Google
 

Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 19th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2014 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Now that's outsourcing!

17 January 2013

Over the decades, I've done an awful lot of teleworking. In fact, most of my life has been spent working at home for an employer or client who is tens or thousands of KM away.

It's a great setup -- the employer/client saves money because they don't have the overheads associated with providing resources needed for on-site staff -- and I save money because there's no daily commute or need to buy more "good" clothes on a regular basis.

So this setup boosts profits and saves the planet - what could possibly go wrong?

Well I had to smile (almost laugh) when I read this story on the BBC website today.

Now that's an entrepreneur and an opportunist!

Unfortunately, it's also grossly dishonest.

However, when you think about it, it's a clever way to make a lot of money...

Charge your time out at the prevailing rate for contract teleworking -- then hand the work onto some other worker in a low-wage country.

This leaves you with plenty of free time *and* a pretty nice income.

Given that your only role in such an arrangement would be to liaise with the client/employer on occasion and to also liaise with your "subcontractors" you could even hold down several jobs at once, for even more money!

When you think about it, this is the way many software companies already operate - they accept an hourly rate to perform a job and have employees who actually do the work - so what's wrong with actions of the guy in the story?

Well obviously it's fraudulent for a start. The guy's employer thought he was hiring the guy doing the outsourcing, not some unknown and unvetted Chinese programmer. It seems that in this case there were security issues associated with the job so goodness knows how much of the employer's sensitive data could now be floating around under a red flag.

Unless all code submitted by the Chinese programmer was subjected to line-by-line peer review there are also no guarantees that there aren't some unpleasant "surprises" waiting to be triggered some time down the line.

Unfortunately for the rest of the teleworking world, this guy has probably soured some prospective employers or clients to the prospect of employing remote workers - and that's a bad thing. Goodness knows it's often hard enough convincing people that teleworking is a viable way to have work done - now it's just got harder.

And I wonder just how many other supposed teleworkers are actually spending their days on YouTube, Facebook and porn sites while, unknown to their employers, the work is actually being done by someone in India or China? Is this just the tip of an iceberg perhaps?

Have any of those in the contract/teleworking business heard of others engaging in this type of unofficial subcontracting before?

Please visit the sponsor!
Please visit the sponsor!

Have your say on this...

PERMALINK to this column

Oh, and don't forget today's sci/tech news headlines


Rank This Aardvark Page

 

Change Font

Sci-Tech headlines

 


Apart from the kind support of the sponsor, Aardvark Daily is largely a labour of love that involves many hours of hard work each month. If you appreciate the content you find here (or even if you don't) then please visit the sponsor and also feel free to gift me a donation using the button above.

Remember, this is purely a gift, you'll get nothing other than a warm fuzzy feeling in return.


Features:

Beware The Alternative Energy Scammers

The Great "Run Your Car On Water" Scam

 

The Missile Man The Missile Man book

Previous Columns

Bashing the Net
For many years, Unix users have looked down their noses at the terrible track record of bad security found in Microsoft's Windows operating system...

Australia goes Gestapo
One of the most important issues leading up to last weekend's election was that of privacy and government surveillance of NZers...

Sigh! CAA Sigh!
As regular readers will know, I'm engaged in a utterly ridiculous battle with CAA...

Crowd-working
One of the great things about the internet is that it allows us to connect huge numbers of people in the blink of an eye...

EVs ready for prime-time?
For decades we've all been quietly waiting for the rise of the electric vehicle...

Kick-me, kick me!
Spring has sprung, the grass is growing, the days are getting longer and warmer. What's not to be happy about?...

Political Friday: And the winner is...
Well here we are - the 2014 general election is now just a day away...

The Dremel hyper-hype 3D printer
Have you heard of Dremel? ...

Pain, I won't stand for it
Normally I'm up at sparrow's fart and sitting at my desk by 6am at the latest...

What defense against surveillance?
Ed Snowden probably surprised nobody with his revelations that all NZers are the subject of mass surveillance last night...