Welcome!

Related Topics: Java IoT, Eclipse

Java IoT: Article

i-Technology Opinion: Outsourcing...to Students

"Pizza Is the Secret Key to the Success of Commercial Projects Developed by Students"

JDJ Editorial Board member Yakov Fain writes: One of my resolutions this year is to start teaching part-time Java-related classes in some college. That's why I started browsing the computer science course lists that are being offered this year. While graduate-level programs offer many interesting courses, the situation is different in the undergrad world.

Some schools keep teaching how to multiply matrices in Ada or work with algebraic expressions in Prolog. Half of the courses are preparing professionals who will be operating on another planet. Information systems programs look a little more down to earth. Meanwhile, many college graduates are having a hard time finding their first jobs because many entry-level programmers jobs are being outsourced overseas, and it'll stay this way as long as it makes financial sense for businesses. Unfortunately, student loans have not been outsourced...

A catch-22 situation with experience makes things even worse: we can't hire you because you don't have the industry experience. How can I get this experience if no one hires me? Some people try to find volunteer programming work to get a foot in the IT door. Some graduates join open source projects, and some job applicants just lie on their résumés.

I have a plan: instead of outsourcing projects to developing countries, businesses should offer them to the local colleges. I'm not talking about simple pilot or proof-of-concept projects; I mean the real ones. This plan requires commitment and the cooperation of academia and businesses. These are some thoughts that come to mind:

  • Colleges have to include more classes on software engineering and modern technologies in the undergraduate programs. Here are some of the candidates: Application Servers, Service-Oriented Architecture, Design and Development of J2EE Applications, Applying Design Patterns, Data Modeling, Business Intelligence, and UML.
  • Colleges form teams of programmers starting from the students' junior year. Faculty members lead these teams. Information about these teams (résumés, previous projects, GPAs) has to be published on the Internet and be publicly available, and businesses need to publish their project descriptions so student teams can bid on these projects.
  • Colleges make their labs, networks, and support personnel available for the teams. If needed, businesses can lease additional hardware to the college for the duration of the project.
  • Most of the students study Java programming during their freshman and sophomore years. Many Java components are available for free or through open source licenses: IDE, version control systems, project build tools, bug reporting systems, application servers, etc. Businesses will purchase any additional required software for a fraction of the cost using heavily discounted academic prices.
  • Business managers pick and interview teams for their projects based on the college reputation, available skill sets, location, and other criteria.
  • Business lawyers prepare a contract with a selected team that defines the obligations of each party, deliverables, cost of development, and potential penalties.
  • The turnover rate is usually high on the projects that are outsourced to developing countries, which won't be the case with student teams. On the other hand, there is a risk of not having developers during midterms and final exams. However, since the exam schedules are known in advance, the "freeze time" can be planned accordingly.
  • Most of the business managers dealing with developers from other countries complain that cultural differences are a huge problem. Guess what? This won't be a problem if you outsource the project to students who live in the same country and speak your language.
  • Even though students will get a minimum salary for this work, they should also earn academic credits and get graded while working on such projects.
The funny (or sad) part is that the students themselves are already outsourcing their college assignments. There are Web sites where you can hire a coder for any assignment in various programming languages. No job is too small. People from around the world can bid on these projects, and since the offered prices go as low as $20 USD, it's clear that only programmers from the developing countries like India or Russia would be interested in these jobs. Academic outsourcing may be even more damaging than the industrial outsourcing, because rich students can improve their grades and earn their degrees without having a good knowledge of the required subjects. Spending more time working as teams in the labs under the supervision of a faculty member or business manager will help minimize academic cheating.

There is one more secret key to the success of commercial projects developed by students: pizza! Each day the client company can send a couple of pies (half plain and half pepperoni) to the labs where the students work. They are going to work for food...and experience. It's a win-win situation for everybody.

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain

Comments (19)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
Moroccanoil®, the global leader in oil-infused beauty, is thrilled to announce the NEW Moroccanoil Color Depositing Masks, a collection of dual-benefit hair masks that deposit pure pigments while providing the treatment benefits of a deep conditioning mask. The collection consists of seven curated shades for commitment-free, beautifully-colored hair that looks and feels healthy.
The textured-hair category is inarguably the hottest in the haircare space today. This has been driven by the proliferation of founder brands started by curly and coily consumers and savvy consumers who increasingly want products specifically for their texture type. This trend is underscored by the latest insights from NaturallyCurly's 2018 TextureTrends report, released today. According to the 2018 TextureTrends Report, more than 80 percent of women with curly and coily hair say they purcha...
The textured-hair category is inarguably the hottest in the haircare space today. This has been driven by the proliferation of founder brands started by curly and coily consumers and savvy consumers who increasingly want products specifically for their texture type. This trend is underscored by the latest insights from NaturallyCurly's 2018 TextureTrends report, released today. According to the 2018 TextureTrends Report, more than 80 percent of women with curly and coily hair say they purcha...
We all love the many benefits of natural plant oils, used as a deap treatment before shampooing, at home or at the beach, but is there an all-in-one solution for everyday intensive nutrition and modern styling?I am passionate about the benefits of natural extracts with tried-and-tested results, which I have used to develop my own brand (lemon for its acid ph, wheat germ for its fortifying action…). I wanted a product which combined caring and styling effects, and which could be used after shampo...
Steaz, the nation's top-selling organic and fair trade green-tea-based beverage company, announces its 2017 "Mind. Body. Soul." tour, which will bring authentic experiences inspired by the brand's signature Mind. Body. Soul. tagline to life across the country. The tour will inform, educate, inspire and entertain through events, digital activations and partner-curated experiences developed to support the three pillars of complete health and wellness.
The precious oil is extracted from the seeds of prickly pear cactus plant. After taking out the seeds from the fruits, they are adequately dried and then cold pressed to obtain the oil. Indeed, the prickly seed oil is quite expensive. Well, that is understandable when you consider the fact that the seeds are really tiny and each seed contain only about 5% of oil in it at most, plus the seeds are usually handpicked from the fruits. This means it will take tons of these seeds to produce just one b...
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
ScaleMP is presenting at CloudEXPO 2019, held June 24-26 in Santa Clara, and we’d love to see you there. At the conference, we’ll demonstrate how ScaleMP is solving one of the most vexing challenges for cloud — memory cost and limit of scale — and how our innovative vSMP MemoryONE solution provides affordable larger server memory for the private and public cloud. Please visit us at Booth No. 519 to connect with our experts and learn more about vSMP MemoryONE and how it is already serving some of...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
As you know, enterprise IT conversation over the past year have often centered upon the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration system. In fact, Kubernetes has emerged as the key technology -- and even primary platform -- of cloud migrations for a wide variety of organizations. Kubernetes is critical to forward-looking enterprises that continue to push their IT infrastructures toward maximum functionality, scalability, and flexibility. As they do so, IT professionals are also embr...
Platform9, the leader in SaaS-managed hybrid cloud, has announced it will present five sessions at four upcoming industry conferences in June: BCS in London, DevOpsCon in Berlin, HPE Discover and Cloud Computing Expo 2019.
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
When you're operating multiple services in production, building out forensics tools such as monitoring and observability becomes essential. Unfortunately, it is a real challenge balancing priorities between building new features and tools to help pinpoint root causes. Linkerd provides many of the tools you need to tame the chaos of operating microservices in a cloud native world. Because Linkerd is a transparent proxy that runs alongside your application, there are no code changes required. I...