NetSeminar on Offshoring Draws 400 Attendees

Passions run high during audio interview with IEEE-USAs Ron Hira.

Offshore outsourcing may have fallen out of the media focus since its peak during 2004 presidential election coverage, but if a recent webcast is any indication, the topic is of prime importance to software developers.

Hundreds of developers asked nearly 200 questions during the 70-minute live program, "People, Policy and Primacy in the Offshoring Era: A Conversation with Ron Hira," held on October 26, 2005. Software Development Editor in Chief Alexandra Weber Morales interviewed Dr. Ron Hira, vice president for career activities for IEEE-USA and a participant in the Council on Foreign Relations Research Roundtable on Technology, Innovation and America's Primacy. Sixty-four percent of the 400 attendees said they had participated on an IT project that had been partially or completely sent offshore; 86 percent believed that the practice continues to increase among U.S. firms. The topic drew a passionate response from the audience of software engineers and technical managers, with comments such as:

    * "Opened my eyes to the offshoring issues."
    * "In the past two years my company has tried to outsource my job twice. I also have a child ready for college; I'm struggling with what her major focus should be since the IT/business future for U.S. workers is bleak."
    * "I would like to see a follow-on presentation on 'What the American worker can do about offshoring.' What skills should we have? How can we continue to make a living?"

In reply to numerous requests, "How to Offshore-Proof Your Career: Skills and Secret Weapons" will be a follow-up event, to be broadcast in early December. In the meantime, hundreds of viewers continue to access the archive - and you can watch it too, at or by visiting the archive page.

Alexandra Weber Morales
Editor-in-Chief, Software Development Magazine