Monday, February 1, 2016

Time for me to stop commenting about politics and other sensitive topics

I've been cautioned and advised by several good friends that I should take a chill pill on commenting about various political things. Some of the topics I've been quite vocal about are high profile things involving high power people .. and I might be beginning to get noticed by them, which of course is not a good thing!

I get frustrated by political actions that I find to be stupid and I don't hesitate to tell it straight the way I think about it. Obviously every such statement bothers someone else. Its one thing when its irrelevant noise, but if it gets noisy then I'm a troublemaker.

I'm not keen to get to that state.

Its not because I have anything to hide or protect - not in the least. Further I'm not scared off by the PM telling private sector people like me to "go home" or "be exposed" but publicly naming private individuals in parliament is rather over the top IMO. Last thing I want is to get there.

I have an immediate family and an extended family of 500+ in WSO2 that I'm responsible for. I'm taping up my big mouth for their sake.

Instead I will try to blog constructively & informatively whenever time permits.

Similarly I will try to keep my big mouth controlled about US politics too. Its really not my problem to worry about issues there!

I should really kill off my FB account. However I do enjoy getting info about friends and family life events and FB is great for that. So instead I'll stop following everyone except for close friends and family.

Its been fun and I like intense intellectual debate. However, maybe another day - just not now.

(P.S.: No, no one threatened me or forced me to do this. I just don't want to come close to that possibility!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Understanding the (Sri Lankan) IT Industry

In the last 3+ weeks there's been war raging in the IT Crowd in Sri Lanka about the proposed CEPA/ETCA thing: Basically the part of a free trade agreement with India which might allow Indians in the IT and ship building industries to work freely in Sri Lanka. I know nothing about building ships so I don't have any opinion about whether the proposal addresses a real problem or not. I do know a thing or two about "IT" and am most certainly opinionated about it :-).

I also know little real info about CEPA/ETCA because the government has chosen to keep the draft agreement secret. Never a good thing.

There have been various statements made by various pundits, politicians, random Joes (Jagath's I guess in Sinhalese ;-)) and all sorts of people about how the Sri Lankan IT crowd is
  • Scared to their wits that their jobs will be taken by Indians
  • Looking for the state to give them protection from global competition
  • Unable to compete with the world's IT industry without help from Indians
  • Unpatriotic because a lot of them leave the country after getting quality free education
  • Living in a bubble because some of them get paid Rs. 150k/month straight out of university
  • Etc. etc..
I will address a lot of these in subsequent blogs (hopefully .. every time I plan to blog a lot that plan gets bogged on).

The purpose of this blog is to try to educate the wider community about the mythical thing called the (Sri Lankan) "IT industry". For each area I will also briefly touch upon the possible Indian relationship. Of course this is all my opinion and others in the industry (especially in the specific areas that I touch upon) may vehemently disagree with my opinion. Caveat emptor. YMMV.

So here goes an attempt at a simple taxonomy:
  • Hardware Resellers/Vendors
  • Hardware Manufacturers
  • Software Resellers/Vendors
  • Software Manufacturers
  • System Integrators - Local Market Focused
  • System Integrators - Outsourcers
  • Enterprise Internal IT Teams
  • IT Enabled Services (ITES) and Business Process Outsourcers (BPO)
  • Universities
  • IT Training Institutes
This became way more of a treatise than I intended. I'm sure its full of things that people will disagree with. I'll try to update it based on feedback and note changes here.

Hardware Resellers/Vendors

IBM Sri Lanka has been in Sri Lanka for more than 40 years I think. I imagine they came when Central Bank or some big organization bought an IBM mainframe. I remember seeing Data General, WANG, and a host of other now-dead names growing up (70s and 80s). 

These guys basically import equipment from wherever, sell it to local customers and provide on-going support and maintenance. 

Some of these players don't sell entire computers or systems but rather parts - visit Unity Plaza to see a plethora of them.

Not too many Indian hardware brands being sold in Sri Lanka AFAIK but probably MicroMax (the phone) is an exception. So having the Indian IT Crowd here really has no impact on this segment.

Hardware Manufacturers

These are people who make some kind of "IT thing" and sell it locally or export it. When it comes to technology no one makes all of anything any more - even an iPhone consists of parts from several countries and is finally assembled in China. Same with any computer you buy or any phone you buy.

There are a few people here who "make" (aka put together / assemble) computers and sell under their own brand. There are also a few who export them (I believe).

There are also some others who make specific hardware devices that target specific solutions - best is the company that makes various PoS type systems that get sold as Motorola.

Fundamentally not many hardware manufacturers in Sri Lanka yet AFAIK. In any case, they're not likely to be affected by Indians being in Sri Lanka as this is a very specialized market and its unlikely the specialized skill will migrate to Sri Lanka given that skill base has excellent opportunities anywhere. If at all, electronics related graduates in Sri Lanka do not have enough good career opportunities yet as we don't have many companies buildings things yet.

Software Resellers/Vendors

Takes Microsoft Sri Lanka or the 100s of other agents of global software brands that sell their wares in Sri Lanka. These guys get a cut out of the sale in some fashion. 

Yes of course some of them sell (very good) Indian software. For example, a bunch of banks use InfoSys' Finnacle (sp?) core banking system.

Software, used well, can increase any organization's productivity (after all, software is eating the world and all that). If there are Indian companies which have technology that can be used to improve LK orgs productivity - by all means do come and sell it here! That may even require Indian engineers to come and install / customize them - no problem at all.

So, this segment will simply welcome more Indian presence in terms of companies. In terms of the Indian IT Crowd coming here for this segment - I guess experienced sales people are solutions engineers to help sell and deploy the Indian products are always welcome. To be successful the company will need to send good people (good luck selling software if the sales engineer sucks) - and good people are welcome anywhere.

I should mention the global SaaS software products (e.g. Salesforce, Netsuite, Google Apps, Office 365 etc.). Most of those don't have regional sales teams etc. - you just go to the website and sign up and use it. However, they will often have local system integrators who know how to help deploy, tune, customize and integrate those systems to whatever enterprise systems are already in place.

Software Manufacturers

These guys make some kind of software product and sell it to whoever will buy it. More and more are selling them online as SaaS offerings only.

Competing in the software product market means you just need to build a better product or at least have a good enough product that's cheap. To create great products you need great people who think and innovate faster and better than anyone else out in the world. More and more pretty much every product competes globally as even the smallest customer can simply use globally available SaaS offerings (some made in Sri Lanka even). 

Every idea someone has for a product in Sri Lanka is guaranteed also conceived by at least multiple Indians. And multiple Americans. And multiple Europeans. Etc. etc..

"Ideas are cheap. Execution is not." - Mano Sekaram at a talk he gave at the WSO2 Hackathon a few years ago.

To make products and get them to market is not easy. Will having some Indian employees help? SURE - if they're awesome people. The 2m people who applied for a clerical job really wouldn't help. Will marketing experience help? Of course - but again high quality product marketing experience is hard to come by in Sri Lanka, in India and even in California (speaking from personal experience). 

Despite idiotic politician statements about how advanced the Indian IT industry is, they are much more a global outsourcer and BPO operator than a product development country. That's changing rapidly but the numbers in the product side of the equation are much lower than the other side. In fact, I'd venture to say that as a %ge there are more product companies in Sri Lanka's IT ecosystem than in India's. In any case, the word "advanced" is very hard to quantify in the software world.

So sure, let anyone come - but good luck getting too many jobs in product companies that have no patience or interest with mediocre people. You need a few superb people to build a great product and fewer great people to market and sell it. If you're a super engineer or a marketer in India, there are tons of opportunities for you in India already, so the only way you'll come is if we offer a better total package: Check out WorkInSriLanka. I hope you come and stay and never leave! 

For WSO2, we're a BoI company. If we find a high quality person from ANYWHERE who wants to work in Sri Lanka we can bring them over. Piece of cake really - visa wise. We will NOT pay higher salaries for foreign people though - something that I know many do and something I soooooo detest. Sri Lanka seems to love reverse discrimination.

System Integrators - Local Market Focused

These companies take software and hardware from whoever and produce solutions for customers. These are systems that solve a particular business problem for some organization. For example, the vehicle registration system at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The work these guys do involve working with the customer to understand the problem domain, figure out a good solution architecture, figure out which technology to apply and then to build the full solution. All very important stuff!

Who works in these places? Typically a combination of business analysts, architects, engineers of all kinds (software, QA, UI etc. etc.), project managers and so on.

Sri Lankan enterprises are quite slow to adopt software technology. This (IMO) is primarily because labor costs are low, because customer expectations are still not hard meaning competition is not that intense as it is in say US. That will change and we will need a LOT more people to integrate and build solutions for local companies. Can we meet the demand with local skill - my guess is yes. If we need a few more, the integrator companies can easily import people too.

There is one segment of this market that is special however. Small enterprises are also picking up low end solutions. These are often implemented by the owners daughter/son or niece/nephew type person. Basically some trusted computer geeky relative who "automates" the place in some form. That used to be with an Access database + VB type thing .. not sure what is in play today in that space.

That market is critical to help develop the local IT Crowd as it gives business (aka employment) to many many relatively low skilled yet value-adding people. The people working in these places don't need 4 year CS degrees. They're simply people with a bit of knowledge (acquired from a tutory type place) and a good knack for computing. Its critical to support and protect this community because they deliver technology to the wider mom&pop / small kade business community. 

I think a bunch of lower cost people from India working in Sri Lanka in this market could be a negative thing as it could threaten employment for low end IT workers. However, many of these deals are struck based on trust and relationships so it'll be really hard for anyone to break in.

System Integrators - Outsourcers

These guys take work from a foreign country (typically a more wealthy country but could be one that simply has a dearth of technical capacity) and bring it here to do the work. Virtusa is of course the largest (~3000 or so people AFAIK) but there are TONS of smaller players employing a few 10s of people and a few dozen or so in the 100s range I think.

The smaller ones always start with a single contract the owner managed to get from his/her work in the foreign country or thru a friend/relative outside. Do one task well at 1/5th to 1/3rd the price in the US and you can clearly keep get more business. Capitalism at work.

The bigger of these companies are great places to work for the best of the best. They may give opportunities to learn a ton of stuff, travel, develop soft skills etc. etc..  Lots of passionate employees who will not move easily.

The middle sized ones (> 25, < too many 100s) are usually great companies. They pay people well, they provide a quality work environment, they have passionate employees and often specialize in one or few areas (e.g. Alfresco or Mobile apps or whatever) and therefore command a higher charge out rate. 

The small companies (<= 25) tend to be more sweat-shop like from what I've seen - pay the people as little as possible and use crazy micro project management to deliver. No passionate employees typically. Its just a job that gives a paycheck for people who are relatively low skilled (and low initiative powered too).

Virtusa has offices in India too with like 7000 people I think. If they want to hire Indians they can hire them there. If they want to bring people down here they can do it and undoubtedly do it already. (You need to go thru the Board of Investment but its trivially easy. FAR FAR FAR easier than hiring a foreigner in the US .. or I imagine India.)

Does this part of the IT Crowd get affected by possible mass migration of the Indian IT Crowd to Sri Lanka? Not for the Virtusa's of the world IMO. However, for the smaller players, the small company CEOs who are milking money off the small outsourcing contracts, yes getting cheaper invisible people will be better for them. That could indeed mean a reduction in employment opportunities for the lower end of the technical community who work in these places as there indeed will be Indians willing to work for less (see Two million apply for 300 clerical jobs and 80% of Indian Engineering Graduates are Unemployable as recent examples).

It would be great to have multiple Virtusa's in Sri Lanka. In 2009, Mphasis (apparently India's 7th largest service provider then) tarted operations in Sri Lanka with intent to hire 2000 but AFAIK have packed up and gone or are nowhere as big. I'm sure someone who knows will reply and I'll add a note.

Would Infosys or TCS or whatever open up here if they have to bring people from India to Sri Lanka? I can't see why .. then why not just execute that in India itself. What am I missing in that equation?

So I cannot see the larger players affected by this. The smaller players (and by that I mean the really small ones .. < 25 people) will probably benefit by getting cheaper workers. Will we see tons of iOS developers in LK with this? No, because they're a scarce commodity anywhere. Period. For the middle sized guys (> 25, < too many 100s) certainly getting more senior, experienced people from India will be a good thing. However, I see that as no different from attracting any national to come to Sri Lanka to work. I ABSOLUTELY want that - that's why I helped form WorkInSriLanka and am still part of it. 

High end people (of ANY origin) moving to Sri Lanka is critical for our future .. we need to become a net brain importer and not an exporter. However, they will come only if (a) you pay them properly and (b) if the quality of life is really good. These are things that WorkInSriLanka is addressing / informing about.

Enterprise Internal IT Teams

This literally the IT Crowd in the companies. (Haven't seen the awesomely funny British comedy? Check it out.) 

Well actually often they do much much more than that crowd. The IT Crowd guys are only IT operations - they keep computers running, keep networks running etc.. That's absolutely critical. But now more and more companies are using information as a key business strategy. What that means is that internal IT is becoming more and more important. Companies cannot afford to buy prepackaged solutions nor simply outsource to others - they need to innovate inside the company to create real business value for themselves in a way that differentiates them from their competitors.

Not easy stuff.

You need really good people. Not 100s, but a good number of really really good people and a bigger number of good people. You also need a visionary to be the CIO/CTO to drive that effort. Not at all easy.

Sri Lanka is still in transition to that. Some big companies are doing it really well, but there's a massive dearth of really innovative CIOs in Sri Lanka yet. We're developing them as they move up the ranks but IT was kept away from the business and that needs to change for this to work. 

Is it a possibility to import talent for this from India? Of course! However, they are not cheap as those people have 1000x more work in India than here! What will happen to less skilled people who might come to this space? Good luck getting a job.

For smaller companies, they don't have enterprise IT. Then they have the IT guy - the jack-of-all-trades who knows how to help with Powerpoint to debugging why he can't get to FB to cleaning up after he stupidly clicked on yet another get-rich-quick email. Those guys don't have (and don't need) CS degrees or IT/IS degrees. They need some training and lot of experience. They also get paid very little (think 25-50k/month). 

Those guys could get crunched if we allow hundreds of such people to come from India. That would be just stupid.

IT Enabled Services (ITES) and Business Process Outsourcers (BPO)

This is where the numbers are. Order a pizza in Texas? An Indian will answer. Call Delta airlines with an issue? An Philippino will answer. Call HSBC about an issue. A Sri Lankan will answer.

These started off as call centers but more and more they take an entire process (e.g. claim processing for medical claims) and run the entire process in a lower cost location. All you need is a good network connection and a lot of (young) people who will work for a little amount and work odd hours and be happy with it. Sri Lanka also claims to be the largest producer of UK qualified accountants after UK .. and so does a lot of financial process outsourcing too.

There's also high end parts of this market - research outsourcing, analytics outsourcing etc.. Great. Do more. 

Sri Lanka produces 300-400 THOUSAND 18 years each year. Only like 25,000 get to a university of some kind (who are the ones who have a chance at a higher value job). The rest need work. 

This low end kind of ITES/BPO work is great .. it gets them a salary and if the country keeps devaluing the LKR they even get salary raises every year! Keeping people employed prevents them from wanting to join revolutions.

Some BPOs claim that they couldn't scale enough in LK because they can't find the large number of passionate, English capable young people. Probably true. 

MAYBE its possible to import them from India, but presumably only those that couldn't get jobs in the myriad of Indian BPOs. However, how that helps provide employment to the droves of young people who need work in Sri Lanka I do not know.


These guys of course produce the IT guys. We have state universities, private universities that grant their own degrees and a plethora of private ones that provide a learning environment to get a foreign university degree.

As with anything the quality varies. The top govt engineering / science universities and the top private ones produce AWESOME graduates who are absolutely as good as the best in any country (India, US included). WSO2 is lucky that a bunch of these guys join us :-). 

But my focus here is on the teachers. We need more PhDs to teach in our universities - ask Jaffna Univ CS dept for example. Will Indian PhDs (good ones) come and teach there? Great if they want to! Salary is pretty poor but its what it is. Even private universities will happily hire teachers. 

We also need top research focused scientists to come here so we can improve our research capacity. I don't think opening employment to Indians will make a single IIT professor to come :(. Even right now, they can come (visa is easy) - so please, if you want to come and teach in Sri Lanka reach out thru WorkInSriLanka and we'll help you! And don't ever leave.

India has absolutely fantastic universities. If they want to come and set up shop in LK and offer education to our people - great! India also has a LOT of crappy universities (see the article about unemployable graduates) - we certainly don't need them here.

IT Training Institutes

These are the literally hundreds (and maybe even thousands) of places that offer this course or that course on this or that. 90% of them in my opinion is crap. There's too little quality control. People are getting swindled daily by these jackassses who teach their children next to nothing and yet charge a ton of money. Even some local governments are in on it - I know in Dehiwala (my area) they run a program where literally 100s of people come for IT education. Each pays like Rs. 3000/month. Poor parents can't say no so they do it somehow.

Do we need more of these? Yes, IF THEY ARE GOOD. We need to get our house in order, put regulations in to quality control these places and then of course its great if more teachers come and teach more. 

India has absolutely fantastic training institutes. Would be great to get them to open shop here.

India also UNDOUBTEDLY has at least 10x crappy places than we do. Most certainly we don't need them here - we already have enough people robbing money from poor parents who desperately want to educate their children in "IT".

(p.s.: has the world's WORST editor. I'm bailing to soon.)

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

WSO2 at 10

Today August 4th 2015 is WSO2's unofficial official birthday - we complete 10 years of existence.

I guess its been a while.

Its unofficial because not a whole lot happened on the 4th of August 2005 itself. Starting a global set up like WSO2 had many steps - registering a company in Sri Lanka (in early July 2005 IIRC), registering a company in the US, getting money to the US company, "selling" the LK company to the US company etc. etc.. We officially "launched" the company at OSCON 2005 in Portland, Oregon the first week of August.

However, I gave a talk there on the 4th on Open Source and Developing Countries. The talk abstract refers to the opportunity that open source gives to "fundamentally change the dynamics of the global software industry".

That's what we've been up to for 10 years - taking on the enterprise middleware part of the software industry with open source and Sri Lanka as the major competitive weapons. We can't claim victory yet but we're making progress. Getting into nearly 20 Gartner Magic Quadrants and Forrester Waves as a Visionary is not a bad track record from zero.

This is of course only possible because of the people we have and the way we do things (our culture) that allows people to do what they do best and do it well. To me, as the person at the helm, its been an incredible ride to work with such awesome people and to have such an awesome work environment that births and nurtures cool stuff just as effectively as how well it chews and spits out stupid stuff and BS.

We're now somewhat sizable ... just about crossing 500 full time employees globally on August 1 this year. I am still (and will be for the next 10 years) the last interview for every employee .. no matter what level and no matter what country they're in (yeah that means Skype sometimes). I don't check for ability to do the job - its all about what the person's about, what they want to achieve in their life and how well I think will fit into our culture and approach and value system. I have veto'ed many hires if my gut feeling is that the person is not the right fit for us.

Here's a graph of how the team has grown:

(The X axis is the number of months since August 1, 2005.)

A key to our ability to continue to challenge the world by taking on audacious tasks is the "so what if we fail" mindset that's integral to our culture. Another part is being young and stupid in terms of not knowing how hard some things apparently are. When I started WSO2 I was 38 .. not that young but definitely stupid in my understanding of how hard it is/was to take on the world of IBM/Oracle owned enterprise middleware market and ultimately stupid about the technical complexities of the problems we needed to solve. BUT what has worked for us so far is the "so what if we fail part" being used by young people who are regularly put in the deep end to get stuff done. I am still utterly stupid about how hard certain things are supposed to be - and I love that. Most of us in WSO2 are very stupid that way - but we're not afraid to try nor are we afraid to fail. Shit happens, life goes on (oh yeah and then we all die anyway at some point .. so why not give it a shot). I have little or no respect to the "way things are done" or the "way things work" - we've challenged and re-envisioned almost every part of our business from the way a normal software company works and I'm very proud of my team for having done that over and over and over again. And I'm of course grateful that they still talk to me for all the grief I give them daily on various little to big aspects of every side of the company - from colors to cleanliness to marketing to architecture to pricing to paying taxes.

The amazing thing is after 10 years we've managed to become slightly younger as a company over time! How is that possible? This is the average age of employees of WSO2 over time (same X axis as above):

We apparently had some old farts (like me) hired at the beginning and then again a few more around 3 years in .. but since then the average age has hovered between 30 and 32! Not bad for a 10 year old company where very few people leave ...

To me the actual physical age is not the issue - after all I'm now 48 years old but I don't hesitate to think and act like a 25 year old either mentally or physically (come and play basketball with me and lets see who hurts more at the end). Its all about how you think and act and accept "experience". I view experience and assumption as things to question and assume as false until proven true in our context. That frustrates a lot of senior people but that is exactly what has allowed WSO2 to keep growing and keep challenging the world of middleware and getting to its front. I view any assumption (e.g. "this is the way others do it") as a likely point of failure until proven otherwise. My challenge is to keep WSO2 "young" - in thinking and in age as much as possible (without age discrimination of course). I love this Jeff Bezos quote:
If your customer base is aging with you, then eventually you are going to become obsolete or irrelevant. You need to be constantly figuring out who are your new customers and what are you doing to stay forever young.
Technology will never stop - it maybe SOA, ESB, REST, CEP, Mashups. Cloud, APIs, IoT, Microservices, Docker,  Clojure, NodeJS, whatever ... and more will come. We need to keep on top of every new thing that comes along, be the ones to create a bunch of these and still deliver real stuff that works.

If we as a team continue to challenge every assumption, continue to treat each other with respect but not fear, continue to fight for doing the right long term thing instead of hype-chasing then we will never lose.

WSO2 is nowhere near the goal I set out to do for us - take over the world (of middleware!). But 10 years later, we're now on a solid foundation to build WSO2 into a much stronger position in the next 10 years. Thank you for all the wonderful people who are still in WSO2 and to those that have moved on but did their part, for helping us get there. Its been my honor and privilege to lead this incredible bunch of crazies.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

North Korea, The Interview and Movie Ethics

Its been quite a while since I blogged .. I'm going to try to write a bit more consistently from now (try being the key!). I thought I'll start with a light topic!

So I watched the now infamous The Interview two nights ago. I'm no movie critic, but I thought it was a cheap, crass stupid movie with no depth whatsoever. More of a dumbass slapstick movie than anything else.

Again, I'm no movie critic so I don't recommend you listen to me; watch it and make up your own mind :-). I have made up mine!

HOWEVER, I do think the Internet literati's reaction to this movie is grossly wrong, unfair and arrogant.

Has there ever been any other Hollywood movie where the SITTING president of a country is made to look like a jackass and assassinated in the most stupid way? I can't think of any movies like that. In fact, I don't think Bollywood or any other movie system has produced such a movie.

When Hollywood movies have US presidents in them they're always made out to be the hero (e.g. White House Down) and they pretty much never die. If they do die, then they die a hero (e.g. 2012) in true patriotic form.

I don't recall seeing a single movie where David Cameron or Angela Merkel or Narendra Modi or any other sitting president was made to look like a fool and gets killed as the main point of the movie (or in any other fashion).

I believe the US Secret Service takes ANY threats against the US president very seriously. According to Wikipedia, a threat against the US president is a class D felony (presumably a bad thing). I've heard of students who send anonymous (joking) email threats get tracked down and get a nice visit.

So, suppose Sony Pictures decided to make a movie which shows President Obama being a jackass and then being killed? How far would that go before the US Secret Service shuts it down?

In my view the fact that this movie was conceived, funded and made just goes to show how little respect the US system has for people that are not lined up in the US way. Its fine for the US government, and even the US people, to have no respect for some country, its president or whatever, but I have to agree with North Korea when they say that this movie is a violation of the UN charter:

With no rhetoric can the U.S. justify the screening and distribution of the movie. This is because "The Interview" is an illegal, dishonest and reactionary movie quite contrary to the UN Charter, which regards respect for sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs and protection of human rights as a legal keynote, and international laws.

    Would all the Internet literati who hailed the release of the movie act the same way if Bollywood produced a movie mocking Obama and killing him off? If not, why the double standard??

    Its disappointing that thinking people also get caught up in the rhetoric and ignore basic decency. Just to be clear- I'm not saying North Korea is a great place. I have no idea what things are really like there. What I do know is that I don't trust the managed news rhetoric that is delivered as fact by CNN, Fox, BBC, Al Jazeera or anyone any more about any topic. This is after observing how Sri Lanka was represented in various of these channels during the war and after being here to observe some side of it myself. After Iraq (where are those WMDs now?) you'd think that smart people wouldn't just believe any old crap that's put out .. I distinctly remember watching the news conference (broadcast on BBC) immediately after Colin Powell made his speech with pictures to the UN Security Council where the then Iraqi Foreign Minister (can't remember his name - fun looking dude) went thru each picture and gave an entirely different explanation. We now know who was telling the truth. I try hard not to get caught up in any of the rhetoric as a result now.

    There's an entirely different topic of whether the North Koreans attacked Sony Pictures' network and whether the US government hackers shut down their Internet. It seems that the general trend (as of today) is that it wasn't the North Koreans, despite what the FBI said:

    So I'm with the North Koreans on this one: This movie should not have been conceived, funded and produced. I don't condone the hackers' approach for trying to stop it; instead Sony Pictures should've had more ethics and not done it at all. So, IMO: Shame on you Sony Pictures Entertainment!

    Saturday, June 7, 2014

    WSO2Con Barcelona 2014 in just one more week!

    Time flies when you're having fun .. the conference is now just a week away and the advance team is flying in today. If you've ever been to one of our conferences you know what an awesome event it is - Barcelona is going to notch it up again with a really cool Internet of Things platform for attendees (built with our own products of course - plus soldering irons and acid baths).

    Hope to see you there!

    Learn more about industry trends, being a Connected Business, the WSO2 story, and much more through our esteemed panel of keynote speakers at WSO2Con EU 2014.
    AlanAlan Clark
    Director of Industry Initiatives, Emerging Standards and Open Source
    Chairman of the Board
    Serves as the chairman of the board at OpenStack. Alan has developed a reputation in fostering the creation, growth, awareness, and adoption of open source and open standards across the technology sector. He will explore the evolution of open source cloud platforms in enabling the Connected Business.
    JamesJames Governor
    Principal Analyst and Co-Founder
    Leads coverage in the enterprise applications space, assisting with application development, integration middleware, and systems management issues. He also has served as an industry expert for television and radio segments with media such as the BBC. James will examine how open source middleware contributes to the Connected Business.
    LucaLuca Martini
    Distinguished Engineer
    Leads the Cisco virtualization strategy in two major areas: mobility and home broadband access. He has been involved in the Internet engineering task force (IETF) for the past 15 years, contributing to many IETF standards. Luca will discuss the role of intelligent orchestration and how it is more than simply a Web services engine.
    PaulPaul Fremantle
    Co-Founder & CTO
    Paul co-founded WSO2 in 2005 in order to reinvent the way enterprise middleware is developed, sold, delivered, and supported through an open source model. In his current role as CTO, he spearheads WSO2's overall product strategy.
    SanjivaSanjiva Weerawarana Ph. D
    Founder, Chairman & CEO
    Sanjiva has been involved with open source for many years and is an active member of the Apache Software Foundation. He was the original creator of Apache SOAP and has been part of Apache Axis, Apache Axis2 and most Apache Web services projects. He founded WSO2 after having spent nearly 8 years in IBM Research, where he was one of the founders of the Web services platform. During that time, he co-authored many Web services specifications including WSDL, BPEL4WS, WS-Addressing, WS-RF and WS-Eventing.
    Learn how WSO2 can help you build a Connected Business
     Contact Us

    Wednesday, December 18, 2013

    Wednesday, August 21, 2013

    WSO2 moving to a new building in Sri Lanka

    After many many months of painful work, we are finally starting work at our new location in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Here's a picture taken from my cell phone yesterday afternoon:

    The most awesome thing is that we will all be in one building again in Sri Lanka! That's after more than 3 years when we started adding new offices .. we had three here until yesterday; today we have one!

    We still have quite a bit of work to do to finish everything .. including a nice surprise coming in the front at the street level :-). The cage you see on the roof is our enclosed rooftop basketball court! The rest of the roof is taken up by the gym and the creche - will take another month to be fully ready. I'm waiting for the punching bag.

    Today's not our official opening day - that's next Wednesday with Paul Fremantle also present. We are moving in today however and will have a small ceremony (lighting the lamp and kiribath table).

    Its taken just over 8 years of incredible hard work by a super team of passionate people to get us here. Thank you to everyone who made it possible - including our customers, investors and of course the killer (past and present) team! 

    This is only a small step along the way however ..