When Bob offshored his job was he doing anything that different?

I blogged yesterday about the US software development head within a big US organization who had been sending his own work to a Chinese services provide to be done for a fraction of his salary. See the blog here.

He used a fifth of his own salary to pay low cost developers in China to do his work. The individual, known as Bob (sorry hyperlink only vaguely related but comedy gold), wasn’t found out for years and when he was it was nothing to do with software quality but the result of fears within IT of a cyber-attack because of the VPN link the developer had set up between him and the Chinese developers.

Somebody in the office said with tongue firmly in cheek, to me that they should make this guy COO. If the software quality was good and at that price he is obviously on to something.
Then I had a comment in the previous blog which described the similarities between what the developer did and what is going on within corporates throughout the UK, with companies offshoring work.

This is what the reader, known as Matt, said about the story.

“To be honest, I don’t see a huge moral difference between “Bob” and the common practices of many large consultancies, who will parade their top UK-based experts in front of the client when they’re bidding for a contract, but when they win the contract they’ll staff the project with inexperienced offshore trainees wherever possible and pocket the huge difference between the daily rate they charge their clients and the rate they pay the offshore worker. I wonder if Bob’s employer has outsourced any work recently?”

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See also my comment on the same story in When IT Meets Politics.

http://www.computerweekly.com/blogs/when-it-meets-politics/2013/01/how-mnay-of-your-teleworkers-a.html

It raises many issues.

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