(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.
John Billings writes:
I’d also like to change it so that when you hit reply the messge
goes to the list and not the sender.
Although this is common behavior, there are good reasons to consider
keeping the current setting of not overriding Reply-To. This is a
fairly religious topic thoroughly covered in the following pages:
Keeping Reply-To intact:
(Not that number should indicate anything, but the pages are
interesting in themselves.)
Here are the reasons why I think not overriding Reply-To: makes sense
for this community.
The Mail-Followup-To: header is often used to redirect a thread to
another, more appropriate mailing list. For example, if something on
the admin mailing list becomes of general interest, then you could add
a Mail-Followup-To: header that automatically redirects replies to
that message to, say, the people mailing list. On the other hand, if
the admin mailing list overrides Reply-to: and no one distinguishes
between Reply and Followup, then people would have to make a conscious
effort to post to the right mailing list.
Also, discarding the Reply-To: set by the user loses information and
makes it difficult to send off-list replies to people whose
originating addresses may not be the same as their preferred address.
This is the case when people have multiple e-mail addresses subscribed
or recognized so that they can send mail from anywhere, but prefer
receiving all their list mail through one account (gmail, for example,
so that it can be archived nicely).
Many mailing lists choose to override the Reply-To: in order to
accommodate people who don’t distinguish between Reply and Follow-Up,
but the distinction makes it much easier for people who are used to
making conscious decisions to reply on or off list. Your mail client
should have a separate command for Follow up, which you can use for
replying to mailing lists. I recommend keeping the current setting for
NIPL mailing lists.
On Technorati: soapbox
ka edong is right. we do what we can. but coming back to the
philippines? i dunno. opportunities are not as plenty in the
philippines as in, say, the us, canada, australia or japan.
especially in my field (chemistry). how am i expected to do science
if i have to think what i’ll eat tomorrow? and what of instrument
and equipment? i only want to do science, and where ever there is an
opportunity, i’ll go there. your desire to help the philippines by
going back is great. i admire that. tell me that again after five
years, and i’ll admire you more. -
I’ve heard some people can do six months in one country and six months
in the other. In fact, it works quite well: skip winter, skip really
hot summers… If you’re important enough to a lab or company that
they’ll let you do that, or you run your own business, then that’s
Sometimes it’s not about exploring the limits of what you can do for
yourself, but rather finding out how you can improve as many people’s
lives as possible. In the process of finding out how to apply what you
know to people’s lives, you might find that you can go farther and
faster than you imagined.
I like computer science, but I don’t want only to do computer science.
I want to help people learn life management and communication skills,
and technology is just a way for me to do that.
Let’s use a better example. You’d think biotechnology would be
something needing millions of dollars in lab equipment, right? But
technopreneur Maoi Arroyo’s not in some comfy lab in MIT or Cambridge.
She’s out there, jumpstarting the Philippine biotech industry by
helping people commercialize their discoveries—while remaining hooked
into the global scene, jetsetting and making deals with people
overseas. Not bad for someone in her twenties.
But technology and science are different, you might argue. Science is
a pursuit of knowledge for knowledge’s sake. Let’s look at Kendra
Castillo, taking up her master’s in environmental management at UP.
She may not have the supersensitive equipment or the finegrained
meteorological data available in other countries, but there are _real_
questions still addressable by the lab she joined. The lack of
resources forces her to be more resourceful and inventive. It’s
frustrating to deal with incomplete data and broken equipment, but
that only opens up more questions to tackle through research.
The only limits are those we set ourselves. Sure, the Philippines may
not have given us much. It may not give us opportunities to be highly
paid for doing exactly what we do. But the secret to success is
realizing that we _make_ our opportunities. We determine our future.
I want to make the Philippines better and I am willing to devote time
and effort to doing this. Just words for now. I’m naive and
idealistic, perhaps. But I know older, more accomplished people who
are doing just that. They’re bridging the divide through their
efforts. They care about nationbuilding. Through their initiatives,
they create jobs and wealth and _meaning_ for people who are just
waiting for opportunities to come their way.
It’s not too late to discover how you can make a difference. All you
have to do is try.
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‚ÂÃ‚Â¯ÃƒÂ©Ã‚ÂÃ‚ÂžÃƒÂ¥Ã‚Â¸Ã‚Â¸ÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â«ÃƒÂ¨Ã‚Â¤Ã‚Â‡ÃƒÂ©Ã‚Â›Ã‚Â‘ÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚ÂªÃƒÂ¤Ã‚Â»Ã‚Â•ÃƒÂ¤Ã‚ÂºÃ‚Â‹ÃƒÂ£Ã‚Â‚Ã‚Â’ÃƒÂ§Ã‚ÂžÃ‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¦Ã‚Â™Ã‚Â‚ÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â«ÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â™ÃƒÂ£Ã‚Â‚Ã‚Â‹ÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â“ÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â¨ÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚ÂŒÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â§ÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚ÂÃƒÂ£Ã‚Â‚Ã‚Â‹ÃƒÂ£Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â‚ Computers are capable of doing very complicated work in a split second.
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.
A recent post on the Philippine Linux Users’ Group suggested a
separate plug-emacs mailing lists for all the Emacs messages that have
popped up recently. The suggester said:
There is a
difference between discussion and stroking each other’s ego. :)
Working with Emacs is a humbling experience. It brings you face to
face with accumulated centuries of developers’ work. Emacs involves
people in its development to an unusual extent. Working with vi and
even Eclipse made me feel more like a user than a co-developer.
Working with Emacs made me feel part of the community, even when I was
still struggling to make sense of the parentheses.
If in that sense, Emacs worship is considered ego-stroking, then sure,
I’m guilty. I can’t help but express my appreciation for one of those
things that has really changed my life and made free, open source
software really meaningful to me. For the culture, really, that made
it possible. It’s a piece of software, but it’s also a conversation
with so many developers around the world.
To newbies: if you’re curious about the thrills of open source
development and you want a nice, easy way to get started, why not try
modifying Emacs? It’s easy to pick up. All the source code is there,
and you can modify it on the fly. We’ve had complete non-programmers
try it out and fall in love with programming. They get thrilled when
they share their tweaks and other people respond with comments and
suggestions. This is good stuff. Try it out. =)
I suppose Emacs is off-topic. After all, it’s cross-platform, not
Linux-specific. I could easily be extolling the wonders of Emacs on
Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, or BSD. Emacs doesn’t require Linux.
(Neither does Apache, but you don’t see people waxing lyrical about
web servers that often, do you?) The flood of Emacs-related posts that
deluge the list whenever someone unwittingly brings up the topic is
probably incomprehensible to people who’ve never tried Emacs or tried
Emacs as just an editor and didn’t like it.
Still, I want to share what makes open source real for me. Not kernel
hacking, which is still too intimidating despite the existence of
projects like kernel-janitor. Not network or system administration,
which I don’t have the patience to do. Just the free and flexible
customization of something I use everyday and the thrill of sharing
these customizations with other people in a community that spans the
I guess that’s why I post on PLUG instead of plug-misc. I don’t think
PLUG should just be a venue for asking and answering technical
questions, but also for sharing nifty hacks and examples of how far a
Linux system can be pushed. Other people push their systems in terms
of hardware and services. I push mine in terms of how well it can fit
me, how well it can anticipate my needs.
I want to stroke other people’s egos. I want people to discover how
they can contribute to free and open source software, to experience
the thrill of seeing their code out there and being used. Open source
development isn’t just for PHP wizards or C freaks who can contribute
to existing projects or launch an entirely new project on their own.
Maybe—just maybe!—people who thought themselves just users of a text
editor will be inspired to think about how they can start customizing
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‚ÂˆÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â°ÃƒÂ¦Ã‚Â™Ã‚Â‚ÃƒÂ©Ã‚Â–Ã‚Â“ÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â«ÃƒÂ§Ã‚Â¯Ã‚Â€ÃƒÂ§Ã‚Â´Ã‚Â„ÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚Â«ÃƒÂ£Ã‚ÂÃ‚ÂªÃƒÂ£Ã‚Â‚Ã‚Â‹ÃƒÂ£Ã‚Â€Ã‚Â‚ Computers will save you a lot of time.
I can’t help but agree with you. Emacs is the way that I
appreciated FOSS more compared to GNU/Linux per se. Why? It’s because
I easily felt part of the community of Emacs users and hackers on the
Emacs Wiki. That kind of interaction makes it less scary for newbies,
IMHO. I mean, not all people on the Emacs Wiki are very friendly, I
suppose, but the ones I have interacted with as I was learning to use
various tools and modes available showed me that I can do something
for the FOSS community, which is to write about what I learn. I don’t
even know ELISP but at least I know that my blog entries are helpful
to others too. =)
I guess we have been too giddy over Emacs on the PLUG mailing list
that is why someone suggested that. Well, I know I have always been
giddy about it but I can’t help myself! ^_^ Emacs is wonderful…
Besides there are so many hacks in Emacs that make FOSS usage,
learning and advocacy so much fun! Like the Planner mode that allows
me to somewhat organize my life, my thoughts, my schedule. Eshell
allows me to do some things without opening a separate terminal. In
Planner, I also store my notes on advocacy and my blog entry drafts. I
also listen to music on Emacs. And when something goes wrong on
whatever mode I am using, I can email the maintainer immediately, to
tell him/her what happened so that the bug can be fixed, etc. I try to
be as detailed as possible when I do that. So I guess that is my
In any case, I also enjoy the company of people using Emacs, not just
because we talk about Emacs but because I am learning so much about
you guys =)