Ian Bicking: the old part of his blog

Re: Disrespecting the non-American Programmer

I think the writer made some good points that you have ignored in accusing him of bigotry. The point remains that Indian programmers are often glorified clerks or worse, able to do "menial" tasks (that amount to little more than glorified data entry) when told, but unable to perform algorithmic analyses, system design, and independent crafting of significant solutions.

The major fault I would find with the write-up is not his criticism of Indian programmers, but the fact that he does not pinpoint the cause of their mediocrity, which is the lack of adequate training in formal computer science and mathematics. (Yes, even at the IITs.) I know this from personal experience. Ever notice that there are very few Indians (comparatively) among the top developers of Linux and other open source, or even at the comparable top rungs of Microsoft?

And yes, I am an Indian myself and quite patriotic, so kindly refrain from waving the flag in my face.

SR

Comment on Disrespecting the non-American Programmer
by sr3u

Comments:

The writer may have made some good points but the bigotry is obvious. Not as bad as the "angry reply" but it's still bigotry. As a programmer who considers himself logical, saying "Americans ARE better" doesn't make any sense. Programmers are individuals - not groups. The ability to program varies greatly among individuals. I've met American programmers who are blow mediocre. I've also met some exceptional programmers from India and Iran. You could reverse the countries in that statement and it would still be true.

What America has is a system that tries to stay out of the way and allows people to develop and benefit from their own talents. I have no doubt that there are many people in the developing nations that, given time and opportunity, will make great contributions to the programming arts, as long a their government or culture doesn't get in the way. Some may not always like the system - it's the reason why companies are allowed to outsource - but we all benefit from it.

# joeg

That should say "below mediocre" not "blow mediocre". Sorry, my bad.
# joeg

Agreed. Here students work mostly towards 'grades' and exams. Most computer science students (undergrads and grads) don't know what is 'programming'. The reason for this is 'India' has a very poor educational system. They do have smart and better programmers than those in US. Why are they not popular will lead to thinking about the poor IT facilities in this country (for eg: internet).

One day, I could see Indian programmers rule the world.

# Sridhar Ratna

This is in reply to sr3u. sru3 is right. There are very few Indians who contributed in the development of Linux.

I have been in the industry from the period of Burroughs (Mainframe) and seen hundreds of programmers. The attitude of most Indians programmers (repeat, "most", not "all") is just to "cook-up", copy other's code (they say "they don't want to re-invent the wheel"), download similar code from the internet and all sorts of mean activities. Worse is their bosses; they encourage them, because, there is pressuer from the Management to complete the project and the bosses want to complete it quickly. There are genuine programmers also. I respect them.

Ian Bicking is right. Outsourcing involve not just "software development". It involves whole lot of "psychology" of the company that take up the outsourcing activity. Driven by the motive of profit, (more projects, more money), there is a hidden urgency in completing projects, thereby, the pressure is transferred to the ends of the work-force. Naturally outsourcing produces incompetency.

# vrk

This is in reply to sr3u. sru3 is right. There are very few Indians who contributed in the development of Linux.

I have been in the industry from the period of Burroughs (Mainframe) and seen hundreds of programmers. The attitude of most Indians programmers (repeat, "most", not "all") is just to "cook-up", copy other's code (they say "they don't want to re-invent the wheel"), download similar code from the internet and all sorts of mean activities. Worse is their bosses; they encourage them, because, there is pressuer from the Management to complete the project and the bosses want to complete it quickly. There are genuine programmers also. I respect them.

Ian Bicking is right. Outsourcing involve not just "software development". It involves whole lot of "psychology" of the company that take up the outsourcing activity. Driven by the motive of profit, (more projects, more money), there is a hidden urgency in completing projects, thereby, the pressure is transferred to the ends of the work-force. Naturally outsourcing produces incompetency.

# vrk

Please Pardon me for breaking my thoughts across several paragraphs.

I believe it's self-motivation,passion and opportunity that makes a person a better programmer regardless of where you are from. The business world always looks at applications in the least technical way.They do not care if you have used the best coding practices,Software methodologies,design patterns etc. All they care about is the cost associated with some emphasis on the user interface. If you cut down on costs, programmers will try to reduce the complexities associated and ignore optimization techniques associated with use of better algorithms outside of frameworks.

The business doesn't pay me a dime more If I use a better algorithm for testing the primality of numbers for example. It's the research and Open Source world that provides room for innovation.

B.T.W talking about testing of primality of numbers, undergrads from Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur came with a better algorithm than Fermat's to test primality of numbers in polynomial time.

http://primes.utm.edu/prove/prove4_3.html

I believe Computer Scientists show us programmers the way and we simply try to incorporate their algorithms and protocols knowingly or unknowingly. Many of us are oblivious of what is being done in the research arena.Here's an interesting profile of a Computer Scientist with an Indian Origin who has made significant contributions to data and wireless networking .

http://www.bell-labs.com/user/kks/

My opinion is that most programmers develop software to please the business (whether it involves low cost or high cost). It's only a small bunch of self motivated people that actually contribute to the field of computer science.

# kishore