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I hope their code works better than their missles do
June 14, 2010 12:26 PM   Subscribe

Got a tough software project, but can't afford to pay for domestic talent? India, China, and Russia too expensive? Why not outsource to sunny North Korea?

via
posted by Afroblanco (46 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
The same North Korea, whose official webpage looks like it came straight out of 1997?
posted by reformedjerk at 12:37 PM on June 14, 2010



The same North Korea, whose official webpage looks like it came straight out of 1997?

My god there are some horrors if you view source.

Though I think you'll find the horrendous Dreamweaver JavaScript they use there dates back to 2002.
posted by Artw at 12:51 PM on June 14, 2010


"It's not like we worked with the government," he said. "We just worked with great people who have nothing to do with the dictatorship."

Is this true at all?
posted by OverlappingElvis at 1:00 PM on June 14, 2010


This whole thing where people chase the cheapest labour is really odd IMO. If your project already has perfect specs then sure, I guess. Good luck with those perfect specs there.
posted by GuyZero at 1:01 PM on June 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


I think the odds of security openings in Chinese-sourced apps is pretty low, excepting possibly a few projects the officials might consider opportunities. By comparison, the North Korean government strikes me as being more ambitious and less discriminating in that regard.

For those nostalgic over being chronically paralyzed by paranoia and fear of Communists spying on them, this is a scenario that hasn't realistically been on offer for over twenty years. Great news!
posted by ardgedee at 1:01 PM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Bullshit. There is no way that working in North Korea doesn't support the regime. He knows this and is a dispicable person.
posted by nestor_makhno at 1:03 PM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


The software you'll get will look grand (if not outright gaudy) but will in truth be a hollow shell.
posted by pyrex at 1:06 PM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Artw: My god there are some horrors if you view source.

Holy <STRONG> tags, Batman! (what's up with that?)
posted by mkultra at 1:06 PM on June 14, 2010


Here's a two-part interview with the webmaster of that KFA site, Alejandro Cao de Benos. There's a person who seems to have tumbled down the rabbit hole and forgot there was sunshine.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:09 PM on June 14, 2010


Nosotek uses foreign expats as project managers
What kind of expat settles in North Korea? First worlders disgruntled at all that freedom of expression and easy availability of electronics?

A former employer outsourced several product lines to India, and when the Indian programmers came to our office to train on the code, they offered jobs and relocation to Bangalore to several programmers who were being laid off. A few actually considered it because reputable outsourcing outfits in India pay well enough (in local terms) that you can live an upper middle-class lifestyle there.
posted by fatbird at 1:11 PM on June 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Holy <STRONG> tags, Batman! (what's up with that?)


They were mandated by Kim Jong Il to make the DPRK website STRONGer than weak American websites.
posted by maqsarian at 1:12 PM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


NORTH KOREA IS BEST KOREA.

VISIT MY OTHER SITE AT HTTP://WWW1.EXPAGE.COM/DJKIM%2099

< !STATCOUNTER HREF =OHGODHOWDIDTHISGETHEREIAMNOTGOODWITHCOMPUTER.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 1:12 PM on June 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


they offered jobs and relocation to Bangalore to several programmers who were being laid off.

First they took our jobs, then they took our workers!

It's really interesting to see an outflow of skilled labor as a trend.
posted by yeloson at 1:14 PM on June 14, 2010


North Korean Website (view source and scroll down):

<strong><strong><strong><strong><strong><strong>
<strong><strong><strong><strong><strong><strong>
<strong><strong><strong><strong><strong><strong>
<strong><strong><strong><strong><strong><strong>
<strong><strong><strong><strong><strong><strong>
<strong><strong><strong><strong><strong><strong>
<strong><strong><strong><strong><strong><strong>
<strong><strong><strong><strong><strong><strong>
<strong><strong><strong><strong><strong><strong>
<strong><strong><strong><strong><strong><strong>
<strong><strong><strong>

Looks strong to me.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:16 PM on June 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Maybe they had Kanye West do their web design.
posted by GuyZero at 1:18 PM on June 14, 2010


North Korean website is STRONGEST website of all time! OF ALL TIME!!!
posted by maqsarian at 1:20 PM on June 14, 2010


STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG {
font-weight: Normal;
}
posted by Artw at 1:24 PM on June 14, 2010 [5 favorites]


If this is the same three mice for every keyboard North Korea we've seen before, I'm not sure how much work they can get done for you. Because to maintain that mouse to keyboard ratio, some must work without keyboards all-together.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:25 PM on June 14, 2010


At least they don't use <B> - that would be unsemantic!
posted by Artw at 1:28 PM on June 14, 2010


Man, I was playing some Flash Tetris clone the other day, and noticed that the blocks spelled out "HELP I AM A PRISONER IN A DPRK CODE FACTORY", but I thought it was just a joke.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:32 PM on June 14, 2010


What kind of expat settles in North Korea?

For one, Guy Delisle, a liason for a French animation company back in 2004. His graphic novel Pyongyang is fantastic.
posted by xbonesgt at 1:32 PM on June 14, 2010 [3 favorites]


Artw: "The same North Korea, whose official webpage looks like it came straight out of 1997?

My god there are some horrors if you view source.
"

Nonsense. It just shows how STRONG they are.
posted by ShawnStruck at 2:09 PM on June 14, 2010


I'm pretty sure the weird excessive STRONG texts are a result of a bug in an old version of Contribute. I used to work for a governmental institution that was also excessively STRONG.
posted by NoraReed at 2:15 PM on June 14, 2010


3 mice for every keyboard explains that food shortage.
posted by Catblack at 2:18 PM on June 14, 2010








Some things need to be repeated, I guess. (From the travel page).
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:19 PM on June 14, 2010


Gah, meant to post this:

[ meta name="keywords" content="North Korea government,North Korea,DPRK,DPR Korea,Kim Jong Il ,Kim Il Sung,Pyongyang,travel to North Korea,Air koryo"]
[meta name="description" content="North Korea government,North Korea,DPRK,DPR Korea,Kim Jong Il ,Kim Il Sung,Pyongyang,travel to North Korea,Air koryo"]
[ meta name="keywords" content="North Korea government,North Korea,DPRK,DPR Korea,Kim Jong Il ,Kim Il Sung,Pyongyang,travel to North Korea,Air koryo" ]
[ meta name="description" content="North Korea government,North Korea,DPRK,DPR Korea,Kim Jong Il ,Kim Il Sung,Pyongyang,travel to North Korea,Air koryo" ]
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:20 PM on June 14, 2010


I wonder how these iPhone apps were developed given that it is illeagal to sell or distribute the cocoa sdk or a mac there and a violation of the apple license. I wonder if the BSA will sue the cooperating firms. Time to go get a reward check.
posted by humanfont at 2:37 PM on June 14, 2010


For one, Guy Delisle, a liason for a French animation company back in 2004. His graphic novel Pyongyang is fantastic.

Delisle apparently only spent two months there on a job, and reports that he's doesn't expect to be welcomed back. Does this sort of thing account for most or all of the expats, or are there some who actually move there (voluntarily, that is)?
posted by fatbird at 2:38 PM on June 14, 2010


ALL YOUR STRONG ARE BELONG TO US.
posted by prinado at 2:56 PM on June 14, 2010


Holy <STRONG> tags, Batman! (what's up with that?)

Well, actually, that's the appropriate (semantically-correct) tag. <strong>How would a screen reader say this?</strong><em>Emphasis mine.</em>.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:31 PM on June 14, 2010


Civil_Disobedient: Well, actually, that's the appropriate (semantically-correct) tag.

It's more a question of quantity, not quality.
posted by mkultra at 3:35 PM on June 14, 2010


It's not just <strong>, there is an occasional <em> to provide further emphasis.
posted by autopilot at 3:36 PM on June 14, 2010


Excellent use of Flash for the... rollover effects in the navigation bar?
posted by artificialard at 3:43 PM on June 14, 2010


The Italian version is a little more flashy. Unfortunately the Spanish and Esperanto sites are borked.
posted by nestor_makhno at 3:45 PM on June 14, 2010


> Because to maintain that mouse to keyboard ratio, some must work without keyboards all-together.

GREAT LEADER WILLS THAT WE TYPE WITH OUR MINDS! WE WILL DO OUR BEST! JUCH3!~backspacebackspacebackspaceEEHCLAMATIONPOINT
posted by ardgedee at 4:25 PM on June 14, 2010


STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG STRONG {
font-weight: Normal;
}


Ignorance is strength.
posted by mattdidthat at 4:32 PM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


The forum is a blog with comments turned off. No, really.
posted by b1tr0t at 4:32 PM on June 14, 2010


The security and privacy page is a little different from the usual boilerplate.
posted by Artw at 4:36 PM on June 14, 2010


That official DPRK website was put together by Alejandro Cao de Benós de Les y Pérez , a Spanish IT consultant who has a weird North Korean fetish going on
posted by Bwithh at 5:31 PM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Of course the web site looks a bit dated, but that's only because Our Glorious Leader Kim Jong-il invented the internet. And computers.
posted by XMLicious at 5:56 PM on June 14, 2010


That page is just a test run. The real page will have hundreds of nested blink tags that will cause the words to blink so fast they'll BURN IN YOUR BRAIN.
posted by qvantamon at 7:20 PM on June 14, 2010


Mainly stupid comments in this thread.
If you really want to learn something about North Korea, try here.
posted by yoyo_nyc at 8:10 PM on June 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Of course the web site looks a bit dated, but that's only because Our Glorious Leader Kim Jong-il invented the internet. And computers.

Does Dear Leader also make movies about global warming?
posted by spaceman_spiff at 9:45 PM on June 14, 2010


Does Dear Leader also make movies about global warming?

Naw, he doesn't need to. Kim Jong-Il can control the weather so once the climate of North Korea gets to be similar to that of Southern California he'll just switch off global warming with his enormous brain waves.
posted by XMLicious at 10:47 PM on June 14, 2010


Lovely strong, wonderful strong!
posted by flabdablet at 12:09 AM on June 15, 2010


Well, Cao de Benos did win a writing contest, which is more than I can say for most of you aspirant, would-be literary types. I remember seeing that guy on Spanish TV, escorting a film crew through the DPRK and he struck me as being very, very weird. Not in the "I'm into goofy politics" kind of weird, more like the "I can't wait to do something bad to you" kind of weird.
posted by jsavimbi at 4:28 AM on June 16, 2010


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