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Indian Techies Answer About 'Onshore Insourcing'

Roblimo posted more than 10 years ago | from the it's's-the-same-the-whole-world-over dept.

News 839

This is an unusual Slashdot Interview, since instead of using email I asked all the questions in person last week either at LinuxAsia2004 or in casual meetings with local LUG members and other techies I met during the conference. Some of your questions were answered quite well by other Slashdot readers in the original post. (Slashdot has many readers both in and from India.) I also inserted a number of personal observations, which I usually don't do in these interviews, because it seemed to be the best way to answer some of the questions. And some questions were nearly unanswerable, as you'll see when you read the rest of this article.

Before outsourcing, "hardship" visas, by RobertB-DC

Long before outsourcing to India became an issue, large IT companies like American Airlines [aa.com] were virtual H1-B "hardship" visa factories, importing large numbers of technical experts from India and other countries during the dot-com boom.

But when the boom went bust, and the layoffs came, H1-B visa holders were left out in the cold, unable to even look for a new job due to the terms of their visas.

Do the IT professionals you've met feel that US companies and the US government used bait-and-switch tactics to take advantage of cheaper non-US workers? Or did those applying for H1-B visas know what they were in for?

And a follow-up question: does anyone think that US companies will hesitate to leave their outsourcing partners high and dry as soon as they (again) find a cheaper alternative?


A:

Network administrator Manpeet Nemra says, "No, it was their choice to go. They always knew what the situation was. If you leave out the first few, the rest had contacts there and knew.

Others echoed his reply, and a few thought the questioner wasn't "thinking very clearly." One Perl programmer asked, "Does he think we don't have email lists and Web sites? We are techies. We stay in touch all over the world. We know what's going on everywhere, same as you."

On re-outsourcing: Ashvini Vishvakasarma, a consultant with Techspan, feels that American and European companies currently outsourcing work to India won't hesitate for a second to move their work elsewhere if they find a cheaper alternative. "They will move in a flash," he says. "They're leaving for the Philippines already. It's very disturbing for Indian programmers."

Average experience? - by El

How much experience do most Indian programmers have? It seems to me that in ramping up from a few hundred to thousands of programmers over the past few years, most of these people must be fresh out of school... how much training do people need before they start producing reliable results?

A:

It's common here for new grads (slang term: "freshers") to spend up to six months in a low-paid or even unpaid internship before they get a "'real" job. This is true not only of programmers and other IT people, but in almost all white collar positions. One of the desk clerks at the hotel I'm in is a new-grad management trainee who earns what she calls "a stipend that buys my clothes," and won't start earning her full starting salary -- about $330 per month -- for another four months.

Another factor (see other answers further down) is that some Indian programmers, like some American programmers, may be recent college grads, but have been messing with computers since their early teens or even before. The Delhi LUG's youngest current member is 13, and is dipping his toes into programming waters. Some of the college student members take on programming or Web projects for friends and family. In other words, many Indian new-grad IT people -- just like many new-grad IT people elsewhere -- may already have quite a bit of real-world experience when they get their "first" job.

Code Monkeys v. Architect? - by yintercept

Related to the experience question: Many US business pundits claim that the US is only outsourcing the low end code monkey and support jobs, and is keeping the higher end, more prestigious "project management" and architect jobs in the US?

First, is this the case? or is India also excelling in architectural and design work?

If it is the case, is there a resentment for the imperialistic attitude in only giving India the low end projects?

Finally, in a land where there are real monkeys am I making a big cultural blunder by calling people "code monkeys"?


A:

I got hit with a chorus on this one. The consensus was that in a poor country like India a job is a job, and one takes what one can get. If U.S. and European firms want to have Indians do only "low end" projects, fine. Meanwhile, home-grown companies are doing their own architecture and research, working desperately to build an India-based software industry that can survive after the "low end" outsourced projects move to China or wherever.

Response to the "code monkeys" comment, loosely translated into American English from Hindi-accented New Delhi English: "Ha, ha, ha, ha. It is the same everywhere. Some of us are good at this work, but many aren't. There are code monkeys everywhere. Real programmers, too, and real programmers here call code monkeys 'code monkeys' here same as anywhere else. Pass me another beer, will you?"

Quality of life - by Scott Lockwood

American workers have certain legal protections that drive up the cost of our wages. Do Indians have similar protections in the workplace? Are you allowed to organize into unions? How long is your work week? What are your working conditions like? What kind of benefits do you have? Vacation? Medical? Dental? Profit sharing? Stock options? I find myself wondering, if the playing field were truly level, would your labor still be so inexpensive?

A:

At least five people said a comment attached to this question in the original interview post summed up the situation nicely. Here's that post (from "Anonymous Coward"), repeated:

I work for a large Multinational Tech Co.


Do Indians have similar protections in the workplace? -- Yes. The rules are the same.

Are you allowed to organize into unions? -- Unions are definitely allowed by law. But as in the U.S there are no Unions of Software Professional. BTW, India is probably the only place in the world where there is a democratically elected communist state govt. In fact, the labor laws are stricter here. Its nearly impossible to fire Blue Collared Workers or Declare Bankruptcy.

How long is your work week? -- I put in the usual 40 hrs a week over 5 days.

What are your working conditions like? -- The food in the cafeteria is better here than what I had when I was in U.S :-)

What kind of benefits do you have? Vacation? Medical? Dental? Profit sharing? Stock options? -- Folks in India probably get more vacation than in the U.S. As per Indian Law there has to be at least 14 days of earned leave and 7 days of sick leave. This is excluding the 3 national holidays (Republic Day, Independence Day, Gandhi Jayanti); 3 Hindu Holidays, 2 Muslim Holidays and 2 Christian Holidays, Plus 1 State holiday; Unless they fall on the weekend. As far as Medical goes, Govt of India Rules specify that a group Medical Insurance Policy be taken out by the Co. Usually this works out to a coverage of about $10000 for about $40 a month. Profit Sharing, Stock Options and Employee Stock Purchase Plans all exist. In fact one of the biggest stories used to be the Infosys Stock Plan. Also, the Govt Specifies that 12% of your Salary be paid by the Company towards Pension each month. This earns about 9.5% interest.

I find myself wondering, if the playing field were truly level, would your labor still be so inexpensive? -- Thats because cost of living is far cheaper here. Food - about $50 a month, Rent about $175 a month, Entertainment, Eating out etc.. about $100 a month. So in all about $350 a month is more than enough. Whatever remaining usually goes into buying a car or a house.

Population vs. population with jobs? - by bc90021

With one billion people in India, what is being done to increase the number of employable people? Granted, while we in the US may not like our jobs leaving, it must be helpful to Indians. What is being done to increase the employability of the average Indian?

A:

This is a touchy subject. Less than 15% of the Indian population is what Americans would call "middle class." Many Indian workers live on between $35 and $100 per month, and one of the first sights a foreign visitor notices when walking out of the terminal building at the Delhi airport at midnight is people sleeping on the ground, right on the airport grounds. Begging is common almost everywhere except in communities and office complexes that have gates and guards to maintain control on who can and can't enter. I'll post several stories, with photos, on NewsForge later this week that will go into more depth about economic conditions in India and how the software industry does -- and doesn't affect them, but for now let's confine ourselves to a couple of quotes from Sankarshan Mukhopadhyay, who grew up in comparative poverty and is now a programmer/consultant who makes his living doing outsourced work for U.S. companies:

I grew up in a very poor village. My father made $10 per month as a schoolteacher. One bicycle was our only family transport. I went to college as a scholarship student. I did well in my exams, so the government paid for my education. Now I own two houses, and the workers I hired to build both of them had no other work, so that helped bring money into my village. My father and mother live in a house I built, too. I rent out one of the houses I own now and live in the other one. The money I earn spreads through the economy. Fathers work at better jobs because of my spending and can keep their children in school instead of having them go out to work early.
Mukhopadhyay believes that in the long run, to help technology benefit more of the population and raise living standards for all, India needs more of a "bootstrap economy. We need acceptance of the fact that innovation can come out of India."

He is not alone in this belief. Although the LinuxAsia2004 conference was heavily weighted toward speakers selling systems (i.e. Sun, IBM, and their giant brethren -- the "usual suspects") there were many small, quiet sessions that revolved around using computers and the Internet to distribute information to people in neighborhoods and villages where books are now rare and expensive.

The government talks constantly about uplifting all of India, not just the current rich and "middle class," but when you look at that one billion population figure and see the amount of money available, things still look bleak -- although India's economy is now increasing at a much faster rate than the population, so things are less bleak now than they were a generation ago.

But there is a long way to go. India's problems aren't going to be solved in a few years or even a few decades. This is an old country; Delhi has been continuously inhabited since about 1000 B.C., and in many ways life for some residents hasn't changed a great deal since then. India has only had an elected government since its independence from Great Britain in 1947, and politics since then have more tumultuous than not. While I was visiting, for the first time ever plans were being made for Cricket matches between the Indian and Pakistani national teams, with constant back-and-forth waffling by government people in both countries about whether the terrorism risk was acceptable. Last I heard, the match was going to happen.

So look for improvements in India overall, not just for the top 10% or 20% of the population. Just don't hold your breath waiting for all one billion Indians to become literate, well-dressed, and own motorcycles or cars (or even to have electricity and good plumbing), because even if every software job in the U.S. ends up there, and none later evaporate to even poorer countries, India's "modernization" could easily take a century or more.

Education Costs - by dachshund

How much does an Indian college education cost the typical student? Is it government subsidized, or are students expected to pick up the entire cost? And how does that cost compare to the average yearly salary of a college-educated technology worker (ie, how long does it take you to pay of college debt?)

A:

There's a big "it depends" attached to this answer. As noted above, Sankarshan Mukhopadhyay got a government-supported scholarship because of his high entrance exam test scores. Students with lower test scores but prosperous parents can also get into college. And now, according to one educator I met at the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), banks are starting to loan money to cover student fees at what she called "favourable interest rates."

According to CDAC students Vikas Gupta and Loveleen Choudray, it takes three to four years of work for most loan-supported students to pay off college debts. They told me 20% of university seats are reserved for free (scholarship) students, while the cost of a "paid seat" can range from 22,000 rupees (about $486 US) up to 72,000 rupees (about $1600 US), depending on the school.

This is eminently affordable for middle class Indian families (both Gupta and Choudray are going through college on their parents' tab) -- but don't forget that "middle class" is not a high percentage of the population. (See the next question and answer.)

Cost of living? - by demigod

What does a decent 2 bedroom apartment cost per month?

How about food for 1 month?

Utilities, etc?


A:

I was asking this question in New Delhi, India's capital city, and living costs in India vary as much as they do anywhere else depending on where you live. I met programmers who lived in apartments and houses that cost anywhere between $200 and $500 per month, and a few who lived in compounds their families had owned for generations. The consensus was that $11,000 or $12,000 (US) per year was plenty to support a middle class lifestyle. But "middle class" there is not the same as in the U.S. Some differences:

  • Indians drive tiny cars by U.S. (or even European) standards
  • The motor scooter or motorbike is common transport for young people -- and a 100cc bike is about as big as most get, with 150cc to 200cc considered powerful speed machines.
  • If you don't own a car, you can hire one -- including chauffeur -- for about $10 per day.
  • Forget public transportation. Buses are filthy and overcrowded. You're probably better off taking one of the seemingly millions of green, three-wheeled auto-rickshaws that are on every street in the city. (They are limited by law to three passengers, but I saw seven people get out of one...)
  • Servants cost about $35 month to hire in New Delhi. Every "middle class" Indian household seems to have at least one live-in servant -- but few have dishwashers or other "household convenience" appliances.
  • Food and clothing are amazingly cheap by Western standards. I mean seriously cheap, like less than 1/10 as much. On the other hand, programmers in India are professional workers who are expected to wear suits and ties for most business events (although most wear the same basic "jeans and t shirt" fashions as their U.S. counterparts when not required to dress up).
It's hard to put a one-to-one comparison on cost of living between countries with different cultures and economic imperatives. Medical care (and health insurance) are much lower in India than in the U.S., but then you can bring up the example of Canada and its national health insurance, for which Canadians pay higher taxes than U.S. residents.

Bottom line: You can have a decent life in New Delhi for around $12,000 US per year -- but to earn that much you'll probably need to have source of income from another country -- like programming outsourced from the U.S. or Europe -- because most white-collar jobs there pay $6000 US or less, and burger-flipping there is likely to net you more like $2000, which may not be enough to afford an apartment with electricity and running water. (And yes, plenty of people in New Delhi live without running water or electricity.)

Distorting the Economy - by BigBadBri

Not specifically about IT outsourcing, but more about call centre outsourcing - does the drain of educated people to call centres have any implications for the rest of the economy?

Call centre staff can earn more than teachers, police, nurses, etc - are those professions suffering as a result of the call centres picking out the English speakers?

Is this storing up problems for India's public sector in the future?


A:

I had a long conversation with a guy who works as a hiring manager for Prudential's customer service operation in New Delhi.

Let's note, from the start, that Prudential does not "outsource" to India. They own their own call center (or centre, depending on your spelling heritage) there. When you speak to someone in their New Delhi office, she -- and it is usually "she" -- is just as much a Prudential employee as someone working in one of their U.S. offices.

This call center woman is probably earning around $300 month (US), and without that job she'd be working in a shop for $100 per month. She works nights (so she can deal with calls from the U.S. during the U.S. business day), and one of her benefits is rides to and from work, so there is a whole transportation business sector that has developed to do nothing but take call center employees to and from work, not to mention cafeterias to feed her at work, Starbucks and other foreign chains (including McDonald s) where she spends her paychecks, cell phone companies that take her money because no techno-hip young Indian woman can be caught dead without a cell phone, at least from the examples I saw all around me.

Call center work is not necessarily permanent. It is a burnout job in India just as phone "customer service" work is in the U.S. It is also not that great on the pay scale. The breakfast waiter in the "American Diner" in my hotel said he made more waiting tables than he'd make in a call center; that he had friends who did call center work to help them get through college or whatever, but that no one expects to do it for life -- and besides, all those jobs will go to the Philippines sooner or later, anyway, so why bother?

So our Prudential guy is a good company man (who is not being quoted by name because he was not authorized to speak for the company, and the Pru gets tight about such things all over the world) and earns a nice salary, right up there with a programmer if not slightly higher. He's single, so he lives well, and friends say he has access to many potential girlfriends since he's in charge of hiring and training a workforce composed primarily of young women, which he acknowledges is a major fringe benefit.

Now the other side: There is no shortage of people in New Delhi to fill all the call center jobs -- and all the police, nursing, and teaching positions. and if all the people in New Delhi were suddenly employed, people from other parts of the country would flock there like mad, and if they don't know English they are willing to learn (including an American accent) if it will get them a decent job, and there are plenty of schools that will teach them either for an upfront fee or by taking some of their call center earnings after they get a job.

There is no shortage of people to do any kind of decent-paying work in India, period. The Army turns down at least 19 out of 20 applicants who want to be enlisted soldiers, and turns down 49 out of every 50 officer candidates, who must have college degrees even to apply in most cases.

This goes back to that whole "one billion people" thing. If a million of them work in "offshore" positions, that's only one out of thousand. Make it 10 million, and it's still only one percent of the population, and as the prosperity created by the 10 million working for offshore companies wends its way through the economy, more children will be able to go to school longer, which will make the workforce progressively more educated, which will increase the supply of potential employees for "first world" companies.

But don't forget: China, The Philippines, Vietnam, and other countries lurk in the wings, not to mention African countries that are still at the very beginning of the industrialization curve and have people more desperate by far than India has had for several decades now.

What about the long-term? - by The Night Watchman

This point has already been mentioned a bit by previous articles, but I'd like to hear an insider's take on it. The Indian tech economy is booming now, but like in the US, it's an unstable boom. Sooner or later, the US will look to other countries for their tech work, leaving India high and dry. What measures are being taken in India to maintain a strong internal tech economy, in the event that the US is no longer a serious customer?

A:

I got many answers to this question, and they all boiled down to, "We must build a domestic IT market."

But then, how can you do that in a country where a clerk costs less than a computer, and you have -- as one person put it -- "government officials out in the villages who are afraid to use a computer because they think the keyboards might give them an electric shock"?

Most people I talked to believe government is the only hope; that egovernment and other government projects are the only way to develop a sustainable local IT sector.

Next question (asked by Indians I spoke to): "Where is the government going to get the money?"

I was asked to pose this one to Slashdot readers. Consider it posed. Plenty of Indians would like to know the answer.

New Indian Startup Companies - by blueZhiftb

I'd like to know how long it will be before Indian tech professionals start forming startup companies to compete directly with their American corporate masters using what they have learned from them.

A:

It's already happening. Like mad. Half the people I met through the Delhi LUG are either self-employed or thinking about starting their own businesses. This could be a whole separate article, possibly even a whole series of articles.

Geek culture in India? - by Experiment 626

In the U.S., there is something of a geek subculture which Slashdot in particular caters to. Obviously, not all programmers are true geeks at heart, but among the people in America who are really fascinated by computers, you have a greatly disproportionate number who are into science fiction, RPGs/LARPs, Lord of the Rings, Legos, Anime, etc.

Does this apply in India as well? Would, say, a Unix systems programmer there typically have such things as interests? If not, are there analogous hobbies that distinguish the Indian geek from everyone else?


A:

After a few evenings hanging out with Delhi LUG guys (and yes, it's almost entirely guys), I realized that you could hold a joint meeting of the Delhi LUG and the Suncoast LUG here in Florida, and the only major differences would be the brands of beer ordered for the first round. The biggest argument would be over whose beer is better, followed by the ever-popular vi vs. emacs and KDE vs. Gnome controversies. Raj, from the Delhi LUG, and Logan, from the Suncoast LUG, would probably become huge buddies in about two seconds. I swear, if I closed my eyes while listening to Raj's bad jokes, sometimes I thought he was Logan -- and I mean this as a compliment to both of them.

All the Delhi LUG crowd reads Slashdot. For the most part, they read the same science fiction books and watch the same movies as their U.S. counterparts. The ones who play guitar know pretty much the same songs -- and generally (*ahem*) play with the same great skill -- as Rob Malda.

And the unmarried ones had the same complaints about never meeting appropriate girls, too.

Geek culture is worldwide. It's not exactly the same everywhere, but (so far) I've observed it first-hand in Mexico, Trinidad, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and now India, and I assure you, there are many more points of similarity than differences between its various "branches," at least in my (limited) experience.

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839 comments

primer posto (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306706)

Apu: You will kindly be acknowledging my first post now!

Re:primer posto (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306755)

My cock [memset.net] can make better first posts than you.

Sign up, it's fun.

Re:primer posto (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306820)

Do not offer my god a peanut!

first post (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306709)

first post

isn't this a repost anyway?

GNAA ON TEH SPOEK (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306712)

GNAA OWNS YOU!

Re:GNAA ON TEH SPOEK (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306838)

Are there any Indian members of the GNAA?

whoa (5, Interesting)

fjordboy (169716) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306721)

I learn something new every day:
BTW, India is probably the only place in the world where there is a democratically elected communist state govt.
I always thought the two things were mutually exclusive...I had no idea it was possible. I'm gonna have to look this up online...that's really interesting.

Re:whoa (5, Informative)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306785)

Why not? If the majority of the people (democracy) want a equal-split share system such like communes (communism), why not grant it?

What wouldnt make sense is a Capitalistic Communism or a Dictatorial Republic or Organised Peaceful Anarchy.

Re:whoa (1)

fjordboy (169716) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306815)

I'm not saying the guy is wrong...I just never heard of such a thing before. I guess that shows how little I know of India's political system....I found his statement fascinating and I'm looking up some information on it right now. I think it's really interesting.

Re:whoa (5, Informative)

calmdude (605711) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306909)

Umm, I was in agreement with you until the last one. An organized peaceful anarchy is possible. In an anarchist society, it is possible to be organized (worker and community groups) and peaceful.

Find out more by reading a Q&A [blackened.net] with Noam Chomsky.

Re:whoa (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306991)

What wouldnt make sense is a Capitalistic Communism or a Dictatorial Republic or Organised Peaceful Anarchy.

Someone's played too much Civilisation. A republic is defined as "A political order whose head of state is not a monarch (and in modern times is usually a president); A nation that has such a political order."

In other words, whether a country is or is not a republic doesn't depend on the way it's governed, just on who the figurehead is. Iraq was a dictatorial republic under Saddam, Soviet Russia was a dictatorial republic, and there are plenty of dictatorial republics in Africa right now.

Re:whoa (1)

RandBlade (749321) | more than 10 years ago | (#8307041)

"Dictatorial Republic" Actually this would make sense. A republic is simply a state without a monarch for head of state. A military dictatorship could for instance be called a dictatorial republic.

Re:whoa (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306827)

Democracy is a governmental system.
Communism is an economic system.
They are totally orthogonal. Anybody who believes differently has been fooled by McCarthy's propoganda.

Read here. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306917)

[anu.edu.au]
Manifesto of the Communist Party

Re:whoa (3, Insightful)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306868)

That's because Americans are brainwashed from birth to believe that "Communism" means "evil form of dictator-controlled government based around the idea of killing all Americans", rather than a political philosophy dedicated to the rights of the workers.

The fact that most governments that have called themselves "Communist" have been ruled by elitist nutjobs whose only motivation was to increase their own power doesn't help, of course.

Re:whoa (4, Informative)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306897)

Communism is an economic structure. Democracy is a political one. There are also totalitarian capitalist countries.

Re:whoa (2, Informative)

maxbang (598632) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306937)

It's West Bengal, bro, my home state in India. Last time I went over there, my cousins gave me hell for wearing my favorite red hoodie.

Re:whoa (2, Informative)

rilister (316428) | more than 10 years ago | (#8307005)

Kerala also has an elected communist state government - and a literacy level of over 90%.

Re:whoa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306963)

I had no idea it was possible

I sense US education in politics.

Re:whoa (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306965)

Communism doesn't have to have anything to do with totalitarianism. Or Stalinism.

There are _real_ elections in China. It's weird how many Americans don't realize that.

Re:whoa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306977)

Look up the states of Kerala and West Bengal.

Re:whoa (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8307009)

one is a political system, the other is an economic system. they have nothing to do with one annother, and in a matter of degrees, happen far more often than you'd know.

check out chile in the late 70's. before the cia helped to replace the democratically elected salvador allende with pinochet

Re:whoa (4, Insightful)

Godeke (32895) | more than 10 years ago | (#8307016)

Democratic elections can coexist with communist ideals, but usually the blend is called social/democratic not communist/democrating due to two things. The first is the "hot button" that the word communist represents politically, and secondly because true communism fails over a certain threshold population size. (Utopias usually were communal, and they worked until the freeloaders overloaded the system...)

You have to realize that there is a spectrum of political stances and different dimentions they go in. Mob Rule -> Representitive Democracy -> Republic -> Parlamentry Monarchy -> Dictatorship represent a rough sketch of the peoples participation in government. Communism -> Socialism -> Self Determination represent an axis of "how much support" the people should receive from government. These are rough, incomplete and off the top of my head, but you can combine any representational system with any support system, in theory. Likewise, the Capitalist -> State Run market axis is theoretically independent.

Modern usage has tended to blur the true meanings of these words. We seem to assume "Democratic" = "Representitive Democracy + Mild Socialism + Capitalism". It doesn't have to be that way.

Re:whoa (1)

mwheeler01 (625017) | more than 10 years ago | (#8307021)

A few things about Communism you might not have known: Communist parties exist in every democracy, in some places with great success. They put forth candidates like any other party. Iraq has a huge communist party that was suppressed under Sadam's regime. Communist parties are just far far far left leaning political parties who seem to be willing to comprimise their position on violent revolution. China calls itself the worlds largest democracy or something like that, despite the fact that it far from what Americans think is democratic.

Just thought I'd help clarify a few things.

Even Interviews (5, Funny)

lake2112 (748837) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306722)

Now our interviews are being outsourced ....

Re:Even Interviews (5, Insightful)

RobPiano (471698) | more than 10 years ago | (#8307045)

I don't care outsourced about the outsourced part, but I do care about the quality.

Reading this slashdot interview was one of the few I read word for word down to the very end. Slashdot rarely provides content at this level. I personally would be thrilled to see actual slashdot articles and editorials written as well as this one. Perhaps I'll try writing one myself in the not to decent future, but I would really love to see some actual original slashdot content being common.

First Linux Distro (-1, Offtopic)

Pingular (670773) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306726)

I'm currently interested in buying a second PC and installing a Linux distro of some type on it. What would you recommend for a Linux newbie?

Re:First Linux Distro (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306906)

So it finally happens, Sir Haxalot resorts to the hoariest old troll in the book the "Which distro is best" flamebait. You can smell the desperation through the screen. Just accept that you're GAYER THAN AIDS and buy a Mac.

Re:First Linux Distro (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8307017)

Go away Sir Haxalot. Slashdot has spoken and we don't want you!

My question is.... (4, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306730)

Why dont we see more Eastern (China, Japan, India....) Open Source software projects when they're soo good at computers?

Do they not like the idea of free knowledge exchange?

(Asked seriously, not as flamebait...)

Re:My question is.... (2, Interesting)

bobthemuse (574400) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306807)

Why dont we see more Eastern (China, Japan, India....) Open Source software projects when they're soo good at computers? Do they not like the idea of free knowledge exchange?

If the US was as competitive as India is, do you think open source would be where it is today?

Re:My question is.... (2, Insightful)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306872)

"If the US was as competitive as India is, do you think open source would be where it is today?"

Yes, because they're always Idealists. Stallman comes to mind, as he made the first powerful editor available over a TTY, and gave away a multi-platform C(++) compiler.

I can make guesses of what might happen, but that's all they are. I'm asking a question for present day.

Re:My question is.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306817)

They are not as open for doing things on their own, they need to be directed. Just look at hot the call center reps from india refuse to deviate from their scripts. It is their culture.

Re:My question is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306950)

Most call center reps refuse to deviate from their scripts, period. I had a fellow pulling that with a Georgia accent yesterday; I doubt he was Indian. from what I've seen as an outsider interacting with Indians in the US, Indian culture is not "directed," it's actually pretty damned turbulent/competitive, as much as US culture.

Re:My question is.... (0, Flamebait)

nick-less (307628) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306845)

hy dont we see more Eastern (China, Japan, India....) Open Source software projects when they're soo good at computers?

because they aren't better, just cheaper. Well most of the time, in fact I've seen several outsourced projects coming back from india, because of technical incompetence down there, but I don't want to generalize this.

Re:My question is.... (3, Insightful)

Rhubarb Crumble (581156) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306921)

Why dont we see more Eastern (China, Japan, India....) Open Source software projects when they're soo good at computers?

Maybe they spend a lot of time working on localisation, the results of which the "english-speaking world" never hears about?

Re:My question is.... (5, Insightful)

psycho_tinman (313601) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306941)

Because for the most part, hardware was expensive until a few years back, and so was the cost of accessing the internet. I can only speak for South Asia, though.. because I have quite a few friends and acquaintances there. My flatmate is from China, and from what I hear, it's much the same there as well.

In most cases, computers were prohibitively expensive (until recently, when Taiwanese manufacturers and the whole clone market got off the ground) and few could afford to have much time at computers, let alone own one. If a machine is not yours, and if you can only tinker with it on and off (and you're worried about breaking it and being denied access), and if you don't even have a good internet connection, your contribution to open source software is going to be slightly lacking.

But things are changing now, so I'd expect to see more projects soon. There is a learning curve associated with joining existing projects too.

Re:My question is.... (5, Informative)

deadmongrel (621467) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306955)

Indians do the like the idea of free knowledge exchange. One of the oldest universities in the world was NALANDHA University [bharatguru.com] in India. Inportance was given to education and is still the same. Most of the older universities did not charge you to get your education. sadly its not the situation now. The population has grown and how ever good you might be at computers you need money to survive. In a land where there are 1 billon(and counting) people finding jobs is difficult. The social structure is also different. Many of us do support our parents after graduation. so money would be in short supply. One other subtle reason would be a lot of people find jobs in microsoft related work. so not much knowledge about opensource and its benefits.

Re:My question is.... (5, Insightful)

vivekm (745114) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306978)

As an Indian undergrad student who believes that salvation of comp sci. lies only in free/open software, my answer to that question will be that, in India the majority of the population is poor, at least as compared to international standards. We are as good programmers as those in any part of the world but the major difference lies in the kind of resources that we have and the lack of financial support to undertake open source projects. Most of us would rather grab the job that comes first in our sight and work on it, rather than wait for the ones most of us dream of.

As for the `idea of free knowledge exchange', ofcourse it is widely supported by most Indian programmers, atleast those who haven't entered the `Gates' of hell. Sarovar [sarovar.org] is one of India's contributions to the FLOSS world. A sourceforge.net clone that provides hosting for Free/Open Source Software projects.

Re:My question is.... (5, Interesting)

sskang (567081) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306982)

The main reason is poor discretionary net access. Its is incredibly hard to be, say, a KDE developer when you have very unreliable, expensive and slow dialup net access. Most FLOSS developers start with fast connections from the universities, and then supplement their home net connections (fast or slow, whatever) with their net access at work.

When you don't have fast net access even at university (let alone the ability to host huge, high-bandwidth CVS servers like KDE did for a long time), it becomes really hard to even access free software and updates, let alone become an always-on developer.

Don't underestimate the Internet as the collaborative device that allows free software to happen. As net access becomes better here, you'll see more Indian FLOSS developers.

Re:My question is.... (1)

GerritHoll (70088) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306996)

Ruby [ruby-lang.org] seems to be a very good programming language (somewhere between Python and Perl) - unfortunately, the developer mailing list is only in Japanese, as is a lot of documentation.

Do you know where your source code comes from? (5, Insightful)

Kunta Kinte (323399) | more than 10 years ago | (#8307000)

Several points...

(i) Do you know where the code you use everyday comes from? That is, how do you know how much and at what rates Far-Easterners contribute to open-source? Should every project carry the nationality of the core developers?

(ii) Poorer countries have very limited access to the internet. Something very needed for the research and communication needed for building and managing an open-source project. I had this problem with my native home.

(iii) You need to have your basic needs comfortably taken care of before you can take time to develop software for free. That's true for any person anywhere I think, and very important if you're building a non-trivial project. I have this problem now.

(iv) Language differences may also hinder these projects.

Re:My question is.... (2, Interesting)

Telastyn (206146) | more than 10 years ago | (#8307027)

I've seen a bit of NetBSD code submitted by Japanese programmer(s).

Though more likely is the fact that their 'itch' is likely internationalization/localization issues which we [dumb Westerners] don't care about.

Re:My question is.... (4, Insightful)

FreshFunk510 (526493) | more than 10 years ago | (#8307030)

First of all this question reeks of racism. "They're" so good at computers? Much like asians are good at math, black people are good at sports and all Irish people like fighting?

Anyway, if asked seriously, in China the idea of "free knowledge exchange" is not exactly a popular one as it is regularly looked down-upon by the government (and is even used as a reason to prosecute people).

In India, I imagine it isn't as popular as you would think it to be because the average person does not own a computer. If you looked at the number of computers per person in America versus India, I bet it would portray a picture where India is very behind, on a broad level, in terms of technical advancement. What's the point of free knowledge exchange if you don't even have a computer (let alone an internet connection)?

Japan. Who knows? They have a history of consumer electronics and seem to be continually working to fill that niche. More recently, they seem to be filling in the mobile technology area.

Re:My question is.... (5, Interesting)

maxbang (598632) | more than 10 years ago | (#8307035)

... when they're soo good at computers?

Are you kidding that this isn't flamebait? Did you not read the part about code-monkeys? I guess this is Slashdot, so I shouldn't expect so much. The percentage of people over there who are "soo good at computers" is equal to the percentage over here who are "soo good at computers." If you're going to stereotype, at least use a funny one, like Apu.

FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306742)

Not to mention hot indian babes!

Wasnt this story posted a week ago? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306745)

I am sure i saw this exact same story last week...

Should have interviewed Babu (-1, Troll)

Knight55 (742458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306765)

He was a very very bad man.

Re:Should have interviewed Babu (-1, Offtopic)

lake2112 (748837) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306811)

Babu is from Pakistan. He's also a chef so I don't really worry about him taking jobs. In fact, I would like a restaurant where I could eat chinese, italian, or a sandwich.

Do all coolies like taking American dollars? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306771)



Cheap alley sex ain't so bad, until your first check up at the doctor's office.

Question still unanswered.... (-1, Offtopic)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306777)

Whats with the dot?

Re:Question still unanswered.... (1, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306850)

"Whats with the dot?"

Its the dot in dot com.

Oh boy, Ganesh is gona be pissed at me for that one.

Re:Question still unanswered.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8307013)

Somehow I think describing a bindi as the dot in dot com is going to piss off a lot more than Ganesa.

To the grandparent: it's friggin jewelry, basically. It has a number of religious significances. Try explaining what a tie means some time to a Martian, and see how far you get.

Re:Question still unanswered.... (2, Informative)

FooGoo (98336) | more than 10 years ago | (#8307015)

Stolen from a website:
THE HOLY dot -- chandlo or bindi -- is auspicious makeup worn by young Hindu girls and women on their foreheads.

Bindi is derived from bindu, the Sanskrit word for a dot or a point.

The positioning of the bindi itself is significant. The area between the eyebrows is known to be the seat of latent wisdom. It is said to control the various levels of concentration attained through meditation. It signifies the mystic third eye.

The bindi, normally a vermilion mark, has a religious significance and is a visible sign of a person belonging to the Hindu religion.

A bindi also denotes female energy and is believed to protect women and their husbands.

Traditionally a symbol of marriage, it has now become a decorative item and is worn today by unmarried girls and women of other religions as well.

For a Hindu bride, the red colour of her bindi is supposed to promise prosperity for the home she is entering.

The mark makes her the preserver of the family's welfare and offspring. It is a symbol of auspiciousness, good fortune and festivity.

Significantly, when an Indian woman becomes a widow, she has to stop wearing this mark.

Myth is that the bindi protects the wearer from the bad eye of people but today the religious significance of the bindi is largely forgotten and it is worn as a fashion accessory.

The old, traditional bindi, kumkum, has been largely replaced by the "sticker-bindi".

Made of felt, with glue on one side, this is an ingenious easy-to-use substitute. It comes in all colours and designs: sequinned or studded with beads and glittering stones in different sizes. The price range depends on the texture, elaborate work and size.

Bindis hold a fascination for many for their attractive features.

It is an adornment that lights up your face and gives it a focal point.

The trend of wearing bindis these days is a fashion statement that is sweeping the west.

Singers like Madonna, Gwen Stefani and Shania Twain can even be seen on MTV wearing bindis.

Enjoy it while you can.. (-1, Troll)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306778)

We are going to take our country back in a few years. This isn't a flamebait, or a troll just a statement of fact. Check the signature if you don't believe me.

Re:Enjoy it while you can.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306871)

Try modding it "Insightful", since it represents a different viewpoint. Oh wait I forgot this is Slashdot where different views aren't embraced.

The slashdot mods backing up the indians, THEY PUT THE DOT IN SLASHDOT!

Re:Enjoy it while you can.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306881)

Dear Mr. Lord, I'm not going to argue politics with you, but maybe you can help him with some html...

Re:Enjoy it while you can.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306938)

Yeah it is pretty piss poor, you would think he outsourced it to India or something.

MOD PARENT UP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306901)

Insightful! I know who I'm voting for now in 2008.

Re:Enjoy it while you can.. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306962)

Yes, Tancredo is about taking back the country.

A friend of mine met a nice man in college, got married, had a baby on the way. He was from Brazil. He made the mistake of returning to Brazil for a short visit (he was still a student, and was applying for citizenship) and was not allowed back in the country for almost seven months - he arrived back the day before my friend had labor induced because she was weeks overdue.

My friend appealed to Tancredo to please help her husband return to the country so he could help support her (support is not just financial, you know) but Tancredo didn't listen. Campbell was kind enough to help her, though, and got her husband back to the US and helped with obtaining citizenship so he could help support the family he started.

Tancredo's method would have produced nothing but a welfare mom.

Dupe? (-1, Redundant)

Metallic Matty (579124) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306806)

Not to be flamebait, but I believe there was an article very similar to this one a couple of weeks ago.

That said, I'm curious as to how the cost of living in India compares to that of the United States, and respectively, how the pay an Indian programmer (or programming living in India, perhaps) compares to a US programmger. Does it all equal out, relatively? Or does one place have an inherent advantage over the other?

Re:Dupe? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306877)

this has been discussed numerous times - it is obviously much cheaper to live in some 3rd world hellhole eating curry all day. Making a nice salary there means you can live quite well.

The flip side is that you face wild monkeymen and crazy muslims from Pakistan attacking you, and if they ever kill their president then the Pakis will most likely nuke a few hundred million hindus - which will clear this whole offshoring problem up.

Re:Dupe? (1)

tsunamifirestorm (729508) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306936)

"I'm curious as to how the cost of living in India compares to that of the United States"
It says that generally India is worse off, because it says that even a white-collar job doesn't usually make enough to afford a similar quality of life as in America. However, jobs that are taken in from other countries can give more than enough income yet still be a bargain for the original country (e.g. the /.er who will program C++ for $3 an hour)

Code moankey Indians (-1, Flamebait)

pinkmamba (706380) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306808)

1)No major Original Software Contribution by any Indian 2)No major Open Source Contribution 3)Not produced a Nobel Prize winner in Last 50 years So much so for "shining India"

Re:Code moankey Indians (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306849)

Would you rather they ship the monkey work overseas to them, or bring them here to do it?

Let them stay in their squalid little huts with open pits as public toilets.

America is for whiteys. And niggers, who used to be slaves but stay to entertain us (I love watching the six o'clock 'which nigger shot which other nigger for a 10 dollar pair of shoes' report) But no dotties or chinks!

Hooray

Re:Code moankey Indians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306920)

Wrong buddy. VS Naipaul for Literature and one in ecconomics in the last 2 or three years.

Good read, but whats the point? (2, Flamebait)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306824)

The problem IMHO is not the Indian workers. Hell, I feel their just geeks like us. The problem is that I, as a US programmer, am no longer allowed to compete for the jobs that get outsrouced. I for one would seriously consider doing a stint in India. However, unless I am sought out by an Indian company or get Indian citizenship I cannot apply for these jobs. This is where the problems are, all the companies touting globalization while lining their pockets are spewing bull shit. It is not globalization when you exclude local workers from even applying for the jobs. This of course brings us to the source of the problem. US companies are willing to sell out their workers and the economy for a short-term boost in stock price. They should all be ashamed and I hope they get brain cancer.

Re:Good read, but whats the point? (3, Insightful)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306853)

Just wait. Our tax system can not survive a large influx of people who pay next to no taxes and most of the new jobs in the US don't pay enought to require those working at them to pay federal income tax. Something will have to change

Re:Good read, but whats the point? (0, Redundant)

JavaLord (680960) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306966)

Just wait. Our tax system can not survive a large influx of people who pay next to no taxes and most of the new jobs in the US don't pay enought to require those working at them to pay federal income tax. Something will have to change

Yes, but do you or your children want to be around before that change happens? It could get nasty. Instead of waiting do something about it...

Re:Good read, but whats the point? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8307012)

I am but it is sometimes difficult to get people to listen.

But that isn't stopping me.

Re:Good read, but whats the point? (3, Insightful)

dankney (631226) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306959)

I have two immediate thoughts about this post:

1.) The problem there isn't the company. If they are a publically traded company, they are required by law to do everything possible to maximize shareholder value. If they don't, shareholders can sue them for failing in this duty. If we're worried as a country about labor outsourcing, we should look into this type of regulation.

2.) Yes, these jobs are going to continue to be outsourced. If you're like me, a commodity-level geek, then your job is in danger and there's nothing you can do about it (I'm working short-term contracts at the moment, some of it is to ease the transition to out-sourcing).

If you're unhappy with that situation, then you need to do everything in your power to increase your skills and experience beyond the commodity level. Maybe that means working your way into architecture-type positions. Maybe it means going back and getting an MBA and looking at the business side of IT. But if you're planning on doing hardware support over the phone for the rest of your carrer, you're pretty much screwed.

As an Indian (0, Interesting)

Srividya (746733) | more than 10 years ago | (#8307006)

I have doubts. Would you come to me to work with me in Tirupathi? Many of my assosciates are unpaid. Forgive me but I do not get the impression that Americans would choose to work for no pay unless they are found to be excellent. And there are many other differences here, we have no wide open forests, mainly just people.

However we would of course welcome you!

how to strike it rich (5, Funny)

thelonious (233200) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306826)

1) Go to the Brazilian rain forest and locate a native tribe
2) Teach them java but keep them living in huts
3) Pay them in roots and berries
4) Let the contracts roll!!

Re:how to strike it rich (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306961)

Correction:
1) Go to the Brazilian rain forest and locate a native tribe
2) Teach them java but keep them living in huts
3) Pay them in roots and berries
4) ???
5) Profit!

Re:how to strike it rich (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8307028)

Teaching them Java is the easy part.
Creating a computer out of wood and vines, well, that's a completely different story.

Questions for Indian IT techs.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306842)

Why do you guys smell so bad? With all those US dollars, couldn't you invest in some toilet paper? Is it true you use your hands to wipe your ass?

"Outsourcing" (5, Insightful)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306855)

Let's note, from the start, that Prudential does not "outsource" to India. They own their own call center (or centre, depending on your spelling heritage) there. When you speak to someone in their New Delhi office, she -- and it is usually "she" -- is just as much a Prudential employee as someone working in one of their U.S. offices.

When Americans speak of "outsourcing" in this context they mean "out" as in "out of the country". What is being described here is arguably worse than outsourcing per se from our perspective since it represents a more significant investment.

"expensive" books?!? (5, Insightful)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306867)

there were many small, quiet sessions that revolved around using computers and the Internet to distribute information to people in neighborhoods and villages where books are now rare and expensive.

Last time I looked, for the cost of a cheap PC, you can buy dozens, if not hundreds, of books. They don't need internet connections or power, aren't affected by dust, dirt or careless handling. They also at least a couple decades.

The sad thing is, the same crap has been happening in the US for at least a decade. Yessir, Smallville has a computer in every classroom, but Johnny and Suzy need to "share" To Kill a Mockingbird because there's "no money" for more copies. The teachers have to buy supplies out of their own pockets because the school has "no money". And that computer? Sits off most of the time, or even worse, sits on, drawing inane animated pictures on the screen, running up the school's electric bill.

I strongly suggest reading Cliff Stoll's Silicon Snake Oil...

Re:"expensive" books?!? (4, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306985)

Teachers who buy supplies out of their own pockets, are generally new college grads, teaching at the lower elementary level, (K-3) who fancy themselves the next great educator.

They want to do all those 'fun and new' activities that they read about in chickadee magazine. Because school is apparently about everything BUT learning math, english, or history.

My third grader is required to take a calculator to class because they dont want to spend time teaching kids arithmetic. Because some kids find it hard, and the argument is it discourages them and they dont like school and dont want to learn. Oh, and heaven forbid any child fail at anything. Of course, the real reason is, that its too much like work to actually TEACH the kids who have trouble grasping it.

Anyways, sorry bitch, but making papier machee monkeys to celebrate martin luther king day is not in the budget. A ditto machine and a fucking number 2 pencil was all we needed in my day.

Re:"expensive" books?!? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8307033)

Your view is a little shortsighted. In some villages even firewood is hard to come by. So your dozens or hundreds of books could quickly become kindling for a poor family who is cold and needs to burn something to cook and stay warm. The computer of course could easily be stolen but that depends on how watchful the teachers and principal of the school are. That is of course if they don't walk off with the computer themselves.

Is Kali a statue of the six-arm programmer? (1, Funny)

asbestos_tophat (720099) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306887)

Is Kali a statue of the six-arm programmer?
=)

Re:Is Kali a statue of the six-arm programmer? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8307014)

do not be feeding my god a peanut!

important question... (3, Interesting)

wankledot (712148) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306904)

Which beer Is better? I like beer, and I know quite a bit about Belgian and German beers, but not very many Indian ones. I do eat a lot of indian food, and see a few "domestic" Indian beers around the restaurants, but I don't know which is any good, or if there are some I should look for at local stores that might not be so common.

Which one would any of you folks back in Indian recommend?

Maybe we can get a flame^H^H^H^H^H beer war going here.

Re:important question... (2, Interesting)

psycho_tinman (313601) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306998)

I've tried Kingfisher beer. Light, not bad. Has to be better than Bud and Coors light *blech* Also something that might be called "Taj Mahal", but I am not sure.

For a real flameout though, try "Old Monk" whiskey (if that's what it is). Has a kick like a mule, and a little goes a very very long way :)

Re:important question... (1, Insightful)

Sarvagya (696097) | more than 10 years ago | (#8307042)

"Old Monk" is atcually a rum. And yes, Taj Mahal is an Indian beer available in may Indian restaurants here in the US.

Re:important question... (1, Interesting)

Sarvagya (696097) | more than 10 years ago | (#8307020)

Try Kingfisher, in US its not technically an Indian beer as the one that you normally get in the US is brewed in UK (see, India outsourced beer brewing to UK :o)), however its an Indian beer in the sense that that brand and the brewing company is Indian and its brewed in India for the Indian market under the same brand name. Most Indian beers are pale ale's, pilsners or lagers. You will not find any dark beers in India (by that I mean dark beers brewed in India). Although not available here in the US, but some of the so called "strong" beers in India have an alcohol content as high as 14%.

Re:important question... (1, Informative)

Rhubarb Crumble (581156) | more than 10 years ago | (#8307036)

I'm not sure what you mean by "domestic", at least in the UK most "indian" beers are actually brewed in Bradford.

But Bangla is damn nice, especially the 660ml bottles it comes in.

Hmmmm... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306905)

Notice that this interview was answered weeks or months faster than any other one I've seen here. Maybe these companies outsourcing are onto something...

Caste? (5, Interesting)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306919)

I would love to know where the Caste system comes into play in modern India. Would lower caste members (the $35/month servants) have any shot at these tech jobs?

Quality of Medical Care (5, Interesting)

dotsbir (753656) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306922)

Wow, was that medical care comment a blunder. If you've got money (and in the same vein as the food comments, having money really only means having 5-10% of the equivalent in US dollars) then the medical care is superb and includes ICU care and hospital day stays that are UNHEARD OF in the USA nowadays. The valve hardware itself would cost $10k more in the US to cover litigation / malpractice costs.

A friend of mine's aunt ended up having open heart surgery for a valve replacement in Baroda India. She had it at a private surgicenter with excellent Indian U.S. trained physicians with follow-up and post-op ICU care for less than $8000. The equivalent cost in the USA would have been $50k minimum with ICU days costing another $9k-$15k per DAY, with additional costs for the anesthesiologists and for the surgeons.

Have you noticed how many Indian doctors there are in the USA? A lot of them were fully trained and board certified in India before even coming to the united states. A lot of Indians who go to the US for medical training (medical school, residency, fellowships) often come back to India to open their own hospitals and clinics.

Their is very little insurance hassle in India because there is very little insurance. Major med procedures are often paid for with cash. I don't know about the mortgage situation currently but more than ten years ago, mortgages were unheard of. You'd buy houses when you had the cash to afford one and most often had them built to your own specifications.

XBox rules!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8306928)

first post!!! you lame assholes... I can post first because my XBox is a american product and my pride in my great country and my great XBox accelerate everything...

If only they would make games for that bitch... IAve played Metroid Prime and it ruled... I hope M$ will buy those japanese bastards and port Metroid to my great american console system!!!

All About the Cost of Living (5, Interesting)

kisrael (134664) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306939)

$11,000 = a decent middle class life in India.

That's really what it all comes down to. I got that from the recent Wired article [wired.com] and this pretty interesting set of responses confirms it.

That's 1/4 of what I was making fresh out of school in 1996.

I guess I don't understand how in a "global economy", that kind of difference in the cost of living survives, and how it ties in with things like inflation and other economic factors.

Is it basically that there are SO many poor people in India, that that somehow keeps the costs of the basics down? And that the USA couldn't have a similar situation without that level of poverty?

Amazing. I wonder what the future of global living standards is going to look like.

Re:All About the Cost of Living (3, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 10 years ago | (#8307018)

"I guess I don't understand how in a "global economy", that kind of difference in the cost of living survives, and how it ties in with things like inflation and other economic factors."

Easy, its not a "global economy". If it where I could go to India and get a job paying 11k a year and live off that. However they dont allow US tech workers to work over there unless you get sponsored by an Indian copany. Thats a local, protectionist economy. Not that this is a bad thing, I just wish the US corps would stop trying to tell me that their outsourceing because of globilization rather then because they want a new summer home.

Nitpick on the cricket (5, Informative)

rsidd (6328) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306940)

The upcoming India-Pakistan series is by no means "the first time ever". The two countries played each other regularly until the 1980s; India last visited Pakistan in 1989, and since then Pakistan visited India once, in 1998-99. They have also met at other tournaments including the world cups.

Culteral Blunders (0, Funny)

Like2Byte (542992) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306952)

I've got a friend over from New Zealand. I'm American. We're both blond and blue eyed of average build. I thought it would be funny one day to introduce him to some people but instead of telling them he's from New Zealand I said he was from Australia.

The introduction went like this:

Carl(me): "Everyone, this is Jansen. He's from Australia."

Jansen: "Everyone, this is Carl. He's from Mexico."

(I still get a kick out of that story.)

See? Trickle down works (5, Interesting)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 10 years ago | (#8306984)

I grew up in a very poor village. My father made $10 per month as a schoolteacher. One bicycle was our only family transport. I went to college as a scholarship student. I did well in my exams, so the government paid for my education. Now I own two houses, and the workers I hired to build both of them had no other work, so that helped bring money into my village. My father and mother live in a house I built, too. I rent out one of the houses I own now and live in the other one. The money I earn spreads through the economy. Fathers work at better jobs because of my spending and can keep their children in school instead of having them go out to work early


And that is exactly how supply side ('trickle down') economics worked. It worked in the 80's and it's starting to work now, too.

It is good to see that some good is coming out of off shore outsourcing, at least.

Of course, this will get modded down because libertarian or conservative views get an automatic -1 (Not Liberal) here most of the time ;)

cricket (0, Offtopic)

rishab (753707) | more than 10 years ago | (#8307026)

>While I was visiting, for the first time ever >plans were being made for Cricket matches >between the Indian and Pakistani national teams, they've played many times (hundreds) even in india and pakistan. this is the first time in some (about 8 - not sure) years that india will play against pakistan, in pakistan. -rishab
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