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Author Topic: A star programmer fired for outsourcing his own job has learned a harsh lesson:  (Read 1378 times)

Offline Gingerbread Man

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A star programmer fired for outsourcing his own job has learned a harsh lesson: exploitation is a job for employers, not staff.



    Software developer 'Bob' outsources own job to China and whiles away shifts on cat videos

Downtrodden employees of the world, take heart: a rebel hero walks among us. A man in his mid-40s, identified in reports only as "Bob", was a star programmer earning a six-figure salary at an American infrastructure company. When the company commissioned a network-security audit, they belatedly discovered that "Bob" had outsourced his own job to a Chinese software company for a fifth of his pay. Relieved of his workload, Bob would spend his entire office day on the internet, flicking from eBay to Facebook to cat videos, before writing a progress-report email for his bosses and knocking off at 5pm. Sadly, upon finding out how resourcefully Bob had managed his own productivity, the firm sacked him rather than marvelling at his initiative and promoting him to senior management.

    Bob's story shows that the line for an employee is drawn precisely where you begin exploiting the company rather than the company exploiting you.


Described as a "family man" and "quiet and inoffensive", Bob is a tech-wizard Bartleby for an age of "flexible" labour markets. Bartleby the scrivener, in Herman Melville's much-loved short story, is the patron saint of all employee resistance: he manages to hang on to his boring clerical job without ever doing anything. When someone suggests he perform a task, he just replies, gently: "I would prefer not to."

Bob has more get-up-and-go than Bartleby, though. He would prefer not to, but in order to achieve the ideal state of not doing, he constructed an impressive managerial system to cope with his subcontractors. Indeed Bob is clearly a kind of antic satirical genius, employing the ideas of what companies euphemise as "rationalisation" to his own benefit. Had he been hired as an expensive management consultant, and fired himself before outsourcing the same work in the same way, he probably would have been given a bonus.
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We are increasingly told, after all, that outsourcing even our personal errands and other irritating life-tasks — through websites with a local emphasis such as Task Rabbit, or through micro-payments to workers in India and other places via Amazon's Mechanical Turk system — is the modern route to happiness. (Many journalists already use such services for outsourcing the tedious work of transcribing interviews.) Getting other people to handle the mundane business of life for you — including earning a living — is explicitly the self-help idyll of life-and-business coaching manuals such as Timothy Ferris's The 4-Hour Workweek. But Bob's story shows that the line for an employee is drawn precisely where you begin exploiting the company rather than the company exploiting you. Cross it, and the boot will come down very quickly.

Importantly, Bob's employers never had any complaints about "his" work. On the contrary: he was regularly named the best coder in the building. Since Bob was, in exchange for his salary, providing the company with excellent work-product, it is arguably an onerous and even unfair demand to stipulate that he should have actually done the work himself. "Knowledge is of two kinds," Samuel Johnson said. "We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it." Bob had both kinds, and wasn't afraid to use them.

The better to fund his Bartleby-style not-doing, Bob had even taken simultaneous jobs at other companies and outsourced that work in similar fashion. In total he was earning several hundreds of thousands of dollars in return for a fee of $US50k to his Chinese company. Bob is surely, then, the model worker of an age that tells everyone they must be prepared to have "portfolio careers" and exhorts us to admire executives who manage to cut their "cost base" by arbitraging global labour costs. The fact that Bob was sacked just shows that, in reality, the political rhetoric is not meant to be taken seriously, but is a euphemistic sticking plaster for the rapacity of corporate attitudes to "human resources".

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/programmer-bob-was-a-model-modern-employee-20130118-2cx2x.html#ixzz2IHb9U0vK

Steven Poole

Offline Joshua

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If he was the manager and outsourced the programmers, he'd be promoted.
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Offline em3rgency

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you are so right...


So whats the deal here.. so he outsourced his work... thats not illegal??? Hes still the best coder in the building, and is prob making the companies he works for a lot of money.. He's a superstar in my book. Its a shame he got caught.. I hope he saved his money lol, cause hes gonna be poor the rest of his life.
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Offline tw33dyb14d

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yeah its a damn shame if you ask me

Offline Joshua

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I think part of the issue, which was hinted at in the Verizon report, is that the connect was from China and that was the big no no.

"They’re a U.S. critical infrastructure company, and it was an unauthorized VPN connection from CHINA. The implications were severe and could not be overstated."

http://securityblog.verizonbusiness.com/2013/01/14/case-study-pro-active-log-review-might-be-a-good-idea/
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N-0n

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seems a lot like court room appointments or dentist visits.
you have to be on time - if your not on time, your fined or have to reschedule.
but if your on time and the judge is late or the dentist doesn't manage his schedule correctly - you have to wait, and there is nothing you can do about it.

also, police officers can abuse the law as they see fit, like speed, run red lights, fire off their handgun prematurely - but us people cannot.

anytime a person finds a hole in the system and exploits it - they are arrested or made into a criminal.
anytime a government/corporation exploits a hole in the system - they do it until its made public and then they create a law that lets them continue to exploit the hole in the system and at the same time makes it illegal for anyone else to reap the benifits.

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Offline em3rgency

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awesome n-0n a relevant post, I like.
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Offline D4rk-50ld13r

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Offline tw33dyb14d

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very well spoken n-0n