Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Outsourcing: The American Way

Outsourcing... yourself?

A software developer for a U.S. company paid a fraction of his six-figure salary to a contractor in China to do his work, then spent the bulk of his workday surfing the Web

By all accounts, Bob was a model employee, a software developer who consistently wrote clean code for his company and never missed deadlines. Then investigators found out it wasn't Bob who was doing his job.

Turns out Bob had outsourced his work to China, paying a lowly overseas surrogate a fraction of his six-figure salary to do his 9-to-5 job. All the while, Bob sat at his desk, pretending to be busy while actually surfing the Internet, updating his Facebook page and watching cat videos.


If you're going to outsource your job... Don't watch Cat Videos!!!

Bob, not his real name, seems to have gotten one over on his employers, for at least awhile.

While the Chinese developer was working 9-to-5, Bob surfed the Web. At 9, he'd roll in and surf Reddit, watching cat videos. At 11:30 he'd grab some lunch. After lunch it was time for EBay for about an hour, when Bob migrated to Facebook. At 4:30, he'd email management, telling them what he had "done" during the day, and at 5, he'd go home.

"His code was clean, well written, and submitted in a timely fashion. Quarter after quarter, his performance review noted him as the best developer in the building." 

He didn't get caught until someone noticed log ins from  China and began investigating.  First thinking Bob was the victim of a hacker (Bob had Fedex'ed his RSA token to his... subcontractor?), it wasn't until they examined Bob's computer, discovered his web habits, and the invoices from his personal subcontractor that the jig was up.


Even though I understand the network security implications I can't help finding this story very entertaining and humorous... and can't help but feel a little admiration for Bob's American ingenuity.  It may have been unethical, it may have cost him his job... I probably would have fired him too... but it was brilliant.



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