A day in the life of a Capgemini software engineer: sitting in the plane two seats away from the former Miss World. Dream or reality? Well it did happen to me last week when I took the JetAirways flight from Mumbai to Hyderabad for a course. I was thinking about ways to approach her, you know just to broaden my network, but I was a man on a mission with no time for chit chat with (beautiful) women, since I was expected at the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad for a course week: RightShore for Software Engineers.
The idea of the Capgemini University course is to let you experience the offshore business where it all happens. How much better can you experience India than in… India? It’s a tough five days course where you get cultural training to better understand how your Indian colleagues are working and why certain things are done in a certain way. It also discusses the root causes for communication failure and why we sometimes don’t seem to understand each other. The other part of the course was geared towards senior software engineers that work in a geographically distributed environment where all issues like RUP distributed delivery, use case estimations in a distributed delivery setting, etc are discussed with plenty of room for networking (50 % Indian participants, 50 % European participants).
This course tries to radically change your mind and let you realize that the sooner you involve the offshore team, the better it will be for the project. Think about it, how much effort gets wasted with doing knowledge transfer and trying to assure that the back office has understood everything what the front office has designed? A very effective approach is to involve the offshore team right from the moment of doing the bid (since eventually they have to build it) so that they are onboard even before the project has kicked off.
Does that mean that we have to be afraid for our jobs in the United States and Europe? Look around you at how many open job positions are. A very important reason to consider offshore nowadays is the fact that we can’t find enough technical IT people in the western countries. We see year after year less people entering the computer science programs at universities, while in India almost everyone that goes into university wants to do something with IT. Capgemini India hires fresh graduates at a rate that we can only dream of in the Netherlands. The lack of sufficient skilled IT professionals in the western countries is a concern to all of us in the industry. We even ask experienced software engineers in our Indian office to fly over to Europe for a couple of months to work at a client location since he or she has a certain skill that is very hard to find in the Netherlands. This means that all of us have to start accepting that this transfer of work skills on a global scale is a necessity if we want to stay competitive. Companies that keep on refusing to join this trend, will face the fact that they stay behind since they won’t find enough skilled IT professionals.
Accept it and open up your mind…