One thing Indian software manager does not understand is developer productivity.

Imagine developing and maintaining a 750K loc (lines of code) java project with Notepad/Wordpad and Ant. Yes this is really the situation in a well known financial concern with its development office in Bangalore. The reason: corporate IT approved IDE is Intellij IDEA. Indian manager does not want to spend $500/license to get IDEA. And the team can’t use Eclipse or Netbeans, since the monthly IT audit flags these installations as policy violations.

After hearing the above story, I did an unofficial survey of my friends about how many of their teams used paid software for development. The result, surprising was less than 10%. Even in these cases the client mandated the use of the paid software

One of the reasons for not using paid tools is the cost of these tools compared to developer salaries. $500 is a significant amount of money in the Indian context. Unfortunately, the Indian manager does not realize that the loss in productivity is significant when not using the right tools (Think print statements for debugging instead of a debugger). When faced with lower productivity from dev team, the Indian manager tends to respond by throwing in more developers or pushing existing developers to work late hours (that has its own problems). The result is low quality software with high maintenance overheads.

Note:Though developer productivity is a difficult to measure metric, productivity difference between a developer using Notepad and one using Eclipse is significant.

Advertisements