Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Paying Programmers on Contingency (Just Like Lawyers!): The "Ingres Million Dollar Challenge" recently announced by Computer Associates (CA) has a lot in common with a contingent legal matter. A million dollar pool is divided into six prizes, ranging from $400,000 to $50,000. The prizes award the best tools for migrating from competing database platforms to CA's Ingres platform. For example, the developer that creates the best migration tool for moving data from the IBM DB2 Universal platform to the Ingres platform gets $300,000.

Like a lawyer deciding whether to take on a contingent matter, programmers deciding whether to rise to the Ingres Challenge need to take a hard look at the project. Developing a migration tool for complex databases is not a three weekend job for four teenagers on home computers. It takes a considerable investment of time and money by skilled programmers.

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