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Comment: Re:I think these fears are overblown. (Score 1) 420

by bungo (#49657055) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Moving To an Offshore-Proof Career?

I love your optimism.

Everything is fair and just. If you show you are a valuable resource that can't be replaced, then you have nothing to fear.


Of course, the people running the company will never make poor, short term, misguided decisions.

Let me tell you a story.....

I was working as an external consultant for a very large company. They have amazingly complicated business processes - in fact too complicated. I encountered a large issue caused by poor business processes , that was affecting multiple business units. For each individual business unit, there was an elevated cost, but taken over the all of the units, the cost was huge.

Now, I didn't have enough knowledge to be able to resolve this, but there was a developer who had work there for 10 years, had contacts with all of the business units affected. With his help, I was able to arrange a meeting with multiple department head - which for this organization was a big achievement. I explained the issue, and the huge costs that could be saved. The developer was able to provide a solution, but it would also mean the way that 3 units worked would have to be slightly changed. The amount of work involved wasn't large, but the logistics were extremely difficult.

So, what happened? This developer who have 10 years of business knowledge and could help save hundreds of thousands each year was let go. He was replaced by Infosys, and a team of people in India (yes, a team replaced one person - but, hey, it was still cheaper). Management didn't know and didn't care that the business knowledge was leaving. The developer was kicked out, then I left for another project in another company. The business practices were never changed, and the cost savings never occurred.

It's been two years since, and I've heard that the outsourcing isn't going so well, and they have approached my consulting company group if they could put in a bid to take it over and bring it back on shore.

but you can't outsource Dave Johnson, because there's only one of him.

And there was only one of this developer with the business knowledge. It didn't save his ass from being outsourced to India.

(By the way, the company got rid of their entire development group, not just this one guy. They lost other people who had more experience - these people knew what was happening a couple of years in advance, and so left, which ironically made the outsourcing decision easier, since the development group was at half strength anyway.)

Comment: Re:Why not hire in "Flyover Land" before India? (Score 1) 442

Or perhaps they could open an office in Flyover Land.

Good point. I've wondered why these companies are determined to keep everything in the most expensive areas where it's hard to find people cheaply.

I remember a number of years ago, Oracle opened up a new support centre in Colarado Springs. Not that there's a lot there now, but back then, there was a local military base, and not much else. Oracle then offered a relocation package to the support staff working in Redwood Shores - on the same salary as I recall. A lot of people moved, as their cost of living suddenly halved.

Surely Facebook et al could set up a new centre in the middle of knowehere, offer the same salary, and find lots of people.

Comment: Re:Boorish (Score 1) 662

by bungo (#49355413) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

Actually, to be very pedantic, it was originally the American high end brand for Toyota.

Toyota wanted to create an up market brand that didn't have the cheap Japanese car legacy that Toyota and other Japanese manufactures suffered from. Toyota launched Lexus, in think initially in the US, and they brought it to other markets.

In Japan, the high-end Lexus cars were sold as Toyotas. Lexus didn't appear in Japan until quite a while after it was going well globally. In the late 90's or early 2000's, I think.

Comment: Re:$30 Timex (Score 1) 389

I have a dive watch, and I dive with it every week. My dive instructors also wear dive watches.... ... of course, this is in a swimming pool, where we need to time things when training for our certifications (i.e. 50 seconds under water without air).

When we go open water diving, it's always with a computer, although the chief dive instructor always has a watch for a backup.

Comment: Re:Going to University (Score 1) 700

by bungo (#48978343) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?

Most US teachers have the equivalent of an undergraduate degree in mathematics.

I'll believe you, since I don't have any knowledge of US teacher training or US degrees. I do have a question that I hope you can answer.

How can that be possible? How can you have a degree in something else, and still have the same level of maths as someone with a maths degree?

For my maths degree, I had free choice for the equivalent of 1/2 of a year. Every other class was a maths class, although some over lap with the people studying physics and computer science (and the into stats class was general for a lot of degrees). There is no general education requirement for degrees in the UK, as that is assumed that you received it in high school.

Even for my free choices, I chose maths subjects, since there were more areas of maths to study that could fit into one degree. There were some areas, such as the calculus of variations, that I wanted to study, but I couldn't fit in.

So, if I, only studying maths for every subject in my degree couldn't cover everything, how can someone studying something else have the same level of maths coverage as me?

Comment: Re:Gnome3, systemd etc. (Score 1) 450

by bungo (#48344535) Attached to: Joey Hess Resigns From Debian

Because he has supporters like myself who hate the convoluted Unix philosophy

In turn, you should accept that there is a difference between people who are using Linux as a desktop and need things like sound, and people who are using it in the server room.

I currently professionally support Linux systems. I like that it's similar to other Unix systems.

Let me see if I can even remember all of the Unix and Unix like operating systems I've had to support professionally...
- Pyramid OSx
- DEC Digital Unix (OSF/1)
- HP MPE ix (MPE with a posix shell)
- Xenix
- SCO Unix
- Solaris (Sparc, x86)

Now, you can't say I'm resistant to change, as there is a large difference in how all of those systems are administered. I liked the fact that Linux was familiar and I could switch over to it.

What I don't like is that desktop related changes are encroaching on the server room. Fine, you like playing games or listening to music. Don't force me to go down the same path.

Comment: Re:Even cheaper than that in Sweden. (Score 2) 346

by bungo (#48102243) Attached to: Why America Won't Match Sweden's Cheap, Fast, Competitive Internet Services

You have to take into account that there are no absolutes in politics, except at the extreme ends.

Slashdot is a US website, and most of the people here have a US perspective. From the average person's perspective in the US, Sweden, and most of Europe is socialist.

A lot of people in the US truly believe that Obama is socialist (esp. w.r.t. Obamacare), where as in Europe, Obama is more to the centre-right.


Comment: Re:Home / Work (Score 1) 287

by bungo (#47943321) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: What's In Your Home Datacenter?

(aol) Me Too!!! (/aol)

I have a Synology DS512+ with 5x 3T disks. For storage size, capability and low noise, you just can't beat it. And it runs Linux.

It goes well with my
  - Mac Pro (the old big silver box version),
  - i7 with 24G ram (home built)
  - i7 with 64G ram (home built)
  - 2 x Xeon E5-2620 (6 core each) 192G ram
  - Mac Mini

I have ethernet wired through the house, plus a wifi router on each floor.

Ah, the old day were good. I have 2 MicroVaxes, a Vaxsation 5000, a DEC Alpha. A half-height 20 megabyte drive that was as big as a washing machine, and a tape drive, just a bit bigger. A 6-CPU RS/6000, just a bit bigger than a microvax. I also had huge collection of every Sun Sparc you could imagine.

Pity, all of that had to go when I got married. :-(. I've had to build up my current collection by stealth, one piece at a time.

Comment: Re:Not in visable uses... (Score 1) 136

by bungo (#47579963) Attached to: HP Gives OpenVMS New Life and Path To X86 Port

And you're forgetting the wonderful wall of manuals.

Those VMS manuals were the greatest set of system documentation I've ever had the pleasure to work with. Combined with the on-line help system, you could be come an expert just by reading and trying things out.

One of the greatest disappointments I had was when I had to use MS Windows for the first time, there was no manual that details all of the commands possible. How can you know what a system can do, if you don't detail all of the features?

Comment: Re:Hire More Devs (Score 2) 209

by bungo (#47579935) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

I agree. Hiring devs and interfacing is the better solution.

Now, the dev team doesn't have to be in house, it could also be an external team. As long as they develop against and API, then that's all that matters. If it's easier to hire an external team to develop than making the longer term commitment for new employees, then do that.

What I haven't seen anyone mention is the cost of upgrading. This is the biggest factor by far. It can cost you more in upgrading what you've customised than the original cost to create it.

I've seen many companies get their first Oracle ERP system, and go bananas customising everything. We it comes to upgrading, they get the estimate for the cost to upgrade their custom code, and they get a shock. I know of places that have cancelled their upgrade projects since the cost to upgrade with customisations was too much.

What happens in these cases is that for the upgrade, instead of bringing everything along, they reimplement the system, and ditch most of the customisations, only including the ones are are absolutely needed.

If instead of making changes to the Oracle ERP, you just feed it the data from interfaces, you have now de-coupled the need to change your custom code from the ERP upgrade - at most you will need to make minor changes to the interface data if Oracle change their API.

This is really the best way to go. I've been consulting/supporting oracle ERP systems for over 20 years. If you want to contact me privately, I'd happy help you further. Now, even though I do ERP consulting for a living, unless you're in Europe, my company won't be getting any business from you, so you can trust that my advice will be independent.


You can fool all the people all of the time if the advertising is right and the budget is big enough. -- Joseph E. Levine