in reply to
Open Source Funding: Developing Countries Better?
The "Bang for the Buck" concept is one that is affecting my current employment. The company I work for is seeking "offshore" developers based upon the rate they have to pay for the work done. While, from a cost basis, this seems like good business sense, it has not quite worked out that way.
Many of our developers have had to move to a more advisory role. Their duties now include writing specifications, both functional and technical, which are very detailed. The detail needed to "coach" the development of the required code is not much less than the effort actually required to do the coding work itself.
Many of the folks tasked with writing these specifications and guiding the new developers have indicated that they could have completely finished the coding work with very little extra effort.
This does not mean, however, that the relatively inexpensive coding labor force cannot eventually "learn the ropes" and require less guidance in the future. It does indicate, at least to me, that the cost savings are not quite as drastic as the PHB might have hoped.
In placing Open Source Project funding in "developing" countries, what are we hoping to gain? Is it purely financial? If so, this should be thought about very carefully. If it is to encourage the learning and development of skills in those countries, I feel it a better cause.