March 08, 2004

Offshoring, Education and New Technologies

Lots of talk in the last 24 hours about the outsourcing articles in SF gate (they were spread throughout two sections of the chron yesterday). A friend of mine from here is interviewing for a job in India in software development and telecommunications. The company has a bad reputation there as it went bankrupt, and the new buyers can't get people there to work for them. An interesting turn of events. Though I would say that with expectations of higher pay (average pay in India for an engineer is $7800, verses the US at $70,000) means we have to be more innovative, and concentrate on prototyping and development here in the US, and working closely with users to create these things.

But one thing to note, especially in CA where we love to make things like Prop 13 which limit taxes, is that we have disabled our educational system because we don't want to pay, and in years to come that will haunt us more than it does now, 25 years after it passed. India has a good educational system, and as one person noted,

It's both about educating people and having a populace that is up to the minute on using new technologies, because if you use them, you'll think of more new uses, and these will in turn spawn new technologies and innovations. And the socialization that occurs with using these new communication methods is key, because it's not just one user using one technology. It's many people interacting with the technology and each other, and the network effects, which users can't see and innovate on unless they use and play with them.

This combination of overly-protectionist intellectual property law where we inhibit innovation in the long-term for short term profits, lack of use of interesting new communication methods and technologies and spending less and less on education is deadly.

Posted by Mary Hodder at March 8, 2004 09:15 AM | TrackBack