Alone With #ThePretenders?

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Chrissie Hynde surveyed the room before her,  a sell-out of 3000 souls all seated expectantly in the Glasgow Royal Concert hall.

“It’s not the Barralands,  is it?”   She quipped before bursting into her first song Alone,  the title track from her new album.

My brother Duncan and I smiled at each other and with a quick look at the mostly grey heads in front and all around us,  we had to agree. Continue reading “Alone With #ThePretenders?”

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Supply, Demand, Fear And Loathing in the UK Software Industry

Fear And Loathing

John and I have worked together a few times over the years.

The first time was back in 1998 during the halcyon days of deregulation when the government was throwing money at the utility companies in an attempt to open the energy and telecom markets and make buying electricity, gas or telephone services more competitive.

That was the party-line anyway but the real reason was in making money for the people who already had the money to invest, i.e. the Tory Party demographic and the banks, pension companies and institutes which could make huge profits buying the UK infrastructure at bottom-dollar prices and their share prices doubling over night.

As individuals working in software development, there was lots of money to be made on that gravy train and even although John and I were comparative bottom-feeders, we still made a relative fortune on obscene hourly rates, but that’s supply and demand for you.

Deadlines were tight, the date at which the market was set to open was fixed in stone and our employer Scottish Power was desperate to be one of the first PES’s with its foot in the door and it’s grubby little hands in your wallet.

Of course the reason that deadlines were tight was because the early days of analysis and design had been undertaken by some of the major consultancies of the time, IBM,. Logica, Cap Gemini and they were too busy lining their own pockets with the freely available money directed from the public purse to actually give a t0ss about getting the job done.

They talked a good game, as they always do, the project managers and analysts were the kind of guys who were good at drawing boxes to represent systems or data sources and then drawing the lines between them to represent processes and data flows.

You know the type, all talk, all confidence and delivered nothing.

I hear on the grape-vine that these guys are still out there now, 20 years later working in banking and the privatisation of Scottish Water, the latest gravy train to come along offering free money to those who talk a good game.

It’s not really strange to find that these guys all know each other, a cabal of frauds masquerading as leaders when all they are good at is leading any unsuspecting PLC up the proverbial garden path.

Of course by that time, budgets have been agreed and half spent, lots of documents have been produced with diagrams of boxes and lines but not a lot of actual detail and no infrastructure or software architecture which will implement the new business requirements.

That’s when they call us bottom-feeders in, the mercenaries who drift from contract to contract getting the work done on a decent daily rate extending the contract as long as we can to keep the dosh rolling in as long as possible or until someone else makes us a better offer.

1998 and Scottish Power went live with half-@rsed systems that didn’t work, that had been badly designed and sparsely data-populated.

Let me elaborate, some @rsehole who will remain nameless had been so focused on the data flows to communicate customer comings and goings with other market participants that he had completely missed any changes to the customer service screen to deal with the new data flows and the changes.

Another @rsehole in charge of data population decided that half the customers weren’t in scope for initial population. So on day-1 when these customers decided to get their electricity elsewhere, their data content fell down the cracks between the systems never to be seen again.

Yeah, of course it caused a stushie, there were customer complaints, OFGEN were involved, but the consultancies didn’t care, the @rseholes didn’t care and the bottom-feeders like John and I aren’t weren’t paid enough to care.

If the truth be told, what John and I did, with most of the development team was party hard on the money we earned on the gravy train that seemed that it was never going to end.

Every time our contract was renewed there was another £200 per week thrown on the deal, a sweetener to keep us motived and interested, sticking with the project to get it over the finish line even although we knew that it was fecked. We were paid to fix the bad software, write the missing parts and cleanse the data, all of which should have been complete before the system went live.

Here’s a unobvious truth, a software developer will earn more money from a bad project than a good one and I can assure that we made a fortune.

There were quite a few marriages ended in that period. But that’s another story for another day.

That was then, this is now.

But back to John, he’s a good guy for a hun. ( Rangers Supporter )

Continue reading “Supply, Demand, Fear And Loathing in the UK Software Industry”

No wonder women are fearful?

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Lunchtime and I’m catching up on the news and came across the following two articles on the BBC news pages.

In the first,   the chairman of UKIP,  Scotland is found guilty of calling random women and sexually harassing them.    He has been released on bail with sentencing to take place next month.

Bail?  Why?   Why allow this guy his freedom when he has been found guilty?

Shouldn’t wrong doing not only be punished, but seen to be punished with immediate consequences?

In the second,  two professional footballers are found guilty by a judge of raping a drunken woman where she was in no fit state to give the legally required consent to sex.

Scandalously,  the woman in question had to take a private civil Rape case to have her two assailants brought to justice.    The first of it’s type in Scotland.

I wonder if now that a senior judge has found the men guilty,  the Procurator Fiscal,  ( the Scottish equivalent of the Crown Prosecution Service ) will reconsider and bring these animals to criminal court for summary justice and some jail time?

No wonder women are fearful of men.

With animals like these they have every right to be.

But what makes men think they can objectify and dehumanise women?

What makes them think that they have any right to treat any women like that,  whether they know them or are complete strangers.

As a man,  I find these people shameful,  no punishment is enough.

But taking a wider view,   it seems that male education is needed in what is unacceptable and the consequences need to be made tougher.

 

Footballers found guilty of Rape in private prosecution.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-38651041

Former UKIP Chairman admits Sexual Calls

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-38638372

 

 

The Games a Bogey! #CelticFC

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A few months ago,  before this years Scottish Premier Football League started,  I blogged that Celtic were a sure thing to win the league and were worth investing in as at a win-ratio of 33% after tax were much better than money in the bank at 2%.before tax.

https://dancingbhoy.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/money-in-the-bank/

At that time,  the odds were 1 to 3 on .. ie put on £1000 and it gets you £333.

Our apparent nearest rival newco Rangers,  were best priced at 7/2.

A relative ten-fold difference and an indication of who the bookies thought would win the league even before a ball was kicked. Continue reading “The Games a Bogey! #CelticFC”

Wish You Were Here?

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Tonight Scotland face England in Wembley … my emotional response?

Zero .. doesn’t even register.

I suppose that I want Scotland to win,   but it’s not expected and I’m neither up nor down about it.

Tonight while the game plays out to the expected victory for England,    I’ll be at the Glasgow Hydro to see the Australian Pink Floyd for 6th time.

What a show these guys put on,  fantastic musicians and licensed by the real Pink Floyd for use of video and stage material,  its quite a spectacular event.

A tribute band playing a venue as large as the Hydro is a massive achievement.

By contrast,  tomorrow,  I’m playing my first live gig ever.

A sell out of 200 at the hall of a social club for a local charity.

Small stuff I know .. but I’m feeling both excited and terrified.

No wonder I’ve no emotion left for the Scotland game.

 

For the people, by the people?

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What a week eh?

Trump elected as President of the USA, despite receiving slightly less actual votes than Clinton.

Seems that he won not on the Popular Vote, but on the Electoral Colleges, picking up wins in the swing states.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-37925014

I’m neither a Trump or a Clinton fan, as far as I’m concerned most politicians are corrupt to one degree or another and these two are right up at the top of the food chain.

Seems to me though, that I’d be pissed off if I was Clinton and won the peoples vote yet lost out because of the electoral colleges.

Government for the people by the people?

Nah .. didn’t think so.

Continue reading “For the people, by the people?”

Money In The Bank?

Welcome

I’m not a betting man,    well not in the context of taking it seriously,   I work hard for my cash and don’t go throwing it away on frivilous things  … well except concerts, football, alcohol and a significant collection of designer shirts!

Here’s the thing,   in the current economic climate, money in the bank earns nothing.

According to Martin Lewis’s money saving experts site,   the best currently available savings rate is 3% on a Santander account for savings up to £20,000.

But as always theres a catch .. the interest is only payable on amounts up to 20k,   after that you get nothng extra and possibly worse is that the interest is paid tax free and you have to pay the tax on it yourself.

Which as a higher rate tax payer cuts any interest in half knocking the rate to 1.5%.or £300pa on 20k locked away.

Whats the point in locking that amount of money down for £300pa?

Personally that does nothing for me and I’d rather spend the money on alcohol,  concerts, football and having a ball .. life is short and for living,  not worrying about money.

With that lack of return in mind for having your money sitting wasting in a savings account would you be prepared to risk a serious lump of money on a gamling bet if you reckoned it was a “sure thing”? Continue reading “Money In The Bank?”