posted on Jul, 7 2004 @ 07:17 PM
I will jump in here as a personal recipient of domestic out sourcing. I am a computer programmer and have been a 'freelancer', 'consultant', or
'programming contractor' whichever you prefer, for the last 14 of my 24 years in the software industry. During my first 10 years at a large
well-known computer company, they started to out source some of their programming projects to India. That company, though it is now about 1/5th the
size it was when I quit in 90, still does international out sourcing. However, I have made a fairly decent living doing contract programming for many
companies (including that company) since I went independent.
My typical contract job is an out sourcing job that I do because I have a particular skill or knowledge in an area that their programming employees
lack or their employee programmers just have no incentive to get it done on time. I often describe my "employee competition" as programmers that
are "retired at work". They generally don't have any strong desire to get the job done in a reasonable time frame.
Occasionally I bid on contract jobs 'against' the company's employee Information Technology departments. I charge quite a bit more per hour than
the average employee earns (at least double and often triple), but I ALWAYS win the bid against them. If these employees are interested in keeping
people like me from getting their projects, why don't they get off their proverbial rear ends and get the work done?
One benefit I have, is that I am a 'one-man show'. I have very little overhead and no employees of my own and I can always get the job done on time
since I have no one interfering. Jobs the size I do (my typical contract is 6 months to 3 years times one programmer) would typically not be feasible
to send overseas. So I am not too worried about the India threat.
Most of my jobs are out sourced from local companies ( < 1 hour drive) that have programmers on staff. If these programmers lose their jobs because I
do a better job for less total cost and on schedule, I don't feel that is any different than if that programmer lost his/her job because the new
guy/gal in the next cubicle produced more and replaced them. Whether the money stays in the company to support the company's overhead or comes to
me, I couldn't care less. Usually it is the overhead manager that gave me the project, so he/she must see some reason/benefit in doing it.
No company in its right mind would out source a project if their employees were a better value than the out sourcing agency/company. A highly
productive and efficient department will keep its work. Out sourcing, especially to an overseas outfit, is not a cheap thing to do. There are many
expensive and time consuming tentacles wrapped around it. When this happens, I have to believe that this decision was made only after significant
study and thought.
Personally I believe the decision to out source a software project overseas is really stupid just because it never seems to work like the "salesman"
said it would. But I also believe these decisions would not be made if the domestic employee competition was stepping up to the plate and getting
their work done. If these same employees were working to keep the overseas out sourcing an uneconomical decision, then I'd be looking for work too.
That would be fine. If there wasn't a big need for people like me, I sure wouldn't be doing it.
If this productivity increase was the general case, then our country's economy would be way better than it is now, too.