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notes on outsourcing

From: Ray Stell <stellr(at)cns(dot)vt(dot)edu>
To: pgsql-jobs(at)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: notes on outsourcing
Date: 2011-06-14 13:41:24
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-jobs
This is not a job listing.  I just thought it an interesting view
of the state of "dba affairs."  This is some notes taken from another
database list where people commented on their experiences and results for
customers, companies, and workers.  The complete thread can be seen here: I've included
some minor edits for clarity.  

Context:  A friend works at a U.S. company where the DBA
services are being outsourced to IBM. I believe this is IBM India. He
has been invited to interview with them for a job.

1. That is the core of most of this Indian outsourcing companies, they hire you
with a very low salary just by giving the "opportunity" of get an American
visa (for non american citizens); companies like Infosys, Accenture or ACS
(between others) are making this activities their "way of living'.

About 5 years ago, we were 5 DBA's in the company and I was the only one
in US.  2 are in India y 2 more in China (earning
less than the half of my salary, and I learn the half of the salary of my

2. Many of these big consulting companies initially refused to
give offers to people like me who came in as immigrants. They had various
reasons like I did not have US degree, or I did not have experience with a
top consulting firm, etc. Ofcourse none was mentioned expliciltly.

Now their jobs going away to people without any of those 'qualifications'.

3. I expect is IBM to buy the perm staff then only few key positions will be
original IBM on the spot under IBM umbrella and off-shore support can be on
need basis.

4. Also, they charge in U$D to their customers and they pay is in local
currency, so they make a difference when the U$D goes up or down and when
the local currency goes down with respect to U$D)

5. I've worked as part of a similar project (taking over the dba work from
local DBAs), this was outsourced to Argentina, and English was a requirement
upheld until HR had trouble finding qualified candidates who were willing to
work for what they offered, then being able to actually communicate with the
customer was not all that important. It is a very annoying job trying to
understand how everyone does their job when you are about to take it away
from them... they are not exactly cooperative.

6. I don't know how IBM India works, perhaps they are more organized, but in
here we were severely understaffed (about 200 dbs per DBA) and the average
skill was very low. So, the customer got mostly slow and crappy service
unless they complained. If the customer complained then they would assign
one of the "Senior" DBA to the task. (funny enough, not all the "Senior" DBA
had more experience than the rest... they were just a bit better with
customer relations

7. Try to convince your friend to get his company to keep a DBA on as an
application DBA. My experience with outsourced DBA's is that they are good
at the nuts/bolts of being a DBA but not in figuring out what is wrong with
an application. I think that might be part of the contract but as everyone
knows, most developers don't write code to scale. It's very easy for a DBA
to say it's not the database fault, it's the app. Your company will need
someone that can zero in on performance problems quickly and identify the
situation. You won't get that with IBM.

8. My best call ever with India was when I had to diagnose a stuck dbwr. That
part was pretty easy but communicating the problem to India when there was a
massive dog fight in the background was difficult. I'm not exaggerating, the
guy said the strays had gotten into the building and were terrorizing the


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Next:From: Greg SmithDate: 2011-06-14 16:50:18
Subject: Re: notes on outsourcing
Previous:From: Selena DeckelmannDate: 2011-06-06 23:23:10
Subject: Fwd: [pgsql-jobs] Looking for a Jr. PostgreSQL DBA in Portland, Oregon

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