New Civilization News: The Indian computing revolution    
 The Indian computing revolution4 comments
picture 13 Mar 2004 @ 05:35, by Flemming Funch

Wired has a good article about people working in computer companies in India, who do a lot of business that is out-sourced from the U.S. It can well freak out a lot of high-tech employees in the U.S. that what is a $70,000 a year job in their area is more like a $7,000 a year job in India. And it is today both technically and organizationally very possible for a large company to oursource big chunks of their work to a place like India. And what might freak out the guy in the U.S. even more is to realize that his counterparts in India are well-ecucated, professional, well-organized, and probably willing to work harder to get the job done.

I can certainly have the same fears. My expectation of how I will be paid is along the lines of the U.S. scale. But I also notice increasingly how there are programmers on the net from Russia or Asia who apparently can do large jobs for what I would consider impossibly small amounts of money. And they seem skilled and professional. I obviously can't compete on price with somebody who'll do for $200 what I'd need $5000 for.

But that Wired article makes it seem natural and positive. Which I'm sure it is. In a global free market, those who're best suited to do a job, and who can do it the best, for the lowest costs - of course it makes sense if they do it. It would be silly to try to use laws and protectionism to force people to needlessly pay 10 times as much for the same work. Efficient telecommunication tools allow high-tech industries and booming economies to grow and flourish in places where they otherwise couldn't. That's a good thing. That a lot of the business comes from other places than where the workers are does in no way have to be any problem.

So, the answer is of course to be flexible, and to do the things that ARE needed in one's local area, and which one can make a valuable contribution towards. So, maybe one might put the business together, or structure it, or sell it, or consult about it, rather than necessarily doing all the work locally. There are always things to do. Like, how Aparna Jairam, the project manager on the picture, quotes from the Bhagavad Gita:
"Do what you're supposed to do. And don't worry about the fruits. They'll come on their own."

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14 Mar 2004 @ 00:52 by maxtobin : Rent a coder
Did you not put up the rent a coder link Flemming. India is a good place as they speak and write English (or a version of it!!) China offers even cheaper labour and equally skilled/educated people. We have partners here who are fluent in both (English and Mandarin) and expert in all the latest technologies.
I can still remember my first trip up there with a laptop and the latest Microsucks operating system just installed (98) and they had already 'had it' for a good long time and knew all the tricks and short cuts along witht the weak spots.
Its a brave new world guvner!!  

14 Mar 2004 @ 04:44 by jazzolog : Delete
I called my Gateway warranty techie last week, after I inadvertently deleted a hunk of driver wrestling with some spyware, and ended up talking to India. The guy was relentless and kept after the problem for over an hour. When the pressure finally was off and my mistake remedied, I tried a couple jokes on him about outsourcing. He really seemed unaware of the sensitivity. I wished him well and asked him to extend greetings to his family.  

14 Mar 2004 @ 15:06 by vibrani : can you imagine
what it would be like if the U.S. programmers would treat the Indians as God, too? I think this is the start of something beautiful. May it snowball.  

15 Mar 2004 @ 04:16 by ashanti : Adaptability
I agree totally. Adaptability, and multi-tasking/skilling. My comment above was related to the USA education system, which seems to not produce en-masse, people who are able to adapt. I see here at NCN, the most creative and adaptive and enlightened USA citizens - the creme of the crop, but by no means the majority. When I visited the USA, I was asked by people if we had elephants and lions walking down the streets. Literally. I was incredulous. I asked USA citizens to pinpoint me third world countries, and many had not even heard of them. They thought Zimbabawe and South Africa were the same country. And so on. I think the USA has been very inward-looking, hence the desire to impose this limited viewpoint on the world as a whole, and not take into account other viewpoints, and learn about other cultures. I feel India is far more civilized, adaptive, and will really emerge as a shining example, more than it is already doing.

The brightest souls from the USA are here at NCN, and they are all open to learning, sensitive, adaptive - here lies a possible future hope for the USA.  

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