As you can probably tell, I enjoy computers.

The Internet and Globalization

As you can probably tell, I enjoy computers. I find them fascinating. My intrinsic thirst for knowledge has reached a point where I now realize that I will never know everything there is to know about them, nor understand everything I try to learn about them.

Therefore, when I was approached by a client recently, to upgrade their website, I soon regretted my usual agreement to do so, assuming I could simply figure out how to implement any of their required features, if need be.

These clients have an on-line estate agency, and list all their properties on their web site, complete with photographs. They wanted their site visitors to be able to search all their listings, using pre 'selected parameters such as price range and location in the Algarve.

I have looked at many such websites and figured I could tackle the job. All I needed to do was learn the programming language that these type of database driven sites use. Well, I purchased the book and soon realized I was in over my head. Learning this new language would have taken me months.

Rather than tell my client I could not do the job, I decided to outsource the programming portion of the design job. I network with many other computer related people in the Algarve, whose services compliment mine, and have called on their specific areas of expertise many times in the past. I put my programming project out to bid, so to speak, with a few programmers I know here in the Algarve and a few in the UK. I also put my project on a worldwide programmers bulletin board, which I have never done before, to see what kind of response I would get.

I was shocked by the results. My UK and Algarve friends quoted me prices that were on the expensive side. Some of the quotes that came in from around the world were one tenth of these prices. I chose a programmer in Pakistan that had good reviews from this bulletin board. I must say that I have never had such a pleasant experience working with a programmer before. His work was excellent, he was polite, enthusiastic and did not ask for payment until the job was completely up and running and my client was satisfied. His product was delivered to me as an attachment to an email in seconds, once he finished the job.

My point? If you want a taste of what globalization is all about, just visit the Internet. Information from around the world is practically free, and services that can be delivered electronically can be purchased from excellent worldwide sources at a fraction of the local price.

Is this good or bad? Your opinion does not really matter because it is already here and upon us.

About the author: George McKee writes a twice-monthly, computer and Internet related article in the Algarve Resident, a newspaper for the English speaking residents of the Algarve region of Portugal. He also operates, with his business partner, www.grafica-link.com, a web hosting and design firm in southern Portugal. He can be contacted at george@responsiblenetizen.org or at his little corner of the website http://www.grafica-link.com/bytedoctor.htm

Author: George McKee