Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Outsourcing and Commodity Programmers

One of the reasons that outsourcing delivers lower quality over time is that it requires commodity programmers in order to be successful...

Many US IT Executives and offshore programmers believe and act like programming is a commodifiable service. They are the ones who started programming because someone told them that you can make good money as a programmer, not because they're actually interested in it, let alone good at it. Commodity programmers have two fates; move on to some other profession when they realize that programming is not a commodity service, or become journeyman programmers who respect the fact that programming is not a commodity service.

Some say that programming is a commodity service, because anything that one programmer can do can be done equally as well by thousands of other programmers and that this is a good thing; the growth of programming is based on it being a commodity service and if it were not so, 99.9% of us would be out of a job.

Research shows that some programmers are orders-of-magnitude more effective than other programmers. This alone disqualifies programming as a commodity service. Programmers are not easily interchangeable. The best programmer and the worst programmer in an organization have productivity ratios near 10:1. and the ratio is even higher in countries such as India...

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