Cringely Argues Against Offshoring, Offers No Solution
from the thanks-for-playing dept
Robert Cringely’s latest column spends a bunch of time criticizing offshoring – but seems to be terribly short sighted (though, he claims those supporting offshoring are the ones who are short sighted). There are plenty of reasons to be against offshoring. As I’ve said many times before, there’s a lot of evidence that offshoring is a lot more expensive than companies seem to believe it is – and many are now regretting their decision to offshore. That said, there are other cases where it makes sense. That’s not what Cringely says, though. He seems to buy into the argument that there simply aren’t any jobs after we offshore programmers. There’s an awful lot of evidence that that’s not the case. There are many programming jobs that do require programmers to be near customers or to have a good understanding of the culture – and those are likely to increase. I’m also a bit confused in his logic. He admits that Silicon Valley (and, he should admit, the whole country) has reinvented itself time and time again – each time we outsource jobs to cheaper locations. However, he says that this time we won’t be able to because “the labor is leaving”. Does he mean the people? I don’t think so, because earlier in the article he says all those programmers are “working down at Home Depot” because they can’t find a job. So, it’s just the jobs that are leaving. Of course, that’s the definition of outsourcing – and it’s the same thing that’s always happened historically. This is no different. In fact, we’re now in a situation where we have a lot of these programmers who are looking for work – so there’s a huge resource there to help people reinvent our economy. Cringely claims he’s not advocating protectionism, but if you read the article, he doesn’t offer any other solution. How about this? The solution, which he ignores, seems obvious: we have an untapped resource in all of these smart un- or underemployed tech workers. That’s an opportunity to get them involved in reinventing our economy and creating the next great thing.