Outsourcing...

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by j0hnnys, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. j0hnnys macrumors member

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    #1
    My teacher recently showed me a video on outsourcing, just to raise awareness and make sure we're wise on what profession we choose before we head out to college. The video showed lots of IT and programming jobs being outsourced to foreign countries (ie. India, China). I did some more research at home and now, I've been getting second thoughts about doing Software Engineering as a major.... So has anyone's job been outsourced or went through it?
    Extra info would be good, too.
     
  2. lee1210 macrumors 68040

    lee1210

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    #2
    Outsourcing/globalization is a thing that happens. Programming jobs will be shipped overseas. People will be imported from overseas to do these jobs. I really don't think this means you won't be able to get a job writing code. More than that, it is unlikely that the design and high level engineering will be shipped overseas.

    My company is working on globalization. Many companies are. The day they have a meeting to discuss it the natural assumption is that all jobs here are going away. That's probably not often the case. Sometimes it may happen, but this is a huge undertaking.

    There will always be young startups that need great programmers here. It's unlikely that an entrepreneur in Arizona is going to have 1 US employee and have all the coding of his great app done in India.

    If you are bad or mediocre at your job, and your skills are stagnant, you're at much higher risk than an awesome, self-motivated person that will take on any task. This risk is of outsourcing, being laid off, etc. Be awesome and you'll be fine.

    -Lee
     
  3. j0hnnys thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    Then...I must be awesome! I'll let nothing get in the way of my study! *off to read book and self-educate*
     
  4. holmesf, Feb 26, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011

    holmesf macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    As the previous poster stated, it is typically only low level positions that are outsourced. As it stands the US does not have a qualified enough labor pool to even fill its open positions in the sciences and engineering. This is sometimes referred to as "negative unemployment". Software Engineering is projected to be a high growth industry, especially in the medical field as the baby boomers get older. So despite outsourcing job prospects are good.

    Coming straight from University, even in the midsts of recession, most of my computer scientist friends were able to get jobs paying about $60-80 thousand per year. Of course even if everything is outsourced there is always the defense industry, which only employs American citizens (you know, to avoid spys). With the military industrial complex and all that the jobs are not likely to go away :rolleyes:
     
  5. j0hnnys thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    Do these "low-level" positions include internships, too?
     
  6. holmesf, Feb 27, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2011

    holmesf macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    The point of internship programs from a company's perspective is to find talent, not benefit from cheap labor (although they do this as well). So an internship cannot really be outsourced ... not unless the jobs are outsourced as well.

    Here's what the bureau of labor statistics says about outsourcing:

    http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos303.htm#outlook

    Basically what this is saying is that if you get higher level skills in software engineering (ie, software design), which you will learn in a 4 year university, your job prospects are good. If you have only low level skills (ie, programming from specification) your job prospects will decline over the next decade due to outsourcing.
     
  7. kimtgarcia macrumors newbie

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    Mar 17, 2011
    #7
    outsourcing

    be thankful enough that you teacher show you something that is really interesting. Actually outsourcing nowadays is very popular and companies gain more benefits on it. Outsourcing services is one of the best solution for companies to lessen there revenue and to raise up their profits.
     
  8. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

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    #8
    I have to imagine your native language is not English. A company doesn't look to lessen their revenue, but their expenses. And I doubt the profits actually increase in the long term. Short-term, yes, but market pressures eat away at profit margins as competitors also outsource and the end profit margins wind up being roughly the same.

    Outsourcing certain services has created a negative impression from customers, which aren't always worth the savings involved (Customer Support for example).

    And this is pretty much the long and short of it. The company I work for has been having problems hiring. Why? We need people who have Software Engineering skill. Those folks are in short supply because of competitors also needing the same level of skill and offering competitive benefits and pay.

    This causes these same companies who are having problems hiring to ask for the visa limits to be increased. Keep in mind work visas are about bringing people into the country to work. It isn't outsourcing in the same sense of moving manufacturing or customer service out of the country. If a position is being filled by someone with a work visa, that is a job that was originally going to go to a qualified resident of the area if they existed or were interested in the position.

    As a Software Engineer myself, finding a job in my area is literally 10 times easier today than my friend who is in Accounting. I've had a couple people try to entice me away from my current position, even when they couldn't afford to make a competitive offer.
     
  9. xStep macrumors 68000

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    #9
    A big problem seems to be that companies are less willing to promote and train their internal staff. As bad are companies who say they are interested in that, but don't actually act on it. A real executed game plan to train their 'valuable staff' would go a long way in reducing the shortage of higher skilled people.
     
  10. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #10
    Me and all my friends were outsourced....

    We are all in totally different professions/jobs, earning next to nil....

    Those I know who want to stay (but won't do Government work) can only find a small consulting job here and there, then it's back on unemployment.

    I know of people who are being laid off right now.

    Companies I know hiring only hire Foreign Nationals on Work Visas.

    The only chance you really have is to get a Government IT job that requires US Citizenship and Security Clearance...

    good luck...
     
  11. holmesf macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I'm sorry you're having a difficult time finding a job, but what you're saying is anecdotal and inaccurate. See my link from the US department of labor.

    Here's my experience: at my University almost everyone in Computer Science finds jobs following graduation. Employment seems to be about evenly split between private software firms and defense contractors. The University claims the mean salary of its graduates is $65,000 a year, and this agrees with what my friends have told me they are being paid.

    Companies cannot hire foreign nationals unless the job cannot be filled by American citizens. This is the law:

    http://www.doleta.gov/business/gw/guestwkr/

    Which is not to say that lots of jobs aren't filled by foreign nationals: they are. But this goes back to my point about so called "negative unemployment". The US education system is failing to turn out enough qualified scientists and engineers, so we have to look to foreign countries to fill the positions. In other words, we have more job openings than we have qualified workers to fill them.
     
  12. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

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    #12
    Depends on the company, the policies, the position, and even the management directly over the position itself.

    In my own case, those with work visas are usually entry-level positions. At the pay offered in my area, if you can't find a Senior position within the US, there's bigger problems afoot. And there's also the issue of this: If you are having problems getting staff that meet the bar for entry-level, how many of them can actually be trained up to higher levels? Would you still promote someone who isn't qualified, and won't be qualified even after training? Some skills are a simple matter of training, and some skill training is simply a matter of leading a horse to water and hoping they drink.
     
  13. SMDrew macrumors member

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    #13
    That is to say, the best solution for companies to lessen their revenue and raise up their short term profits.

    I deal with outsourcing with my job; the quality of work coming from the outsourced workers is deplorable. The outsourced workers do not have a long-term vested interest in the quality of the product; their goals are driven by contract incentives to get it done quickly, and move on to the next project.

    There is nothing wrong with continuing on with a Software Engineering degree. Just be sure to put a focus on Quality Engineering and Project Management, and you'll be fine.
     
  14. kimtgarcia, Mar 22, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011

    kimtgarcia macrumors newbie

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    #14

    Actually you can hire people through overseas and I'm pretty that there's a lot of talented people around the world. I'm talking not only of a specific outsource but it is offshore outsourcing since it is already been proven that big companies using this kind of solution. Outsourcing is a cost-effective solution.
     
  15. xStep macrumors 68000

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    #15
    If companies are having trouble finding entry level employees, they aren't trying hard enough to find them. In the early 80's companies were willing to higher and train promising individuals. They'd actually advertise for these entry level positions. A college education was not even required.

    There are plenty of available people with potential. Some hiring creativity is in order.
     
  16. 1458279 Suspended

    1458279

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    #16
    During the mid-late 1990's (dot com era) everyone could get a job in IT. Companies were desperate for anyone that had a clue about computers. Huge money was made by people that had no clue how to program or design software.

    Outsourcing was a big head-line deal during the past few years, one example is tech support, phone calls routed to Inda for support from major US companies.

    To the original poster: I would focus not only on computer programming, but software design. Computer programming changes over time, the basic concepts might be the same, but the API's, platform requirements, interaction with other devices changes.

    It's also a job where you always learn new things. I mastered DOS, Window, now working on IOS. Handheld devices were a novility just a few years back.
    Right now they are still a bit of a 'game playing device' (all the top 10 for every platform was games) Over the next few years, these handhelds will merge into the real business world just as the PC did in the early 90's.

    The real concern you should have, is the direction WITHIN the world of computers. You MUST keep on top of what is going on... Cobol programmers and DOS programmers are not in high demand... Demand will change...

    Warning... Don't always follow the leader... Microsoft told us that Visual FoxPro was the dev platform of the future... They also tried to unseat Apple with Zune... They did make inroads into gaming with XBox, but otherwise they haven't really done much over that last 8 years...
    Sun (I think) predicted the use of 'Cloud' about 15 years ago... they couldn't make it happen, now we finally see some inroads into that...

    Sometimes it really sucks... you spend months learning something that goes dead.

    Go ahead with your degree, but expect to make changes to the general direction over the years. PC's will likely decline as handhelds get more power, tablets actually have the power to become a cornerstone in the IT world.
     
  17. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

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    #17
    Depends on the position being filled. Even Microsoft assumes about a year of "ramp up" time for entry-level employees. Catch is, that assumes you already have a good knowledge of programming and engineering in general. You get that through college. High schools just aren't giving the level of education required to get started effectively right now. It sounds like you and I are discussing entirely different employee markets. IT, programming, and engineering wind up being entirely different markets with different demands on the employee, pay scales, and so on.

    And KarlJay is right on the money. The needs of the industry are constantly in flux, and it will be the flexible folk who are the ones who demand the best pay and enjoy the best options through their career. They are also likely to be software engineers where even now the demand is good, you just have to be willing to move which was true even in the 90s.
     
  18. xStep macrumors 68000

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    #18
    I think we're might be looking at the same problem from different angles, and experience.


    Agreed.
     
  19. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

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    #19
    Probably. In the company I work for, H1Bs are usually considered the last option. Internal hire, external hire, twiddling thumbs, H1B is usually how it goes. The position can be open for a year before the H1B enters the picture. And it does vary from manager to manager, of course. At the pay levels we can afford to offer, we usually don't have too much trouble getting someone who is qualified for the position. Sometimes move requirements pose a problem, or they screw up in the interview and it costs them the job (pro tip: don't try to be fancy when showing a coding solution. Clean, simple, and easy to explain are always better than any elaborate sneaky thing you can come up with, and wind up writing a buggy pile of nothing as a result).

    There are very likely companies that set the bar high enough, and the pay low enough that companies like mine gobble up the talent... and instead of fixing their hiring practices, they get H1Bs instead. I've run into companies that have out-of-whack pay and requirements. And I've dodged bullets when they decided to not even offer me the job for silly reasons (back when I was more naive about engineer pay in my area). They aren't that great to work for. Really, in that case, you can try to fix stupid with regulation, or you can let them eat the cruft of the employee market and go out of business.

    The upshot is that if you are young and mobile, and can code, work with people to develop larger scale projects, and think at both the high level and the detail level... it is not a bad job market right now.
     
  20. pilotError macrumors 68020

    pilotError

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    #20
    Around here, companies actively go offshore or send the job to cheaper states. A fairly large bank here in NY has a no NY hiring policy. Everytime an engineer quits, they have to look offshore first and then in other states. Any NY hires go to the CIO/CEO themselves for approval. Nice huh, especially since they were given TARP money.

    I would say in California, your not going to fair much better.

    I actually switched to management consulting because I couldn't get a job around here for anything.

    Anybody who says there's not enough talent here in the US is full of crap. I personally know at least 30 top engineers with 20+ years of experience doing crap work because they can't get a job either. They don't suck either, hard core C++, Java, Sybase, Oracle, Warehousing, OLTP, messaging, etc... skill sets.

    Its all about the mighty dollar these days. In fact, your video is getting a little old. The latest outsourcing is headed to Vietnam, India is too expensive! LOL

    If I had to do it all over again, I would go and get an MBA and forget all about this field. Not only do they outsource, there's rampant age discrimination here. It's all wink-wink nod-nod, but it's true. The system is set up so that if you fire an appropriate number of young folks, you can get rid of anyone you want.

    As a management consultant, I get to see this crap in action when they do mergers. I've seen them keep all the young hires from the other company only to use them to satisfy the "Ratio" in order to get rid of their own older workers. They keep them for a year and then the next round of "layoffs" happens. Lowers overall payroll and weeds out anybody who managed to get grandfathered under the old Pension rules.

    Don't let people start posting government links, because there all crap, built by the same people who lobby the gov't to increase H1-B visa's. Seriously, take a look at who sponsored most of these studies... Microsoft is the biggest offender here, others aren't that far behind.

    You want a good job, go work for the government. Good pay, pension and you don't have to worry about getting outsourced or layed off when you hit 50.

    I hate sounding like a nut, but this stuff really depends on where you live and the size of the business that your going to work. If they have the cash to go the outsource route, you bet they will...
     
  21. holmesf, Apr 13, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011

    holmesf macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Again, these are anecdotes. See department of labor for actual statistics and projections.
     
  22. pilotError macrumors 68020

    pilotError

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    #22
    No, this is reality, you just refuse to open your eyes.

    Just about every large company here has a major outsourcing footprint. There is development here, but it's either very senior or in a group that has constant changing requirements. Most of the work here is Architecture and project management. Testing is also very big here, UAT (User Acceptance Testing), QA/QC (Quality Assurance/Control).
     
  23. holmesf, Apr 13, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011

    holmesf macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    Oh no, I'm part of the conspiracy of facts!

    I'm not debating that outsourcing is occurring. What I'm saying is that growth of the industry exceeds the rate of outsourcing. Right now the US unemployment for people in the computer industry is about 1/2 the national average, which is on par with the unemployment rate for the college educated. We aren't exactly in a crisis.
     
  24. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

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    #24
    Agreed, and there is a difference between two types of behavior by an international company. One which I'd personally condone, and one I wouldn't.

    What isn't healthy is a company that originates in one country, and sells its product there, but uses primarily labor from other nations to do the work. Or worse, exports all the high paying jobs while keeping the menial labor inside the country. This is not healthy because it basically draws from one nation (the same one that has to afford what it makes/does), and feeds another nation that likely cannot afford what it makes/does. This leads to overspecialization of both nations if done too much, and in the end leads to a shaky economy.

    There's also the multinational that has employees in all the countries that they do business, and the bulk of their employment is in their country of origin. This is healthier because they provide jobs to the countries that they sell the product to. They also focus more on their home country to provide jobs there. The more balanced this is, the better as well. It's not any better to say that a US company that makes 30% of its revenue from the EU should not employ EU labor. Or replace EU with Asia if you like for the same point.

    The catch is determining which is which. From the perspective of an outside observer, the behavior can appear similar, especially when some parts of a company may be acting more respectable than others. As another anecdote, I'd rather buy Subaru than Ford at this point, despite the whole US vs Japanese company thing, because Subaru employs US labor to manufacture cars sold in the US. Ford on the other hand employs Mexican labor to manufacture cars sold in the US. Subaru may draw on the US economy, but it is providing a benefit to the same economy.

    And the "IT" industry has changed quite a bit in the last 20-30 years. It used to be you'd have code monkies that pretty much handled everything you threw at them, but there weren't many of them. Now you have layers of roles that all require different skill sets. Some overlap, some don't. Some are a subset of others. Engineering, research, testing, system administration, development... a lot of these have become noticeably different from each other, demand different pay, etc. I can't hire a system admin to do engineering or research per se, unless they also had an engineering or research background.
     

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