My views on software, programming, Linux, the Internet, government, taxation, working, and life.

Friday, July 07, 2006

American Programmers Dealing with Indian Outsourcing

Lose your programmer job to India? Here's your recipe for a comeback:

  • Take a systems analyst, helpdesk, or server-room job. They're still out there and usually require a physical presence in local offices in the USA in order to be effective.

  • Because you're not a programmer by doing such a move, you're creative energies will have to have a release. Great. Throw it into a moonlight software startup company that you do at night while you hold down a day job. Most cool ideas on the web, capitalizing on its massive potential, are yet to be implemented. Some are amazingly simple.

  • Switch to Linux. The developers are nicer and share more code. The dev tools are free. More add-ons to the dev tools, such as the ability to generate PDF and MS Office files, are free. The OS is free and has become increasingly more stable. Most web apps on the Internet run under Linux, anyway. Most businesses are in a trend of trying to cut costs and increase marketshare. They can't do that easily with Windows anymore. Linux is helping them. Besides, Microsoft Windows has grown far more complex and far less secure, but Linux has grown far less complex and even more secure.

  • Use web hosting in India. Their currency is fairly stable now for 5 years and has usually been about 1/4th or 1/5th the USA dollar. Your dollars can go extremely far there.

  • As you grow your startup, leverage their low-cost consulting. It's extremely cheap and you just might get that idea off the ground.

  • As you improve their economy, and their salaries go up, the odds are higher that USA might have finally globalized and those programmer jobs might start to come back to the USA.

  • Whether you are Democrat, Republican, or whatever political party in the USA, when you think about it, you can't take sides against using India's advantages to your success. It's a win-win for Americans and Indians.

  • The stats show that Linux is gaining in server OS purchases at IBM. Still, remarkably, India's Linux usage hasn't really grown exponentially yet. In the USA, Linux usage is growing rapidly. Keep that market momentum in your favor and on your resume so that you're more competitive when things start to take off for programmers in the USA again.

  • When your startup company takes off, get a part-time job at the mall with some side consulting gigs occasionally just so that you get some kind of small paycheck -- be smart and don't just jump into it until you're good and ready.

  • Eventually the best thing is to just run your own successful startup company.


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