Home > In the News > Microsoft, Sun Battle Over Indian Programmers Microsoft, Sun Battle Over Indian Programmers Eugenia Loli 2002-07-08 In the News 13 Comments Cheap hardware, free trips to the United States and all the popcorn you can eat–life’s a junket if you’re a computer programmer in India. Read the report at ZDNews. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 13 Comments 2002-07-08 4:51 pm I’ve never been to India, but I’d guess that living conditions there are far worse than we have here in the states. These indians will do what they have to to feed their families, buy medicine, etc. — including “falling for it”. Are Sun and MS: A. helping them, or B. taking advantage of them? I figure it’s the latter, but whaddoo I know. 2002-07-08 6:28 pm I’ve never been in India neither so following comments are from my experience of life in Russia and how it’s painted in US. India is big country – there are places that worse than average American city and there are places that better. It depends a lot on how much money you have and you need far less money in India to live well than in states. It’s not that poor Indian programmers have to buy shots to vaccinates their children and Sun with Microsoft are taking advantage of it. India is civilized country and it’s one the most developped country in Asia – so called “Discovery Channel” on American TV does a lot ot disservice by focusing on the poorest parts of India. Yes, quality of life is lower than in US but how many coutries have it higher than in US ? ZDnews article was about ‘off-shore’ programming – there is no need to move to US to do programming for US companies if you’re using .NET or SunONE. But I doubts that Indian programmers would buy that – they will get as much as they can in India and then come to US anyway. At least, I would do it. Should we expect new cheap Blades on ebay soon ? 2002-07-08 6:30 pm US companies are complaining that there is not enough talent in the US market. That’s basically BULL! There are plenty of US talent out there. These companies lobbied Congress in the late 90’s to lax US laws for imigration to get more or less cheap labor. Are these Indian programmers talented? Some are and some aren’t. But normally the best talent are hired so normally the best make it here but not always that’s for sure. I know of some Fortune 500 companies locally that farmed out entire IT Operations to companies in India. They thought they were saving shareholders money. What really happened was that IT costs rose because it took 4 times longer to get jobs completed due to various reasons not just language but mostly because the companies hired did not understand the business or the product lines they were supposed to be designing. There are new quality control steps added that did not exist before because of this. Now the cost of the product goes up slightly and the CEO can’t figure out why because he thinks he’s saving 75% on IT but in fact a quick check says it’s up 25%. Now the fired IT people can’t afford the companies products anymore and sales are down too. 2002-07-08 7:45 pm I used to work for a medium sized swedish company. A so-called ISV (Independent Software Vendor). The management started up a quite big project in india cause of low cost and skilled programmers. But after a year not much had happened but it cost a hell of a lot cause the few things the did happen were usually not very good and had tons of bugs. Quality coordinators, project managers and what not was sent down there but after another half year the project was shut down. However, while working in the US i have met some really talented programmers from india! Part reason for projects in india wont work is cultural differences, language and also company “spirit”. By company spirit i mean the way of working and routines you have in a company… anyways – im just rambling.. BR jens 2002-07-08 8:03 pm Are those big endian or little endian programmers? Sorry, couldn’t resist the joke… 2002-07-08 9:03 pm Are those big endian or little endian programmers? Not as big as Big Al 2002-07-08 10:10 pm I have been to India to work with a development team on some Novell products. India’s living conditions seemed quite nice for the people that I worked with (at least in comparison with the rest of the country). They weren’t paid as well as the engineers in the US were, but they were paid pretty well for where they live. They also had benefits that the US counterparts didn’t have, like free rides to work and company paid lunches. As far as skills go, Indian programmers are among the most talented programmers I have ever worked with. They are very capable and highly educated. Yes, Microsoft, et al. are taking advantage of the lower costs of India. That would be okay with me since they are still providing them with a comparible level of living. What I don’t like is when they bring them to the US and then pay them pennies. 2002-07-08 10:37 pm Yeap and reality bits when you realised that your currency is over valued and thus making your labour expensive in comparison to other countries. Average wage in the US: $US10 hr Average wage in NZ: $US5 hr See the difference? 2002-07-08 11:46 pm India should be proud of itself that it is able to export talent. It has neighbors, Pakistan and Bangladesh, that share a similar colonial legacy but have become bankrupt nations — and in the case of Pakistan a failed state that is now a dictatorship. We all know what Pakistan exports and Bangladesh still primarily a textfile country in terms of exports. Rather than pay for Indians in India, Congress should continue to make it easier for Indians to come here to work…that helps the US economy since rather than having the money leave the country for salaries it stays in the USA. Those Indians who come here still have to eat so that will provide more food-service industry jobs for the rest of us American programmers 2002-07-09 4:47 am about 70 percent of India’s software programmers are developers–those who design the specifications for software that is then coded by other programmers. Huh? 70% of the programmers are non-programmers. The other 30% of the programmers do the programming. As one of my friends once commented, We only know that journalists get IT facts wrong because we’re in the business. Are they getting everything else this wrong too? Do they actually have any idea about finance and politics? 2002-07-09 3:45 pm > Rather than pay for Indians in India, Congress should > continue to make it easier for Indians to come here to > work…that helps the US economy since rather than > having the money leave the country for salaries it > stays in the USA. Huh? I don’t plan on leaving my country to make better money elsewhere. (?) > Those Indians who come here still have to eat so that > will provide more food-service industry jobs for the > rest of us American programmers Oh, I see. Grim humor. Very nice. I’ve been meaning to put in that application at Arby’s. 2002-07-09 4:09 pm I am from India, and I have been unlucky enough to maintain and support code written by other Indians. A majority of Indian programming is about to crank out crap code which may work initially, and falls apart sooner. And the people who do the programming may not be from a computer science stream and it shows in the code. Of course there are talented guys, but the majority will go after .net or SunONE or the latest hype that they think will earn them quick bucks. 2002-07-09 5:31 pm From the perspective of computer science education, Indians are some of the only real hacker types you’ll find at my school. A lot of people are just majoring in it so that they can get fat paychecks, not because they’re interested in solving problems. This is especially true in MIS (YUCK!), where most of them can barely turn a computer on, let alone understand the technical and social implications behind the use of computer technology. The sad part is it’s harder for Indians to get into open source, because they’re just not welcome enough. We’re not good enough at presenting our problems and solutions in such a way, that make them compelled to use it, not to mention help out. What I’m doing is to just work on understanding them on a personal level so that I know better how to present problems to them in such a way as to spark their interest.