Why Outsourcing Sucks

Aug 13 2008

Most of you don’t even need to read this post to know why outsourcing your software development work to cheaper countries may not ultimately help you. You already know why.

The thing is that many people outsource their work to IT hubs like Bangalore to save a lot of money. But the problem is that you get a low quality product at last. The reason? You tried to cut cost too much.

You cannot get a high quality work done for a low cost. Never. Quality always comes with a price.

When outsourcing to foreign countries, always try to do it to people who promise quality product, not to people who promise lower cost. Also, never ever outsource your core development work.

I am an Indian myself and let me tell you some facts I came across:

  1. Major Indian software companies are recruiting low quality programmers.
  2. A large percentage (I am afraid more that 50%) of the programmers are from non-CS backgrounds. Many are mechanical engineers, electrical/electronics engineers or civil engineers.
  3. The pay scales for fresher posts here are not the best even according to Indian standards.
  4. We don’t care for the quality of the work we do for you. Now I don’t want to piss off any one, but the fact is that seriously no one cares about the quality of their code they do for some American company which they don’t know much about. You will get quality code only if it comes from your heart – like when you code for yourself. Most Indian software engineers don’t feel any kind of commitment to their organizations (mainly because of the way companies treat employees).
  5. Part of the reason why many companies recruit low quality programmers is that the works we get here are mainly some support work or very monotonous and boring development work that looks like it will take ages to get completed. Many Indian programmers have their own pet projects which they dedicate their free time to and they concentrate on the quality of the code they produce for that pet projects instead of the projects they have to do in their organizations.
  6. I never meant that there are no quality programmers in India. There are many, but the chances are very low that big software giants will recruit these bright minds (which they cannot afford). Instead, they go for cheap mechanical engineers or graduates from some second class institution.
  7. This bullet point is supposed to occupy the place where I bash the project management BS. I don’t like bad mouthing that much. So just skip…

I guess you guys understand the situation here.

So what is the solution?

Don’t outsource. Seriously.

If your work is very monotonous and does not demand high quality, outsource. If you want a very good software product and if it the flagship product of your company, never ever outsource. You are doomed otherwise.

134 responses so far

  • [...] Here is a blog post that I think really sums up the whole outsourcing thing very well – Why Outsourcing Sucks [...]

  • плoxaя says:

    Пока прочитал только эту одну статью, если и все остальное точно также интересно, то автору респект :)

  • Laurie Patterson says:

    I am so sick of calling tech support and getting someone whose English is so garbled I spend half the phone conversation saying.. ” excuse me can you repeat that”
    I grew up in a multilingual household and I am used to thick accents but really the tech support nowadays is just unbearable. I have, on most occasions, received such poor service from untrained staff that in most cases I have to find a friend who can assist. The companies believe they are saving money but in actuality they are getting ripped off because the outsourced employee is worthless and you end up with a negative feeling toward the company that is using them.

    I needed to rant on why outsourcing sucks. I wish I could name ONE incident in which through outsourcing I received superior service but it hasn’t happened yet.

  • karim says:

    The poor quality of hiring in IT companies is the reason for it.
    GOD DAM, there is no basic qualification required to be there. Any graduate can write software code, that seems to be happening just about at each place and particularly hiring friends and peers just because they find this as only source to earn money. If each one in India is gonne enter into programming then what are the other sectors gonne do?

  • puja says:

    Hi.. don’t worry.. i am working on a project based on human mind design through software. yes it is possible..you all are going to sack..b’cos these artificial trained human are going to replace you..

  • Pritush says:

    I agree pretty much on this, the condition is same in my country Nepal, most of here take it as part time job and they are not speciallized on this sector this the reason i guess people here are not expert and course here are also outdated in comparision to of other country.

  • sriram says:

    Guys, Basically I’m working in outsourced company,but my work place Ford India Chennai Plant and working like this is really sucks, If I work well and done great jobs nothing I will get, no incentives no salary hikes, no any improvements, mostly I use to work on holidays and overtime, but it gives me nothing and so far I’ve crossed 8 bosses in past 2.6 years, no one understanded my difficulty, in this campus, company employee will have every thing, we have nothing, the company should want to think of future, our future is burried due to this nonsense OUTSOURCING

  • sriram says:

    Pls try to BAN this oursourcing concept, it kills its employees

  • Woah… simply listening to “experts” makes your brain less able to calculate risks and make decisions… what’s worse, the more counter-intuitive the advice, the less the brain functioned! This should be a wake-up-call to anybody who uses experts frequently..

  • Off-shore-sucks says:

    One Word. Off-shore Sucks.

    I know a lot of Indiots, I mean Indians that say they know and everything is very easy, very easy. the fact is that the majority of them are a bunch of liars,
    they will lie to you wihout even blinking thier eyes just to get the job, once they land on the job they try to learn, by the time you realize they know nothing and they lie to you you have invested a lot on them and sometimes it is hard to evaluate what is more expensive, fire the Indian and get a new one or try to make the Indian to deliver. Off-shore is a bad idea, it does not matter what is the point of view, it does not work. wether we are talking about development, customer service, etc, a resource in the other side of the world with a total different mentality can not help you the same as someone in your own timezone
    and with at least s similar clash.

    Off-shore was, is and will always be a bad idea.

    Got outsorced? Off-shore sucks

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  • [...] the Indian author of the blog Structured Randomness pointed out back in 2008 in his article “Why Outsourcing Sucks“, Indian software [...]