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Your manager Frank started the meeting by saying that the budget for the new project had been approved, but half of the project will be outsourced to a great team from overseas. Can you imagine, their rates for Java programmers can go as low as $15 an hour! No, we're not losing anyone from our team, and you should take it as an opportunity to work as team leaders, helping our new partners to hit the ground running. No, this wasn't my decision; it came from above. Three Months Later Mary. I've asked them to add two fields to a JTable on the Invoice screen. The data are being retrieved from our database so they'd need to modify an SQL query as well. I've sent them this e-mail yesterday, but it was night time over there, so they've responded today asking me to send them the modified SQL and write the name of the Java class and method where this new code should reside. ... (more)

Creating a Flashy Monitoring Application

Do you know what's the main goal of any gas station owner? To get lots of trucking accounts. Business from small car drivers is worth pennies, and it gets on my nerves to hear them ask again and again, "Five dollars of regular, please." Trucks are different. They usually pump in a couple of hundreds of gallons at a time. For instance, here comes a flashy 18-wheeler with a sign "Software Delivered." These guys ship reusable open source components around the globe. As a former programmer, I was trying to play it smart by asking why they don't just let people download these components from the Internet? But the smiley truckers (many of whom used to be software developers too) just shrug and tell me that nothing beats personal delivery, plus the tips. If you think about it, their ventures are the basis of a new business model. Ten years ago, only professional vendors wo... (more)

Hackers Are Cowards

Yakov Fain's Blog Last month, Estonia dismantled the monument to a Soviet soldier-liberator. Russia plays an offended party saying that they liberated tiny Estonia from German Nazis-invaders. The problem is that Estonia believes that Russia is also an invader that that forced them to be one of the republics of the USSR.  Virgin Putin condemns this act. The mayor of Moscow, Saint Luzhkov demands the boycott of Estonia.  Somehow they’ve forgotten that monument removal in Russia itself became as simple as taking a leak. After destroying thousands of churches, they turned around and rebuilt them and removed thousands of monuments to their own leaders. But this does not bother me as much as the news that Russian hackers commited 128 cyber attacks against Estonia government Web sites, banking, and other computer systems. I’m sure that Russian population supports... (more)

Two Sacred Cows - AJAX and Paris Hilton

Yakov Fain's Blog Last Monday I was participating in the rich Internet application panel that has been broadcasted live from Times Square. The recording of this session is available. Unfortunately, none of my comments on AJAX made it to the recording (they were mainly negative). So do not be surprised hearing Coach Wei answering my comments, which you've actually never heard. No big deal, you can hear my raw unedited comments on current rich internet application technologies in my podcast at this URL. AJAX is one of the most searchable technical words today. One of the most popular searches in the non-technical world is the name Paris Hilton. Forget AJAX, what really bothers me is the fact that Paris Hilton is prematurely out  of jail "because of an unspecified medical problem". Money talks in the USA. "Under the new agreement, Hilton would be confined to her home f... (more)

Opinion: What if IBM Buys Sun For Real?

When Wall Street Journal writes, they have their reasons. A couple of days ago they wrote that IBM wants to buy Sun Microsystems for $6.5B. To me, this is sad news. I like Sun and don’t want them to die. Neither do I want to see thousands of Sun’s employees being laid off.  But if IBM will really purchase Sun such consequences are unavoidable. But if laid off people will be re-hired by other employers, some Sun’s software will die. I mean will cease to exist. IBM is a huge firm. It makes hardware, software and has an extensive consulting arm. While IBM has been always supporting Java and its derivatives like IDE and J2EE servers, they were always behind. Just look at the delays in implementing latest Java specs in WebSphere. RAD IDE is not as good as Eclipse either. So what software will die first? IMO, Glassfish won’t survive.  For years, Sun has been pushing this serve... (more)

Answering Questions of Ukrainian Programmers

Last week, I’ve returned from my private visit to Kiev, Ukraine. During this visit I made a presentation in the local offices of Microsoft on various RIA technologies. My kudos to Oleksandr Oriekhov from Microsoft for making this happened. The presentation was well taken, and I also gave a couple of interviews afterward. One of them has been published at the major Ukrainian portal for software developers. Most of the questions were revolving around differences in work environments and the lifestyles of software developers in Ukraine and the USA. The original interview in Russian language has been published over here . This text may be an interesting read for the English-speaking audience (the questions may be more interested than the answers). So I decided to translate it. Here’s an English version of this interview taken by Max Ishchenko in Kiev. Yakov Fain left Ki... (more)

GM's IT Restructuring Does Not Convince Me

Information Week has published an interview with GM’s CIO discussing the impact of the bankruptcy on the two-billion-IT operations of this huge corporation. After reading this article, I’m pretty sure that GM’s IT is doomed. The chances are slim that they will turn themselves into leaner and agile organization as it should be in 21st century. The article reveals “In 2006, GM awarded about $7B (!) in IT contracts to EDS, Capgemini, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and others, and earmarked another $7 billion or so for additional contracts in following years. Szygenda has a history of demanding that outsourcers change their operational practices to fit GM’s needs. One example is their creation of global teams to work on GM accounts”. Now let me explain how I read this interesting paragraph. These leeches , a.k.a. global consulting firms were charging $200p/h for mediocre consultant... (more)

Web 2.0 Is Not About AJAX, Gradients, or Gloss

Too often I hear people talk about adding AJAX-enabled fancy UI elements to their website or web application to make it more “Web 2.0″ style. While many Web 2.0 applications do include these elements of AJAX,  gradients,  and glossy style, those features are not what characterizes them as Web 2.0 applications.   Web 2.0 is about the culture of participation.  Web 2.0 is about the Internet as a platform.   A typical Web 2.0 site becomes more interesting and valuable as it’s community of users grow.  Web 2.0 puts the user and the content they contribute as the primary actors in most of it’s use cases.  A Web 2.0 site makes it’s data available to be mashed into new applications. Let’s consider an example.  Imagine that you own a website that presents information about baseball to users. You may hear advice that you should make your site more Web 2.0. That person migh... (more)

Flash Platform Services for Distribution

Today, Adobe made a very interesting announcement - Adobe Flash Platform Services for Distribution is available to the public.  To put it simple, it’s a new way of distributing, promoting, and measuring the usage of your applications on the Web. Let’s say you’ve developed a Flash RIA (i.e. a game, a movie promo, a stock-market widget) - now you’ll be able to make it available to other people in a viral fashion over the major social networks. You’ll get an API that will let you add the “Share” button similar to the way you can share the video on Youtube. But this button will allow for cross-network distribution and the user will be presented with a choice of social networks to distribute it to. Developers get a new API to add this Share functionality to their applications. Adobe will also offer sharing these applications between the mobile devices that support Flash... (more)

John Zachman, Edward de Bono and the Art of Presentation

What is common between John Zachman (who created the field of Enterprise Architecture) and Edward de Bono (who originated the term Lateral Thinking)? Both of them are now septuagenarian and have been pioneer in their respective field and have their respective strong personal brand – but that is not what I am talking about. Recently, thanks to Sunil of iCMG, I had the opportunity to meet John Zachman in an evening event. There I learned that he uses the old fashioned transparencies and overhead projector for all his training programs. In a way it is apt as one of the key points that he makes in an EA training is that Enterprise Architecture has very little to do with Information Technology. Couple of years back Edward de Bono was in India and he handled a program for our organization. He also believes in transparencies and overhead projector. Here is a picture which I... (more)

What Makes a Web Application Enterprisey?

We’re starting to writing a book for O’Reilly that’s titled “Enterprise Web Applications: From Desktop to Mobile.” The book will be available under the Creative Commons license, which means you can read it and provide your feedback from the get go. Here’s the github repository where we’ll keep the current version of the book. In the morning we had a discussion about the meaning of the word Enterprise applied to Web applications. Below is the draft we came up with and we ask your input – would you agree or have a different understanding of the meaning of the term “Enterprise Web Application”. The easiest way to do this is by example. Creating a Web application that will place process orders is not the same as creating a Web site to publish blogs. Enterprise applications, including company-specific workflows, might need to be integrated with a number of internal syst... (more)