Jacob Fine: “We will not hire Indian programmers just because they cost half”

    Introducing the fourth issue of the podcast on technology, processes, infrastructure, and people in IT companies. CTOcast's guest today is Jacob Fine, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay.

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    1st part of the text version of the podcast

    Text version of the podcast (Part 2)

    About team

    Pavel Pavlov: Does the development team share your point of view that a financial company is necessary for a serious leap in your career and that this is an important stage? How motivated are they? It’s clear that trainings and podcasts are actively attracting developers, but how do they feel after they get on the Farata Systems and SuranceBay projects?

    Jacob Fine:Honestly, I just look at the world and understand that no matter what songs I sing in my podcasts or articles, a specific person needs to feed his family. And if, say, a person sits in Belarus or Ukraine, I cannot tell him: “Serezha, what we do is very cool. Let me pay you 10 dollars per hour, and you will do it. It's cool! And you will communicate with me. ” This does not work. Today, there are certain rates. It seems to me in Russia, in Ukraine, people who work for Western countries are not very concerned about making a career with a client. We, in fact, being a client for our people, do not raise titles, do not call anyone senior or super senior. That is, I think that many people work with us primarily because they receive a salary that they probably would not have received elsewhere.

    But that's not all. There is still great flexibility in work and in the work schedule. Firstly, they can work from home, and secondly, we never stand with a stopwatch. If you want to work on your schedule - work, if you want to work in the morning, if you want - at night. Well, of course, if you need to be at the rally, then you must be at the rally. If you have a child and need to be taken out of school, then please take him out of school. A man writes to us that he worked, for example, eight hours a day, and that’s all. And this is the second circumstance that keeps people with us. Still, salaries are in the first place, and in the second is super-flexibility and complete trust. I do not remember the case that we told someone that you spent so much time on this matter, but in fact you had to spend half.

    Well, the very fact that people work in strong teams is useful to many. That is, they do not build a career in Farata and they will never become bosses in Farata, but they build their career. If one of them decides to leave us, which I would not like, then he will leave. And people, working for us, technically, it seems to me, have grown and communication skills have also become better. They do not spend years of their lives stupidly making money, when, say, he went to the North, earned money and returned. Years of life were gone, but he earned money. It’s not so with us and I think that’s why they work with us.

    Alexander Astapenko: And if developers still leave Farata and SuranceBay, then why?

    Jacob Fine:There was one unpleasant incident many years ago. The man who worked for just a month agreed with a client behind us, a small company in Australia, and apparently the client suggested to him: “What will you work for Farata, let me directly pay you better.”

    Except for this case, perhaps, of course, there have been all these years, but I don’t remember people leaving us. Do not leave. People who started with us, 2006, 2007 work. Why do they work? Apparently they are satisfied. But recently, just recently, one person left us here in America. Why did he leave? He was offered a good position as an architect in another company, and he decided to build a career there. He was a consultant with us, but he was offered growth and a career there, and for him this is important today. Nobody detained anyone, did not deter anyone, we will continue to communicate. And I understand that, respect and do not see anything wrong with that. We are still a small company. If a person sees his career in a larger company, and if someone does not like to be just a consultant on a project, but wants to grow in his position, earn some other money, maybe have your own office - please. Therefore, leaving Farata is not a tragedy if it occurs. This is life.

    About technology

    Alexander Astapenko: I remember in one of your podcasts you said that it is very important to be in the top 20%, for which you would not take up. Conditionally, if you are a beekeeper, then in beekeeping, and if you are a Java developer, then, in fact, be an expert in the first 20%. When Adobe buried Flex a couple of years ago, you were faced with the choice of where to go next, because you were in those first 20%, if not 10%, in Flex in the States. Then you switched to HTML5, JavaScript. How was this decision to leave made?

    Jacob Fine:Pareto principle, 20/80, yes, indeed, I said so. But if you hit 20%, I don’t think that you are an expert. If you say that we were known in Adobe, because we were in 20 or 10%, this is not so. We were at 3%, probably. This is an expert. 20% is stability, which allows you to not particularly worry about what I will do if I get fired tomorrow. Find a job. That's all.

    Why did we go to HTML5? In order not to go against the wind. That is, this is a trend, although so far we have quite a lot of development on Flex and we still believe that Flex is by far the most productive development environment for web applications. Flex and Adobe AIR. When we began to work on HTML5, JavaScript, CSS, we immediately saw a drop in the productivity of our programmers. What you can do on Flex in a day, on HTML5 you can do in five. We are still not very happy with what is happening in HTML5, but we understand that the world is going there and we need to go there. It takes time to go there. Here is a book recently released, Enterprise Web Development , which was written by our engineers, including myself. We still look right and left, thinking what and how to do in order to be productive.

    We have the hope that the Google Dart language is more productive. And today, a couple of Google Dart and the Angular framework, which has a port on Dart, can somehow come closer in terms of productivity to Flex. Plus, there is no problem with the need for plug-ins in a browser, like Flash Player, for example. We plan to conduct training within the company so that people switch to Dart. And, most likely, we’ll come to Ukraine, maybe to Belarus with this training and conduct it simply as a public class for programmers who are interested.

    Today we believe that HTML5 is more or less the right environment. Although I have some concerns about Google, which is known for throwing a toy if it is not interesting to them. This is the first. Second, Google is in a completely different business, and I don’t see them pushing Dart heavily in enterprise. At one time, when Adobe promoted Flex, they did an important job. I don’t know what forces and how they did it, with whom they played golf, maybe from top managers of large companies. Adobe had clients — financial, telecommunications, entertainment — and they somehow managed to push this framework into enterprise. I don’t see this with Dart, I don’t see Google making any powerful effort in this direction. And from within there will always be opposition. Large companies will have an architecture group deciding how to use the framework, and which will always be against: “The standard is HTML5, JavaScript, CSS. And do not break us, and do not spoil us, and so on. ” But for startups, for those who want to find something really productive, and not what the boss requires, I believe that this is the right environment, and we are putting our efforts there today. Therefore, if you see our training announcement on Dart - please.

    Pavel Pavlov: And from the backend’s point of view, are there any threats to Java as the main choice for the backend development language? And are there any alternatives, even if not now, but in the long run?

    Jacob Fine: I don’t see, to be honest. Java is a very stable platform. And judging by what I see, probably most of the server side in enterprise is written in Java. And not only in enterprise. In second place, probably, is .NET, but Java with a serious margin ahead.

    10 million people around the world are engaged in Java professionally, that is, they get paid for it. A huge community, and the culture is such that if I know something, then I have to lay it out and tell others. Each project manager assesses the risk when choosing a programming language. With Java, the risk that I will not find a solution to the problem or that I will have a problem hiring a programmer is very small. In addition, it is productive and stable. I do not see any Java replacement in the next five years in terms of server development. I do not say: "Throw everything that you do, and pass to Java". Not. If you work on .NET, if it suits you - .NET is also a good platform. But not as good as Java. Java has problems on the client, unfortunately, but nothing is better on the server. Therefore, for myself personally, I do not think that I will have to transfer to some other language, although I enjoy learning other programming languages ​​and think that a programmer should be a polyglot. A programmer who calls himself a senior Java developer is boring. Everyone should have a set. The specific trend that I see is what IoT (The Internet of Things) is called when the coffee maker talks to the microwave. This is what will evolve because the number of devices is growing. Previously, there was only a desktop, but now look what happens where you can execute programs. Yes, anywhere. Java will work soon in the kettle. Everyone should have a set. The specific trend that I see is what IoT (The Internet of Things) is called when the coffee maker talks to the microwave. This is what will evolve because the number of devices is growing. Previously, there was only a desktop, but now look what happens where you can execute programs. Yes, anywhere. Java will work soon in the kettle. Everyone should have a set. The specific trend that I see is what IoT (The Internet of Things) is called when the coffee maker talks to the microwave. This is what will evolve because the number of devices is growing. Previously, there was only a desktop, but now look what happens where you can execute programs. Yes, anywhere. Java will work soon in the kettle.


    Alexander Astapenko: Jacob, and if in 92 you would not have left for the USA, would Farata Systems and SuranceBay be possible? What do you think?

    Jacob Fine:These companies would definitely not exist. If I had not left, that would be a mistake for me specifically. When I left, I was financially very well arranged. We had a small enterprise, that is, I earned several times more than an ordinary engineer, but I did not see much development there. In America, it seems to me that the environment for a person who wants to do programming or startups is much more favorable. You see, when you hear about some collisions, about some cuts, if they give me $ 10 million for a startup, I don’t even think that I should give 5 to Uncle Vasya because he knocked out these 10 million for me . Here, of course, there is a different way, and here, too, no one does anything for nothing.

    I don’t know what would have happened if I had stayed in Kiev, but I would surely have been quite well arranged. I would be engaged in programming for sure. Yes, in fact, even now I would love to go with trainings to work out in Kiev. I am very pleased, I like to do trainings, and I will certainly go to Ukraine for a while.

    Alexander Astapenko: Jacob, can you just say a few words at the end of our podcast?

    Jacob Fine:I can literally say a few words for beginner young programmers. If you do not think that this profession is random for you, then you should actively pursue your career. Of course, there are a certain number of people who went into programming, because there, as they say, they give money now. But I believe that every young person who has got into this profession and loves it should invest in himself, in his trainings, in the study of other languages.

    Sometimes I notice in people who work in outsourcing companies in Ukraine or Belarus that they live by the principle: "In the morning - money, in the evening - chairs." Here you give me something, and then for that I will do something to you. It seems to me that the opposite would be better and more correct. That is, give, do something, do not give for me, of course, but for the community. Develop, lay out, communicate with people, go to trainings. I heard that in some situations people don’t want to go to trainings, in the same Kiev, because they don’t need it. Why should I go to training, if the market is good already? And if tomorrow you fire me here, recruits will run after me. I believe that this is a wrong attitude to the profession.

    And with pleasure we will continue to work with Ukraine, and Belarus, and with Russian programmers. I constantly receive letters from India, Pakistan. Here we have a team, worth three pennies. I immediately delete them, because I still trust the school, the educational system that I know and that I see. And we will not change anything in this regard. We will not hire Indian programmers just because they cost half. Although I do not want to say anything bad about Indian programmers, I worked here with many strong programmers.

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