SeaCode, enough to make you sick

Dear God. I’ve found this the other day: This company has presented a project were they land a boat in international waters, just 5 kms away from US coast, and fill it with lots of programmers. Their proposal is that you get the same price as you did when hiring offshore developers from India, but have them 5 minutes away. Being in international waters, jobs there would not be under the US Labour Legislation umbrella. So, everybody wins, they say.

Today I sent this email to them, which I want to show you:

I feel truly disgusted. Every time I read your company statements I cannot believe my eyes. One would think that slavery thinking would've been wiped out from most so-called human minds by today, 2005. But it appears that business and reality still have a way to shock us. I've got an idea that could improve your already popular project: why not chain them to their chairs, and say amongst your benefits: "with our exclusive Stay-In-Business philosophy we guarantee our clients 24 hours of constant development. We asure our customers that no programmer will be asleep, since among their daily meal they get a Stay-UpTM pill that prevents them from sleeping." But don't worry, I've got others: "Let your offshore code be 100% bug free. After years of research we have found the only way to prevent bugs from appearing on systems that are developed by SeaCode programmers: every bug gets punished by three wipes on the programmer's naked body. We have proven that this treat-punishment software development methodoly reduces bug appearance to an absolute zero in just three sessions of punishment!"

Wake up to reality, please. I beg of you. America has sold itself as the land of the free. At least that is what one can see on American movies and series. I do not see how putting a bote in international waters (to avoid US labour legislation), filling it with hundred of programmers, and then claiming (as you do on your website): " SeaCode brings already offshored jobs back to the U.S. and assures that 90 cents of every dollar from our clients stays in the U.S. instead of flowing to foreign locations." can actualy be an example of a business from the so-called Land of the Free. Give me a break.

I cannot avoid feeling sorry and ashamed for the poor programmers who are willing to suffer that kind of treatment to get jobs. You are taking advantage of their situation. So, why not taking advantage of kids as well? Go to Vietnam or some other country, drop some bucks there so local government would allow you to implement your next-in-line project: "Seacode presents a new concept in offshore development: Programmer to the bones. We take recently borned infants from around the world, teach them how to program from day one, and we assure our customers that they will be productive as soon as they turn 6 years of age. No other company can give you the kind of employee fidelity that we offer. Don't wait until they have a degree, don't let their personal lifes get in the way. With Programmer to the bones, they won't have a personal life!"

Things like this can only let you arrive to the conclusion that we have not improved even one step, we seem to be walking backwards.

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6 Comments to "SeaCode, enough to make you sick"

  1. May102005 at 7:04 pm

    A Momentary Lapse of Reason [Member] wrote:

    I was going to make a joke, but I feel so sick about that SeaCode company that I won’t.
    It is so disgusting the sole idea of bringing back slavery to the world that I will only say to the people that might want to work there because they feel they have no better chances: “Please don’t. You are so much worthy than that; do not let others make money by taking your life away!”
    And to the owners of that horrendous idea: “Stuff IT!”

  2. Feb012010 at 3:35 pm

    anon wrote:

    I think that company is defunct. I met the CEO years ago and he said they paid the Indian workers something like 3x what they would make in India, so it sounds like they were (or would have been) compensated for living on a ship.

  3. Feb012010 at 3:37 pm

    mariano wrote:

    @anon: it’s very sad that the CEO gave you the level of compensation as an excuse for that kind of treatment. So, if I get paid enough is OK for someone to, say, whip me while im working? I’m of course not comparing whipping to a boat, but the whole idea, and worst they way they sold their services, makes you sick, regardless if they make 3 times what they make in India…

  4. Oct112011 at 10:06 pm

    James wrote:

    ya, I just came across this company from an accounting class book. Yes, and the first thing that came to my mind was this is a modern day “Slave” ship. I am a long time programmer/computer engineer. A person doesn’t need to “work” on a ship or even an office building. I mean the only thing a programmer needs is a computer and an internet connection. It use to be the ultimate in being able to work from home, but as the Indians and Chinese have found out, there are more of them then there are of us in the USA. As a Manager, I had to out-source jobs to contingent companies all the time to increase my teams productivity as well as controlling costs, but when it is all said and done in order to make the big bucks, you need more than just a cheap cost model for writing code. I wonder if hookers and beer are available on the ship?

  5. Jul072012 at 6:08 am

    Shiv Gupta wrote:

    I’m an Indian programmer who wanted to work for one year on the ship instead of four in India back in 2005, to earn the money that my mother needs for a surgery.

    You should imagine that if Sea-Code ever launched, then it would have been a PR disaster for them to mistreat their workers. They would have had no other chance at staying in business than by treating the programmers fairly, offering them a compensation between India ($11,000/year on the average – did you know that?) and California ($80,000+ per year).

    If I didn’t like it on the ship for one reason or another, I would have left. It’s my choice anyway.

    I honestly don’t understand where you got the ideas about whipping (even as a joke), or that Sea-Code MUST have been a “slave ship”. You probably have in mind unskilled labor, but if you spend a minute thinking about a ship of programmers, you’ll realize that all of them have to have Internet access, so any bad behavior from Sea-Code would instantly be broadcast to everyone’s friends on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.

    There’s just no way to have a “slave ship” with connected IT professionals, and if they’re not connected, they can’t function. So please stop projecting your dystopian fears on this project.

  6. Jul102012 at 2:06 pm

    mariano wrote:

    I respect your opinion. Now, something seems very odd to me. The number one statement that promotes Sea-Code is “bringing jobs back to the US”.

    You are telling me you came from india to work on the ship. How is that bringing the job back to the US?

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