[Reader-list] Coding Culture film series on Indian IT workers now available

Carol Upadhya carol at nias.iisc.ernet.in
Wed Apr 5 15:04:42 IST 2006


     A series of three films on
Bangalore's Software Industry
         July Boys   30 min
        The 'M' Way  30 min
         Fun @ Sun  32 min
The Indian software industry has emerged as a key node of the global capitalist economy, and Indian software engineers are now a significant category of global 'knowledge workers'.  This series of films takes a close look at the software industry in Bangalore and its work culture.  Produced as part of the NIAS-IDPAD project on Indian IT workers, the films are packaged with a booklet outlining the sociological significance of their themes.  For more information, click on: http://www.iisc.ernet.in/nias/codingculture.htm  

Price for all three films, with the booklet:
     Individuals - Rs 250/- 
     Institutions - Rs 500/-
Prices are for sale within India. Please add Rs 30/- for postage.
Payment should be made by demand draft in favour of National Institute of Advanced Studies.  Orders may be placed with:
    Dean - Administration
    National Institute of Advanced Studies 
    Indian Institute of Science Campus 
    Bangalore 560012 
    Tel: 080-23604351 ; Fax: 080-23606634 
    Email: niaslib at nias.iisc.ernet.in

Please copy your orders to carol at nias.iisc.ernet.in.

With best regards,

Carol Upadhya

Visiting Associate Fellow, Sociology and Social Anthropology
National Institute of Advanced Studies
Indian Institute of Science Campus
Bangalore 560012  India

office:  +91-80-23604351 ext 267
cell:      +91-93413-11453
cupadhya at vsnl.com
carol at nias.iisc.ernet.in


About the films:

Coding Culture - Bangalore's Software Industry
A series of three films by Gautam Sonti

in collaboration with Carol Upadhya

produced by National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India

supported by Indo-Dutch Programme for Alternatives in Development, 

The Netherlands


The Indian software outsourcing industry has emerged as a key node of the global economy. The series of ethnographic films, Coding Culture: Bangalore's Software Industry, explores the cultures of outsourced work and the moulding of a new workforce to cater to this global high-tech services industry. Each of the three films focuses on a single company, representing one of the major types of software company found in Bangalore: a medium-sized Indian-owned company software services company (Mphasis: The 'M' Way); the offshore software development centre of a U.S.-based IT company (Sun Microsystems: Fun at Sun); and a small 'cross-border' startup company that produces its own software products and markets them to global customers (July Systems: July Boys). All three companies are engaged in the production of software products or services for markets outside of India, but the nature of their work and their position in the global economy differ, producing significant variations in their cultures of work. Each film revolves around a distinct theme that is central to the outsourcing industry as a whole, but that also has wider sociological significance: the systems of time and people management that are typical of these new global workplaces; the functioning of multicultural 'virtual teams' and the absorption of Indian software engineers into a global corporate culture; and the new identities that are emerging in this highly transnational sector of the Indian economy.

The 'M' Way: Time + People = Money
The 'M' Way was shot inside MphasiS Limited, a medium-sized Indian IT software services company that typifies this highly competitive business, in which the provision of high quality and low-cost service is the key to attracting and retaining customers. The film focuses on two teams (one for software development and one for testing, or quality control) that work on a single project for a U.S.-based customer, depicting the high-pressure work atmosphere that prevails in this industry. Activities must be tightly coordinated within and between the project teams, and also with the customer site, with which the Indian engineers are in constant communication. 

Fun @ Sun: Making of a Global Workplace

Fun at Sun is an inside look at work and work culture in the software development centre of a large American multinational company, Sun Microsystems, located in Bangalore (Indian Engineering Centre, or IEC). The film highlights the multiple ways in which 'culture' operates as a management tool in the new global economy. In offshore centres such as IEC, work is organised through 'virtual teams' comprised of software engineers and managers located in Bangalore and Santa Clara, U.S.A. To integrate their employees and sites across cultural and geographical space, Sun attempts to initiate the Indian software engineers into Sun's corporate culture. The film depicts the techniques through which this American-style work culture is transplanted into the Indian subsidiary, such as induction programmes and 'soft skills' training programmes. 

 The film also points to the contradictory ways in which 'culture' is invoked in the global corporate workplace: while cultural sensitivity training programmes validate cultural difference, Indian software engineers are expected to conform to the dominant model of global corporate culture by learning appropriate communication and behavioural styles.

July Boys: New Global Players

July Boys focuses on a small 'startup' company in Bangalore that designs and produces software products for cellular service providers in Europe and the U.S. Turning the tables on the usual outsourcing story, July Systems has leveraged U.S.-based venture capital and Indian technical expertise to break into the latest high-tech markets. The film explores the creation of a Silicon Valley-style work culture within this 'cross-border' company that has one leg in Bangalore and the other in Santa Clara, California. It also highlights the emergence of new kinds of identities (global, transnational, cosmopolitan) that incorporate and transcend pre-existing identities such as the national (Indian) and the regional (Tamil). But the narratives of the film's characters reveal a tension between their assumed global subjectivity and their nationalist pride in July's achievements as a company founded and run by Indians that makes 'cutting edge products' for the global market. 


This message has been scanned for viruses and
dangerous content by MailScanner, and is
believed to be clean.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://mail.sarai.net/pipermail/reader-list/attachments/20060405/b48ed652/attachment.html 

More information about the reader-list mailing list