Indian outsourcing is killing IT

The mailing lists were never easy to read through but if a man put his mind to it and used the delete button swiftly enough you could actually get something out of them and maybe even find a reason to stay on. But ever since everybody in North America cheaped out and started sending all the work to India the mailing lists of every major product have been polluted with the Sanjays and Prashants of this world asking questions that make me wonder why the hell we’re sending out our prized projects to these seemingly incompetent people.

Granted they come cheap but even so judging from their posts and having worked with them on a couple projects I still haven’t found a singular reason why I should trust them to write a simple POJO. Their unaccountability on their mailing list is appalling, I wouldn’t want my company being represented by some dude who’s asking the struts-user list questions like these and putting their company name and his title at the bottom. This just tells me you’re an idiot and have no clue what you’re doing.

I realize that I’m generalizing and that there are always exceptions, but if you Nabble through the Maven, IBatis, Struts etc user lists you’ll encounter posts which make it apparent that the author has the most rudimentary knowledge of the product and of software design and is just hoping to get by. This theme is prevalent across most mailing lists leading me to believe that this is a widespread disease which effects the outsourcing industry. Given the apparently skill level of the people working on these projects, one can only surmise that the quality of work being done in those countries is subpar. Also, posting your resumes and asking for H1 visas on peoples blogs does not help your credibility nor does it showcase your skills. Again, it just makes you look like an idiot.

Here’s an exercise: try posting an ad for a development project on Craiglist and ask for a quote. What you’ll end up getting is tin-canned emails from India that list Gupta Inc. as knowing EVERY SINGLE LANGUAGE AND DATABASE PLATFORM EVER MADE. Then follow up with a random one and actually talk to their “Project Manager” and you’ll notice that the email was just a bunch of bullshit and you’re dealing with a two-man operation run out of a basement on a Pentium II.

Lately I’ve met an increasing number of people who are “managing a team in India” and work for a company with an accent in it’s name. These are the new managers the IT industry is producing, usually they’re in their mid-20’s and consider their new “manager” role a promotion. But when you’re managing narrow-minded developers getting paid the minimum wage and communicating 95% of the time over MSN, the work that’ll get done will reflect the circumstances and talent of the people involved. Software development is an industry where geographic location hardly seems to matter but when we’re communicating requirements, design and expectations entirely over chat, things are bound to get lost in translation. My point? You can’t oversee a project if you’re thousands of miles away, especially if you’re dealing with a guy who’s trying to scrape by. This whole system is flawed and annoying, both from the manager’s and developer’s perspective.

As long as you can tolerate their nerdiness and smell you can generally have a conversation with another North American developer and talk about a wide range of languages and tools without too many awkward moments. Not the case with slave labor. I visited India a couple years ago and had a chance to speak with some developers working at India’s second richest bank. The first think you notice about these people is how specialized they are. If they have a Java job, that’s all they know. Nothing more. Java. Java. Java. If they have a Perl job, it’s all about Perl and they’ll write everything in Perl and not even consider anything else for any reason. The mentality seems to be to get the job done as the lowest price and as fast as possible, nothing else matters. Fair enough, but I just don’t see the price of the work making up for the lack of quality and the general fuckedupness of the process.

And yes, I’m an Indian.

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183 thoughts on “Indian outsourcing is killing IT

  1. xaymaca2020

    I don’t think that it’s a good thing to generalize about anyone. This is the global reality, instead of city or country of bad and or novice programmers, you now have a whole planet full. So buckle you safety belts kids, it’s going to be a wild ride.

  2. ggeremy

    Nice article but I suspect you’re going to get flamed for it.

    I agree that the quality of work coming from India has been disappointing. We save on costs but it takes longer to do the work and there are often missed use-cases. We use Basecamp which is ideal for online collaboration but it doesn’t come close to having someone in the same office. My peeve with Indian developers is the lack of testing that is done, it’s an afterthought to them.

  3. Trey

    I have been working with outsourced programmers from India alot for the past few years. And I tell you, _everywhere_ I go I end up seeing absolute nightmarish craps produced by the programmers. From Infosys, Satyam and EDS, it’s the same.

  4. Kevin

    The mailing list clutter is annoying but I think there are as many bad and lazy devs in the US as there are in India. But it’s the standards that these developers are supposed to adhere to that is higher in the US. The problems I find managing my team in India is the difference in philosophy. The end justify the means to them which can be a killer.

  5. Reality Check

    The problem is not that India has some bad developers. They have some brilliant people, and some not so brilliant people.

    Just like the US.

    The difference is simply numbers. There are so many people in India, the sheer number of people means there will be more in the lower levels.

    I would bet that the percentages hold up pretty well compared to the US. And maybe in the US, if you don’t know code you can work at McDonalds.

    1. Doc Savage

      The issue is that Indian schools are pushing out bad developers, coders, programmers, engineers as fast as their momma’s can give birth to them. Then the companies that hire them say they are fully qualified engineers even if their degree is in asthetic engineering (flower arrangements).

      I know kids out of high school here in the USA that have better skills than college grads from India.

      So your half-assed generalization needs to be check at the door of true reality

  6. Cool

    I think you are one ignorant Indian to write a blog like this.
    First of all, its very foolish to generalize about people, whether its Indian or not.
    True, there are some issues of quality, but these are expected from freshers or starters. This does not mean all are incompetent.

    You sound like an incompetent Indian, who lost out to another incompetent Indian.

  7. Krishna Srinivasan

    few points you have mentioned would be correct. as a whole you can’t blame. i am software developer working in india. i can see few developers more briliant, but they mostly interested in products development and moved to companies like Sun,Oracle,etc. only few talented people stay in IT Services company.others are scrap they just want to earn money and dream to get H1B to go USA. total scrap..proporation makes the difference.

  8. xelipe

    Me and my Indian coworker were hella laughing at the article. His argument is a gross over-simplification. During the dot boom, IT shops here hired any willing able body (some good, some philosophy majors). The ratio of good/bad engineers is close to the same here as it is there or any other country.

    This has been a bad week for developers of color. From a recent Digg submission, “At the C4 Mac developer conference this weekend, Drunken Batman got on stage to discuss why black people don’t use Macs.”

    "The Slide"

  9. Me

    I know that this is generalization (I hope that this is generalization!), by my personal experiences are very similar. I have already worked for two companies that were dealing with indians and now I work for a company who have outsorced half of it’s production to india. And it’s really disturbing to notice that everyone on their side (from base developers to some management staff) are totally ignorant. This is sad and on day-to-day basis very disturbing and annoying. Every day I am wasting half of my development time finding who screwed my previous day’s work, nevermind that for 4 years, people were unable to learn anything new (gosh, they are using Java but they don’t know how to implement interface, they don’t even know what interface is!). I really would like to work with someone from india that actually knows what hes/her doing…

    regards everyone ;/

  10. Kiran

    Great.. you have pointed out few good points.. but yes.. there are good Indian programmers some are bad.. but as India is a destination for business for MNCs not only for IT but also for non-IT. They are going to increase presence in India.. due to only few reasons.
    India is a biggest democratic country in the world(no problems), India have 100 crore people(good business in future), Cheap labor for USA and Europe(because Rupee value is lower compared to dollar value), Liberal country(open to all the people of world to open shops here), but still there are many restrictions in USA to open its borders to other countries, its tough to work in USA, its tough to come there , need H1 visa , once you apply it will come by lottery.. sad.. but India is a free country.. its the company who is hiring has to decide on the candidate whether he is good or bad.. and also what you have given link there of a mail.. it is a Indian Company not American company..

    I suggest only one thing.. do not be proud that you know english..english is just a 2-3% its 97% you have to show talent in Software Technology, Analitical, Maths, Business, Functional Knowledge..

    India is growing, USA is lagging behind.. not only in IT, but also in science, space technology, research..

    India have potential to scare all the world. Keep!!

    1. Doc Savage

      Hey Kiran – Again here’s another example of advance Indian logic … NOT!

      USA has never lagged behind, it’s a falsehood preached by subpar subserviant subclass people in an attempt to push an agenda. It’s typical bullshit (something India has alot of expereince with) propaganda used to inflame the ignorant masses (another staple of India).

      Give me an example of advanced Indian space technology where you actually put a man on the moon or even in lower orbit. Come on Zippy, put up or shut up.

      I have Indian friends here, some born here, some raised here, but all of them with advanced USA educations and working in the aerospace industry here; not one of them have anything good to say about technology coming out of India, cause there is none.

      The best technology comes out of Europe or the USA and is integrated into businesses or academics in other countries (A nice way of saying it was stolen).

  11. Vinod

    I agree with some of your observations. Most of the Indian developers these days hardly read, write or practice a technology-subject. For them Google is the mother of all code. And the moment, they have a bug in their code, they paste the exception over google and go hunting for answers over the forums. They don’t Think. Indians have an inherent quality to beg and to be over-courteous. They beg for answers. They lack context, and talk irrelevant stuff.

    The Only aim in their life is to make money, marry off their sisters, get married for a huge dowry, then invest like a bee , become a team leader, project manager, Go On-site, live like a worm there, make stupid reporting/timesheet work (projet management). Most of them can only write a ‘hello world’ on the things they claimed in their resume. They are more interested in CMM and ‘processes’ and never understand a bit of it. Most of the team leaders or module managers or peers cannot even do a decent code-review. I can go on and on.. Sad state.

  12. Pingback: Top Posts « Word of the day - Learning English online

  13. Rick

    In India, and in most other countries known as a resource for cheap coders, all the talented, competent people that can think for themselves work directly for major companies that have a local presence.
    The ratio of good developers vs bad developers may be the same as in the west, but the bad ones are heavily concentrated in the companies working for western cheapskates…

  14. prashant_jalasutram


    This is very bad to blame whole country just that you have seen few guys who may not be good enough.

    Please Donot waste time writing these articles instead improve yourself further in all aspects.


  15. Soren

    Since I’m moving to India, and probably going to start one of those “smaller companies”, does anybody have some ideas on how to attract the “smart” people?

  16. vv


    If you take two very different groups and get them to work together, this is only to be expected.

    The market in India is, whether anyone likes it or not, immature. The industry is new, the people are new and there just isn’t the depth of understanding that is easier to find in the US or Yerp.

    The mailing lists, quite honestly, are very much like the Flash mailing lists in 1999 – 2000, where the product was new and people were generally clueless on this new technology. In this instance, Indian developers are those guys from 1999, except no one else is, and so we have this whole issue of developers asking the most elementary questions and losing all credibility in the process…

    But when it comes to Arsenalist’s point about, well, wide mouths with narrow minds…

    Our IT department is located in Southern India too, and they are working on the rearchitecture of the whole company. While they are just fine as developers, I cannot have the level of discussion that I can with say my colleagues here in the UK.

    Example – the IT director decided that the new architecture would be written with We all asked, why not C#, since it is more familiar, syntax-wise – to those of us who write Javascript, ASP, ActionScript, Java etc.

    And the head-bangingly-screamingly-unsatifactory answer was along the lines of, ‘Well, is not unfamiliar to those from a VB background, as C# would not be unfamiliar to those from a C++ background, so it really depends on your background’.

    Yes, you dumb shmucks, we know that, but there is only one background for – VB. Why why why did you not go with the language with the more common syntax? There was no answer… Vague vague vague.

  17. SurfMan

    I agree. I know I am generalizing as well, but I can give you a gazillion examples of Indian stupidity. I am a forum manager at, and it’s amazing what comes along every day. Judging by the names, I cannot conclude otherwise that 95% of the “weird” contributions are from India. Not strange, considering the number of (wanna-be) developers there are.

    But the lack of insight, the lack of motivation, and the sheer lack of respect freak me out. Not even a thank you after helping them out with another Google-I-am-feeling-lucky- question.

  18. Ivan


    I’m from Ukraine. And I’ve work a lot with American, Indian and European developers. In my opinion, Indian code “smells” more then any other code. And the percentage of talent Indian developers are lot smaller. But I think there is a reason for that – smart people just migrating to better countries like US or to Europe. Education also matters a lot. India is too poor country to provide same level of education as more civilized countries.

    If the author do not wish to work with incompetent developers he should just explain it to his boss…

  19. digitalspaghetti

    I’m sorry to say but the article hit’s the nail on the head! I’ve experienced it from the other side, I’m a UK based developer and I had been in contact with an Indian client – I say client, they asked me to do some work, I agreed and when I try to contact them to follow up, they never got back to me – wasting my time I could be working on other client project, and therefor loosing me money.

  20. Marco

    We’re implementing a product from India here and almost everyday we have to visit the production environment to grab logs since almost everyday their software makes trouble.

  21. Tapash

    The question is about incompetency – its not about Indian or North american or anything.In my last project,our business analyst was from North America and the quality of work was worse than what you can expect from a first standard student.There were North American Architects who could not set up a EJB Environment up and running and people had to be flown from India to get it done.
    But this is not the entire picture.There are people who are quiet outstanding in their line of job.
    However with the better developers I have noticed a common trend — they never point a finger at anyone or rebuke anybody. It is more the charecteristics of the first group, or the group mentioned by the Author and I am sure the author belongs to the previous group.
    Also,I have serious doubts about the educational background or the depth of the knowledge of the author as he has got objections about people specializing in any particular language because the author himself is quiet certainly a jack(??I think that is also giving too much credit to the author) of all trades. And besides all his accustions,due to his limited knowledge he spends most of the time in the forums trying to getting an answer to every solution ,in the process eating away his employer’s money instead of exercising the grey matters which I am sure he doesnt have.

    1. Waxs

      The question is price, Indians cost peanuts to pay…

      but the quality of ‘work’ in big fat inverted commas is rubbish..
      How do you expect anything decent from a nation that still shits in the streets.

  22. LadyCoder

    I am not sure that the problem only lies with the Indian population, but with the companies that provide the outsourcing in India. I have several Indian friends and I hear all of the time how competitive it is to live in India because of the sheer number of people that live there.

    I worked at a company previously who, through stupid business decisions, needed to cut costs and decided to outsource much of their work to IBM, using teams from India. The problem wasn’t necessarily that the people there were ignorant (although some of them definately were) it was the lack of experience.

    I think that the companies that are providing the outsourcing simply hire a bunch of people who are junior and some people that are talented and have some experience. I believe (although I have not witnessed this) that when these companies make their pitch, they show the results from their A team, but most companies get a D team.

    The problem my old company had was simply that they were replacing a team of people who had been working on the products for, on average, 5 years (there were a few who had been there for 2 years, most had been there more) with a bunch of junior developers who just wanted to get the code done. They get paid for hitting milestones, not for producinq quality code.

  23. thatconfusedindian

    Also…. has anybody realised that India is still young in the game? One hopes all of you who are cribbing here are doing something about it.

  24. Toby

    We had to maintain a system written by some indian developers from India, oh boy, and it really smells. Lots of unclosed jdbc connections (repeated try catch finally and some don’t even have any, with ResultSet passed all over the place as arguments to methods in different objects). The dataSource is set to a public static variable of a Listener where every other class just grabs it from there and they don’t bother to close() the dbcp datasource when the listener shutsdown. Lots of code where reader are just read but not closed. They use plain servlet/jsp where most jsp basically just contains a big fat scriptlet in it.

  25. ron

    Note: this is simply a couple of anecdotes from my personal experience.

    First, I wonder about the quality of IT-related education over there. While I realize that U.S. schools also fail to fully prepare IT talent, I worked with two developers from India with Master’s degrees in Comp Sci. BOTH were less than useful. It seemed their master degree was granted as soon as they could use MS FrontPage and Word/Excel without drooling too much. They made serious elementary errors like confusing Java with JavaScript; hence, I got to work with one on an intense Java serverside project. Servlets/jsps/struts (at the time) was a total mystery to this dude. He constantly overwrote stuff in CVS…he kept thinking that THIS time the thing would “automatically” merge conflicts, even after dozens of times I stepped him through the process.

    Another project I took over at another company had been done initially by a team from India. 64k JSPs. Source code control was a directory structure they copied stuff into/out of using Explorer. Someone over there decided they needed to build their own MVC framework…and at some point they must have had some concurrency issues, because EVERY method down in there was marked as ‘synchronized’. The ‘controller’ was the 64k JSP…it consisted of an if/else structure that used arbitrary keys to decide which action to execute next. There was no datamodel to speak of, everything was just a bunch of Strings getting passed around (even for dates). Basically, it was a nightmare. I had to gently explain that they received virtually nothing of value; the thing was rife with bugs and the structure was unworkable.

    Just my experience…I pass it along knowing that my experience does NOT implicate the whole of a group of developers. I just noticed that the people involved in the scenarios above ALL had (or claimed to have) Masters degrees.

  26. Frank Silbermann

    During boom times, lots of incompetent people get hired. During busts, you have to be lucky and good to stay on. The U.S. has recently gotten over the biggest IT bust in its history. India has been enjoying an unprecedented boom. That may explain much of the author’s observations. It will even out when the dollar declines and/or the rupee rises sufficiently that workers are not automatically wealthier than others merely for being in America. It happened with European competition in the 1960s, with Japanese workers in the 1990s, and it will happen with Indian and Chinese workers.

    When the Internet first made highly skilled developers in India available to the world, western businesses got a huge bargain. There’s a saying that you don’t get something for nothing; maybe you can occasionally when taking advantage of changing circumstances — but not for long.

    The issue of lying about credentials and experience is another thing. I have heard of bright people who lie about their experience to get jobs, and then try to learn quickly enough to become skilled before the employer realizes he’d been taken. (I don’t do that, so I resent the unfair competition. But to be honest, I think smart people _should_ be hired even if they don’t already have experience with every tool the employer is using.)

  27. JK

    India is a developing country & the incompetence of certain individuals shouldn’t be used as a scale in gauging the efficiency of a whole nation. The people who are lamenting here about the incompetence of Indian developers’ didn’t have the brains or the skill set to identify the right people who can do their job. Good developer’s don’t come cheap. You guyz don’t want to employ u’r own so called GOOD DEVELOPERS and want to save on money & out-source your work where it can be done at a lower rate & then you grumble ??? Clean up your act, before u criticize a whole nation.

    1. Sys Engg

      I completely agree with what you say. Quality is something that can’t be had cheap. But, out Indian IT firms are out there hoodwinking American and European companies into believing that good quality can come at a low price. At the time of getting the deal signed, they claim that the deal would cut costs to the person outsourcing, WITHOUT IN ANY WAY BRINGING DOWN THE QUALITY OF WORK. Now, having promised that, if it is not delivered, I guess the outsourcer has a right to complain. This is a problem with setting expectations. You set very high expectations and then fail to deliver on them, then obviously you invite ridicule. I think the remedy would be to set proper expectations and tell the outsourcer that he would get only stuff he is ready to pay for. Lower cost lower the quality. Not sure how practical is it to be so honest… but just a thought.

  28. JaiHind


    “He originally hails from Kashmir and currently resides in Toronto, Canada.”


  29. Les

    My Take.

    I think it is or fault. By that I mean the fault of the domestic programmers /project managers/analysts who do not deliver on 50% of the projects that they tackle. Granted, the majority of outsourced projects fail. However, we don’t exactly make a compelling quality argument to counter it.

    The other piece is that we have a bunch of incompetent CTOs who do not have the ability to judge to competence of an IT organization whether locally or abroad. In fact, I just finished doing an analysis of an it org at a fortune 500 company. They spent 2 years and many millions doing a site redesign. I could have made those changes in a couple of months by myself. Their rollout of those changes were ill timed, ill tested, and ill advised. Yet they still try to claim it as a success. Frankly, if I were at the top and saw those types of results, I would wonder why not outsource it. It can’t get much worse.

    Clean up our own house and the problem will go away.

  30. Amit V

    You made yourself look like an idiot by mentioning the last point in you article.

    I would like to say that, its not worth criticizing if someone wants to learn new technology and posts a question on the forums. That does not mean that he is a bad programmer. I am a development lead and i have seen that people very good theoretically are dumb at implementing the solutions, Whats the use?

    Remember Google, Yahoo to name a few…. have evolved from a garage and where started by 2 men army. The computers where way slower then PII.

    BTW did you loose your job with another Indian?

  31. Sarat Pediredla


    Nice one. Another Indian in the UK who supports Arsenal (me too! me too!). Come on!

    On a side note, I am one of those Indians you talk about and I will take you any day in a code contest and “talk about a wide range of languages and tools without too many awkward moments”.

    But then again, I am an entrepreneur and not one of the desk jockeys.

  32. Affar

    An excellent article, although I don’t like to generalize the problem to all the developers in India.

    I am currently working in a company that outsourced its ERP project from India. And I got to say that the level of quality for this project VERY VERY POOR. I was able to interact with some of the developers and to be frank with you almost all of graduated from NON-IT collages. Till now I couldn’t understand how my company did trust a civil and electrical engineers to write their ERP. Here are some problems that I am facing whenever I need to modify the application:
    1. Bad database design.
    2. Bad designing and coding.
    3. The language API is rarely used.
    4. Lack of testing.
    5. Insufficient documentation.
    And much much more.

  33. Suren

    None of the above discussion talks about how to help those who don’t write good code. I don’t like differenciating people based on their origin or any other demographic for that matter. Not to offend any one but it really helps if competent people come forward and use the blogs/websites to publish bad/good/best practices so that developers can learn lessions from bad practices and adapt good practices and try to improve their coding practices and techniques. Remember, if you teach 10 people, they will teach other 100 and they in turn will pass it to 1000 other people. Knowledge is there to share and not to keep it safe with us and secure our jobs, the more knowledgible you become, the more challenging oppertunities you get.

    1. Chris

      Are you seriously suggesting that there is a lack of blogs/websites about development practices? Come on now, in this day and age there is no excuse that information is hard to come by. You don’t have to go to a library to read a paper book anymore, you can search the entire internet in less than a second without even lifting your arse out of a chair, download ready-to-try examples for many things or even watch video tutorials in some cases. It really couldn’t be easier. I started learning coding back when copy+paste didn’t even exist so I had to type examples by hand to learn, and progressed to learn about 90% of my current skillset from internet blogs and good old RTFM.
      But since we can google everything in a few seconds these days, being able to learn skills from somebody else is less of an asset anyway. Each project will have its own unique features that the internet might not help much with, which is where the value of a useful developer shows up.

  34. Goutam

    Well indeed a good post from a looser from the industry. It proves the industry is growing and when any industry grows some bane also comes along with it. Problem lies within the mindset/perspective of the investors not in the quality of the developers. if at all we consider it as a problem then the problem is ivestments are in wrong hands who don’t even know where to invest.

  35. PinkPanter

    Generally generalization is bad. But in this case – I totally agree. I have to “fight” with Indian programmers every single day. Some day I’ll get crazy or just leave my job. My Indian coworkers (that’s the group I want to generalize) use OO language like procedural one, preferred data type is string – it can handle anything – a number, a date or a whole record separated with comma or pipe. They don’t use basic language features like enums, inheritance, polimorphism, layer separation, DB transactions, etc…. I think they event have problem with ‘what an object instance is’ while all the stuff is made public static (in OO language).
    The only thing they are doing efectivelly is code reuse – copy-paste code reuse.

    Sad, but true 😦

  36. Vijay Bhasker Reddy CH

    Hay Duede, you might have lost your job because of highly compitent and inteligent indian.

    Do you know the fact work is migrated only because of Quality, lower prices is secound matter.

    your talks seems to be unmatured.

    you need to know few things bout India, and feel proud to be indian


    Q. Who is the co-founder of Sun Microsystems?
    A. Vinod Khosla

    A. Who is the creator of Pentium chip (needs no introduction as 90% of the today’s computers run on it)?
    A. Vend Dam

    A. Who is the third richest man on the world?
    A. According to the latest report on Fortune Magazine, it is Asia Premix, who is the CEO of Wiper Industries. The Sultan of Brunei is at 6 the position now.

    A. Who is the founder and creator of Hotmail (Hotmail is world’s No.1 web based email program)?
    A. Sabeer Bhatia

    Q. Who is the president of AT & T-Bell Labs (AT & T-Bell Labs is the creator of program languages such as C, C++, Unix to name a few)?
    A. Arun Netravalli

    Q. Who is the GM of Hewlett Packard?
    A. Rajiv Gupta

    Q. Who is the new MTD (Microsoft Testing Director) of Windows 2000, responsible to iron out all initial problems?
    A. Sanjay Tejwrika

    Q. Who are the Chief Executives of CitiBank, Mckensey & Stanchart?
    A. Victor Menezes, Rajat Gupta, and Rana Talwar.

    Q. We Indians are the wealthiest among all ethnic groups in America, even faring better than the whites and the natives.
    There are 3.22 millions of Indians in USA (1.5% of population). YET,
    38% of doctors in USA are Indians.
    12% scientists in USA are Indians.
    36% of NASA scientists are Indians.
    34% of Microsoft employees are Indians.
    28% of IBM employees are Indians.
    17% of INTEL scientists are Indians.
    13% of XEROX employees are Indians.

    Some of the following facts may be known to you. These facts were recently published in a German magazine, which deals with WORLD HISTORY FACTS ABOUT INDIA.
    1. India never invaded any country in her last 1000 years of history.
    2. India invented the Number system. Zero was invented by Aryabhatta.
    3. The world’s first University was established in Takshila in 700BC. More than 10,500 students from all over the world studied more than 60 subjects. The University of Nalanda built in the 4 th century BC was one of the greatest achievements of ancient India in the field of education.
    4. According to the Forbes magazine, Sanskrit is the most suitable language for computer software.

    5. Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to humans.
    6. Although western media portray modern images of India as poverty striken and underdeveloped through political corruption, India was once the richest empire on earth.

    7. The art of navigation was born in the river Sindh 5000 years ago. The very word “Navigation” is derived from the Sanskrit word NAVGATIH.
    8. The value of pi was first calculated by Budhayana, and he explained the concept of what is now known as the Pythagorean Theorem. British scholars have last year (1999) officially published that Budhayan’s works dates to the 6 th Century which is long before the European mathematicians.

    9. Algebra, trigonometry and calculus came from India. Quadratic equations were by Sridharacharya in the 11th Century; the largest numbers the Greeks and the Romans used were 106 whereas Indians used numbers as big as 10 53.
    10. According to the Gemmological Institute of America, up until 1896, India was the only source of diamonds to the world.

    11. USA based IEEE has proved what has been a century-old suspicion amongst academics that the pioneer of wireless communication was Professor Jagdeesh Bose and not Marconi.
    12. The earliest reservoir and dam for irrigation was built in Saurashtra.

    13. Chess was invented in India.
    14. Sushruta is the father of surgery. 2600 years ago he and health scientists of his time conducted surgeries like cesareans, cataract, fractures and urinary stones. Usage of anaesthesia was well known in ancient India.
    15. When many cultures in the world were only nomadic forest dwellers over 5000 years ago, Indians established Harappan culture in Sindhu Valley (Indus Valley Civilisation).
    16. The place value system, the decimal system was developed in India in 100 BC.

    Quotes about India.
    We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.
    Albert Einstein.

    India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend and the great grand mother of tradition.
    Mark Twain.

    If there is one place on the face of earth where all dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India.
    French scholar Romain Rolland.

    India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border.
    Hu Shih
    (former Chinese ambassador to USA)

    BUT, if we don’t see even a glimpse of that great India in the India that we see today, it clearly means that we are not working up to our potential; and that if we do, we could once again be an evershining and inspiring country setting a bright path for rest of the world to follow.
    I hope you enjoyed it and work towards the welfare of INDIA.

    Say proudly, I AM AN INDIAN.

    1. fuck all indians to hell

      those are all great facts. But you know, indian niggers are still the stupidest fucks in IT today…deal with that fucker..

      1. Arken

        Hey douchebag! We guys are coming to your country, taking your jobs and becoming CEOs of companies in YOUR country and you can’t do shit about it. Thats right mothafucker…we are coming after YOU. Yes there are incompetent programmers out there but if your companies gained nothing from this they would have stopped hiring the cheap labour. But that is not the case. Simple market logic, A-hole. One piece of advice…you want quality…THEN FUCKING PAY FOR IT. Until that happens, I can bet on your redneck ass this is how it is gonna be. So deal with it, moron.

    2. ofasdhjhifhas

      Most of those questions and answers have next to nothing to do with actual engineering. Engineering in the sense of mathematics, informatics, algorithms, software design, NOTHING. All of those people you talked about are business people (aka those who can’t program, but who know how to talk). This thread is about engineers, not money people.

  37. all

    The following are the Country skill Rankings (NASSCOM)

    RDBMS Concepts
    India 48%
    United States 22%
    Romania 4%
    Russian Federation 3%
    Ukraine 3%

    SQL (ANSI) Fundamentals
    India 60%
    United States 14%
    Russian Federation 5%
    Ukraine 5%
    Romania 3%

    MS SQL Server 2000 Programming

    India 33%
    United States 32%
    Romania 7%
    Russian Federation 5%
    Ukraine 4%

    DB2 Programming
    India 71%
    United States 18%
    Philippines 1%
    Romania 1%
    United Kingdom
    ( Great Britain ) 1%

    Oracle PL/SQL
    India 50%

    it is just a little information

    Be Proud to be an Indian

  38. lrd

    Every bad situation can be a silver lining to some people.
    We had a SI who came to us 3 years ago to implement a large IT system on a turnkey basis.
    We provided a price but the SI said it was too expensive. The SI got a group people from you know where because they quoted a much much lower price.
    2 years later, the SI came back to us and wanted us to rebuilt the same IT system.
    Because the project was seriously overdue and the SI was facing a huge LD (liquidated damages) suit, we got brought in at full price (we usually give huge discounts on our rates) on a 1 year basis. Huge bonuses!!!

    So, thank you to the Sanjays and Prashants!

  39. Icekooled

    Looks like this article was written with sour grapes on the mind..

    Get real, there are good developers and bad developers everywhere.

    You worked with bad developers ? so sad !! Who has’nt ?

    You have to fight with indian programmers everyday ? Maybe you should ask your global sourcing VP why they did not do their homework.

    An Infosys or a Satyam does not mean that you will get quality work, serious programmers in India dont work for the big fishes, maybe your company should stop being a cheapo, you just got what your company paid for !!

    Accompany your global sourcing team the next time they decide to outsource something and see how the decision is made, do they give a shit about the firefighting you might have to do ? All they care about is the great billing rate they are getting…

    If there is such a multitude of bad work then sit back and relax becuase the indian IT industry will be forced to shut down. Nobody can survive for long by proving a low cost but bad quality service

    I’d like to see you compete with the best in North America and India before you think you are qualified to write such pretentious bullshit.

    Geez, what a loser

  40. khaleeji

    Well much has been said but as someone working in India’s Top 5 I have seen much of bad code myself – though the one being outsourced is to share the blame equally with the outsourcer going by what Bjarne Stroustrup has to say

    People reward developers who deliver software that is cheap, buggy, and first. That’s because people want fancy new gadgets now. They don’t want inconvenience, don’t want to learn new ways of interacting with their computers, don’t want delays in delivery, and don’t want to pay extra for quality (unless it’s obvious up front–and often not even then). And without real changes in user behavior, software suppliers are unlikely to change.

  41. Marc Holt

    My friend, for an Indian you sure don’t know much about the IT industry. I have been outsourcing all my IT business to India for more than 5 years and as a result I have built a very successful IT company that delivers projects that exceed my client’s expectations.

    Sure, I have to work hard as the Project Manager to keep my teams on track, but that’s why I get paid the big bucks, isn’t it? Even so, my fees to my clients are on average one third to half what my competitors can offer. In just 5 years I have become one of the dominant IT companies in Thailand.

    Why don’t I use Thai coders and designers? Because they are just not as good as the Indians. The Thais are difficult to deal with and manage. They also think they are very good, when the truth is many of them are rank amateurs.

    Outsourcing is not easy. Finding professional partners in India takes time. Then you have to build up a good relationship of trust and competence. And I ALWAYS have to watch their work very carefully and steer them in the right path or they will just do what they THINK is right, instead of what the client wants.

    Despite this, outsourcing can be very profitable. Sure, some local coders and designers might lose their jobs, but in the long run the IT business is better as a result of outsourcing. I wouldn’t employ a team in my office again. Far better to let the Indian partners take care of staffing and the grunt work.

    1. Arken

      This is exactly my point! Frankly, the competency issue aside, it is all down to market forces. Regardless of the quality of the coders in India, if this system has been going on for so long, then obviously, barring a few cases, things have worked out and are working out well for the key people involved. Bottom line is that profits are being made. Otherwise, in this competitive software market, nobody will last long in the business by continuing to churn out crap. Besides, at the end of the day, you get what you pay for. Good programmers cost money, regardless of the nationality of the same. So if somebody wants impeccable quality, they will have to shell out the cash and be ready to compromise on the profit margins. END OF STORY.

  42. Raps Fan

    Wow, someone actually said what I was thinking. My only problem with outsourcing overseas is that we are sacrificing our economy (read jobs, money) overseas, just to save a couple bucks. I have worked with developers in Canada, US, Ukraine, Israel and India, and found that there are good and bad developers.

    Outsourcing overseas requires added level of project management, brown dollars (no pun intended), that adds costs to the development cycle in terms of your time spent. When you have a team of guys sitting in the same office in North York, there isn’t that day delay in getting shit done.

    Keep jobs and money here in Canada!!

  43. Prashant Bhaskar

    I’m an Indian-American developer-turned-manager and I agree in part with what you’ve written. (I note here that I’ve set up and managed outsourced software groups in Vancouver, Bangalore, Shanghai, and Budapest–but that the majority of my groups are still in the US.)

    By the way, I tend to strongly discourage the firms that I work in from simply buying offshore labor resources because they can. I despise companies that think labor is merely a commodity–all too often they find that capital and management (the other two members of the standard triumvirate) can also be commodified.

    First, a shared annoyance: the pollution of advanced newsgroups with newbie posts. As others have noted, this has happened since time immemorial. What makes it unusually annoying _to me_ nowadays, is the poorly written questions, typified by the AOL-speak (eg. “need u 2 help urself”) that has no place outside of an SMS conversation.

    Most of the responses to this post that you’re seeing from other Indians are instinctively defensive–that’s completely understandable.

    The responses that you won’t see in writing, but that you _will_ hear if you talk to capable Indian developers in person, is that larger and larger numbers of their colleagues perform at below-average levels. This is _not_ due to some innate inability to perform, but due rather to the failure of management in their companies to devote the time and money to building their skills.

    I conclude that the flooding of the Indian market with fast-buck artists will continue for some time, and that non-Indian firms who choose an Indian outsourcing partner based largely on price will be burned over and over again because of this. After being burnt once or twice, they will wrongly conclude that Indian outsourcing is crap, and will

    As other posters have noted, if you plan well, choose well, and pay well, you are going to find excellent value in your Indian outsourcing partner.

  44. Talat

    There is a saying that if you pay peanuts you will only get monkeys.There are good Indian programmers and bad Indian programmers. To pay peanuts and expect the supermen to come and do the job for you is ridiculous. You will get excellent Indian programmers, you just have to pay higher.

    ps:You may be an Indian, just that I doubt that.

    1. Arken

      Right on the money bro! Literally.These people want high quality products but expect to pay peanuts for it. Good quality costs money. There are no two ways about it. There are good programmers and bad programmers in India. So if you want high quality product, don’t exploit people just because they are Indians and most importantly, PAY UP.

  45. av

    It’s funny to me to see people like you complain about outsourced Indian developers because at the end of the day, you get what you pay for. You paid for cheap Indian labor. You didn’t pay for the good kind, nor the high-quality kind. You, or your employer (who I think might have replaced you with another Indian) decided to be cheap and thought you could save money by outsourcing.

    People buy cheap cars, food, furniture, guitars, televisions, computers etc. and if it turns out bad, well, “You get what you paid for.” Make it about Indians, and India sucks and Indians are horrible.

    I don’t care if you are an Indian or not, this is racism.

    1. Arken

      Absolutely. I see the vast majority of programmers in India getting paid less than $5000 a year after graduation. Then they are forced to live in squalid apartments in expensive cities and are expected to tolerate unbearable work hours Yes, they are incompetent most of the time, because most of the good programmers get hired at pay packages comparable to western programmers when compared at purchasing power parity. So good quality, regardless of the nationality costs money and those who like to whine about the quality of Indian programmers should get this in their head, because while they are correct about the poor quality, it does not mean all Indian coders are shit and it, no way means all Indians are shit coders. Instead they should start thinking about how they are able to get the work done at one- tenth the price they would normally be expected to pay and that is the right question they should be asking. Indeed! you get what you pay for.

  46. Vishnu Gopal

    There are good and bad Indian developers. A lot of them are really good. SlideShare ( is a good product that was _developed_ in India recently. I’d be willing to bet anything that the quality of the code and products would increase exponentially in the years to come. It’d be India that produces the next Google, Amazon and Skype.

  47. Rohit

    Everybody complains. And then they complain some more. Why not actually do something about it ? You are an Indian. So why not start a company of your own that only hires the “smart” people ? Or maybe collect a group of people who you think are smart and start a company with them. I have no idea as to what the scene is in the so called tech powerhouses of India because I am a student. But I do have one complaint of my own actually. Why is it that none of these behemoths have a product of their own that they market all over the world ?

  48. Paul

    As an Indian, don’t you feel that part of the traditional Indian culture is an inbuilt desire to speak up the moment something is not quite right? Having read that sample mailing list post, thats the sense I get from it. Its not so much that the developer is incompentent as that they ran into a stumbling block that they felt should have been addressed in some way either by more accessible documentation on the road towards installation, of the important points, or a better structure/layout or design architecture. In this sense, tagging along the IT company shows he is taking a stand, driving a stake in the ground and improving the situation by making noise about it.

    I agree with your overall sentiments though about the lack of a general computing understanding and ability to dig deep into details, on ones own. As another side observation I’ve noticed that the Windows platform + visual basic way of doing things, which I consider surface level compared to the Platform SDK / C Language and GNU/Linux, is very prevalent amongst developers from India, perhaps reflecting the schooling they go through there. This is just a hunch but perhaps MSFT marketing promotos the office suite so much globally, that Windows is seen as a godsend and the way towards business success.

  49. timesr

    Rogers Communications has recently started outsourcing IT development to TCS and I happened to do a code review and was surprised to poor coding standards all the way from the generated HTML to SQL queries. What did we expect at $20/hour?

  50. Arun

    The onus is on the *buyer* to ensure that they are getting quality work from their vendors. Incentive is cheap in India => it’s easy to get highly qualified developers for salaries comparable to that in the US *if* you know where to look.

    1. Arken

      Exactly! If I buy a 800 dollar car and it runs like shit, I have only myself to blame. It does not mean that all the cars produced by that company is shit. it simply means that I am a moron for thinking that I can pay USD 5000 a year to a college graduate and expect him to deliver output on par with someone earning at least 12 times that amount. Its the fault of the purchaser.

  51. pseudoTechie

    myself have worked in infosys and hated it for lot of similar things…but hey picture is not that bad…I don’t agree with author at all..There are you always have some “sanjays and prashnaths” {as someone said}in your team…the smarter guys move out from such firms to niche companies or move onsite and relax 🙂 and become onsite coordinators….after getting to know all this picture you must think now…how much more work some good offshore programmer has to do save lot of peer’s and managers faces ..and leave the company eventually

  52. crb

    Some companies are grabbing every graduate they can get from India’s IIT,, and putting them to work as programmers regardless of their major. As a side effect many workers are not natural programmers, and thus take time to re-tool their skill set. The author’s frustration should not stem from cultural or educational differences of Indian workers, but from these companies who have locked themselves into a workforce arms race. As engineering and biotech firms grow in India they should hire away these non-programmers an the quality of programming should improve.

  53. Pingback: Top Posts «

  54. Timmy Jose

    Hmmm… interesting post. Maybe you should have done some grammar and spell checking prior to posting the blog. While I agree with main arguments of your rant, I cannot but feel a bit irritated by the apparent racist taunts inherent in the language that you have used. Just because you are an Indian does not give you any divine, irrevocable right to lambaste Indians in such a crude manner. The blog would have achieved its target of presenting the true facts of the I.T. industry much better without the distracting anti-Indian-ness theme of your tirade.

    And yeah, I am an Indian.

  55. jwk

    I fully agree with Arsenalist. I had my first encounter with Indian engineers when I worked for a very reputable US company four years ago on a joint embedded software project, and even though their resumes are very impressive: double-digit years of coding experience, ‘expert-level’ in multiple programming languages, and mathematics is ‘nothing’ to them, but curious enough their real worth are roughly 50% of what they claim they are in the resumes: For example some of them just couldn’t write a damn sub 5-KLoc C program without blatant errors. Basic defensive coding skills like checking for NULL pointer when malloc’ing are mostly absent. The consequences are now we have stopped all outsourcings to India and moved everything back in-house again, there is practically no cost savings in view of the shit that we need to take care of. I need to point out that definitely there are competent and bright programmers in India, but they demand salaries that are on-par and more than equivalent programmers from north America, which completely defeats the point of outsourcing the projects.

    Btw, Re: Vijay Bhasker Reddy CH
    Almost ALL the persons you mentioned are NOT in India (except possibly ‘the world’s third richest man’, fine). What to be proud of when all of them are helping other countries to grow? That further proves Arsenalist’s point: There are not many competent programmers back in the country.

  56. Papu

    I agree for the most part to what you say. I myself manage few programming forums, and even I see the same kind of questions that you’re talking about.

    The problem I think is because the Indians are very new to the Internet forums, and they lack basic forum etiquettes. They never bother to quote to what they are replying, they use txt speak in forum postings and Emails as they do in their cellphones! This has been same since a couple of years that I have been around in online forums, and I don’t think its going to change in near future either(unless the education system and IT companies in India evolves to become more mature).

    Most of the engineering graduates in India just dream of getting a job in one of the well known IT companies. The Indian IT companies hire people regardless of their branch of engineering. Some of the so called ‘Top IT companies’ in India even hire mechanical engineers for software jobs! All they require is a 60 or 70% aggregate in their graduation. So you can imagine the kind of work they could deliver.

    In my opinion, the Indian software industry is pretty immature. There are good companies and developers in India too, but thats still a very small portion of the whole Indian outsourcing market. So, you need to be smart enough in finding the right people to outsource your work.

    By the way, I’m an Indain too.

  57. STS

    Maybe you should just watch football matches, because I can clearly see thats the only thing you are good at other than mindless rantings.

    > I realize that I’m generalizing
    So why generalize, why stereotype?

    > try posting an ad for a development project on Craiglist and ask for
    > a quote
    I thought you said you were smart enough to separate the wheat from the chaff.

    > but if you Nabble through the Maven, IBatis, Struts etc user lists
    > you’ll encounter posts
    Do you see only Indian names? You see what you want to see. You decided on having a mudslinging session with India and picked up those posts which had Indian OP’s.

    BS is everywhere and you have just made an ass claiming that it exists only in India.

    And don’t you dare call yourself an Indian; because you are _NOT_.India does not need suckers like you…


  58. Danny

    The incompetent people asking silly questions on mailing lists are not limited to any particular country. A lot of English-speaking “grunt” workers come from India, and therefore it’s natural that the country contributes a significant number of noobs. At the same time, some of the most competent workers and entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley (and elsewhere) are of Indian origin. The Indian IT industry didn’t rise just because of lower wages and English-language skills; these two were important factors, but another important factor is that India has many competent, knowledgeable people

    Of course, there are a number of idiots, too — but these (like competent people) are not limited to India. Search around, and you’ll find an equal number of Chinese and Americans asking RTFMworthy questions.

    If you think all Indian IT workers are “narrow-minded developers getting paid the minimum wage and communicating 95% of the time over MSN”, you seriously need to get out of your cabin and have a look around.

    > And yes, I’m an Indian.

    That doesn’t give you any more credibility. The post still classifies as gross, under-researched generalization. It’s like saying that all Americans are stupid because many of them support Bush or find Conservapedia useful.

    P.S. I am an American working in India.

  59. Flex

    I can see why the taste left by this post due to it’s generalization is a little bitter for many people but that doesn’t negate the author’s correct observations. Indian devs just don’t appear to be of quality when working with them on outsourced projects. I’ve heard this complaint from many people in various industries and where there’s smoke there’s fire. Peronally, I once worked with a veteran Indian developer with 6 years of experience who didn’t know what a switch statement was.

    “Black people like rap music”. Is it a generalization? Yes. Is it true? Generally. Is it racist? Definitely not.

  60. binny

    Its an open economy and you can’t blame this kind of behaviour. People are always looking to make money. What is needed is better control over posts to sites such as craiglist. A simple rating system would help to root out these replies. Also anyone who wants a competitive team of people shouldn’t be looking at such replies at all.

    PS-MANU rules.

  61. Be-positive

    Well, there are problems every where.. What is important is can we make the problem as our opportunity and get the things done.. May be a new industry or business may emerge. It is easy to comment and generalize.

  62. Ravi

    The last comment has summed up the post. lol
    But I guess it has got a lot to do with the population. In india you will find high number of bad developers as compared to any other country in the world. But the no. of good ones will also exceed any country in the world.

  63. Rakhitha

    “Since I’m moving to India, and probably going to start one of those ‘smaller companies’, does anybody have some ideas on how to attract the ‘smart’ people?”

    I am not from India I am from Sri Lanka (Small Island just below India). Here is what I think you should do. By the way I am no business men. just a developer and a student.

    Create a good image for your company in local job market. Pay them well. Invest on training (Don’t assume that universities teach everything because they don’t). Give good working environments. Create good career development path within company (Good developers don’t want to be code monkeys in their entire life time).

    Encourage them to spend more time on planning, designing and testing instead of coding, coding and coding. Consider planning, designing, testing, and research time when creating time budget. When schedules are too tight you can’t deliver quality and good developers who care about quality will not stay with you.

    But if you do all that your costs will be higher than other cheap outsourcing companies. Your projects will take longer. So you will have to find other ways to compete with other service companies instead just time and price. May be marketing and branding.

  64. Akarsh MG

    Interesting article!! Only to a certain extent it might be true!!

    Indian outsourcing is NOT killing IT!!! No WaY!!

  65. Rahul

    Honestly, I tend to agree with the author’s opinions. I don’t agree with the generalizations though. I think the opinions can also be applied to the testing (QA) field.

    I work for a software product company in India and have been on several interview panels for recruitement to both the quality and development roles. Over the years, I have realised that

    1. Getting a good quality guy who has the enthusiasm to delve deep into his work and to learn the unexplored technologies is extremely tough. They simply are not available out there. It is these kind of people that software development requires.

    2. There is a general perception in the indian public that software jobs are extremely easy, and comfortable; that software jobs pay highly for very little effort; that they can be entered into by any crap-mind that does not distinguish even a certification exam from another as long as it is from microsoft alone or sun alone. People think that getting trained in a testing tool can fetch them a Rs 20K per month job. There are very many street-end coaching shops coming up that are cashing in on this gullibility. These shops teach just the syntax and button pressing. They do not bother about frameworks or concept-orientation (such as test-driven development, pattern design, usability).

    3. Project based companies need to show people on their rolls even to be able to tout their capacity to convince prospects that they can complete a give target. They need numbers (of heads on their roll).

    Combine facts 2 and 3 and you end up seeing questions that the author has seen on some xyz website. A vast section of the programmers out there are in this unfortunate category. This section of the plebe hates to learn by doing-it-yourselves or by experimentation of by self reading. To them a coaching institute is the ultimate destination. Give them time and you can see social/commerce/art graduates without any technical bent of mind turning ‘managers’. With all due respect to those streams of study, my strong feeling has been that their entry into the technical sector must happen only if they are found to be thinking competently well, on par with their technical counterparts.

    As an Indian, what I am afraid is about the state of this section of people when the times get more challenging. It is not wrong to ask questions on the web. Neither is placing one’s identity. But looking for easy answers must be done away with and people must use facilities like google as the last resource. Can anyone ever imagine a person operating on his patients after referring the web to learn about basic surgical terminology? If people want easy answers, they can always get those from the web. But whether one will have a chance or whether one will be in a position to acccess the web at all times of crisis is the question.

    Coming to the author’s basic arguement: IMHO, Indian courtesy must be not equated with begging. One entices an entire nation into the debate if its very cultural pillars are questioned.

    If I were the author, I would’ve contributed my little to restore the honor taken away by these bloggers. I would have taken pride in informing those that I can and need, that they are potraying the country in a bad shape by blogging basic questions and by pretentious behaviors at work. More so if I were an Indian. If I cannot, I will leave them to their fate. If I noticed a few natives of another country doing this, I would’nt blame the entire country. We did not have merely one country working for the betterment of this planet. Every country including mine contributed to the larger well being of the race.

  66. Rafa

    I actually think the problem are not indians or any incompetent person from any nationality. The problem are managers or stake-holders that have no clue of what they want, nor what they are talking about. These people will only care for money. They would buy shit if someone told them that was hot. Since they have no knowledge of their field, they won’t see that they are paying for crap (at a low price, though).

    I have this problem in web development. My (soon to by ex-)boss makes me treat with incompetent “graphic designers” that say that can make websites. What they mean is that they know how to press the export button in photoshop or imageready. Don’t tell them anything about CSS, usability, information architecture, standards, etc. Actually, don’t even ask them for “graphic design”, since what they simply know is how to play with photoshop; they have no idea about colors, type fonts, etc.
    They are from latin america and for my boss they are great because they are cheap… The problem is, I get a chunk of spaguetti HTML with almost no functionality and my boss thinks that I just need to minutes to put it online because they built the website for me, when I actually have to almost rebuild that crap to split HTML and CSS, add PHP, and cry because the organisation of the screen is crap and there are typos in those texts embedded in .gif’s and .jpg’s.

  67. Ratna Dinakar


    The points you have specified , though seem rough but they are bitter truths. I myself saw many people who don’t want to welcome or at least look for another probabilities except the language or platform they are working on. And coming to the whole IT people in India.. it’s common like every part of the world you will be finding a mixed cream of people.

    Any way.. I feel it will be flaming the people moods.. 🙂

    Have a nice time!

  68. Arsenalist

    Arsenalist believe’s in the ‘whine & dine’ culture. Whine all the time (its just the moaning that pisses people off) and dine with the money saved because of cheap Indian labor.

    (In very Indian voice/tone) – Thank you, please come again.

    Cheers folks, ignore the Arsenalist fool.

  69. whatever

    Well the reality is, the US business milieu is one of hating labor so much that they’re willing to run the risk of sacrificing their businesses to these outsourcing companies rather than do any of the following:

    1) pay a gainful wage that places people solidly in the middle class.

    2) instantiate incentives which reward deriving profit by creating value for the market, rather than through a cost reduction that destroys the long-term health of the company-i.e. dealing with these companies.

    3) develop a culture of craftsmanship and apprenticeship where talent is cultivated within a company over years, and knowledge is transfered from master to newbie in an context of long-term trust, fair-dealing, good-will, and an assurance that the company believes even one sentence of it’s own HR-generated “you’re family” bullshit.

    But that’s never going to happen in the US. Ever.

    And the reason for that is, in the US (in case you don’t live here) business people are , in a nutshell, drunk blind with a strain of greed that is indistinguishable from sociopathy, and the government isn’t going to punish any of this. Illegal aliens, Enron, Anderson-Arthur, Global Crossing, falsification of unemployment data, concentration of wealth into the hands of a few, the destruction of the middle class, it’s all one thing- greed.

    One of the roles of government is supposedly to redirect and rectify bad behaviour through incentives so the vices (remember them?) don’t destroy the nation.

    Fat chance.

    It’s the culture here to get ahead by screwing everyone and everything in an orgy of valueless and lawlessness. It’s expected and it’s approved of. That’s exactly how business is done in America.

    So we have the spectacle of Bill Gates getting up in front of Congress and swearing that he can’t find educated Americans to work for M$, while the real unemployment rate of American programmers – including those who have simply been driven from the industry forever – is double digit.

    The reality is, Sun, IBM, MS and all the rest systematically drive out and deny jobs to tens of thousands of perfectly qualified programmers each year, forcing them out of their profession. They collude with the government to keep their victims numbers off the unemployment index by conveniently ceasing to count them as unemployed after their first 6 months of joblessness.

    In the mean time, as was joked about the movie Office Space as early as 1999, they hire 1st year graduates to take their places (incompetently and with predictable results) and outsource everything else the bullshit degree graduates that populate the outsourcing companies.

    Work in America is a scam, overseen by the likes of Elaine Chao, and everyone here knows it. Your company’s management would rather fire everyone, pocket their 2 million “cost reduction” bonus, like Home Depot, then get fired by the board when things start falling apart than even THINK about developing value. IN fact, all that stuff I talked about above, those readers in management immediately started sneering as soon as they read those words.

    America is run by coke-snorting egomaniacs aided and abetted by constitutionally amoral ideologues in the government who really believe that the best possible world in one in which a tiny minority own and control everything and profit is derived the way Haliburton derives it- from monopoly and forced payment from taxpayers to the governmentally well connected .

    That’s business!

    But there’s a thing called reality, and the reality is- America will lose its leadership under this regime. Go ahead and fuck over everyone so you can keep your trophy wife in shopping sprees. Go ahead and disincentivize advanced learning and the pursuit of excellence and the creation of value- all that’s going to happen is what happened to Rome. And no, you won’t be able to ignore that by snorting another line of coke.


    Isn’t that clever?

    Have you ever noticed that, while America drug-tests its baseball players, who hold no-one’s 401 stock, they refuse to instantiate mandatory drug testing for the CXOs, boards and corporate officers of their publicly traded companies, who hold the entire nation’s

    The overarching reality is,

  70. ketan

    You are a person with disturbed mind. Why you are in the field of IT I don’t know.But I am sure 100% that you do not have any knowledge about Indian IT.

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  72. zzz

    ha ha, i think there are a few things at work here –

    1. outsourcing is usually a nightmare, especially when you have cultural differences with people you don’t know.
    2. it would seem that the way of learning something in india is different from what we do in the US. i haven’t quite pinned it down but it seems more methodical, (and to us) at the expense of the big picture.
    3. good point about too many freshers. experience matters more than origin.
    4. indian english can sound too formal or totally informal, or sometimes broken.
    5. software projects are messy anyway; at least all the interesting ones are. developers aren’t the only ones who lose focus on quality control.
    6. requirements change all the time and you really need to maintain communication
    7. it’s contradictory to want to move very quickly with your product and also keep your remote team up to date. there are too many barriers – time zone, layers of managers, phone/IM limitations.

    the best experience i’ve had with working remotely has been in hiring on permanent staff that lives overseas. the paperwork is minimal and they report directly to you.

  73. Jam

    I think you are absolutely right and someone said about percentage that indians are more in number but percentage of incompetent developers is the same, I think this means to say since we have in india more people so we are allowed to create more garbage.

  74. ndandge

    Hey dudes,

    I guess… max of you people doesnt understand business and how it works.

    Anyways, generalising any issue is not a good thing. (it shows your own narrow mindedness).

    So guys.. stop replying to this blog…. and get onto your work.


  75. Manish

    Hi Guys ,
    I am also from India and I admit that some people are crap and doing crap and most of them are from project based BIG Giant…

    But the practical thing is that ….if we going to develop this kind of projects and our slaries will rise like this then sooner or later the work will again go back to USA…

    so please guys do work hard and put your best efforts .


  76. YC

    The programmers I describe below, are white American – so what does that say?

    In my day job, I am maintaining (and enhancing) a distributed system that was written by apparently Cobol programmers who switched to Java rather suddenly last year.

    – apparently did not hear of functional programming, so 600-800 line sub routines with if-else-while nesting up to 7-8 levels deep. very hard to follow the logic.

    – no knowledge of exceptions, so return codes were used.

    – hand rolled socket server because application EJB servers were not on their radar.

    – a pseudo “object-oriented” database layer with all sorts of design problems and takes 5-10 times the LOC (that I have written in a simple database access class to show them a better way).

    Their output in terms of Lines Of Code is phenomenal but it is a maintainence nightmare.

  77. anonymous

    I have had several experiences with Indian outsourcing companies over the fast few years, none of them positive. You are generalizing, but you aren’t far off the mark. Indian developers are usually hard working and well meaning, but just don’t have the experience.

    Incompetence is everywhere (including North America) – but the root problem is that companies are handing over the development of critical applications to these overseas shops in order to save on initial development costs. The outsourcing shops promise to deliver a great application at low cost, but often the result is frequently of extremely low quality, if not a complete disaster.

    Recently one of my coworkers was forced to “oversee” a major offshore development effort; he comes to me nearly every other day with another scary story about something he found while reviewing the code that was handed over (code that has already been reviewed internally). Really basic mistakes that show a fundamental misunderstanding of basic concepts. Like a base class that refers directly to its own subclasses (instead of via polymorphism). A recent code handover did not even compile. This is how we’re supposed to save money? If they can’t get the basics right, how are they supposed to get the subtle details like making software easy to monitor in production?

    The main problem is that the “senior” people in charge at these overseas shops usually lack the real-world experience necessary to produce lasting software – not just software that works, but that will be easily maintained and operated over the long run. It takes experience to know how to develop robust software, not just a few months of training or certification. Furthermore, because these shops are new, relatively inexperienced people are promoted to higher positions with greater influence much more quickly than they would in a mature software development organization. (the same things apply to the ex-COBOL developers mentioned above)

    And to those who think that the outsourcing companies will improve as they gain experience over the years; while this may be true to a degree, there is a difference between good experience and bad experience.

  78. anonymous

    Just to clarify my previous comment – this isn’t a matter of race; these aren’t problems characteristic only of Indian offshore companies, just problems with the offshore development model in general.

  79. ram

    ‘thatconfusedindian’ got it right. Probably the only reason you came to India was for cheap labor. So you got to see only the cheap stuff! Surprised? Back home, if you were looking for a $2000 car, what would you expect; a Porche?

    Besides if you just happened by chance to bump into a quality company with top class people (purely accidental, since you were only looking for cheap), would you pay US rates for them as you would a US company? I think you are just all confused and a bit of a Hypocrite as well! Well, you are Indian after all!!!! I’m an Indian too 🙂

  80. Lucky

    Hey CRB(#60), I didn’t know IITians work as programmer. Are you in your minds?? DO you have any bloody idea what IITS/IITians are and what kind of work they do? This shows your knowledge about India and Indian IT. YOU JUST WANT TO CRITICISE THATS IT.

  81. Lucky

    Height is measued from top to bottom not from bottom to bottom . WHat are you trying to prove by picking up few bad examples.WHen there are good comments from people like Bill Gates they are interpreted the way (see comments 4m whatever (#80)) that serves your purpose of criticising.
    Some of these even don’t have correct facts/knowledge about IT in India and thinaks that IITians from India work for offshore service provider shops(#44).Please before hating find a good reason to hate.

    I have 5 years of experience in IT. I work for one of the top most companies in India.And I don’t only provide services I provide solutions(and so my company) to my client. My code doesn’t have such basic flaws as not cheking for null or not using suitable patterns whereever applicable.My client can’t imagine to live without us.

    It seems the incompetency is not the issue, outsourcing is not the issues, issue is India?? right? And if this is the case than outsourcing is no yardstick.

    Who are you to criticise Indian people, you are no one.DO you know more than Albert Einstein???

    Albert Einstein: “We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made!”

    Or Mark Twain –

    Mark Twain: “India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most astrictive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only!”

    “So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked.”

    “In religion, India is the only millionaire… the One land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for all the shows of all the rest of the globe combined.”

    Lill more –

    Will Durant, American Historian: “It is true that even across the Himalayan barrier India has sent to the west, such gifts as grammar and logic, philosophy and fables, hypnotism and chess, and above all numerals and the decimal system.”

    “India will teach us the tolerance and gentleness of mature mind, understanding spirit and a unifying, pacifying love for all human beings.”

    “India is the motherland of our race and Sanskrit is the mother of Indo-European languages. She is the mother of our philosophy, of our mathematics, mother of ideals embodied in Christianity and mother of our democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all.” (‘Story of Civilization’)

    This is just a sample for you, so that next time you raise the issues in correct manner and don’t associate it with nation or race PARTICULARLY WHEN YOU DON”T KNOW ANY THING ABOUT THAT.

  82. clearlight

    I will not apologize for generalizing; generalites can be and usually are true, even if not politically correct. And the post is correct to point out the politically incorrect truth: generally speaking, Indian programmers are sub-par. This the empirical data; this is what I and everyone I know everywhere they work has experienced.

    There could be many reasons; this is not a racial or ethnic bash, this is just an objective observation.

    BUT what is more significant than the low quality of Indian programmers is the fact that companies in the west believe in the fairy-tale idea that they can save money by going to the lowest bidder, in another country, with less stable infrastructure, less mature of an ‘industry’, and undeniably poor quality practitioners (with a few exceptions: one of the best developers I ever worked with was Indian, but that was one out of many dozens in 5 companies).

    Shame on the Benedict Arnold CEO’s; Shame one the greedy CIO/CTO’s and shame, shame, shame on the greedy clueless vulture capitalist and middle managers and others who think that there is a free lunch.

    A long time ago I saw a sign that read:
    “Quality is a lot like oats. If you want fresh clean oats, you pay the going price. If you’ll settle for oats that have been through the horse already, you can save a lot of money”

  83. Lucky

    This can only be the observation/experience of the people who want get a world class system on the cost of peanuts, only. Its simply matter of deciding what you want not how much you want to pay. Decide what you want and than pay for it. Indian GOOD quality engineers will still be cheaper. And btwI am sure who have bee dealing with the people belonging to te lowest belt.
    Also I found you(clearlight.arse…) very anti- Indian, but you are not able to acknowledge that fact to yourself. You can’t accept that you can descriminate on basis of race, color etc..thats why your own statements are contradictory. On one hand you say that Indians are sub par programmers than you say they are the cheap one than you say best programmer you worked with was Indian. Instead of blogging here blog your heart an get some honest replies for yourself first..

  84. B

    There is no such thing as a competent Indian developer whether overseas or here in the U.S. I have had to work with many of them and I have found in general they are quite stupid, lazy, and smell bad. The guy I currently have to share a cube with was hired as a “Java Architect”, but yet he has to ask me the most basic questions practically on a daily basis. I have to tell him something 3 times in different ways just to get him to understand something so basic, yet anyone else ( non Indian ) will understand the first time. They’re a waste of time, waste of space, and they need to all go back to India and live in their own stinky culture and stop polluting my air.

  85. Bruce

    I agree completely with the original post, and I gag at all the India-defenders who spout political correctness in excusing poor performance. It is not because someone is from India that they are under-educated, under-experienced…it is because they are cheap AND have no morals about accepting jobs for which they are not qualified!
    I have worked with many of them over the years in many different corporations and there were no brilliant ones that my consulting customers ever received. [Of course, cheap ones never are, otherwise they would have left already for greener pastures in this global economy.]

    The REAL racists are the U.S. corporate managers, who in (mistakenly) thinking all software-developer-cogs are equal and therefore get the cheapest cogs out there, translate that into ONLY hiring Indians because they are easy to spot in the hallways thus showing that one is towing the corporate line.
    How about all those Russians, Romanians, East Germans, Ukrainians, etc, who are supposed to be cheap too? They blend in too well which local Americans, so when management walks thru the halls they don’t immediately see that one has fired enough American programmers.

  86. Bruce

    P.S. In sickening irony, I see daily these politically correct corporations that require a certain level of “diversity” from companies wishing to do business with them, that are now hiring ALL-Indian companies (and vastly male at that) with no apparent qualms. Of course, maybe that is because they have defined (East) Indians as a minority, thus actually helping to meet their own “diversity” goals! Poor babies are so under-represented in this industry, I suppose this is only fair.

  87. B

    Everyone reading or writing about this post seem to have worked in many companies. Disgruntled perhaps!

    Indian programmers are good. Period!

    IBM, Accenture and EDS are not going to India to demonstrate their good will towards India. They are there to make money. COLD HARD CASH. BABY!

    Now to address all the losers above. Quit your IT job and get and re-educate yourself in another profession. In the long run, work will go where talent is! Its a global economy BABY!

    Globalization rules! Narrowmindedness stinks!

    Get rich! Go global! GO BABY! GO!

  88. B

    Hi Soren,

    “Since I’m moving to India, and probably going to start one of those ’smaller companies’, does anybody have some ideas on how to attract the ’smart’ people?”

    Good work man, you are the right path.

    – Hire good people, people will make or break your firm. Pay them for their performance: If they do well pay them more.
    – Don’t get involved with politicians and government funda. Government has a way of destroying a few things and that will include your business.
    – Network – talk to as many people as you possibly can, they will give you insights, ideas that you would have never thought of. Consider getting a parner(s), the risk and the reward can be shared by a few people. People with different backgrounds can complement eachother, think of how Infosys got started.
    – Spend wisely, cash is king so spend as little as possible when setting up your company. You can always grow from a small base but is very difficult to down-size once you have bought a lot of stuff.
    – Concentrate on your core business and outsource everything else. Hire outside accountants, lawyers etc and pay them for work they do. You should spend all your time thinking about your core competency.

    Finally, good luck man!

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  90. Merc

    I have experienced working with an Indian company from there silicon valley “Banglore”. It was Visual C++, ATL project made use of COM+. half of the work was to be completed by the indian company. they always comlained that the application did not run….we spent much time and later on we found that they were running the project on Windows 98. every windows developer knows that COM+ does not exist on Windows 98.

    Offcourse I had considered them talented if they were able to run COM+ application on Windows 98.

  91. Thunder

    I think the problem lies in selecting the right candidate, when cost is a concern how can you find the right guys be it India or the US. In India there is no dearth of talent but who cares the top mgmt is always behind cost cutting which in turns means people switiching jobs and novice taking their places.

    I think you forgot that India is the land of IIMs and IITs.

  92. abhi

    dude the points that you have raised are true in some cases, but have you ever tried to identify where the problem is. The biggest problem i will tell you is the money. How much you get while working here?
    US companies are paying 1 tenth of that amount and that is not the amount that they are paying to that developer while executing from offshore. and if you really wanna compare the knowledge why don’t you find some Indian architect for which you have to pay a huge amount of money and then decide who know how to code. And can you name any industry where quality increases by reducing the cost so much, leave increasing can you maintain?

  93. jkojs

    If Indians are so smart, then how come they dont innovate anything in IT. Yes, I mean INNOVATION of IT software packages. Howcome, its still a Third World country. The biggest joke is, USA looking for ‘highly technical skilled IT manpower’ from India, a Third world country which itself is depending on Western countries for technical goods. They boast of 50 million IT people in India. They feel they are smart.But in reality its the opposite. Ofcourse, there maybe few thousands brilliant people in India but it also has 1.1 Billion population. Also India has the worst infrastructure, corruption, pollution, child beggars, very young prostituted girls etc. Ever since 1997 when Indians came in large droves on H1 and L1, the quality of the IT along with wages started to go down drastically.
    According to survey, only far less than 25% of the Indians on H1B visa are really qualified to do the highly skilled technical jobs. No big suprises. These Indians only want quick money in short term and IT industry is the answer. Thats why the immigants from the Third World (in particular, Indians) choose this path and the quality is declining.

    After all, it is the Western companies who are outsourcing the projects to India. These Indians
    make us believe that if we ban H1B visas, then USA will loose competitive edge because these folks will go back to their country. But the point is, they still work for the Western companies where much of the Software life cycle is done and these Indians involve only in lousy coding and testing part of the software life cycle.

  94. Zombie

    First of all the dude is a really smart one. I mean the article is a great one. But here lies the irony. If anyone is outsourcing then he will have “CHEAP” labour for let’s say 1/10th of a price. Then he will have 10 opportunities to find the right guys and if he finds one then for every penny he pays he will have lets say 1/2 of the quality of the work. But still the profit margin is 1/2/1/10 that is 5 times. So long live outsourcing. And good luck to you all.

  95. Ramesh

    Rarely people admit that it could be due to bad choices and decisions on their part. You must know what to outsource, be aware of the training, knowledge transfer costs and take time to pick a vendor whose profile and business model matches that of yours. It is easy to blame others, you may be the actual culprit. By saying that you are an Indian – are you trying to get legitimacy to your arguments?

  96. jkojs

    95% of the Indian H1B programmers are not involved in any of the complex programming tasks whether it is Compilers, Debbuggers, Assemblers, Open source projects, Frameworks, Automation Tools, Game Consoles etc. I bet they are just ‘Copy and Paste’ coders. This shows they have no passion and they are just in it make quick buck. They have no clue of their projects.
    Afterall, most of the software is invented from the ‘basements or garages’ of the Western households (eg- Google).

    As someone pointed out , Indians ‘need to code’ (just for only money) where as Western Programmers ‘want to code’ (both Passion and money). This is why Indian code smells very bad and has to be again re-coded at the later stage by the non-Indian programmers hence defeating the main purpose of the ‘cheap hence profitable’ IT oursourcing.

    The Wall Street will repent in the future regarding the pitfalls of the IT industry outsourcing to India.

  97. AUPguy

    Indian IT firms are actively canvassing for clients in Canada & USA and have no qualms about it.

    I see thousands of reported unsolicited messages each week (I work in an network abuse dept.) from India based IT firms trying to steal clients away from N. American co.’s. They offer everything from PHP, Hosting to SEO…and for peanuts. The estimate on Monthly Job loss in N. America due to India outsourcing is in the thousands. AOL is laying off 2000 workers (I heard it today 15-10-2007)…hmmm…I wonder why?

    My point is that, Indian IT firms are intentionality trying to abscond with jobs from workers here in N. America, and politicians like Stephen Harper (Canada) and perhaps Hillary Clinton are helping them. If a company gets the client based on Merit that is one thing, but active solicitation using unfair trade advantages is flat out greed.


  98. paige

    Totally agree with the article, I have worked for multiple companies as a consultant where programming is “outsourced” to russia/india/china etc.. and the quality of code coming back is a total joke, I would not accept it from a developer in this country let alone outsourced. They do not seem to care about meeting requirements that are set down in documents, but care more about “chucking out another project so they can move onto the next one” this is the reason why you get rubbish code. They are just a production line contininously producing crap moving from project to project. Each projectI have seen has had to be recoded internally by someone wasting time and money as it never met the basic concepts for good design and coding practice.. And from gazing round Coding sites like CodeGuru/CodeProject I am starting to see where they get all their code from.. “Copy and paste jobs”..

  99. Lana

    Prior I say anything I want to signify some points, that will make my position clearer. I am not an Indian 🙂 I am from Western Europe (As you all know, western european countries, such as Belarus, Ukrania and of course Russia are the popular targets for IT-outsoursing. Not so cheap as India, but still popular). I am young woman, I have corresponding tech education and I combine a career in IT with obtaining a degree int the Uni. In other words I represent that part of the world that is on the second end of the outsoursing process. We are rather close to India from this point of view, aren’t we?

    I agree withthe problem described in the article. It exists. Moreover, it exists everywhere: in Canada, in India and in Russia. In every part of the world there are always star developers (who are usually total freaks but I’ll put my hat off (if i suddenly have one on:)) if I meet one – these people move the world), high-qualified developers (who usually do well payed but skill-demanding jobs) and the rest (who do the rest). Author found a couple of guys from the Indian “rest”. Do you want me to point to a couple of representatives of Russian “rest” or Amarican “rest” (do not mix students in here)? Intellect interpreted as a combination of genetic ramdomness and environment has normal distribution. Can we call that “a problem”? No. It is a circle of liiiiife (c) Elton john 🙂

    But all these words written are nothing but a screen, hiding the underlying theme that sounds nearly so: “I am an Indian and I am ashamed of myself.” And three is nothing serious ’bout IT, outsoursing and ralated. Just the sublimation of inconfidence of the individual.

    Ps – please excuse me my runglish 🙂

  100. Lana

    the second link titled “most rudimentary knowledge” leads to a question of Aram Mkhitaryan from
    Yerevan, Armenia. Just FYI, he is a little bit not Indian 🙂 Consult political world map to see what I am talking about.

    I know that that all does not matter: as i have cited one of my profesors from the Uni in the previous post “Intellect has normal distribution” and so on… But you should care of your arguments if you want to sound convincingly talking about indians 🙂

  101. mvnval

    Comment to post #44.
    Absolutely fake examples.

    India has more then billion population, say, US only 300 millions, Russian Federation less then 200 millons.

    The fact that 48% of RDBMS Concepts placed India does not mean they play key roles… There are a lot of fake specialists from India who has dozens of certificates and treated itself like “guru” but are not able to do anything.

    My company and I am personally always won in competitions with Indian vendors, just because we are the Engineers but are not “copy-past” coders having dozens Certificates.

    My essential think is a lot does not mean the best!

  102. oldbob

    To Lana post #113
    Since when Belarus , Ukraine and Russia beacame Western Europe(and nor Eastern Europe)?
    You refer to political map in #114 have you taken a good look at it yourself?
    Comparing Indian developers with East or West European developers
    is like comparing apples and oranges.
    I do work with relatively young software developers from Belarus and Russia and I do work with offshore companies from India.
    You cannot even compare them – Russians are much better.

  103. Lana

    To oldbob post #116
    I have been looking at that map for many years at school, so many times that I can draw it. The other thing is that I constanly mix left&right (and east&west accordingly). That’s my fault &problem, yes. I used to mark one of my hands with a corresponding letter when obtaining a driver license 🙂

    In my company’s current project we communicate with a customer from US, which is represented by a couple of guys, and one of them is an Indian. It is the only indian I ever worked so close with, but I am concerned he is skilled and professional. The only trouble with him is that I do not understand his english perfectly at skype-confs, but it seem to be first of all my own problem.

    This is the reason I defend Indians: I know for sure there are skilled developers and “copy-paste coders” among Indians as well as among representatives of other nations. Or did I just meet a rare exception from the rule?

  104. grouchy old man

    one thing which bothers me is …. if so many people think that Indian code sucks big time … then how come Indian companies are still getting loads of American projects and are capable of showing 20 to 30% growth every year ?

    personally I don’t think the Americans are that dumb to not be able to distinguish between good and bad code.

  105. David

    I WISH I had an indian outsourcing story to share – I simply can’t get the outsourcing firms to accomplish anything… 3 attempts, 3 total failures.

  106. AND

    well here’s a dose of objective opinion:

    i am an indian, currently studying in the US. and i do have a few years of experience in the outsourcing industry..well from experience in both countries, its pretty clear that quality is a direct proportion of cost..makes sense, cos thats what determines the bottom line of the indian company. to elucidate, I’ve worked on projects, where the charge rate was $35 usd per hour..which meant that we could work our asses off and still be profitable…and i’ve also worked on projects where the charge rate was 12$/hr..and trust me, as a project manager, i conducted only 25% the no. of quality checks that i would’ve conducted if it were a 35$ project..reason: it was simply not worth it. why on earth would i spend more man hours on a project to deliver better quality, if the client in US is miserly enough to pay me less. cos ultimately, its my company’s bottom line thats getting affected..

    well the story in US is a lot different..i work for 16 hours a week and i make 35000 indian rupees, while in india, i work for 75 hours a week, and still get paid only 20000 rates are a funny concept..believe me…so think global and stop being racist

  107. Indian Software

    All Anti Outsourcing Guys, I am an Indian Software Professional and have worked in few countries including India, UK & USA. I come from very lower middle class family. I got a B. Tech degree in Agricultural Engineering but working in Software Industry after doing some computer diploma courses. You guys blame Indians for their poor English, poor software design knowledge, lack of engineering innovation etc etc but don’t know much about India.
    English is not India’s primary language so most of the Indians have to learn it apart from learning these programming languages c, c++, Java, .Net etc…
    Most of the Western companies outsource only low level Programming and Testing jobs but keeps complex high level Architecture and Functional Requirement Jobs for US only so how do you expect Indian guys to design framework and learn complex programming tasks.
    Most of Indian are still lower middle class who study in Government school and colleges which are free. These college don’t have access for new technology or R & D labs, how do you expect them to innovate the things.
    Most of the Indian comes from poor middle class families, how can you guys expect them to leave their current job and start some product biz.
    If you want to know about success of Indians then learn which community in USA has highest per capita income. Do you know 1 out of 10 Indians in USA are millionaire.
    Do you guys know how many Indians are there in worlds top 10 richest people?

    Watch out guys Indian are going to change map of this world..
    Save your jobs and your pant as well.
    Jai Hind…

  108. Vivar

    India became one of the most fast-growing IT-centre in the world; this advanced stage of development is provided by software and IT- service. So, it’s a fact and no matter how do you treat to this…

  109. arsetard

    I am a regular visitor to your site, thanks to the highlights of The Arsenal games that you post almost immediately after the match..ARSE!! to you..
    Have you ever watched one of the Russell Peters videos in which he talks about Indians fighting amongst themselves? Even though he made a joke out of it, there is a serious issue to be addressed here. This post about Outsourcing Indians is just like that.. If you’re an Indian and you’re at a slightly ‘better situation’ than your fellow country men, you find it mandatory to talk shit about them. Maybe its ego or pride, but Indians can’t tolerate their own country men which is pretty messed up. Instead of helping each other out, you poke fun at him for the world to see how fucked up we can get.. I am Indian too, I stay in Bangalore and I once launched this campaign called “Bangalore’s full, Go home!” to drive out all the people from Bangalore who disrespect the place but came here during the IT revolution and stay here for the money.. You should have seen the support that I got from other true Bangaloreans, it was unbelievable! I was against North Indians who forced Hindi down our throats and we, in Bangalore were used to speaking only English and Kannada. I respect your views on the Arsenal, I didn’t know you were Indian till I read the last line of this post, it makes me a wee bit proud to be honest. I withdrew from that campaign because I realized it was stupid and the world is changing, I can’t sit and cry about change that I can’t prevent… I can only deal with it and get on, even though it pisses the fuck out of me.

  110. Chers

    I found an interesting article that argues with you. “They say India is not going to be world outsourcing leader as it used to be for the last years. The clue reason of that change is a price shift in India.” – it’s quote from article called Outsourcing steeplechase

  111. Zombie

    Well said “arsetard”. Actually this is the real problem. I mean I don’t understand why our own people go against each other. There are good programmers and bad ones but they seems to reflect on our bad ones only, just insane. And they reflect on that only and they keep telling every other man that this particular fellow doesn’t know anything. I think it basically stems from the society we have in India. Really a very very hypocrite one. Look I am also talking about that. Its just instinct. India has never been a one united country and we keep taking shit from everyone, and I mean anyone from any country and our fellow countrymen too. India is our land we should respect her and fellow countrymen too. I mean its just like whatever we are going to do will be a wrong thing in the eyes of our countrymen. I think the west also sees us in this picture and try to convince us that we don’t have any talent, we are nothing. But I think we are like everybody else, every country has “SKELETON IN THE CLOSET”. This is a bit like colonial hangup. Sorry for this but somehow it directs in that direction only.

  112. sidharth

    you know what ur a FUCKIN LOSER arsenalist or some shit….
    quality of life is directly proportional to the quality of work i think only a retard argues this…so get this straight man ….n i wont chew words here …am an iindian tryin to do some inspiring and original work veryday n theres no doubt ppl verywhere hope n dream to do that……bt u know wat …when at the end of the day u see some assholes like you lead an easier life like you where u have the luxury to make such gross generalisations ..i think that speaks of your own technical abilities u know wat am sayin u cant deny that ur a damn loser…u just want to kill ….n i dont fuckin care who u are or what ur color is ..i jus want to help you perish u asshole fuckin butthead ..catch me online n mail me …
    well am fuckin proud to be an Indian…

  113. James Selvakumar

    This is a bullshit blog with some uncharacteristic statements made on indian developers as a whole.
    I have seen many basic questions asked by some North Americans as well in many forums and mailing lists. But I will never mock at them. I will feel happy if I can solve their problem with whatever I know, not like you, who laugh at others problems.

    And if you are asked to face a smart indian developer face to face to test your knowledge, I’m very confident that you will lose.

    This post reflects that you are ignorant and crappy and you have shallow knowledge in whatever you know.
    Try to improve yourself before pointing others.

    1. Volt

      Most typically if you have one Indian Programmer (or any other nationality) around than he/she is your colleague and possibly can be your friend. If you have SO MANY Indian Programmers (Chinese, Philippine, etc.) around . . . well it’s already circle of enemies. As a nation, if we will lose interest for programming (there is no chance to get a job) we will become hopeless animals who has no chance to survive.

  114. virus

    dude !
    u typify your clan, incompetent whiners who have no clue what the Indian IT industry is like.
    Giving examples of IT newbies (in whatsoever companies, and yes, every company has them) to generalise a scenario.
    My advice, stop bitching & try finding a job in Bangalore if you got the b*ll*cks.
    I bet the local tea-stall owner has got more skills than you do.
    You’re a disgrace to India if you really are an Indian !

  115. 386

    Great post!

    This is exactly what differentiates a third world country like India from the rest of the developed world.

    The offtopic posts above enforce my beliefs. The average India programmer is looking for a “position tag” after his name. (s)He is happy to be a Manager at some sweatshop instead of focusing on coding quality code.

    Poor quality of English and basic communication skills is another problem. Although the general population is happy that they’re an English speaking society, quality communication is much to be desired.

    We are a culture that primarily communicates in local languages. English and coding languages are not the common.

    India people involved in IT are there for a reason. They’re a cog in the machine. These “professionals” are recruited en masses and “dumped” into the workspot at the blink of an eye.

    Money and not code is what matters to most of these Indian devs.

    Yes, I am Indian. 🙂

  116. B First

    The off shoring trend of blue chip companies that continue to outsource to India or have major operations there – such as HSBC, Google and Microsoft – would seem to contradict your assertions.

  117. Gman

    I have some experience with our company outsourcing a php application to an Indian company and would like to say that I was not involved in any of the financing aspects, hiring, or anything. I was simply the in-house php developer needing to use a system built by the India team. A few points from my experience:

    * Practically nothing was tested. A bug would get run into within minutes of trying to use their program; a week would go by, they would fix the issue, we would test it, and would hit another wall within minutes. This process went on for months with no end in site. I can pretty much guarantee they did not do testing of any kind.

    * Practically nothing was documented. The code they wrote was, (I believe) intentionally obfuscated in such a way that if you wanted to add more features, change existing ones, you had to have them work on it as any other developer would look at it and would suggest a complete re-write.

    * Practically no communication between workers and managers. I had a few points of contact with the Indian team, and it seems that they would not even stay updated internally regarding the project. Meetings and deadlines being missed become the rule as apposed to being the exception.

  118. Great Indian

    Dear Team,

    I am very upset and sorry to know all of your feelings. I am a proud Indian programmer. I had seen all types of short sited / narrow minded programmers from all countries. You may get a chance to touch base with few junk programmers. Don’t assume that all are junk.

    We have very good foundation in programming. We had studied computer Science for 6 years in college. I get paid 100$/Hour in New York City. My code is pretty good and everybody is happy with it. Passed all Unit Testing, Integration Testing and follows all standards. You never get a chance to see my code, because of copy right / proprietary issues. Those who had seen, they appreciated it.

    “95% of the Indian H1B programmers are not involved in any of the complex programming tasks whether it is Compilers, Debbuggers, Assemblers”
    I am an application programmer. So need not to write any compilers, assemblers…etc.

    “two-man operation run out of a basement on a Pentium II.”
    All great companies did the same. They didn’t rented 1000 room offices on day 1.

    “the quality of code coming back is a total joke”
    You are responsible in choosing right team and set correct expectations.
    “we are the Engineers but are not “copy-past” coders having dozens Certificates.”
    Please shut down your internet access and think of doing coding for 8 hours. When there is no training, no manuals, no examples, what people will do?
    All Certificates are issued by whom? For what?
    “Practically nothing was tested. A bug would get run into within minutes”
    Didn’t checked test reports, before running code?
    “Practically nothing was documented.”
    Did you paid for it?

    I can’t comment all the statements….Ask yourself twice before you post….
    You are real narrow minded people and looking at India from your own glasses….that is your problem.
    Sorry for that.

    You will get what you paid.

    Thank you.

  119. joshua_davis

    I’ll echo what others have said:

    This is a very narrow view of the world. Talented programmers are very rare, that means most are not-so-talented. These mediocre folks are *everywhere*. There are executives that view programmers as a commodity everywhere, and why should they pay top dollar for bad programmers? Is it better to have bad programmers half way across the planet or sitting in the next room where you can keep an eye on them? Every company will answer these questions differently.

  120. Joe

    You are hopelessly off the mark (just kidding). But not for the reason that everyone is saying. Don’t you know that ridiculious questions from an Indian programmer show that he is “curious, always seeking a better way to do things, never satified with a solution even if the problem s solved”. Whatever numbnuts IT manager came up with THAT hum-dinger as the NEW description of the kind of programmer we want today is, indeed, one short-sighted sack of shit. On the otherhand, if an American programmer were to ask a question like that about struts, that would be used as proof as to why we need to hire Indian progmmers, who are so much more enlightened than we Americans. And don’t say its because Indians are cheaper. That’s bull. American programmers could lower their rates to beneath the cheapest Indian and they STILL wouldn’t get hired. The reason 95% of IT managers today want Indian programmers is because when the manager makes various bone-head plays throughtout the project’s life, he knows that chances are the American Programmer might have an opinion, or at least be a witness to it with his own opinions. Whereas the Indian programmer is too meek and mild (or just doesn’t understand English enough) to express his 2 cents worth. One final observation: would you agree that Indian programmers are acting “in unison” so to speak in terms of flooding the IT market? So what makes these bright boy managers think that they all won’t ask for raises “in unison” virtually tugging on the IT industrie’s short-hairs. Or do these genious IT managers think that Indians will work for peanuts indefinitely? So go ahead, block out Americans and hire Indians. WHEN the time come that you need Americans back. (AND THE TIME WILL COME). Don’t be surprised if American programmers decide they only want to work for Indian project managers, and they leave you American IT project managers to twist in the wind – as you are doing to us now.

  121. Frank seen Atra

    Seems a lot of guys from India changed their names to post like from US but grammar betrays them :)) That’s funny because I work with Indian people and haven’t met at least one to know what he is doing. It’s easy to find googled code pasted into enterprise apps and a lot of ineptitude.
    Let me give you an example(I changed names of variables):

    public boolean init() {
    boolean success = false;
    try {
    success = getParams();
    return success;
    }catch (Exception e) {
    return success;
    Now.. that was easy :)).

    I am sure there are good Indian programmers but it is sure they won’t work for 5$/day.

  122. Doc Savage

    To any of you who may post responses to my responses, be aware that I am not ethnically or racially biased at all. What I am is a pissed off engineer forced out of an industry by corporate elitests and economic royalists and told by the corporate propaganda machine that I am worthless because I am over 40 and educated in America.

    And the people that they choose to replace me with are preaching the same BS. Sorry to drop the hammer on your little Paki, Desi, Chinese and Ruskie fantasies but I had more talent under my fingernails coming out of high school 30 years ago than most people coming out of the supposed academic institutions in Pakistan, India and Chinal; plus I can speak the language.

    And most of the people I know from those countries with advanced degrees got their degrees in this country or in Europe.

    I have one friend from Shaghai that left China with a Phd in Physics, he had to go back to school in Belgium, Canada and the USA to become an engineer in the US; now he works for Google. It took me less than 3 years of education in the US to get a job at the Jet Proulsion Labratory as a software engineer.

    Nuff Said

  123. jack

    While meritocracy helps to build a strong economy, highly elitist attitudes is a bit repulsive. There are programmers of different abilities and they may come from any country. Saying someone does not have the right to put food on their table because they are in the lower echelons screams oligarchy to me. Elitism going overboard seems to prevail strongly in IT and there are plenty of self-serving elites.

  124. puspendu

    Unfortunately, You Are Mostly Correct!
    I have worked for one of the top quality organization(for Mortgage Banking related software and services) for 4 years(till Dec 2010) and trust me, still there are some good developers or techies who love the work, who love to learn, and love to contribute if possible.

  125. True

    As an Indian who was fortunate enough to get an education abroad and has seen both sides, I completely agree with this article. Yes there are good and bad developers in every country, but the difference is in philosophy.

    While I see in US and Canada there is a constant drive to improve and enhance and develop clean code, the same philosophy is lacking in India. In India the philosophy is as long as it compiles its good. There is no genuine concern for maintainability, IxD or testing.

    This problem is a lot to do with culture and education. The IT Education in public sector is far behind and the private sectors have take over most of the work. The private institutions are just certification based schools, where no one is concerned about the fundamentals, the principles or various software development methodologies that are out there. The stress is placed on the syntax and you end up with CRUD developing experts

  126. Andy

    India is a 3rd world country, growing fast and may (may) one day be a 2nd tier, but reasonably well off country.
    The problem with India, which will forever hold it back it it’s culture. Based on hinduism, this culture encompasses self-enlightenment and not much else ie. no work ethic, no honesty, no independence, poor hygeine and a whole lot of passivity (accept your lot in life, your caste determines your life etc).
    These values are incompatible with progressive Western-style development and are reflected in every moronic post on the webs asking for help. “Hi please do my job for me. I’ve done no research on the questions and just want the answer served up on a platter”. These people are too stupid to even realise most of their questions don’t even have an answer!

    Fortunately for coders in the west, the absolute rubbish that is Indian outsourcing is now known for what it is: crap. Successful companies don’t go near India for any coding work now. Personally, I avoid all Indians in the workplace as I’ve had way too many problems with them. There might be very small number of OK or even great Indians out there (workwise), but the % is so small, I can’t be bothered finding out, so I keep away. I’d rather have a coding job not done at all than employ an Indian to do it.

  127. Puspendu Banerjee

    Andy, Your comment is just worthless.
    “no work ethic, no honesty, no independence, poor hygiene” — not really make any sense.
    “These people are too stupid to even realise most of their questions don’t even have an answer!” –Ahh! really? Smelling like that you don’t have sufficient knowledge to answer that question. There is a book Inquiry dynamics By Nicholas Rescher read it, if you get a chance.
    “Successful companies don’t go near India for any coding work now.”– so, does that imply IBM, Oracle, JP Morgan & Chase, Oracle, Google are not successful? Or does it imply that you have made such foolish statement driven by your personal level of depression?
    Last, but not the least, “These values are incompatible with progressive Western-style development and are reflected in every moronic post on the webs asking for help.”– before making this statement you should check any Question Answer forum like, you may find your neighborhood kid asking for help to solve their home-work. — what more I can expect from you about all those moronic statements, because you were a kid too, which implies that your base is worthless too 🙂

  128. Tim

    Indian developers are not developers. They write horrid horrid code. I know in our company every time we get an Indian based developer, they suck at the job bad.

    1. Puspendu Banerjee

      Do you guys recruit people without taking interview? Else how could such developer get in?
      If you took interview then you are a poor interviewer 🙂

      Take it easy Tim!

    2. PrototypeStark

      Your company takes bad programmers, including yourself, because it cannot pay for the good ones, Tim. Like Puspendu Bannerjee said, does your company NOT take an interview before hiring someone? That makes me wonder about your seemingly non-existant technical skills :-).
      A computer programmer must be rational with such racist thoughts. I mean, the Indian speaks the same code you speak. As a programmer, you must be able to handle all exceptions(even in real life) and shouldn’t complain about a bug in another person’s code(instead stfu and fix it). If you cannot do these things, or cannot be bothered to.. then you’re a poor poor programmer yourself.

      Your ability to judge another person’s intelligence(especially an Indian’s) is limited by your own.

  129. Indian Programmers are the Worst

    I think it’s so funny how alot of the developers in india/nigger-land think that they are being hired because they are so great – and not because they ok working for slave nigger wages. I guess they get brainwashed in school or something, where people keep telling them how fucking fantastic they are – the truth might be too much to take, unfortunately. I’ve worked in IT for about 25 years, with all kinds of different people and ethnicities, and I’ve never – never – come across a more stupid/inept group of cheap laborers in all of my career. Oh happy day, when the stupid nigger indians finally leave IT…

    Please do the needful, warmest regards niggers.

    1. Pilton Miah

      I do agree their level of competence is well out of whack with their level of confidence in said competence.

  130. Pingback: Challenge: Show me a single large outsourced project that was successful? - Edward Charkow

  131. Lukas

    Please tell me what’s your impression about software developers and QAs from Poland? I am the one and am curious what is the opinion of onshore people from US, Western Europe – without political correctness. Positive and negative comments are welcome, especially constructive critics which could be a lesson for us about how to improve.

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  134. cn

    Government abdicated their role in trade. Many companies engage in their own trade agreement with India and China. I spoke to someone high up in GE that told me Indians would not buy engines from GE unless GE outsourced IT to their companies. The same with insurance, banking etc. In that way American businesses are in a prisoners dilemma. They can’t cooperate with each other even though it is in their own advantage. Instead they cannibalize parts of US economy to meet their targets. India and China on the other hand, sanely have an arbiter- the government. Government is and can be very inefficient but it traditionally can server as an arbiter to prevent prisoner’s dilemma internally. No amount of market efficiency can prevent prisoner’s dilemma. It can’t be corrected through the market. As a matter of fact, market creates prisoner’s dilemma between suppliers to force the prices down. That works as long as buyers and sellers are in homogenous environment in terms of standard of living, pollution control, human rights etc.

  135. cn

    Corporations worldwide are accumulating records profits while the profit margin has been decreasing. They are compensating by constantly reducing costs and increasing scale of production anyway they can. It is a vicious cycle really. A race to zero where eventually everyone loses.

  136. Rizzo

    Indian software developers are a joke. They are the most incompetant in the world. How can you expect Indians to be good in any engineering field, when their country is third world rotting sewer. Have you ever being to India. I have. India is without doubt the most polluted, ugliest, filthiest country in the face of this Earth. To be frank, how can you expect people to be good SW enigneers when they can’t build roads, sewers, or builings for that matter. It’s just a joke. Also, US companies expecting same quality at lower price is also a joke. Lower price means lower quality and more time. It’s isimple economics. I have worked in a IT outsoucing company in Chennai. It’s a hellhole. The whole city, office stinks. Travelling in a cab is a nightmare. The scumbags honk ever second. The so called IT manaagers are also also a joke. They make the stupidest decisions and makes even simple tasks very difficult. Here it’s a dog eat dog world. If you exect India, this hellhole to dish out world class SW code, you are an an idiot.

  137. dfdfOIU

    Here is the problem with the author – you are insecure about your own race. Do you see whites complaining about themselves openly – never.

    I have white teachers here teaching algorithms and he doesn’t understand anything if I put a small twist to it. What you have to understand is protecting your own race and praising so it will rise, not write detorative articles.

    Grow up and stop being an a-s-s-hole. And it is the outsourcer’s problem to choose and pay extremely low price. For example, what if I tell you to do a project for $1/hour for 120 hours and tell other guy to do it for $20/hour for the same hours.

    Stop degrading your own race.

    Yes, I am Indian.

    You have no idea how whites and unite and trash us. You are simplifying their job even more.

  138. Snowman

    After 7 years of you posting this crap – Its bit of a *yawn*, really. I have seen both crappy code and over-engineered systems produced by people in almost every country.

    As a sidenote, you do NOT seem to be any more competent than other Indians you deal with. Like seriously you program in Java? You do know Java is for beginners right? Its taught in schools and colleges as a freshman course. I hope you pick up a little more sophisticated language. I would have suggested Scala but I don’t think you’re any competent. After all, you’re an Indian. A slave. And you got inferior genes.

    1. strange (@cool_php)

      I have done several jobs at freelancer, vworker, elance. Most of the clients were screwed by indian coders. And they did the worst coding ever in cheapest price. If you are concerned about your project, never hire cheap indian coders. They will destroy your project and will delivery without fixing everything. And indian clients?. They treat everyone as beggar. Even they search very good coder at $3/hr.

  139. strange (@cool_php)

    I have done several jobs at freelancer, vworker, elance. Most of the clients were screwed by indian coders. And they did the worst coding ever in cheapest price. If you are concerned about your project, never hire cheap indian coders. They will destroy your project and will delivery without fixing everything. And indian clients?. They treat everyone as beggar. Even they search very good coder at $3/hr.

  140. Jacob

    Couldn’t agree more. Notice on Quora all the crap Indians post? They’re filling up the site with nonsense and regurgitated stuff that is often irrelevant.

  141. Alan

    I see a lot of people trying to self-censor for PC, however, not one person could give an example of a good Indian coder. The author gave several examples of some fairly large India based software development companies, and the strongest rebuttal is ‘there are some good indian coders’, with absolutely zero evidence or examples backing this statement up. Until I see this for myself (and I have looked long and hard, and deep, online and offline), this is just wishful thinking and is based on the false premise that there must be due to the sheer volume of people there. Perhaps there is. The reality is, IF there is, there are so few of them that the so called ratio is skewed completely. IF there is, then they most likely did NOT study at any of the educational facilities there. IF there is, they most certainly are not made available.

    Stop going all PC on issues which are valid and are wholly a nation-wide problem. Facts are facts no matter how you wish to color them or dream or think positive, or whatever other delusion you choose to live your life by. Problems can not be addressed until they are recognized as a problem, and only then, can people start thinking of alternative ways to resolve or correct the problem. Their education system stinks, and the majority of ‘developers’ there do not do it because they love the work. This also has a significant impact. There is also this illusion that hiring a coder from India is going to cost you less. It won’t. It is not uncommon to pay around the same you would pay to have it developed in America (following code standards, continuous integration, etc), with the exception that the end product is usually broken, buggy, outdated frameworks, and not given the love or attention it needs often being shelved, specifications lost, and so forth.

    If you are thinking you will save money. Don’t do it. You will lose money. Your project isn’t any more special. It isn’t going to spark the joy of coding in a ‘coder’ who does it as a 9-5 job. And more importantly, when (not IF), you do end up bringing it back to the US/Canada for development — STOP EXPECTING US TO FIX THEIR GARBAGE, and even worse — for LESS money than you paid them to write something that literally needs to be scrapped it’s so bad.

    Anyone here who wants to go all PC on this, go take your self-censoring propaganda absorbing self to another thread — or wake up and look at how things are.

    On the non-bias side of things, I am still searching (for many years now) for something written by Indian coders from India, that is clean, follows modern coding standards, well commented, concise (eg, no stray functions / code that isn’t being used, and those functions are written in as optimal fashion as reasonably possible. 2000 lines of code to do what can be done in 1 line of code, is just one of MANY examples of not being concise), and finally, that the end product actually works to FULL customer expectations.


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