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Old 10-04-2017, 09:07 AM   #1
jeremy
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Oracle Tells The White House: Stop Hiring Silicon Valley People & Ditch Open Source


From Techdirt

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Even though Oracle is based in the heart of Silicon Valley (I can see its offices from my own office window as I type this), the company has become sort of anti-Silicon Valley. It tends to represent the opposite of nearly everything that is accepted wisdom around here. And its latest crusade is against open source technology being used by the federal government -- and against the government hiring people out of Silicon Valley to help create more modern systems. Instead, Oracle would apparently prefer the government just give it lots of money.

First, some background: over the past few years, one of the most positive things involving the federal government and technology has been the success of two similar (but also very different) organizations in the US government: US Digital Service (USDS) and 18F. If you're completely unfamiliar with them there are plenty of articles describing both projects, but this one is a good overview. But the really short version is that both projects were an attempt to convince internet savvy engineers to help out in the federal government, and to bring a better understanding of modern technology into government. And it's been a huge success in a variety of ways -- such as creating federal government websites that are modern, secure and actually work. And even though both programs are associated with President Obama, the Trump administration has been adamant that it supports both organizations as well, and they're important to continuing to modernize the federal government. The offices are not politicized, and they have been some of the best proof we've got that government done right involves smart, dedicated technologists.

Of course, not everyone is thrilled with these organizations. Old school federal contractors, for one, have been grumbling loudly about 18F daring to do things like making government procurement open to small businesses. After all, these contractors have spent decades charging the government billions for crappy products, in part, because they know how to work the system. Bringing in actual engineers who realize that it's crazy to spend so much money on crappy solutions -- especially when there are much better solutions that are often open, seems to really piss off some folks who grew fat and happy overcharging the government. And they've found some front groups who argue that these programs are a waste of government money, which would be better spent giving billions to private contractors.
Thoughts on this?

--jeremy
 
Old 10-04-2017, 09:53 AM   #2
sevendogsbsd
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Gov contractor here - gov is, for the most part, open source friendly, but there are still a lot of old-school cronies that insist on the "you get what you pay for" adage so open source being free, must not be any good. Plus the idiotic "if you can see the code, it isn't secure" belief people have that don't understand security at all. My customer uses oracle exclusively for databases and apps and it is OMG expensive. In our position, not really a way to switch without a lot of pain because it has been embedded in the solution for nearly 2 decades.

Firm believer and supporter of open source and whenever I get a chance to recommend it for a given solution, I do. Fortunately, budgets (or lack of) are driving the use of more and more open source.
 
Old 10-05-2017, 09:57 AM   #3
dave@burn-it.co.uk
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Oracle BBB
 
Old 10-05-2017, 11:31 AM   #4
Myk267
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Thanks for sharing. I think the author ripped apart Oracle's "false narratives" pretty handily.
 
  


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