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Loudon Underground

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I have also spent time on subcontractor sites in order to work closer with the teams during critical phases of projects. You can work quicker and better with personal contact than using the telephone or email. Generally, the quality of software from overseas suppliers is much poorer than from onshore teams. The projects take many more iterations of review to bring the work up to the same standard as that from UK suppliers. The mistakes are varied; conceptual, business logic and linguistic errors are all commonplace. The coders are generally very inexperienced, often fresh out of college and this shows in the quality of the work produced.

Clarity of thought, spelling and grammar are as important in software code as they are in any other white collar profession. This is not appreciated by many UK IT managers who are lured to overseas suppliers by cheap labour rates. They often don't appreciate that a project may take twice as long to complete because of these quality issues and that engaging an offshore company may provide false economy. Because the IT profession is relatively young and unregulated, compared to law or medicine for example, it is an easy target when it comes to cutting costs within a company. Many companies would not dream of outsourcing legal or accountancy services to an offshore supplier because they would be deemed not to have in-depth knowledge of UK practises.

Why then do this with IT services which require just as much local knowledge in most cases?

Name: Krishnan Namakkal

Age: 65

Lives: Bangalore, India

Works: Retired

I am 65 years old and I am now retired. I live in Bangalore. I was a prototype engineer and I used to work for Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. I strongly believe that professional outsourcing improves productivity a great deal and creates more wealth. Anything that improves productivity will go a long way to help the society at large. The company I used to work for changed the corporate policy to outsource many of the highly technical jobs with amazing results. There was a visible result of improved quality and cost reduction. It also opened our eyes to a wider world of technology and skill level. The outsourcing basically released the management from the mundane day-to-day work, so that they could concentrate more on the highly complex aircraft production management. In an aviation industry the manufacturing outsourcing was a win-win situation.

I am more pessimistic about what is happening now in India. Here in Bangalore - the software capital of India, there are plenty of young software engineers. They are paid very well, but have to work long hours, stretching their days into the nights. A good majority of these youths have become no more than clerical appendage of the world. It is difficult to imagine the future of these young Indians doing uncreative, mundane jobs. There is no surprise that there is a frightening increase in stress-related diseases among these workers.

The condition of work is best described as exploitation in a sector, which seems to be totally out of any government regulatory control. It seems like a repetition of the cruelty towards English workers during the industrial revolution. If this is the much-vaunted 'progress' of India, the country



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