Prejudices against software developers from India: are they justified?

Prejudices against software developers from India: are they justified?


Software developers come from all over the world, and all of them speak the language of coding at their own pace and skill. Even though the language and ethnicity of software developers don’t matter when it comes to assessing their skills, often developers fall prey to biased opinions that cloud the opinion of others too. Several things could go wrong, and it all may not be the developer’s fault. However, that is no reason to paint all developers with the same brush. Often, when a project goes wrong, the blame goes around, and the blame game ends with the developer. And the saddest part is many things could go wrong in a project. And still, the prejudice against the developer is high too. 

Prejudices against Indian developers are often largely because of several factors. And employers have different opinions. They are divided between the statements that the Indian developers are competent and a good number of companies who believe that they aren’t. The interesting thing is that these prejudices are often rooted in historical, cultural, and anecdotal factors. It remains to be seen whether these prejudices are justified or not.

Meanwhile, let’s look at some of the factors that cause these prejudices and biases.

What could be causing the prejudices?

Often, the prejudices stem when the project turns out to be far below expectations or when it fails utterly. There could be other factors that hampered the project. Maybe the signs were there right from the beginning, and no one ever noticed it. Developers develop according to the instructions that were given to them, and when the ideas are not conveyed properly, they might not be able to deliver according to expectations. 

Factors that caused the prejudices

There are a few aspects that caused the prejudices, and unfortunately, the impressions stuck, even after decades.

Historical context

In the past, or during the initial days of outsourcing, many companies flocked to India because of the competitive pricing that the developers offered to the clients. The quality check factor was not very thorough leading to poor quality and sub-par projects. The companies, in their frustration and annoyance, tagged the developers as incompetent.

The cultural context

Indians have a deference to authority, and this can often be misinterpreted as a lack of initiative or zero creativity. They might not be quite adept at asserting their point because they have this tendency to think, “That’s what the clients so want, so be it. Why should we say otherwise”. Some clients don’t welcome this, because they expect the developers to state their opinions too. 

Language Barriers

Even though Indians have become very good at understanding English, the communication styles and nuances may vary from country to country, and many developers fail to catch that. This often leads to miscommunication or misunderstandings, leading to biases. The developers might be good with codes, but they might not be that good with jokes or suggestions that contain a lot of native words. They fail to catch the gist of the joke, and might not exhibit what the employers need.

Quality control was initially a problem

In the initial days when works were outsourced, quality control suffered because there were no set procedures to check for the quality of the project. This led to problems with the final output, especially if there were no communication protocols throughout the different stages of the project. However, this has changed, with multiple communication channels and collaboration tools in the market, the developers, employers, management, and stakeholders are all on the same page.

How to overcome the prejudices regarding developers and achieve success in the project

There are a few ways in which you can ensure success in a software development project. Let’s check out some of them:

Making the Project requirement Document mandatory

Clients often ask for changes to be made to the project during it. And that might not reflect well. Software developers often follow something known as the PRD or the Project Requirement Document and it contains details about the technical requirements of the project. It will have an outline that will define the characteristics, capabilities, and functionalities of the website. It should outline the project goals and objectives. It is with this guide that the developer moves forward with the work. 

Have a fool-proof hiring policy

Sometimes hiring the wrong people for the project could have caused the issue. Even if the developer is highly skilled and talented, that person might not be the right person for the job. Would you hire an Italian chef to prepare a Thai special?  You wouldn’t, right? It is just like that. The skills and the project requirements must match. Make sure this is discussed during the screening process, that the developers are indeed capable of executing the project, and that they have understood the requirements of the project. 

Don’t hire a developer just because he/she has been nice to you

When entrepreneurs go out into the ‘developer market’, they will be plagued by the plethora of developers that are out there. There are so many varieties of them too – frontend developers, backend developers,  desktop app developers, mobile app developers,  web app developers, integration experts, and so on. 

Consider these points too:

Whom do you need for the project? If you have an idea, whom are you looking to develop that idea? You cannot just hire a developer because they communicate well, or because you have built a rapport with them. They have to be ‘technically suitable’ for the project. If you are not a technical person, then screening them for their technical capabilities can be tough. Partnering with a good software development company in India can solve the problem for you because they can listen to your requirements, and find the right person for the project. 


Often, it is not that the Indian developers are bad, it is the bad hiring choice that fails the project. Many Indian-origin technologists hold key positions in globally renowned tech companies. Sundar Pichai (CEO of Alphabet Inc.), Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft), Arvind Krishna (CEO of IBM), Ajaypal Singh Banga, (Chairman, Mastercard), Parag Agarwal (CEO of Twitter) are all perfect examples of this. Their contributions and skills bear testimony to the fact that Indians are capable of remarkable and game-changing ideas and skills. The prejudices that once seemed to be a deterrent are no longer justified because things have changed in India. The Indian tech scenario has metamorphosed remarkably with developers brimming with creativity and innovation, and their strong academic foundation has enabled them to steer the future of innovation on a global level.

Interesting Links:

A critical look at Indian discrimination in the tech industry

What The World Thinks Of Indian Software Engineers

Pictures: Canva

The author: Sascha Thattil works at which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.