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Work from home - infrastructure

Tim Holloway
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Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 15960
    
  19

I asked this question several years ago, but times change, so I'm curious how much they've changed.

Back around 2002, the cost of having a computer in one's home in India was enough deter most people. Salaries have risen and the cost of a system capable of running an IDE and J2EE stack has fallen. Is it now possible for the average Indian JavaRancher to consider buying a home computer? Or to actually have one?

How about electricity? Reliable enough to be able to work from the average residence without fear of losing work in progress? It's OK to say yes if a UPS is affordable and outages aren't too intrusive.

Data Communications. How fast, how affordable, how reliable. Also, if a wired connection isn't viable, how about a cellular modem?

I'm looking to get a feel for primarily for what someone might do on his/her own initiative, although I'm also interested in the things that an employer might provide. I'd expect an employer to be able to provide a PC and cellular modem, although they might draw the line at a personal electric generator.

Since India is a large and diverse country, I'd also like to know what's available where. Also, anyone in Pakistan, Bangladesh, or similar places is welcome to contribute as well.


Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
Vikrant Pandit
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 27, 2006
Posts: 245
I can give some insight about the situation in India


Back around 2002, the cost of having a computer in one's home in India was enough deter most people. Salaries have risen and the cost of a system capable of running an IDE and J2EE stack has fallen. Is it now possible for the average Indian JavaRancher to consider buying a home computer? Or to actually have one?

Yes , the systems good enough to run a J2EE stack are affordable for a person (mostly IT professionals and engineering students) interested enough to buy it. A desktop costs around $600 and a laptop approx. around $1000.


How about electricity?

In most parts of the country, power is unreliable. Most of the cities face around 1 to 4 hrs of power cut. Most of the people depend upon invertors or power backup provided by the housing society they live in. If you are working on desktop , UPS is a must have to avoid any losses of data.


Data Communications.

With the advent of fixed line dsl connections provided by private telecom companies, it is much better and affordable than it used to be. However, it is not as good as the rest of the world. An unlimited 256Kbps connections costs around $25. Mobile data cards/ GPRS are still costly and give around 72 Kbps most of the time .


I'd expect an employer to be able to provide a PC and cellular modem, although they might draw the line at a personal electric generator.

Few companies promote work from home in India due to the reasons given above. However, in case you are required to , they usually provide a machine and foot the bill for the internet . Most of the people get a phone as well. No,power generators are not provided


Vikrant Pandit
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 15960
    
  19

Thanks, I hope some others will also offer their input. The price of hardware is inline with what I expected - not surprising since we're all getting the same motherboards from China, CPUs from Malaysia and RAM from El Salvador. I can probably get it for slightly less due to differences in taxes and import fees, but not enough to matter.

Actually, I can get a refurbished IBM desktop for about $250 that's identical to what I did all my J2EE development on back in 2006. Monitor not included. Anyway, what I was mainly interested in was whether people in Bangalore, Kolkota, Pune, Chennai, etc. were likely to be using/programming computers of their own in their homes.

I read electrical availability as being on average offline for about 4 hours/day. I just want to get that nailed down - is that correct and is that per 24-hour day or just the part of the day when people are at home and awake to care about it?

You could be doing worse on data communications - using a dial-up line in my town, average on a 56K modem is 24.4K. If I made 5-10K lakhs or so a year, I'd probably spring for the 256K if it's reliable. People around here probably spend a higher percentage of their income on cable TV than that.
Rambo Prasad
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 23, 2006
Posts: 628
My company offers the flexibility to work from home and reimburses a part of the internet charge...I have opted for a 256 Kbps unlimited internet connection and it costs around Rs 750(19$) in Bangalore...

The power scenario again depends on the city where you live..I reside in Bangalore and power failure is not a regular feature though it occurs occasionally...I would say it would be on an average 4hrs/week...


Helping hands are much better than the praying lips
Arjun Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 1874
2/3 companies I know has started the option of working from home atleast 2 days/week.This 'work from home' solution has its limitaion.
Offshore work many times consist of large number of people and not independent consultants.Coordination between these team members(many team members are between 1-5 years of experience)is always challenging task.Companies definitely won'take risk of providing connection,laptop/PC to every team member.Team leads/project leads do get this facility and to some extent it works in proejcts which require support-maintenance.
IMO in big cities people get descent internet connection but still not at a level where companies can fully rely on it and get work done.


MH
Kj Reddy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 20, 2003
Posts: 1704
In my previous company I used to work from home. I was provided a Laptop and had 256 kbps internet connection. As the laptop had 3 hrs battery backup small duration power cuts didn't become much problem. I feel there is no major problems working from home in most major cities in India.
Kj Reddy
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 20, 2003
Posts: 1704
Originally posted by Tim Holloway:

I read electrical availability as being on average offline for about 4 hours/day. I just want to get that nailed down - is that correct and is that per 24-hour day or just the part of the day when people are at home and awake to care about it?



If you live out skirts of city there may be about 4 hours/day power cut but other wise in main cities no power cut.
[ May 04, 2008: Message edited by: KJ Reddy ]
Nitesh Kant
Bartender

Joined: Feb 25, 2007
Posts: 1638

Hi Tim,

I am living in Bangalore and many a times work from home. (Although only when due to illness or personal work I can not go to office.)

Following are my 2 cents:

Tim: Is it now possible for the average Indian JavaRancher to consider buying a home computer?

Yep. very much possible. Infact, 99% of the people i know have a home computer/laptop. I have a HP pavillion dv6314tx i.e. a dual core, 1 GB ram laptop. I got it for 60K about an year back. It must have got cheaper now.
A similar configuration desktop will cost around 30-35K
So, it is not that much money for an average software professional. On top of it systems are available at low interest or 0% EMIs which makes it much more easy to own a system.

Tim: How about electricity?

This is a little dicey but Bangalore does not get a mandatory 3-4 hours of power cut. Power supply is pretty decent but yeah on some bad days, things may go a little bad i.e. about 4 hours of power cut. But this is more of an exception than a rule.

Tim: It's OK to say yes if a UPS is affordable and outages aren't too intrusive.

Yeah definetly UPS is affordable. Many people have inverters at home or a common generator in the apartment complex. But as i said in Banaglore its not that much of a hindrance to work barring a few bad days.


Tim: Data Communications. How fast, how affordable, how reliable. Also, if a wired connection isn't viable, how about a cellular modem?

A wired connection is absolutely viable. I have a 2MBPS broadband connection. (Of course 2 MBPS is the maximum and in peak hours i get around 600-700 kbps) It is not an unlimited connection and i pay around Rs. 1000 per month. (I dont do any huge downloads so it keeps my usage down.) Usually, internet providers do some kind of rate limiting for unlimited subscribers so they usually get a lower bandwidth.

Summarizing the above, work from home is not a problem at all in Bangalore
Let know if you need some more input.


apigee, a better way to API!
Kalyan Anand
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 07, 2007
Posts: 194
I have sent PMs to you guys asking for some information as I am not sure whether I can ask the question over the forum.

Can you please check your PMs and respond to me ?
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 15960
    
  19

Thanks, everyone and I expect a vast outpouring of great new open-source software from all these home systems!
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
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