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Posted: 12/30/2005 2:45:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2005 3:09:19 AM EDT by Fistandalis]
Hello All,

This will be my first non-firearms post. I work in IT as a Desktop Support Manager for Deutsche bank. I just came across a news article that has me fuming written by a person who works for the same bank as I do. This industry is going down the toilet because of outsourceing, any one who has had their position outsourced can relate. The bank I work for outsources many positions overseas since they are a European bank I cant really complain. My complaint is when people over seas start thinking "Americans" are dumb because we cant understand people who do phone support for US customers and can barely speak english. I would never call someone dumb just because he/she didnt speak english but I do get fustrated when i call for support and cant understand the people who's job it is to "talk me through" a problem. Some may say the book is fictional but the ideas and thought behind it are probably all to real.
Here is the article I was reading about and a quote from the book.
QUOTE
"Remember, a thirty-five-year-old American's brain and IQ is the same as a 10-year-old Indian's brain ... Americans are dumb, just accept it. I don't want anyone losing their cool during the calls..." the instructor tells a class.
Article
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 2:49:55 AM EDT
I must be dumb because I can't really understand how American companys save money by doing this. ??????
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 3:12:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jms92:
I must be dumb because I can't really understand how American companys save money by doing this. ??????



I can. Top-tier support technicians in India are paid $150/month. Some of the companies my company supports (we do e-commerce outsourcing) have moved their support to India.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 4:11:56 AM EDT
Plus, people want 24 hour support. You can call tech support and get someone at 3am, it's their regular work day there.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 4:22:49 AM EDT

This industry is going down the toilet because of outsourceing, any one who has had their position outsourced can relate


In the US perhaps. Outsourcing services from a non-english speaking country is way more difficult than outsourcing services for the US market.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 4:24:25 AM EDT
Indians don't do well with confrontation. Give them hell and they will quit.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:20:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By wolfman97:
Indians don't do well with confrontation.


Or with critcal thinking skills...the ones offshore at least. We are working with a offshore firm for some software porting. They want every single step documented down to the smallest detail. My experience with domestic firms has been that we would say: "port this...here is the code" and they would work with us and actually THINK about how to do the port.

Waste of money.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:24:59 AM EDT
We havn't outsourced that much BUT we are definitely starting down the path of lower employee count through attrition and higher "consultant/contractor" count. Seems because these others come from a different financial "bucket" in the budget, the company saves money. I'm no financial whiz, but I can't see how losing 30% of the work force only to be replaced with almost that same number of contractors at higher salaries (some more than 3X's what I make) saves the company money.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 5:42:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheCynic:

Originally Posted By wolfman97:
Indians don't do well with confrontation.


Or with critcal thinking skills...the ones offshore at least. We are working with a offshore firm for some software porting. They want every single step documented down to the smallest detail. My experience with domestic firms has been that we would say: "port this...here is the code" and they would work with us and actually THINK about how to do the port.

Waste of money.



Pay them 1/3rd as much and they take 3 times as long. They also are extremely high drag on the org. doing the work due to the high touch / heavy documentation approach they need. High touch due to time zone differences, language problems, complete lack of business knowledge, and different approach to work.

This Indian "different approach to work" has similiarities to others from the former British Empire. Cultural thing I suspect. Domestically, you get a short huddle and a "port this...here is the code". It gets done. The Brit/Euro approach is to discuss, discuss, discuss, document, delay, document more, bureaucratize the process to hide responsibility, eventually find a subcontractor to do the real work, package it as their own, demand more documentation, deny poor quality, and blame the documentation.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 6:02:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By MitchbSC:
Pay them 1/3rd as much and they take 3 times as long. They also are extremely high drag on the org. doing the work due to the high touch / heavy documentation approach they need. High touch due to time zone differences, language problems, complete lack of business knowledge, and different approach to work.



<rant>

You're not kidding there.

I spent this week on 5am conference calls with developers and sysadmins "over there."

1) I can pick up about every 3rd or 4th word.
2) They speak faster than that guy on the old Fedex commercials.
3) They do not understand American culture or business, their final product just doesn't make sense.
4) They have no "skin in the game." If it doesn't work right, they just keep coding until it gets close.
5) They do not see a "big picture." They are only concerned with their little slice of the pie.

I am that consultant that your company brings in (thought I don't make 3x what you do, believe me.)
I have 27 years of IT experience, 2 IT degrees and an MBA.

I have to work with the Americanized versions of Apu here in the US. They are no different here, except that they get paid more than their Indian brothers and think their poop don't stink. Sorry guys, but you are mostly clueless about business practices in the US and it shows in your final product.

</rant>
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 6:08:36 AM EDT
Try working for a French owned company...
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 6:09:18 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 6:12:31 AM EDT
It's funny I have worked with many different cultures in this industry 13 yrs and still going. I have found 2 things 80-90% true Asian techs seem to be smart and easy to work with no egos. Indian techs are less then satisfactory with huge egos. This isnt a survey but my observations on the these 2 cultures tech wise. Sorry if this isnt Politically correct.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 6:15:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2005 6:35:31 AM EDT by wolfman97]
I recently worked for a very large company (initials something like GE) that employs around 10,000 programmers in India. They do a lot of work for this company that shall remain unnamed. In fact, the company has just about eliminated all the US programmers in favor of Indians.

I made the observation to one of the upper managers that it must be difficult to get decent programs out of a programming staff that is so far removed from the users. For those who are not in the IT industry, the basic problem is that it is very hard to define what people really want in a business computer system until some of it is built and they can see it in concrete terms. Building systems tends to be an interactive process with the users.

His response was that it typically took the Indian programming crew four times as long to produce the same results, but they paid them only twenty percent of what they would pay American programmers, so they figured they still came out ahead.

I observed that this did not take into account the very real business costs of having the users screw around with inadequate tools and additional frustration during all the time it took to get it right. If you add in those costs, then offshore programming would be a net loss in many, if not most, cases. He said that I was correct, but the salaries of programmers appear as a specific line on the budget and the additional costs and frustrations of the users don't.

Link Posted: 12/30/2005 6:21:11 AM EDT
I'm am in IT. I have spent 9 years working in Enterprise Storage Management (desiging, impelementing and supporting Storage Area Networks, shared disk arrays and tape backup/recovery solutions). My experience with Indians has been that they are almost completely unable to think creatively to determine causes and resolutions to problems. If they encounter something outside of what they have been specifically trained to deal with then they are completely lost.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 6:25:27 AM EDT
So when do we start outsourcing management overseas?

I mean come on, if all your real workers are over there, shouldn't your managers be there too? Think of the savings.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 6:44:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jms92:
I must be dumb because I can't really understand how American companys save money by doing this. ??????



It's more about capital costs vs orgizational expenditures than actual dollars saved.

Also, it's generally very difficult to fire a real employee these days (not to mention the costs involved with training them etc), but it's very easy to call the outsourcing company and get a contracted worker replaced. There are no pension or benefit concerns with them either.

I've been in the IT field for about 19 years now and have seen a lot. Usually the best people are the ones directly employeed by the company (you get some really good contractors from time to time), but the bad apples can make things a mess. I'd about 50% of the outsourcing I've seen was caused by the dumbass employees and the other half by dumbass executives that can't see beyond tomorrows stock price.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:00:35 AM EDT
Our experience is that the top-tier Indian outsourcing companies will at best match our internal rate for employees... with a lot of frustration because of documentation, etc. I reviewed one batch of 300 procedures and they were written by 25 different coders. Few of the 25 understood the nature of the project and it showed.

Mid tier outsourcing coders are terrible. Absolutely useless.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:03:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JoeWang:
Our experience is that the top-tier Indian outsourcing companies will at best match our internal rate for employees... with a lot of frustration because of documentation, etc. I reviewed one batch of 300 procedures and they were written by 25 different coders. Few of the 25 understood the nature of the project and it showed.

Mid tier outsourcing coders are terrible. Absolutely useless.



Even if the coders are of the same quality in both places, it is a lot easier if the user can walk to another cubicle and give some quick feedback.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:05:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JoeWang:
...
Mid tier outsourcing coders are terrible. Absolutely useless.



+1 I've never seen a project go right with one.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:06:55 AM EDT
99% of the Indian guys I've worked with have at best elementary English, an accent that makes that bit of English impossible to understand and have at best a theoretical grasp of the technologies being worked on.
The other 1% (Of which NONE have been overseas) are sharp as a tack.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:11:33 AM EDT


I am that consultant that your company brings in (thought I don't make 3x what you do, believe me.)
I have 27 years of IT experience, 2 IT degrees and an MBA.




I understand the consultant doesn't get the money, a great deal goes to the firm or manpower agency - BUT, the money spent by the company to bring in the consultant is easily 3X's or more what my hourly rate is - and many of those are straight out of an IT trade school or similar.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:20:13 AM EDT
Well, I work for one of the largest software companies in the US. I work with counterparts on all continents, including India.

The employees we have are generally very intelligent and easy to work with. They just don't want to be the nail that sticks up, so tend to avoid taking initiative on things. If I give explicit instructions, or if it is a well-documented process, they will do work that I really don't have time for. Personally, most of my projects are the kind that are outside of the norm. I work the oddball stuff even as far as our US operations are concerned, so my experience with our India operations is often less than a lot of my counterparts, but as long as I do my part, it's generally positive.

At least where I am, there is a shortage of qualified IT people. We get a lot who come in and fail the interview process in about the first 5 minutes. The India office does a lot of the maintenance and upkeep processes that we can't find qualified candidates for. We're not a training shop, so we don't generally hire interns. Even with our "outsourced" employees, we run one of the highest server to admin ratios of any business in the USA, so we're always hiring, both here and abroad.

I don't see where the India folks have replaced any jobs here, at least in my company. They just supplement us and work within their capacity as we work within ours. They do a lot of work that I am just not interested in, and they do it quite well.

Cheers,

kk7sm
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:33:12 AM EDT
It's not just the language thing either. A lot of our work is now going "outsource". The powers that be are only concerned with the short term savings. Every single thing that is done, it has to be shown that outsourcing was considered and the reasons it wasn't "outsourced" clearly documented.

The sad thing is all the security holes that have been found in the code that comes back. I'm not necessarily talking explictly done backdoors and such, I'm talking naive things done to give us what the company 'asked' for but left wide open holes. Things like writing out passwords to a text file so it's "cached" for the session because they don't understand single session sign on.

The company has saved a ton of money in the last two years with more to come in the first half of 2006. The savings will stop (I predict) around the 4thQ 2006 when they suddenly realize nothing is getting done and the people that knew everything have left the building.

After the first few server crashes that never get resolved and the ever lenghtening (it's started) delays in bringing new projects online upper management will be forced to find new scapegoats, lower echelon will be blamed and some mid-level managers are going to be on the street. Executives will collect a huge bonus and then move to some other company to start over again.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:33:31 AM EDT
Look at it like this. Many jobs that were once considered high tech and required an advanced degree are now considered more or less 'busy work'. I mean it used to be only geeks that fooled with computers at all, and now four year olds can operate a PC with ease.

It only makes sense to outsource mundane jobs to less skilled workers at lower pay. The problems seem to arise whenever outsourcing goes overboard without considering communications skills or the ability to be creative and think outside of the box.

I am in the engineering field myself. When I saw more and more software development jobs being moved overseas or being done by foreign engineers domestically I knew I had to do something in order to be able to compete and still make a decent wage.

So, I looked for the skills which they did not have but I did, and moved in that direction. Many of the foreign engineers that I worked with were actually quite sharp technically, but I'd never want them in front of a customer. So I am now in technical sales, and make about twice what I used to as an engineer doing strict technical work.

I still think that "Sales Engineer" is an oxymoron, but sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:47:22 AM EDT
I was laid off and replaced by an Indian in October. It worked out better for me in the end, as I was able to get a much better job afterwards, but I was still pretty angry about it.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:49:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TexasEd:
Look at it like this. Many jobs that were once considered high tech and required an advanced degree are now considered more or less 'busy work'. I mean it used to be only geeks that fooled with computers at all, and now four year olds can operate a PC with ease.



To me, a PC is still not a business computer. It is a 'personal' computer with a tinker-toy operating system.

However, just because someone can 'click here' does not mean that they understand the WHAT and WHY behind that click.

I see this all the time in the people I deal with. They were brought up in Windoze-land and think they are the know-all end-all because they can click a box. Ask them to manage a Windoze system from the command line and see their eyes glaze over.

If you can't use the command line, you truly do not understand what your system is doing.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 7:58:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By kissfan:

I see this all the time in the people I deal with. They were brought up in Windoze-land and think they are the know-all end-all because they can click a box. Ask them to manage a Windoze system from the command line and see their eyes glaze over.

If you can't use the command line, you truly do not understand what your system is doing.



That's my point exaclty.

Tech support centers get calls all the time wanting to know how to do something mundane like "How do I change the resolution on my screen?"

Does it really take a degreed engineer to tell someone how to change the resolution of their screen??

You don't NEED to understand the details of what's happening with the graphics card in order to be able to help this person with their problem.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 8:01:40 AM EDT
My company has an Indian database administrator who lost his last job, in the SF Bay Area, because it was outsourced to India.

Link Posted: 12/30/2005 8:03:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TexasEd:

Originally Posted By kissfan:

I see this all the time in the people I deal with. They were brought up in Windoze-land and think they are the know-all end-all because they can click a box. Ask them to manage a Windoze system from the command line and see their eyes glaze over.

If you can't use the command line, you truly do not understand what your system is doing.



That's my point exaclty.

Tech support centers get calls all the time wanting to know how to do something mundane like "How do I change the resolution on my screen?"

Does it really take a degreed engineer to tell someone how to change the resolution of their screen??

You don't NEED to understand the details of what's happening with the graphics card in order to be able to help this person with their problem.



until you change the resolution too high or set the refresh too high and you cant see sheet....
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 8:05:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By kissfan:

Originally Posted By TexasEd:
Look at it like this. Many jobs that were once considered high tech and required an advanced degree are now considered more or less 'busy work'. I mean it used to be only geeks that fooled with computers at all, and now four year olds can operate a PC with ease.



To me, a PC is still not a business computer. It is a 'personal' computer with a tinker-toy operating system.

However, just because someone can 'click here' does not mean that they understand the WHAT and WHY behind that click.

I see this all the time in the people I deal with. They were brought up in Windoze-land and think they are the know-all end-all because they can click a box. Ask them to manage a Windoze system from the command line and see their eyes glaze over.

If you can't use the command line, you truly do not understand what your system is doing.



Linux is so l33t, everyone should know how to use it. Windoze sucks.

People need to drop the Microsoft hate, it's tired.

When Linux, Unix, Sun, BSD, and all of the "hardcore" OS'es make a system which is:

1) Easy to use for non-technical individuals in the business world.

2) Inexpensive

3) Easy to administrate and configure,

4) Compatible with everything

5) Standardized so that when you're $95k/year Linux admin (who built the system from a kernel because he's so r00t-core) gets pissed off because you won't let him browse Manga at work and quits, you can still manage your system/network without having to learn its ins and outs.

Perhaps then people will take it more seriously as a general business solution.

I agree with the point you're trying to make (which is that some people tinker around in Windows for a while and think they know more than they actually do), but calling Windows a bad a operating system because it's simple is elitist, as well as short sighted.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 8:06:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2005 8:07:20 AM EDT by kissfan]

Originally Posted By TexasEd:

Originally Posted By kissfan:

I see this all the time in the people I deal with. They were brought up in Windoze-land and think they are the know-all end-all because they can click a box. Ask them to manage a Windoze system from the command line and see their eyes glaze over.

If you can't use the command line, you truly do not understand what your system is doing.



That's my point exaclty.

Tech support centers get calls all the time wanting to know how to do something mundane like "How do I change the resolution on my screen?"

Does it really take a degreed engineer to tell someone how to change the resolution of their screen??

You don't NEED to understand the details of what's happening with the graphics card in order to be able to help this person with their problem.



Perhaps, but these are indeed the level of people that are "architecting" large scale systems.

Do you want someone whose only automotive talent is gapping plugs to work on your brakes?
Do you want someone whose only firearm talent is pulling ammo off a shelf to work on your firearm?

Then why do major corporations hire these mental-midgets to do vital systems work?

You truly do get what you pay for, regardless of the price tag.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 8:13:34 AM EDT
I've worked in IT for the better part of 19 years (started off doing customer support for WordPerfect Corp).

I am often in contact with the Indian folks that man Cisco's TAC and believe me, it ain't no picnic. I don't begrudge jobs to the Indians. I do, however, hold with great contempt the CEOs and CFOs who outsource and undermine American jobs and knowledge in the name of padding their stock price...

I find Indian folks in the IT sector to be about the same as white folks - some are smart, some aren't. Asians, however, kick all our asses...
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 8:16:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2005 8:17:05 AM EDT by thompsondd]
There has already been cases of Indians, trying to make a little extra $$$, selling confidential personal information from the customer databases that they support on the streets. Great


http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2005/06/indian_call_cen.html



Indian Call Center Sells Personal Information

There was yet another incident where call center staffer was selling personal data. The data consisted of banking details of British customers, and was sold by people at an outsourced call center in India.

I predict a spate of essays warning us of the security risks of offshore outsourcing. That's stupid; this has almost nothing to do with offshoring. It's no different than the Lembo case, and that happened in the safe and secure United States.

There are security risks to outsourcing, and there are security risks to offshore outsourcing. But the risk illustrated in this story is the risk of malicious insiders, and that is mostly independent of outsourcing. Lousy wages, lack of ownership, a poor work environment, and so on can all increase the risk of malicious insiders, but that's true regardless of who owns the call center or in what currency the salary is paid in. Yes, it's harder to prosecute across national boundaries, but the deterrence here is more contractual than criminal.

The problem here is people, not corporate or national boundaries.

Link Posted: 12/30/2005 8:31:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KNYTE:

Originally Posted By kissfan:

Originally Posted By TexasEd:
Look at it like this. Many jobs that were once considered high tech and required an advanced degree are now considered more or less 'busy work'. I mean it used to be only geeks that fooled with computers at all, and now four year olds can operate a PC with ease.



To me, a PC is still not a business computer. It is a 'personal' computer with a tinker-toy operating system.

However, just because someone can 'click here' does not mean that they understand the WHAT and WHY behind that click.

I see this all the time in the people I deal with. They were brought up in Windoze-land and think they are the know-all end-all because they can click a box. Ask them to manage a Windoze system from the command line and see their eyes glaze over.

If you can't use the command line, you truly do not understand what your system is doing.



Linux is so l33t, everyone should know how to use it. Windoze sucks.

People need to drop the Microsoft hate, it's tired.

When Linux, Unix, Sun, BSD, and all of the "hardcore" OS'es make a system which is:

1) Easy to use for non-technical individuals in the business world.

2) Inexpensive

3) Easy to administrate and configure,

4) Compatible with everything

5) Standardized so that when you're $95k/year Linux admin (who built the system from a kernel because he's so r00t-core) gets pissed off because you won't let him browse Manga at work and quits, you can still manage your system/network without having to learn its ins and outs.

Perhaps then people will take it more seriously as a general business solution.

I agree with the point you're trying to make (which is that some people tinker around in Windows for a while and think they know more than they actually do), but calling Windows a bad a operating system because it's simple is elitist, as well as short sighted.



If you think linux, BSD and commercial unix aren't taken seriously in the business world then you haven't seen much of business computing. Companies don't buy 10 million dollar Sun machines to run Windows on them, and they don't buy 10 million dollar machines just for something fun to do.

Making an operating system easy to administer by a novice almost insures that novices are who you'll have administering them. Would you want your business running on a system maintained by a person who didn't know what they were doing half the time? Being able to use the system when you don't really know what you're doing isn't a feature, it's a bug.

It's not short sighted to comment about the shortcomings of Windows. It's a matter of using the right tool for the job. Windows is a fine desktop OS, but using it for servers in some roles isn't a good idea. It's the same reason why people don't use handguns for 1000 yard target competition.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 8:33:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Friendly_Sponge:
I've worked in IT for the better part of 19 years (started off doing customer support for WordPerfect Corp).

I am often in contact with the Indian folks that man Cisco's TAC and believe me, it ain't no picnic. I don't begrudge jobs to the Indians. I do, however, hold with great contempt the CEOs and CFOs who outsource and undermine American jobs and knowledge in the name of padding their stock price...

I find Indian folks in the IT sector to be about the same as white folks - some are smart, some aren't. Asians, however, kick all our asses...



Every once in a while I call in a tac case and the support guy tells me his name is John or Steve with a very heavy Indian accent. Come on man, we both know your name isn't John.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 8:34:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2005 8:34:50 AM EDT by KNYTE]

Originally Posted By HarryStone:

Originally Posted By KNYTE:

Originally Posted By kissfan:

Originally Posted By TexasEd:
Look at it like this. Many jobs that were once considered high tech and required an advanced degree are now considered more or less 'busy work'. I mean it used to be only geeks that fooled with computers at all, and now four year olds can operate a PC with ease.



To me, a PC is still not a business computer. It is a 'personal' computer with a tinker-toy operating system.

However, just because someone can 'click here' does not mean that they understand the WHAT and WHY behind that click.

I see this all the time in the people I deal with. They were brought up in Windoze-land and think they are the know-all end-all because they can click a box. Ask them to manage a Windoze system from the command line and see their eyes glaze over.

If you can't use the command line, you truly do not understand what your system is doing.



Linux is so l33t, everyone should know how to use it. Windoze sucks.

People need to drop the Microsoft hate, it's tired.

When Linux, Unix, Sun, BSD, and all of the "hardcore" OS'es make a system which is:

1) Easy to use for non-technical individuals in the business world.

2) Inexpensive

3) Easy to administrate and configure,

4) Compatible with everything

5) Standardized so that when you're $95k/year Linux admin (who built the system from a kernel because he's so r00t-core) gets pissed off because you won't let him browse Manga at work and quits, you can still manage your system/network without having to learn its ins and outs.

Perhaps then people will take it more seriously as a general business solution.

I agree with the point you're trying to make (which is that some people tinker around in Windows for a while and think they know more than they actually do), but calling Windows a bad a operating system because it's simple is elitist, as well as short sighted.



If you think linux, BSD and commercial unix aren't taken seriously in the business world then you haven't seen much of business computing. Companies don't buy 10 million dollar Sun machines to run Windows on them, and they don't buy 10 million dollar machines just for something fun to do.

Making an operating system easy to administer by a novice almost insures that novices are who you'll have administering them. Would you want your business running on a system maintained by a person who didn't know what they were doing half the time? Being able to use the system when you don't really know what you're doing isn't a feature, it's a bug.

It's not short sighted to comment about the shortcomings of Windows. It's a matter of using the right tool for the job. Windows is a fine desktop OS, but using it for servers in some roles isn't a good idea. It's the same reason why people don't use handguns for 1000 yard target competition.



I thought we were talking Desktop here? Servers are another matter entirely.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 8:37:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By HarryStone:

Being able to use the system when you don't really know what you're doing isn't a feature, it's a bug.




Best line I've read all day.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 8:39:10 AM EDT

Originally Posted By HarryStone:

Originally Posted By The_Friendly_Sponge:
I've worked in IT for the better part of 19 years (started off doing customer support for WordPerfect Corp).

I am often in contact with the Indian folks that man Cisco's TAC and believe me, it ain't no picnic. I don't begrudge jobs to the Indians. I do, however, hold with great contempt the CEOs and CFOs who outsource and undermine American jobs and knowledge in the name of padding their stock price...

I find Indian folks in the IT sector to be about the same as white folks - some are smart, some aren't. Asians, however, kick all our asses...



Every once in a while I call in a tac case and the support guy tells me his name is John or Steve with a very heavy Indian accent. Come on man, we both know your name isn't John.



My previous employer had a similiar policy. During training the Indian techs were given courses on American culture and told to adopt an American "stage name" while taking calls. The whole thing is degrading for everyone involved.

My favorite however was the guy who called himself "Neo".
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 8:41:45 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KNYTE:

I thought we were talking Desktop here? Servers are another matter entirely.



Doh. Here's where I got lost:

5) Standardized so that when you're $95k/year Linux admin (who built the system from a kernel because he's so r00t-core) gets pissed off because you won't let him browse Manga at work and quits, you can still manage your system/network without having to learn its ins and outs.

That led me to think you were talking about servers.

There is a dead-simple and well made unix-based desktop OS, Mac OS X. I use it at home and it's great. It's not Microsoft, though so it doesn't have a chance of being widely adopted as a business desktop. That's a big part of the Windows bashing, it doesn't really matter if anything is better, if it's not Microsoft then hang it up.

Link Posted: 12/30/2005 8:44:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KNYTE:

Originally Posted By HarryStone:

Originally Posted By The_Friendly_Sponge:
I've worked in IT for the better part of 19 years (started off doing customer support for WordPerfect Corp).

I am often in contact with the Indian folks that man Cisco's TAC and believe me, it ain't no picnic. I don't begrudge jobs to the Indians. I do, however, hold with great contempt the CEOs and CFOs who outsource and undermine American jobs and knowledge in the name of padding their stock price...

I find Indian folks in the IT sector to be about the same as white folks - some are smart, some aren't. Asians, however, kick all our asses...



Every once in a while I call in a tac case and the support guy tells me his name is John or Steve with a very heavy Indian accent. Come on man, we both know your name isn't John.



My previous employer had a similiar policy. During training the Indian techs were given courses on American culture and told to adopt an American "stage name" while taking calls. The whole thing is degrading for everyone involved.

My favorite however was the guy who called himself "Neo".



I had to call support for Quickbooks. (don't ask) The tech I had told me that they had quite a few techs like that that had to pick a name. No one told them that they shouldn't pick the name of some famous American. He said they had a Clint Eastwood, and a Dolly Parton. At least they didn't give out the last names to callers so their customers didn't really know about it.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 8:45:53 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2005 8:47:50 AM EDT by KNYTE]

Originally Posted By HarryStone:

Originally Posted By KNYTE:

I thought we were talking Desktop here? Servers are another matter entirely.



Doh. Here's where I got lost:

5) Standardized so that when you're $95k/year Linux admin (who built the system from a kernel because he's so r00t-core) gets pissed off because you won't let him browse Manga at work and quits, you can still manage your system/network without having to learn its ins and outs.

That led me to think you were talking about servers.

There is a dead-simple and well made unix-based desktop OS, Mac OS X. I use it at home and it's great. It's not Microsoft, though so it doesn't have a chance of being widely adopted as a business desktop. That's a big part of the Windows bashing, it doesn't really matter if anything is better, if it's not Microsoft then hang it up.




Yeah, I can see that I could've worded that a little more specifically.

I feel the arguement still applies though. You have a specialized user build you an interface or a system in such a way that only THEY know how it all works, and they've got hooks in your business for life.

Mac could make a bigger dent in the business world (desktops) if they made a bigger push into compatible software I think. I just see it as being tough (as a CIO for example) to want to try a new office package when MS already has their tried-and-true setup ready to go.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 8:52:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KNYTE:

I feel the arguement still applies though. You have a specialized user build you an interface or a system in such a way that only THEY know how it all works, and they've got hooks in your business for life.



That's exactly the reason us "old timers" have this thing called documentation.

Before any system or interface is released to the general user population, it needs full (and regression) testing along with total documentation. If you can't document it, you don't understand it. And if it ain't documented, it doesn't go into production.

Add system audits to that and you're pretty well covered.

However, today's group of "compile clean and deploy" programmers wouldn't last a month back in the good old days of IT.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 8:55:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By kissfan:

Originally Posted By KNYTE:

I feel the arguement still applies though. You have a specialized user build you an interface or a system in such a way that only THEY know how it all works, and they've got hooks in your business for life.



That's exactly the reason us "old timers" have this thing called documentation.

Before any system or interface is released to the general user population, it needs full (and regression) testing along with total documentation. If you can't document it, you don't understand it. And if it ain't documented, it doesn't go into production.

Add system audits to that and you're pretty well covered.

However, today's group of "compile clean and deploy" programmers wouldn't last a month back in the good old days of IT.



Totally understandable.

But can you imagine trying to get documentation from one of the new age Unix programmers? It would be like asking the devil for the Necronomicon to some of them.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 8:58:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KNYTE:
But can you imagine trying to get documentation from one of the new age Unix programmers? It would be like asking the devil for the Necronomicon to some of them.



Yes, and as I tell my employers...

BAN THEM!
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 9:00:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KNYTE:
Yeah, I can see that I could've worded that a little more specifically.

I feel the arguement still applies though. You have a specialized user build you an interface or a system in such a way that only THEY know how it all works, and they've got hooks in your business for life.

Mac could make a bigger dent in the business world (desktops) if they made a bigger push into compatible software I think. I just see it as being tough (as a CIO for example) to want to try a new office package when MS already has their tried-and-true setup ready to go.



Well yeah, but that applies to anything, not just linux/BSD/unix as an OS. Letting someone build a proprietary system into your business and then not documenting it or even actively preventing anyone from knowing how it works isn't the fault of some OS. It's poor management.

You can get Office for the Mac, it's been around a long time. The problem is that you can't out-Windows Windows. Even if it was completely compatible, it's still not a PC running Windows. The people who use other platforms know that there are quite a few ways to do some things better with systems other than Windows. That's why you hear people gripe about it. A lot of things are dumbed down to work on Windows for people who aren't "computer" people. That can be a good thing for those people, but for some it's very frustrating.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 9:02:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KNYTE:
But can you imagine trying to get documentation from one of the new age Unix programmers? It would be like asking the devil for the Necronomicon to some of them.



There's an easy solution to that one, I've seen it work many times. Document or you don't get paid.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 9:13:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheCynic:
Or with critcal thinking skills...the ones offshore at least. We are working with a offshore firm for some software porting. They want every single step documented down to the smallest detail. My experience with domestic firms has been that we would say: "port this...here is the code" and they would work with us and actually THINK about how to do the port.

Waste of money.


-No, there is a reason for this.
In normal Indian business culture, it is a VERY-much top-down command-driven environment. People lower on the heirarchy are not encouraged to innovate, or to question their instructions or their superiors, except as to their exact instructions.

One common problem that arose with outsourcing coding was that (US) companies would provide specs that were poor for technical or security reasons, and Indian programmers would understand this, but they would not bring it to the company's attention--they would just code it in. Not because they were dumb or being malicious--but just because in their business culture, you don't normally question instructions, it's seen as disrespectful.
.....
Another common problem that is coming up as US companies try to maintain code written in India is that Indian coders often use Indian terms for variable names, and have a tendency to use Indian language for commenting--or even worse, Indian slang for commenting. US people have a very tough time making sense of it. US companies do save some money by outsourcing, but not as much as you'd think considering all the problems doing so brings. And for many companies, all the problems haven't even surfaced yet.
---------
As far as the security matter goes, some outsourced work data has been sold by unscrupulous persons. I am rather surprised that there is not yet a law requiring US medical and banking code and data-processing work to be performed by US citizens inside the US. Medical work concerning any persona data for example is now supposed to require it, but there's no big legal penalty for not doing it, so work gets contracted to US companies who subcontract it and hire "online" and it ends up in the hands of foreign workers in other countries.

---When non-citizens in foreign countries get caught doing this sort of thing, often local law enforcement can't effectively handle the matter because they don't employ anyone familiar with tech who knows what's evidence and what's not. The offender may get arrested and railroaded in court and then tossed in jail, but the companies usually want as many details about what the offender actually did, and they usually don't get much.
---------
As far as the language barrier, it has nothing to do with either party's intelligence. The US companies that outsource to non-English speaking countries for tech help need to be boycotted, plain and simple. It worked on Dell, who outsourced ALL their PC tech phone support at first--retail and business. Then many of the business customers began complaining and talking about possibly filing lawsuits for breach of contract, something to do with "unusable tech support"--and what do you know--Dell decided to move business tech support back into the US. Since the retail customers were not as organized, they are left suffering with Indians telling them to reboot.
The business Dell models cost $50 to $100 more than the consumer models.
If you buy a business-class Dell computer, you qualify for American phone-tech support. If you buy a personal model, you don't. The business-class models tend to have better documentation as well.
~~~~~~
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 10:16:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Fistandalis:
Hello All,

This will be my first non-firearms post. I work in IT as a Desktop Support Manager for Deutsche bank. I just came across a news article that has me fuming written by a person who works for the same bank as I do. This industry is going down the toilet because of outsourceing, any one who has had their position outsourced can relate. The bank I work for outsources many positions overseas since they are a European bank I cant really complain. My complaint is when people over seas start thinking "Americans" are dumb because we cant understand people who do phone support for US customers and can barely speak english. I would never call someone dumb just because he/she didnt speak english but I do get fustrated when i call for support and cant understand the people who's job it is to "talk me through" a problem. Some may say the book is fictional but the ideas and thought behind it are probably all to real.
Here is the article I was reading about and a quote from the book.
QUOTE
"Remember, a thirty-five-year-old American's brain and IQ is the same as a 10-year-old Indian's brain ... Americans are dumb, just accept it. I don't want anyone losing their cool during the calls..." the instructor tells a class.
Article



If the Indians are so smart, why are they working for less money than us?
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 10:18:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By metalsaber:

If the Indians are so smart, why are they working for less money than us?



Cause they're living in India. Completely different standard and cost of living.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 10:36:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By cwickgo9:
We havn't outsourced that much BUT we are definitely starting down the path of lower employee count through attrition and higher "consultant/contractor" count. Seems because these others come from a different financial "bucket" in the budget, the company saves money. I'm no financial whiz, but I can't see how losing 30% of the work force only to be replaced with almost that same number of contractors at higher salaries (some more than 3X's what I make) saves the company money.



No benefit obligations and such... The salary outlay for said employee is higher, but the other costs & liabilities of maintaining them on the payroll are gone... Plus, in the case of some of the real crapwork (eg phone tech support) there is once again the problem of finding people who are both qualified, willing, and able to put up with it w/o quitting...

The facts of life are: phone support and pretty much any work that does not require face-to-face interaction with customers or other employees are all expensable jobs - it does not matter to the company WHO does them or WHERE so long as they get done... Those jobs are going to be replaced ENTIRELY by automation or foreign outsourcing unless they are just too complex to replace, or are of a sensitive nature (security clearance issues)...

Since companies only obligation is to their stockholders (as it should be), they adjust their workforce to contain the minimum number of perminant party employees...

I used to work in IT before I joined the Army...
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