View Full Version : The international flavor of IT - turning sour

KC Jones
12-10-2005, 09:48 AM
I've always felt somewhat blessed to work in IT and get to meet people from all over the world. I've been teamates and friends with co-workers from Russia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Palestine, Pakistan, India, Korea, China, UK, and more. I've travelled on business to Hungary, the Czech Republic, Germany, and the UK. I'm the richer for these experiences.

However my latest international experience is turning quite sour. In my current job I'm no longer a member of the team I was originally hired into, but I still sit and work with all of these guys. We've recently lost some important people. The make up of this team is now:

1 Indian manager
1 Indian Architect
1 Korean employee
1 (nativley) American employee
2 Indian Employees
8 Indian H1B off shore but on site contractors
12 (or more) off shore Indian contractors

The manager was a team lead who was recently raised to his post when our former manager became a director. In the team meetings he pretty much just talks to the other Indians - the Korean and the American are ignored. As we lose important full time staff members the staff is only augmented with more Indian contractors. Some of these guys are quite good (hence we brought them over instead of making them work from India). However a lot of them do shit work. The off-shore team is ****ing awful - they barely speak english and their code is absolute crap. I've farmed side projects off to them twice now. Both times after multiple revisions on their part I just end up throwing away their work and writing it myself. The manager seems to love having an army of fellow Indians and doesn't respond to the quality issues at all. He just sweeps them under the rug.

I've always known that we in the US are much less tolerant of the kind of ethnic rivalries that plague corporations in other parts of the world. Now, I'm seeing that sort of bigotry come home to roost. I've heard the manager in question make comments about helping people from his country (he's a naturalized citizen raising a family here by the way) and how great it is to have a team of fellow Indians to work with. It's pretty obvious to me that there is some staff ethnic cleansing going on.

To add insult to injury there is some important proof of concept work going on right now for moving us to a new platform. All of that work is only going to the contracting team. They are being positioned for the new tech leadership roles while full time staffers are left doing mind numbing maintenance work and not developing their skillset. For me it's just a matter of time before our contracting partner has a stranglehold on IT within the company. At that point they will bend this company over and rape them. That's what contractors do - it's their ****ing job. If you let a single contracting company take over they will peel the flesh from your bones. That's why companies like Accenture and IBM are billion dollar companies.

I don't know - maybe I'm just a xenophobic bigot and I never realized before. However I feel I'm being marginalized and watching others get marginalized based on ethnicity and it really makes me sick. I'm going to get through the holidays, finish up some of my projects here, and then find a new place to work. This place is going to get what they deserve within a year or two. I'll enjoy listening to them scream - hopefully from a workplace that actually cares about quality.

Don't get me wrong - off shoring has it's place and can be an incredibly effective tool for improving organizational effectiveness. It's just being abused in this case by people who don't see the downsides.


12-10-2005, 10:42 AM
Heh, I've been there dude. Off-shoring typically goes directly to entry-level peeps in a regimented environment (1 or 2 intermediate developers overseeing the noobs). Never fails - the result is garbage.

The company I work for now has its own version of off-shore: a dev center w/ entry level developers led by intermediate developers. Result: crap. We recently had to pull code development on a project because their work was so shoddy. It's like they never read the documentation provided.... or they cannot understand it and are too proud to ask for clarification (or afraid that they'll be fired for not grasping the concepts... who knows?).

I feel for you.... I've worked for Indian directors; they are insane. Every single one had a serious case of power intoxication. At first I thought it was just the individaul, but as I worked with more & more, I began to see it is a cultural thing. Just have to learn to deal with it.

12-10-2005, 11:24 AM
We have our own version of off-shore for our provisioning and implementation. Except it's not Indians, they moved it all to Argentina...

KC Jones
12-10-2005, 12:17 PM
I've seen it work well too - my former company opened a Data Center in India to support their entry into the SE Asian market. We sent in our managers to hire locals and then trained them by sending them here and to our European offices. It worked out really well, but I think having our managers on the ground and hiring these guys full time was the key. Hiring offshore contractors is what fails - you don't have the oversight to keep them in line. They're free to take your checks and make more work for everyone else that has to clean up after them while the execs think they're saving money just because they off shored something. God forbid you point out that the Emperor has no clothes because then you're just not being a team player.

12-10-2005, 12:46 PM
I am a programmer analyst. I find that my role has shifted from programming to more of training, implementation, and support as I leverage my strengths against the Indian IT contractors' weaknesses. I am moving into management because I see the writing on the wall.

I do not dislike Indians, and I am very tolerant. But it is unsettling to see the favoritistm and nationalism(?) exhibited by the Indian contractors and employees. They stick up for one another and refuse to ever admit mistakes. It feels as if they are a band of brothers and we are just a bunch of individuals that have been taught not to favor others based upon race and nationality. There is a double standard at play here. I want to like my fellow Indian contractors, but everyday it begins to feel more like them against me. I don't like it.

My fiance works with an offshore team of DBAs in India. Their manager is a prick to her. Recently an "intermediary" was hired to help smooth the relations between Indian and American IT workers, but this intermediary is Indian and he automatically takes the side of the Indian managers and is antagonistic towards the Americans. American upper management at this company is dedicated to making offshoring work for their career ambitions, so they side with the Indians despite the shoddiness of their work and their constant antagonism and overly defensive natures. Management simply says its a cultural difference. Well, I don't care. It's wrong! Being rude to a woman manager because of her gender is just wrong. Being racist and nationalistic on your job is wrong! We get fired for that sort of thing over here, but for them it is just a "cultural difference"! BS. :cuss:

12-10-2005, 01:24 PM
I need an IT Job

Outscourcing Sucks ass