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Employee Outsourced Programming Job To China, Spent Days Websurfing

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the working-hard-or-hardly-working dept.

Security 457

New submitter kju writes "The security blog of Verizon has the story of an investigation into unauthorized VPN access from China which led to unexpected findings. Investigators found invoices from a Chinese contractor who had actually done the work of the employee, who spent the day watching cat videos and visiting eBay and Facebook. The man had Fedexed his RSA token to the contractor and paid only about 1/5th of his income for the contracting service. Because he provided clean code on time, he was noted in his performance reviews to be the best programmer in the building. According to the article, the man had similar scams running with other companies."

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Error establishing a database connection (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601373)

No text.

Re:Error establishing a database connection (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601399)

Of course "Error establishing a database connection" is text.

Google cache (4, Informative)

radio4fan (304271) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601535)

google cache of page [googleusercontent.com]

Re:Error establishing a database connection (1)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601539)

I had no idea websites still got slashdotted.

Re:Error establishing a database connection (5, Funny)

vinayg18 (1641855) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601541)

Or that Slashdot still has the ability to slashdot websites.

Re:Error establishing a database connection (4, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601733)

It's front page at reddit right now as well I believe - and HN

Part of me says, "Good!" (5, Interesting)

Maow (620678) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601375)

I'm a bit torn on TFS.

On one hand, companies outsource "our" jobs with absolutely no remorse at all.

On the other hand, ... fingers?

Re:Part of me says, "Good!" (2)

indeterminator (1829904) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601429)

I'm a bit torn on TFS.

On one hand, companies outsource "our" jobs with absolutely no remorse at all.

On the other hand, ... fingers?

On the other hand, many companies wouldn't mind... IF you told them what was going on. I'm guessing the major issue here is the omission of details by the employee.

Re:Part of me says, "Good!" (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601473)

well.. and the fact the employee here was collecting a 400% markup..

employee did employer a favor.. proved his own job could be outsourced better at a fraction of his salary. fire the employee, keep the contractor.

Re:Part of me says, "Good!" (4, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601667)

Was he using the same contractor for everything? If he wasn't then maybe he's a competent project manager with a good eye for talent.

It's not so easy to get good results from outsourcing. So some of his 400% markup might be justified ;).

Re: Part of me says, "Good!" (1)

ayahner (696000) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601669)

Really? What does the employer bill for the employees hours on the project? I think $150-200 is the norm.

Re:Part of me says, "Good!" (4, Interesting)

kiddygrinder (605598) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601565)

yeah as if, i'm sure if i told my boss i was doing this they'd be so keen to keep paying me to do it rather than firing me and doing it themselves whilst keeping 4/5 of my salary.

Re:Part of me says, "Good!" (4, Insightful)

indeterminator (1829904) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601613)

my boss

I quoted the problematic part. s/boss/client/ and all is well. Independent contractors do this all the time.

Some other important things: (a) You want to get permission from your boss/client *before* making the arrangement. (b) You *don't* want to disclose the rate of your subcontractor to your boss/client. (c) You *definitely* don't want to send your *personal* RSA token and access credentials to your subcontractor.

Re:Part of me says, "Good!" (5, Insightful)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601593)

The major issue is handing over access keys to a corporate VPN to a random bloke in another country. Frankly, I'm quite impressed with the general concept, but introducing a huge security breach isn't going to make you popular, he should have just had the guy email him code and the ctrl-V it himself, cutting the security breach out, he'd probably never have been caught unless there was something unexpected in the code.

Re:Part of me says, "Good!" (0)

Pieroxy (222434) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601537)

On the other hand, ... fingers?

Personally I have fingers on both my hands.

Outsourcing (4, Insightful)

Janek Kozicki (722688) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601377)

Now, who is going to complain about job outsourcing? Market & economy have laws that can't be broken. No matter how hard some countries try to.

Re:Outsourcing (4, Informative)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601545)

Yeah something of a double-edged sword there. Of course their argument is about knowledge and all that, but in reality, many outsourced jobs go to contract companies who then sell the jobs out to other, unknown entities. All the companies out there having things made by slave children invariably claim no knowledge based on these types of practices.

Also, outsourcing happens on our soils as well. I once spent some time with a company that sold our services to another company and the markup rate was 50% or more of what I was getting. I was rather disgusted at the notion. It was impossible for me to get that job, but by going through one of these companies, I could get it and there I was, "the same damned person."

But we people routinely get angry at people who do the very same things we do... or we simply get angry at the wrong people. Case in point: A guy finds his woman has been with another man. The guy gets angry and goes after the other man. Say what?! This guy is doing what pretty much every other guy would do when it's being made available to them. Why get pissed off at another guy who is doing what you would be tempted to do? I wouldn't. The real problem was the woman and sometimes she is blamed and other times even forgiven. Ridiculous.

So the business who is likely to outsource (call centers and stuff like that) finds one of its employees is paying someone else to do the work he was hired to do. On one hand, they shouldn't care. On the other, there are security concerns... sort of. If they thought he was a safe employee, they now know it was just an illusion like all of our other notions of being safe. (But we gave up our freedom, our right to self-defence and lots and lots of money to taxes and we're NOT safer? I'm shocked! Shocked I tell you!)

Well, there is certainly much to talk about with regards to this and a lot of perspectives to weigh in. But most of us definitely feel companies like Verizon 'deserves' this though it would only make a difference if most everyone was doing this... which they aren't. Can't be. So, kudos to the scammer. May he never be given another job like this or in the industry again. You are scum just like the companies who outsource our jobs. It doesn't make it right when you do it, any more than when they do it. That they get upset when someone did it to them shows perfectly that they know what they are doing and who they are doing it to. That they feel justified in doing it while others shouldn't just shows their hypocrisy.

Re:Outsourcing (4, Insightful)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601645)

Also, outsourcing happens on our soils as well. I once spent some time with a company that sold our services to another company and the markup rate was 50% or more of what I was getting. I was rather disgusted at the notion. It was impossible for me to get that job, but by going through one of these companies, I could get it and there I was, "the same damned person."

If you would have gotten sick, died or otherwise unable to work, would you have been replaced at no additional cost?
If your expertise wasn't up to the required standards, would you have been replaced at no additional cost?
If you turn out to be a criminal, could they sue you for all damages or just a small fraction of it?
It's all about insuring risks.

Legality? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601379)

Aside from the security issues, is such a thing legal in the US? I mean, are you required by contract to do the work you are paid for yourself?

Re:Legality? (2)

kestasjk (933987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601433)

Not usually, they typically pay someone to do a certain job by whatever means within the law when contracting.

It would probably go against their IT policy though to allow someone else access to your account, and if he signed any NDAs or other IP agreements without getting the Chinese subcontractor to sign (which would still be pretty questionable) then he'll be in trouble.

Re:Legality? (2)

erroneus (253617) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601549)

The IRS will have MUCH to say over this. Of that you can be sure.

Re:Legality? (2)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601605)

The IRS will have MUCH to say over this. Of that you can be sure.

I'm curious - why?

The individual hired a Chinese consulting firm to produce code. The subcontracted agency seems like it would be outside the authority of the IRS.

Re:Legality? (5, Funny)

crizh (257304) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601611)

Presumably the cost of the sub-contractor is deductible?

Re:Legality? (2)

alphatel (1450715) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601661)

Presumably the cost of the sub-contractor is deductible?

Absolutely 100%. Not only that but you can deduct other expenses like dry cleaning clothes to make it look like you were doing the work and the VPN used to migrate your subcontractor into the job site. Get a real crafty accountant and you should be able to keep every red cent.

Re:Legality? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601453)

are you required by contract to do the work you are paid for yourself?

Depends on the contract.
In a lot of workplaces it is not enough to do the work you are hired to do, you will also have to do it the "correct" way. You may do customer support just as well with your feet on the desk but that doesn't mean that every company will tolerate that. Some companies will have no problem with you showing up unshaved and with less formal clothing to a customer meeting, some companies will fire you for that.

In this particular case the company doesn't like it if people in his position outsources their work. If if was in a manager position it might have been a different case. Perhaps the only problem was that he didn't report the outsourcing upwards or that he didn't use the time saved by outsourcing his job in a way that was beneficial to the company.
Did he pay taxes for the services he hired. Since he did it on work time, would the company be liable for tax fraud if the IRS showed up and had a look? Perhaps that was a risk the company didn't want to take.

Re:Legality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601585)

Pay what taxes?

Re:Legality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601589)

Aside from the security issues, is such a thing legal in the US? I mean, are you required by contract to do the work you are paid for yourself?

Sub-contractor?

Re:Legality? (1)

steviesteveo12 (2755637) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601619)

Depends on the contract. For example, the special thing about an employment contract is the personal obligation.

Re:Legality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601597)

How is this any different from using snippets of code you find in a textbook or in Google? I mean, if Google doesn't show you the code you need, the next logical step is to pay someone to find/write it for you. Only in the desperate circumstance where code is genuinely not available do you write it yourself.

Borrow it, steal it, buy it, or make it. In that order. Isn't that a mantra in certain circles?

Re:Legality? (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601751)

Most employment contracts require you to turn up, and do what someone else tells you to do while present. If you don't do what they tell you to do, then you're certainly in breach of contract.

If he had been a contractor, and simply had to produce the goods, this might have been different.

first (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601381)

post

Hmm (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601383)

First post, and TFA is already slashdotted.

Re:Hmm (5, Funny)

unix_core (943019) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601409)

Maybe the guy in they fired in TFS is actually the guy who takes care of their database server.

Scams? What Scams? He was the MOST effective... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601385)

Not only was he the most effective employee in the company but he was managing a successful software consulting service providing services to several other local companies. He delivered the goods. In fact he was more successful at managing software outsourcing than most large companies are.

Re:Scams? What Scams? He was the MOST effective... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601485)

He probably was a decent coder because that it's ether random luck or he knew how to spot a decent/good programmer in the wild half a world away.

Re:Scams? What Scams? He was the MOST effective... (5, Insightful)

Weezul (52464) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601559)

Yes, I'd consider this a fairly good resume for managerial positions : Efficient, check. Benefitted employer, check. Dishonest, check. etc. He should simply continue with his contracting company providing developer services for clients. In fact, it's almost pathological that he chose to sit in an office all day while doing this.

But of course (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601393)

When corporations do it, it's efficient. When an actual human does it, it's a scam. Can this social order please collapse now? It's bankrupt.

Re:But of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601491)

If a corporation outsources a job for a fifth of the wage of a local worker, then.... yes, that really is more efficient than having a guy paid four fifths of a wage to do nothing.

Re:But of course (5, Funny)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601579)

Nothing? Nothing?!

Sir, he was a Manager!

(He paid other people less than the work was worth, he routinely breached company IT security policy, and he spent all day watching cat videos. He was perfect. Give him fifteen years and he'll be CEO.)

Re:But of course (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601641)

If a corporation outsources a job for a fifth of the wage of a local worker, then.... yes, that really is more efficient than having a guy paid four fifths of a wage to do nothing.

If a company outsources work a consumer pays $10 for a widget, and the company keeps $9 as profit and sends $1 to the people doing the work in China.

If the employees subcontract their own work to China on the side, then the consumer pays $10 for a widget, and the company keeps $3 as profit and gives $7 to the employees, who secretly give $1 to the people doing the work in China.

In both cases 90% of the money goes to people doing nothing. The only difference is whether those people are executives and shareholders, or employees. Corporations naturally seek rent, and it is only natural for their employees to do so as well.

Re:But of course (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601577)

If a company misrepresents their product (e.g. made in USA when in fact it's made in China), they will be sued, and lose.

Of course, this is not unusual (5, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601693)

Take music. The CD's are produced in China to lower costs, this is legal. You buy them from China, ILLEGAL PIRACY!

Outsource production, perfectly legal. Buy imports, pay max taxes including taxes on shipping PLUS a customs fee PLUS a fee for the shipping agency ON TOP of the shipment fee for it all... AND STILL it is often cheaper...

The global economy is there to benefit the rich, not the poor.

Re:Of course, this is not unusual (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601713)

That's because the price of making the CD is only a fraction of the cost of producing the CD.

The global economy is not something that was designed. It no more has a purpose than ocean currents do.

Scam? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601401)

It's not really a scam is it? It's just subcontracting.

Got /. (1)

bharatm (832940) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601411)

VerizonBusiness Link not working got /. Getting the error Error establishing a database connection

Cheap Chinese Crap (5, Funny)

ebonum (830686) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601415)

You know all the stuff from China is cheap and poor quality. Bunch of lazy communists over there... "best programmer in the building" Oh wait. Never mind.

Subcontracting (5, Insightful)

Gabrill (556503) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601419)

What's the problem? Does the employee contract have a clause against subcontracting?

Re:Subcontracting (5, Insightful)

sesshomaru (173381) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601437)

It sounds like it was an unauthorized access problem. Most companies you aren't allowed to let non-vetted people use their equipment or access their network.

Of course, if he had brought his idea to the company and they had liked it, they'd have said, "Oh, ok, we'll fire you and hire him for a lower salary. Thanks for the idea."

Re:Subcontracting (4, Insightful)

Yaa 101 (664725) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601665)

Yes, and he should have copied the environment that gave access to his subcontractors and make the copied environment update at his employers environment by scripting.

He was only half smart, his lazyness did him under.

I appaud his idea as he did the same that most corporations do, but he was sloppy doing it.

Re:Subcontracting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601745)

You have no idea of the size of the environment, durrr. Do you expect someone to replicate an enterprise system using various proprietary applications? You sounds like a typical web "developer", can't see beyond a couple of trivial scripts and lifted code from other sites.

Re:Subcontracting (2)

limaCAT76 (2769551) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601443)

What's the problem? Does the employee contract have a clause against subcontracting?

That behavior could easily raise flags about improper handling of security procedures, confidentiality and dissemination of trade secrets.

Re:Subcontracting (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601603)

What's the problem? Does the employee contract have a clause against subcontracting?

That behavior could easily raise flags about improper handling of security procedures, confidentiality and dissemination of trade secrets.

Sure... but if these are real issues, then write it into the sub-contract!

Re:Subcontracting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601465)

What's the problem? Does the employee contract have a clause against subcontracting?

I guess it has a clause against sharing company secrets with others. It also may have a clause about not letting others use your login (remember, this came to light due to a VPN connection from China).

Re:Subcontracting (4, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601575)

Not until a Chinese company starts offering this company's product at 1/5 the price.

Re:Subcontracting (1)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601685)

What's the problem? Does the employee contract have a clause against subcontracting?

Ever heard of standards?

One such standard is PCI. Credit companies will endorse you as secure if you follow certain standards, insurance companies will back up your money loss claims given compliance with that standard.
You cannot let your own family have access let alone some subcontractor in China.

Sure it worked like magic, but what would you say if it did not? what if a foreign body was stealing trade secrets? what if your data was lost because of this person? you'd have beef with this company, they'd be sued, their insurance would not pay up and it could all go belly up & other people, like you could lose their job because of one smart ass.

That sir is the problem.

Isn't this just how big companies work? no dif? (3, Insightful)

fantomas (94850) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601439)

1. Large host organisation / government body requires programming done
2. Subcontracting specialist organisation / other company/ freelancer / offers price to satisfy tasks
3. Subcontractor chosen, price agreed, task allocated
4. If task successfully completed than host organisation happy and continues with its bigger work, may call on smaller subcontractor for further work or even employ them on rolling contract

Seems to me like this is just how contracting works. The guy was asked to produce code and he did.

I can see there's a security issue here (unauthorised handing out of VPN) and *potential* legal issue (does his contract say he must do the work? if not then no legal issue perhaps), maybe a tax issue (were tax payments made to subcontractors etc. as should have been).... ...but generally it seems like he was just doing what lots of companies do, subcontracting work out to specialists and claiming a percentage for handling the work and taking the risk on its delivery.

  Not a lot different from how big companies work? and lets face it, big companies would NEVER put data security at risk or look for loopholes to avoid paying tax to the government, would they ? ;-)

When asked how he manages to code so well (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601449)

When asked how he manages to code so well and seemingly spends so little effort on it, he said: time managing.

Turns out what he actually ment was time spent managing.

Hmmm... I don't see any problem here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601459)

Unlike the usual way outsourcing works where someone gets fired or laid off. Everyone wins. Company gets good code. Programmer gets to sit on his ass and get paid. Some guy in china makes a living.

Win all the way around.

This employee has a good future in corporate america. He has a fine corporate attitude already.

Unfortunatly i suspect the company he works for is going to throw a world class hissyfit.

sex wit\h a doll (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601463)

Don't fee7 that

Re:sex wit\h a doll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601723)

GET OUT OF MY BRAIN!

                             

So, anybody got contact details... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601475)

...for this contractor who produces clean code, cheaply, on time?

Just for...you know, research purposes.

I could be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601489)

Wow! I could be a genius programmer too. I'm actually an analog guy.

Expectations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601493)

This brings up an interesting angle to outsourcing, outside of the loss of American jobs. If I was searching for a company to meet my programming needs, and was offered the choice of a foreign company doing the work or an American company doing the work, I would choose the American company. I would choose it based on my wish to help the economy, and the comfort of knowing that any legal issues to arise from such a deal would be (hopefully) easier to resolve if it were handled domestically. That being said, I would feel pretty betrayed to find out that the American company I hired was simply outsourcing my request to a foreign entity.

So, I can understand why Verizon would not look favorably upon such activities....but I'm also surprised that there are still so many clients willing to work with American companies that outsource any part of their workload.

It's all about anticipating and meeting the customer's expectations. In other words: TRUST.

Re:Expectations (1)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601655)

That being said, I would feel pretty betrayed to find out that the American company I hired was simply outsourcing my request to a foreign entity.

Then be sure to stipulate that in the contract you negotiate.

The order of things (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601507)

The real (and scary) message here is that the best programmer in the building was a chinese working for 1/5th of the usual programmer's income.

Cheap, low quality asian workforce, indeed...

Error establishing a database connection (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601509)

Not one of the commentors bothered to read the original post?
Because the bloody link is dead.

Article Has be Slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601513)

Should be outsourcing their servers too

Scam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601515)

How is this a scam if he does his job correctly?

first comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601517)

first comment

Error establishing a database connection.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601521)

i guess securityblog.verizonbusiness.com should maybe outsource their db work....

Fired or promoted? (2)

yet another SanTiago (257263) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601523)

Just wondering whether the employee was fired, or promoted to the management.

Re:Fired or promoted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601771)

It depends. In a fair world he probably should have been promoted to management for his brilliant idea, but more likely the current management simply fired him, kept the outsourced employee, and then stole the original employee's idea and deployed it more widely. There's no point in bringing another person into the fold. Then the bonuses have to be split up more.

Google Cache (4, Informative)

twistedcubic (577194) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601543)

Re:Google Cache (1)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601571)

Someone should oughta edit the summary and append that URL.

Someone else (Verizon) should make their webserver a little more robust.

Not news to me (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601547)

We did something like this more than 7 years ago.
"We" being a team of developers in Eastern Europe. Our employers were two brothers who had moved to the US and had found IT jobs. We did their work for them and had time left over for side projects. Our team of 5 people got some fraction or other from their regular salaries and it was still a good wage for us. Things have changed in the last couple of years, but not by that much.

Not scam (4, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601551)

Was doing his job, and better than anyone else there. And got plenty of free time doing it that way, that is efficiency. If instead of coding letter by letter he took a public domain code (to avoid messing with licenses) that do the same would be a not so different situation, mainly changed the timing related the code.

But also gave to another party (that be the one that did his job is not relevant, that is overseas or in china in particular depend on your own prejudices) internal access to network/code/information without authorization. That is not scam, is a security breach, and shoudl be taken as seriously as all the other security breachs there (i.e. if he was so happy watching lolcats and visiting facebook and ebay probably others could have been doing it, and maybe sharing with the world even more internal/critical information, or downloading malware without being aware and so on)

Re:Not scam (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601601)

One more time, but in English please?

Scam...? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601553)

Wait, how is this a scam?
He provided clean code, and made a profit.
Are they jealous they didn't think of it first?
He's just acting as all headhunters do,
earning 10-30 U.S. dollars/hour for basically nothing.
Al least he was able to QA their work.

This is outsourcing.

This is why there should be laws against it, for U.S. corporations.

CAPTCHA = unsolved (I swear, how does /. come up with these)

Idiot (4, Funny)

Migala77 (1179151) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601583)

I've outsourced all my Facebooking, slashdotting and cat-video-watching, so I can spend more time programming!

This sounds like the best answer to outsourcing... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601587)

Think about it.

A company has $100 budget to write a program.

They can employ a US local, who will want $100. Or they can employ a 'consultancy company' (probably multi-national), who will buy the code from a Chinese coder at $10, and charge the company $90, keeping $70 for themselves. Net loss to US - $90.

But in this case the company pays $100, 10$ goes to China and $90 stays in the US.

What's not to like?

I call bullshit. (5, Interesting)

tofarr (2467788) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601615)

This story sets off my bullshit radar. Too many things about it don't make sense: 1.) Why would "Bob" give full access to company resources to subcontractors? Were I to subcontract a job, at the very least I would want to review everything before it was committed - especially if I was taking responsibility for it. 2.) What would happen if a colleague asked "Bob" about his code? Or as regularly happens on all but the smallest of tasks he had to collaborate closely with another fellow developer? There is a level of knowledge that you get from being part of a development process that you don't get otherwise. This sounds to me like an advertisement for outsourcing services.

Re:I call bullshit. (1)

tofarr (2467788) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601621)

3.) If you were able to do this and still be considered a good programmer (let alone the "best programmer in the building"), then the standard would have to be terrible.

Re:I call bullshit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601767)

It's probably due to the development environment. Sometimes you just can't code stuff remotely without interacting with the multiple applications, OS's, Databases, code base, SVN, etc. Think about it. You're obviously not a Developer, or at least not one that works in at the Enterprise-level. Verizon still uses Drupal for heaven's sake :)

Yes, 'Bob' could have done a better job: I would have created a relatively local proxy (suburb, neighbor's open wifi, SBUX, etc for the Chinese guy to VPN thru, I never would have sent the RSA key (I have more than 5 from previous contracts, but they are *largely* useless on any other company's network/Auth), if 'Bob' did not, I would have pressed for a subcontractor clause in the contract (if said contract existed).

He was caught because someone saw a China-originating IP address. Shit, if Ying couldn't figure out that he should have VPN'ed in then it is his fault he can't afford rice next month.

Bad quality electrons? (1)

flyingfsck (986395) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601625)

Why is this called a scam? Did the subcontractor use bad quality electrons?

Bellman (5, Informative)

water-vole (1183257) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601627)

The 18th century Swedish poet Carl Michael Bellman did something similar. The king of the time (Gustav III) liked his songs and gave him a really cushy job as head of the state lottery. Bellman new he would not be able to hold down a job so he employed someone else to actually do the work and he lived from the difference of what he got from the king and what he paid the person doing the work. He spent most of his time in pubs and wrote an enormous number of drinking songs. He is the Swedish equivalent of Robert Burns.

More slashdot time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601629)

Does this mean the Chinese programmer is now available to take on new work... anyone got his phone number?

P.S. Unrelated. Anyone know how to hide the source of a VPN connection...?

In the words of Steve Jobs (5, Funny)

moniker127 (1290002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601633)

Good coders copy, great coders outsource.

watching cat videos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601635)

Is that how these youngsters call it nowadays ?

Brilliant! (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601639)

He should have been less of a moron and set up linux boxes at his home for the china contractors to VPN in through.

Monday is going to suck... (5, Funny)

ayahner (696000) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601677)

When they realize they canned their "best programmer"

wow (1)

thoper (838719) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601679)

heÂs my new hero!

It only goes up from here (0)

Sigg3.net (886486) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601681)

This guy is so shrewd and heartless that he should make great management material!

???

Profit!

Leadership material (1)

hotcut (1289754) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601703)

Granted, the guy did a bad thing in letting his VPN access go to a third party - but a smart company would see his potential. He already handles multiple sub-contractors if we choose to call them that, and apparently manages to get them to perform well. Some of the posts here suggests that the company should fire him, and use the Chinese dude themselves - but it is worth remembering that HE was the one finding this Chinese person, and he is the one doing quality control, to an above-average level. Get him an official position as manager for a small overseas team of Chinese developers, and he could be worth a lot more to the company.

When asked (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601711)

. . .the outsourcer claimed the scheme was merely an oblique reference to the U.S. government.

Summary fix (3, Insightful)

Legion303 (97901) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601721)

Company gets butthurt when lowly employee dares to do the exact same thing they've been doing for decades. Film at 11.

So these arguments are bullshit.... (4, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601735)

1. Programmers in the US are worth the money corporations spend on them.
2. China and India are full of crappy programmers who can't understand specs, cannot correspond in English, let alone produce quality code.
3. The value of the US currency is a true measure of its worth in global markets.
4. US corporations are killing US jobs despite the fact outsourcing produces lesser quality goods and services.

I know the plural of anecdote is not data, but still...

His own fault. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42601753)

He should have forced the contractor to use a vpn proxy rooted through his home computer, this would have never happened then.

And what about the VPN connection during working hours you ask, simple: He has a couple things running at home that are part of his expanding his skill-set for the future or other such bull.

Can't really fault him for gaming the system.

PHB saiz (2)

brainscauseminds (1865962) | about a year and a half ago | (#42601759)

I bet the name of the employee was Wally.
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