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one question that is been bogging me...

first of all I want to say that I actually come from a third world country, so I am all up for opportunities for everybody...

so here comes my consideration,,, I have been working as a programmer for Iphone apps (noob in the company), now in my new "first" world country (immigration can be good!!!), but seem to be getting more and more advertisement from sites like freelancer.com etc,,, so I would want to know what do you think about all this???,

  • would the jobs be getting cheaper??
  • if a project can be done by say 10% of the cost overseas, what is stopping the employers of doing just that?
  • is it worth it?
  • how about the quality? from a local job and overseas job?

and all other aspects I cannot think about??

I just want to know if all this years of learning are going to pay off? or if in a near future all programming jobs will just go to cheaper labor? (sweat shops??)

ok hope to make sense in my ramblings,, cheers;)

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4 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

sweatshops have been tried for several years, with European and American companies offshoring most or all their IT departments to (mostly) Asia and especially India. Many if not most of them are reversing course because

  1. the delivered quality was frequently appalling, cost savings not met and deadlines failed even worse than when doing things at home
  2. the increased bureaucracy made anything that needs done go at a glacial pace
  3. rising concerns about the security of business interests of having your core data and systems in the hands of third parties in countries where the law is often not in your favour if/when things go wrong between you and your contract partner, even if you're in the right

Offshoring things can work, but there must always be a balance. For example you can offshore part of your support department, in order to have 24/7 support available. Rather than run 3 8 hour shifts at the home office, have support groups in 3 locations set 8 hours apart. Offshoring part of your development effort can also work. Maybe have a project where non-critical components are built in eastern Europe while the critical (business logic for example) pieces are made in-house.

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I'm a freelance programmer and often get told by my customers that Indian contractors are good at clearly defined tasks but have problems with more open ended projects. This means that I can charge a lot more than them and still get work even though I'm picking up jobs in the same places and theoretically competing with them.

However, I'm a bit sceptical as it sounds to me like these coders just aren't very experienced and are suffering from the same problems that everyone faces in the early days of their career, regardless of location. This is only my belief but I think the possibility is that the better India coders are either working for better Indian companies or have emigrated to countries where they can earn more.

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At the company I am currently at offshoring caused a HUGE issue with quality control, especially within the test department.

They later reversed it because you really cannot offshore quality control, and it's like everyone has said. Quality can and will suffer. They learned this and reversed course and are actually making money now. I think offshoring can work sometimes, but offshoring huge branches of work of your company is IMO a bad idea.

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By working on such platforms, you can earn a lot more than working on a local development shop in your country.

I know a developer from Bangladesh that is earning 6 times the country average salary.

He decided to support his community with all that money.

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