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Spell it correctly! It's SweatSHIP, not SweatSHOP.

By ·
SeaCode, Inc., a San Diego-based startup, plans to acquire a "cruise ship" and staff it with 600 Indian and Russian software engineers (2). They will anchor it 3.01 miles offshore of Los Angeles, just out of the reach of U.S. labor, tax, and immigration law. This is offshoring that is only 3 miles away.

- No "annoying" U.S. labor, tax, and immigration laws. Side-steps H-1B visas.

- No "annoying" overpriced U.S. software engineers.

- Software engineers (ahem, seamen) will get shore leave but cannot live or work in the U.S. (2)

- Quick helecopter flight or water taxi for managers of U.S. outsourcing clients to check up on projects. No more long flights to Bangalore (2).

- 24-hour operation on multiple shifts (2).

- Monthly take home pay will be $1800 vs. $500 in India (2)

- Monthly take home pay for displaced U.S. software engineers: $0.

This could solve the health care cost problem in the U.S. Just imagine! Talented Indian doctors and nurses and a full-service hospital anchored just offshore out of the reach of U.S. laws and malpractice courts. Ultra low insurance rates and strong U.S. corporate participation. Perhaps it will be the only company-sponsored healthcare benefit offered in some corporations.

Brilliant? Outrageous? Should there be an armada of such ships? Is there anyone you would like to see moved offshore? Do you think would help? ...joke! :-)




SeaCode, Inc. website

C++ Faring Lads (Forbes)

Shipping Out U.S. Jobs -- to a Ship (Los Angeles Times),1,5684805,print.column?coll=la-news-columns&ctrack=2&cset=true

Talk about Offshore Jobs -- These Are Three Miles Out (Wall Street Journal)

A plan to offshore . . . just 3 miles out (Boston Globe)

Just Offshore Outsourcing (CIO Magazine)

From Offshore to Ship-to-Shore (

Taking tech jobs offshore could create a sweatship (Sydney Morning Herald)

Outsourcing off Los Angeles? (

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by jbaker In reply to Spell it correctly! It's ...

Actually, three miles would still be in US waters, and thus subkect to US laws. US water generally extend out 15 miles.

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Does that change anything?

by In reply to Actually

Hello jb...

I questioned that also. But, according the articles, 3 miles is enough.

I'm not familiar with maritime law. But, it sounds correct to me. U.S. labor, tax, and immigration laws cannot apply to foreign-registered ships employing non-U.S. citizens. How could they?

Besides, if there were some U.S. law that applied in some undesirable way, the ship could just steam out of reach and anchor there. 15 miles is still about 8,500 miles closer than Bangalore.

What do you think?


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Sounds like a good deal

by Skidoggeruk In reply to Does that change anything ...

if you are an Indian programmer. Looks like they will be doing alright out of this idea. Not being sarcastic, just looks like they would do better than staying at home. Being cycnical, at least somebody will be doing alright from something that will probably happen anyway.

Who knows maybe some of them will get some experience and do a startup that leads to something in the US or Australia or somewhere else. Isn't India like the second fastest growing economy?

Guess it kinda smarts when somebody brings things down to such a visible factor though. IE Here is your outsourcing, right on your doorstep.

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Bad deal for the losers

by In reply to Sounds like a good deal

Hello Ski...

Clearly you are not a software engineer. :-)

Like all of us, foreign programmers would prefer to have a life onshore with a home, family, good paying job, and a normal life. This SeaCode concept would be an opportunity for young single foreign programmers to grow in their chosen profession. It might even be a kind of "adventure". I expect it will be stressful as any long-term stint confined to a ship would be, but it won't be a "****".

But, this "clever" SeaCode invention is side-stepping the rules that the rest of us must live by. Do we really want to permit that? Do we really want to define this as an acceptable way to live? Do we really want to allow this odd temporary way of life to be in direct economic competition with regular people living regular lives in the U.S.?

It's a very bad deal for software engineers who are regular people living regular lives following the regular rules in the U.S.



"...Who knows maybe some of them will get some experience and do a startup that leads to something in the US or Australia or somewhere else..."


These people cannot live or work in the United States. They do not have resident visas. They cannot start a business in the U.S. Those are the current "rules" anyway :-).



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Hey I know

by Skidoggeruk In reply to Bad deal for the losers

Just trying to put a positive spin on something that looks really, well, crass and profiteering. Ask the shareholders which they would prefer, money or retained jobs? Have a guess. kinda sad.

Who knows some guy might become some huge multi-national and we could all visit head office in Bombay. Ha

Is it me? or has anybody noticed that some of the queries in Q&A have exotic looking names?

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There are a lot of folks from India on TR

by In reply to Hey I know

No. It's not you. There are a lot of Indian folks here on TR.

I see nothing wrong at all with Indians participating in software engineering. If they compete and win, that is fine just like it is for anyone. This is not a nationalist thing at all.

The outrageous thing is the strange devices that are being used to help U.S. corporations lower costs by hiring offshore workers while hurting the U.S. software engineers: H-1B visas, L-1 visas, and this cynical clever SeaCode thing.

If a modest home cost $400,000 in Bangalore like it does in the Silicon Valley of California, programmers in Bangalore would not be working for $12,000 per year. That difference is a key example of where the problem lies.


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Middle-Class Destruction

by BearCub In reply to There are a lot of folks ...

What is happening here is the destruction of the middle class in America. When our jobs are given to people working for $12,000/yr. or less and there are NO jobs that are paying middle-class wages and possibly no available jobs in the IT field in America, then those looking for IT jobs will be forced to possibly work for $12,000/yr. or less. We will no longer be able to buy ANYTHING but the bare necessities of life and will therefore be counted in with the poor in this country -- no longer middle-class. I predict very hard times for all Americans not currently counted in with the wealthy, conniving, greedy traitors in this country who are destroying the America we love for which our forefathers worked so hard to raise up.

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