Marketing ideas -- foreign-born experts v. outsourced/H1B Visa "cheap guys"

Bryan J. Smith b.j.smith at
Sat Apr 22 14:26:05 UTC 2006

On Sat, 2006-04-22 at 12:46 +0530, Tejas Dinkar wrote:
> Excuse me?
> This is not only terribly rude and offensive, it is also innacurate.
> Perhaps, you should look up some indian open source Contributors.
> From Sirtaj, one of the founding members of KDE,
> Rahul, here on the Fedora Board,
> The founder of Anjuta (which is named after his wife)
> Shreyas S (gnome developer, ex maintainer of evo for mac until his mac
> was pried from his hands)
> Satish (writes a hell of a lot of kernel modules, and heads the Red Hat
> bangalore offices)
> Sankarshan
> Runa B
> Gopal Vijayraghavan, Lead developer of dotgnu,
> and I could go on for a while
> This comment is simply racist.

That's because you took it wrong and didn't pay attention to the fact I
was talking about _major_ H1B Visa and outsourcing abusers like Diebold,
IBM, Microsoft, State Farm, etc... when it comes to _commercial_
software or in-house software development.

Understand *I* have worked with _many_ foreign nationals on _many_
engineering projects.  In fact, I've often been a "minority native-born
American" on them and that was just fine by me!  Immigrants make the
United States -- something Americans don't realize.  They have been
_experts_ and, in many cases, _uniquely_qualified_.  This _includes_
many _outstanding_ open source project originators and maintainers.

But the problem right now in the US is that we keep importing the _crap_
of the world on 90% of our H1B Visas and while letting the "lowest
foreign bidder" develop software, 90% who are typically _not_ qualified.

My points are ...

A.  In the open source world, the software is produced by qualified
people.  These people typically have a passion for their development,
and they excel at it.  They can be _any_ nationality, and many are _not_
Americans.  You get the _best_ the _world_ has to offer.

B.  In the commercial software world, the software is produced by
commercial funding of "the lowest price."  In these cases, many
_unqualified_ Indian, Irish, Israeli and other firms are tapped -- or
H1B Visas granted to bring such _unqualified_ individual in because of
the costs.  You get the _lowest_price_ the _world_ has to offer.

C.  I have personally seen this first-hand in a half-dozen Fortune 100
companies.  I have written both requirements for outsourced software as
well as managed H1B Visa workers.  In a couple of cases, they wanted to
(and sometimes did) send me or someone I worked with to a foreign nation
to supervise these developers.  In 90% of the cases, they were _not_
remotely qualified -- and it was a pure cost game, one that was
impossible to deal with.

But American companies don't care, and that's why we get the crap in
commercial software!

So *WHY* would you *PAY* for *COMMERCIAL* software that is the "lowest
price the world has to offer" when you can get *OPEN*SOURCE* software
designed by "the best the world has to offer"?

That's why Open Source is _better_!

D.  The IEEE has been trying to get the stupid "pro-protectionalim v.
pro-immigration" non-sense to stop, because _both_ sides are _wrong_!
H1B Visas are basically indentured servitude.  Green Cards are not.  If
you give an immigrant a Green Card, they aren't under the thumb of a
sponsoring company, but free to take whatever job they want.  This not
only means they won't be underpaid, unlike in the H1B Visa system, but
it also means we aren't letting corporations import _crap_ merely
because of price.  Linus Torvalds is one of the IEEE's Poster Children
on this -- he was given a H1B Visa when he was _unqiuely_qualified_ and
should have been given a Green Card.  Miguel deIcaza is another.

As a responsible American, I _welcome_ both world competition and
immigration.  But right now, America is _shooting_ itself in the foot by
allowing its companies to import unqualified slaves under H1B Visas and
outsourcing to companies who clearly are _not_ qualified to do many
software developments.  That's why the crap we get from IBM, Microsoft
and many others is junk.  It's why Diebold, State Farm and other
financial companies are putting in _horrendous_ security nightmares into
our financial systems.  It's why Boeing, Lockheed-Martin and other firms
have major development issues (even if Americans with Security
Clearances design the products, some of the IT/software they use is more
H1B Visa and outsourced "lowest price" non-sense).

I hope you see my point now.  I, as well as the IEEE, typically get
caught in the cross-fire between "protectionalism" and "immigration."
H1B Visa are _not_ immigration.  They do _not_ allow America to become
better by allowing the best of the world to immigrate.  And outsourcing
is being done irresponsibly in 90% of cases.  I have argued where
oursourcing does and doesn't work, just like I argued where COTS usage
at NASA does and doesn't work in the '90s.  You can't save on

But that all does _not_ matter when it comes to community developed
software!  You get the _best_ of the world!  People who want to work on
software.  People who _know_ their field!  Not merely someone who is
paid, or in 90% of cases, _overstates_ what their company can do for the
"lowest price."  Sorry, that's what I see from 90% of the Indian, Irish
and Israeli firms and H1B Visa workers I've worked with and saved their
asses on.  That's the commercial software world in the US for you right

It's that other 10%, the ones that are actually worth more, that get the
shaft.  Luckily they make up the bulk of open source software
development.  The best the world has to offer.

Bryan J. Smith             Professional, technical annoyance
mailto:b.j.smith at
****** Speed doesn't kill.  Difference in speed does! ******

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