Sourcingmag.com: Practical Advice & Case Studies on IT Outsourcing — This is from an online ‘zine that pushes offshoring. This concept is unbelieveable! Some people are proposing a slave ship for coders to avoid H1B visa issues to get cheap code. Hey jerk-offs, how about paying Americans a decent salary? We have plenty of coders looking for work. It sounds like a joke, but it’s supposedly dead serious (or these guys tricked this magazine). It’s beyond nuts.

Here’s their basic idea:

Take a used cruise ship, plant it in international waters three miles off the coast of El Segundo, near Los Angeles, people it with 600 of the brightest software engineers they can find around the world (both men and women), and run a 24-hour-a-day programming shop, thereby avoiding H-1B visa hassles while still exploiting offshore labor cost arbitrage and completing development projects in half the time they’d take onshore or offshore.

“As more people have run the [offshore] gauntlet and found the joys of traveling to India coach class and having three weeks of stuff on their desk when they come back, [they discover] it’s much more disruptive than they ever imagined it would be,” explains Mr. Green.

Before you think, “sweat-ship,” hear them out. These workers, they say, will each have private rooms with baths, meal service, laundry service, housekeeping and access to on-board leisure-time activities.

And exactly why would this gally of coders produce code faster? A guy in the corner beating a drum? Whips?

This writer, this woman linked here, should be ashamed of herself for promoting this crap.

via R. Sanchez



  1. Miguel Lopes says:

    Crap alright, but I’m afraid it may yet happen!

    The key word is ‘exploiting’.

    But here’s a sugestion: a sail yacht, a group of nice looking female (hey, it’s MY fantasy!) programmers and sysadmins, hi-bandwidth satellite connections, and I can run any hi-tech business from the blue seas of the Caribbean! I’ll even work more than 3 hours every day!

  2. jojo says:

    Actually, it’s quite a good idea! No taxes and no insurance costs or hassles. Could apply to other fields also. Want a doctor visit or maybe get some surgery? How about some dentistry? Might be a lot cheaper 3 (or 12) miles offshore. Lot of potential in this idea.

    ‘Course a ship offshore makes a good target for a wayward torpedo also. Have to be careful messing with big business or a government.

  3. Rance Bleester says:

    These guys are really creative.
    They’re doing what makes America great – selling out their fellow workers.
    But I think I’ve seen this movie before.
    So here’s how I see it going.

    We start with the Love Boat and fill it up with Indian and Chinese geeks.
    Get that short geeky guy they had, Gopher, for social director and Billy Bob Thornton as the Skipper, reprising his role in Bad Santa,
    but as Bad Captain.
    We plant it off LA where every day is sunny and blue.
    The sweat-shipped Asian geeks work like demons solving all sorts of impossible problems in record time.
    But they have fun, too.
    They enjoy social events like the who can wear the most checked and striped clothes in one ensemble contest
    and who can memorize the most digits of pi while gargling Popov shots through a funnel.
    They sing Day-O and Kumbaya, but to new lyrics based on code comments translated into Indian and Chinese
    pidgin. The songs are very short but are redeemed by being unintelligible.
    But they dance to it anyway, spasmodically and chaotically.
    And all the geeks are after the one desirable woman (a super-programmer, I might add) on board, the blubber-lipped
    and saline-bagged Angelina Jolie.
    But right when Billy Bob beats the crap out of some Indian movie star-looking guy trying to get some off Angelina and
    starts in on his Bad Santa moves, all hell breaks lose.
    You see, the whole time the Love Boat thing was going on, with the male dancing, the sing-alongs, the checked pants contests –
    deep in the bottommost reaches of the ship, the level laughingly called B.O. Deck, one programmer had never left his tiny metal cubicle.
    Because he was in a death struggle with a computer virus that could INFECT PEOPLE!
    I bet you didn’t know that could happen, am I right?
    So, right when it seemed like the valiant sweat ship worker would crack the virus code and save the ship, right
    when he was rehearsing the Rocky song in Chinese, he made one simple yet fatal error.
    As he lifted his arm in the cramped workspace to deliver the final keystroke of death to the virus, his hand brushed
    his opened can of Armour Pork Brains in Milk Gravy which flooded in slow motion over his head and the keyboard, even though he was screaming
    “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” the whole time, thus creating a short circuit between the virus and his head.
    In an instant, the virus had scuttled up his nose, replicated a thousand times, deep within his brain and completely replaced his identity.
    It got up from the chair, humming the Love Boat song with a British accent, and climbed the stairs to the Fun Deck.
    Well, you can probably fill in the rest.
    The virus gets on Fun Deck, Billy Bob, Gopher and Angelina escape in a lifeboat and sabotage the rest,
    the virus infects all the geeks, they turn into the same alien-reptile thing they won’t stop using, make the same
    creepy, screechy alien noises, Billy Bob stops humping Angelina long enough to fire off a flare that hits the stack of
    2000 pound bombs mysteriously sitting on deck, and blows the aliens to kingdom come.
    Billy Bob goes back to humping Angelina, Gopher listens to his self-esteem tapes and the US is saved
    yet another day.
    Yep, that’s how I think it’ll go.
    How about you?

  4. Pat says:

    After reading Rance’s vision, I’m at a loss of words.

    I am glad that Billy Bob shot the flare gun into some 2000 lb bombs instead a pile of recalled Toshiba batteries.

  5. jojo says:

    4/9/2005

    5% of IT jobs are offshored now, 20% will be offshored by 2015
    -Posted @ 1:24 pm

    General
    Less than 5% of IT jobs in the United States and other developed countries are currently sent offshore, Gartner says. That number will rise to 30% by 2015. Worldwide spending on offshore research and development and engineering will increase by a whopping 860%, from $1.25 bln in 2004 to as much as $12 bln in 2010, Gartner predicts. Offshore spending on infrastructure outsourcing will grow from between $100 mln and $250 mln to between $3 bln and $4 bln over the same period. Offshore spending on application-development services will more than double from $23 bln to as much as $50 bln.

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/ITFacts/index.php?p=927

  6. jon doe says:

    wasn’t this idea first proposed by that guy named yodal or something like that? i mean, that guy that wrote “the rise and fall and rise and fall of the american programmer”, who did all those bubble-gum charts back-when and then became a garage-band programmer? you know the guy i’m talking about…wha’t his name again?

  7. rance bleester says:

    Pat –
    Actually, one of the treatments (that’s Inside Hollywood talk for yet another chili-stained re-hash of whatever) did involve the recalled Toshiba batteries, but the test audience’s reaction to the potential environmental problems off LA harbor were considered far too un-PC for the actual movie. What with Earth Day coming up and all.
    Thanks for the suggestion, though.
    And, of course, we hashed over Jojo’s idea for the torpedoes. Trouble was, how do we fit in the sub?
    Thoughts were, maybe J. Lo (even though I am personally quite sad about the break-up) could deal a sub off Puffy from his stash in Hudson Bay after trading him David Spade and two nights with Seal’s new bitch, whatserface.
    Then they get it over to LA during one of those Lost Weekend deals, but updated for coke and meth and where the inside of the sub is more like a disco joint with spinnin’ Dubs instead of discoballs and a really cool zinc and teak bar lighted with tastefully muted Day-Glo neon piping, but sticking with the Popov shooters and Bud Lite cuz it’s a budget flick.
    But the really big news on this is what we over here call “Treatment #4”, so we can fit in the actual Ona-tripa-nurs on this thing, the brilliant Mssrs. Cook and Green, where Cap’n Cook and his personal midget Mr. Green get keelhauled by Billy Bob and Angelina for as long as it takes to get chewed up by Flipper’s homey, Jimbo, a mako shark with an attitude and an unemployed cousin with a C.S. from M.I.T..
    And then there’s the part about fillin’ in the yawning middle part.
    But that’s what they made sell-out pop musicians for.
    I figure 10-12 sound tracks oughta do it…..ya know, Hotel California, California Dreamin’, Beat It – not Jacko’s version, thanks, Taking Care of Bidniz, etc..

    Rance

  8. Jim says:

    FROM DELLS LINUX SITE
    Dell Disclaimer: This webpage is for informational purposes only, may contain typographical errors, technical inaccuracies, and information about configurations which are not officially supported by Dell. The content is provided as is, without express or implied warranties of any kind.
    http://linux.dell.com/

    My proposed Dell disclaimer
    Good for garage-band programmers, shaggies and perhaps a laugh or two.

    Dudeclaimer: Dude all our stuff is radical and way too cool. If you are running Linux on your rig, you are totally on your own. Dude we built your machine for Microsoft Windows and running Linux could crash your system and cause a total processor meltdown. Dude Dell has the coolest stuff and you need a mp3 player. Please note that any use of an HP ipod on this system voids your warranty. Dude all of this info could be bogus, so watch out if your system is being used for a flying circus. Dude this disclaimer could be more accurate than we think it might of been before we thought about what you might of wanted to do. So sue us, we have more lawyers than you. Dude you are on your own. If your rig stops working, call Intel and complain to them or call Microsoft for other instructions. Dude you’re having problems, that’s not our problem.

  9. David Smith says:

    I instantly thought of Radio Caroline from my early years in England.

    # Over 40 years ago a young Irish entrepreneur Ronan O’Rahilly founded Britain’s first offshore radio station. Radio Caroline instantly became a household name. Caroline’s continued existence became a lifetime mission for Ronan.

    # Peter Moore became Radio Caroline’s station manager in the 1980s during her final phase of broadcasting from the high seas. Peter fervently believes in Caroline’s continued relevancy in an age of corporate consolidation and robot DJs.

  10. Max Pressman says:

    Certainly this is a hoax. What advantage is there to having the programmers off the coast vs. in India or Mexico or whereever?

  11. trent says:

    I think it’s brilliant, and inevitable… If you’re in school right now looking for a job in IT, change your major from coding to project management. The beauty of this idea is that it can be done with almost any knowledge based enterprise. I applaud them. Selling out workers, slavery, anti-american… Flush those tired arguments down the drain. This is capitalism in it’s most pure form and the invisible hand working diligently for corporate shareholders while the rest of the developed world sleeps.

  12. Yes. Damn furriners. Stealing our God-given American jobs. Jingoistic protectionism–that’s the American way. None of this free trade crap. In fact, why stop at national borders? After all, why should low-wage workers in say, Idaho or Tennessee be allowed to steal our high paid California jobs? I, for one, hate having to compete with people who will work harder for less money than I do. Thank goodness that politicians pander to people like me so I don’t have to.

  13. Steve Baker says:

    This is just inevitable. Other industries (ship building, steel, automobile manufacture…you name it) have seen this happen over and over again. Once a technology becomes sufficiently mature, the costs drop to the cost of labor and raw materials….or in our case, just labor.

    We’ve all seen the steel mill owners whining about loss of business, dumping and unfair competition, and government putting futile efforts into keeping a clearly dying industry alive for another generation of workers. Well, that’s EXACTLY what’s happening to IT. If you are a 50 year old programmer – you’ll manage through to retirement. If you are in your 30’s, think about retraining for some totally different job sometime in the next 10 years. If you are in your teens, don’t even think of going into IT because by the time you mature into a career – when you should be hitting the big bucks – well, that’s when it’ll all collapse around your ears. Do something different.

    It’s only a matter of time until all ‘mundane’ programming tasks are done wherever there is a sufficiently good educational system and cheap labor. Right now, that’s India because that’s where the old British influence has left a culture of English speakers and a love of education. But it’ll go down-market from there – you can be sure.

    The only way the USA can stay afloat economically is to cut wages (and cost of living and lifestyle expectations) drastically – or keep inventing new technologies that other countries will eventually take over.

    So – we MUST invest heavily in every new technology that comes along – workers must expect to switch career tracks completely a couple of times in their lifetimes and we must educate the heck out of our kids.

    Unfortunately – there is a culture of demeaning the academically gifted – putting all the money into dragging the less smart kids up to some arbitary standard – and nowhere near enough into pushing ahead the people who’ll eventually be coming up with the next-but-one generation of innovation. It only takes a small number of people to do that – but unless you find and train them, that next generation technology won’t appear until the last generation has evaporated as a high profit industry.

    We NEED to be building BioTech systems – without the uninformed and stupid legal entanglements around stem cell research and cloning. We NEED to be using flagship projects like the space elevator and Humans to Mars to inspire people to greatness. We NEED a national push to finally kick Nanotech, Superconductors and AI into gear.

    (Regrettably: We probably also need a few serious wars to push military R&D ahead too – that’s where robotics, AI and image processing is getting big…but it’s hard to advocate that strategy)

    Without this, we’ll simply stagnate and collapse.

    So don’t rant at people who are ‘stealing American jobs’ – we never ‘owned’ those jobs. We don’t have a monopoly on the ability to write programs. We must retrain – invest – look to the future and not into the past.

  14. Stephen Bone says:

    Mr. Baker (above) is sound in his assessment. Rather than dispaging SeaCode, we should be encouraging such a development because it allows us potential for keeping some aspect of this industry within the sphere of the American economy. However, based on my reading, and as a ship’s officer, I am worried that SeaCode may not have fully anticipated the full extent of the challenges they face. What an exciting project though. I wish them the best.

  15. sgt_doom says:

    Most of the programmers I’ve known (I mean REAL programmers now…) tend towards seasickness – regardless of national origin. As far as the number of actual jobs offshored: Gartner is going solely by voluntarily stated jobs by the major corporations – most of whom lie outrageously – and the BLS and GAO have already gone on record as suggesting – since it is voluntary – that only 1 out of every 6 jobs which have been offshored are actually reported (and this is a conservative estimate, dude!!!).

    Out of my last 5 jobs which were offshored – not a single one (meaning all of those jobs offshored taken as a group) was ever reported! My last very conservative count – going by published reports in the major city newspapers – was 27% of the IT jobs had been offshored – and this was back in late 2002 or early 2003. And it’s only going to get worse……

  16. mr_debaker says:

    How about a new version of “Moby Dick”: “Monomaniacal VP pursues bug that took off leg.” Or how about Treasure Island? “Software pirates battle innocent lad and friends over missing spec.” Or A Night to Remember? “Fault-tolerant system comes down in unforeseen chain reaction crash. Managers escape in half-empty lifeboats while programmers drown.” Or The Caine Mutiny? “Cowardly CEO exonerated after subordinates save project.”

  17. How dare they use their resources as they see fit! Boy, the nerve.

    Get a life, Dvorak.

  18. Gautam Kalia says:

    The concept sounds compelling but there are critical business flaws like consumption of ship fuel (vis-a-vis electricity). With oil being a fastly depleting resource, these guys may run in to trouble with some agency for setting a precedent if and when this idea becomes successful (read more business along this model).
    The other flaw is that with communication media being better than ever, what is the advantage for a company to go half an hour away when they can pick up the phone and call India. For development/coding projects, is it really a big deal to be physically accessible?
    Yet another flaw in their positioning is that they claim to be on 24-hours so hance halving the development time. But isn’t that the same as a company in India (or any other country) with coders working in shifts?
    And the final problem with this business plan is: can coders work on the same piece of code in tandem? Isn’t it like a music composer writing half a symphony then asking another to carry on where he left off? I feel they will end up spending an inordinate amount of time just handing over their day’s work to the next sailor-coder.
    BTW, I am an Indian working in the IT industry in Bangalore. Please don’t hate me!

  19. to_glow says:

    Has anybody heard of Tariffs? What exactly do we get from the rest of world? ( Oil?) If you want to mantain the freedoms and liberties we have you had better become more protective and nationalistic.

    Remember the poor don’t have rights and what rights they are supposed to have are trampled by the rich. The people in Mexico and most Latin American countries are supposed to have rights as good or better than those given by our Bill of Rights, but do they?

    We can not ever compete and maintain the current living standards, so we as a country have to make a choice, and we do have a choice. Live and work under a freetraitor like King George Bush, or another freetraitor like Queen Hilary. Our preoccupation with being fair to those in other countries will in the end undo us.

    Since the 50’s we’ve gone down the road of increasing trade and freetrade. During this period we’ve gone from families with Mom’s that can stay at home and a father that make the families living to broken homes with mother and father both working just to make it.

    Similar to welfare, increasing the amount we give to freetrade and refusing to impose Tariffs and protecting out national interests, ie withdrawing from the WTO, will not solve our problem. In the end it is our problem, the rest of the world will watch and laugh at us, after all how many of those countries would self-destruct like we are? If you want to pretend to be GOD and give everything away, then please go to China/India the see how far you get.

    P.S.
    by the way I really dislike the Little Leprechaun Bill O’Reilly, it’s his type of 60’s thinking that has gotten us to this point. I

  20. Bhaskar says:

    I am wondering how many people would be really interested in working for days in the sea. Long term I doubt this will work out.

  21. Yamunna says:

    Hey !!!! That’s amazing and a very creative idea…. It requires a lot of patients to think and analyzing the cost effectiveness and run the business in one of the smartest manners.

  22. Srinivas says:

    Its very good idea, i want to be work in that company…..:)

  23. Greg says:

    I wonder if anyone has consulted a lawyer or CPA regarding the Maritime and Admiralty laws. If they did, then they’d realize all the faults in their business plan.


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