(I’m not part of pinoy.tech.blog, but I have friends who blog there, and I like what they’re doing. They have clue.)
On this page:
(I’m not part of pinoy.tech.blog, but I have friends who blog there, and I like what they’re doing. They have clue.)
SpecOps Labs thinks there’s not enough IT talent in the Philippines. That’s why they had to outsource their development, they said.
If they had a hard time finding talent, it was because geeks stay away
from companies that suck.
Let me tell you what this geek thinks about
When my teacher asked me two years ago if I wanted to work on an open
source project, of course I was interested. I checked out
SpecOps’ website, eager to find out about their technical vision and who else would be working on the project. What did I find?
Buzzwords. Egotistic claims. A schedule straight out of a marketer’s
dream and a developer’s nightmare. I knew then and there that
In the geek world, clue is extremely important. If you want to attract
the best talent, you need to have clue. You need to know what you’re
talking about. You _definitely_ need to show that you’re not all hype
and no code.
I told my teacher that
there was no way in heck I was going to touch the project.
I wasn’t the only geek who smelled something fishy. As soon as
the world ripped
do damage control, but geek trust is hard to regain.
with a quick show-and-tell, but they don’t have enough clue to get
geeks on board.
Lack of IT talent in the Philippines? Yeah, right. They should blame
it on the fact that we’ve got clue, and they just don’t.
So here are three tips for companies who want to have clue.
1. DO contribute to the open source community.
Give credit and code as often and as publicly as you can. Build your
reputation by contributing patches and posting messages on mailing
lists. That’s whre we’ll factcheck you to find out if you know what
you’re talking about. If you’ve got the geek power to influence an
open source project like WINE, then we’ll believe that you can make a
commercial product out of it. If the first time the open source
community hears from you is through the press release saying you’ve
invented a solution that could change the world, don’t blame us if we
laugh at you.
2. DO NOT contract your website to frustrated adventure novel writers.
It’s a pity you can’t find all their old press releases on the website
any more, but here’s a snippet for your enjoyment:
The story behind David reads like an adventure novel: In
July of 2002, news of SpecOpS Labs’ discovery was leaked from
Oracle-Philippines to Microsoft in Redmond WA. Microsoft immediately
relayed a communiquÃƒÂƒÃ‚Â© to an Asian based Private Investigator requesting
detailed info on the SpecOpS Labs Platform; days later, news of the
investigation was intercepted by a friendly asset and delivered to
SpecOpS Labs. In August, the Philippines’ top computer scientist & MIT
alumni scrutinized the David blueprint and certified its validity; a
few weeks later, a high-ranking ASEAN IBM Official learned of the
discovery and its certification and requested a meeting with SpecOpS
Sheer hilarity. The rest of the text that’s still on the website just
smacks of ego and marketing.
3. DO take care of your geeks.
A tech company should focus more on its geeks than on its venture
capitalists. Assemble a great team and you can find funding to grow.
The best geeks don’t answer want ads or cold calls. We’re all off
doing something interesting.
Here’s how to get our attention:
Don’t be like
geeks doing amazing things in the Philippines.
What a totally bogus excuse. You have no idea how angry that makes me.
I’m going to rant about it at length today, but I’m going to post this
in advance so that you can respond on your own blogs. E-mail me or use
the feedback form so that I can link to your entry.
From Manolo Quezon‘s blog.
SPREAD THE LIGHT. BANISH THE DARKNESS
August 20, 2005 at exactly 6:00 pm.
When an ordinary citizen steals, would an “I am sorry” be enough? When
an ordinary citizen lies, would an “I am sorry” be enough? When an
ordinary citizen cheats, would an “I am sorry” be enough?
Ask yourself: If you are an employee and your employer catches you
cheating, lying and stealing ÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â” will an “I am sorry” be sufficient or a
“lapse of judgment” be accepted? Or would you stand to lose your job?
What is our country coming to if we hold ordinary Filipinos to higher
and stricter standards than we hold the highest official of the land?
This is not to say that the President of the Philippines is guilty of
all that she is being accused of. It is only to say two different
standards of rules – one for the powerful and one for the powerless ÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â”
cannot exist if ours is to be a truly democratic and pluralistic
This is not the country we want. And so perhaps it is time we do
something about it.
If you believe, as we do, that it is time for ordinary Filipinos to
stand up and be counted in the fight for TRUTH ÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â” as well as for
Transparency, for Responsibility, for Unity, for Trust and for Hope ÃƒÂ¢Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â”
then join us in a simple demonstration of our collective sentiments.
On August 20, Saturday, at exactly 6pm, take a few moments to light a
candle in demonstration of our collective effort to take this country
back from all who have not been true to it and to all of us ordinary
citizens – and to be the first step in bringing about the light that
will banish the darkness that hovers over our land!
Spread the light. Banish the darkness. August 20, 2005 at exactly
CITIZENS FOR TRUTH
Transparency. Responsibility. Unity. Trust. Hope.
For me, it isn’t a question of who’s going to replace Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo. It’s a question of whether we’re going to ask the
question in the first place, or whether we’re going to close our eyes.
I may not be in the Philippines right now, but I hope to come home
It’s great to know that I’m not the only one who thinks loving one’s
country isn’t passe. From a chat with
Hey Sacha! How are things in Canada? I just read your entry on coming back home to the Philippines. Very very very positive attitude! If more progressive people like you (and me!) thought more about what we can do for this country than merely what it can do for us, I'm sure it wouldn't be in the rut it is now. We have a lot of work to do, but as early as now, brava! :) Awww... =) Things are fine in Canada, although I _really_ need to find other Filipinos who care about the Philippines and don't go on and on about the Good Life here or say things like "You know, I was also patriotic when I was young..." Yeah. I read the "Walang Kwenta Ang Pilipinas" email that's been going around. I couldn't finish it because I found that it just said too much of the obvious and the wrong. We all know we're in a rut, and just writing about the rut we're in doesn't solve things. Your blog entry, though short, inspired me. Knowing that I have like-minded colleagues like you give me the strength to continue standing up for this country, amidst the exodus of professionals and the shit that our politicians just keep ramming down our throats. I hope you find more like-minded people there. The feeling of being the only one can be very discouraging.
Ka Edong of Technobiography
also wrote, “There’s a lot to be done for the Philippines. We do what
I want to find other Filipinos in Toronto who are passionate about
nationbuilding and who believe we can do something even from this
I know people like that can exist outside the country. I mean, if
MIT has enough people to start MIT PESO,
why not UToronto?
ÃƒÂ§Ã‚Â§Ã‚ÂÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚ÂŸÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â¡ÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â¯ÃƒÂ¦Ã‚Â™Ã‚Â‚ÃƒÂ©Ã‚Â–Ã‚Â“ÃƒÂ£Ã‚Â‚Ã‚Â’ÃƒÂ§Ã‚Â¯Ã‚Â€ÃƒÂ§Ã‚Â´Ã‚Â„ÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â™ÃƒÂ£Ã‚Â‚Ã‚Â‹ÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚ÂŸÃƒÂ£Ã‚Â‚Ã‚ÂÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â«ÃƒÂ£Ã‚Â‚Ã‚Â³ÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂƒÃ‚Â³ÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂƒÃ‚Â”ÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂƒÃ‚Â¥ÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂƒÃ‚Â¼ÃƒÂ£Ã‚Â‚Ã‚Â¿ÃƒÂ£Ã‚Â‚Ã‚Â’ÃƒÂ¤Ã‚Â½Ã‚Â¿ÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â£ÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚ÂŸÃƒÂ£Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â‚ We used the computer in order to save time.
From: rnewtonATkent.edu on a word-a-day mailing list I’m subscribed to:
The most egregious example of gender-bias in English is, I think, the
existence of two words for students. Male students are students; but
female students are co-eds. This originates in schools being for males
only. So, when they allowed girls to come “along” (this is what co-
means), they were viewed as nonessential appendages. Kind of like Adam
being created independently, and then Eve was formed to assist him. I
have insisted that all my students expunge this word from their
vocabulary. I no longer allow them to say they live in a co-ed dorm,
for example, since that implies that the dorms are really there for
the one sex only. There are only male dorms, female dorms, and mixed-
gender dorms (although this is a misnomer, since gender is not the
same as sex; but we can’t very easily call them two-sex dorms without
raising eyebrows; unisex might work?).
E-Mail from wsmith
Sean Uy wrote:
Congratulations, everyone. We put a stop to an issue that
‘insulted’ the dignity of women in the IT industry.
And we did it as one big unruly mob.
Are we a mob?
I don’t know. I don’t think so.
We stand on our individual pulpits or post in our individual columns
and we simply speak our mind, letting other people decide what they
think and how they feel about the issue. Even my
http://del.icio.us/sachac/digitalpinay links feels like a
shopping-list of other people who wrote about the issue, and I’m sure
there are other blogs out there I hadn’t seen.
Nowhere on those blogs did I see anything even remotely close to a
physical threat. People joked about having “Digital Pinoy”, a male
version of the contest. People suggested flooding the mailbox with
fake application forms or complaints, or calling them up to register
their protest. In fact, some people suggested just promoting it as a
beauty pageant instead of something different. I did not see a single
thing directed toward the potential contestants. I don’t work that
way, and chances are, neither do you. I do not know anyone who’d make
such a threat. As a rule, the geeks I know prefer the pen over the
sword. This is not to say, of course, that no one out there can make
that kind of threat. All I’m saying is that there are many, many of us
who are more moderate than the press release implies.
I was outraged enough to want to raise hell about it. I didn’t want
this to be an issue that quietly slipped by. I wanted them to know
that I thought what they were doing was wrong. They were perfectly
capable of continuing with the original plan, I knew, but maybe they’d
listen to the points I raised. I helped spread the word to other
people because it was something far bigger than my little corner of
the Internet or my little perspective on life, and I was not
disappointed by the variety of insights I gained.
I am not against PCS, and I am certainly not against promoting
technology. This was not some master plan to bring down PCS nor was it
a symptom of crab mentality. I sincerely want to promote computer
science in our country, and I spoke out because I strongly felt that
the contest I heard about would do more damage than good. I pointed
out flaws and offered suggestions. I knew they wouldn’t be able to
remove the ‘beauty pageant’ stigma from the event if they continued
with their criteria, so I suggested other things they might do
Was it really all the outrage from blogs? Companies have sponsored
highly-criticized events before. The Miss Universe contest has legions
of detractors. No, I don’t think it was sheer outrage. I’d like to
think that the sponsors pulled out not because the contest attracted
lots of bad publicity but because the sponsors listened to our
thoughts and thought we made sense. Money speaks, and it took the
sponsors to make PCS consider other ideas. We argued as well as we
could, and that resulted in slight modifications of the event. PCS
thought it could deal with the other objections, but it took sponsors
to really drive the point home.
It’s a pity that PCS focused on extreme reactions in their press
conference. Instead of making bloggers feel respected and listened to,
they polarized the issue, turning it into an us-versus-them fight.
That wasn’t the best way to deal with this kind of issue. I would have
respected them more if they calmly outlined the issues and thanked
everyone involved, but I understand why they said those things. They
are also human, and it is hard to be calm when you see a pet project
fall apart. Other critics are also human, and it’s hard to accept
someone’s words as face value when you see it more as a cover-up.
There must have been better ways to deal with the whole mess, but it’s
done now, and all that is left to do is to reflect on the whole
I must confess being guilty of taking pot shots at PCS when I think
what they say doesn’t make sense. For example, I think their
cancellation is yet another example of bad PR, and I’m half-tempted to
volunteer to edit their press releases from now on. I’m allowed to
have and express opinions. I’m not a journalist, just a geek. I care
not only about my work but also the culture and environment I work in.
That said, they’re fine, and they did have good intentions. I can’t
imagine Leo Querubin waking up and saying “I think I’d like to have a
sexist contest,” and I believe them when they say they weren’t
thinking of making it a beauty contest. They just didn’t think about
it hard enough. Who here hasn’t made mistakes like that before? Who
here hasn’t been defensive about mistakes, trying to rationalize them
as long as possible before realizing they were wrong? I appreciate how
they invited us to join the press conference, although the timing was
bad for practically everyone. (A Saturday would’ve been better,
really, or they could’ve just held it online. That would’ve been much
more fun!) I appreciate how they asked someone who understood the
other side to serve as a consultant. (Hi, Ranulf!) I appreciate how,
to the very end, their intentions were sincere. I don’t think they
were in this just to make money. I think they just picked the wrong
way to achieve a goal, and then a wrong way to save face.
PCS still serves a valuable purpose. They have other projects and they
don’t need to be replaced or destroyed. Besides, there is no
organization ready to step into the gap. I hope that the lesson they
carry away from all of this is not that the public does not understand
them, but that we understand their objectives too well to let them
quietly make mistakes. We speak because we care.
Are we a mob? A thousand voices exploding on the Internet may seem
like a chaotic mess, but if you listen carefully you would be able
to discern the clear, calm tones of people like
You would hear people who spoke from their hearts _and_ their minds, like
You would even hear non-IT people with a clear understanding of the issues, like
We are not a mob. We are simply people who know what we believe in and who care too much to be silent.
I will reflect some more on this if other people have interesting
posts, but in the meantime, I would like to thank the bloggers who
shared their thoughts, the journalists who helped us raise awareness
of the problem, and the rest of the gang for listening in.
Although it could have gone better, it was good that we did this.