I am a software engineer and I work for a UK-based IT Consultancy.
Name: Guy Molyneux
Lives: London, UK
Works: Software engineer
My current role as a technical architect on a million-hit per day website requires me to work with a number of subcontractors, both UK and India-based.
I am responsible for the technical co-ordination of the work between these subcontractors and review all work produced.
Generally, the quality of software from overseas suppliers is much poorer than from onshore teams
I have also spent time on subcontractor sites in order to work closer with the teams during critical phases of projects. You can work quicker and better with personal contact than using the telephone or email.
Generally, the quality of software from overseas suppliers is much poorer than from onshore teams. The projects take many more iterations of review to bring the work up to the same standard as that from UK suppliers.
The mistakes are varied; conceptual, business logic and linguistic errors are all commonplace. The coders are generally very inexperienced, often fresh out of college and this shows in the quality of the work produced.
Clarity of thought, spelling and grammar are as important in software code as they are in any other white collar profession.
This is not appreciated by many UK IT managers who are lured to overseas suppliers by cheap labour rates. They often don't appreciate that a project may take twice as long to complete because of these quality issues and that engaging an offshore company may provide false economy.
Because the IT profession is relatively young and unregulated, compared to law or medicine for example, it is an easy target when it comes to cutting costs within a company.
Many companies would not dream of outsourcing legal or accountancy services to an offshore supplier because they would be deemed not to have in-depth knowledge of UK practises.
Why then do this with IT services which require just as much local knowledge in most cases?