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PupTrumpet

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About PupTrumpet

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  1. An anecdotal from brighton: I was chatting to cab driver the other day about xmas and he said he knew a few people in the xmas party/'cabaret' market. They were cancelling most of their planned events due to lack of corporate interest. I remember this time last year when office parties were kicking off in mid-November due to lack of space and bookings were solid right up to the end of the year. This year the pubs are *very* quiet. I wonder what percentage of their annual business they normally do in the last month of the year?
  2. I've lost count of the number of Java jobs I went for that turned out to be JavaSCRIPT jobs involving web design, rather than hardcore coding. I remember an agent pushing me for a Java/Perl job despite my repeatedly saying I had little Perl experience. "No problem, " he said, "they really want to interview you anyway.". So naturally halfway through a promising interview they asked me about the extensive Perl experience I was supposed to have... The agent had the nerve to sound surprised when I told him he'd just wasted my entire day.
  3. Part of the problem with the IT job market is that agents are usually entirely ignorant of the technologies their clients are after, so they just keyword match CVs against fine-grained job specs (and usually manage to balls that up as well!). If you get to a vaguely-relevant job interview then you're just as likely to have to run the gauntlet of "standardised HR employee quiz 101" as you are to do a technical test related to the skills required. "How would your last manager describe you?" Gah! The 'professionalisation' of personnel human resources is a typical example of unneccessary workplace overcomplication.
  4. My brother ended up going to Delhi to train up his replacements as well. By the time he'd finished there six months later one of his team had already left for another firm round the corner after she was passed over for promotion. India is expanding fast and there's very little company loyalty, especially for some new offshore department who's base is on the other side of the world.
  5. I think this is the key point- the people you need in a development team have to be willing and able to solve problems, and to be motivated enough to think through the problem and beyond- to ask questions about the context of their work and be aware of the usual traps that will sink a project, whether they are gaps in the analysis, common problems with the technologies used, expected delays through vendor intransigence, and so on. This is stuff you can't really teach and rarely appears on CVs, but I'd always hire someone who is interested in Making Stuff Work over someone who's got good paper qualifications but no apparent interest in the context of their job. Half my time as a developer is spent smoothing over the gaps in the project to get to the point where I can get on and code what the business *really* want, rather than what they cooked up in a slack all-day workshop sometime last year. I'm sure there are many good Indian IT workers who are self-starters in that way, but as with graduates there won't be many with much useful Western-style project experience yet. Maybe in a few years they'll have that, but not if they're working on some offshored project away from the rest of the business. But then if they code to spec you can hardly blame them as that's what the business are expecting them to do- to them you can snap the development away from the departments who need to system and expect it all to work smoothly, which is a serious miscalculation. The coding expense is often the smallest part of the overall cost of a system- it's the maintenance and upgrades that really hit you, yet offshoring/outsourcing is still touted as the Golden Hammer for all deveopment problems...
  6. Here's a typical offshoring anecdotal: My brother was the on the business side of a large finance house that decided to rewrite all their code at the same time as offshoring the development work. They did a massive upfront design and threw the resulting modules out to India to code up, thinking that it was just grinding out code and would fit together with no problems to fit their aggressive timescales. Of course, what they found was that the Indian teams coded exactly to the sepcifications, which were as imperfect as all specifications are, and the whole thing didn't fit together as they expected. Except the Indian teams swept any concerns under the carpet or played the blame game so none of this emerged until the last minute. The whole project tanked and was predictably downsized to a face-saving fraction of it's former scope to cover the board's embarassment. What managers constantly fail to recognise is that outsourcing any development to outside vendors (whether on the other side of the world or not) requires a completely tight project management and analysis team, because if you miss anything out then you've got to fight to get it included, which is a lot harder if the dev team isn't in-house. The biggest weakness with IT projects in the UK is that analysts and project managers are often shockingly lax, and the business rarely appreciates the vital importance of thinking what they want through to any level of depth, so as a result you find there's a ton of stuff missed out and the vendors are refusing to include it in their 'roadmap'. Too much of IT is a shell game where clueless board members get taken for a ride by large IT vendors or consultancy firms, or stake their bonus on projected savings based on the latest hype about offshoring. I remember working in insurance (an industry rarely at the forefront of the technological curve) in 1998 saying they'd tried offshoring a couple of years before and binned it because of the problems mentioned above- maybe it's just a cyclical thing?
  7. I had a wander round my area (Kemptown) at the weekend and was surprised at the amount of For Sale signs up- half of Rock Street seems to be on the market, and there were two adjacent places off Marine Parade up for auction. I was chatting to a decorator the other day who had to be off on a new job at 7.30 Monday morning, for some rich landlord who told him "he could charge what he wanted" to get his place ready for sale ASAP.
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