There are thousands of job openings in Indian software companies, yet there are ten times that many unemployed qualified Indians out there. So how come they aren’t being recruited? The answer is pretty simple – they are just not good enough! Everyone just blindly opts for a Computer Science under-graduate degree, without bothering to think if they are suitable for that sort of thing, whether they have the proper aptitude for it, or even if they are actually interested enough!
But then, India must have some good developers, mustn’t she? Yep, there are thousands of really high quality developers in India. But none (or very few) of them are available for a job-change because they are all well-placed and are happy with their jobs. Most of them would have moved to the US, UK or Canada for a higher pay-level and standard of living, while others are paid obscene levels of money to keep them in India. In fact, even those developers who have less than 2 years of professional experience will only work for companies that will send them to the US on on-site project work, that way the extra USD they get will add up to their Indian salaries (which are considerably lower).
So how do small Indian companies get good developers to work for them? Well, most of them don’t, and have to settle for second-best which is usually not such a good experience for the company. The others just give up, or keep looking endlessly for that elusive quality candidate. My cousin works for a German company’s India office and just last night, he was bitterly complaining how it’s so hard to get a good candidate. I told him to double the pay offer and to offer a joining bonus, and if he is really lucky, they might get one decent candidate.
So, if you are an Indian coder and you are any good, chances are good that you are either in the US or UK, or earning a near US salary in India! And if you are an American company looking to outsource work to India, be aware that, unless you pay at least 40-60% of a regular US-salary, you are not going to get the best among Indian coders. Of course, if you just need a dozen VB6 people to drag/drop a few forms, then it’s alright. But if you are looking for the really good guys, you know what to do.
I thought I’d make this post because of all the posts I see on online forums where westerners generalize all Indians as crappy programmers who get jobs because they come cheap. Truth is that the outsourcing units just get the cheapest Indians, because they cannot afford the good ones or because the good ones are all on H1Bs or Green Cards in the USA.
Just remember that programming is something some can do and some cannot! It’s not dependent on your country of origin, your race, blood group, sexual preference or anything like that. Good coders are good coders, wherever they come from. Don Box would have been just as good a coder if he had been Dileep Box or Don Chang, wouldn’t he? Or hey, take me for instance, I’d be just as annoying a brat had I been Chinese or Canadian or Mexican, wouldn’t I? And you’d all still have to put up with my crazy postings ;-)