Why Indian Programmers are not good value

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indian programmers
indian programmers

Indian Programmers

Why Indian Programmers are not Good Value is by one of our IT Contractor readers.

Spec Reading

I worked in a place with 6 Indian Programmers using COBOL.

One of them was given a Specification to change a function to allow for a new type of product.

While they knew COBOL technically well, when it came to understanding and comprehension there was a real issue.

Strike one

‘Can you take me through this’.

So I took him through it. On his return to their desk there was a scrum down of all six indian developers, while they tried to understand.

Strike Two

‘I’m not quite understanding this bit’.

So I took him through that bit and the others as more questions came forth.

Strike Three

‘Your out’, I thought.

So we walked over to one of the regular contractors and I said “Can you help explain this?”.

He read it, in 5 mins, and said “What’s the problem?”.

I’ve programmed in COBOL Pre-B.A. and tried to put it simply.

So here we see 6 Indians disturbed from work, one regular programmer and the BA disrupted.

This is not a cheap or value option!

Especially given each person carries the same overheads in an office.

ITContractor.com Comment

I’ve also worked with Indian programmers and my experiences have been different. There have been some very good Indian developers. In one place where I worked the Indian Programmer was easily the best programmer there.

It was Barclays Bank International in Poole. So much so that Barclays International only awarded a new contract that the English software house that he came through tendered for only if they brought him back from India.

Good Initially

I will say, though, that the first one or two programmers that you get from a company in India are very good. However, once you’ve bought into the idea and bought more the quality isn’t nearly as good.

However, that is a common tactic of software houses and consultancy companies worldwide.

If you needed 10 extra developers, you would be best to take two from five different consultancies or software houses. That would ensure that you got the best. However, few companies do this. They get sucked in. They think “these guys are good” let’s get more of them”.

Indian Culture

Also, what’s not generally realised is that, although Indians speak great English, not so many are so good in writing and reading it. That might have been why there were six Indian programmers crowded round the desk of the writer of this article.

The other big problem with Indian programmers stems from the culture. They don’t challenge those that they see as above them. So, they will deliver whatever you put in the specification even if there are major flaws in it which would be obvious to a UK developer. There’s no reality check.

When a spec has been delivered to a UK programmer, the UK will often go back to the analyst and say “do you really mean this” and the spec gets changed. That doesn’t happen with Indian programmers. They just deliver it anyway.

Unlike the writer of the article, my experiences with Indian programmers are generally good. However, to get the best out of them you have to understand the points above.

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