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Subject: [IP] more on Code Monkeys, not.

  • From: Dave Farber <>
  • To: Ip <>
  • Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2004 21:06:03 -0400

-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Frankston <>
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2004 20:02:46, "'Ip'" <>
Subject: RE: [IP] : Code Monkeys, not.

Programming itself is not that special. Coding itself is not the issue. Not
only is it easy to outsource the mechanical aspects, we create often tools
such as compilers and "outsource" to the computers.

The limitation on outsourcing is product development which involves
disparate groups of people working together and informal "water-cooler"

One source of dot-bombs was a failure to understand this domestically --
outsourcing key technologies (domestically) rather than bringing them "into
the loop".

There are real issues of cultural context and knowledge but they are not

A professor from the City University of Hong Kong told me about their
exchange program with mainland China and how the students are getting a
"Western" style perspective as well as the mainland perspective -- flexible
thinking complementing well-honed skills.

I try to avoid words like "foreign" -- the US isn't that special. If
anything its triumph is due to its disorder and thus openness to bad ideas
that turn out to be great ideas.

As Christian points out, the US has only a small portion of the highly
skilled people in the world. The biggest threat to the US is a shift from
hierarchical systems to flexible organizations.

The Internet is an added factor as it continues to become more of an
informal social medium. A combination of IM and click to talk/see including
topics like soccer and cricket can create the kind of relationships that
drive the process. Talking about baseball won't cut it -- all you can talk
to are other Americans and maybe some Japanese. (Disclaimer -- I talk about
talking about sports but not the sports themselves)

Remember that there is also great fear of the reverse -- losing technologies
to the US. Isolationism is increasingly out of synch with an interconnected

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of
Dave Farber
Sent: Sunday, February 15, 2004 11:39
To: Ip
Subject: [IP] : Code Monkeys, not.

I agree with this note djf

-----Original Message-----
From: Christian Huitema <>
Date: Sun, 15 Feb 2004 08:10:11,
Subject: Code Monkeys, not.

Am I the only one to be chocked by the xenophobic undertones of the
"outsourcing" debate? Do people here seriously believe that computer
science graduates from India or China are somehow doomed to be less
smart than those of American universities? Anyone who has worked with
graduates from the IIT or the University of Beijing knows that this is
obviously not the case!

China and India are graduating more engineers than the US. The H1B
debate showed that convincing all of them to move to the US is not a
serious option. These folks, our colleagues, will get jobs and develop
industries in their own countries. The outsourcing debate will not go
anywhere if we don't first show respect for all parties involved.

-- Christian Huitema

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