Last week after a long talk with my wife and with her blessing I made one of the most important decisions I have ever made, other than marrying the woman I love :-), to quit my individual consulting career and start working full-time to develop my own software business specializes in what I call “UnSourcing”. I have been doing independent consulting on and off for the last 6-7 years, the outsource experience I had in Siemens, Rogers, and many other firms convinced me something I have always suspected
“With a highly capable team equipped with a proper Agile process, it should be able to build high quality custom software with much less TCO comparing to a typical off-shore outsourcing vendor“
The reasons are simple. The outsource model works great in manufacturing because of the revolutionary work done by Federick Winslow Taylor (Scientific Management) and Henry Ford (Assembly Line) and many others like them throughout the 20th century. The manufacturing process is virtually optimized to the limit; the only way left to reduce cost is by simply reduce the cost of labor. Furthermore because the process is so streamlined and well defined outsourcing it to a different country literally has no major impact to neither the quality nor productivity of the process at all. In software industry despite how much we have been trying to fit the manufacturing model, we are not manufacturing software and coding is not an act of manufacture or construction but rather an on-going design process.
“Source code itself is a major part of the design. The construction of the software is done by the compiler and machines cheaply and flawlessly, but not by the developers.”
Since coding is more a design activity than manufacturing, more of a craft than engineering, that’s why a master programmer can be up to 28 times more productive than a not-so-experienced counterpart. With that in mind, its not difficult to understand before we go for off-shore outsourcing there are actually huge amount of optimization we can do in other parts of the system to lower the cost. The recent Agile movement in the industry is a perfect example of how much waste we can cut out before we resort to the labor cost.
I am starting my business with my business partner in the hope of being able to help companies who have suffered from outsource mess to actually deliver high quality software and solutions with true business value and most importantly with much less TCO. In the next a few months I will record our journey here in my blog, and of course we appreciate anyone who would like to share their experience, advices, and leads with us if you would like to see this somewhat quality obsessed software shop to survive this largely manufacture minded industry out there :)