Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dr. StrangePM or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Outsource

A mad project manager embraces outsourcing and the corporate politicians lose control. Sounds like some bad, made for SyFy Channel movie, but it’s true. The day I started to embrace outsourcing is the day the corporate ‘outsource’ hammer lost it’s affect. No longer can I be threatened with lose of job, status and ego. No longer am I complaining about communication problems, late work or poor quality. No longer am I making the almighty dollar that corrupted my original desire to enter software development.

Consume or be consumed, I decided to consume and become part of the solution. The ever present top management needs to reduce costs and disregard the ‘man in the trench’ screams of oppression is the noise of yesterday. Today, I’m on board with outsourcing. The cost savings aren’t that great, the quality isn’t that bad and overall I think we’re still as productive as we were 20 years ago – for better or worse.

I feel relieved of the pressure to keep my programming skills ‘up to speed’ and have stopped worrying about the latest code standards. The box has become black and I’m stacking them up like Lego blocks. The promise of ‘object oriented’ programming has been transformed to replicable off-shore teams.
Do I miss getting my hands on the code? No, I actually still keep them in, but focus on the data, where the value has always been. Do I miss the nights of wrestling with thousands of lines of undocumented code that’s doing what it was written to do, but not what the client wanted? No……

I don’t think the top management desire to cut costs has been achieved, but I do think outsourcing has helped American developers from the never ending code wrestling matches and instead moved us to the bigger ideas and issues at hand.

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