Thursday, December 26, 2013

Software Engineering and The Default Destination of Coding Outsourcing

There is no dispute that India and Indians intellectuals are main contributors for theories and best practices in software engineering for the last decades, in addition to the fact that they are the largest practicers in this fields. India is the main destination when US firms looking for off-shore coding resources. Indian also provided the largest software engineers population to the US. In the year of 2012, 49,000 Indians were granted H1B visa to work in Hi-tech US firms, mostly as software developers. In comparison, 7,000 Chinese received these type of visa. The largest Indian company in the US was a consulting company to help US firms find a proper match for coding service providers in India. And not surprisingly, the signature policy piece of the Obama Administration, the Obamacare website was actually coded in India.

Software Engineering has little to do with software development per ce. Rather, it's a specialization of system engineering into software development, to enable mass scale collaboration on a given project. Each participants can be trained with only minimum of technical skills, thus finish the job at a minimum cost.

The idea sounds promising and encouraging. However, many US companies found the quality of the code unacceptable. Quality control is achieved by modular testing through APIs (application programming interface). What's inside a module are often ignored, or swiped under the carpet for the sake of progress. The end result is often a project that works at the time of delivery, but totally not maintainable due to back code quality stemed from coders's poor technical skills.

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