Feb 20, 2007

A myth called the Indian programmer

Excerpt from A myth called the Indian programmer :

Most software professionals in India are not programmers, they are mere coders," says a senior executive from a global consultancy firm, who has helped Nasscom in researching its industry reports.

In industry parlance, coders are akin to smart assembly line workers as opposed to programmers who are plant engineers. Programmers are the brains, the glorious visionaries who create things. Large software programmes that often run into billions of lines are designed and developed by a handful of programmers.

Coders follow instructions to write, evaluate and test small components of the large program. As a computer science student in IIT Mumbai puts it if programming requires a post graduate level of knowledge of complex algorithms and programming methods, coding requires only high school knowledge of the subject.

I do agree with this partially. I always tell others that our height in software development is much hyped. We don't have great software developed in India/developed by Indian effort yet except tally. All the great software or languages we are using are developed outside India.

Developing something like yahoo and google requires courage and risk. Indian companies were not willing to take such great risk. Some big companies have started doing investment in R & D. This will wear fruits.

I agree that some of the current programmers don't have the ability and thinking power to be called programmer in real sense but this is not the case with all programmers. It is environment that is making all programmers look like a coders.

Another reason is Brain Drain.