2 Feb 2003 johnnyb   » (Journeyer)

A recent discussion I had on slashdot:

I win. As a programmer for a small development company, we can easily benefit from this. Being close by we are better able to maintain relationships with the companies. Being an kick-butt programmer, I can outcode most competition. Being able to communicate directly with customers - well, it seems that the advantages to corporate layoffs tend to my direction. They may initially decide to go with foreign programmers, until they find out that the best value is right next door.

The programmer in India can't sit down with them and hash out the problems and potentials of different design solutions, and figure out which one works best. They have to hope that the people they communicated the designs to have a perfect understanding of their company, and hope that they can code to that.

Honestly, if computer professionals weren't overcharging already, we probably wouldn't be in this position anyway. "When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die" -Dietrich Bonhoeffer [ Reply to This | Parent ] Re:Uh... by johnnyb (Score:4) Starting Score: 1 point Moderation +2 70% Insightful 30% Overrated Extra 'Insightful' Modifier 0 (Edit) Karma-Bonus Modifier +1 (Edit) Total Score: 4 Re:Uh... (Score:1) by NateTech (50881) Alter Relationship on Friday January 31, @10:18PM (#5201598) (http://www.natetech.com) No, if your customers were forced to have slightly more difficult communication lines they would write proper specifications for their software up-front and then learn to be able to use anyone, anywhere for their software.

"Just because you have his PGP/GPG signature doesn't mean you should *trust* him... he's still a moron." [ Reply to This | Parent ] Re:Uh... (Score:1) by Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) Alter Relationship on Friday January 31, @10:20PM (#5201603) Chances are an IIT graduate can beat you coding- at least in the mindless non-creative way the bosses now want you to code. And they won't care if they don't get the best design solution if they get the coding done for $2.50/hr instead of $25/hr- at least they're saving money in the short run. I lost my job with a small development company just like yours after sales disappeared with 9/11/2001- now that company has a total IT staff of 2 (remember, they're a software development house) and they've survived, but most of the work is now being done in New Delhi. Don't get too cocky about your coding skills- to the end user the only thing that counts is how pretty the user interface is. [ Reply to This | Parent ]

Re:Uh... (Score:2) by johnnyb (4816) <johnnyb@eskimo.com> on Sunday February 02, @01:57AM (#5208961) (http://www.eskimo.com/~johnnyb/) " Chances are an IIT graduate can beat you coding- at least in the mindless non-creative way the bosses now want you to code."

The bosses? No. The client is who we're concerned with. They don't care anything about the code - they want a solution to their problems. If I am able to show how the code I produce helps them pragmatically, they will go with me. If I can't show them how the code I produce helps them pragmatically - then I'm really not better.

The problem is that good programmers know how to write systems well - they just don't know how to communicate the benefits of those systems clearly.

The company I'm with has been growing and growing and growing - because we do the best work, we partner with (not against) our customers, and we are able to clearly communicate to them how working with us improves their business.

"Don't get too cocky about your coding skills- to the end user the only thing that counts is how pretty the user interface is."

This is bull. The end user cares about things such as response time, expandability, etc. If a customer didn't like my system and was opting for someone else's less well designed system, I could convince them easily to choose my system.

I would time the customer service reps in how fast they could place orders - and show how many more reps they would have to hire because of the bad programmer - even if the interface is pretty

I would show why the lack of documentation would make them tied to this single vendor, and explain how some vendors use that to ream clients

I would explain in what ways my system was more flexible than theirs, and allowed that business more freedom in how it ran its operations, rather than having its operations being dictated to

I would show how much easier it was to plug in triggers and automated responses in my system than the other system - and show how the workflow can be customized exactly how they need it - and won't need a major revamp to handle future possibilities

Good code has practical benefits. Being in the same country as your client has benefits. But most of all, good communication skills have benefits. After all, you need the communication skills to explain your other benefits. "When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die" -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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