Stop Offshoring
Monday, May 02, 2011
A Wall Street Journal Article titled India Graduates Millions, but Too Few Are Fit to Hire re-iterates some of the problems I've encountered with Indian offshoring companies. For example, Indian schools "focus on rote learning rather than critical thinking and comprehension", which results in many candidates sounding good on a phone interview but aren't really qualified to do the job. Another shortcoming in the article that I thought was interesting was the lack of candidates who can communicate effectively in English. Anyone who has called customer support in India is familiar with the frustration, but English competency was supposed to be one of the reasons why American companies looked to India for staffing. It looks like even that myth is getting exposed now.

Friday, April 01, 2011
There was an interesting article I came across today that talks about Congress taking up the offshoring issue again. I didn't know such talks were going on, but it sounds like it's related to H-1B visas, which I have talked about before because they are abused by companies to prevent Americans from getting jobs taken by H-1Bs. The Congressional debate focused on data that shows that seven of the top ten H-1B employers between 2007 and 2009 were also doing a significant amount of offshoring, so much so that the H-1B visa is nicknamed the "outsourcing visa." Stayed tuned to see if Congress does anything this time around.

Monday, March 07, 2011
I just read an article today about small businesses in America moving away from offshoring. This is encouraging news, and I hope more companies start learning that offshore outsourcing isn't worth the alleged cost savings. As the article points out, most companies look at offshoring because of costs, but now they "are looking to base their decisions on more than just costs". One big reason for moving away from offshoring is a reason I've given often: poor quality. We need to stop offshoring before the lousy quality of offshore workers wrecks the reputation of good American companies and the livelihoods of good American workers.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011
I saw a post titled "What's wrong with CS in India" that describes some of the problems that I've encountered working with Indian offshore teams.

  • Point 1 - As the blog post says, "the usual quality of work is rather crappy". I agree. There were so many bugs coming out of the Indian teams that it took as long for the local employees to fix them as it would've taken us to implement the features ourselves.
  • Point 2 - Lack of passion/direction. This is something that I find in local employees as well, but at least you can find local employees who are passionate about their work and the company. With offshore teams, they don't have the drive to go above and beyond. Maybe it's because of the organizational arrangement between a parent company and its offshore team, but you can't expect an offshore worker to care about their work as much as a local worker.

Monday, January 03, 2011
The new year brings reflections on the past year and predictions for the year we've just entered. If you're an IT worker, the news isn't good on either front. A report from the Hackett Group shows that 1.5 million corporate IT jobs were lost in the last decade. The two main culprits were automation and offshoring. The report also doesn't foresee IT contributing to new job creation in the foreseeable future. The only silver lining, if you can call it that, is the forecast that job losses will slow in the next three years compared to previous years. Thanks to offshore outsourcing, the jobless recovery is alive and well in IT.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010
We are in the midst of what experts refer to as a "jobless recovery". Yes, the economy has improved since its lows of 2008, and the pace of layoffs has lost its steam. However, job growth isn't where it should be at this point in the economic cycle. For IT workers, you can point the finger at offshore outsourcing. Two recent articles, in Computerworld and Computerworld UK, talk about how offshoring is affecting IT job recovery, or rather, the lack of an IT job recovery.

Monday, November 08, 2010
One of the common excuses for defending offshoring (after penny pinching) is that the U.S. will continue to excel at R&D while offshoring manufacturing to the rest of the world. A Huffington Post article today exposes that fallacy as unsustainable. Eventually, the U.S. will become a second tier industrial power as a result. The solution, which I've also argued for, is to motivate companies that keep jobs here rather than sending them abroad. The U.S. can't just become a nation of idea generators. We also need to manufacture the products that come out of those ideas!

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