[plt-scheme] Re: Programming for non-programmers

From: Neil W. Van Dyke (neil at neilvandyke.org)
Date: Thu Oct 14 13:48:41 EDT 2004

Robby Findler <robby at cs.uchicago.edu> writes at 11:44 14-Oct-2004 -0500:
> First, that altho the programmers are cheaper, they're definitely not
> better. Second, the communication between the clients and the
> programmers (which is already the source of many problems...)  is next
> to impossible when you're communicating from the US to Pakistan or
> India or wherever.

In the last few years, I've gotten the (perhaps mistaken) impression
from anecdotal evidence that those two objections aren't quite as valid
as they used to be.

There's also what I call "the innovation myth" -- which is tossed around
by CEOs and politicians who are trying to avoid alienating the remaining
US workers by suggesting that just the grunt work is being sent
overseas, and the better jobs will remain in the US, because US workers
are inherently superior at "innovation".  Counterpoints:

  1. There is actually little innovation being done anywhere.

  2. Even US startups seeking funding are now expected to have an
     overseas labor plan, I hear.

  3. The superiority argument reeks of naive nationalism.  I think we'll
     be seeing more "innovation" capability from Indian houses.  (We
     might also be seeing more Indian ISVs, if large corporations like
     Microsoft and IBM don't snap up the ISV-minded developers there.)

One of the few business reasons I see right now to retain "innovation"
developer jobs in the US is if you have a US-based company that is
afraid of leaking IP through an overseas house.

I bear no ill will towards overseas developers, but I am concerned that
there are not enough jobs to go around in general in the US, and that
the US economy is not set up so any capable and willing worker can make
a decent living.

Relevance to PLT Scheme: In the US, I'd like to see more funding for
things like HtDP, as a matter of economic national security.

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