Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Dan Pink on Outsourcing

How India became the capital of the computing revolution.
Meet Aparna Jairam of Mumbai. She's 33 years old.

In 1992, Jairam graduated from India's University of Pune with a degree in engineering. She has since worked in a variety of jobs in the software industry and is now a project manager at Hexaware Technologies in Mumbai, the city formerly known as Bombay. Jairam specializes in embedded systems software for handheld devices.

She leaves her two children with a babysitter each morning, commutes an hour to the office, and spends her days attending meetings, perfecting her team's code, and emailing her main client, a utility company in the western US. Jairam's annual salary is about $11,000 - more than 22 times the per capita annual income in India.

Aparna Jairam isn't trying to steal your job. That's what she tells me, and I believe her. But if Jairam does end up taking it - and, let's face facts, she could do your $70,000-a-year job for the wages of a Taco Bell counter jockey - she won't lose any sleep over your plight. When I ask what her advice is for a beleaguered American programmer afraid of being pulled under by the global tide that she represents, Jairam takes the high road, neither dismissing the concern nor offering soothing happy talk. Instead, she recites a portion of the 2,000-year-old epic poem and Hindu holy book the Bhagavad Gita: "Do what you're supposed to do. And don't worry about the fruits. They'll come on their own."
Glen Reynolds thinks that this will be an election issue.

Rob Sama points us to Cringely's article on the subject:
Thick as a (Campaign) Plank
U.S. Leaders Either Don't Understand or Prefer Not to Understand the IT Outsourcing Crisis, So Here's the Cliff Notes Version

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