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Rob_Ainscough

Boeing's $9/hr software engineers

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Posted (edited)

After reading this article and cross checked with other verifiable sources ... I'm at a loss for words:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-28/boeing-s-737-max-software-outsourced-to-9-an-hour-engineers

Unfortunately I've had direct similar experiences in my prior company where the CEO "ordered" the use of outsourced "cheap" software engineers to do one of our product modules ... the results were pretty horrific with probably the worst code I've ever seen and a product module that only partially worked after we put it thru our QA process ... 3 months wasted and we had to ultimately re-write the module from scratch.  My ex-CEO's response, "it was worth a try".   Fortunately my prior company didn't work in what I would call "mission critical" software that had the potential to put people's lives at risk.

It's sick and saddening to see yet another US company not understanding what software engineering is about, what's needed from a technical perspective, the experience levels needed, and most importantly the qualifications from verified institutions ... all so Dennis Muilenburg's $1.7M salary and $13M bonus with a 27% compensation increase = 346 dead people?

Rob.

 

Edited by Rob_Ainscough
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Posted (edited)

Wow. The things Boeing had to do to keep the 737 at a competitive price point with the 320 will be written in business text books for years to come. They've been Frankenstein-ing a 60 year old airplane to keep R&D costs minimal, outsourcing labor the lowest bidder, and of course rewarding themselves handsomely for doing such a great job.

 

Ridiculous.

Edited by Sticky
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How's that cheap labor working out for Boeing? By the time this is over, Boeing's insurance company will probably be bankrupt. All of the airlines whose 737-Max are sitting on the ground are going to want to be reimbursed for their loss of revenue. Now the FAA is investigating the 787's coming out of the South Carolina plant. Self inflicted wound Boeing.

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1 hour ago, Rob_Ainscough said:

After reading this article and cross checked with other verifiable sources ... I'm at a loss for words:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-28/boeing-s-737-max-software-outsourced-to-9-an-hour-engineers

Unfortunately I've had direct similar experiences in my prior company where the CEO "ordered" the use of outsourced "cheap" software engineers to do one of our product modules ... the results were pretty horrific with probably the worst code I've ever seen and a product module that only partially worked after we put it thru our QA process ... 3 months wasted and we had to ultimately re-write the module from scratch.  My ex-CEO's response, "it was worth a try".   Fortunately my prior company didn't work in what I would call "mission critical" software that had the potential to put people's lives at risk.

It's sick and saddening to see yet another US company not understanding what software engineering is about, what's needed from a technical perspective, the experience levels needed, and most importantly the qualifications from verified institutions ... all so Dennis Muilenburg's $1.7M salary and $13M bonus with a 27% compensation increase = 346 dead people?

Rob.

 

It is sad that Boeing killed all those folks with $9 an hour engineers and I would expect that they are going to find a very large stack of cnx'ed contracts in the mail on Monday morning. I moved out of Atlanta and retired because of that very group of people. There is always a silver lining though and I wish I could get one of them to cut my grass for $9.😖

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40 minutes ago, Sticky said:

The things Boeing had to do to keep the 737 at a competitive price point with the 320 will be written in business text books for years to come.

But they didn't need to ... with a 21% fed tax cut from the current government institution's "new tax plan", and the expectation such huge corporate taxes cuts would be used to re-invest in the US economy and provide US companies a competitive edge, that clearly didn't happen, just the opposite.  But to be fair, that's exactly what I would expect large corporate entities to do as their objective is to always cut cost to increase profits without any sort of moral/ethical compass (it's just business).

And speaking of Boeing profits and the CEO:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-15/boeing-increases-ceo-s-pay-27-to-23-4-million-for-last-year

What a guy!

Rob.

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You generally get what you pay for, always have, always will. A company I worked at a decade ago jumped on the off sourcing bandwagon. Between the communications issues and the local work still required the bean counters finally admitted it was a financial blunder. The bottom line was that the checking and rework required cost more than if it had just been done locally. The offshore engineers did not know anything about the codes that needed to be followed so you can imagine what kind of product we received from them. Fortunately that was the end of that experiment without any loss of life. It was not the fault of the offshore engineers, who were knowledgeable engineers, but the company's executives who were not engineers and did not know what qualifications were required to do the work correctly and efficiently.

Boeing has always been considered a quality company. If this article is true then the current Max problem will most likely be repeated in other systems and their reputation that has allowed them to charge the prices that they do will be severely tarnished. This does offer an explanation as to why it is taking them so long to develop a fix, there was no one left at Boeing that knew how the system worked.

Unfortunately this is going on at too many companies. The US has been regarded as the world technological leader in the past but now we are offshoring our tech. That doesn't sound like a wise move for future competitiveness.

Ted

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Meanwhile in Switzerland...

my partner at FSDT ( Alessandro, author of many popular sceneries like KLAX, KJFK, KIAH, KORD (1 and 2), KMEM, etc., just moved in a new house this week, and called an electrician to help him set up LAN cabling across two floors.

The Bill ? 100 CHF (which is about the same as 100$ ) per hour, for 3 hours of work. I guess he must be proud of his new cabling, it must be better than "aviation standard"...

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6 minutes ago, virtuali said:

The Bill ? 100 CHF (which is about the same as 100$ ) per hour, for 3 hours of work. I guess he must be proud of his new cabling, it must be better than "aviation standard"...

To be fair, that's pretty standard - the shorter the amount of time needed, the higher the average rate to cover for overhead and hassle. I'm curious what his rate is if you want to book him 40hrs/week for six months.

$9/hour for software engineering gets you muppets. If wanted competence I'd be paying an order of magnitude more (to the end person, plus middlemen and overhead).

Cheers!

 

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Luke Kolin

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I used to work in the B737 landing gear back in 1993 to 94 when the NG's were new, that was a completely different overhaul compared to what they are doing now. Shocking.

737 is an awesome workhorse but this one they rushed to the gate, messed up big time. Scrap those stupid 6-Sigma projects and cost cutting and just get back to funding development like you are supposed to. Contracting out and cost cutting has almost cost them the company, and most importantly cost lives. The old Engineers from the 60s are rolling in their graves

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Matthew Kane

 

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"Boeing said the company did not rely on engineers from HCL and Cyient for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, which has been linked to the Lion Air crash last October and the Ethiopian Airlines disaster in March. The Chicago-based planemaker also said it didn’t rely on either firm for another software issue disclosed after the crashes: a cockpit warning light that wasn’t working for most buyers."

So apparently the deadly fault is not to be blamed on 9$/hr engineers.

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As a retired technical program manager and quality assurance guy, I've seen this played out WAY too many times to ever be surprised by this.  Very sad every time I see it.

Next article will likely include the bonuses some people got for the cost reductions. That's what gets my goat.

 

 

 

 

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26 minutes ago, Murmur said:

"Boeing said the company did not rely on engineers from HCL and Cyient for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, which has been linked to the Lion Air crash last October and the Ethiopian Airlines disaster in March. The Chicago-based planemaker also said it didn’t rely on either firm for another software issue disclosed after the crashes: a cockpit warning light that wasn’t working for most buyers."

So apparently the deadly fault is not to be blamed on 9$/hr engineers.

I wouldn't believe anything Boeing says until they say it under oath in a court of law. Even then I'd be skeptical.

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1 hour ago, Murmur said:

"Boeing said the company did not rely on engineers from HCL and Cyient for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, which has been linked to the Lion Air crash last October and the Ethiopian Airlines disaster in March. The Chicago-based planemaker also said it didn’t rely on either firm for another software issue disclosed after the crashes: a cockpit warning light that wasn’t working for most buyers."

So apparently the deadly fault is not to be blamed on 9$/hr engineers.

Boeing also said that they had fixed all the problems until the FAA checked their work only to find even more wrong. I am sure that Boeing is not going to say "Duh...my bad" before the court trials start. LOL


Sam

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1 hour ago, Murmur said:

"Boeing said the company did not rely on engineers from HCL and Cyient for the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, which has been linked to the Lion Air crash last October and the Ethiopian Airlines disaster in March. The Chicago-based planemaker also said it didn’t rely on either firm for another software issue disclosed after the crashes: a cockpit warning light that wasn’t working for most buyers."

So apparently the deadly fault is not to be blamed on 9$/hr engineers.

^This

I am surprised Bloomberg picked up this article. IMHO it reeks of politically motivated anti-immigrant trash being pumped by racists. Also conveniently sourced from dis-gruntled ex-employees.


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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Murmur said:

So apparently the deadly fault is not to be blamed on 9$/hr engineers.

Read the entire article rather than selective elements ... the MCAS is connected to those $9/hr engineers systems ... which Boeing admit they contracted to on other key elements which the FAA have discovered additional flaws in the testing.

Recent simulator tests by the Federal Aviation Administration suggest the software issues on Boeing’s best-selling model run deeper. The company’s shares fell this week after the regulator found a further problem with a computer chip that experienced a lag in emergency response when it was overwhelmed with data.”

The issue is one of cost cutting while at the same time giving the CEO 27% increase in compensation for cutting corners.  Nothing to do with racism nor some deep political conspiracy.  It’s a rather standard corporate process unfortunately (one I’ve experienced first hand as a senior software engineer), and this time around it cost lives.

I doubt any currently employed Software Engineer at Boeing would go public now would they?  Doesn’t say anything about the ex-Employee being disgruntled?  

Rob.

 

 

Edited by Rob_Ainscough
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