Re: Don't believe the offshore hype?

Subject: Re: Don't believe the offshore hype?
From: "Mike O." <obie1121 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 9 Mar 2004 20:53:44 -0500

John Posada wrote:
> At my last gig (before here), we had an Indian-based company
> onsite...about 30 people. Maybe slightly less. We gave them a
> section of cubicles, about 4 isles of 8 cubes each. They set it up
> so there was a supv at the end of each isle and he was responsible
> for divvying the work. It was done in small chunks that could be
> done in a single shift. At the end of the shift, the little chunk was
> handed in and in the morning, a new piece was given out.
> There was no inspiration, no "big idea", no vision, no insight.
> Oh, time came and they crashed.

The problems you describe have nothing to do with the national origin of the
workers. The vision itself - the idea that software development can be
performed as factory work, is flawed.

On a previous gig I helped prepare the RFPs for a major development effort
to be outsourced, not to India, but to local US firms. I know for a fact
that the requirements and system design were very well spec'ed out. However,
as far as I know the system is still not deployed.

The problem with doing software development like factory work is that you
are unusually vulnerable to unanticipated events and difficulties. When they
inevitably arise, the assembly line stops, and does not have the flexibility
to keep moving. Of course, there are usually a few individuals who step
forward and resolve the problem, but by then it's too late - you have
already lost time and efficiency, which was supposed to be the advantage of
the factory approach.

Mike O.


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