Offshoring Redux, or, what does a sporran have to do with software?

The IT industry has been gripped by anxiety over the last few months over the growing trend towards “offshoring”. More and more companies are moving their software development to countries like India and China, where a highly educated workforce is willing to code for a fraction of the costs of North Americans and Europeans. This is a Bad Thing according to pundits, but, I suspect, an inevitable one. UK call centres and directory enquiries are already frequently staffed from the Indian subcontinent (with operators given “cultural training” so they can chat about the latest happenings on Eastenders.)

I also suspect that my own specialty, software testing, is going to see a renaissance in the US, Canada, and Europe. At present, software testing seems to be moving offshore along with the development. But I reckon a given company will try an average of one offshore implementation without onshore testing before we testers become very, very popular. Even “onshore” offsite developments need acceptance testing. How much more will projects developed across time zones, continents, and language barriers?

But some industries are supposed to be offshoring-proof. Right? Right? Wrong. sporran makers are under threat from offshoring.

Is nothing sacred?