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Archive for March, 2007

A thought… on offshore outsourcing

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

This is just a thought I’ve been having over the past few days about outsourcing web work to countries such as India or China. I have had some conversations with friends at companies that frequently outsource work to other countries outside of the U.S. — India in particular — and whenever the topic of artwork or graphic design comes up, I keep hearing almost the same thing:

  1. These companies can provide some 2D artwork, but still greatly lack experience creative design and 3D.?
  2. These companies do not understand the U.S. consumer, and what they want or like to see — what they consider to be of quality or creative.
  3. These companies are great at providing services if they are provided clear direction, specifications, and require little creativity.

This is simply what I am hearing from many who I know within different types of companies and is not necessarily based off of my own experience. I have only worked with offshore companies on web development which I have had good success with, but haven’t had a chance to work with any offshore companies with creative.

Having said that, I am thinking that the reasons for the lack of experience in 3D and creative could be due to the following:

  • Individuals within these countries work within high-stress production environments that focus on productivity and volume, rather than quality and creativity. They spend day and night on getting the job done, and done right on time. This leaves little time to think beyond what they are told is needed. After all, one of the main selling points of outsourcing to a company in India or China, is the lower cost of production compared to say, the U.S.
  • Unlike most web production companies within India and China, many agencies and freelancers here in the U.S. dedicate a great deal of resources and money on creative direction. They do extensive research on what their customer’s target audience is, and are expected to come up with proposals that are creative, innovative, effective and are appealing (for the most part, to the marketer).

So what on earth am I trying to get at? I think the majority of offshore web companies out there are still in their very early stages. They have Web Development and productivity down, but they still lack the critical aspect to every project, which is creativity. Once these companies begin to focus more attention on spending time to “think” about projects, research and educate themselves about the U.S. consumer, and build their experience, I think we’re going to begin seeing some awesome work out of these companies.

// Jacob

SWF Security article

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

I discovered an article by Richard Lord that nicely covers different aspects of protecting your SWF files from being hacked/decrypted, for those who aren’t very familiar with encryption methods, and aren’t full-time cryptographers. Give it a read.

// Jacob

Gantt Project Charting Program (open-source)

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

I was looking for a very “simple” application that could generate Gantt Charts for me, and I came across an open-source project called “Gantt Project“. It’s not only free and easy to use, but it has some nice features to it and plug-ins by their community of users. If you want to save some $ and not have to worry about spending your hard earned cash on Microsoft Project, you may want to check this out.

I have Project, but there’s something about the hundreds of features in Project that really puts me off when I want to build out a basic gantt chart, rather than build out an entire project schedule. You can always export your Gantt Project file back into MS Project if you really need after you’re done with your rough and know you’re going to want to use it.

// Jacob

Current Actionscript 3 Books Available

Monday, March 19th, 2007

Actionscript 3.0 Books

They don’t delay, do they? I wish I could come up with a book in a day! These guys are great. Here are the current books that I know of for Actionscript 3.0, if you’re looking for something new for your reference library:

Learning ActionScript 3.0: The Non-Programmer’s Guide to ActionScript 3 by Rich Shupe

Advanced ActionScript 3 with Design Patterns by Joey Lott and Danny Patterson

Object-Oriented ActionScript 3.0 by Peter Elst, Sas Jacobs, and Todd Yard

ActionScript 3.0 Cookbook by Joey Lott, Darron Schall, and Keith Peters

Foundation Actionscript 3.0 Animation: Making Things Move! by Keith Peters

Essential ActionScript 3.0 by Colin Moock

ActionScript 3 Bible by Roger Braunstein, Joey Lott, Josh Noble, Mims Wright

Foundation Actionscript 3.0 with Flash and Flex 2 by Steve Webster

The Essential Guide to Flex 2 with ActionScript 3.0 by Charles E Brown

ActionScript 3.0 Design Patterns: Object Oriented Programming Techniques by Bill Sanders and Chandima Cumaranatunge?

I typically go for O-Reilly? books – I’d be interested in? any recommendations.

// Jacob