What does it take to nearshore SW development to Greece?

22 08 2012

I asked this question to the Greek IT network on LinkedIn

I was wondering what is stopping Greek SW developers from getting organised and offering nearshoring services to European companies.I am looking for people for our Indian office and the salaries are comparable to what I expect to find in Greece and certainly higher than Romania, Bulgaria or Serbia.From my experience, I would say Geek developers don’t get the chance to work on full scale projects through the whole lifecycle. So I suspect there is a lag in professionalism, at least for the freelancers.I had the opportunity to work on my own project end-to-end from development to sales and I’d say if you’ve never gone from product to client it’s difficult to grasp the whole thing.

I then asked the respondents to fill up a survey that would show us what are those factors that are limiting the nearshore activity in Greece and here are the results from the 30some responses (until 16/08/2012):


And the big one:

Three factors have similar percentage (~50%) and these are lack of confidence, short term strategies and stability in the country.



Apple: brilliant marketing, unacceptable tech retention, unbelievable market distortion

13 08 2011

Among the many sources that refer to the alleged extortion of Apple towards publishers in order to get Amazon and other e-booksellers of the e-shelf. It takes a couple of unorthodox measures to be the No. 1 company in market capitalisation….

Crisis management and letting dead assets go

30 03 2011

What do the accidents of Fukushima and Gulf of Mexico teach us? That crisis management, at least as exercised to large accidents, has its flaws. What is common between the handling of the two situations, is that, at least to me, the ones in charge did not consider the consequences of their actions to save the asset. Because they were both focused on saving the asset. At some point the asset is dead. You have to let it go and your actions should concentrate on damage control.

Instead, people are trying to save the asset, going past that point where there is no way back – at least none with reasonable cost, incurred in money, lives and well into the future. So why do they do it? I am not sure, I can only guess. I can depict those rooms where people are sitting down trying to put together the crisis management plan. I am pretty sure, the target is to save the asset by all means and no “what if” questions are asked. The plan is laid down and the “ideal” path is carved towards the target. Any possible deviations along the way are treated to return to the predetermined path. No uncertainty is considered. The probability of failure is not assessed from the beginning to allow for measures to be taken before departing on the trip with no return.

I am sure, if the robustness of the situation was properly assessed in the beginning, if the possible alternative paths were considered from day 1, if the overall cost of each solution was calculated, those responsible would seal the well in the Gulf of Mexico before killing all the wildlife, local economy and even BP. Similarly, those in Fukushima would put the factory in a sarcophagus and mitigate the effects on the environment and the Japanese economy. Some things are so obviously out of control that only reducing the damage makes sense.

I hate to say this: but what will the Fukushima people do (and Japan as a whole indeed) if another earthquake and tsunami strikes now?

Just let the dead assets die…

ensure_distance(“Value check”,fpvto->getValues()->at(0),0.9998829,1.e-4);


30 03 2011

Wade Allison and the BBC are attempting a take on the public concern with regard to nuclear energy. Apparently the best way is to ridicule fear and smear countries and individuals as nonsensical. It is propaganda against propaganda, so I see little reason to believe either. What Mr Wade did not say is that all his points are based on theories he is unable to prove. Because radiation and its consequences on health cannot be proven so far. We cannot control nuclear reactions properly and we cannot predict the effects on health.

Mr Wade’s analysis is based on empirical evidence. As is often the case, many other problems and links are overlooked. He only states the 43 fatalities directly related to the accident, as reported by the UN. He ignores other reports, critcising the UN that state numbers that reach up to almost a million. The bottom line is, who’s right or wrong? Surely not Mr Wade, that tries to tip the balance to one side. Being a scientist is quite different to being an evangelist, and it bears a hell of a lot of responsibility especially when it relates to peoples’ lives.

Rumor has it that the increase in thyroid cancers in Greece during recent years among the 40+ year olds are due to Chernobyl. Will Mr Wade compensate those people for their health problems and pay the treatments to their health insurances, should such a theory proved right? I doubt it.

Maybe the critics are not right too. Maybe people are over reacting. But that’s normal: we cannot control the thing. The bottom line is: who’s  right when it comes to critical questions regarding science and ethics? The scientists? The contra-scientists? No. The people, and the people alone. So, in the case of nuclear energy (and GM crops, and…) which part of “We Do Not Want It” don’t you get? So get back to your lab, make it stable and try again.

Mr Wade concludes “Some might ask whether I would accept it if it were buried 100 metres under my own house? My answer would be: “Yes, why not?”” This reminds me precisely the attitude of the communists in Greece during the Chernobyl accident: although radiation in the soil was high (we measured it with my father’s Geiger: bushes and grass had high concentration) they ignored the warnings and were eating strawberries – they were even feeding the kids.

Edit: I am not the last one to think this way, it seems…

That’s what you get for violating your own principles

23 02 2010

Today the boss of Toyota has admitted that the firm’s rapid expansion may have led to safety issues which saw the recall of 8.5 million vehicles worldwide. Well, that’s what you get for violating your own principles. Why on earth did you want to overtake GM in the first place?

An approach to the response Analysis of Shafts – Numerical Examples

18 02 2010

3Numerical examples

In the following examples, finite element simulations are used to demonstrate this concept. These simulations concern shaft loading with torsional moment and axial compression. This is a common loading condition for shafts, for example in rotating machinery used in power plants. For performing the simulations, the commercial finite element code Abaqus/Explicit 6 has been employed, using double precision arithmetic. Further, the POD processing is performed with custom software based on the LAPACK library 6. In all cases, POD analysis is performed over at least 300 snapshots (taking care to always observe the lower bound of the Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem) including all the degrees of freedom of all nodes in the models. The results presented hereafter include the extracted mode shapes and plots of variable field distributions, amplitude vs. time fluctuation for each mode and Singular value percentage for each mode. It is noted here that in all cases multi-field POD is performed. This means that the input snapshot vectors include three displacement variables for each node. The resulting POMs include fields that correspond to each of the input variables. The amplitude vs. time curves for each mode represents the variation with time of the mode participation in the time-space domain of the simulation. In vibration problems this is usually an oscillating curve and a Fourier analysis is performed on this time variation so as to calculate the excited frequencies for each mode 6. Finally, the singular values relative percentage presents an overall estimated participation factor for the mode. Considering the fact that in the results there are three fields to each POM, it is interesting to calculate the norm of each field so as to determine its participation to the POM. In the results presented, the sum of the squared field norms equals unity and the field norms are presented next to the singular value percentage so as to easily determine which field is dominating the POM.

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An approach to the response Analysis of Shafts – Discussion

16 02 2010

4 Discussion

The study of shaft behaviour under dynamic loading and rotation is of profound importance in predicting resonance, in system control and system monitoring. The purpose of the work presented in this paper is to introduce the method of Proper Orthogonal Decomposition (POD) as a tool that can be effectively used in characterising the dynamics involved in the above tasks and extracting useful information for the real-time behaviour of the structure. The method is used in the form of meta-processing of finite element simulation results. It has been shown that the POD method is used to reproduce modes and corresponding frequencies that are systematically correlated under variations of initial conditions in dynamical problems of free vibration. Even when combined loading is applied, the POD method correctly discriminates and classifies these modes and frequencies. It has also been shown that the frequencies are affected by dynamical effects and pre-strain, a behaviour that is expected but is often difficult to calculate.The Proper Orthogonal Decomposition presents a considerable advantage: it is indifferent to the system that generates the input to the method. Nevertheless, it succeeds in extracting dominant modes and classifying them from the time-space response of the structure. Throughout this text, POMs have not been considered to coincide necessarily with natural modes of vibration. Rather, POMs are appropriate combinations of modes and therefore feasible configurations of a body. POMs, being orthogonal, they form a basis of the space where the configurations of the body in the particular process lie. Moreover, they are classified in an eigenvalue sense. These two properties are very important. In combination, they identify dominant POD modes in the response. This information can be interpreted in two ways, especially  in cases where a unilateral behaviour is desired. The first interpretation is that a strong dominant mode depicts a process that is consistent and “robust” to that mode. The second interpretation is that singular value percentage dispersion over more than one mode signifies a process that includes strong interference with the dominant mode.

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