management positions. Never underestimate the value of working with someone who is actually trained to do their job. It kinda pissed me off that I went to university, studied hard, passed my exams with distinction and then have to take orders from a guy who came bottom in his class doing the exact same degree. Managers who are not trained to manage a
    • Right with you man!

      It would be nice if these articles would useful for the non people, people here. One of the big joys of working with computers is the lack of people.
  • by Maxo-Texas ( 864189 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:05PM (#15030510)
    That we are -ALL- going to be managers.

    It is really sad to see them lying to us (and maybe even themselves) so blatantly.

    Many of our outsourced positions now include outsourcing the project lead level as well.

    The only thing that is going to save our jobs is higher wages overseas.

    Why should you spend $50 grand and 4 years of your life to get a degree with NO FUTURE?!?

    Sure if you are a genius- go for it. But if you are joe average "B" / low "A" type person- there are many easier degrees with better job prospects than IT. IT SUCKS.

    No respect, no pay, no security, rampant age discrimination, constant retraining- and even then you have to be "lucky" to get experience at the hot new technology or you are out on your kiester in as little as 2-3 years.

    Don't listen to the propaganda/lies that are suddenly being pushed over the last few months (in conjunction with the H1B issue oddly enough... HMMM!).

    Lots of poeple can be hard workers.
    Not many people can be good manager types.
    Not many people can be hard workers for -LESS- than minimum wage when they are trying to pay back a $50 grand debt that they -CANNOT- declare bankruptcy to get out of when they get the shaft.
    • Why should you spend $50 grand and 4 years of your life to get a degree with NO FUTURE?!?

      Oh, but what should that entitle the graduate to? What, society owes them a job? /sarcasm

      When we have all lost faith in the social contract, this will be a very dark place. People better disengage the cranial-rectal interface, like right fuckin' now.

      • When we have all lost faith in the social contract, this will be a very dark place

        I don't know what planet you're living on pal, but corporations have been shitting all over the social contract for years. Nobody said anything when it was factory rat jobs like assembly line work or sewing t-shirts that can be trained in a matter of days and hardly require a level of functional literacy. Now that it's office work jobs that require a B.S. in order to get your resume in order to get past the HR drones, that r

    • That we are -ALL- going to be managers.

      It is really sad to see them lying to us (and maybe even themselves) so blatantly.

      Oh, there's no doubt they are lying to us, and very little doubt that they are lying to themselves.

      They're lying to us so that we won't recognize the screw job for what it is and revolt before they had a chance to secure our replacements.

      The same people who advocate outsourcing jobs to cut costs and thus earn themselves a fat bonus definitely don't want to draw the obvious conclusion that
    • I've never said this before, but mod parent up.
    • Why should you spend $50 grand and 4 years of your life to get a degree with NO FUTURE?!?

      Go to an Indian University for 1/7th the cost. Maybe if the Ivory Tower institutions in the US get fucked by free-trade also, they'll change their tune, stop consuming visa researchers, and stop claiming that the magic solution is yet more of their increasingly irrelavent and expensive education.
  • by Be Well Rounded ( 964831 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:06PM (#15030520)
  • False (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:07PM (#15030528) Journal
    Everybody did notice that they study was for Information Managment, no? People think that we will keep managment here, while sending the tech jobs elsewhere. Not likely. In fact, as the tech jobs go, so will the managerial jobs. Anyinterface position will be those that can live in both cultures easily.

    Personally, I would argue if you really do not wish to be outsourced, then become a marketer or become the company owner.
    • Personally, I would argue if you really do not wish to be outsourced, then become a marketer or become the company owner.

      You don't have to go all the way down to "marketer", but you do need to develop strong client interaction skills. I've outsourced myself to Thailand, and the biggest challenge I am faced with is the lack of face-time with clients (and co-workers).

      One thing that can't easily be outsourced or done remotely is to have a meeting with a client where you let them know that you understand their
  • The best thing a young IT worker can do to avoid being outsourced is re-train for a career in health-care. For some reason, nurses and pharmacists have a much harder time phoning their work in.
    • Actually, outsourcing of health care is starting up.

      1) Had any X-rays done lately? More often then than you'd think, the image will be scanned and sent to an radiologist in India or elsewhere for analysis.

      2) There are now hospitals in India and the far east that cater to foreigners for surgery. It can often be 1/4 to 1/10th the cost to have it done there. For expensive procedures, the cost savings can make it worth the ticket price and travel time.

      3) Wanna bet pharmacists aren't going to be in troub

  • Own the company. Unless you actually own at least part of the firm's capital, IP or bricks and mortar, you are either going to have to compete with foreign white coller labor or illegal blue collar immigrants. You just invest your money in what gives the best return.

  • by blueZhift ( 652272 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:27PM (#15030641) Homepage Journal
    I find the Related to links interesting here

    Related to this topic

    > Aging Workers, Automation Portend IT Hiring Problems
    > Microsoft security chief to step down
    > Government offshore report becomes political hot potato
    > Senate Bill Seeks to Raise H-1B Visa Cap to 115,000
    > Dell will double staff in India to 20,000

    I especially like the last two which seems to say that if you want to lower the odds of being outsourced closer to zero, then stay out of IT! Of course the young don't need to hear that from me, they're already avoiding IT like the plague compared to years ago.
  • If I read the article correctly, it talks about business skills, whereas most of the comments so far relate to management.

    They're not the same thing. Many of us would hate to be managers, and/or would suck at it, and that's o.k.

    Entrepreneurship is a lot like that part of a MMPORG in which you go out and get the gold from the monsters; management is like keeping track of your inventory of potions & arrows. If you like the former and hate the latter, don't worry .... you're normal. You just need to ad

  • C++!

    Ensuring indespensibility since 1983!

    Now with even less keywords!
  • by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:32PM (#15030680)
    IT is to enable people to make money, not to make money in of itself. If you can't come up with technical solutions which drive that goal, it doesn't matter what you can do technically.

    I know, I know, you didn't think you were going to 6 years of school to help Bob in sales increase the stock value. You thought you were training to make all of your 1337 virtual networks interface in new and creative/exciting ways with the latest database. You were wrong. Nobody cares about your network. Nobody cares about your storage. Nobody cares if you use Linux or Windows. They want to know how you can help them "do", which in most cases is make money. IT is somewhere in the social hierarchy around Janitors: "Don't tell me what shoes leave less scuff marks, just clean up the damn spot!"

    If you can't express how you are able to leverage technology to help them make money, you're applying for the wrong job, I would recommend a job in higher education. Lots of tech jobs where the newest, latest and greatest gets applied to making newer and greater.
    • I know, I know, you didn't think you were going to 6 years of school to help Bob in sales increase the stock value. You thought you were training to make all of your 1337 virtual networks interface in new and creative/exciting ways with the latest database. You were wrong. Nobody cares about your network. Nobody cares about your storage. Nobody cares if you use Linux or Windows.

      Nobody cares about degrees.

      Nobody cares about work ethic.

      Nobody cares about dependability.

      Nobody cares about loyalty.

      Nobody cares a
      • You've interpreted my point completely incorrectly. I'm not saying all people care about is money (which may be an accurate statement but beyond the realm of this discussion). I'm saying people don't care at all about IT. IT enables people to "Do", it does nothing in of itself. The job of IT is to ensure that people continue doing what they were doing before they had a computer: art, philosophy, science, politics or yes, making money.

        It doesn't matter how good an employee is technically if they don't und
    • I agree with most everything except the higher education part. I've worked for a university for 12 years, and the role of IT is changing. Schools are now beginning to outsource their IT depts, and, just like the private sector, are now looking at IT as an enabler only.

      The powers that be (boards of regents, vice provosts, bean counters, etc.) which have power over the university's direction are feeling pressure to 'step it up' so that smaller, private schools don't beat us to the punch. It's difficult f

  • A friend who works at Universal told me that her manager prevents jobs for her subordinates from being out-sourced by requiring all new hires must know the abbreviations for each state.
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:39PM (#15030722)
    I'm not sure if switching over to management would be a good idea. If anything, management is easy to outsource. They're so out of touch with the reality of the company's everyday business that they can just as well reside on Mars.

    Snide comments aside, the idea of getting management skills up is not so far fetched. I'm one test short of being a certified bank auditor. Add in a well rounded knowledge programming (including ABAP), a bit over 8 years of experience in computer and network security and a few more goodies that can make some impression on my resume. And so far, it's never been a problem to find a well paying job.

    If you can "only" punch code, you're replacable. Yes, your code will blow anything created in India out of the water, it's 10x faster and 10x more secure, 10x easier to read and 10x more stable. But it's also 10x as expensive. And your management doesn't give a rat's behind about secure, stable and efficient code. Security doesn't matter (until shi. hits the fan, and by then the client has paid), stability is something the client has to deal with and efficiency is unnecessary when you have machines that have 1000x the horsepower needed to run any office application. Management wants cheap code! So try to have some "additional value". Give your prospective employer something he can't easily hand over to India.
    • efficiency is unnecessary when you have machines that have 1000x the horsepower needed to run any office application.

      Yeah right. Inefficient code means you have to buy more boxes, so there's a balance to be struck between scale and code efficiency: the more scale you need, the more efficient you need to be.

    • But it's also 10x as expensive.

      You get what you pay for.

      And your management doesn't give a rat's behind about secure, stable and efficient code.

      Ok folks, if you can't see what's wrong yet, I don't know what to tell you. Want to know the reason everything is so fucked up right now? There it is.

    • >>>>>>>>>Yes, your code will blow anything created in India out of the water,

      This is the typical response of paranoid-wool-over-eyes-americans. I dont know where these people get the impression that all code from India/Indians is slow/insecure/instable ?

      Tell me how long will you continue to pay for lousy product/services ? If the management doesnt care about the quality of code, it will soon be out of business. India's contribution to software has grown over the last decade simply
  • by Jacco de Leeuw ( 4646 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:40PM (#15030725) Homepage
    Which part of 22-year-old Rupak Shah's resume will most likely impress IT employers?

    * C) The e-commerce Web site he started last year, for which he negotiates prices for his products -- imported herbal supplements -- with overseas suppliers?

    Shah's degree and technical skills might land him the interview. But his entrepreneurial skills and business savvy set him apart from the pack

    Herbal supplements? So he ran a penis pill spam ring from his mother's basement? And now employers are falling over eachother to hire him?

  • Are you out of your fucking mind? If we spent nearly as much time with our management skills as we do with our technological skills, we'd not only own your company, but you'd be licking our feet like the gods we already are. You management types should already know by now (and I've been in two management positions already,) that you're too busy trying to keep up with the newest business scam instead of trying to keep up with the exacting needs of network security and technology. Give us a break, quit outsou
  • Differentiators (Score:5, Insightful)

    by uqbar ( 102695 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:44PM (#15030767)
    I interview lots of tech folks. The things that set the best of the best apart are leadership skills, ability to think in a deep analytical fashion that starts with looking at the assumptions, curiousity and ability to communicate with good, articulate answers and thoughtful questions.

    Very few techies have these skills - anyone that does is so amazingly useful to us that we'd never be able to oursource what they do.

    The problem is that I don't know if these skills are the sort of thing you can just learn. I've seen plenty of techie MBAs that have no aptitude for leading.

    Can this stuff really be learned?
    • Re:Differentiators (Score:3, Insightful)

      by sgt101 ( 120604 )
      Not really, but the potential to get those capabilities can be wasted.

      I've known a lot of good guys who simply refuse to believe what you just said, and plough the same frustrated furrow for year after year as a result.

      Also, everyone needs a good mentor to blossom.
  • We are becoming a nation of suits...
  • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:48PM (#15030795)
    Even before the Age of the Outsource came upon us, it was always a good idea to have multiple skillsets, even within a given discipline. However, I'd say that from the standpoint of avoiding being "rightsized" it's just as important to to keep the people who make such decisions aware of your value. That requires yet another skillset: politics. It's typical of software and engineering types who sit in their cubicles all day to be shocked when they get let go: they may feel (often correctly!) that their value to the company is sufficient to keep them on. What they don't often understand is that it's asking a lot to expect that information to somehow (by osmosis, telepathy or some other more direct means) to float upwards to the decision-making levels. If you're known as the "driver guy" and they can find some Indian dude to do (what appears to be) the same thing for a fraction of the cost ... well. The fact that you not only write drivers, but write proposals and specs, API documentation, user manuals, handle the occasional tough customer problem, help train salespeople and are an invaluable source of product information for everyone from engineering to marketing doesn't make a damn bit of difference if the guy pulling the trigger doesn't know it. Sure, your fellow employees may be devastated after you're gone, hell your entire division may implode without you, but that won't do you any good.
  • In my experiences on both side of the interviewer's chair, it's the extras. This article goes into some, but I'd say not far enough. If you want to survive in IT, be more than an IT person or be a hell of a specialist.

    Being a programmer-turned-Project Manager, that transition makes it painfully aware that being good at a job in IT is often far more than having IT skills (just as good management is more than about basic business skills). My most vivid example was hiring a consultant who had less IT experi
    • Yeah, it's always "more skills." Yet management can never quite explain PRECISELY what those skills are. The reason they can't is because it's all a fragrant load of HORSESHIT.

      They want to fire people, enjoy their suffering and despair and pocket their salaries. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar.

  • by wowbagger ( 69688 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @08:15PM (#15030943) Homepage Journal
    • Rohypnol in the boss's drink: $50
    • 1 goat - $100
    • Instant camera with film: $25
    • Eternal employment: Priceless

    Some things in life are free. For everything else, there's extortion.
  • Interdisciplinary people are harder to replace. That's part of the reasoning behind the Interdisciplinary Computer Science [mills.edu] program I direct at Mills College (in the SF Bay area). The program is aimed at people who have a bachelor's degree in a field other than CS. Our graduates are thus knowledgeable in CS and another field, including knowing how to apply CS to that field. Some popular combinations are CS and business (per the article), CS and education, CS and biology, etc. They're potentially more em
  • the answer (Score:2, Insightful)

    Make it illegal to outsource to

    A) Communist countries (china)

    B) Immoral countries that still have a backwards caste system (india)

    Problem solved
  • by moochfish ( 822730 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @08:27PM (#15031015)
    "Well-well look. I already told you: I deal with the god damn customers so the engineers don't have to. I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?"
  • by AutopsyReport ( 856852 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @08:50PM (#15031132)
    In order to avoid the crunch of outsourcing, we should suggest to our technically-skilled population to start pursuing management skills? What is this, a fast-forward button for the Peter Principle [wikipedia.org]?

    Let skilled workers be skilled workers (since it's what they do best), and managers be managers. At the very least, put emphasis on being a leader instead of being a manager. Many can manage, few can lead.

  • Look at the market. Traditionally, people say "oh, we're going to need lots of Java developers. I'll go learn Java." Bad plan. Everyone is learning the same thing. If you make yourself a commodity, you will be priced by volume not talent.

    To avoid being outsourced, be exceptionally good at something. People will always pay for exceptional talent.

    In the worst of the IT economy most of my peers in the consulting world dropped their rates. I raised mine. I worked a little less, but when I worked it wa
  • by benzapp ( 464105 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:21PM (#15031270)
    Is there not one person in this thread that will speak the obvious?

    Rise up, risk your pathetic waste of a life and seize the future for yourself!

    You whine that you've wasted your life following the rules set by a powerful elite determined to rape you for every last penny you are worth, but what have you done? What do you have to lose?

    The truth is most of you would never risk what job security you have left for even a slight increase in your standard of living.

    Most of you will die forgotten, an embarassment to the next generation.

    Yeah, the world is pretty fucked up. But most of you are cowards who would rather play Quake all day than learn to fight.

    If you think for a minute 1,000,000 people could not take over this country in a week, you are crazy. Give up the video games, the porn, the masturbation, and whatever other vices waste your life away. We need to simply mobilize 0.33% of the US population and change will be immediate!
  • by museumpeace ( 735109 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:40PM (#15031361) Journal
    That is disgusting but it works. so if you want to stick to coding, and you like work in communicatons or realtime or robotics or uh , things that go boom...get a clearance. Of course its the employer who pays for you to get a clearance all you have to do is not have debts, drugs, arrests etc on your record. Oh yes one other thing, now with bush throwing civil rights in revers, you better not be gay either. all the defense contractors have great jobs that go begging for want of people who have a clearance. We just don't outsource secret work to other countries...not even Israel.
  • by sl4shd0rk ( 755837 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @09:52PM (#15031418)
    Last thing I want to do is sit behind a desk and listen to Jimmy Lipschitz tell me why his project is late again. Then I have to go to Kenny Pigfauker (my boss) and tell him ProjectY will be late because ProjectX had unforseen circumstances, and this is the last time it will happen. Yeah, fuck that. I'd rather re-write TPS reports.
  • It's all economics (Score:3, Informative)

    by bhmit1 ( 2270 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @11:17PM (#15031711) Homepage
    Supply and demand are making some significant changes in how we do business because of global economic model vs the US economic model. We've been getting our economy out of sync with the world for far too long and we are seeing the results with the trade deficit, immigrants trying to jump our borders, and jobs moving overseas. I'm sure anyone that has worked with a bankrupt airline or is in the final stages of Detriot's breakdown will tell you, throwing up barriers will only prolong the pain. And unfortunately, there isn't anyone jumping up with a clear solution because there is no clear solution that everyone will like. My best guess is that the peak of the US economy is in our rear view.

    One thing that should already be clear to every worker is that you are an expense to your company, not an asset. The best way to make money is to solve problems in a way that the value you bring (cost savings or additional income) is noticeably greater than how much you cost the company. And your cost is significantly more than your salary. Try to factor in the cost of office space, HR, taxes paid by your employer, management requirements, etc. People that do this are the problem solvers, those who see what could be done better, and create the solution, sometimes without any support from their company.

    The other option is to find a niche where there isn't enough supply. That includes government work with a clearance, a bunch of positions in health care (I recently discovered that pharmacists have their pick of jobs), and the less popular parts of IT. The less popular parts of IT aren't necessarily bad jobs, they just aren't the rent-a-coder jobs that schools keep trying to fill. Rather it's the people that know a complex application or have lots of experience in a unused platform. I've made a pretty good living off of solving problems with a complex application. The next problem I plan to solve involves a platform that you just don't see that often where the existing solution involves an aging mainframe and expensive proprietary hardware.

    Maybe the best advise I can think of would be for everyone stuck in the entitled employee mentality to try shifting your thinking with a few good books: Rich Dad, Poor Dad; Think and Grow Rich; and Who Moved my Cheese.
    • Your post looks good from a theoretical standpoint, but hardly holds up in the real world.

      "The other option is to find a niche where there isn't enough supply. That includes government work with a clearance, a bunch of positions in health care (I recently discovered that pharmacists have their pick of jobs)"

      Oh sure, so I'll throw away my 25 years in IT, my degrees in math, comp sci, and business, and be a pharmacist. Will that niche still be there after I have completed my studies? I had a top-secret cleara
  • by gubachwa ( 716303 ) on Friday March 31, 2006 @12:18AM (#15031859)
    Anyone remember that old monster.com commercial? You know the one where the kids list off their career aspirations for when they grow up? "When I grow up, I want to claw my way to middle-management. When I grow up, I want to be a yes-man. Yes sir, coming sir." Check it out here [ifilm.com].

    Anyone else see the irony in this? Why did you go into the IT business? It's because you enjoy technology and you enjoy problem solving. And now you're being told the only way to save your job is by going into management?

    I work in a company that is very management heavy, where there's tonnes of rhetoric about about developing leadership skills. I've had more than one manager tell me that the heads-down coder who knows the system inside-out has "very little value to the company." They want leaders, not specialists. Unfortunately, most of the managers who spout this nonsense would have trouble leading a horse out of a barn. They're all very good talkers, but once you start listening to what they say, you realize it's all BS.

    The best "leaders" I've ever worked with are the ones who would never stand up and call themselves leaders. They're the ones who've worked in the trenches, have been the heads down coders and learned multiple systems inside and out over the years. They're the ones who have developed an instinct for what will work and what won't. They're not the boot-licking smooth-talking managers who promise the world to upper-management and then have to claw back features near the end of development because they had no clue what was involved in the work that they were committing to.

    So yeah, if you want to save your job, go ahead and practice these lines "Yes, sir. Coming sir." Just like the kid from the commercial. Go into management, kiss up to your boss and your boss's boss. Learn to be a smooth-talker. In the end you'll be nothing more than a used car salesman in a more expensive suit, but at least you won't be outsourced.

    On the other hand, if you want to save your dignity and have any passion left for the job that you originally signed up for, do not listen to the article. If you're at a company that respects the work that you do, then great. If not, find a different company to work for. They do exist.

    You've got one life to live. Doing something that makes you miserable just because it will save you from being outsourced isn't worth it.

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.