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Comment Its a great bargain for both sides long term (Score 2) 228

Think about it, both sides stand to gain. Microsoft gains a lot by getting thinking/bugs sorted out. Don't think developers and PMs will ignore disgruntled soldiers and windows will learn a lot about robustness and usability. Army gets faster in developing software. Say what you will, microsoft makes hard to achieve features easily accessible. I stress accessible only.

Comment Purpose of Antivirus (Score 1) 183

Not a security expert? But isn't antivirus software supposed to prevent against known viruses and not against new zero day exploits?? Firewalls, proper user rights, application hardening, recovery systems, monitoring etc An much as i hate to say it the os does play a part as to guiding human behavior

Comment Re:Advice from a senior IT professional (Score 1) 140

Outsourcing is not necessarily a bad thing, you just switch and work for the vendor.
There is outsourcing and then there is in sourcing. Its about companies and organizations wanting to find the balance and meeting their current needs. Ive seen HR outsourced, ive seen engineers outsourced, there is onsite outsoruced employees. Lawyers by default are "outsourced" you have companies that retain lawyers and companies that prefer to hire legal aid.I also know of former colleagues who are enjoying better salaries as they are retrenched and outsourced but rehired by the vendor. Its about the compensation. Salaries and Compensation is dependent more on supply and demand conditions as well as your starting point rather than the job itself

My brother started his career in IT 4 years earlier than me. There was a mass drive to allow immigrants with IT and other technical degrees to fill the void. After 5 years of IT my salary matched his starting and my company is known to be a lot more generous in granting salaries.

Conditions that determine your next pay check are more
1. Salary Budget
2. Market Rate of Increment (10% over your current)
3. How desperate they want you (how many other people are in the market as the hiring organization perceives, some company want an IT guy, some want specifically MCAD, CCIE etc, some just want a dgree)
4. How desperate you want the job
5. Whether the HR manager likes you
6. Whether the hiring manager likes you

The introduction of "Indian and Chinese" massively increasing the labor supply. Remember these two countries account for more than 35% of world population. IT is surpressed first as most migration policies allocate preference to migrants with technical degrees. But as globalized workplaces take off and work becomes more mobile all vocations will be suppressed due to higher supply. Add to it the indigenous supply of degree graduates is growing, more people are getting higher qualifications including masters and phds. So the supply grows huge. This puts major downward pressure on factors 2 &3 and squeezes you in 4 as you have less options.

You can earn a lot just be artificially reduce the supply and or join one market where the demand is much higher
You reduce the supply by taking certifications, the more you have you join a more constricted job supply as you are classified by hiring organizations as certified and of better quality as compared to someone who isnt. While I don't like paper tigers, this is how the market works. And remeber a higher starting pay check is in general better. Remember increments are also dependent on.
That or you join the market where the demand is higher, I would imagine the demand for cloud computing developers is significantly higher than for helpdesk in most parts of the world. But specializing has its pitfalls, when the tech depreciates you are pretty much find yourself back to square one think cobol and crystal reports.

Working with customers tend to be better, because by default you are in a short supply market, anyone can be a sales person but a sales person who can maintain relations is very much desired(Factors 3 &6) as customers pay for everything. however if you get something wrong those factors reverses for you.

Countries in Europe and north Americas will see decline as economic activity moves to Asia, companies perceive substitution viability and when growing operations in Asia makes more sense. Once they feel that they can substitute an in-house staff for a vendor, or a 24/7 support team in asia, demand drops (factor 3). these changes are hard and inevitable.

If you switch to other professions, youll be disappointed latter as all professions will face the same fate.
Bringing back to the point, freelancing faces the same pressures it just that there's a huge supply now. If you freelance, you are better off doing your own startup with products not services. Then its back to how good you are in generating a product with demand.

All other things like getting more cert or switching fields are in my opinion playing around with the basic factors. Understand them and probably your compensation will start to grow.

Comment Re:BEST PLACE? (Score 1) 999

Im from singapore.
Forget IT.
And if you want to continue as an IT researcher forget it, the large majority of IT jobs are tech support or borderline stupidity developers.
And you need a lot of certifications and they are very specific about it.
You are the lowest rung in the organization
Unfortunately in the financial industry there are serious racial issues with regards to hiring of IT Staff.
If you are white, chances are better
If you are Indian, chances are good
If you are Fillipino, chances are good also

Anything else you dont stand a chance and you need politics not capability
Its not good, but it is what it is.

Comment Depends on who you get and the scope (Score 1) 228

Cant get screenshots through the phone, or log captures

Ever supported it staff, especially ones who should know better? Chat allows for better support also, if your support is not by tickets but support support as in you the poc for a certain product, you really want chat, repeating remedy procedures to 50 people gets old very old very fast and doesn't help with bloody pressure

Comment Re:Actually It Aint That Bad (Score 1) 113

The perhaps you are best placed to understand the point that Im trying to make, its not as bad as the article is painting the projects out to be.

8 Billion over budget at 110% ~ 8 Billion budge for 6 projects, each project has about 1.5B
1.5 B over 12 years ~ 100M per year. Probably includes hardware and software, these guys started in 1998, dont think 100M gets you much in terms of ruggerdized equipment and Im sure software needed to be rewritten each time new software. These companies probably wanted a profit so these guys probably aimed costs sy around 80-90M.

Imagine they not only had to build a new system for one base, its the entire airforce, navy, and they had to ensure seemless integration with old systems all at 100M a year on both hardware and software during the age of dial up.They also probably made the transition from 16 to 32 to 64 bit and as someone said no SAP then, probably wrote everything from scratch as well. Im just saying these guys were definitely lowballing the amount of work to be done and they are not being wasteful. If the system works, the guy in charge of delivering the whole system probably should get an IT medal pinned to his chest rather than what the article is implying.

Comment Actually It Aint That Bad (Score 1) 113

ERP Systems are not that easy to integrate, plus its the military.

I never served in American Armed Forces but I served in another and was the temporary storeman for my platoon for a short while.
It will be an absolutely worst Project Manager's Nightmare Scenario.

Consider a simple rifle , break it down into simple parts
1. Barrel
2. Grip
3. Bolt
4. Rifle Guard
5. Sight Tips
6. Sling
7. Housing
8. Spings & Clips
Then you get accessories
1. Pouch
2. Carry Case
3. Zoom
4. Night Vision
6. Spare Barrels
Dont forget each manufacturer gets its own ID, and each revision of the part gets another, not to mention each batch will be different.
And for most armies, there will be more than one supplier for one part. And talk about colors...
Thats for a rifle, imagine the whole infantry men, from spare weapons, boots, helmets , camouflage, even general issue things like towels and soap
And imagine the number of parts for vehicles. And after youve done all that, don't forget that each unit probably does thing slightly differently from the next unit.
If done on a paper and within the confines of one camp, the complexity is easily managed, but they are doing for the whole DOD. The US armed forces also keep evolving, so you get plenty of new things every few months. So you get new definitions and new types. And there WILL be disagreement on classification.

After that youve got approval, you gotta find the right officer and hope he aint so jumpy to check through the entire list and that he is not too far removed from the specs and men to know what exactly is happening. These guys also move around on their tour of duties, so a new guy comes in every 2-3 years, you gotta give him time to settle and figure out stuff and hope he/she doesnt make changes and throw everything into disarray.

Theres also security, permissions and visibility, and officiers always always delegate such crap. So you gotta figure out a way for their PA(aides). And workflows, what should go into testing, what are the tests? What are the benchmarks and approval process and how each vendor actually supplies. Do you consider delivery and handoff at the base, outpost, unit, or distribution to the men. So imagine the arguments on when is enough, try getting a supply count from the marines who are being shot at.

And dealing with IT inquiries are going to pretty far down the priority list, so whatever cajoling tactic you use in the civilian world , you can chuck it out the window.
Imagine talking to the colonel to get the staff to test and vet the system while they are trying to deal with day to day issues which quite frankly are life and death.

Ive seen commercial erp systems overrun by seven years, and the inventory list is probably less than 0.00001% of what the Dod have to deal with.

Doubt these guys knew what hit them after the contract was signed.

Comment Re:Why even bother... (Score 2) 164

The space suit is actually vital
A lot of what is limiting astronauts now is the amount of things they can do. Look at NASA's broadcast on repairs taking things out putting things in, things anybody can do.
The suit also needs people to teach them how to put on. Desperate advancements are needed.
Not to mention much needed improvements in dexterity which at first glance it does provide.
Im quite surprised though they havent selected live suits(suits that mould to the body), which are available now

Comment Dont believe it (Score 1) 148

Don't forget there is always approval wall. Reasons ive been given, heard from colleagues
1. Theres no budget (then they send someone using the same budget to an introductory course to java programming)(yah he was a java programmer %$&*&*)
2. You are well qualified and dont need training (contradict with promotion time , you dont have the qualifications that the other guy has)
3. You are in a critical role you need to train back up to cover( righhttttt)
4. Budget is used up
5. Not Your Turn
Besides after you are trained, there is no guarantee you can get that next opening in the company.

Also this programme is targeted at associate degrees and less, which really has very little value since there is a huge glut for bachelors
This should be a labor retention policy dressed as a training policy,

You prevent turnover for the duration of the course and also things such as pay increments and bad reviews. Employees tend not to hop when they have to study,they want stability. Even Bad Stability. I know i was one of them

Comment Re:A management qualification gives you options (Score 1) 708

Hi Unknown Lamer

Hope you steer clear of retrenchment,
I don't know much but this I know
MBAs are valuable for a very short time and in the case of switching careers, they get you the first step and you need to justify
I have a pretty good MBA and I'm jobless and have been so for past 7 years.
In fact the MBA will scare of employers because of three things
1. you become a flight risk
2. The hiring decision lies with the direct sup, and if he or she thinks u are a threat , you are not getting the job
3. Everyone's got an MBA

And its okay if you disclose here(i guess) but never disclose to your colleagues you are pursuing, i made that mistake and Im pretty sure it contributed to my retrenchment.
The excuse given my manager was someone had to go it was me, he gave another to my retained colleagues, while im not the most brilliant engineer I was pretty decent and was extremely underpaid for my company and industry and was very late for my promotion(i was already put up by my sup). Looking back i feel i would have cashiered me as well. Thats politics

As for pursuing mba for career switch, remeber the job search actually starts on the first day. The first few weeks in the course are critical, if you dont get job interviews you are done. Quite frankly the world is filled with IT personnel doing MBAs. If career cutting is your objective you are better off trying for temp entry positions and asking around what to do to get perm jobs.

Ive started my business not because I want to but I HAVE to. Very few people want to employ a 30+ engineer specializing in linux systems. Be prepared its a long hard slog and Im not sure it will survive. Dont forget customers see your size and your situation, they may not pay. you cant sue because you got no money plus its bad for the company to sue anyone. Its very dangerous in your case as you dont have a house. Add to that income is not regular, you will be loaded with worries about making ends meet and I feel im a bit too old to be in a startup much less trying to start one. Ive switched from services to products and am currently trying to figure out which one to purse. Your life will also change, expect fast food, because its the most convenient and the cheapest and fastest and believe me you will need all the comfort food you can get.

The search for jobs is hard, probably harder here than where you are. Theres always someone younger and someone more suited for the job. And basically older is always less attractive, its not right but it is what it is.

My advice do side income, start building your biz, do open source, that way you can release and build user base but keep searching and give the MBA a pass.
My father did one job his entire life, Im trying to find my 4th, there is no such thing as staying with a company, build your job searching skills, i stopped searching 5 years ago and am pretty bad, the previous comments on cvs do matter, get as many hr friends you know to look at your cv
If you feel threatened you probably are and don't forget when silly season hits everyone looks out for themselves. If your pay is not the cheapest you are a target , cos salary budgets are cut, if you are more advanced in years, you are a target, because nobody wants to stick their neck to justify experience.

Good luck

Comment Read the act? (Score 1) 147

There are exceptions in the act for almost everything, 2604 is perhaps the most comprehensive. They should fight it only because it creates a lot of paper work.

Sec. 2604. Emergency situation exception

(a) Emergency Situation Exception- Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, any investigative or law enforcement officer, specially designated by the Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, the Associate Attorney General, or by the principal prosecuting attorney of any State or subdivision thereof acting pursuant to a statute of that State, may intercept geolocation information if--
(1) such officer reasonably determines that an emergency situation exists that--
(A) involves--
(i) immediate danger of death or serious physical injury to any person;
(ii) conspiratorial activities threatening the national security interest; or
(iii) conspiratorial activities characteristic of organized crime; and
(B) requires geolocation information be intercepted before an order authorizing such interception can, with due diligence, be obtained;
(2) there are grounds upon which an order could be entered to authorize such interception; and
(3) an application for an order approving such interception is made within 48 hours after the interception has occurred or begins to occur.

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