Author : Nick Krym

More Thoughts on ESL

A while ago when still a student I stumbled upon a great supplemental income opportunity: a friend of mine, an editor in a science journal, was looking for part time interpreters. The task was quite simple: writing summaries of technical articles. To me my French even though practically non-existent seemed strong enough to do that maybe, just maybe, with some support of a dictionary. I stopped at my friend’s office and he handed off to me a half a dozen articles on various medical topics. I was quite flabbergasted and asked – why medical? I am a technical guy. Math, engineering, maybe software, but why […]

Offshore Impact: Personnel Issues

So you are moving forward with offshore initiative, maybe a new or expanding an existing one. What is going through the minds of your team members? What kind of questions are coming up? What is not letting them sleep at night? That’s not difficult to imagine: Is my job at risk? Is my salary at risk? Is my career at risk? Is my quality of life at risk? Is my project / department / team at risk? Let’s start with a reality check: chances are there will be three groups of people easily categorized by the answers to these questions – Yes, No and Mixed […]

The Darkest Side of Outsourcing

While writing a post on a topic of personnel impact of the offshore outsourcing I had to go through a rather unpleasant exercise – I had to terminate one of my employees. Termination is never fun, it is particular painful on a backdrop of economy downturn. Through my career I had to let go a great number of people, mainly due to the industry’s downturns / massive layoffs. Layoffs are painful yet the sheer size of the event makes it easier on everyone. Things tend to go much more close and personal when you have to let go someone on a performance basis. Reaction of […]

Using Agile with Offshore

One topic that often comes up with relationship to outsourcing software development projects is the use of agile methodologies. Having run a number of projects using agile methodologies with offshore (nearshore) partners I found that some of the classic principles do not work as well, for example XP’s “pair programming” and “moving people around” need to be taken with a grain of salt / adjusted with consideration of the lack of collocation. Of course when it comes to agile development you need to start with agile evangelists’ take on the subject. Martin Fowler in what is now a classic article Using an Agile Software Process […]

Once Bitten, Twice Prepared

A couple weeks ago I found myself in a typical Silicon Valley party with at least 50% of attendees from local technology start ups. Someone offered “offshore nightmares” as a discussion topic, that turned out to be a great icebreaker as everyone of us had a few of those laughs & tears stories to tell. More tears than laughs I have to say. Among the stories there were a few common threads; one of them was very close to my heart and painful experience – a practice of misrepresenting developers’ competence popular among some offshore providers. Joel: we selected a vendor based on results of […]