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Cuchulainn
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Is software outsourcing a good idea?

July 4th, 2012, 3:51 pm

Par exempleCentral Bank views Ulster Bank issue 'very seriously' The Bank, as a regulator in Ireland, would be working with the FSA to determine what went wrong at RBS, the source of which was a technical failure at RBS in Edinburgh on Tuesday 19th June which impacted Ulster on Wed 20th.
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rmax
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Is software outsourcing a good idea?

July 4th, 2012, 5:10 pm

Badly managed outsourcing is a bad idea.
 
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Cuchulainn
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Is software outsourcing a good idea?

July 5th, 2012, 4:54 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: rmaxBadly managed outsourcing is a bad idea.Depends on what is outsourced. The quality and continuity of people is key.
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farmer
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Is software outsourcing a good idea?

July 5th, 2012, 10:27 am

Is driving a cheap car a good idea? Or should we all drive an expensive car?
 
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quantmeh
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Is software outsourcing a good idea?

July 5th, 2012, 7:45 pm

NASA's outsourcing space transportation to Russia. surely, you can outsource some software development
 
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Cuchulainn
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Is software outsourcing a good idea?

July 6th, 2012, 9:44 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: quantmehNASA's outsourcing space transportation to Russia. surely, you can outsource some software developmentSoftware is much more difficult than hardware.
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DominicConnor
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Is software outsourcing a good idea?

July 7th, 2012, 8:52 pm

To extend Farmer's analogy further, the difference in management is similar to that of a back seat driver and trying to do it by phone.I might use a courier to deliver a package, because that has a clearly defined objective where there can be a simple cost/quality function.On the other hand, the toughest bit of driving I ever do is picking up the kids from school and trying to control that by phone with someone who has never driven in the UK whilst the mothers drive 4 wheel drive tractors whilst chatting on the phone isn't going to end well.Outsourcing fails because you can't manage it so well, yes I'd hire someone to convert data in form A to form B, but when I manage people I want calibration on how they are performing that I can't get from videoconferencing, I want discreet chats facr to face when no one else is around, I want a beer with the guys I manage and most of all I want them to tell me the truth. Indian business culture is fundamentally dishonest to ad degree that would make a Barclays money market trader wipe his shoes.
 
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Cuchulainn
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Is software outsourcing a good idea?

July 8th, 2012, 9:39 am

Modern cheap autos tend to be reliable enough. Maintaining a 20-year old banger is costly. Upside is the village garage that can get backup spare parts for you, quickly.
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quantmeh
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Is software outsourcing a good idea?

July 9th, 2012, 9:10 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnQuoteOriginally posted by: quantmehNASA's outsourcing space transportation to Russia. surely, you can outsource some software developmentSoftware is much more difficult than hardware.there's a reason why it took 50 more years for china to launch a man in space after soviets - it's very difficult.and then there's no hardware. a rocketship is a mix of hardware and software.
 
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Cuchulainn
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Is software outsourcing a good idea?

July 10th, 2012, 6:15 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: quantmehQuoteOriginally posted by: CuchulainnQuoteOriginally posted by: quantmehNASA's outsourcing space transportation to Russia. surely, you can outsource some software developmentSoftware is much more difficult than hardware.there's a reason why it took 50 more years for china to launch a man in space after soviets - it's very difficult.True.
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eDave
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Is software outsourcing a good idea?

July 23rd, 2012, 9:20 pm

One of my good experiences, from the outsourcing end, may or may not be useful to you:One of the world's larger investment banks hired my then-employer to produce trade reporting software. There was a hard deadline: By Act of Parliament, the software had to be completed by a fixed date, or our customer would be prohibited by the FSA from engaging in a highly profitable line of business. The project went well. We went from nothing to working software in eight and a half months, which is good because that's all the time we had before the government-imposed deadline -- we literally finished less than two days before the deadline. And it all worked properly on the first day of active use -- there was only one minor bug, which we fixed that day, and that bug was due to bad requirements, not bad software (and, because we fixed the bug so quickly, the FSA let the customer re-report the affected reports manually, without penalty). After the project was successfully completed, I asked the customer why they hired us. The customer had outstanding programming teams, who understood trade reporting well, and my team had no background in trade reporting at all. I was told that they hired us because their own people would not have even had a chance of finishing on time -- as it was, they were surprised that we finished on time: They estimated that the work we did in eight and a half months would have required about eighteen months if their own employees had done the work. Because we were not employees of the customer and did not work at any of the customer's offices, we could work more efficiently and productively than the customer's employees.Some things that helped this project succeed:* The people working with us on the customer side were outstandingly competent and very responsive. When we asked their business analysts for requirements clarifications or test data, we typically received a response in less than fifteen minutes during times when our workdays overlapped (see below, on time zone differences). This kept us working steadily -- there was very little "down time" while we were waiting for requirements or data. * We wrote an automated test system for the customer's business analysts. The BAs would place test data in an Excel spreadsheet and drop the spreadsheet in a particular directory. Our system would pick up the test data, run it through, compare the results to expected results and flag errors. Then, if there were any errors, the BAs would just email the spreadsheets to us, and we would have exactly the data we needed to diagnose errors and test our fixes. * We worked around time zone differences. My team was in Bryan, Texas. The customer's business analysts were in London. 9am in London is 3am in Bryan. Thus, our work days only overlapped by about three hours. Through Skype, I set up a local number in London that was forwarded to my cell phone, so the customer's BAs could call me and wake me up at 3am if they ran into a problem that was holding up testing on their end. Towards the end of the project, my entire team started coming in at 3am (It was actually my team's idea -- neither I or the customer proposed it.), so they would be working exactly the same hours as the customer's business analysts. (I did the same thing when we had to work with one of the customer's database specialists in Australia -- I worked Australian hours for a few days, so I could chat with him via secure IM while I worked through some database issues -- it was much easier and less frustrating than sending email and waiting until the next day for an answer.)* My team was very loyal to the people on the customer's side. We knew that it was going to be a stretch to finish the project on time -- the customer even told us that they hadn't given us enough time and should have started the project about six months earlier than they did. However, we were also aware that, if we didn't finish on time, some of the people we were working with on the customer's side would likely be sidelined, demoted or fired. Once the team realized that Steve (not his real name) might lose his job if we didn't finish on time, their rallying cry became, "Let's save Steve's job!". That added bit of motivation helped tremendously as the project dragged on through a long, hot summer. (And, in the end, not only did we save Steve's job, but he received a promotion.)* The customer never once complained that we were chewing through too much money or asked us to cut back on costs, so we didn't have to worry about money issues or cutting corners. They outsourced the project because it was important and because they would lose a tremendous amount of money through lost business opportunity if we didn't complete it on time, so they didn't put any pressure on is to be stingy with our budget. (And, in the end it paid off for everyone: My company was well paid, and the customer recouped their investment very quickly.) If they had outsourced a project that wasn't worth that much or was of little importance, things might have been different in that respect.
 
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farmer
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Is software outsourcing a good idea?

July 24th, 2012, 10:19 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: eDaveSome things that helped this project succeed:The customers were fat idiots swimming in money who, because of the total incompetency of their own programmers, had a totally ridiculous expectation of how long it should take, when in reality it could have been done in eight days by two programmers with talent.One day some drunk high roller fumbling in his wallet dropped $500 on the ground in front of me. Later that night he paid $5000 to screw a $150 hooker, and all involved agreed the night was a huge success all around.
 
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farmer
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Is software outsourcing a good idea?

July 24th, 2012, 11:04 am

I don't mean to sound freaky. But I could be addicted to heroin, and report every trade in the state of Texas to every server, laptop, and handy, in every format documented in the annals of Information Technology, as well as every format that could possibly be born in the mind of a regulator, given eight months.
 
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farmer
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Is software outsourcing a good idea?

July 24th, 2012, 11:15 am

If all trades were effected by winks and nods, and I had to attach a surveillance system to a HAL 9000 to interpret the gestures, and if all records were stored on clay tablets buried 800 feet under ground for good luck, so that I had to design a burrowing robot to write updates to the database, I could do it in five months
 
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Cuchulainn
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Is software outsourcing a good idea?

July 24th, 2012, 12:46 pm

A guess is that > 80% of software in the world (still) runs on COBOL and JCL with Java as the front end.Kind of puts C++ and C# in the ha'penny place.
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