Today's headlines:


Priorities - A: high, B: medium, C: low; Status - _: unfinished, X: finished, C: cancelled, P: pending, o: in progress, >: delegated. Covey quadrants - Q1 & Q3: urgent, Q1 & Q2: important
AXRip apart Specops excuse (writing)
AXRemind CASCON speakers (iml)
AXLug new blog server over to Oscar (iml)
AXApply for fee deferral (grad)
AXSet up CASCON blog
BXPick up letter from Rosebrugh 214 : E-Mail from Brenda Fung (2005.08.18 grad)


1. No talent in the Philippines?

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SpecOps Labs thinks there's not enough IT talent 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.

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2. Too chicken to try anything new

Categories: CookOrDie:43Permalink

I bought four whole chickens at the recent Price Chopper sale, trying to get into once-a-month or freezer cooking. I've been very happy with my lasagna and adobo leftovers so far, so I decided to scale up a bit and do my next few weeks' meals in one go. It was a toss-up between trying new recipes all the time and trying once-a-month cooking, and I decided that experimentation can wait until I've got a stock of leftovers for lazy lunches and dinners.

Chopping the chicken was harder than I thought. Fortunately, Cooking for Engineers has an illustrated guide to cutting up chicken. The first chicken ended up as a mangled tangle of unrecognizable parts, but the second chicken separated cleanly into somewhat recognizable wings, breast, and quarters (drumsticks + thighs). The ordeal was enough to make me consider roasting the other two chickens, though, and now I'm going to have to find a way to deal with roast chicken in the freezer.

Not knowing how to make chicken soup means I can't make the most of the bones and other parts. Pff. I have come to the conclusion that ten cents or so per pound is a small price to pay for the convenience of having my chicken all cut up and ready for me. I should look into exactly how much the chicken parts I like are, anyway.

I can only hope that I have enough freezer space for all the adobo and roast chicken I've got planned. Meep. I can do this! I can do this! I can do this!

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3. No talent in the Philippines? Yeah, right. - rant

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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 SpecOps.

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 SpecOps was a company that had no clue.

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 SpecOps gave me the heebiejeebies and 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 SpecOps' claims hit mailing lists and newsgroups, geeks around the world ripped SpecOps to pieces. Sure, SpecOps tried to do damage control, but geek trust is hard to regain.

SpecOps may razzle and dazzle venture capitalists and journalists 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 communiqué 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 Labs.

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:

  1. Contribute to the community. That'll get you onto our radar.
  2. Have a geek-friendly website. That'll get us curious.
  3. Take care of the geeks you've got. Impress them and they'll draw in more geeks. Geek testimonials count a lot.

Don't be like SpecOps. Be clueful, and you'll find plenty of geeks doing amazing things in the Philippines.

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4. Post your reaction!

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Discuss the SpecOps issue over at . Go,! =)

(I'm not part of, but I have friends who blog there, and I like what they're doing. They have clue.)

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