Is my job going to be outsourced?
1. Your job is something that the cool kids aren’t doing.
It’s no longer important to just keep your skills up to date. You actually have to be innovative and one step or 2 ahead of the curve.
Basically the curve looks like this: fortune 500 companies are 5 – 10 years behind; companies of 100 – 1000 people are 2 – 3 years behind; and small startups that fail lots and have few successes are pushing the envelope. If your job isn’t something that startups are doing, there’s a good chance they’ll outsource it – the more global the company, the better chances.
2. It’s getting automated or easy for non-experts to do.
This is nuts but sometimes it’s cheaper for a company to hire labor across the seas than to spend money on automation.
A good example of this is folks who use Mechanical Turk. Also, Ruby on Rails is getting easier to do so you’ve got more folks just outsourcing it.
I predict that most technologies will move away from MVC as a design pattern and just focus on the Model (big data), or just Views (jquery). The controller will be supplanted by APIs and will involving nothing more than cobbling different APIs together. If there’s any “controller” work left, it will be cheaply outsourced.
3. You get a promotion to manage a team offshore.
You get a promotion. There’s a bump in pay, or maybe they just give you a new title. Day after day the team takes on more and more of your former responsibilities. Eventually you give them access to servers you used to control. Then one day you are locked out and shown the door.
Don’t let these good economic times for techies fool you. The cold hard logic of Capitalism hasn’t disappeared just because you are making more money than you’ve imagined. A serious correction is headed our way. When? I’m guessing 4 years after the Facebook IPO.
To prepare for it think of things you possibly wouldn’t want to outsource: data mining of sensitve information (financials, hospital records), design where only the minimal art direction can be given, sales engineering.