Note that I didn’t even need to identify L’s nationality but of course your guess is correct.

To be fair, I worked with a few really great Indian developers at Microsoft, and both of the two best managers I ever had were Indian. But these were exceptions.

The notion of excellence is simply not part of Indian culture; a few gifted individuals can acquire it but most take the attitude of “do the absolute least you can get away with doing.” At Microsoft around 2006 I took over a project that had been the work of six “senior software engineers” at Tata in the Windows Mobile group; it was a PC app written in C++ and it crashed before it even displayed a window. They demanded to get paid.

My manager asked me to look at their code and see if anything was salvageable; I could open any source file, look 20 lines in either direction, and find memory leaks. It probably crashed because it leaked so much that it never got to display. I advised my manager to burn it, and said that if he paid hem I would not fix it.

I rewrote it from scratch, singlehandedly, in four months and mine worked perfectly, even though I had to solve problems like undocumented flag bits in named pipes. And I’m no Isaac Newton, I just have this funny thing about doing good work.

Everything L did was half-assed. He’d learned English but not how to pronounce it correctly; his code was an illegible mess; he made the changes I described and wouldn’t communicate them to anyone … I wanted to knock his teeth down his throat.

And his voice. Jesus H. God. “Let me share my screen”

American Software Developer living in Vietnam. Classical musician (guitar, woodwinds), weightlifter, multilingual, misanthrope • XY

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