Archive for June, 2007

Coming Software Crisis?

Monday, June 11th, 2007 Michael Barr

Next Tuesday (6/19) I’ll be participating in an online panel discussion entitled: “Solving the Embedded Code Crisis” with Jack Ganssle, Dan Saks, and National Instruments’ Joel Sumner.

Here’s the blurb advertising this:

There’s an ever-increasing need for more code, which is greatly hindered by the fact that the numbers of developers remains relatively flat. This phenomenon is nearing crisis level. What do we do about it? Potential solutions include everything from off-shoring to [productivity-enhancing] tools to developer discipline. This live Webinar will feature renowned experts in the embedded systems industry, as well as real-world case studies and solutions from leading organizations.

After the panel discussion–which is expected to last about 45 minutes–there will be a live question-and-answer period.

All of this will be hosted at If you might be able to attend online, I recommend that you register in advance.

I Are an Engineer

Friday, June 8th, 2007 Michael Barr

Here’s a mocked up fun t-shirt I wish I owned…


Japanese Brain Drain

Friday, June 8th, 2007 Michael Barr

I missed this when it was originally published in the New York Times, but apparently Japanese engineers are now exporting themselves to other parts of Asia with more favorable demand for their skills.

Here’s the original story:

MO/HO Market?

Friday, June 8th, 2007 Michael Barr

I was fascinated to receive the following message from a former colleague in e-mail yesterday:

Do you have any requirements for a Linux C++, Windows .NET, or embedded programmer who can work remotely? I have high speed (1.5 mbps) internet, a wireless router, and 3 laptops in my motorhome. I only need about $25/hr to support my new lifestyle.

Of course, it has become the norm that computer programmers and many other types of professionals can work from their countries of origin or even home offices. Some observers have gone so far as to call this the world is flat effect of the Internet.

But $25/hr for an experienced programmer living as a connected nomad somewhere in America? Could this be the end game for all of us in the computer services business?