A dangerous number of South African IT professionals are leaving

cguy

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You are missing the point, white guys with limited experience think without them, that is privileged pale males, the local industry will collapse.

I just went through over a dozen interviews for positions where there really is a skill shortage and I know what it takes to fill them - the reason why I get head hunted.

The local industry is at a turning point and the companies that invest in the potential you mention will be the ones that survive. I'm actually joining such a company to become one of their many diversity champions and get involved in mentorship.
My point is that the industry can’t spare anyone, white or not, privileged or not, experienced or not.
 

Hamster

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I've it had one BEE "incident" so far. Some company (corporate I assume) was advertising senior positions for a new team. I enquired and was informed these are BEE positions.

You'd think with talent being scarce they'd be less picky, but I wish them good luck anyway :p
 

GoB

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You'd think with talent being scarce they'd be less picky, but I wish them good luck anyway :p
Not sure about your example, but some companies have no choice. Since it's about money and not principles, they'll comply in order to continue operating. The BEE targets can also be reached by overcompensating in other departments - IT becomes an easy place to start.

In the end those who claim to be transformation champions could simply be looking out for #1.
 

^^vampire^^

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I've spent a fair amount of time in the US working in various offices.
Most developers these days are from India or China.

If you know how to run a remote team, I don't see why it is impossible to make the Indian contractors thing work.
Keep a few in house guys, do code reviews, have milestones, etc.

If code quality is your problem, then there is a problem with your process.
I can tell you from first hand experience that it's the fact that Indian and Chinese people point blank refuse to assimilate into other environments and cultures that make this not work. If you're working with a remote team that reside in India/China then you can already perceive the communication barrier issue and to be frank when people have had to do one project with offshore devs they realise what a big mistake this is. I've been living in Australia for a little over 3 years and have had no issue getting work as I am a first language English speaker. It blows my mind however that there are 3rd, 4th, hell even 10th generation Indian and Chinese Australians here that speak little to no English and complain they can't get jobs. It's always been one of my primary complaints that communication is key to making a good dev shop work (especially because it is technical) and if people cannot understand or communicate on an effective level then it's going to come crashing down.
 

Gnome

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I can tell you from first hand experience that it's the fact that Indian and Chinese people point blank refuse to assimilate into other environments and cultures that make this not work. If you're working with a remote team that reside in India/China then you can already perceive the communication barrier issue and to be frank when people have had to do one project with offshore devs they realise what a big mistake this is. I've been living in Australia for a little over 3 years and have had no issue getting work as I am a first language English speaker. It blows my mind however that there are 3rd, 4th, hell even 10th generation Indian and Chinese Australians here that speak little to no English and complain they can't get jobs. It's always been one of my primary complaints that communication is key to making a good dev shop work (especially because it is technical) and if people cannot understand or communicate on an effective level then it's going to come crashing down.
I work for months at a time in the US, either in Seattle or San Jose and the place is pretty much full of Chinese and Indian people. So not sure what Australia is doing, but the USA is the technology leader (at least for the time being) and they are mostly hiring people from China & India.

Those guys don't have perfect English but they are good enough to get the job done.
And being honest, we have a LOT of VPs or Directors that are either Chinese or Indian, they worked themselves up from basically the lowly developer.
Also these aren't small/unknown companies.
I don't really want to say who I work for currently but the situation is the same in all the top tier companies.

It really depends on the person. But of course a large majority of people don't like changing or adapting because it takes work. That is a human thing, not a China or India thing

I can tell you from first hand experience that it's the fact that Indian and Chinese people point blank refuse to assimilate into other environments and cultures that make this not work. If you're working with a remote team that reside in India/China then you can already perceive the communication barrier issue and to be frank when people have had to do one project with offshore devs they realise what a big mistake this is.
With China I can believe it can be hard, India should be a LOT easier, most of them already need to speak English at home and they are very happy to westernize in my experience. China has a lot of pride so the situation is different there.

I'm sure it is going to depend who you hire or contract with. Running a remote dev team can be challenging. My company does it all the time because we operate across multiple locations. As such some projects run in offices across the world. It is a challenge even if people speak the same language. And there is certainly a barrier of hostility to get past initially if the people haven't met.

Working with remote teams is not something you just jump in to, no doubt about it, you need experience doing it.
 

zippy

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I can tell you from first hand experience that it's the fact that Indian and Chinese people point blank refuse to assimilate into other environments and cultures that make this not work. If you're working with a remote team that reside in India/China then you can already perceive the communication barrier issue and to be frank when people have had to do one project with offshore devs they realise what a big mistake this is. I've been living in Australia for a little over 3 years and have had no issue getting work as I am a first language English speaker. It blows my mind however that there are 3rd, 4th, hell even 10th generation Indian and Chinese Australians here that speak little to no English and complain they can't get jobs. It's always been one of my primary complaints that communication is key to making a good dev shop work (especially because it is technical) and if people cannot understand or communicate on an effective level then it's going to come crashing down.
We recently engaged a crowd from Poland because we can’t get enough skilled developers. India and China where ruled out from the start because of time zone differences. Language should not be a problem, because a contract should not even start without them being able to communicate in English because we are the client, not them.

I have worked with teams in India when I worked in London and language was never a problem. The guys and girls I worked with in Mumbai where fantastic to work with. Well educated, but more importantly, smart and hard working. The nature of the work in that case didn’t result in the time zone differences being an issue.

I would say the Poles I currently work with struggle more with English than the Indian crew. But they are just as good, and we work well together.

When I worked in SA, the company I worked for where looking to exploit the time zone and language barriers between the UK and India by getting some UK contracts. They got a few contracts, but could get anything long term. It turns out that differences, while they factors, are not really that much of an issue if know how to deal with them.

From my experience working in SA and the UK, I think the problem also has a lot to do with the insular nature of South Africans in general. South Africans generally, and stress, generally, find it harder to cope with foreign cultures. The UK, EU, US etc., have a lot more experience in dealing with foreign business partners and know how to deal with inevitable differences in language and culture.
 

Hamster

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Not sure how many of you saying that English will not be a problem dealing when Indians from India have actually dealt with Indians from India. The two or so Indian contract houses I've dealt with's staff either had a very basic grasp of the English language or mumbled/spoke with such an accent that it was easier for them to just to write an email.

Maybe I just got unlucky.
 

cguy

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When I worked for my first US employer, they started up offices in India in order to save money. Their head count in India now numbers in the thousands.

There were some growing pains and a few persistent issues that had to be worked through, but ultimately it was very much worth it for the company (Indian employees at the mid level band were around a third the cost of US employees). Overall it was a great success once the correct management and communication processes were in place.
 

krycor

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Not sure how many of you saying that English will not be a problem dealing when Indians from India have actually dealt with Indians from India. The two or so Indian contract houses I've dealt with's staff either had a very basic grasp of the English language or mumbled/spoke with such an accent that it was easier for them to just to write an email.

Maybe I just got unlucky.
So I've work with companies wherein work is outsourced to India amongst other places... general feeling is that if they can speak english and work well then i've got no issues but this is not always the case. Also SA based companies are not the prize most aim for, i.e. the more talented side of the skills pool aim for US companies.

When I worked for my first US employer, they started up offices in India in order to save money. Their head count in India now numbers in the thousands.

There were some growing pains and a few persistent issues that had to be worked through, but ultimately it was very much worth it for the company (Indian employees at the mid level band were around a third the cost of US employees). Overall it was a great success once the correct management and communication processes were in place.
From past experience.. you can run companies profitably this way but it requires a lot of administration overhead. Short change admin and you suffer.
 

cguy

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So I've work with companies wherein work is outsourced to India amongst other places... general feeling is that if they can speak english and work well then i've got no issues but this is not always the case. Also SA based companies are not the prize most aim for, i.e. the more talented side of the skills pool aim for US companies.
Good point. Our 1/3rd of US wages would likely translate to > $100k/y in India, so companies in SA would hardly be shipping work to them for a cost saving.
 

jambai

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The problem is actually more severe than just the size of the pool, it is the way the pool is being selected. Those going tend to have degrees, experience, specialities, can demonstrate their abilities in an interview setting, pass personality/fit tests, meet international hiring bars, be on country scarce skill lists, meet foreign country visa requirements, etc.
Totally Agree all goes together with what I am saying .You added another valid point
 
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