As some of you probably know already, I make a sizable and even sometimes substantial part of my living writing computing books. Recently, I’ve been roped into contributing a book for a series of titles at the behest of a global training organization that goes by the name of the National Institute of Information Technologies, aka NIIT. What makes this gig intriguing is a combination of state-of-the-art course development technologies, top-notch pedagogy, and a sharp focus on a key area of IT technology and activity, along with higher rates of pay (the book is a work for hire, so that’s in part due to giving up on back-end earnings) than I’ve seen for computer books or course development for some time now.
But what makes this job fascinating is that I’m working remotely in the US for a global company based in India. Sure, it’s a project-based assignment, and will come to a contractually agreed upon end in about six months when all the deadlines are met, milestone passed, and deliverables handed over to the company. But it also shows me how much globalization and the reach of remote work and collaboration has spread. In fact, I like to look at this as the traditional outsourcing model stood upsidedown — namely, that a company in a country where talent is routinely hired because of high education, great language skills, and low rates of pay is savvy enough to recognize that recruiting individual contributors with recognizable names is a good idea when creating books and training materials for IT training subjects and curriculum that is in very high demand. I also have to respect them for paying at or above going market rates here in the US for this kind of work, to my great surprise and delight.
As more and more individual workers go freelance, and take on contracts through the Internet marketplace, I have to believe that this phenomenon will accelerate. Up to now, I’ve mostly worked for US companies (publishers or Website operators, in fact, along with some big-name training companies such as New Horizons or Global Knowledge) but I see no reason why big-name companies around the globe won’t seek to hook up with individuals who are recognizable in their fields to leverage any available synergy inherent to such a relationship.
For an organization, what’s in a name has to do with branding, name recognition, and customer relationship development. For freelance hired guns like myself, what’s in a name has to do with putting oneself in contention for high-visibility, high-value jobs as and when they become available. In a word: “More work!” I have to believe this is an honest-to-gosh win-win situation.