RE: successful offshoring of TC/TW (was: TC vs TW)

Subject: RE: successful offshoring of TC/TW (was: TC vs TW)
From: David Hailey <david -dot- hailey -at- usu -dot- edu>
To: Milan Davidovic <milan -dot- lists -at- gmail -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 May 2008 15:21:16 -0600

In a class I taught a few semesters ago, we looked at this topic of outsourcing and offshoring.

At that time, 25% of the class had seen their companies attempt to offshore writing assignments. Most of the projects did not do well, but most of the students thought the breakdowns had more to do with start-up problems than problems with the concept of offshoring. I agree with Kim-Eng that the projects that are directly connected to software or hardware already offshored will most likely do best.

I've looked at hundreds of Indian websites advertising technical communication (there were more than 4000 last I looked). Most of them were unprofessional. That will change. Right now, there is a chapter of the STC in India, but I think there are still no tech writing degrees offered there. But there will be soon enough. Some U.S. universities are already looking at offering online master's degrees -- there was an article in the STC journal a few months ago.

IIT is one of the best universities in the world. Indians apply to MIT as their fall-back university. If IIT begins teaching documentation, watch out.

But from our point of view, it is just as bad if the work is only outsourced locally. You only have to talk to freelance designers or copywriters to see how bad it can get. Some of them run studios and do pretty well, but most don't do so well. Their jobs have been outsourced since the '70s.

David E. Hailey, Jr., Ph.D.
Associate Professor -- Professional and Technical Writing
Utah State University
dhailey -at- english -dot- usu -dot- edu

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References:
successful offshoring of TC/TW (was: TC vs TW): From: Milan Davidovic

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