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Off-shoring for real

Posted by Richard on April 27, 2005

Thomas Pearson at Technology Liberation Front points out an interesting story at News.com’s Workplace Blog. A company named SeaCode has a plan to avoid US H1B visa limits and regulatory restrictions without moving software development to India:

It aims to station a ship 3.1 miles off the coast of Los Angeles as a workplace where "600 world-class software engineers" would write code as cheaply as programmers in far-flung India or Russia. SeaCode says that besides low costs, its shipshape operation will provide convenient access for U.S. businesses, revenue that flows stateside rather than overseas, and "unsurpassed physical and virtual security, including the protection of U.S. Intellectual Property laws."

The programmers will officially be Bahamas-registered "seamen," so they’ll be able to take shore leave without visas and won’t have to pay US payroll taxes. SeaCode plans to offer $1800/mo., more than triple the pay of programmers in India, but less than half that in the US. I suspect they’ll have plenty of applicants. SeaCode is promising pleasant living conditions:

"Do you remember the Love Boat?" David Cook, one of the men behind the company, said in an article in The Boston Globe. "That’s the kind of facility we’re talking about."

Do you suppose they’ll celebrate International Talk Like A Pirate Day?

At TLF, commenter Walter E. Wallis notes that "Buchanon (sic) is shopping for a submarine." 😉

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