SPUG: Sort an array question

Michael R. Wolf MichaelRunningWolf at att.net
Wed Jan 1 17:43:22 CST 2003

Andrew Sweger <andrew at sweger.net> writes:

> On 27 Dec 2002, Michael R. Wolf wrote:
> > Andrew Sweger <andrew at sweger.net> writes:
> > 
> > > Granted, there are programming jobs in large organizations where there is
> > > enough engineering infrastructure where a programmer can work from
> > > specifications. You will see more and more of this kind of work outsourced
> > > to other markets unless our economy adjusts.
> > 
> > I don't get what you're pointing at here.  Outsourced where?  What
> > adjustments would prevent/encourage the outsourcing?  What's left *in*
> > when the remainder is *out*?
> Sorry. I think there will be increasing pressure for large software
> engineering organizations to send detailed specification-based jobs to
> other skill markets outside of North America. The smaller organizations
> will continue to rely on hero skills to get the tough jobs done (which is
> where creativity will continue to flourish).

I sat next to a guy from China on a recent flight.  He was exporting
all kinds of book manufacturing jobs to his parent's native country.
As an American business man, with a Chinese ancestry, he believed that
China was going to grow in these kinds of endeavors because that's
what they were good at.  But he also believed that America would
retain a leadership role in the creativity of business and market
creation, because that's what they were good at.  He reminded me of a
good HR person.  (Yes, they exist!!!! In fact, they're crucial to any
business in a growth phase.)  He seemed to be looking (at a grand
scale) at the skills of certain groups of people, and trying to form
synergistic relationships between them that created value for each
group, and the customers.

The China story is about manufacturing outsourcing.  I've heard about
software outsourcing, too.  The stories that I've heard about involve
design in the US and development in India, where a well-educted
software developer can make a good living for much less than in
America.  I've heard mixed results from this kind of off-shore
partnering.  On occasion, it works.  But more and more, I'm hearing
that the personal interactions are severly compromised.  Lacking a
shared culture, the communication breaks down.  That's compounded by a
lack of face-time.  And it's further compounded by the (hey, I just
read an XP book) lack of pairwise programming, and a co-located
customer, thus preventing the iterative approach to product
development, and forcing a "throw it over the wall" mentality (from
both sides) that results in defensive, rather than cooperative,
relationships, thus directing staff energy away from the product and
toward communication channels.  Not deadly, but not effecient.  So,
it's something that needs to be managed.  And that's what the guy on
the plane was doing between the American and Chinese teams.  And it's
what has taken time in the American and Indian projects.

Does anyone else have any insights into this kind of multi-national
working?  Is it a success, for some definition of success?


> Change is all I know. But I also accept that I can almost be more
> effective as a teacher/mentor to the young and foolish (and
> significantly more creative) people that can replace me.

Not _more_ effective or creative, just _differently_ effective or

Michael R. Wolf
    All mammals learn by playing!
        MichaelRunningWolf at att.net

 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
     POST TO: spug-list at pm.org       PROBLEMS: owner-spug-list at pm.org
      Subscriptions; Email to majordomo at pm.org:  ACTION  LIST  EMAIL
  Replace ACTION by subscribe or unsubscribe, EMAIL by your Email-address
 For daily traffic, use spug-list for LIST ;  for weekly, spug-list-digest
     Seattle Perl Users Group (SPUG) Home Page: http://seattleperl.org

More information about the spug-list mailing list