Developer Caught Outsourcing His Own Job to China

HardOCP News

[H] News
Joined
Dec 31, 1969
Messages
0
Wait, why it is okay for big companies to outsource labor to China but this guy can't? C'mon, admit it, the first thing you thought about was a way you could do this. :D

A developer for an anonymous critical infrastructure company, referred to as 'Bob,' was actually caught outsourcing his own work to China so he could spend all day browsing the web. Plainly stated, the VPN logs showed [Bob] logged in from China, yet the employee is right there, sitting at his desk, staring into his monitor.
 

Dekoth-E-

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
7,599
I'll admit it, done it before. Not to the extent this guy did mind you. However sometimes projects have to get done and you need to weigh the value of some personal time avoiding burnout vs paying someone to offload some tasks.
 

Marlfox

Gawd
Joined
Feb 1, 2008
Messages
587
The Inquirer said:
A typical day for the lazy developer consisted of surfing Reddit for two hours, an hour on eBay and two hours of Facebook and Linkedin updates.

What's more, Bob apparently received great performance reviews from the unnamed company, and was considered an expert in C, C++, Perl, Java, Ruby, PHP and Python.
You're probably thinking that Bob was a bit of a dude, but it wasn't just one company he was scamming. Verizon discovered that he did the same thing across multiple companies, earning "several hundred thousand dollars a year".

I'm getting a poster of him and putting it on my wall to admire.
 

Ski

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
1,038
I was just coming here from Reddit to see if it had been posted yet. This man deserves Time person of 2013. I mean all legal and moral issues aside, what this guy did by subcontracted his own job was nothing short of incredible. I mean his plan was great to begin with, he just executed it with some flaws in it.

And think of the questions this raises now: When individuals conduct their activities in such a way, they're perceived as a folk hero. But when companies do it, they're immediately chastised and labelled an outsourcing company. This is is awesome where's the movie script? MERICA, FUCK YEA!
 

Stiletto

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 13, 2008
Messages
6,433
So it's perfectly fine when companies or corporations do it...but when an independent contractor does the same, it's "unprofessional"?

Motherfucking piece of shit for an employer, is what it sounds like to me. Was the work of poor quality? Article sure doesn't indicate that. Hell, if I could pay somebody a dirt wage to do my job so I could do whatever I wanted all day, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
 

Ski

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
1,038
So it's perfectly fine when companies or corporations do it...but when an independent contractor does the same, it's "unprofessional"?

Motherfucking piece of shit for an employer, is what it sounds like to me. Was the work of poor quality? Article sure doesn't indicate that. Hell, if I could pay somebody a dirt wage to do my job so I could do whatever I wanted all day, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

And that's exactly my point what I said earlier, is the kind of contradiction and questions this raises. I mean seriously think about it. Who's in the right here??? I'm curious to know what everyone thinks on this one.
 

dr.stevil

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Sep 26, 2008
Messages
9,164
So it's perfectly fine when companies or corporations do it...but when an independent contractor does the same, it's "unprofessional"?

Motherfucking piece of shit for an employer, is what it sounds like to me. Was the work of poor quality? Article sure doesn't indicate that. Hell, if I could pay somebody a dirt wage to do my job so I could do whatever I wanted all day, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

I can't seem to view the link, so I don't know all the details... so a lot of my post is going on assumption.

With that said, it depends on the contract he signed, who he's working for, what contract they signed (for their customers... assuming it's not an 'inhouse' job), etc.

If he was hired by a company to write a piece of software for them... freelance. And if he's contract has no stipulations on outsourcing the work (including not showing the source code to anyone outside the company, etc)... then by all means, he should be allowed to do so (although, said employer should be aware of it).

The might not be, and probably isn't, the case though.
 

ballistic90

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 17, 2010
Messages
3,308
So it's perfectly fine when companies or corporations do it...but when an independent contractor does the same, it's "unprofessional"?

Motherfucking piece of shit for an employer, is what it sounds like to me. Was the work of poor quality? Article sure doesn't indicate that. Hell, if I could pay somebody a dirt wage to do my job so I could do whatever I wanted all day, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Hell, technically someone could argue that he wasn't outsourcing his job, that he was working as a contractor in the same way that building contractors work. He was overseeing the work, even if he was not doing it himself. If he was vague enough in the description of how the work would be completed, I can't see how anyone could claim to be "decieved".
 

Dekoth-E-

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
7,599
I was just coming here from Reddit to see if it had been posted yet. This man deserves Time person of 2013. I mean all legal and moral issues aside, what this guy did by subcontracted his own job was nothing short of incredible. I mean his plan was great to begin with, he just executed it with some flaws in it.

And think of the questions this raises now: When individuals conduct their activities in such a way, they're perceived as a folk hero. But when companies do it, they're immediately chastised and labelled an outsourcing company. This is is awesome where's the movie script? MERICA, FUCK YEA!

The answer to the question of what is the difference when a company does it vs an employee is quite simple.

Provided there are no security/privacy concerns, when a company does it someone loses their job. Whereas when an individual like this does it, someone gains a job. The developer simply did a value analysis of his time vs money and determined that hiring someone to do his work held the best value. In this case he was employed and also an employer and frankly unless he violated privacy concerns did nothing wrong. However when a company outsources, they are doing so at the expense of local "labor" and therefore cutting the throats of those that support them.

As I said though, I have done it. Myself only to lessen a load that was more than I could reasonably do though. While I think his choice to watch cat videos and facebook is a bit tacky, it is his time and money and I therefore see nothing wrong. I honestly can see him bringing lawsuit against Verizon and winning provided the absence of the aforementioned privacy issues.
 

rewted

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jul 4, 2005
Messages
1,882
This happens more often than not. Not a surprise, and who the hell gets to tell this CONTRACTOR who he can SUB-CONTRACT?
 

Ski

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
1,038
The answer to the question of what is the difference when a company does it vs an employee is quite simple.

Provided there are no security/privacy concerns, when a company does it someone loses their job. Whereas when an individual like this does it, someone gains a job. The developer simply did a value analysis of his time vs money and determined that hiring someone to do his work held the best value. In this case he was employed and also an employer and frankly unless he violated privacy concerns did nothing wrong. However when a company outsources, they are doing so at the expense of local "labor" and therefore cutting the throats of those that support them.

As I said though, I have done it. Myself only to lessen a load that was more than I could reasonably do though. While I think his choice to watch cat videos and facebook is a bit tacky, it is his time and money and I therefore see nothing wrong. I honestly can see him bringing lawsuit against Verizon and winning provided the absence of the aforementioned privacy issues.

Just to give you some clarity as to the security concerns, this is where he had dropped the ball.

"He had FedExed them his two-factor authentication token so they could log into his account."

Could be backdoors and scrappers all over it, and could still be security risks. But the fact that he sent his token to them just tells me this guy didn't really think things completely through, hence the one gigantic flaw. My banking info could be all over the internet by now because of his actions.

However, as I'm just now discovering, this practice is not as uncommon as I once thought and apparently a lot of people have been doing this for a while now, and that's completely legal of course.
 

Jutsu

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Apr 22, 2008
Messages
1,886
Isnt this pretty much how the IT world works in all aspects? Company signs a deal with major technology provider. The provider subcontracts it out the a local company that is certified in that technology. The subcontractor, subs it out the to even smaller firm because they only want to send 1 guy that actually knows what to do and just want lackies for physical labor at the lowest possible rate. The smaller firm grabs up all your local tech at the mom and pop shops to be said lackies.

I dont see a problem with the subcontracting, but it is a major security violation. They guy should have legitimately contracted the programmer in China and brought him into the project from the start.
 

Ski

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 21, 2008
Messages
1,038
Still can't get enough of this article, but I have to say this one last thing before I finish here and to say the more of this story is:

So when an individual outsources his own job to China, he gets in trouble and loses his job.

When corporations outsource our jobs en mass, they pocket billions in profits
 

dr.stevil

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Sep 26, 2008
Messages
9,164
Still can't get enough of this article, but I have to say this one last thing before I finish here and to say the more of this story is:

So when an individual outsources his own job to China, he gets in trouble and loses his job.

When corporations outsource our jobs en mass, they pocket billions in profits

Again... it depends. What this guy did was pretty shady. If this guy let his employer know about it up front and they didn't have a problem with it (although, lets be honest... most employers aren't going to be too accepting of the idea).. then he's in the clear IMO. Those types of things have to be written into the employment contract.

From what I can tell though... he didn't do that and thus why he got shown the door.

The employee is an idiot to think he's get away with it or that the company would be cool with it. Reminds me of the guy from office space trying to explain to the bobs 'what exactly he does there"
 

Dekoth-E-

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
7,599
Just to give you some clarity as to the security concerns, this is where he had dropped the ball.

"He had FedExed them his two-factor authentication token so they could log into his account."

Could be backdoors and scrappers all over it, and could still be security risks. But the fact that he sent his token to them just tells me this guy didn't really think things completely through, hence the one gigantic flaw. My banking info could be all over the internet by now because of his actions.

However, as I'm just now discovering, this practice is not as uncommon as I once thought and apparently a lot of people have been doing this for a while now, and that's completely legal of course.

Well then with that information, yes he should of been fired. That is a serious breach of security. However given that is likely why he was fired, obviously there is much hyperbole in this article (I know surprise).
 

matteos

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 5, 2011
Messages
1,253
This guy is a hero. I wonder if Verizon will now hire the dude in China and pay them in dung.
 

DraginDime

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 12, 2012
Messages
1,464
Just to give you some clarity as to the security concerns, this is where he had dropped the ball.

"He had FedExed them his two-factor authentication token so they could log into his account."

QUOTE]

I didn't see that part in that article, was there in a link in the article to that?

Bravo for him. I would think that since the company hired him, he would be responsible for any problems that aroused from the work he outsourced. As long as he understood that I don't see an issue. I wonder if he interviewed his workers and trained them on his job?
 

Thuleman

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 13, 2004
Messages
5,833
I am pretty certain that the majority of folks who are in a position to pay someone else to get some work done for them have done so at some point or another.

This works especially well if the task is well defined and limited in scope.

Most people I know have more work on their plate than they can handle. Why wouldn't I pay some dude $15/hour when I make $35+benefits to do a certain task for me, based on my specifications, under my supervision and quality control. The work gets done and I still make $20+benefits.
 

shiningarmor

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
250
The Inquirer said:
A typical day for the lazy developer consisted of surfing Reddit for two hours, an hour on eBay and two hours of Facebook and Linkedin updates.

What's more, Bob apparently received great performance reviews from the unnamed company, and was considered an expert in C, C++, Perl, Java, Ruby, PHP and Python.
You're probably thinking that Bob was a bit of a dude, but it wasn't just one company he was scamming. Verizon discovered that he did the same thing across multiple companies, earning "several hundred thousand dollars a year".

Scamming? Lazy? He's getting valuable work done for them, how ungrateful!
 

shiningarmor

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 18, 2012
Messages
250
Again... it depends. What this guy did was pretty shady. If this guy let his employer know about it up front and they didn't have a problem with it (although, lets be honest... most employers aren't going to be too accepting of the idea).. then he's in the clear IMO. Those types of things have to be written into the employment contract.

From what I can tell though... he didn't do that and thus why he got shown the door.

The employee is an idiot to think he's get away with it or that the company would be cool with it. Reminds me of the guy from office space trying to explain to the bobs 'what exactly he does there"

Management are not the good guys here. If they're getting quality satisfactory work let them look for slaves to work and lecture another time.

The only real concern is the security issue
 

dr.stevil

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Sep 26, 2008
Messages
9,164
Why wouldn't I pay some dude $15/hour when I make $35+benefits to do a certain task for me, based on my specifications, under my supervision and quality control. The work gets done and I still make $20+benefits.

Because much like the guy in the OP, you'd likely get shown the door. Especially in this economy where many talented people are activly looking for employment... you'd be nuts (or lazy) to outsource your own job IMHO.

I don't know... maybe it's an acceptable practice in that industry, but if I came in to work (when I was still a contractor)... hired someone in China to do my job (along with sending sensitive data/files to said person) and got caught, not only would I be looking for a new job sooner than later... but I'd likely also be dealing with criminal charges.
 

-PK-

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 6, 2004
Messages
1,798
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYaZ57Bn4pQ

He must've seen this video from The Onion lmao. Also, other than possessing required certifications/degrees, I don't see why you couldn't outsource your own work as long as you were held liable for any mistakes. I vision a future where some people could outsource their job to a personal robot to spend more luxury time with the family.
 

klingonscum

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 4, 2004
Messages
133
I'd admonish the guy for the security risks he was taking, then promote him to "VP in charge of outsourcing". Most of the companies I've worked with who've tried to outsource development work like this have wound up getting crap quality, had to deal with serious communication issues, timezone problems, etc. Sounds like this guy solved all those problems and was producing quality work. That's a pretty marketable skill. If they could deal with the security issues involved (perhaps by creating a server farm in a DMZ), go for it.
 

Semantics

2[H]4U
Joined
May 18, 2010
Messages
2,811
You'd think he'd be promoted to middle management... not fired.
He clearly was able to find the proper people to do the work good enough that the quality of his work didn't seem to come into question. Why not just make him a manager sense that's what he was doing anyways.
 

GoodBoy

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 29, 2004
Messages
2,257
Pretty wrong what he did.

The difference between when a company does this and an individual:

Company has laid out certain tasks and responsibilities, the outsourcing company has to sign all kinds of legal agreements, and some things likely are not allowed to be done by the outsourcing company to protect intellectual property, etc. There's a company which has some legal responsibilities in this.

This guy doing it, behind the back of the company he is working for, potentially put that company in all sorts of legal hot water. They likely have little or no recourse against the individual in china, no telling what information or technology belonging to the parent company has be compromised. The fact that he sent them a secure token granting access to the companies' network is likely enough that he can be jailed.

Stupid stupid stupid. He deserves whatever he gets and more.
 

AceTKK

Gawd
Joined
Nov 16, 2001
Messages
858
There are a few things that don't make sense. I can understand the outrage if he was a regular, full-time, company employee. But the article mentions that he ran the same process at several different employers, which indicates to me that he's not a regular employee but a contractor. Otherwise how could he hold multiple jobs at the same time?

If he's a contractor, then who gives a fuck if he hired sub-contractors? As long as the job got done with acceptable results (which it sounds like it did) then what's the problem?

either way I'm not surprised that the company got rid of him (and likely contracted directly with the subs in China), cutting out the middleman is always good business. But it's hardly newsworthy.
 

WBurchnall

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Messages
2,622
2000s: People upset that corporations are people -- legally.
2010s: Corporation upset that people are sometimes like corporations -- greedy, slighty to severly immoral and trying their best to make money with least effort possible and finding ways to circumvent existing rules/limits to making personal gain and profit.
 

WBurchnall

2[H]4U
Joined
Oct 10, 2009
Messages
2,622
One other thing, couldn't he technically have just 'texted' this 'chinese-sub contractor' the number locally on his semi-random number generating authenticator and thus not have actually removed said device from the premise?
 
Top