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Project David and not finding Filipino talents

Migs Paraz has recently posted about Project David. In that post, you could read about SpecOpsLabs Philippines recruiting people. However, in a recent article in inq7.net SpecOps will outsource to India and Vietnam

So what in the world is going on here?

In the article, Lewis mentioned that the Philippines doesn’t have enough talent who can do Project David and that he wanted it to be a Philippine-based product. However, a paragraph later, Lewis explained that there was trouble mobilizing enough talent to support its development operations. Chances are that the talents SpecOpsLabs Philippines would like to have on their team do not really support their Project David. After all that has been written and said over mailing lists, articles, et cetera, I could see that there are people who still remain dubious of this project.

I viewed the website of SpecOpLabs Philippines and saw this page: http://www.specopslabs.com/projdav-framework.htm
The fine print at the bottom of the page goes:

*The WINE Project was one of the pioneers of Linux-Windows compatibility and we are appreciative of WINE’s 10+ years of service to the Linux community. As stated above: “our DAVID Technology is utilizing certain components of the WINE Project” any modifications that we make to these components will be made available to the open source community.

Personally, I would rather see this on top of the page rather than below and in fine print. I see nothing wrong with acknowledging the technology used in Project David. However, doing a Google search on Project David and SpecOps Labs would give your various reactions of people in the open source community. Some of them are very skeptical about it. How could one not be skeptical if as found in last year’s article their development schedule is only for the construction phase was 6-8 weeks tops? As Rob Thomas of Linux Electrons wrote: ”

From the SpecOpS website it appears that they have been working on this since the 00′-01′ time frame. So maybe they do have working code. If their claims are true, then SpecOpS Labs is set to slay Goliath.”

Maybe there’s quite a number of talented Filipinos who share the same sentiment. And I wouldn’t be surprised if they do. I suppose that the community would like to see a more transparency from SpecOpLabs before they could consider joining the team.

Sacha Chua has something to say on the matter as well. She has ranted about it and has given tips to companies looking for talented people. You could read all about it here.

I chose to post certain thoughts on the matter separately in order to distinguish that those are my personal sentiments. The entry is here.

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  • Anonymous

    Sadly, SpecOpS is correct that we don’t have enough Filipino talents. Instead of ranting, try listing on your mind people who you think are qualified.

  • I partly agree that there _is_ a dearth of talent; however, I also believe that there are a lot of companies who have those talents in their ranks, and I know several of them. Lurk on the PinoyJUG and PLUG mailing lists, for example, and you’ll see a lot of developers who do know their stuff.

    Sadly, however, the Philippine talent pool is small, IMHO. (And SpecOps won’t definitely be able to grab even a small sliver of that pool, having destroyed any sliver of geek cred they might have had).

    More opinions here-> http://www.livejournal.com/~jmibanez/23118.html

  • Hmmmm… as I said here before I think Filipinos needs to be more involved in open source movement.

    But I do not buy the “lack of talent” thing. Here’s my thing, why do you have to “outsource” an open source project? If you do not have that much developers interested in your project, do not blame it on the developers.

    What’s the point of Project David anyway? Why would I want to run anything Window$ on my Linux Box?

  • Diong: A lot of apps are still Windows-only, and don’t have F/OSS or Linux-based equivalents. For example, if you’re a net cafe, it would be a boon if you could deploy Linux and still allow customers to play Ragnarok.

  • Anonymous

    >I think Filipinos needs to be more involved >in open source movement.

    Filipinos need to be more involved in writing their OWN SOURCE be it in an open source environment or otherwise.

  • >Sadly, SpecOpS is correct that we don’t have
    >enough Filipino talents.

    Yes, I partly agree. Good pinoy talents may well be in some foreign country. But hei, SpecOpLabs’ point is relative only to them. Why they say the pool is not deep enough is because local developers don’t bite their hype.

  • JM: Hmmm, that small a pool of talents? Maybe we ought to make a search for them or something… I have read your post on LJ, and I have yet to comment on it but I think that you know what I will say =)

    Diong: JM is right about that there are some apps that don’t have F/OSS counterparts just yet. And I guess that running some MS apps is something that those who are new to GNU/Linux and FOSS would be doing.

    Richard: Yup, maybe local developers don’t bite their hype.

    For everyone who commented:
    I think that there might be a bunch of talented people out there but they might be hiding or they have yet to be, uhm, discovered (I really don’t like that term but I can’t find the appropirate word right now). We’ll see. Maybe this is also a challenge for a lot of us.

  • I don’ believe we have less talented people. I think the hacker culture is prevalent here. These are people who are good at working alone. Never wanting to be told what to do on their thing.

  • bit

    Lack of talent? Bull. Hell, I should write an entire blog article just about my thoughts on that… but I tend to procrastinate. I’ll do it later. 😛

    We don’t have a lack of talent. What we have is loads of wasted talent. While the western world is complaining of a brain drain in which their hi-tech jobs are leaving the country, the Philippines is experiencing a brain drain in which our most educated and talented minds simply don’t have the opportunities to shine.

    In this current trend of outsourcing to Asia, India has become known for software development, China and Taiwan have become known for hardware development, while the Philippines has become known for talking English.

  • bit

    (Woops… I had another thought that I forgot to append to the previous comment.)

    And now Project David comes along with this fantastic new idea that could potentially have woken up the geek underground in our country… but what do we get? An almost guaranteed project for vaporware. I’ll agree with the general sentiment that what SpecOpS sees as a lack of talent, is simply a lack of interest.

  • I agree, it’s not lack of talent but lack of interest. With less opportunities, apathy has gotten to most of our talented citizens.

    @Anonymous on writing opensource, a lot of Filipinos are now adhering to FOSS philosophy especially here in Mindanao.

    Our country may be having its most talented and educated people leaving the country, but I’d like to believe that there is still a sense of – National Pride? – in all of them that we can reckon they’ll be there when the time comes.

    Lack of interest, opportunity, and transparency is the issue – a lack of trust.

  • I personally know a member of the management team at SpecOps. A few months back he did mention they are having difficulty finding developers for Project David. In contrast to what Mr. Lewis said, he believes there are plenty of talented developers here, but it is just difficult to find them.

    You may argue is not difficult to find talent – just ask the people in the open source and tech community. But is not that simple.

    A typical problem in most companies is that the recruiting (HR) team and the company, in general, do not know how to attract the right people.

    How many times have you been in an interview where the HR asks you “Are you a leader or a follower? What are your strengths or weaknesses?” Or “Select which best describes you. Choose only one.” These questions and steps are irritating and insults the intellect of any smart developer. Companies follow a checklist and if you get a tick in most of them, you move on to the next round.

    Another problem is information is filtered before it arrives the management’s desk. It is also late. HR does a bad job. HR reports to Management they can’t find the right candidate. Management concludes there is no talent here.

    To Mr. Lewis, have you asked yourself whether your recruiting team is doing its job? Do you really want to recruit talented developers or you are just hoping they will come? Are you willing to spend money to recruit and retain talented developers? Are you willing to provide a culture where smart people rule and rewarded?

  • Hinde nila hinahabol ang lan shop raids, nauubusan na sila ng funds at trust from capitalist kse mamatay at mamatay ang idea na puro marketing lng. ni hindi gumagamit ang officers nila ng linux. mga crap na feeling involved na nakikisakay sa hype n a ang main objective e kumita ng pera. Mga walang real experience in research, numerical analysis, mga bagsak sa higher math not to mention econometrics. I puke on them. Nanggagamit ng mga students na nerd na nasa mga lab! Warning on students, do not waste your briliance with these guys na sumisira sa nasyon na to. Dito sa Pinas nakawan ng idea, if Brian Cohen was here ang bittorrent e lisensyado na.

  • No comments. Well done.
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  • Jason

    Yeah, back from the old comment. Why would i run a window app on my Linux Box?????? Isnt that we went to linux because of windows limitations. Why would we bring the old stuff unto the new stuff. Doesnt make sense alot… And speaking of developers we are way much better than indians and vietnamese guys….

  • Jason: There are some folks who like certain Windows-based apps so even if they are already running GNU/Linux on their machines, they’d like to make sure it works. Well, and if you’re a developer who’d like to make sure your projects look ok on IE, how could you test if you don’t have a Windows box at hand? You’d need IE, right?

    Oh well, then again there are ways, there are ways 🙂

  • i ddnt read the whole article and the whole comments, just ran a quick glance trying to catch a very important note but anyway, my take on this is, the people behind project david i think is very ambitious, if not in its colossal proportion, to make something like this.. i dont know if they are trying to be DAVID, but it was God who created Goliath and David so pretty much microsoft is God and windows is goliath, and david is well, their new product atly named as PC, which emulates windows on a linux machine.. but i guess they know that already..