Saturday, March 28, 2009

Programmer's Mind vs None Programmer

There are basically two types of jokes among the elite programmers when it comes to people who are non technically inclined or non-programmers.

#1 :
Sometimes people in Malaysia here thinks that they can just pump in a few million, start a team and expect to get a project done. Little do they know of the various traps and software pitfalls that awaits such a team. Unless its a crony project that don't mind accepting substandard deliveries, most of these projects often end up in the drain. Sure there are some big companies here that hire top Chief architects whom never deliver any projects to a real competition, all inhouse or cronies companies deliveries. Little do these self deceived Architects are aware of how weak their skill and proficiency are in that area. When you are the Chief Architect of such big corporations, everyone wants to kiss ur ass, no matter what ur true capabilities are.

This phenomena is so common that over here, the local folks have a name for it. Its called "Jaguh Kampung". In english it means "Village Champion". What happens when a few village champions join an international competition? They learn the meaning of "Village".

Each year in local software Awards here we see various Sofwares being conferred the "Software of the year", often these Software are either developed for its own use or for its branches. If you look at the track record, almost all the winners have ran out of business or no longer using it.

#2 :
There are Sales and Business people who don't know how dumb they look when saying something to the technical team or when accepting a business proposal whom they know nothing of in programming terms. When the technical team rejected the proposal, they have the impression that their team is incapable or does not have business sense, where in actual fact, the 
problem is in the mirror.

Someone i knew once asked me to write a local chat software, i asked him "what is the sales forcast?" He replied "well i am sure there are many, let me call up this ABC company and see if they want it". (This is a clear sign to "reject" the idea, no proper thoughts given to the project and just do a blind jab by asking some programmers to commit to it).
Anyway, to deter him i ask him further "what are the specifications?". He replied "Oh, its very simple just do exactly what Skype can do and make it work in LAN".

** If you are not laughing already, you should stop reading this post.

Another story i heard is about this lady, who has many connections and "cables" to VIP people. Often she would try to get some projects from these people and her technical partner would reject it. She would then be very upset and gave some lectures on "How important is business and why nothing is impossible to code". A very sad partnership that is destined to end up in the gutter. What most of these "business" people don't understand is that, What you see on paper and in request is VERY different when its translated to actual coding. It can be so different that its actually supernaturally unrealistic to take it up. For example would you commit a team to write a product in 6 months and due to economics of scale, you would need to pay USD 1000 for an appliance/embedded system while out there, there are similar products retailing at USD 400 that is doing exactly the same thing?

If you have such a boss or partner , you should use this statement to bring enlightenment to him/her by saying "Actually if we want to make money we should just get a team to write an OS what works exactly like Vista but with a budget of USD 100k." or "Lets write a Windows 2008 replacement in 6 months, that sounds easy too isn't it?" or "Lets write a replacement for MS-Exchange and make it cooloer in 6 months"

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Windows Mobile : The evolution of O2 -> Dopod -> HTC (its HTC all along)

The Windows mobile has always been manufactured by HTC. Many years ago, its called
O2, sleek looking Phone PDA that usually sells well on first launch and turns out to be very buggy devices . The cycle repeats when new versions are launced. This is because out there, there are many people who love Windows and used to the Windows Experience, the option of having a mobile that has outlook and other familiar apps working is a big motivation for the purchase.

However, O2 really took the bulk of the fall as people began to wake up and identified it as an unusable device. Guess what? After the demised of O2 brand in Malaysia here, Dopod came up, with some brand new units and exciting offerings . Again, same forgiveness and embracement by the community, good sales and popularity of Dopod began to soar....only to be greeted by the same negative feedback and buggy usage.

The problem really lies with Windows mobile and cheap plastics production that easily wear off and scratches for usage that was never designed to last. Windows mobile started off as Windows CE hacked and rush into a market that is dominated by Nokia and Symbian. When it comes to phone usage, it sucks and is buggy.
I remember the O2-XPhone, boy, i must say i can't find a dumber smartphone than that one and yet, it was sold presumtiously to the community with no sense of responsibility and accountability. 

Now that dopod is dying due to the same reasons that O2 went down, HTC decides its time to use its own name and produce units and avoid mistakes that was bourned by its previous two brands. 

Will i buy an HTC? No way, i pity those companies who are associated with the prev two brands and if history prove itself well, HTC units will go the same cycle.