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  • My true anecdote...

    (Score:5, Interesting)
    by rilister (316428) on Tuesday February 17, @02:47PM ( #8307121 )
    I visited Madras in 1997. While I was there I walked up to a temple overlooking the city - you had to climb up a 1000 steps or whatever to get there, so by the time you reach the top, you're a fair way out of the city. Sorry, but I don't remember the specific names.

    Anyway, over the other side of this hill, facing away from the city is what you might call 'the ghetto' - low quality ad-hoc housing built from metal sheeting. Kind of the place you don't feel totally comfortable wandering around.

    A kid approaches us (probably 12-14yrs old) and asks us who we are, where we're from. He speaks good english and is chatty. He points out his house below us - it's basic living. We make small talk.

    After I while I ask him - '...so - what do you want to do when you grow up?'

    'I'm going to be a C++ programmer'

    I'm shocked and impressed. 'Wow. You have a computer?' I look at his house again. It may have electricity.

    'No, I have a book. But I'm learning.'

    -with that kind of enterprise and foresight, I can never begrudge an out-sourced Indian programmer his living.
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  • by thisissilly (676875) on Tuesday February 17, @03:06PM ( #8307345 )
    It's seven years later. He'd be about 20. It would be interesting to find out if he made it to becoming a programmer.
  • I was saying similar things when I was eight. I knew I was going to be an engineer. I got books and learned from them, and experimented with electronics even though I didn't have enough money to buy expensive test equipment. Now that I have graduated from college, it's very difficult to find any work.

    Can you look back at the me of 16 years ago, poring over the guts of an old alarm clock trying to figure out how it works, and begrudge me my living?
  • Re:My true anecdote...

    (Score:2, Interesting)
    by stuffduff (681819) on Tuesday February 17, @04:17PM ( #8308332 )
    (Last Journal: Wednesday January 31, @10:27AM )
    When I became interested in computers, all I had was a book. And even that book was way out of date. This was the spring of 1967; a time before ic's and dip's. I have an adder board that was state of the art at the time, there were pairs of transistors as big as pencil erasers stuck in plastic blocks on the daughter boards that went to the main that pluged into a Philco-Ford computer's backplane. Both the board and the book fascinated me, and I never looked back. Within 3 months I had a different book: The IBM giude to the WATFOR Compiler, and the Fortran IV code I scribbled out on notebook paper actually got punched out on cards and run through an early IBM 360.

    Now when I see someone like that it makes me feel good!

  • With that kind of enterprise and foresight, I can never begrudge an out-sourced Indian programmer his living.

    Good point, but this is completely natural and expected. Western kids were raised in an affluent society and they learned that hard work really is optional (the USA likes to pretend it is based on hard work and protestant ethics, but, admit it, compared with India even the most hardworking American is a playboy). That is basically correct. The unemployment problems in the US do not really bode doom and gloom... Of course, Indians (and Chinese, etc.) understand the need to work much better. Wait a few decades, I tell you. ;)