29 November 2007

Cyber Monday Success Linked to More Expensive Java Developers and Agile

As much as people like to joke about the women in the Overstock.com commercials saying it's all about the O (c'mon, read into it), evidently the Overstock.com website received some of the heaviest traffic on Cyber Monday earlier this week and it handled it very well (what a pathetic society we have become - we have names for shopping days). And Overstock.com's ability to handle all of this traffic and commerce has actually been linked directly to some of the topics about which we geeks spend so much time discussing, using and writing.

According to Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne:

"We had three developers on staff three or four years ago; now we have over 40 developers," Byrne said in an interview. "We found it's worth it to pay up for more expensive and more serious people."

According to the article titled Overstock.com Divulges Secret to Its Cyber Monday Success, Overstock.com used to use off-shore developers, a single C++ application and a single database. This year it overhauled everything to use on-site developers, Java and Agile methodologies:

"I was the biggest proponent -- as a stupid, Dilbert management kind of guy -- saying let's outsource. Now I've come completely 180 degrees to the agile approach," Byrne said. "Programmers sitting side-by-side with businesspeople designing functionality -- that's one trend," Byrne said. "The other is taking your software development and moving it to China or India. You see those two trends are antithetical to each other."

Maybe the world is beginning to see that real experience and talent are difficult to find and expensive once you find it.

As Napoleon Dynamite would say, "Yesss!"


  1. I teach at a lot of companies that outsource and at a lot of companies who replace in house staff with people on temporary visas. One of the things I noticed is that companies that hire stupid people hire the same level of stupidity whether they hire from Italy, Israel, the United States, China, India, Russia, or any place else.

    Good management hires good people. Dilbert style management hires dorks. It doesn't matter where the employees come from. You hire people that match your level of genius or stupidity. You can judge the quality of management by the quality of people who work for them.

  2. I've been in and out of quite a lot of companies myself, some as an employee and far more as a consultant. What Kevin is saying is consistent with my experience as well.

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  4. i love cyber monday. i cant wait for a couple of weeks to see it rock out this year.


    cyber monday