Friday, May 06, 2005

Globalsourcing in the real world

If you are like me, you probably thought globalsourcing as the ominous black clouds far out in the horizon promising a big thunderstorm that never came. It's just an excuse used by the suits to deny you pay raises and threaten you with layoffs if you don't behave. I don't know about you, but I am seeing hail the size of golf balls.

We have a small project that's being developed by a couple offshore resources (they are in Poland, in case you are wondering). Originally I was going to be the "onshore" resource, doing coordination, requirement gathering, project management, high level architecture, and general paper shuffling. Turned out I had some real development work to do (and blogs to write, apparently), so someone else took it over. But I still get to sit in weekly conference calls with them.

I have to say, I am very impressed by our polish colleagues. They speak fairly good English (at least no worse than some people around here :). This is a database-heavy project, and one of them got many years of DBA and data modeling experience. In the middle of one conference call, they brought up that they want to deliver a high quality product, so they want to write unit tests and acceptance tests, look at code coverage and metrics. I mean, wow, these are the stuff we spent years trying to drill into the heads of our onshore developers, and they are still reluctant to do them, now you have these guys asking for them! After that, they wasted no time at all to put that project into our build center which runs CruiseControl and everything under the sun for automated build. In the mean time, they've evaluated on the database end Oracle vs. MySQL vs. PostgresQL, and on the EAI framework end Mule vs. OpenAdapter (which they decided not to use either). The latest I've heard is they've already put something together that uses the latest releases of Spring Framework and Hibernate, which is something we haven't done yet.

Ok, so maybe we got lucky and found the top 2 java developers in Poland to work for us. But in reality, it's a big world out there, and there are lots of smart (if not smarter) people living in countries where they can compete favorably with US developers in wages and compensations. What is the future for us to stay in US as developers?

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Firefox Underground

I ran into this little firefox hack a while back that does wonders for your love/hate relationship with google, if you are using firefox (doesn't everyone?). Mark Pilgrim's "Butler" strips out most Google ads, removes copying restrictions in Google Print, adds alternative search results to nearly every Google service. It's "sticking it to the man", without diminishing google's usefulness.

But today after I did a completely clean reinstall of firefox (which apparently fixed the weird gmail browser detection problem), I had a really hard time finding it again (must be google's conspiracy to hide it from search results :). So I am posting it here to remind myself in the future.