Scharfes S in English

I’m writing this to share a curiosity I’ve stumbled upon a minute ago, one that I wasn’t aware of before. It turns out scharfes s (ß, better known from German) was in use at least around 17th century! See how the Royal Society was addreßed 😉 in this piece.


Amazon failed

I’ve just received my order from Amazon and it’s in a very, very sorry state. Two books have been pretty much destroyed, one is badly damaged, the rest is not in an ideal state either. I started to fill a refund form in, but they require sending the items back in case of required replacement and, frankly, it doesn’t make much sense in this case. Let’s see how their customer support reacts to these photos first.

Needless to say, I’m very disappointed…


I think it would be unfair if I didn’t mention how this issue has been resolved – Amazon sent me replacements of the most damaged books in priority mail without making me return the damaged copies. A customer saved.

A glance at offshoring discussions

I’ve been reading through some discussions on LinkedIn, regarding offshoring practices as performed by companies located in the US and, oh boy, this topic does bring out some emotions. I don’t know how volatile these posts are, so instead of linking to them directly, I’ll just quote without mentioning any names. I hope they are easy enough to find given the titles.

Let’s start with this sneaky attempt at suggesting some general racial/national problems to analyze:

Should Gartner do research on the quality of code produced in India?

Would you find value if Gartner were to perform extensive research to provide insight into the question of whether Americans write better code than their Indian counterparts? Does code written in India have more OWASP Top Ten vulnerabilities than code written onshore? The perspectives of IT executives and how they make tradeoffs on quality for cost?

While most of the responses are balanced and in good faith, it’s not unusual to see a retaliatory “answer”:

I think Gartner should research quality of code produced in America, exclusively… and Indians should stop writing code on services projects for america.

Let’s take an another topic:

What european country do you suggest to outsourcing/offshoring software development?

While probably not intended to be so, I found these comments quite amusing:

Try outsourcing to the Midwest. (United states).
You’d be surprised at your cost savings over the life of the project.


How about outsourcing to USA.
Contact -[email removed for obvious reasons]

Way to go! Obviously, not everyone likes peaceful means of promotion/competition, and replies along these lines happen as well:

I’m sorry, with very few exceptions, any US company that outsources/offshores its software development should be boycotted.

The topic is “hot” right now. Different kinds of arguments related to the state of economy are being brought up and I believe what can be found in these posts is just a tip of the iceberg – the moods are probably much worse than that…

Random rant

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction. – Albert Einstein

My relatively short “professional career” has already taught me what “enterprisey” software means. I’ve known this word before, I’ve seen it used to describe systems that suffered from bloat and lacked relative simplicity. If software is hard, then creating “simple” software is even harder.

Why do people like complicated solutions? Why complex object models get introduced in simple applications that could be more intuitively expressed without them? Why monsters that internally convert one XML data format to another, and another exist..?

There’s so much to see and learn from!