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Curious Story of Software Outsourcing

Assuming that this story is not a hoax, it raises an interesting question

Have you heard the story of the person who outsourced his work for US$ 50,000, which was just one fifth of what he was earning!

His complete work was done by somebody in China (not India) while he spent his workdays surfing the web, watching cat videos on YouTube and browsing Reddit and eBay. He was also considered one of the best software developers in the company!

Here is the blog post from Verizon Business Security that gives detail of what happened and how it was discovered.

Investigators had the opportunity to read through his performance reviews while working alongside HR. For the last several years in a row he received excellent remarks. His code was clean, well written, and submitted in a timely fashion. Quarter after quarter, his performance review noted him as the best developer in the building.

Was the employee smart … or … was the employer dumb?

Assuming that this story is not a hoax, it raises an interesting question.

Was it smart of the employee to outsource the work at a cheaper cost and keep the difference?

…or…

Was it dumb for the employer not to outsource the work and reduce cost?

How readers reacted to this story

Fake story:

“…it is logically inconsistent. We are told the person worked at his desk all day using social networks, etc. He was *present* at his job. They also say that he worked at this one company for “several years”. But then they also say he did this same scam at “multiple companies” and earned “several hundred thousand dollars a year.” How could he be working at multiple companies, while also at his desk most of the day at one company doing nothing much…”

Espionage angle:

“…the reason the Chinese guy could do the work at a quarter the cost might be because he was selling the secrets he obtained on the side…”

He was brilliant:

“…needed to find out a company who’s good on doing this coding job, then negotiate a biz contract with a foreign company, did a perfect project management job remotely, and he had to know how to do the QA job… considering about the barriers of language, timezone, cultural difference… wow he’s more capable on a higher position…”

“…surely that guy has to be promoted to manage a division that outsources sw dev to China. It’s the thing he is obviously very good at…”

He was wise but not smart:

“…was wise enough to outsource himself, but not smart enough to figure out someone would eventually figure out a VPN connection from China was unusual. There were plenty of ways of avoiding this, but ultimately what he did would have been PERFECTLY legal had he been a sub-contractor himself. Then he could have kept his sub-sub-contracting hidden from the client…”

When companies do it it is fine … when employee does it …

“…let me get this straight. When companies outsource employees, that’s just good management, but when employees outsource their companies, that’s bad…”

[...Ishak ke naam pe karte sabhi ab raas leela hai - Main karoon toh saala Character Dheela hai...]

Moral of the story…

Almost any work can be offshored!

You may like it or you may hate it … but that is the reality.

Related Articles

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Udayan Banerjee

Udayan Banerjee is CTO at NIIT Technologies Ltd, an IT industry veteran with more than 30 years' experience. He blogs at http://setandbma.wordpress.com.
The blog focuses on emerging technologies like cloud computing, mobile computing, social media aka web 2.0 etc. It also contains stuff about agile methodology and trends in architecture. It is a world view seen through the lens of a software service provider based out of Bangalore and serving clients across the world. The focus is mostly on...

  • Keep the hype out and project a realistic picture
  • Uncover trends not very apparent
  • Draw conclusion from real life experience
  • Point out fallacy & discrepancy when I see them
  • Talk about trends which I find interesting
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