in this business. And there's a huge demand, and clearly the demand has completely outgrown the supply of people who have experience and/or have serious interest in the software world these days. And I hear this in every nation. I was just in Britain and Germany, and you hear American managers saying, "Oh, my goodness. It's so hard to hire people, find people. I've got openings, I've got money, but I can't find anybody." It's the exact same thing I'm hearing in Europe these days.
Carol: And we will be back at the bottom of the hour with Tim Lister and more Quality Plus e-Talk! with Carol Dekkers.
Welcome back to Quality Plus e-Talk! I'm Carol Dekkers. I'm the President of Quality Plus Technologies. We are specialists in software process improvement, function point analysis and software measurement. I am pleased to present to you our guest, Tim Lister, who is a major player in the Atlantic Systems Guild. He's one of the seven major people, I guess one of the Big 7. He's the co-author with Tom DeMarco of a book called PeopleWare, which is in its second edition, has been translated into six languages, and has had enough royalties to at least buy a few things for Tim. I'd like to welcome you back to the show, Tim.
Tim: Hi, Carol.
Carol: And we've been talking a little bit about the people aspects, the team aspects, of software development. And this kind of fits in with our series of the show, and just what makes software development successful. And Tim's an international speaker, consultant, and lecturer. He also does software risk, and we've been talking a little bit about what makes a team successful. And one of the questions I've got is, we both subscribe or read a new magazine that's been out for about three years called Fast Company. And Fast Company, about a year ago, featured an article on software development companies, and the best places to work. And they featured a company, I can't remember their name, where they had hired primarily 20-somethings who knew Java and all the new languages, hired them for 70-, 80-hour work weeks. They ate, lived, breathed the office. Would take off on Friday nights on a company jet to Las Vegas, spend the weekend there and go straight back into work on Monday morning. And really, that was the life of the people in that systems development company. And at the other end of the spectrum, with equally high productivity, was a company called SAS, out of Cary, North Carolina. And they've taken a completely opposite stance, where they started investing in family-friendly programs for the employees, where people can take time off without any problem to care for aged loved ones, senior citizens, to look after kids. And Tim, I just want to ask you, what do you see with those two companies being so completely polarized and different, what do you see their chances of success in software projects?
Tim: Carol, you know, the amazing thing is… I've been in this business for such a long time, sometimes it feels that way… Corporate culture is so enormously varied, that when I go to a client for the first time, I've got a new client, I know enough now to know not to be surprised by anything. I can't guess what's going to happen. I think most people, people who have been in the same job for the same organization for a long time, you kind of, you're submerged, you're in the corporate culture, so you don't really sense