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People will easily feel cheated or fooled if they can not get direct benefit from what they contribute. We have to talk about what will be the advantages by doing real work as a start.
Most companies will care more about what you have accomplished, besides what you have learned. Many will even ask whether the project is internal or commercial product. To be honest though cruel, what you've learned will be only one line in your resume, no matter how many years you spent for it, either a degree or certificates. Some training companies provided course projects and rendered in the resume as real projects. And you know what it has turned out to be. Back in 1998, when I carried a laptop and demonstrated the software I produced for a startup company to the interviewers, they told me frankly that they were greatly impressed. (However, the startup company died because of financial problems left me zero cents except ideas and spirits.) By doing real works, you have real things to show to your future bosses. Also you will have reference people in North America.
Traditionally there are two ways of business, making product or providing consultance. Consulting (take contracts from other companies) is less risky and more instant money. But right now there are really not too many projects around in the recession. Making our own products is more controllable and we can accumulate intellectual property. The company will have more credit to make deals with others when the economy recovers. Get a look at ZDNET or CDNET download sections; we are not alone in doing that. The success rate is too low? It is actually higher than the percentage of people could get into a university in China.
What kind of products we will make actually depends on what kinds of people will response. Creative people are rare and precious, and most welcomed. Others want to be assigned tasks. On the technical part, for C++, a mature idea is automation software. Take a look at "Automate" software. We have a similar prototype and could be refined ona different focus. General idea is, if a category of product has no freeware on the market, then we have margin to compete. For those who will be interested in C# and XML, there is an accounting software under negotiation. It will be part of sales management system in China. Gratefully, the next ten years will be Chinese era. Anyone who has connection with Chinese enterprises will be highly welcomed to participate.
China has great potential on the IT development. There are a bunch of software (systems) available but someone (executive guys) told me that the usability and stability are poor. If the system is not proper designed, redundant work will cost high to the company. It is common phenomena in every aspects of Chinese industry. We can produce everything, but nothing perfect. And needless to say, Chinese companies lack management experiences and lag behind on the methodology and guidelines aspects. We can make up what they want corperating together. As of the personnel’s benefits, those who work with us will get compensated on what has been missed during your experience in China.
There are some smaller programs we want to implement as commercial software. We will publish them onto Internet to be accessible worldwide. We will need some persons to describe the software on our web site and write manuals. If you are expertised on hardware setup and configuration, we can help you on consulting services, marketing more on native people. New immigrants will feel pain if you charge anything from them, but the natives get used to pay for services if they are satisfied (usually, not all people are saints). That’s why Service industry is one of the supporting industry in North America. We will collect testimonies from users and list in the web site. Again, this is the way of life here. Credit system, do not take advantage of it by cheating, but really benefit from abide by it, in the name of both company and personnel. When it is the time, we will get sales company to sell for us or our own marketing people will do their home work.
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