Are Indian Software Developers “Code Donkeys”?

by Krishna on February 11, 2009

The recent 40th StackOverflow podcast with Michael Lopp had some pretty harsh words for Indian software programmers and the outsourcing industry in general. The transcript is incomplete, so you have to hear the podcast, but what I heard went something along these lines (not exact words)

The cost of an Indian developer is one-third the value of the cost of a developer in the United States. People assume it is because of the lower cost of living in India. But that is not why. It is because the value is one-third. If they produced the same quality of code, they would be charging the same amount.

To be fair, Joel did say that this had nothing to do with India in particular, but seemed to indicate that the problem was common with outsourcing in general. Anyway, his words pale in comparison with this comment from someone named Abdu (emphasis mine):

In the topic of outsourcing and non US shrink wrapped software.

Developers from Eastern Europe, Russia and Israel produce software which is innovative. Software that make me ponder “How did they do that?” or ” I wish I can peek at the source code”. These are code crafters and masters.

Developers from India, sorry to say, are what I call “Code Donkeys”. They do crud, boring, repetitive nothing innovative business applications and in many occasions they need blue prints and directions on how to start. I have never seen any shrinkwrap software made in India.

I have been outsourcing some of my personal programming needs to developers from Eastern Europe, Latin America and India. The ones from India give me the hardest time. They might be the cheapest but that also could very well mean low quality!

A few comments on this (FYI, I live in New Hampshire in the United States):

  1. It is true that product development has been slow in India (see my previous take in 2007), but that is rapidly changing. Take a look at some of the Indian software startups. One of the best non-business software products out there is Zoho by AdventNet, which is run by Sridhar Vembu with 600+ people in Chennai, India.
  2. There are and will be poor software practitioners. But this is just as true of software companies in the United States as in India. I cannot tell you how many countless times I have talked to customers here in the States where their developers have no clue how to write good software. They have decades-old legacy code. They have no idea about the latest technology developments. No processes, no documentation. In some instances, I have been burnt by having to wait for some developer to write some proper code that we could have done ourselves, just because the developer controlled that code.
  3. The best talent in India go to either engineering (read computer science) or medical courses. The engineering colleges in India, especially the IITs, produce excellent students. Definitely, there will be some companies that have poor developers, but that is a problem with selecting the right company, not with Indian outsourcing in general. Secondly, many experienced Indian developers who have worked in the United States have returned to India and are working in Indian firms.
  4. As with every product, if it is too cheap, it is probably not worth it. Find professional outsourcing companies in India who hire good developers and have well-defined processes. They may be more expensive than the freelance developers, but still overall less expensive. To give an analogy, compare it with buying a watch from a peddler on the street and buying it from *any* shop. And yes, Joel, the cost of living is way below what you can imagine. And higher education is heavily subsidized, so students do not come out of college with huge student debts.
  5. You need a dedicated manager to work with an outsourced developer or team (whether it is Wisconsin or Bulgaria or India or the Philippines). Every team (onsite or remote) needs information and feedback to produce good software. When your team is onsite, you spend significant amount of time without realizing it. When it is offshore, suddenly every interaction is more visible in terms of demands on your team, especially with time zone issues. To compare apples to apples, account for every minute of your interaction with your onsite site and then see how the team would perform without you spending that time.

To understand the math here, many companies hire outsourcing companies and expect that costs will be reduced. But here are some important rules of outsourcing economics:

  • Costs will be higher initially because of knowledge transfer and cultural handshaking between the two sides. By “culture”, I mean organizational culture (processes, standards, communication, etc.), not Indian vs. US culture, although that can be a factor too.
  • You won’t save money hiring 1 or 2 developers because of the overhead of communication. To make huge gains, outsource several developers and hire people in the United States to manage them. Also plan for visits to and from India.
  • Hence, you need a larger team to save money and a larger team needs dedicated onsite managers. Why dedicated? Because it is very easy for a part-time manager to be dragged more into other work and neglect his outsourcing responsibilities, since the team is not around to demand his attention.

Finally, let’s look at the evidence. There are many multi-national corporations (Microsoft, Oracle, HP, etc.) who are outsourcing large amounts of work outside the United States. Maybe they are all crazy, spending more money on low-quality programmers. I don’t know. You tell me.


Anonymous February 11, 2009 at 9:28 pm

The word of two foreigners did strike me, probably they are true. I read your explanation as well, but still I am not convinced. Why are Indian products(forget the lesser number) way down in quality ?

Abid February 12, 2009 at 12:21 am

Thats not really completely true.. We are Indian.. We are creating software that help put people on the cloud quickly.. We are however as a country beginners in the products space..We are trying to bridge that gap.. Check out our offering at

Wakjob October 6, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Can you name what software, exactly that is? Indians are the worst in the world at software. More software comes from Scandanavia than from India.

jones February 15, 2011 at 6:54 am

well wakjob Indians are not the worst your thinking may be worst.
1.Do you know who is the founder of worlds first webbased mail(The hotmail) don't you? go and find it.
2.Do you know who are the developers of worlds best system utility software (advanced system optimizer series) don't you? go and find it.
3.Do you know who are the developers of one of the best anti virus software with behavior based detection (quick heal) don't you? go and find it.
4.Go and search world's top 10 richest persons there will be more indians then any others
5.And at last but not the least do you know that most of the employees in NASA are INDIANS.

and one more thing who do you think you are ? a hardcore programmer? or an OS developer ?
you can't say any country worst anyway.

Remember children having same mothers dosen't have same

Anonymous February 12, 2009 at 1:23 am

"ones from India give me the hardest time."

Well well here is the give away. What he really means is this

"Developers from Eastern Europe, Russia and Israel produce software which is innovative. Software that make me ponder “How did they do that?” or ” I wish I can peek at the source code”. These are code crafters and masters"

That means he has understood their programming and code so easily and he loves their programming style

But on the other hand

""ones from India give me the hardest time.""

He has failed to understand the code Indian wrote. He has had a hard time understanding and deciphering the code of Indian Programmers and maintaining it. Maybe the indians are a notch above him.

I leave it to the jury to decide

John Markh September 20, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Since the code should be maintainable to be of any value...

gbilios January 4, 2010 at 7:56 am

yes..we let the jury decide when poorly written applications crash and hang consistently because someone who is an indian programmer probably has forgotten - maybe on purpose that other coders need to maintain & manage..programming according to contract is very important and none of the indian coders i have worked with respected that fact..if code does not match the documentation then what you expect would happen when its time to test and deploy your product? you will most likely end up re-writing the whole thing from scratch all the time and thats not efficient coding..most of the indian coders i have worked with have never taken responsibility when their poorly written software brings down a network..

Wakjob October 6, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Good code should not be hard to read and understand - no matter who wrote it. I too have been in software for 18 years and when Indians do produce any software that works (which is rarely), it's an unmaintainable mess. Bad code is not a sign that you are better than others, only worse.

pick this one February 12, 2009 at 3:24 am

"Joel did say that this had nothing to do with India in particular, but seemed to indicate that the problem was common with outsourcing in general."

I am agree what Joel had said.

Few things really hitting me hard to understand :

1.) How can a person should judge a thing which has never been performed by him or his company.

2.) Why many multi-national corporations are outsourcing their large amounts of work in India.

Wakjob October 6, 2010 at 2:50 pm

Apple CLOSED their R&D in India in 2006. 100% of Apple software is made in USA. Apple still hires mostly Americans. Yes, Microsoft IS outsourcing their work to India. But then again, Microsoft stock is around $24 while Apple's is approaching $300. Case closed, the verdict is in.

abhi October 20, 2010 at 1:26 am
ahem January 10, 2011 at 6:32 pm

"The young Indian grads from Stanford University saw a significant boost when the Apple Guru heaped praises upon their iPad application at the Apple Developers Conference"

I think his US education had something to do with it

Anonymous February 12, 2009 at 4:38 am

Putting the offense aside, this is more like saying all texans are red-neck racists. As someone pointed out, there are good and bad developers in India.

And I am sure those million jobs that have moved to India is a pretty good indicator.

This sounds more like sour grapes to me - may be his job went to India and all he got was a lousy t-shirt?

Wakjob October 6, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Millions of jobs did not go to India. Maybe 500,000 tops. And many of those are now being brought back to USA.

What has happened is that 10 million Indian guest workers came into America, threw Americans out of work, couldn't do the jobs, and then collapsed 20 million jobs since 1998. We were booming before importing millions of 3rd world workers.

Saurabh Gangwal February 12, 2009 at 7:03 am

For the person who wrote this article, I will present some facts.

As many as 12% scientists and 38% doctors in the US are Indians.

In NASA, 36% or almost 4 out of 10 scientists are Indians.

34% employees at Microsoft, 28% at IBM, 17% at Intel and 13% at Xerox are Indians.

20% of gold in the world is used by Indians and nine out of 10 diamonds used in the world are made in India.

Do you still doubt about Indian brain, then I have only one advice for you, being ignorant is the only way out, for you to stay happy. We are here and we are everywhere.

gbilios January 4, 2010 at 8:20 am

i present some facts to you: "the Quark debacle", a once owned American software powerhouse found out first hand the lies about outsourcing the hard way..An Indian QA person Kamar Aulakh conned the the big desktop publisher into outsourcing, which made hime CEO..Quark laid off all the American developers who created the companies flagship product. A year and a half later QuarkExpress version 6 was released..the product was so poorly designed/written they immediately lost %60 of its Express Customer base to Adobe systems, which has a competing product InDesign..Adobe has taken most of Quarks business..the most relevant part was to port Quark to OS X - a simple carbonization exercise that many other programmers of similar complexity accomplished with a modest staff over a period of a few months, DRAGGED ON and ON IN INDIA..version 6 was delivered TWO YEARS LATE AND AT A FAR GREATER COST THAN ANYONE COULD HAVE IMAGINED..

heres another one i got from

Wipro got into AIG, then AIG's IT got into Lehman. Lehman, as we all know, got its trading software, Spectramind, from Wipro who acquired it from another company. Wipro programmers screwed it up so bad that it started giving wrong information which led to bad trades and the massive losses Lehman experienced which caused its demise.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There have been other links between Indian outsourcing deals and failures at:

- Bell Labs (Arun Netravalli & team cleaned it out - gone, trashed, closed)
- Boeing (HCL screwed up the ILS 787 Dreamliner software)
- Cadence (Ripped off by a Chinese industrial spy)
- CNBC (Slumdogs running their website which doesn't work)
- Computer Associates (Indian CEO arrested and jailed for fraud)
- Dell (Call center failure)
- Delta (Call center failure)
- General Electric (Fan blade design sent to India, cracks resulted)
- Lehman Brothers (Wipro, Spectramind failure)
- Lockheed Martin (Spacecraft failures)
- Microsoft (Vista, layoffs, sales drop)
- MIT (Media Lab Asia canceled after Indians faked invoices)
- Motorola (Cell phone division going broke)
- MSNBC (Website)
- NASA (Shuttle, Mars, and rocket failures)
- Intel (Whitefield processor project in India canceled due to fakery)
- Japan Airlines (3rd world maintenance led to engine failures)
- Palm (Into the toilet after sending work to India)
- PeopleSoft (Died after Indian takeover)
- Hewlett-Packard (Down the tubes til they fired pro-India Fiorina)
- Sun Microsystems (Taken over in 2000 by Indians, died, sold off to Oracle)
- Vodaphone (Massive profit drop after outsourcing)
- Washington Mutual (H-1B failure, profit drop, bankruptcy)
- World Bank (Indians stole data, Indian-specific bodyshops banned for 3 years)

Reen July 17, 2010 at 7:09 pm

Gibilious...You seem to confuse yourself with correlation and causation?? I can imagine the type of code you churn out with that kind of logic.
Vista and Quark were not developed in India. The localization for Indian market was done in India.
Calling Indians SLUMDOGS Shows that you are a lows life racist.
Please stick to some ku klux Klan websites...looser in life.

Wakjob October 6, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Vista most certainly was developed in India. MS was infamous at the time for sending huge amounts of its programming work to India. MS also employs 35,000 Indian H-1Bs in the U.S.

As for Quark, if you knew anything about the history of the product, you would know that it was invented in the U.S. by Americans, then Alukah Kamar became CEO and fired all the Americans and sent version 6 of QuarkExpress development to India. The product was so bad that 60% of Quark's customers defected to Adobe. Express 6 was most definitely developed in India - and with disastrous results. The Express work has now been brought back to America. The Quark Express 6 port was to port from the old Mac OS to Carbon so that it could run on OS X. This was the work sent to India - not 'localization'. Read the article gbilios mentioned.

Rajesh October 29, 2010 at 9:42 am

I have worked in Quark before Kamar became the CEO. It was set to doom the day Adobe created InDesign. Quark took its monopoly in market for granted and did not invest in R&D. It took several years to release new versions, and when it released, it did not have enough new features in it. They also did not care for their customers.

Wakjob October 6, 2010 at 3:20 pm

As for racism - where are the 10 million IT jobs for Americans to go take in India? Oh, I forgot - it's illegal for foreigners to work in India. You have to be an Indian citizen to do that. So much for globalization. India is the most racist country on earth.

Want to see racism? Try this:

Abhishake August 3, 2010 at 12:32 pm

I will just say that quality of a person is Independent of their nationality.

If this is not true then all Germans must be an Einstein. This is certainly not true and your argument suffers from insufficient sample fallacy.

Wakjob October 6, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Who makes the best cars in the world? Eskimos? No, Japanese and Germans do. Who are the best hockey players in the world? Canadians, of course. Who has the best food in the world - definitely either Italians or French. Who makes the best wines? Californians or French. Who is known for oil exports? Russia and Middle East. Who is known for the best software? Americans, of course.

abhi October 6, 2010 at 3:32 pm

thats your view.

John D. Programmer October 6, 2010 at 6:57 pm


So, by your logic, indians are superior at writing software to Americans?

Am February 24, 2011 at 4:49 am

Hmm, well, the CA CEO was Sri Lankan, not Indian.

Wakjob October 6, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Can you provide the proof of these often-cited statistics, please? If NASA is 36% Indians, I wouldn't brag about it. 1998-Present has seen the highest mission failure rate in NASA history. Columbia, two huge failed Mars missions, a massive Atlas IV failure, just to name a few, The Spirit and Opportunity programs were farmed out to U of AZ where mostly white people worked on it.The result? Two picture-perfect missions.

As for Microsoft - how's that $24 stock price doing? Microsoft is rapidly becoming irrelevant. IBM is being sued by both Indiana and Texas for billion-dollar failed projects. Xerox has closed their R&D in America now and all their R&D is done in Japan.

Most diamonds come from South Africa, not India. Everyone knows that.

Sorry but your claims don't stand up to scrutiny.

Yes, we still have doubts about the Indian 'brain'. Silicon Valley was booming when white Americans were running it. Now CA is going bankrupt - with Indians running Silicon Valley. If you are so brainy then why do 600,000,000 million people in India still defecate in the open every single day? You are everywhere and the world economy is collapsing. Nice job.

abhi October 6, 2010 at 3:34 pm

search on google.. do some work at-least instead of hatred writings..

abhi October 6, 2010 at 4:19 pm

"Indian Americans have the highest percentage of higher education when compared to other racial groups. According to the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, there are close to 35,000 Indian American doctors.[18] According to the 2000 census, about 64% of Indian Americans have attained a Bachelor's degree or more.[19] (compared to 28% nationally, and 44% average for all Asian American groups). Almost 40% of all Indians have a master’s, doctorate or other professional degree, which is five times the national average.[15] Among Indian Americans, 72.3% participate in the U.S. work force, of which 57.7% are employed in managerial and professional specialties.[20]

above text is taken from wikipedia

SeattleDiver December 2, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Sounds like all the Indians posting on this article are happily defending their countrymen and the work they produce. But the facts are the facts. I've personally worked on three major outsourced projects for companies like Symantec, Microsoft, and McAfee. Each major project was completely thrown away after it was completed - all because of poor code quality. I'm not sure if their universities just suck or if their culture doesn't have the same drive we have in the U.S. or Europe, but I've never seen "outstanding" work from any Indian company or individual. I'm sure they're out there, but I've never seen it. Considering they occupy 1/6 of the world's population, the evidence should be all around us, no?

Where do you get your statistics anyway? Indians occupy roughly 1/6th of the world's population; and why wouldn't they want to live in the U.S. I should think your percentages should be a lot higher given the current state of the world.

Anonymous February 12, 2009 at 8:09 am

Saurabh!! Dude i am an indian. and thats the worst response ever. The article makes a point. Go check Most of the development done in Big IT companies in india is corporate s/w. So obviously if you want creativity we are not there yet.

But dude the facts u wrote are not true. Thats a old PPT info which was overblown.
Man your comment shamed me more than the article.

shobankr February 12, 2009 at 11:30 am

Well I am glad that he is talking only about outsourced engineers. I will accept his comment. I am software engineer who works for a outsourced company.
Now let me explain why I agree with him. There are very less projects in outsourced companies and most of the work include enhancements and support. How can we bring in innovation for "shit" written by someone in the outsourced company. I have seen lot of application which use variables named yellow, pink and orange and these were not developed by the so called "code monkeys". So of course you will not see any innovation.
Secondly these outsourced companies have their own coding standards (again not formed by us "code donkeys") .. which has all bloody stupid rules preventing a sw engineer from using his brain and ideas... So again the root cause goes back to the architects are software engineers in the outsourced company. Now you know whay we are called "code donkeys".

Take a list of indian start ups and see the innovation.

Wakjob October 6, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Can anyone please name the actual Indian startups? And I don't mean ones that get a big chunk of America's VC money, run for 5 years on that money, then go under. I mean ones that are profitable. Can anyone name a software startup created 100% by Indians? If so, I'd like to hear the name of the company and its founders. And what innovation? BusinessWeek ran a cover story last year on how innovation in the U.S. has been dead for a decade - oddly the same time period that Indians have been here in large numbers.

abhi October 6, 2010 at 3:36 pm

what do you want to prove?... if you are so smart, u do not have asked such question

John D. Programmer October 6, 2010 at 7:03 pm

Don't avoid the question....

Andrei January 28, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Accusing coding standards of standing in a way of thoughtfulness is bullshit.

Anonymous February 16, 2009 at 11:13 pm

I agree somewhat to the comments made by the two. We only churn out the engineers without proper practical exposure. When these engineer lands up a job in a company, these guys doesn't learn anything.. they are put in a project and asked to code. I see the problem lies on both side of the fence. With the companies (who think like factories producing developers) & with engineers who think they are the gods and doesn't want to learn anything before coding.

David J. M. Karlsen June 10, 2009 at 1:07 pm

Been working in local outsouring (of operations) and now with souring from India (based in EU).

I see some of the same patterns:

First it's all about cost, both groups are sceptic to eachother and communication is not good enough. This leads to throw-it-over-the-wall syndrome. Then they get closer, learn to know each other better and COoperate a lot more. And also an important part of the latter - they go from one major stakeholde to sharing the risk. This really increases the itch to get a good result that both groups are satisfied with.

But something any firm considering this is that it will cost in the beginning, and it will mean investments over time - and you won't get it paid back immediately. So I think anybody going into this should not try this solution if your primary concern is scaling out TODAY. You should be well ahead of your need, be willing to invest over time and get some key players offshore to avoid micro-management.

If the kickoff locally was important before, a real kickoff getting people together will be even more important now.

Krish June 10, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Thanks for commenting, David. You are perfectly right. If someone is doing it for immediate gains, then it doesn't work.

George July 30, 2009 at 9:47 am

1. Never outsource work for 2-3 people with lots of communication. Better leave it in the US. The communication overheads always cause the same problem

2. India has large outsources, small outsourcers and innovative product companies. Yes there are small outsourcers where customers may have faced the problem - the problem is choice of company. i.e a good 2 person shop in Ukraine may be better than a bad 2 person shop in India but there are also good 2 person shops in India that are better then bad 2 person shops in Ukraise

3. Software products is not yet India's forte because a) The market is not there b) Best Indian minds saw money in outsourcing. That is changing now because with the net Indian products can attach the globe - check out Zoho (, KServe ( ramco ( etc. They will get there - over time

Wakjob October 6, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Who uses Zoho? No one outside of India has ever heard of it. iPhone and iPad on the other hand are taking over the entire world - even beating the Japanese. And Apple CLOSED all their R&D in India in 2006. Software products are not India's forte, because Indians can't code. India is unable to even produce its own commercial operating system. What a joke. And we've imported 10 million of these people since 1998 to take over Silicon Valley? No wonder the U.S. economy is in trouble.

abhi October 6, 2010 at 3:39 pm

why should India develop OS.. they had develop millions of successful critical application, your countries depends on..

Its looks like u want to prove India as wrong whatever the case

abhi October 6, 2010 at 4:07 pm

flexcube developed by Iflex (Indian company) now bought by oracle is used by most of the banks in the world

Martin August 28, 2009 at 9:51 am

I am a developer for a component vendor company, and I am unfortunate to support a great number of alleged developers from India. They do not only write the worst code I have ever seen, but also they do not have even the slightest notion of basic web-development principles, scalability, logic, semantics and UX. I suppose that some readers of this article may find my post offensive, but it is true, and I am observing this for almost 5 years.

Krishna August 28, 2009 at 1:59 pm

That's unfortunate, Martin. Why don't you ask your company to change the software vendor? And next time you hire a different firm, interview the developers to make sure that they are up to the necessary standards.

Andras September 13, 2009 at 6:54 pm

We have, they were even worse. We even flew a trusted engineer on site to do the hiring and he said he had to hire 4 incompetent ones, because those were the best ones he came across in 2 weeks and management expected him to have 4 names.

The Indians on our project (there are 6 of them) have not delivered a single reliable bit of code we didn't have to rewrite (the 3 of us in the EU).

As things stand now, eventually our work is supposed to go their way, but they just can't get rid of us, because business knows how incompetent our devs in India are.

I don't know, must be something in the water.

Krishna, would you buy a BMW or a Tata?

Krishna September 13, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Andras, this is one reason I advocate outsourcing firms to understand who you are hiring, including both the vendor and the individuals who will be working in the project. If you don't spend the time and money to hire good people, the quality will be bad. Period.

And specific to your case, your company is not going to save money by hiring 6 people in India (or anywhere else) and replacing 3 of you. The math just doesn't work because you will always need someone on your side to head the development effort.

Wakjob October 6, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Business around the world has been told by western governments to send work to India in order to appease India. India acquired ICBM launch capability in 1997 via China which it didn't have before. And India has centuries-old grievances against the west. India has nuclear blackmailed the west into giving them our jobs. Problem is, Indiots can't do the jobs the way Americans can - as the world economy is now showing.

abhi October 6, 2010 at 3:43 pm

are u mad... or are u child... or are u over intelligent.. or are u in CIA

I think at least u r racist

abhi October 6, 2010 at 3:41 pm

problem is with your management in finding a good vendor..

SeattleDiver December 2, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Abhi, you're comments are definitely racist. Please stick to the facts being debated here.

Rama venkatesh February 18, 2010 at 3:09 am

I do agree a David J. M. Karlsen, but I do want to make one point clear, Most of the developers in India are working on Outsourced Projects which are short of time (*most of the time), Lack of structure at initial stages and at very low cost, As the projects are of low cost Organizations are tending towards hire a low cost resource (mostly freshers just out of colleage gate.) to make Benefits.... I am really sorry to say we should get better about it a little more. We can certainly get better in the context of Writing better code, It is not just having a great programmers but the way he is proactively encouraged and given leisure.... My personal experience there is no lack of good programmers in India, I can bet you will find a Bunch in every group they are Innovative & Enthusiastic, very creative..... The only this we need to encourage them.....Pay them properly.. to my personal exp. I heared a word from many of my top management "Just Do It How ever it is" Even when we strive for the complete Quality.... This sense should be avoided " Don't strive for the immediate gains " I strictly believe "a steep raise will have steep fall" trust me guys we in India have lots of innovation we are certainly not "code donkeys" But So called because we are forced to work in that way..........This process will only start when the education system gets changed.... thank you
Rama venkatesh

Wakjob October 6, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Can you name the innovations for us?

abhi October 6, 2010 at 3:41 pm

what you will do after knowing the name

prasooncc September 7, 2009 at 10:39 am

haha...u will get only what you pay for.Try not to outsource and get 1/3rd quality code at 1/3rd price from local vendors.

nevermind September 8, 2009 at 10:56 am

look, man, outsourced code isn't innovative because it can't be.

in fact, no outsourced product can be. you're sending the bloody thing to a guy on a different continent!

innovative implies a very good understanding of the context and environment in which it will be used.

the only way outsourcing can work is if you take your problems, break them down into the simplest pieces, and ask someone to solve each piece.

this is analogous to asking computer to do a human's work.
you have to instruct it step by step, because it doesn't understand the human context.

Andras September 13, 2009 at 6:57 pm

If I have to formalize something so well, I might as well do it myself. In fact, that is exactly what software engineering is about. You're not a software engineer unless you can break down seemingly complicated tasks into such small ones that you can handle them with ease.

And yes, that is exactly why our Indian outsourcing attempts are doomed, we'd be much-much better off with Eastern Europe, but sadly, management doesn't know anything they don't read about in their magazines.

Krishna September 13, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Andras, there is a difference between breaking down design versus breaking down requirements. The problem with outsourcing is that there is usually a gap in understanding the requirements. This is one of the most important reasons why you need an onsite presence for a team and cannot fully outsource your work away.

If you have to help any software engineer break down design (at your location, India or elsewhere), I agree with you that they are incompetent and should be fired immediately. My diagnosis of your situation is that you hired too fast and went with a wrong vendor. The Indian employment market is complicated and if you need good resources, you need to spend the time, effort and money. Look for people from prestigious universities like Indian Institutes of Technology. 2 weeks looking at Monster India is a total waste of time.

nevermind September 23, 2009 at 9:04 am

yeah, it would be interesting to know exactly how that guy hired 4 people in two weeks.

abhi October 6, 2010 at 4:25 pm

how == interesting
who === more interesting 🙂

who was hired by who === is even more instresting

John Markh September 20, 2009 at 4:36 pm

For a very long time, I have worked with number of "outsourced" development teams. My main problem was with the mindset (well... and technical capabilities as well); if software developer from Israel (or Europe/US) is able to take the problem, analyse, solve it and write well structured code without having a dedicated manager to oversee it all, Indian software developers need to be told what to do. Although I'm sure that some (or even most) of them are capable as those from Europe/US, they wait to be told what to do (even if it means to spend 3-4 days doing nothing).

abhi October 6, 2010 at 3:46 pm

it depends on developer to developer... intelligence differ from person to person and intelligence come with price

SeattleDiver December 2, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Intelligence comes with a price? Aren't we telling you that we pay 1/3 the price for Indian developers than American developers? Your comment concludes that Indians are 1/3 as intelligent as Americans. Even I won't go that far!

SendSig October 12, 2009 at 5:21 am

I am INDIAN programmer, I am completly agree.
Because indian industry can't afford good programmer.
That why they change the tile "Programmer" to "Software Engineer".

gbilios January 4, 2010 at 8:37 am

explain this:
"Daniel. It is against the law for you to work here. You can come here on vacation, but you can't work here". --Indian Officials to U.S. IT worker Daniel Soong who expressed interest in working in Bangalore, India.

SendSig January 4, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Good programmers do both the design work and the implementation work. Any programmer who cannot design, implement, test, and ship a product single-handedly shouldn’t be in the industry.

“Coders/Software Engineer/Developer” are words invented by Corporate America and India, Inc. to degrade the programming profession so that programmers’ salaries could be lowered.

Programmers eclipsed politicians, lawyers, doctors, and all other elites in the 1990s. The rest of the world was jealous. Everyone wants to be like the American programmer, but “assembly-line” programmers are useless. Good software is an art. Good software takes time. Trying to reduce software to an assembly line is stupid. It can’t be done. Sure you can try to make software that way, but it won’t be any good.

A decade later we are seeing the fruits off all this commodity software mentality: a destroyed economy and no innovation.

Software used to be a great industry to work in. Not any more. It has been degraded and destroyed by India, Inc. and moronic American business executives.

You guys can have the IT industry. No one wants to work in that ruined industry any more.

SeattleDiver December 2, 2010 at 7:24 pm

L O f'ing L!

Abhishake August 5, 2010 at 8:24 am

What is this letter and who sent you this.

Wakjob October 6, 2010 at 3:31 pm

CIO Magazine - March 2003

abhi October 6, 2010 at 3:50 pm

I agree.. but I have seen jobs in India for foreign nationals.. guy who have told that foreigner cannot work in India has told to misunderstand us.

If you don't believe me search for jobs in or

abhi October 6, 2010 at 4:04 pm

r u psycho, what is basis of what u said.

nevermind March 12, 2010 at 5:24 pm

i think i was wrong, when i said earlier that the problem was distance, and lack of context.

there's a much more fundamental problem that we have here: people are in it for the jobs.

compared to a kid who tried to write a chess program at age 14-15, because he felt like it, guys like that are, ummm, you know.

seriously, if you have a large number of not so great guys working on something, you incurr a significant overhead. the final product can never be as good. p.g. has something to say about keeping the team small, and full of good people, etc.

so is there hope? i would like to believe so, as the indian economy opens up, and creates opportunity for people to pursue what they love, you'll have much nicer program-writing-guys. guys who'll be nice to their programs and care about elegance and robustness and whatnot.

as always, when people enjoy what they're doing, the output is great.

gbilios March 13, 2010 at 12:01 am

there is no hope..indians only employ indians and the guy who developed a chess game at the age of 14 has a much more knowledge of software development than an indian graduate who disappears when his copy/paste code crashes the server..india is not creating any opportunities and they are not the innovation they claim to be.maybe you should have mentioned why india hasn't developed their own operating system!!! they just don't feel like it!!!

as a fact, indian software development teams are large.there are nearly 60 coders on average on a typical project..the quark debacle for example: released 2 years late and didn't deliver what was promised. you can also add to that 40 more IT staff and their entire families working on where are the opportunities for local graduates who want to get jobs in IT..they obviously can't..

Reen July 17, 2010 at 7:37 pm

gbilious...You need a shrink. Get some help

SeattleDiver December 2, 2010 at 7:26 pm

Well said. No shrink needed.

nevermind March 14, 2010 at 9:55 am

the chess game guy was also an india

nevermind March 14, 2010 at 10:00 am

you seem hurt and angry. i'm sorry about that.

PD March 30, 2010 at 7:51 am

Indian "programmers" should all go do something else. They are the worst ever.
Read this:
And this:

(And the comments)

abhi October 6, 2010 at 3:52 pm

there are always some failure which always get highlighted but there are so much of success which is ignored

SeattleDiver December 2, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Where? What Success? Which company? Which startup? Huh?

Moshe Arens June 24, 2010 at 5:43 am

These guys ruined Software industry and anything they made fails

abhi October 6, 2010 at 4:28 pm

how many software u have seen going failed

SeattleDiver December 2, 2010 at 7:38 pm


Here they are:

4. McAfee outsourced network sniffer components to an Indian firm in 98 which was thrown out because it didn't work. I was a lead developer at their corporate offices in 1997-2000 in Santa Clara, CA.
3. Altiris (now Symantec) outsourced portions of their network management software which was thrown out. I was a development manager in Lindon, UT at the time.
2. Altiris (now Symantec) attempt #2 outsource their HP client manager to India. It was pulled back in and the project shelved.
1. Clinton Foundation Climate Initiative (joint venture between Microsoft, Ascentium, and the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation) outsourced their Project 2 Degrees to India and after nearly a year of work, they pulled the project in-house, and threw away all the work done by the Indian firm. The in-house team of 7 developers rebuilt the site in less than 3 months!

Need more? I have worked with local Indian nationals in U.S. companies. Do you want to know about their work product quality? It's the same as the outsourced companies work quality. Poor!

As U.S. companies, we are NOT saving money by outsourcing software development to Indian companies.

On an upside, I have worked with 1 Chinese outsourced company while I was at Microsoft working on their refurbishment toolkit and found that the Chinese developers are solid (not top-notch, but certainly not bottom of the pile; a solid C+).

Moshe Arens June 24, 2010 at 5:44 am

I visited India several times and found out the useless teaching culture Cut Copy Paste.

abhi October 6, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Cut, copy, paste is not a BAD thing...
cut, copy paste do require intelligence to use it correctly while coding.. also it saves time. This is code reuse... Intelligent developer will change the code to be more efficient and bug free..

gbilios October 7, 2010 at 1:27 am

read my comment properly and understand it..we have seen in computer science degree courses indian students copy assignments from one another..all they do is put their name and id on it and pass it as their own work..they do the same things in employment - copy code they found on the internet, compile it run it and claim he came up with the idea..what you're doing is not code're steeling the code. whenever you take someones code off the internet you must reference and site where you got it from.
your indian code is so buggy is a joke you call you selves professionals..this is why india does not have its own operating system.

abhi October 7, 2010 at 12:25 pm

search on google, u will find bunch on Indias OS..

gbilios October 8, 2010 at 1:31 am

Linux operating system was developed in US by an American. You can download Linux distribution for free.

Momo March 9, 2011 at 6:52 am

Copy and paste isn't code re-use's duplication/redundancy. Copy/paste is evil. When you find yourself doing a copy/paste you need to refactor your code.

Moshe Arens June 24, 2010 at 5:45 am

Next time you hire only hire people from ISRAEL/EU/Former Soviet countries

abhi October 6, 2010 at 5:12 pm

I will advise viewers not to trust just one point view. Just research and find how many successful software developed in India and how many are failures. There are more than 1000 mnc in India and lakhs of projects are executed. if some fails there may be some other issue

SeattleDiver December 2, 2010 at 7:45 pm

One of the smartest developers I've met at Microsoft was a russian national (jewish) who migrated to Israel, became a citizen, served in their military, and built video codecs there, then was hired by Microsoft to work on their Media Center interactive TV application. I would definitely hire a ISRAEL/EU/Former Soviet software engineer. They seem to be very intelligent, creative engineers.

Abhishake August 3, 2010 at 12:20 pm


You can find exceptions in every place. This does not mean that all developers re bad. May be you have given your project to wrong companies.

I have seen many good coders in India and also very bad, but pointing out only bad points is not really fair.

In India companies mostly deal with services and Yes this type of work has no innovation in it. But I don't agree to the point that India lacks good programmer or produce very low quality of products. You just have to give your work to right companies.

SeattleDiver December 2, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Really? Which ones? Do they really exist? Nobody posting on this article can cite any.

AM February 24, 2011 at 8:04 am

That's because there's no real economic incentive (or sense) to create one. A lot of posts here ask where the Indian OS or Indian Google is. What would be the economic incentive to create one of those when that market-space is already dominated by Microsoft and Google? There already exists a better and more stable OS than Windows- Linux (not an American creation, btw). They even give it away free! But, after all these years, how do the Linux distro numbers stack up against Windows units? So, does it make sense for an Indian (or any company of any other nationality) to invest millions creating and marketing a new OS just so that they can grab bragging rights in the middle of a flame war? Companies don't work that way.

Just because innovation does not happen on the scale, and in between the parameters that are narrowly-defined by one party, does not make it any less innovative. The lower, un-glamorous market of cheap mobile applications and the small and very localized software app-space is where the innovation currently happens in India. And like the best multi-million-market-grabbing products, they are developing out of a functional and market need, not just to showcase technological or innovative capability. (India's mobile phone market is the largest-growing in the World; an Indian product company would much rather focus on writing low-profile code that will sell on those 700-million phones, than try and create an "innovative" OS that has no market left. It just makes economic sense.)

Oh, and about Apple and innovation vs. Indian 'code-thieves'...didn't Stevie J get at least SOME of his 'inspiration' from his "visit" to Xerox PARC? Or is that just an urban legend? I'm genuinely curious here.

neduddgi February 24, 2011 at 8:10 am

Can you show me a single _successful_ indian mobile-app company? There's not a single one in top 50 by numbers sold.

Seriously, when will india stop making excuses and start learning what coding is?

AM February 24, 2011 at 8:23 am

Define "successful" please. Developing a mobile-app that the whole World uses? An Apple-beating phone/app? That's precisely my point, no one's making excuses, that's just not the target market at all.

gbilios August 4, 2010 at 3:02 am

take a look at silicon valley california..a once booming IT industry..what is it now?? lease signs on every corner and california practically broke. why?? indian companies fleecing them out. does india have a global brand that everyone buys? no. india is all about the quick buck - get what you want and escape..what you think happened to deakin universities plans to build silicon valley in geelong, australia? satyam fleeced the state government of victoria out of pocket of AUS$120,000000.00. what happens to all the local citizens who graduate?? no jobs for them..too expensive..better give it to the cheapos who do nothing..

abhi October 6, 2010 at 4:29 pm

silicon valley have more Americans than Indians

Andrei January 28, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Quick correction to your previous comment: "Linux operating system was developed in US by an American. You can download Linux distribution for free.".

Linux kernel was written by Linus Torvalds which is a Finnish swede who later moved to US. Actually, there is no such person as "American". American is a common alias for all that come to US. Mostly they are europeans.

ambi August 5, 2010 at 7:27 am

I am from India and I have worked in the IT testing industry for the last 18 years, both in India and in the USA. I do agree on the fact that, Indian programmers definitely lag behind in quality compared to many other countries. The number of programmers is large and most of the work Indian companies do - is SERVICE. So quick-fixes work well and any escalations are managed by onsite managers.

All said and done, cost for a given quality, within the given time, is the key in service business. This is well utilized in India. But the product mindset of zero-bug mindset is not there in majority of the Indian programmers, irrespective of the company size. See this.

It clearly shows that Indian companies need to go a long way in products. When total IT revenue of India is $60bn and $58bn comes from service, it shows, the Indian IT companies tuned them to projects and not products.

But, the same set of Indians in the USA made products for MS or IBM as well. It is time to accept the facts and do introspection and move forward. Else India will lag in product space, for sure.

Wakjob October 6, 2010 at 2:19 pm

"But, the same set of Indians in the USA made products for MS or IBM as well."

That's right - and Microsoft's once $100-per share stock is now around $24. IBM is being sued for over a billion dollars by both Indiana and Texas for massive failed IBM projects. I wouldn't brag that you people worked at these two companies if I were you. Meanwhile Apple continues to hire mostly Americans and the stock is approaching $300. Sorry, but your claims don't hold up under scrutiny.

abhi October 6, 2010 at 3:53 pm

I think u r one of the them

abhi October 6, 2010 at 4:31 pm

well thats y u r tester from 18 years

SeattleDiver December 2, 2010 at 7:55 pm


You are defending a position in which you are NOT on the high ground. Furthermore, you simply cannot change the opinions of the very talented software engineers here by casting insults and denegrating the chosen careers of some of these fine Americans. I have great respect for good testers...and a lot of them can code circles around many of the software "programmers" from your homeland.

If you really believe we're wrong and we don't have a clue, then cite EXAMPLES. Tell us the names of these great Indian software companies. What are their products? Which outsource projects are successful? We await your informative reply...

Abhishek August 20, 2010 at 1:54 pm

hey i don't understand one thing. If Indian quality is so bad the why obama says to kids of America to learn from Indian kids who are good in math's. You know now Americans now even outsourcing them self to India for medical treatments .
Friends the world is globalized now.. People who are not happy with code quality of Indians should go and say there company CEO to stop outsourcing.
No one is a fool in current time. The thing which have value then only its sold. Why tier 1 companies Microsoft,IBM,Airbus,Google,Apple are increasing there head count in india?
IIT ( Indian institute of technology) entrance exam is one of the most toughest exams in world. Hiring there graduates is not affordable for every one.

Wakjob October 6, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Yes, that's right - outsourcing their medical treatments to India - and coming down with the New Dheli superbug. Indians are not smarter than Americans in math. This is a myth that has been perpetrated by Indian, Inc. In the 2008 International Math Olympiad, Indians ranked 14th, while USA ranked 2nd - only behind China. Besides, math is a tiny tiny part of modern software development. Creativity, skill, talent, and experience are much more important than 'math'

As for what Obama said, when did the government become a source of information we can trust?

Apple is not increasing its head count in India. Google "Apple software logs out of India". Apple CLOSED their R&D in India in 2006. 100% of Apple software is made in America.

Apple employs a mere 1300 H-1Bs while Microsoft employs 35,000 H-1Bs. Microsoft's stock is around $24. Apple's is approaching $300 and is about to take over Exxon as the largest company in the U.S. by market cap.

Indian quality? How's that working out Microsoft? IBM is getting sued by 2 states - Indiana and Texas over failed billion projects. Airbus is getting sued by Quantas passengers because a plane fell out of the sky when the autopilot switched off for no reason. The failed component in question has been sent to India for development. Apple doesn't hire many foreign workers. How many of the presenters in this year's WWDC were Indian? One, I think. Indians are the worst people in the world at software. Everything they touch dies.

IIT isn't even an accreditied school. That should tell you something.

abhi October 6, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Leave apple but see more than 1000 other MNC in India working very well

abhi October 6, 2010 at 4:35 pm

regarding IITs.. i don't have to comment, worlds knows the intelligence of them.

To get admission in IIT, students have to pass th worlds most difficult tests

raj October 6, 2010 at 5:19 pm

IIT is itself a standard.

Abhishek October 6, 2010 at 3:00 pm

just answer one thing when Indians have screwed up the entire software industry then why all US and UK companies are landing up in India. your facts are not correct. IBM itself have more then 1 lack employees in India. Why western world is so much scared of outsourcing ?? And why they are unable to stop there own companies from outsourcing?
The current scenario talks better then your facts. IT industry in India has grown up at highest rate. It has become biggest employer in India. US and UK companies are increasing there presence like never before. Are they all fool? Indian companies like Infosys are wipro are giving a tough competition to western companies . Even i have seen many US graduates working in Bangalore.
Wake up . Its flat world. Your monopoly is gone. Its a cycle some time you were at top and now its our chance. whatever you say you can not stop us.

Wakjob October 6, 2010 at 3:48 pm

just answer one thing when Indians have screwed up the entire software industry then why all US and UK companies are landing up in India."

They're not. Didn't you read my former post? APPLE CLOSED THEIR R&D IN INDIA IN 2006. 100% of Apple software is made in America (mostly by Americans). APPLE HAS NO R&D IN INDIA. What part of that don't you get? Yes, companies like MS and Sun are landing in India - but then again Microsoft is becoming irrelevant and the stock price keeps plummetting. Dell, Delta, and United all brought their call centers back to USA in 2009. Thousands of companies are bringing the work back from India now. The only software innovations today are coming from Apple. There has been virtually no software innovations outside Apple in the past 10 years (since work started to be offshored). Even by most liberal accounts, only 40% of American companies are offshoring to India. That's a tiny minority. And the ones who do go into immediate decline.

"your facts are not correct. IBM itself have more then 1 lack employees in India."

What kind of lies are these? A million IBM employees in India. IBM India has at most 150,000. Try Wikipedia:

"It is expected that in 2011 , IBM will recruit approximately 24,000 more employees taking it to a toll of nearly 1,54,000 employees from India."

STOP LYING. All Indians boast and you are doing the same. A million employees. Give me a break. Liar.

IBM has a trail of failed projects everywhere it goes and is getting sued for over a billion by 2 U.S. states over failed projects. # of employees != quality.

"Why western world is so much scared of outsourcing??"

Because you people are both delusional and DESTRUCTUVE. We don't want to see what we have built DESTROYED like you have destroyed the U.S. economy.

"And why they are unable to stop there own companies from outsourcing?"

Because our Congress is bought by NASSCOM lobbyists - that's why.

"The current scenario talks better then your facts."

And Wikipeida talks more facts than your boasting and inflated figures.

And yes - the current scenario - a destroyed U.S. economy speaks volumes about how good Indian IT people are.

"IT industry in India has grown up at highest rate. It has become biggest employer in India."

And what are you producing? Allow me to steal $45 billion out of the U.S. economy every year for a decade and I can 'employ' a lot of people too. But what are you producing?

"US and UK companies are increasing there presence like never before."

Nonsense. Many are bailing out of India. Apple, Dell, Delta, United, are just a few. More lies.

"Are they all fool? Indian companies like Infosys are wipro are giving a tough competition to western companies ."

Yes they are fools - they have been conned by Indian conmen into thinking Indians can do the work. Wipro was banned from the World Bank for 3 years due to Wipro employees stealing World Bank data. Yes, they are fools. Anyone who sends work to India is a fool. India is no competition to western companies. Can you compete with Apple? No, you can't. Apple won't even send its R&D work to you. Keep dreaming maderchod.

"Even i have seen many US graduates working in Bangalore."

Another wild claim. The only ones there are the few super-rich Indian IT companies fly in to train more Indians. In general, it is illegal for foreigners to work in India. Can you post a link to any photo showing many U.S. graduates working in Bangalore?

"Wake up . Its flat world. Your monopoly is gone. Its a cycle some time you were at top and now its our chance. whatever you say you can not stop us."

Nonsense. If the world was flat then India would have a guest worker visa program for Americans to go work there. Or it wouldn't put 200% tariffs on U.S. autos. Or it wouldn't ban Wal-Mart and Target from opening there because India wants to protect its local workforce. Our monopoly is not gone. We are still the best software developers in the world. You are not. Apple ain't hiring Indians to write software. Everyone who hires Indians will eventually go under. Those who don't will thrive (like Apple).

Too bad for you.

abhi October 6, 2010 at 3:24 pm

this is all unemployed racist propaganda against India. Companies are not fool to do business in India. If software has failed, there are 100000 times critical software working in production environment.

Wakjob October 6, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Racist? Look in the mirror. India is the most racist country on earth. Where are the guest worker visa programs for 10 million Americans to go work in India? Why does India block Wal-Mart and Target from opening? Why does India put 200% tariffs on U.S. autos? Why do Indians in American companies only hire other Indians and deliberately keep Americans out? India is known the world over for being racist. As we say in America - what goes around comes around. Now your own racism is being flung back in your face. Get used to it. We're not going away.

abhi October 6, 2010 at 3:56 pm

well first of all.. foreigners are allowed to work in India.

If this was not a rule why so many foreigners are working in my companies. I see ads for jobs for foreigners

the guy whose visa is rejected may have some other issues

Wakjob October 6, 2010 at 4:18 pm

In that case, can you tell me the name of the guest worker visa program for Americans since I wish to work there?

Foreigners are only allowed to work there when bigwig companies like Tata or Wipro want them to come in and train Indians. There is no general work visa program for anyone from anywhere to go work there.

Your claims are just claims - you see foreigners working in your company. Can you prove it?

We all know it's illegal to work in India unless you are an Indian citizen. Stop lying.

abhi October 6, 2010 at 4:45 pm
abhi October 6, 2010 at 4:46 pm

if its illegal to work in India why so much of process for work visa.

Indian government is not fool

abhi October 6, 2010 at 4:51 pm

if you want I will send you the requirement in India for foreign national but in private.. if u want u can give me ur email at

abhi October 6, 2010 at 3:59 pm

regarding caste system in India. yes there is a problem but with the new generation in India no body cares about it.

there are stages country can grow and change his perception.. and India is on the way. but things take time

abhi October 6, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Indians and MNC's hire Indian because of low cost not because they hate Americans.

Please think before when you write something

Wakjob October 6, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Indians resent whites because of Britain's colonization of Indian 200 years ago. I can't count the number of desis I've heard say "India was once the richest country on earth until the Britishers stole all our wealth".

I have experienced this discrimination first hand in American companies. I go in for the interview, an Indian is doing the interviewing, and I never, ever get the job. This despite having worked in IT 18 years and having written 22 successful commercial software products and having formerly worked at both Apple and Sony. You can't say I am not qualifed. This is ethnic cleansing is what it is.

abhi October 6, 2010 at 4:37 pm

If you see the resent polls 80% of Indians loves Americans. and they respect them in every aspect.

abhi October 6, 2010 at 4:38 pm

may be you are over qualified for them.. also Indian companies are know to pay less. there may be a case they make reject on salary basis.. This is also a issue with Indians in India with Indian software companies

gbilios December 3, 2010 at 1:38 am

india does not have a google or an apple or an operating system.furthermore india does not have a global brand.. india is a service hub..not a technological innovative powerhouse. you build a bridge - collapses the next day. you write code - brings down networks for weeks.

AM February 24, 2011 at 6:25 am

True. Not true.True.Technological-no.Ridiculous!Maybe, but that could happen anywhere.

Ram kumar March 7, 2011 at 9:06 am

And what about your advanced airforce and 9/11?

abhi October 19, 2010 at 5:40 am
Shine December 5, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Unfortunately, my boss is Indian. He doesn't have any good experience to lead us. All his knowledge is based on the book not on experience. When I give him ideas, he is getting mad. Because senior engineer is smarter than him (Director)!
I'm from eastern Europe and so far my English isn't good. He never looses a chance to laugh at me when I say something wrong.
He tries to hire only indians because THEY ARE THE SMARTEST AND USA will not be able to exist without them.
I know only one: It is my last job where my boss is indian.

QuietMan January 1, 2011 at 5:25 pm

I work on the IT team for a small company that's funded by a larger one. My boss is Indian and she's clueless and hires only Indian technical staff. I was hired because she only had a partial say in it. Every time she is the sole decider, she hires an Indian. I'm positive that if she had an opportunity she would replace me with an Indian. It doesn't matter to her that all but one of them are incompetent in their work.

In the past, every time I ever worked with an Indian or team of Indians, whether in the US or outsourced abroad, the work was substandard at best. Often the result is non-modular and messy code that's full of holes or logic problems.

Whenever I develop working solutions to problems that any of the Indians on the team take 10 times longer to do, she prefers to use their solutions even if they don't work right - she will even defend their work to the project manager or higher executives.

I would feel sick if I ever found out any of them received anywhere near my pay. Like one of the previous commenters, I will not take any job in the future where my boss or significant portion of the IT staff is Indian.

gbilios February 11, 2011 at 6:29 am

india is a low cost labor source..

Unswitchable February 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I have worked on many fortune 500 projects over a 15yr career. There have been some competent Indian programmers on occasion. I also found rife incompetence among the same group and the influx was staggering. These individuals displaced many good local resources because of low ball salaries. This is still ocurring and will continue as long as cost cutting is No. 1 on software design.

John Bald February 9, 2011 at 7:38 am

I have worked with several and in all cases they were lazy, unwilling to say they didn't understand something, and they were dishonest. I wouldn't piss on them if they were on fire.

vinay February 11, 2011 at 5:58 am

Good analysis but not 100% correct. India is picked up very recently and has moved at a fast rate, It takes time for us to build knowledge repository of our own and grow,
Trying to compare developed country with an undeveloped one, this would be a mistake. there are lot of other challenges which prevent you from taking risks in a developed nation. At present yes the points are valid, in future there will be good product companies coming.

gbilios February 11, 2011 at 6:17 am

not a 100% correct? lets talk about something else like building infrastructure..india officials for the 2010 dehli commonwealth games employed children to build the venues..the same thing is happening with the cricket world cup event..all i have seen is failure after failure - one collapse after the other..if making excuses was an olympic sport you'd get a gold medal. you are the best and the brightest?? what are you best at?

vinay February 11, 2011 at 5:59 am

there are lot of other challenges which prevent you from taking risks in a developing nation

gbilios February 11, 2011 at 6:22 am

what are the other challenges which prevent you from taking risks in a developing nation??

Am February 24, 2011 at 5:48 am

Well, no social security for one. An infrastructure that's crumbling under the pressures of an increasing population. An education system that has both, institutions capable of training World-beating engineers and Management grads (few) and numerous others that mass-produce graduates with no real employable skill. I don't offer these as excuses, merely facts, since you asked.

BUT. That's not what all this is REALLY about, now is it?

Not spending enough time researching the facts, or drawing conclusions based on selective examples that serve to highlight the point you are trying to make does not make for a productive discussion. That's almost as bad as repeating erroneous NASA-specific employment figures. 🙂

The issue here is not simple, but the point to understand is that neither of the parties, who are going at each others throats here, created the outsourcing "trend". This scenario was handed (so to speak) to us by the CEOs of US corporations (yes, make no mistake about that) on one side and by the short-sighted governments of the countries to which they chose to outsource work on the other.

Market Forces. If the quality of Indian code is so uniformly dismal, then the jobs should certainly head back to where they came from. That doesn't seem to be happening, so at least something must be going well for someone. And if we (yes, I'm an Indian) continue to remain smug about the fact that we can continue to get work without developing our own products and without a far greater drive towards innovation and quality, well, then there's a country in our neighborhood that's bigger and has more people than even we do, that's just waiting to take over our piece of the pie, and force us into flame wars on sites like this . Market Forces.

Perhaps we could realize that the situation is what it is. There's a lack of understanding, hurry to invoke stereotypes, wounded egos and work-culture differences on both sides. But they are both sides of an argument that will never be settled.

neduddgi February 24, 2011 at 6:52 am

But it is. What we see now is the third wave. These waves usually take a year or two to run out (until even the managers realise that you can't trust india with anything beyond simple sql-php crap), when the jobs come back in droves. They already are. Why do you think demand picked up significantly in london for 500£ IT contractors recently?

AM February 24, 2011 at 7:35 am

Well, if that's so, then there's nothing to worry about.

neduddgi February 24, 2011 at 7:49 am

I have to put up with this crap on a daily basis. I have to
A) deliver software that works

B) act like I'm relying on my Indian resources or I'll be tagged as a non-team player and fired promptly, even if it means we won't have a working software in 6 month's time

This means walking a thin line and lying to make India look better than they actually are. It's eating me up.

Now, they tried firing people around me here, realised that didn't work, but we still have to "employ" those ppl in the offshore offices, since they're supposed to be the "long run". I would be happy to take a single contractor here to replace that 10 people anyday. It's just a waste of money and demoralises everyone here. I don't like to be compared to devs who are supposed to be J2EE experts, but have no idea what a transaction is.

AM February 24, 2011 at 8:17 am

I'm genuinely sorry to hear that. You should never have to cover-up for somebody else's incompetence on the job. But that situation suggests a possible issue with the way your organization's management thinks. Why blame India and Indians?

Taking it further, do those of you who are accusing India and Indian programmers of 'stealing American' jobs realize that we don't attend job interviews because we want to take your jobs? We do it the same as you, to get jobs for ourselves. The American companies chose to come here. It is an American management decision. Similarly, the US Government chooses to allow H1B workers into your country.

Perhaps, you're picketing the wrong place.

Moshe Arens March 6, 2011 at 8:37 am

Guys,This type if debate goes on and on,no end to it.
Just send the work to Israel and we could do it in a very committed way than the Indians.I have nothing against Good Indian Programmers.Some of them are Good,but 70% that comes from India are very hard to accept.

Investing Money in right place == Good innovation in R&D === Top notch Software products

I know one Indian Guy who boasted he has MCA a three year postgraduate course from a premier intitute and doesnot know "Simple Compiler theory and its practical implementation in one of his software projects".
I was really surprised and asked him one day,He told me to my utter surprise that his teacher only taught him some basic study modules but not implementations,in practical sense.He never tried Compiler Construction Tool Kits even!!!!! or looked at Case Studies.Very Strange.
I feel sorry for this type of graduates.Will the Indian Government look into this type of educational institutions and take remedial measures?It is high time.

Moshe Arens March 6, 2011 at 8:39 am

Indian Computer Science education needs a total revamping to uphold its image internationally.

Moshe Arens March 6, 2011 at 8:44 am

Debating on this type of topic will go a long way but yields no results.

Ram kumar March 6, 2011 at 8:50 am

I agree Israel is a leader in technology but that doesnot mean India and Indians cannot do your kind of Jobs.

India is a big country and certainly its people are an asset and I atleast see in Bangalore lots of Foreign Companies.
One Example is RAD Datacom,an Israeli Firm which has Indians as its employees in Blore,Southern India.Of course there are other Israeli firms in India working in different spheres.
Jai Hind.

Ram kumar March 6, 2011 at 8:52 am

India is often known as the Land of Ancient Mathematics.
Mathematics === Logic === Software.

gbilios March 7, 2011 at 3:13 am

india the land of ancient mathematics? where did you derive this bullshit from?

Greece, Egypt and Arabia and not an indian among them.

Jack March 7, 2011 at 3:18 am

Well this bullshit is a General Knowledge. you say yourself a programmer and you are so bullshit in General Knowledge 🙂

Ram kumar March 7, 2011 at 9:04 am

Well Said

Ram kumar March 6, 2011 at 9:03 am

I do not understand for sure,Why Foreign Firms land in India?
Simple Reason:
IF foreign firms do not like Indian Programmers they should leave India and go back to their own places of origin.
Simple answer in logical sense.
Why come here and blame us? We never begged you guys,to come to India.
Please tell your leaders because you better freedom to talk in Western Nations.

neduddgi March 7, 2011 at 9:09 am

No, these decisions are made by senior management, never mid-managementa and only at big corporations. You don't see even mid-sized corporations doing offshoring to india. There's a good reason for that. You need serious disconnect from the "trenches" of software development to make the decision to go offshore. (This is all with the caveat that there are some things India can do, like PHP and Perl development, which are all straightforward scripting jobs)

The reason big corporations rely on offshoring is because they forgot how hard it is to create complex software and believe that one programmer is like another, if enough time is sunk into it. This is clearly not the case.

Now, I've seen second generation Indian developers who grew up in the west, and they blended in well with everyone else, which shows that the problem is not biological. The problem is cultural.

Since upper management tends to think in terms of big, revolutionary campaigns (like it did during the first- and second waves of offshoring, after which the offshoring management was fired and they started in-sourcing again), and we're already starting to see some signs of work seeping back after numerous failures of projects offshored to India (I've just been moved to a project like that as a contractor for roughly 10* the average salary of an indian senior developer), it just goes to show how desperate some corporations are getting in having the software working which was screwed up there.

If I take the 4 different corporations I work for as examples of this, there hasn't been a single exception to this rule: CTO comes in, promises a serious reduction in IT spending -> work goes to india -> work goes well for a couple of months, since it takes a while to mess anyting up seriously -> more complicated requirements, the system starts behaving badly -> ~1 year of drama, India feels pressure, tries to save face, fails -> contractors (me) are brought in to fix what's broken -> eventually everyone smells the coffee and leave only manual testing, some auto-test implementations or just make the ppl in India sit around, not doing anything (seen that with 2 different big banks)

However it is, work always came back within 2 years. Every bloody time.

Ram kumar March 7, 2011 at 8:57 am

gbilios is an excellent idiot.
This shows why Foreign firms come to India.

Ram kumar March 7, 2011 at 9:00 am

Racist Idiots do not study History properly.
No proper high school education.No wonder Obama is so fed up with US high schooling system.

gbilios March 9, 2011 at 1:13 am

where is you india quality education when it comes to developing you own products?

gbilios March 9, 2011 at 1:18 am

india is nothing more than a low cost labor ip for foreign companies..this answers your question - why is foreign companies sending their software development offshore? product gets done 1/5th of the cost..did you know that apple closed its r&d support centre in bangalore because wages were going up?

Momo March 9, 2011 at 7:10 am

My experience with Indian engrs at the world's largest buying/selling web site is code quality is abysmal, zero critical thinking and complete lack of ownership. The only talented indians I have seen come from AMERICAN universities.

Our middle mgmt is >90% indian, they only promote themselves and seem to find everything negotiable.

Oh yeah...we had to put signs in our bathroom telling folks not to stand on the rim when shitting...we had an unprecedented toilet seat breakage problem that wasn't fixed until signs went up...then it was deemed signs were racist and they came down...back to toilet seats breaking again. WTF?

Why no showering either? When I walk into a cubicle group it often reeks of BO.

There was one indian gal (a goddess truly...sigh) that seemed to stand out in technical sense MUCH more than her peers...and waddayouknow....she was a UCSD grad.

Ram Kumar March 11, 2011 at 1:17 am

Tell your president and Congress leaders to draft laws to wind up hi-tech firms from India.

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