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April 19, 2005

Pirate Code

I have heard some way out schemes in my life, but this one takes the cake. A pirate ship off the coast of Los Angeles with H1B failures coding enterprise systems? Yeah right.

The demand for highly qualified programming staff is high, but not that high. What people forget is that the trends toward the demand for highly competent software staffs is growing, and the demand for highly engineered software is diminishing. That is to say that Open Source will grow, and it doesn't matter where that comes from, but that implementing software *on site* is the toughest and most demanding job in the industry. It is the equivalent of changing a tire on a moving car. The moving car is the business of the enterprise, and they're not going to paddle off to some boat in order to get their specs.

I'm betting that the market is going to get tougher, not easier, and that the necessity of having personal contact is going to be greater, not less. For all the marvelous things we do with software, our interactions are only going to get more complex. It is with software as it is with law - even though it belongs to everyone and is sortof open source, when you need yours, it's all about intimate contact with the squad who is going to take you through it.

For software engineering, I can see that such flighty ideas might have weight. The question is, what kind of character wants to work on a rusted out ship? I think the best programmers are going to want to drive nice cars and get dates...


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  • Posted by mbowen at April 19, 2005 10:57 AM

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    Outsourcing not all it's cracked up to be:


    Posted by: DarkStar at April 19, 2005 03:40 PM

    You said it! Ever hear of a program called QuoteBuilder designed by 3 guys who work at Carrier (the air / plumbing company)? The company I work for depends on it... for a while we were the only test site that used a client/server approach to the database and client apps... and we were up and running full steam everyday. If something went wrong, then I had to crack open the SQL books or get in touch with one of the 3 programmers / support staff. It's been a nightmare recently since there's some fluke where data entered after a certain date isn't visible to the client app, but is visible to the sql editing tools. They've worked for a week with no new ideas to fix the problem.

    Without them... our company would be out serious revenue. If the main programmer got in a car accident today, the problem may never get fixed until I learn enough SQL 'while the car is flying down the street, with 4 flats, and the doughnut was removed to make room for subs...'

    Although I doubt properly engineered, flexible software will disappear.. just get more expensive.

    Posted by: Matt at April 19, 2005 05:57 PM

    Properly engineered, flexible software is an oxymoron.

    Posted by: DarkStar at April 19, 2005 06:25 PM