Quality, Secrecy, Dedication

Those are the “core values”:http://www.nosotek.com/about_us/philosophy.html of a Pyongyang-based software outsourcing operation whose website was just “flagged”:http://www.nkeconwatch.com/2009/08/02/nosotek/ by NK Econ Watch:

bq.. Nosotek is the first western IT venture in DPRK (North Korea).
In DPRK, software engineers are selected from the mathematics elite and learn programming from the ground-up, such as assembler to C#, but also Linux kernel and Visual Basic macros.
Among them, Nosotek has attracted the cream of local talent as the only company in Pyongyang offering western working conditions and Internet access.
In addition to the accessible skill level Nosotek was set-up in DPRK because IP secrecy and minimum employee churn rate are structurally guaranteed.

Nosotek sells direct access to its 50+ programmers jointly managed by western and local managers.

p. So, how good is the DPRK mathematics elite? Offhand, I’d say pretty damned good. Their team just came in fifth in the 2009 “International Mathematics Olympiad”:http://www.imo-official.org/results.aspx, a high-school contest where dozens of nations compete annually. (China has taken top honors in most years since 1989, a pretty good indicator that the competition is on the level.)

About a month ago, I shared some observations about the quality of NK engineering (“here”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/2060/nk-engineering-rough-and-ready and “here”:http://www.totalwonkerr.net/2061/tolkiens-dwarves-with-a-slide-projector). This is leading up to something, I promise!

Update: “See here”:http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/2406/reasons-not-to-underestimate-north-korea.

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