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Outsourcing to Rural America

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the more-than-corn-in-the-midwest dept.

Businesses 587

andy753421 writes "Wired is running an article about 'Rural Sourcing, an IT company that outsources not to India or Mexico, but rural America.' The company targets IT workers in rural location due to lower costs of living, 'The company charges $35 to $50 per hour for IT expertise, which may cost around $100 in New York City. While this is no match for outsourcing rates in India, clients benefit from local accents and similar time zones -- not to mention the absence of stigma sometimes attached to farming jobs out to foreign countries.' The article also points out several other innovative attempts at outsourcing such as Lakota Express and Seacode, which was previously covered on slashdot."

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Like I always say (4, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089819)

Don't outsource to India, outsource to Indiana.

Specifically, Bloomington. There is a lot of talent here.

Re:I for one..... (2, Insightful)

servo335 (853111) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089836)

I for one welcome outsourcing to others in our country not over seas.

Re:Like I always say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14089841)

And West Lafayette, IN

Re:Like I always say (2, Informative)

suso (153703) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089877)

Yes sorry, I forgot about you folks up there in the country of Purdue. How could I forget it when Gentoo came out of there.

Re:Like I always say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14089895)

How could I forget it when Gentoo came out of there.

Because ubuntu is the new hotness?

Re:Like I always say (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14089844)

If by talent you mean corn and paper mills, yes, there is tons of talent in Indiana.

Re:Like I always say (4, Insightful)

exi1ed0ne (647852) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089931)

Well, I live in North Central Wisconsin an consider myself somewhat talented. Heck, my closest neighbor is 1/4 mile away. I think you'll find there has been a lot of migration back to the interior of the US from the Coasts of tech folks. I can charge a third of what I did in New England for the same standard of living. Better communications infrastructure makes living in high crime/cost/noise/polution areas no longer necissary. I can do my job just as well from anywhere, so why not someplace I'd rather be?

Not far off. (3, Informative)

RandoX (828285) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089917)

I work in Indianapolis. The parent company is in Los Angeles. Works out for both of us.

Re:Not far off. (2, Insightful)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089982)

The other nice thing about outsourcing to rural America is that, if you are the type that doesn't look busy because you get it done right the first time (or you just really kick gluteous maximus at multi-tasking), you can hold down two jobs on a 50 hour per week schedule. Of course, it depends on what type of outsourced job you have. Or, if you are more sane, you can do your one job in less than 40 hours a week and enjoy your nice, big house with a few acres out in wherever. Despite the stereotypes, not all of rural America is full of bigotted hicks, and things are on the whole getting better even where there are bigotted hicks. Well, except Oklahoma and Central Pennsylvania. I have no hope for either of them anytime this century. Although, if people living in big cities who are only there because they like the kind of work they are doing can move back, maybe things will improve even more.

Re:Not far off. (-1, Flamebait)

Deekin_Scalesinger (755062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090144)

As one who did rural IT there last year, I can assure you that Central Pennsylvania has a loooooong way to go to catch up to the rest of the world in terms of social conventions, modern thought, and tolerance.

Re:Not far off. (2, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090117)

But the article says $35 to $50 for consulting? Assuming the contracting company takes a good bite of that, it sure doesn't sound like much. I think one could make a lot more as a plumber.

Re:Not far off. (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090172)

If comparing a NY plumber to country coder, then yes, they might make more money. Of course, they also pay a GREAT deal more. Most plumber in rural USA area makes about 30-50K/year. At $30-50,that is 60-100K/year.

Re:Like I always say (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089941)

Instead of outsourcing you should move your HQs to La Paz [] , Mexico.

You see, cheap beaches, bitches, hotels and sand. What else would you like?

Re:Like I always say (0, Offtopic)

||Plazm|| (76138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090041)

Bloomington? Shouldn't you be busy drinking and upholding that #1 party school ranking instead of using IT skills to benefit the world?

Bloomington is too big. Perhaps outsource to Bloomfield or Loogootee ;)

Re:Like I always say (3, Funny)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090180)

Don't outsource to India, outsource to Indiana.

Or you can go with the abovementioned Lakota Express and outsource to (American) Indians! See, technology giveth and it taketh away.

Re:Like I always say (1)

darrint (265374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090186)

No joke!

I live in Indianapolis and make a nice salary for around here. If I had to live on my current salary in the Bay Area or New York, I'd probably be living in a two room apartment and commute 2-3 hours a day. Here in Indy, I live in a 2800 square foot home 20 minutes from work on a good day.

The thought that my company would be acquired and I'd have to move to the Bay scares me.


Story is a Dupe! (1, Informative)

schmiddy (599730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089834)

In addition to the story linked about outsourcing to a ship in international waters, /. has already covered outsourcing to rural America: see here [] .

Re:Story is a Dupe! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14089911)

Yeah it is a dupe.
Isn't there a rural part of the northern United States called Canada? There was an article about outsourcing there as well. ;)

Re:Story is a Dupe! (0)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090110)

TFA mentions "as shown prviously on slashdot",so not really a dupe. It's a bit like on TV - it's not a repeat, it's a second chance to see it.

Re:Story is a Dupe! (-1, Offtopic)

andy753421 (850820) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090021)

oops, should have done more searching, sorry about that. At least it's a different story.

Pah! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14089837)

I think I'll continue to outsource to India. They tend to speak better English than Alabamans. (And they're less likely to take the afternoon off to marry their sister).

Oh still PC to have redneck jokes? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14089962)

i see it is still PC to make fun of rural Alabama folk (not even a funny joke)
isert black or jew and PC police all over you and you are modded troll

Re:Oh still PC to have redneck jokes? (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090019)

Well, Gee. Do you suppose that could be that no-one ever enslaved Alabamans en masse or attempted to exterminate them in gas chambers. Institutionalise racism and anti-semitism are two of the greatest evils of the last 300 years. Jokes about Alabamans are understood to be jokes; jokes about Jews have been were the first step on the road to the gas chambers. That's why people are touchy about them.

Given that Southern Baptists practically run the country (badly) at the moment, if you're going to defend a persecuted minority, you might wish to consider choosing one that has actually been persecuted.

Re:Oh still PC to have redneck jokes? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14090061)

how about hurtful jokes about nobody asswipe

Oh really (1)

paranode (671698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090063)

Only a handful of people in this day and age have really been persecuted. If you want to get technical about it just about everyone has been persecuted in their lineage and slavery could well be a part of that too. People can only think of recent history and what the politicos on TV tell them. Do you believe that the US was the only country to ever institute slavery and that blacks were the only people ever enslaved? You do know where this ideology was imported from don't you? Do you think nobody besides the Jews were ever persecuted by Hitler or any other person/regime? You need a reality check. The OP is a troll and this stuff is no more appropriate being directed at WASPS than blacks or Jews.

Re:Oh still PC to have redneck jokes? (1)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090071)

So Alambamans (who can't speak English, and who marry their sisters - or, I guess the men do; the girls have to marry their brothers, or fathers. Can't have any gay weddings!) are also Southern Baptists? And it's OK to make jokes, for what reason? Oh, yeah, everybody who possesses real intellect hates them....

Try not to let all bile affect your brain too badly. Your grip on reality is questionable right now, as it is.

Re:Oh still PC to have redneck jokes? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14090116)

Given that Southern Baptists practically run the country (badly) at the moment

That is totally uncalled for and untrue. If they were running the country we wouldn't have so many anti-christian court rulings showing up in the media daily. The bible would still be used in court, ten commandments would still be in courthouses, etc. The country is being run by atheists/anti-christians.

Re:Oh still PC to have redneck jokes? (0)

Alphabet Pal (895900) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090127)

Jokes about Alabamans are understood to be jokes; jokes about Jews have been were [sic] the first step on the road to the gas chambers.

How do you know that his joke wasn't the first step on the road to the gas chambers for Alabamans, then? We won't know for another few years.

Re:Pah! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14089996)

So, based on the parent's moderation, I'm assuming nigger jokes are now okay on slashdot too?

TROLL (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14090027)

When is it okay to say this kind of bigoted crap? Only when it's against whites? Hey don't outsource to New Orleans because they're too busy raping women and eating chitlins! Is that funny too?

Re:Pah! (1, Insightful)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090028)

It's great to know that there are still a few groups out there that are "safe" to hate and make crude jokes about. Way to go, moderators!

Re:Pah! (0, Offtopic)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090067)

oh come on... it is only A JOKE!, I am a Mexican, go, say something about Mexico, it is only a FUCKING JOKE!, we are too busy eating chilly and tequila and stealing whatever...

Re:Pah! (1)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090094)

Sure it's a joke. But it just blows my mind that so many people modded it 'Funny'. At best, it's not funny. More properly, it's 'Troll' or 'Offtopic' or 'Flamebait.'

Just you wait, I have been meta-moderating a lot lately.. :)

Re:Pah! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14090084)

It's great to know that there are still a few groups out there that are "safe" to hate and make crude jokes about.
Humor is about power structures. That's why making jokes about the powerful (ie. Southern white folk) is ok, making jokes about the oppressed is bad. It's why making jokes about the president is fine, but making jokes about people made homeless by a Hurricane is not.

Comedy that picks on the powerless and reinforces and justifies the status quo is worthless. Comedy that challenges the empowered is a valid social tool. It's the difference between standing up to a bully, and picking on a weakling.

Is that so hard to understand?

Re:Pah! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14090039)

Hey thats only a half truth!

Re:Pah! (0)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090065)

But with Alabama dental ins is cheap because they only need to take care of old chomper.

Re:Pah! (3, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090089)

Why is it considered wrong to stereotype and degrade anyone except Southern Americans? You pick any race or geographic group of people and say anything wrong about them and half of Slashdot will be clamoring for your head, but not in this case.

You're just a prejudiced as any hate group in history.

Outsourcing rural (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14089852)


Look to the 'burbs (5, Insightful)

josh.loomis (932579) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089854)

There are places on the fringe of major cities where a lot of intelligent, IT-inclined people hang their hats. Suburban areas probably have a lot of young minds that are willing and able to adapt to the ever-changing world of IT. Much better to 'source there than a foriegn country IMHO.

Re:Look to the 'burbs (1)

Deekin_Scalesinger (755062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090088)

Um, the goal of this is to save money, I think. Farming out work to suburban folks is no less expensive than paying city workers. You're fishing from the same talent pool to a large degree. If you are going to outsource, you need to move far away from US cities, for a start.

Re:Look to the 'burbs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14090166)

You clearly have never lived in the suburbs.

98% of the people who live in the suburbs near me are complete and total fuckwits.

In fact, I think everyone who wants to live in a suburb should be shot upon moving into their new "home"

It's not the accent anymore (4, Informative)

stupidfoo (836212) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089864)

It seems many of the better quality India based customer service companies have been hiring employees with little or no accent, so their English is very clear.

The thing that annoys me now is that they're so damn polite. You give them your first name and they reply "Thank you. Thank you sir. Thank you for the information." To ask a question they start with "Sir, could I please ask you for the ...". It takes almost 3 times as long to have a conversation as it should. You can be polite, but also be quick.

Re:It's not the accent anymore (1)

xoip (920266) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090014)

Thank You Sir = uhuh

India outsourcing might have peaked (4, Interesting)

myth24601 (893486) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090158)

I was in the Dentist office yesterday and read a Business week article about how India's internal economy is booming so much now that it's getting harder to find and keep workers. This is leading to high turnover and making it tougher to outsource work there. I wish I had a URL but it was an early Nov. issue.

This could mean that outsourcing might have peaked, at least for India.

The Park Avenue Digitician (4, Interesting)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089871)

On my last job, wirelessing an apartment and "dealing with" schlepping to a cheap Brooklyn store to buy the family a laptop plus a little de-spywaring, I got paid $600 cash money. Sure the work I did might be worth under $20 in sweat, but one extra-sharp demand in Manhattan is paying for trustworthiness. I've networked and have a reputation with clients for getting the job done and not stealing any silverware. Manhattan pays more not just because people can afford to, there is a greater demand to protect their assets. Got some nice silverware here. And some virgins. Err, withdrawn---got some silverware.

Re:The Park Avenue Digitician (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14090031)

And some virgins. Err, withdrawn

Your hand doesn't count!

Dangit Cletus, RAM is not an install procedure! (0)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089878)

Just kidding of course.

What a novel idea! Hire people at a fair wage and get the support you need and deserve.

Damn straight! (0, Flamebait)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090010)

There is just a level of service provided by my fellow americans that can not compete. Mostly it has to do with language. The Indians can speak great english. They even teach them american accents. However, they generally don't understand slang terms. They won't ever deviate from their scripts. You can be 95% the way there to solving a problem yourself, and the second you get on the phone with them they make you start over. I cancelled my bellsouth account 4 times with an Indian call center and it never got properly cancelled. I forced them to put me on the phone with an American and it was done in 2 minutes.

It also seems the companies they work for just don't trust them. They rarely have any authority to do anything major to my account. They will transfer you 3-4 times to their superiors until you reach a level where they can maybe do what you need. And if there's an accounting screwup? Forget it. I have never run into a situtation where an Indian has the authority to credit my account.

wah wah wah, porkThreeWays, you're a racist. It has nothing to do with race. It has everything to do with communication. I worked at a call center here in Florida once (oddly enough, for Bellsouth). I ran into some of the deepest southern accents working those phones. And I would get complaint after complaint that they couldn't understand the Indian they were on the phone with for a half hour. There's just no substitute for localization. It's the same reason other countries despise us putting a McDonald's in their country. You can not assume everyone's adopted a global culture. Putting hamburgers into a country where cows are sacred is just as bad as putting an Indian on the phone in a country with such varying accents.

Great news for Kansas. (-1, Flamebait)

external400kdiskette (930221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089889)

As they InDoctrinate their kids with amish ideology and all their land begins to resemble a rural backwater they can rural source their whole state to their richer neighbours. Great way to get the comeptitive advantage.

Turnover??? (1)

trotski (592530) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089891)

It's really hard to keep young professional in small towns. Please from citys (which lets face it, most professionals are!) don't want to live in BFNW for more than a year or two. Additionally, at least in Canada, people are typically paid better in BFNW so as to give some insentive to move there.

With this in mind, the article is probably FUD, it just doesn't make any sense to do this.

Re:Turnover??? (1)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090015)

Texas is a great country, but unfortunately I couldn't find a decent job there (in Houston at least). I wanted to live in Houston for a number of reasons, but no matter what I couldn't get a job there. Upon graduation, I had several interviews for software development positions however nearly every one of them paid under $35,000. I'm sorry but that's just not enough money, even if Houston is a cheap place to live.

I think a big part of the problem is that Compaq was just acquired by HP at the time I was looking for work and they laid off a ton of engineers. The Houston job market was flooded with experienced engineers willing to work for peanuts just for the sake of having a job.

What, do you know any young professionals? (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090018)

It's really hard to keep young professional in small towns. Please from citys (which lets face it, most professionals are!) don't want to live in BFNW for more than a year or two. Additionally, at least in Canada, people are typically paid better in BFNW so as to give some insentive to move there.

Do you know any young professionals? If so, you may want to ask one of them to proof your future submissions first...

Re:Turnover??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14090126)

It's really hard to keep young professional in small towns. Please from citys (which lets face it, most professionals are!) don't want to live in BFNW for more than a year or two. Additionally, at least in Canada, people are typically paid better in BFNW so as to give some insentive to move there.

Actually, there are millions of people who have no desire whatsoever to live in larger cities, many of whom are even technically inclined. People who otherwise might move to a city only because they have to to find work. I live in a small college town where it is not uncommon to find a CS or CompE or EE grad working at Target or Wal-Mart, because they had no desire to move to San Francisco, Seattle, or even Minneapolis, but rather wanted to stay in the state they had grown up in, which contains no cities whatsoever. So they bide their time hoping something will eventually come along because their desire to live where they want to is stronger than their desire for money.

Granted, they don't realize that the longer they work at a dead-end job, the less chance they'll actually land a proffesional job if one does become available, but oh well. The point is that there are many people with no desire to live in Metropolis, and of you pay them even halfway decently many will stay forever.

Building a call center in a place like North Dakota or Wyoming or Iowa and staffing it with a thousand people might be difficult, of course...but building a smaller one and staffing it with a hundred would likely be cake. Just keep it near one of the larger towns, especially a college town, and you'd be good to go.

No revolution here (4, Insightful)

polv0 (596583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089893)

"The biggest benefit is knowing that we're giving jobs to American workers, versus a foreign country,"

This isn't sufficient motivation for US firms to rural-source, and neither are local accents or convenient time zones. The reason the programmer makes $100 in NYC is that they need to be there physically, to interface with a broader team, client, management, etc... If a job can be sourced to someone in a small town in America, 99% of the time it can be sourced to someone in India, for pennies on the dollar.

Re:No revolution here (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090049)

If a job can be sourced to someone in a small town in America, 99% of the time it can be sourced to someone in India, for pennies on the dollar.

Well, outsourcing to rural America could also be to forestall any future backlash against outsourcing to other countries. Outsourcing is not so much in the spotlight now, but it probably will be again in the future. Then, they can say something to the effect of, "Yeah, we outsource some to India and China, but we also outsource to rural America. We are keeping America working and letting people live and work where they grow up." If they only outsource to other countries, most people won't stand for it and an opportunistic politician (which is unfortunately what we would have to wait for) could take advantage of that situation.

Re:No revolution here (5, Insightful)

bombadillo (706765) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090050)

Don't under estimate the importance of being in the same time zone. I've worked on projects with Americans over 5 hours difference. (Europe to America) It was still a challange to have Americans that once worked in the same office trying to coordinate over the timezones. I've also worked on projects with people in India. The greater the time difference the more overhead that's required to keep people syncronized. PM's get sucked into the whole "People working 24/7" thing. However, the PM's have never put in the work requried or hired additional PM's to keep those people on the same page. I would much rather work with someone in my own timezone. Realworld experience tells me that the labor may be cheap. However, the additional managment required ends up negating most of the bennefits.

Communication (3, Insightful)

paranode (671698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090178)

Not all jobs in IT are pounding on a keyboard producing code. Many (if not most) telecommuting jobs require a lot of communication via phone and other methods and people in India for the most part are not up to snuff. There are some (probably the better paid) that speak English decently but the accents and the vocabulary are difficult to overcome in any job that requires a lot of interpesonal communication.

The telecommute is murder (4, Interesting)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089896)

I'd give anything to be outsourced to someplace I'd want to live, say New Mexico, Northern California. I like making a lot of money, but it just doesn't go that far in New Jersey, where property taxes are out of control and there are just too many people. I'd take a pay cut to live in some place that was quieter, with a lower cost-of-living. And in this day-and-age of telecommuting, why not? I suspect it would save companies a fortune just by not having to have huge amounts of office space and the environment would certainly be served by getting a large number of commuters off the road.

Re:The telecommute is murder (3, Interesting)

lowrydr310 (830514) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090113)

I live in New Jersey too, and it is out of control. Even in rural New Jersey (yes, just drive west on I-78 or 80 and you'll see rural NJ) everything such as food and homes are still extremely expensive.

Magically when you cross the border into PA, everything becomes more reasonable. I'd love to live in Stroudsburg or Bethlehem, but I work just outside Manhattan. I can't handle 120 miles round trip daily. Perhaps two or three times a week would work (there are buses!), but not every day.

I wish I could telecommute.

They should look into hiring a decent web designer (5, Insightful)

newdamage (753043) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089903)

I'm all for taking advantage of hiring in small town America (I live in Indiana for the record), and quite frankly not having to deal with insane traffic, pollution, and outrageous housing prices is very nice.

But I think this firm might want to first invest in a website that looks like it was designed by more than a 16 year old with a "Learn HTML in 21 days!" book.

But that's just me, thinking people base opinions of companies off of how their website looks.

Re:They should look into hiring a decent web desig (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14090133)

The housing is better than in CA, but the traffic on 465 is awful, and the air quality in Indianapolis is pretty bad, which kind of surprised me. I've never seen as many air quality alerts as when I lived there.

Even with that, it beats the hell out of a lot of places I've lived.

As for tech jobs, if you're doing business apps, it's a good place to be. If you're doing any other kind of tech, Indy pretty much sucks.

Re:They should look into hiring a decent web desig (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14090146)

Maybe they can get the guy that did Arby' [] . But to be fair, they probably don't have the budget of a national restaurant chain.

Don't forget language... (2, Insightful)

ecalkin (468811) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089906)

All jokes aside from the horrible english that americans sometimes use, I (and many people I know) have had it with trying to communicate with people whose first language is not english. They may have had the crash course in english, but it's still hard to understand.

    It's my understanding that one of the benefits of buying Dell stuff from the business unit (maybe only large bus) is that the tech support speaks real english. Maybe people are learning that sometimes a lower price is not all that it's cracked up to be.


Re:Don't forget language... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14090058)

What is it like in your uni-ligual, one race world? Is there winter?

Do you care about profit/jobs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14089907)

Americans must know that:
1. You cannot have your shares going up and
2. have your jobs at the same time.

You can choose either option 1 or 2. Bad day for globalization

Agreed. Why more people don't get this (4, Insightful)

iBod (534920) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090029)

For those on low/middle incomes, the parent poster's rules certainly apply.

People are being hoodwinked about globalization. It's a mad race for the bottom, with only a very small number of winners (i.e those that already have plenty of internationally-mobile money).

In the future, you can be a slave for some corporation or government (what's the difference?) or be a super-wealthy player. The age of fairness and democracy is over guys.

I feel we're hurtling back to Plutocracy the excesses of the Roman Empire, and the US is leading the way.

Send them here please (1)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089925)

Here would be nice []

While I am 100% happy with my IT job in this lovely town of 2100, I could use a few more nerdy friends (bet my wife would just LOVE that!)

Rural Sourcing (1, Funny)

TCFOO (876339) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089930)

Whoohoo! now I can move to West Virginia after college, and work as a programmer and not a coal miner.

Re:Rural Sourcing (1)

skiman1979 (725635) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090078)

Well, there IS an IT Security company in Fairmont, WV that specializes in steganography...

But what's the quality? (-1, Troll)

external400kdiskette (930221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089938)

A lot of people/companies find when they outsource their savings are huge but they get software disasters. There's no use saving a huge ammount of money outsourcing to India or some rural American villiage if you don't get what you wanted. Which brings me to my next point, if these guys cost 1/3rd of the price it brings the question who actually wants to earn one third what they could in life? Practically nobody even if cost of living is cheaper. So most rural people you'd imagine move to where they can earn big money leaving only the morons behind. $100 may buy you a great guy and $35 might get you a code-monkey moron that will take many more hours and give you a screwed up job.

Re:But what's the quality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14090107)

As it says, cost of living is signifigantly less, I don't NEED to make that much to live comfortably where I live. Some of us don't like being in/around big cities. So that makes me less intelligent and less driven to succeed because I don't want to make as much as I might possibly make living somewhere on the east or west coast? Guess that PhD I'm working on doesn't matter then huh? Cuz I'm just a 1/3 rate moron living in a rural state? I don't NEED to make that much to live comfortably in the middle of the US thank you. My house cost as much as some of my friends vehicles, no it's not huge but it's 150+ years old, limestone with hardwood floors and has history. Sheesh. Money isn't everything, especially not when it comes to quality of living.

Re:But what's the quality? (3, Insightful)

paranode (671698) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090131)

Not sure what you know about the real world but $35/hr goes a pretty long way outside of places like New York City and the state of California. Believe it or not, we don't have to pay $400,000 to get a box house with 1200sq ft. Things really are that much cheaper. It depends on personal preference of course, but I'd rather be sitting on 2 acres of land in a 3500sq ft beautiful house and telecommute than in a small New York apartment with a window looking out at another apartment. Also it's bigoted and naive to think that because somebody chooses not to live in a 'wonderful' place like New York City (uck) that they are just dumb hicks or incapable of doing an IT job.

Re:But what's the quality? (1)

ghostridr (933078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090145)

Wrong. Cost of living IS what it's all about. Not only is it possible to make far less many in rural American, that say NY or CA, I can for example often still buy a bigger house. Just because people live in rural America does not make them morons. Living in a big city with traffic, smog, high cost-of-living, crime, you name it, there are a lot of reason people have no desire to live there. If they can live comfortably where they are, that's often enough for them. Large amount of concrete do not equate with smartness or quality of life.

They really should (3, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089946)

I don't get why more companies don't do this. In small towns, you can pay people a lot less and still keep them really happy. When their house only costs $30000, you don't have to pay them $80000 a year to allow them to live comfortably. Also, it would allow more people to live in small towns. The only reason that many people live in cities is because of access to more jobs. I think if people had just as many opportunities to jobs while living in small towns, then they would live there.

Re:They really should (1)

msdschris (875574) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090086)

While the cost of housing in small towns is certainly less than that of large cities you are not likely to find any family dwellings for anywhere close to 30K barring re-hab / foreclosures. I would venture to say that even in the lowest cost areas a modestly sized 3br/2ba will set you back 70K minimum. Anything approaching new and a bit better equipped closer to 100K or better. So while you don't have to pay them 80K a year it sure would be nice and allow them to live comfortably while possibly saving for the future.

Re:They really should (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090187)

I was referring more to Canada, and I can tell you, there are a lot of places where you can get a house this cheap. In my home town, 5 years ago, you could get a townhouse in great condition, 10 years old for under 20K. Single family homes were going for 30K. And even the really nice houses had trouble selling for more than 70K. Now prices have gone up, but you can still get a townhouse for 30K, and a single family home for 60K. I know one girl who bought a house and was only paying $250 on her mortgage. Just think about how cheap you could live if your mortgage was only $250.

Re:They really should (3, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090132)

The only reason that many people live in cities is because of access to more jobs.

That is certainly not the only reason that most people live in cities. Cities are generally more interesting places to live, and I'd rather take a studio in NYC over a mansion in Nebraska.

India, India, India (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14089955)

What about SouthAmerica? Good skilled profissionals, same time zone, affordable prize and nearly the half than a rural IT company.

skills? (2, Interesting)

asv108 (141455) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089967)

I can see this working if you are looking to provide basic end user support, but good luck finding highly skilled technical people to move to the country for less money. In the past, I've been involved in trying to hire skilled workers to rural areas and its very difficult to find good people who are willing to move to remote areas.

Re:skills? (1)

skiman1979 (725635) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090105)

There are indeed some of us skilled technical people that already live in rural areas of the country and willing to work for less money than those who live in major cities. I don't need $80,000 a year for a programmer position.

I guess I'm a rural source (4, Interesting)

Pedrito (94783) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089975)

I moved to Arkansas from the Washington D.C. area several years ago. My plan was to find a job as a software developer here but after looking for quite a while, I couldn't find anything that really interested me. I ended up moving to Mexico where I knew I could find some work (and also the slow paced lifestyle I was looking for). I did some work for various companies for a while and after then was contacted by some old co-workers about some contract work. The only catch was I had to move back to the U.S. The good news was I didn't have to move back to the D.C. area, where they were based.

So, I moved back to Arkansas and for 2 years I've been contracting out to one the largest software companies in the country. My rates are very competitive because my cost of living is far lower than what it would be in the D.C. area. I'm paying less for a large 3 bedroom house with a fenced in yard than I was paying for a small 2-bedroom apartment there. I get to have the slow-paced lifestyle that I was looking for and despite making less than I was in D.C., I'm saving quite a bit more.

Our group is also outsourcing to a company India and I'm under the impression that my rates are actually fairly competitive with theirs. I suspect there are a large number of people in this area that would work for rates that would be impossible to find in the D.C. area or other larger cities.

From a Coder in Rural America (5, Interesting)

jockeys (753885) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089977)

As one such person, (one who has been hired to work in a small town away from any large metropolitan areas.) I have to say it's pretty nice. At first I was worried that the change in lifestyle from a big metroplex (DFW) to East Bumblefuck, TX would suck, but it's turned out to be a lot nicer than I thought. More relaxed pace of life, less pollution, etc. Yeah, I took a lower salary to do it, but I've found you can live pretty cheaply out here... you can live like a king for a grand a month. (nice apartment/rent house, utilities, fast internet, the rest of my bills, and food) Plus it's kinda nice to see something besides concrete during the drive to work. Definitely not as horrible as some /.ers are making it out to be. Nearly all of my fellow coders are competent and pleasant to work with. No stupid rednecks here, just like-minded people who enjoy life away from the booming metrop. and all the headaches it brings.

Rural outsourcing (4, Informative)

guacamolefoo (577448) | more than 8 years ago | (#14089989)

I note that Thomas Friedman talked about this in his book, "The World is Flat" where he discussed how, I believe, Southwest Airlines sent its booking to stay-at-home moms in Utah. They were stable, ad low turnover, the pay was good for them, and Southwest cut their costs fairly significantly.

In addition, you are less likely to see unionization, you can sometimes farm out (heh!) work on a piece basis, reducing the benefits/workers comp/unemployment comp, etc.

I live in a built-up area of PA. I grew up in the boonies. I have long considered the possibility of giving someone where I grew up a copy of Openoffice, a dialup account, and a computer so that I can email my dictation out there and have them send it back on a piece rate basis.

I could probably save about 25-30% on my transcription costs.


after years of dealing with india tech support (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14090003)

After the years of the constant miscommunication, the lies, the hanging up, the brutal attitude of india tech support I'd be very much inclined to hire people from rural america. Oh yeah I used to work for Earthlink and had to deal with india tech support on a rather daily basis. God that was awful. Tech support would take 5- 6 times as long to fix a customers problem then I could. Of course I was getting paid 10 an hour but still it pissed me off that they had access to systems I didn't and got paid less.

In Other Words (1)

p0 (740290) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090016)

India just outsourced itself to Rural America...

cue up the Banjo Music (1)

cli_rules! (915096) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090034)

I can't wait to call up tech support and hear "...and you sure have a pretty voice!"

What about Sykes or Convergous (Spelling!) (3, Informative)

freshBlueO2 (753611) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090037)

$35-$50. I pretty much live in rural America, and Sykes only paid $7-8 on the average. $9-11 if you were a admin. This was the highest paying section, and these people were required to know how to tell a client to completly disassemble and reassemble a computer. That's between $14,500 - $16,600 annually Yet, in the state where I live, the supposed annual salary for a programmer was stated to be $50,000, when in actuallity it was more like $27,000. To make comparisons, the adjusted County income for this same area was stated: Very Low: $30,300 Low: $33,000 Moderate: ~$44,000 Median: ~$65,000 Forget Indiana. India is right here in America.

That's how I got my current job. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14090046)

About 2 years ago I interviewed with my current employer, a large bank based in NYC. I live in Syracuse, NY. During the interview, they told me how after 9/11, they decided to move the majority of their IT staff out of NYC up to Syracuse. This was because it was much more cost effective for them. They didn't even offer the current NYC employee a chance to move, they were just laid-off. I always knew Syracuse was a third world country and this just confirmed it.

But... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14090052) they speak English in Rural America?

Terrific News! (1)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090072)

Now all our software will come with gunracks, "nekkid lady" sillouhette mudflaps, and singing bass easter eggs out the wazoo! I can't wait... ;P (It's a joke folks. Take a breath, relax and laugh. God knows there's enough jokes about New Yorkers and "City Bwahs". Sad that I have to put that in here to avoid people taking offense.)

Mike makes too many jokes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14090075)

Mike makes too many jokes.

Infrastructure? (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090076)

Where does our broadband access rank us again? About 16th? Truth is, the IT infrastructure might be genuinely superior in India compared to Kissin' Cousin Township, Iowa.

Finally-Commen Sense (1, Flamebait)

sycodon (149926) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090092)

This has been a sore point for me for decades.

Corporate America has insisted on locating in the most expensive locations for the "presitge" and then bitch and moan about the cost of workers. The technology and bandwidth have been around for years to establish satellite offices in low costs areas anywhere in America, but the Suits were just to stupid to see it.

This is probably because some high priced consultant didn't tell them to do it. So now, someone had the simple idea of calling it "Outsourcing" and the empty headed Suits all now think it's the thing to do.

I swear...all you have to do is look at GM and the dumbass decisions the made about Building and selling giant trucks. Then they act surprised and panic when what everyone knew would happen, happens...people stopped buying them. What's even worse...they've been there and done that before...can we say "That 70's Market?"

I't really very simple...most corporate leaders can't think any further ahead than their own...

nothing mainframe related (1)

pdxguy (726066) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090096)

I did a quick browse of their website and found nothing mainframe related. Perhaps they haven't realized yet that there's still a considerable portion of the Fortune 500 running IT on mainframe systems. .NET doesn't quite run on an IBM z/OS system.

Stigma my ass (0, Redundant)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090098)

stigma sometimes attached to farming jobs out to foreign countries

What stigma are you talking about? The accents a foreigner has? His lack of grasping the subtleties and well the dialect of our american-english language? Or the fact we are pissed our SERVICE jobs are exported. First they sent our manufacturing jobs and said "hey manufacturing is out, service is the way to go." So all these people who had a semblance of a chance shifted their careers to service and now they are shipping our service jobs out too. The only that will be left is your gas attendent, waitress, doctor and stripper. Sorry I didn't graduate college so I could be a gas attendant, waitress or stripper....and I definitly don't have the money to invest in medical school.

I'm moving TO BFNW (1)

stokessd (89903) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090122)

After working in DC for nearly two years, I'm off to Indiana to eliminate the three hour daily commutes, and the crowds everywhere I go. Sure, I'll get paid a little less, but if you look at the costs in BFNW, I'll actually have more $$$ in my pocket at the end of the day.

Given the generica that has blanketed the land, the major shopping is more or less the same everywhere. And I do mail order here as well (sure it's only 20 miles across the city, but it would take me 2 hours at lunch to get to it and back), so not much changes in terms of my accessibility to items. It's really frustrating to be near lots of good stuff, but not being able to really enjoy them because of the crowds and gridlock on the highways.

Plus there are little grandma types handing out cookies at the airport, they never do that at LaGuardia. More power to the folks who want to go the cities, that makes more land and quiet for me. Enjoy your bird flu in the city...


Location location location (1)

xoip (920266) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090128)

Is not a major factor any more as long as there is bandwidth and an airport relatively close by. Cheaper to pay a Consultant to fly in and get the job done than carry big city overhead. The problem is getting a reliable match between client and consultant.

Pandemicia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14090136)

Pre 9/11 I was trying to drum up support for a new country, Pandemicia. The idea was to gather some like-minded IT folks and take over an island in the Caribbean. Set up a new government with an emphaysis on self reliance. No welfare, no income taxes, only property owners can vote. National products would be based on IT, server farms, software development, web design etc.

You know.... (2, Informative)

craenor (623901) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090164)

Everyone wants the person who answers their Tech Support call to be a computer guru, but no one wants to pay extra for that privilege. The world has changed, the computer support model has changed.

Dell is actually the only company I know that caters to this with their Gold Technical Support (an upsell added to the service contract for business customers). At a few jobs I have had to work with them, regular Dell business support and Dell Home support (India).

Having worked with all of the choices, I would never hesitate to spend the extra money to get Dell's Gold Support. Even if I get a guy on the phone who isn't a "guru" he has access to someone who is. And, just about everytime I've called I've gotten either Dell headquarters in Round Rock, TX or somewhere in Idaho.

Nothing New (1)

kurt_ram (906111) | more than 8 years ago | (#14090170)

This is already being done. Its called "Contracting". Also, they dont have to outsource it to Rural America. Most of the times the contractors work on site but are paid much less than regulars.
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