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

From: Bruce Butterfield (bab at entricom.com)
Date: Thu Oct 14 13:06:24 EDT 2004

Robby Findler wrote:
> I suppose it's a theoretical worry to some (esp. until Nov...) but
> anecdotally the information I've come across seems to suggest that
> outsourcing overseas doesn't work very well at all. I've heard two
> reasons. 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.

I think that outsourcing is sexy to corporate types who are oriented to 
next quarter's share price -- a terrific short term solution. It reminds 
me of the automated programming tools of the 70s and 80s which were 
going to replace all those expensive programmers by a single MBA who 
would point/click/drag/drop new applications in minutes. Like APTs, the 
outsourcing solution doesn't solve the fundamental problem that 
programming is hard and it requires understanding and creativity. It 
doesn't help that interacting with your offshore programming staff has 
both timezone and cultural barriers.

Unfortunately, there's a lot of short-term-oriented MBAs running 
American businesses out there...

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