Category Archives: malaysia

ACTA like law in Malaysia

Updates: Added Letter from Malaysian NGO which include CAP of Penang, so not it is not just an issue for geeks

Again another set of law being considered, again it involved directly in our digital life. While the whole society still being fired up over the 1Care, and people still debate over the fight in a fast food chain.

Another story begin to emerge, the govt wanted to establish a US like IP law in Malaysia, because of the Trans-Pacific-Partnership agreement.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/2/9/nation/10692529&sec=nation

I am not going to explain more, because there is links that can explain this better than me

  1. The Electronics Frontier Foundation : https://www.eff.org/issues/tpp
  2. TPP Watch : http://tppwatch.org/
  3. TPP Digest : http://www.tppdigest.org/
  4. The document involved : http://infojustice.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Koo-TPP-Section-by-Section-Analysis-April-2011.pdf
  5. Letter from Malaysian NGO : http://www.citizen.org/documents/Malaysia-TPP-NGO-letter.pdf

As a Malaysian, this will affect us. As an Software Engineer, now software I wrote potentially already covered by some overly broad software patent. As a linux user, the use of libdvdcss is potentially illegal. Among other thing.

p.s This post is not to undermine other issue happening in Malaysia, in Malaysia we have many problem, this is another one that potentially bite us HARD.

Python Malaysia Meetup Postmortem

A.K.A How to run a geek event in Malaysia

After the yesterday’s Python Malaysia meetup, here is a few thing I want to try up, or keep on using for future event

  • Malaysian tend to be late, so always put the time a bit earlier, at least 30 minute ahead, that is the usual time for Malaysian to be late
  • Half of the user do not attend, even though they have registered on eventbrite. What I want to try next time is, try charge money for the next event. The money will goes to pizza
  • The event is a bit bland, some suggest a full day just for Python User Group Meetup. I try to run it like most other python user group, one topic per meetup. Bigger event also harder to run. What I might test out, is having a lightning talk for each meetup.
  • We have our networking session in a mamak, we ends up using 2 rows of table. It is not a bad thing, though table kinda limit movement, maybe next time, we order pizza(Go to point 2). It is nicer for everyone have a chance to talk to each other
  • Python Malaysia need a proper website, not everyone using facebook. Even though most go from facebook event page to eventbrite page. Still it is a nice thing to have.
  • Location matters!!!!! ITrain is just the right place to have an event, in the middle of city, accessible via LRT. Car park can be a problem though. It helps to bring more people in, because of the location.

Btw, there will be another meetup, but that is next month.

2011 in review: The Year It Get Too Close For Comfort

For a long time geeks like me tend to hide behind the scene when it comes to politics, unlike the US there is no law like the DMCA in Malaysia. We Malaysian don’t see often see a law pass that directly affect IT industry here. Until this year, suddenly we have Computing Professional Board bill.

Which you can find a lot more online, but in short it is about regulate programmers that involve in Critical National Information Infrastructure. Which the list provided is too vague for comfort.

So what I hope to do next year, involve more somehow. What this year have shown us, ignorance and apathy can bite. Not all law have an open day that we all know, like the CPB. So law can be passed under our nose, and it will bite, and bite hard.

p.s Not including my own post on the Computing Bill, because it have quite a lot of inaccuracy

Opinion after #CPB2011 II

From Amanz
http://amanz.my/2011/12/lebih-info-berkaitan-akta-badan-perkomputeran-professional-diperlihatkan/

Thanks to amanz, they have capture some pictures from the Open Day.

For Item 4. Why not just take existing certification and use it? Are Malaysia that unique?
(This is actually question asked by many during the open day)
For Item 5. I did not receive a straight answer on this.
For Item 6. How does creating an extra barrier enhance supply for manpower?
For Item 7. This is disturbing. Does it mean, that refusal to register make me untrusted?

I think this is troublesome

p.s Anyone in India want to hire python programmer? I’m jobless starting on 23rd dec.

Opinion After #CPB2011 Open Day

While from their mouth, the Computing Professional will be limited to govt, I still waiting for supporting document. And from their mouth again, it is a work in progress. Interestingly no one from mosti is attended.

Paraphrase from the discussion from representative, it is to i.e paraphrase from what I understand the word they say.

  1. Raise a standard of computing professional, both in education 
  2. and b) work 
  3. Because other country have a requirement in ISO for staff with certain requirement anyway. 
  4. It is before the requirement before the govt can sign the Seoul Accord, disclaimer I do not know what is the requirement for the accord, so somebody enlighten me please. 
  5. Add accountability
  6. And it will be limited to govt CNII project only.
  7. Everybody can apply to it
  8. For IT professional to be recognized globally?
For 1, I do not believe there is a need for a board to fix it. There is an accreditation agency for university already,  and they are not doing a very good job. What make them think they can do a better job? Chances is, if a university/college have a good curriculum, there is no need to create a board for the first place, market will grab them first. SO FIX CURRICULUM FIRST!!!!!
For 2. I am not even sure what professional means. 
For 3. I believe that , it should be in the SLA. Again not a board should decide it. 
For 4, I won’t comment, because I don’t know enough. 
For 5, to add accountability. To be honest, I don’t know understand how forming a board would help in that. There is contract, ain’t that more than enough?
For 6, during the meeting, there is no clear definition of CNII for the first place. Even though the representative is assuring us that, it will be limited to govt. Unfortunately in IT, it is interrelated. A big chunk of malaysian IT, is involve in govt project either in contract or subcontract. Even though it says in govt, if tools get adopted, does it mean it falls under their jurisdiction? How about stuff that is regulated, such as system that interface with bank negara? Does it count as CNII?
For 7, if everybody can apply, then what is the point then?
For 8, that is done by, create good product, open source or not. Again not by a board.
Extra stuff
What does the cert do, that normal cisco, microsoft and other cert doesn’t do? What make them less qualified that this
If everybody can apply a certificate, then why even bother? 
IT change fast, what the examination for it will based on. 
Personally, I believe IT is doing pretty well without any govt involvement. And from what I understand the justification during the open day. I still believe a board is not needed. And consider that many IT company aim for govt contract one time or another, it could spell trouble for industry in general. 
To be honest, after the open day, there is still more question than answers, many is unanswered. 
p.s I am jobless starting on 24rd Dec, anyone outside malaysia want to hire me?

#CPB2011 redux

I have been in the discussion. It is my fault in spreading some of the old fud. I here by apologized for the mistake I have done

Here is a few thing I have gathers, and I just pick up words as said by the representative.

1) CNII is limited to the govt only, for private sector it is business as usual!!!!!
2) IT IS A WORK IN PROGRESS!!!!!
3) Everybody can certified.
4) If you are a startup that are not involved CNII, it ok not to be certified!!!!

More to that later.

What Can’t One Do in #CPB2011

From this link

http://www.scribd.com/doc/75107593/CPB2011-Draft

If this bill is pass you are not allowed to

  1. Fix your friends computer, that is considered practice of computing. And you need to pass an examination for that anyway
  2. Write your own mobile app, iOS or Android, because you need to proof that you can
  3. On top of that, you probably don’t have a service provider cert anyway. You can’t sell it on the app store and android marketplace
  4. So if there is new code being written on the internet, you probably cannot use it for service. Because there is no certification for it.
  5. And you can’t use anything that is new, to provide a service because you didn’t register it. 
  6. And the term of service is wide, you now can’t sell your software
  7. Write instruction on your blog on the software
  8. You can’t publish an web app, that uses your new found knowledge. 
  9. Tweet about problem
  10. Rant about the problem
  11. Commit code to github, because you are not certified
  12. Report bug, because, you didn’t register that you know about other software that you use
  13. You can’t even learn new technology and share your knowledge
  14. You can’t share your idea, because you probably not qualified for design work
  15. I am not allowed to setup my own server at work, and have to wait for other to do it, and worst if I am the business owner, I have to pay more. 
  16. You can’t even publish code unrelated to your service on github, because you are not a registered expert on that subject
  17. You can’t give input to forum on solving problem
  18. You can’t be a generalist. Now you need 1 sysadmin, 1 database people, 1 server people, 1 javascript people, 1 css people, 1 artist, and 1 backend guy(not sure how to split it up), 1 tester
  19. You can’t write your own unit test. Because you are not a certified tester
  20. You can’t do mockup
  21. You can’t do prototyping on your own
  22. You can’t do javascript, so no ajax or what not, because there is no cert
  23. You can’t do html, because there is no cert
  24. I can’t do python as a service, because there is no cert
  25. I can’t even use sql, because I have no cert
Just among those I remember. Could be more

The Malaysian Computing Profession Act

One of the hottest topic today is the Computer Professional Act 2011. As a software developer, this affect me quite a lot. I for one is against such a act, for both professional, and personal reason.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/75107593/CPB2011-Draft

A draft have been out not very long ago.

Definition


A few definition on the document

“Computing” is a goal-oriented activity to plan, architect, design, create, develop, implement, use and manage information technology or information technology systems.

So here I assume computing in general, from creation to usage.

“Computing Practitioner” means a person who has a job function in computing or qualification in computing

Here I assume this mean people that uses computer, from architect, software developer, system administrator, end user. You get the idea.

Registration
Finish a few definition. Now lets jump ahead to part 3, on registration. Lets continue

There shall be indicated against the name of each Registered Computing Practitioner and Registered Computing Professional kept in the Register a record of disciplines or specializations on computing obtained or acquired by such personnel through academic qualification or training including on-the-job training or skill or specialist or professional certifications.

So it means here, I need to declare what I know, what does it mean? Does it mean that I need to produce a cert? Does it mean my boss need to write a letter? Thing get a bit uncomfortable here.

  • If we just declare, then it means the whole process is useless? We can just claim what we know.
  • If we need to have a cert then here is an interesting part, a lot of new technology don’t provide cert. Open Source Project also don’t always have cert. Thing change fast enough the training will need to be updated often, and it will be expensive. 
  • On job training? My experience on job is, it tend to go safe, and rarely able to use the latest in technology
  • School? That usually is not helpful at all
  • Then if not above, that how to judge this?
Let go next 

For certifications mentioned in subsection (2), the Board may maintain a list of certifications provided by associations and bodies in Computing recognised by the Board and will keep the list updated from time to time.

What is the criteria to go into a list? Does it mean it will monitor training provider, via accreditation? Consider the countries, reputation. How not to abuse it.

Qualification

Now on to qualification

14.(1) (a) Subject to this Act, a person who holds –  

(i) the qualifications required for Graduate Membership of a professional body or organisation recognized by the Board, and the qualifications are recognised by the Board; or 

(ii) any qualification in Information Technology or Computing which is recognised by the     Board; or 

(iii) any other qualifications, certifications or relevant experiences recognised by the Board,

      shall be entitled on application to be registered as a
      Registered Computing Practitioner.

So remember the definition on top, Computing Practitioner is someone that just use a computer. From my understanding, does it mean that, everybody need to register to use a software?  For i) what kind of qualification, for iii) what kind of relevant experience, and certification?

2) Subject to this Act, the following persons shall be entitled on application to be registered as a Registered Computing Professional:

(a) any person who is a Computing Graduate or any person who has other qualifications recognized by the board 

    (i) who has obtained the practical experience as prescribed under subsection (1)(b); and 

    (ii) who has passed a professional assessment examination conducted by the Board,    

Corporate Member of or is a a professional body or organisation recognized by the Board; and

    (iii) who has paid the prescribed fee and 

    (iv) who has complied with all the requirements of the Board;

On top of experience we now have examination.

  • What examination will be conducted? How many type
  • What platform? or how many
  •  Or practical knowledge on only stuff from one vendor? 
  • Does it cover just computing, then in the definition above, it can be anything, even using spreadsheet is computing. 
  • If not what does it cover?
  • If so, does it mean everybody can claim to be professional?

An extra note on, examination is that useless, there is too many tool, too many option. Limiting to one will be ridiculous and unfair to other.

Scope

Lets go to the scope of what I can or cannot do

(a) a Registered Computing Practitioner employment may take up which  requires him to perform Computing

Services subject to the 

i. work is carried out under the supervision or instruction by a Registered Computing Professional,

or

ii. similar work scope has been carried out by the Registered Computing Practitioner before.

and

A Registered Computing Professional may only provide

Computing Services in the disciplines or specialisations of Computing

 he is qualified to practise and as is shown in the Register under

subsection 12(2).

Does it mean that, I register myself as a software developer, does it mean that

  • that I can only write program. 
  • I cannot administer my own server? 
  • I cannot fix my own computer? 
  • Because I only declare that I can only do webapp, does it mean I cannot write other type of software(say web server). 
  • Now if I self taught new technology, does it mean I cannot use it at work when opportunity is given. 

And because it is based on similar work carried out before, it means that;

  • I can only do stuff that I only do before,
  • so if I started with writing webapp, does it mean I cannot be administer my own server at work? 
  • it mean I cannot write mobile application professionally? does it mean, if i ever sell my own mobile application, because I did not declare this, outside of my work?
  • Or I can only work in one industry, once in banking forever in banking

I graduated in AI in UM(don’t ask), does it mean I cannot do mobile application? etc.

One more thing is how do we describe a similar scope? Does it go very granular, i.e you can only do php, because you have done php. Or it can be high level, i.e you have to do asp.net because you do web development.

Software tend to require multiple skillset, in reality a person involve in software need to have multiple skill, more obviously seen in software developer. And we have to learn on our own, the world just move fast, if we ignore the problem, the train just gone. Setting up rule like that, just make thing worst.

Conclusion
I believe that this act do not benefit professional like me for many reason.

  • For one, I don’t see the point, what kind of qualification for one, everybody use computer now? 
  • It limit my opportunity, I need to declare what I know, somehow. 
  • Worst I can only work on stuff I declared and no more, 
  • Opportunity tend to be based on past experience. 
  • Self learning, is not covered, and will not be recognized. 
  • Worst I am not even allowed to use stuff that is new, because I am did not declare that I am know it. But I need to use to learn, to use a new technology. So does it mean I can only learn in secret. 
  • Technically I am not even allowed to sell mobile app, which nowadays is very easy to distribute
In the end of the day, I believe this bring us 10 step backward for the IT industry. And only make thing worst. 

.

Job Hunt aka I’m Lost Edition

So I’m searching for a job, trying to find a job as a programmer. Preferably python, java(very rusty), probably php(not too fond of doing it, i can live with it) too

One interesting notes here is, there is quite a number of .net or vb job on job board that I found, with some java and php. Was hoping to find job on python. No luck there. Probably I should comes out with a statistic of this.

Comes a realization, I begin to wonder, should I just master a language because of a job, or I just master it for fun? Or rather, should I master a fun language, or master a language with more job opening?

In reality I’m pretty lost. And indirect pressure from family really sucks……

BTW, I’m ready to be hired. I know python, and django. I can do some java too, albeit very very rusty…