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End of traditional IT departments, more white collar job losses on the way


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10 minutes ago, ccc said:

£

Oh goodness gracious me....

Years ago i had the misfortune to be in a merged company where the bolted on bit had outdourced their development to india.

This wasnt your standard payroll/mainframe stuff. This was a frsnkrnsteun like embedded board - about 500k lines of code, in a proprietery system. The outsourcer comoany had bud for the work blind.

Minths woukd go by, nothing. The person responsible for it would sat, oh theyre bringing in more people. Then he'd try and bear down the onsite doftware people by saying i can get 50 sw people working for 1/4 your money. Then hed come back and say theyre willing to work for even less.

And the months would go by. The  change requests would build up. The new stuff was never delivered.

Any how, 2 years in, people above him flew to infia for a crisis meeting. Got to the place. Hardly anyone there. They were also doing work for other countries. All been a massive con.

Bloke was fired when they came back.

India does not have enough sw people to sort its own evonomy out. Theyve got none to spare. People being exported are hard cash earners. T

Edited by spyguy
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Doing testing last week. Had an issue with a report. Logged as a defect. Report returns no data = the jist of it.

 

Day later I get a message from Indian developer bod - hello !! Can you give me more details of defect please - I run it but can't see any data !!

 

My word. 

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24 minutes ago, ccc said:

Doing testing last week. Had an issue with a report. Logged as a defect. Report returns no data = the jist of it.

 

Day later I get a message from Indian developer bod - hello !! Can you give me more details of defect please - I run it but can't see any data !!

 

My word. 

Did you try stackexchange?

90% of question there are from indian outsourcers?

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On 14/10/2016 at 10:22 AM, spyguy said:

I

According to the driver, the company who delivers our bottle water is losing ~3k/year on the contract. It was writetn with the expectation that theyd get more business from us. For what FFS? Run our email servers? .

Spilt my Sunday evening tipple :lol:

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The Cloud is just the old mainframe model, with all the same problems. IT has a cycle of centralizing everything to save money, then realizing the full cost of doing so, and bringing it back in-house. It'll happen again.

The big problem with The Cloud is that, whereas taking down a data centre might have taken down one company before, taking down a The Cloud site takes down thousands of companies. Most companies don't want to spend the money to make their services robust, because it's The Cloud, right? It's not their problem, they pay people to deal with that. The Cloud is like magic that just works, not like those clunky old PCs they used to have in a closet that needed someone to baby-sit them all the time.

I watched an interesting talk by a guy from Netflix a while back, who do use The Cloud for their servers and do put in the time to make them robust. Apparently they intentionally create failures in their services all the time to ensure the code handles them, including taking down everything in one The Cloud site to ensure the others take over.

How many companies that rely on The Cloud do that? How many have enough IT employees left to do it?

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On 2016-10-14 at 5:41 AM, Funn3r said:

PHP is OK for amateurs on piddly little sites that nobody cares about. facebook.com was built using it for example

Exactly. If Facebook went down for a month, people would whine for a few days, then go back to emailing their cat pictures to their friends. Only Facebook would really care after a couple of weeks.

Real systems that people rely on 24/7/365 and cost millions of dollars a day if they're down aren't built on PHP. Ours are mostly C++ and Java.

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52 minutes ago, MarkG said:

The Cloud is just the old mainframe model, with all the same problems. IT has a cycle of centralizing everything to save money, then realizing the full cost of doing so, and bringing it back in-house. It'll happen again.

The big problem with The Cloud is that, whereas taking down a data centre might have taken down one company before, taking down a The Cloud site takes down thousands of companies. Most companies don't want to spend the money to make their services robust, because it's The Cloud, right? It's not their problem, they pay people to deal with that. The Cloud is like magic that just works, not like those clunky old PCs they used to have in a closet that needed someone to baby-sit them all the time.

I watched an interesting talk by a guy from Netflix a while back, who do use The Cloud for their servers and do put in the time to make them robust. Apparently they intentionally create failures in their services all the time to ensure the code handles them, including taking down everything in one The Cloud site to ensure the others take over.

How many companies that rely on The Cloud do that? How many have enough IT employees left to do it?

Corporate mainframes were generally high end kit so for all the costs what you tended to get was a robust environment (the old IBM Mainframe still used for some of the work in my office has not an unplanned outage of any kind for over a decade). I dont think some of the Cloud solutions on offer are anything like as robust. In my experience Business Continuity Planning is more of a wish list of assumptions in many organisations than anything concrete. Hardly any want to pay for proper DR and that includes the UK Government who are notorious for taking a punt on  'it not happening'. Most of it is down to the short term horizons of many CIOs who now seem to all work on 3 year contracts and all of whom hope to be out of the door before the SHTF. Some of them make Wall Street and City Bankers almost look like models of long term planning and committment. Given major IT cycles often take years to complete this short termism is slowly but surely undermining the IT fabric of many UK businesses and institutions. For every IT f*ck up blamed on external hackers I can guarantee that there will be twenty that are self inflicted by people inside companies making poor strategic and business choices about how IT resources are costed and managed. Indeed, when you look at most major security breaches you will find that it was normally some brain dead decision made by a member of the senior management team  which gave the external threat a route into the system.

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Bingo. Most managers don't care about the long term, because they expect to be in a new job well before that happens.

Another problem in the IT world is that Microsoft is turning Windows into an unreliable pile of crap with their new 'let's throw out some new features and fix them later' mindset. Companies that have based their IT strategy around Windows should be getting pretty scared by now.

Edited by MarkG
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Although I don't work in IT, I take an interest in aspects of it as a certified geek. The thing with all the outsourcing etc. it's been going on long enough that on some level businesses have taken some kind of rational decision to say "****** the consequences", haven't they?

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You IT bods always make me laugh.

Just send me my new email password - and crawl back under your rock...

 

XYY

 

                                                                                                                 

The dog's kennel is not the place to keep a sausage - Danish proverb

 

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Basically, we've reduced redundancy in the name of efficiency. Which is great, until something breaks, then there's no fallback.

That's even true of some of our systems. In the old days, there were half a dozen at different sites with traffic split between them, so, if one went down, there were five others to take over the excess traffic. Now there's one, plus a second system which can handle a small fraction of the normal traffic for customers who've paid for backup capability.

Wasn't an Australian state out of power for hours a few weeks ago because their backup plan for their wonderful new windmills was to suck power out of the neighbouring state's coal-fired plants... and then the interconnect failed?

It's only going to get worse. We're heading straight into Tainter's 'Collapse of complex societies' right now.

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1 hour ago, Deft said:

Although I don't work in IT, I take an interest in aspects of it as a certified geek. The thing with all the outsourcing etc. it's been going on long enough that on some level businesses have taken some kind of rational decision to say "****** the consequences", haven't they?

While experienced IT technicians can be as Luddite and backward looking in their own way as any 19th century hand loom weaver they do tend to know the score about what it takes to keep major systems functional in a crisis. Sadly, many senior IT managers are currently operating using the tech equivalent of the Bear Stearns and Lehman brothers risk assessment plan from 2007. This panglossian optimism is not really the attitude to adopt when it comes to maintaining core infrastructure and the software that depends on it. Unfortunately currently engineering levels of risk proofing are out of fashion in the tech industry due to their cost. Worse many senior managers in tech companies have a substantial part of their salary tied to bonuses based on them meeting financial targets rather than levels of system availability. Delivering new systems quickly and cheaply is seen as a lot more important than the tiresome task of adequately specifying, designing, documenting, testing and debugging them before release so it actually works.  As a consequence like many bank traders in 2007 they are working on perverse incentives which encourage them to take risks that might ultimately have catastrophic consequences for the IT applications they are supposed to be managing. This in turn could eventually have dire financial impacts on their businesses and their customers. The truth is a lot of the technology on which we depend is resting on foundations that are becoming more fragile and a lot more difficult to control as the years pass.

Edited by stormymonday_2011
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1 hour ago, MarkG said:

Basically, we've reduced redundancy in the name of efficiency. Which is great, until something breaks, then there's no fallback.

That's even true of some of our systems. In the old days, there were half a dozen at different sites with traffic split between them, so, if one went down, there were five others to take over the excess traffic. Now there's one, plus a second system which can handle a small fraction of the normal traffic for customers who've paid for backup capability.

Wasn't an Australian state out of power for hours a few weeks ago because their backup plan for their wonderful new windmills was to suck power out of the neighbouring state's coal-fired plants... and then the interconnect failed?

It's only going to get worse. We're heading straight into Tainter's 'Collapse of complex societies' right now.

Quite.

I know for a fact that one major government department only avoided a major IT disaster in last years floods because it had relocated most of its equipment from one data centre to another a few months before the computer hall at the old site ended up under six feet of water.  

 

Edited by stormymonday_2011
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I see OneDrive and its ilk as convenient, but I don't put 100% faith in them, and it's not the end of the world when MicroSD, USB, and external hard drives are getting cheaper while increasing in volume. 

Another example of an IT system proving relatively fragile and going disastrously wrong once one gear pops out are the set of automatic doors to my local gym; the keycard slot for it does not work because one member of staff went on holiday taking the password for the door's remote server! They had to resort for months on the gym door's motion sensor to open it, a mild annoyance, but another layer of security and efficiency has been peeled away... 

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On 10/14/2016 at 7:32 PM, spyguy said:

There's a good chance that Indian offshoring is the reason why lots of people are running from Infosys and TCS.

The word oversold and overpriced doe not come into with most Indian stuff. Some orgs I know were looking to go bacj to paper and pencil after their experience.

I cannotthink of any org I deal with who would even consider any form off offshoing, be it business processes, development, or full transfer.

 

 

My experience with off shoring/ outsourcing is cracks appear after development is handed over to operations. On paper outsourced development works cheaper but then it costs more for someone else to maintain/support. Outsourcing support is better than outsourcing development.

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Just now, Fairyland said:

My experience with off shoring/ outsourcing is cracks appear after development is handed over to operations. On paper outsourced development works cheaper but then it costs more for someone else to maintain/support. Outsourcing support is better than outsourcing development.

Ive (too) personally experienced the full horrors of offshourced development. This was core software, not the accounts or something.

Ive also had the indirect exposure of business process outsourcing i.e. phone and backend processes - mainly manual paperwork and checking. That was even worse than the development. The compnay was promised 100 English speaking graduates. They got 50 illiterates.

The whole Indian thing is a dead flush now.

5 years ago, most UK people would associate Indians with curry and hot country.

Now its phone scams and fraud. Non of my older relatives will speak to a person with an Indian accent on the phone.

The fact that India has failed to crack down on the scamster gives you a good idea of the Indian means of working.

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12 hours ago, MarkG said:

Another problem in the IT world is that Microsoft is turning Windows into an unreliable pile of crap with their new 'let's throw out some new features and fix them later' mindset. 

"Turning"? 

I almost wore out a pair of shoes walking to the server room to reboot Windows NT 3.1 machines.

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11 hours ago, The XYY Man said:

You IT bods always make me laugh.

Just send me my new email password - and crawl back under your rock...

 

XYY

 

 

                                                                                                                 

The dog's kennel is not the place to keep a sausage - Danish proverb

 

:P You do have a point !! Have you tried rebooting your system caller!

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17 hours ago, spyguy said:

 

India does not have enough sw people to sort its own evonomy out. Theyve got none to spare. People being exported are hard cash earners. T

Funny we always think our Indian sw team must be moonlighting.

 

> I almost wore out a pair of shoes walking to the server room to reboot Windows NT 3.1 machines.

 

I worked for dot.com where the Big Consulting firm were in like flynn with Microsoft and recommended running everything on NT 3.5 with IIS - I pleaded for Linux and Apache (this was back in 1999). We had all the servers on a 10 minute reboot cycle as they would generally grind to a halt after half an hour due to various memory leaks in IIS and NT.

Edited by davidg
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53 minutes ago, spyguy said:

Now its phone scams and fraud. Non of my older relatives will speak to a person with an Indian accent on the phone.

Even disregarding the phone scams, my experience with Indian call centres has been so bad I now actively avoid companies that use them.

I had two personal phones on Vodafone and they (Voda) were always a little more expensive than other networks but I would always get through to someone in the UK. Now they are just as expensive but all their calls go to India so when I called I got the frustration of a connection with a ton of latency, poor audio quality and someone with a thick accent who I struggle to understand and struggles to understand me. Even Vodafone's online chat was in India and substandard.

I read about EE moving their call centre back and went with them at the last renewal earlier this year.

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14 hours ago, MarkG said:

Exactly. If Facebook went down for a month, people would whine for a few days, then go back to emailing their cat pictures to their friends. Only Facebook would really care after a couple of weeks.

Real systems that people rely on 24/7/365 and cost millions of dollars a day if they're down aren't built on PHP. Ours are mostly C++ and Java.

 

The only caveat is a lot of other piddly sites use Facebook for their authentication.

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14 minutes ago, davidg said:

Funny we always think our Indian sw team must be moonlighting.

 

> I almost wore out a pair of shoes walking to the server room to reboot Windows NT 3.1 machines.

 

I worked for dot.com where the Big Consulting firm were in like flynn with Microsoft and recommended running everything on NT 3.5 with IIS - I pleaded for Linux and Apache (this was back in 1999). We had all the servers on a 10 minute reboot cycle as they would generally grind to a halt after half an hour due to various memory leaks in IIS and NT.

There's a 99% they are.

Youre work is probably being done by someone else, whilst the person you think you hired is touring, pitching for new business.

Outsourcing is just not compatible with Indian culture.

 

 

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19 minutes ago, davidg said:

Funny we always think our Indian sw team must be moonlighting.

 

> I almost wore out a pair of shoes walking to the server room to reboot Windows NT 3.1 machines.

 

I worked for dot.com where the Big Consulting firm were in like flynn with Microsoft and recommended running everything on NT 3.5 with IIS - I pleaded for Linux and Apache (this was back in 1999). We had all the servers on a 10 minute reboot cycle as they would generally grind to a halt after half an hour due to various memory leaks in IIS and NT.

Theres always a tendency for MS to buy its way into business using a big consultancy.

Partly to buy business, partly to demo its tech.

Unfortunately, the big consultancy tend to be sh1t at delivering stuff - cna you name one succesful, profit making tech co that was used a big consultancy?

You get disasters like the LSE system based on WS2010 + .net/C#

Ripped out a year later.

 

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42 minutes ago, davidg said:

 

The only caveat is a lot of other piddly sites use Facebook for their authentication.

That and the fact that Facebook doesn't go down for a month. 

If it does goes down for an hour it makes the news!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2927847/Facebook-Instagram-worldwide-hack.html

This is probably because it's so crap and piddly. And has 1.1 billion daily users.

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