Inexperienced developers available now!

Being listed as a CEO of a software company in the western world gets you a steady torrent of outsourcing offers from India. Starting from 10 euros an hour, you can have your share of developers – or in the case of “enterprise technologies like Silverlight” (!), you would maybe pay fifteen. But what kind of developers would you get for that?

One company bothered to attach a brochure outlining their company. Below, you can see how their staff is profiled by years of experience.

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Now, we’re talking about a company using the term “technical expertise” several times in their marketing. Yet, they are implictly pointing out that your hired dev team comprises of people with a one year experience on the average. And two years of drudgery – which may not even be a complete project – is stated to be the standard requirement for becoming a lead. Oh, and naturally three years of “leading” (whatever that may mean) qualifies you to manage projects.

The answer to the intro question: You get what you pay for. It’s just rarely so obviously advertised.

May 21, 2012 · Jouni Heikniemi · 3 Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: Misc. programming

3 Responses

  1. Tuomas Hietanen - June 12, 2012

    Hi, great post!

    There are a few points more. In India the culture is much different than in our country. This is just good to know when you hire these developers…

    1) The culture of the spreading knowledge is different: In Finland when a developer discovers something she wants to feel special by spreading the new knowledge to others. In India when a developer discovers something she is special as she won't tell to others (hundreds of developers).

    2) Indian culture is much more hierarchical; you do what they told you to do. You do not try-and-learn. You solve your one special case with one more if-clause and don't care the big picture and what is happening around you.

    3) In India they can sell! They will sell you everything you touch (even if it would already be yours). So the standards are lower: it is ok to state in your CV that you speak Finnish by knowing five words. The same is true with the technologies. You will actually fool also yourself so that soon you don't know that you don't know (and should learn more).

    Our main .NET programming language (C#) has not been originally developed for context-unaware programming (the "M"-word) and this has been added later with syntax like language-of-its-own (LINQ).

    This may lead to sad consequences: Side effects are hidden and not obvious (and hard to refactor), e.g.
    – What is the difference of fetching few thousand lines once from database or fetching one by one few thousand times.
    – What is the difference with async and non-async.
    – And so on, seems like the amount of different contexts will grow in the future.

    So, this will lead us to next question: What is the experince?

    Is it just knowing these contexts and .NET caveats? Or is it constant learning and adopting of new technologies? In some companies seems that the experience is "knowing the company-specific framework" and it seems to be terribly wrong approach.

    In both countries the "5 years of experience" is different from "five times the same one year of experience". This can happen e.g. if the development environment don't evolve with the technologies.

  2. Jouni Heikniemi - June 12, 2012

    Tuomas, I didn't intend my post to be a treatise on development culture in India, but I do agree with many of your points. Many of the mentioned cultural differences may be particulary sharp for us Finns.

    Thanks for the really elaborate and thought-provoking comment!

  3. Prashanth - October 9, 2012

    I found your post humorous.Being an developer in India I sort of don't like the culture here. These people here expect us to be all rounders.So one day work on .Net other day Java yet another day testing manual or automation and maybe even SAP.All in a matter of 2-3 yrs.Easy resource allocation you know. And the best managers are supposed to be 'non technical'.Sometimes they don't know which language we're using to code!The leads mostly have forgotten coding due to time lapse and not being hands on.Its hard to build technical expertise here even if you are smart.

    Not sure how it is in Finland or elsewhere.

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