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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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  • by Marxist Hacker 42 ( 638312 ) * <> 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.
  • 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?). cle10.htm []

    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.
  • by ch-chuck ( 9622 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:12PM (#15030556) Homepage
    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.
  • by robertjw ( 728654 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:37PM (#15030706) Homepage
    I wonder, when we turn to a life of crime, what's going to happen?

    That's an interesting question. I used to have friends in high school that I joked with (and I emphasize JOKED) about how easy it would be to set up drug labs. Hopefully we won't get all the smart introverts involved in the criminal underground. Might be bad for everyone.
  • by GigsVT ( 208848 ) * on Thursday March 30, 2006 @07:45PM (#15030775) Journal
    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 public corporation to always "reduce costs as much as possible". Otherwise it would be illegal to not go with the lowball bidder on every contract, regardless of their suitability.

    People running a public corporation have a duty not to blatently waste or steal money, and that's about as far as fiduciary duty goes.

    Another extremely important point that seems to get lost on socialists such as yourself, is that most of the companies in the US are not public, and never will be.

    And they aren't all small companies either. From Forbes: Cargill, Koch Industries, Mars, Pricewaterhousecoopers, Publix Super Markets, Bechtel, Ernst & Young, Cox Enterprises, Toys "R" Us, Fidelity Investments, Swift & Co., SC Johnson & Co., Boise Cascade, Giant Eagle, Gulf Oil, Hallmark Cards, Levi Strauss, Hearst, Neiman Marcus, Bloomberg, Colonial Group, Kohler, Wegman's Food Market, 84 Lumber, Mervyn's, Booz Allen Hamilton, McKinsey, Perdue Farms, JR Simplot, Wawa, Cumberland Farms, Edward Jones, Gilbane, and E&J Gallo Winery.

    And that's just a few.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30, 2006 @08:11PM (#15030908)
    And walked away.... leaving the $60K/year IT guy to maintain, upgrade and generally find some way your solution can live with the rest of the network. And all the while he's removing malware, cleaning systems, reimaging machines, desperately trying to get people to stop using "password" as their password, harranging the local ISP, trying to get the 68bit WEP key changed, supporting blackberries, upgrading hardware, relicencing software, debugging the company website, fixing the bosses' kids laptop, ordering replacement parts, plugging mice back in, kowtowing to the database admin, giving everyone gadget advice when they come calling, unjamming the printers, and trying to find a new job. I was brought in because their existing email system kept crashing, had no remote access, was insecure, had no quotas, blah blah etc.. He could have kept the existing system if he'd done the minimal amount of work to maintain it... but no. I don't know if he felt threatened by me being there or what, but he missed our first two meetings, found excuse after excuse when it came to telling me what the user base requirements were, didn't know what an MX record was, blah blah etc..

    Sure, yeah, there are going to be harried system admins. I was one. But I also worked my ass off. And when I didn't, I made damn sure that I could script it so that even if I did the job in a tenth of the time the previous guy would take, the job got done. I'm not against free time. I'm just pissed off at the crop of lazy ass hats that are ruining a very good gig because they suck at responsibility.

    And I really think that 50 employees is the magic number where the lazy ass hats can blend in. Smaller than that and you get canned if you don't pull your weight.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 30, 2006 @08:42PM (#15031097)
    It's not just the cheaper India techies that are pulling the jobs away - It's this ridiculous elitist attitude you find oozing on /. that makes that decision easy for the management. Ya ya ya, you are better than everyone else, noone except the "elite you" can write efficient code, and it doesnt matter if you have a crappy personality and hate everyone but yourself. - Stop it!

    Mod this troll if you like, but think about it. The whole attitude here is techies offshore are not competent to do the job, and you write the best code.

    Guys, if you were running a company, and could reduce your expenses by 40% by automating the packing process rather than doing it using a 100 people, what would you do?

    And yes, the analogy applies - think about it.

    PS: I am not a programmer, I am a Civil Engineer with a minor in Business.
  • by Javagator ( 679604 ) on Thursday March 30, 2006 @08:52PM (#15031143)
    The best IT managers tend to grock technology.

    Here are the attributes of the best managers I have had (in order of importance).

    1. Actually listen to the people they manage.
    2. Have good social and communication skills.
    3. Have some domain expertise..
    4. Have some technical expertise..

    And my best managers have usually been women.

  • by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Friday March 31, 2006 @04:42AM (#15032513)
    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 understand the business that they're enabling to happen. For instance, if you were a systems manager at ILM, you would need to understand the needs and demands of an artist working there in order to better facilitate that business. The same is true of any corporate environment. People look to IT to keep them focused on their work, as soon as the IT department becomes visible they have in my mind failed.

    Too often I see IT departments getting caught up in their jobs and enwrapped with what they think is best from a technical stand point, without taking the time to see if it's best for the client. Sometimes even disrupting work being done by their clients in order to flex their technical prowess.

    IT should never be an end in of itself. Sometimes departments lose sight of that mantra. Technology for technology's sake is a wasteful and self indulgent path which should be avoided at all costs.
  • 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.
  • by AngryNick ( 891056 ) on Friday March 31, 2006 @10:54AM (#15033804) Homepage Journal
    When you look at the sheer size of the US tax regulations, there is little hope for truly "simple" tax -- particularly when you look at corporate taxes (my gig). At their heart, most of the crazy rules and regulations make a good bit of sense and are things that really do need to be accounted for when you try to figure out your income for the year.

    I hope to see a simpler tax system for low-to-middle income brackets, but I don't think its possible to create a flat tax for the rich corporations that wouldn't let them get off easy compared to today's taxes.

    Also understand that "tax software" isn't only about doing 1040s and electronic filing. There are whole industries devoted to figuring out the (and avoiding) unintended tax consequences when two companies merge, verifying that you didn't overpay sales taxes on products you sold that were eventually returned, validating R&D credits before they are submitted, tax-effective supply chain management, etc.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!