Intelligence Specialist, consultant for LEAs in LI

 

As an external consultant for the Anti-Drug division of the Italian Police, Roberto Capodieci has begun developing computer programs to analyze intelligence data from the age of 16 years old (in 1990). Since then he has been hired as a consultant in several LEAs in Italy and abroad, working with intelligence officers who gather information by field observation, confidential information sources, and private or public records, before using specialist computer software and technology to analyze the collected data and generate reports of their findings.

 

Roberto Capodieci main expertise is in investigating crime data and other information sources to identify patterns of criminal activity. Roberto assists investigators in understanding how patterns of criminal activity are linked, targeting individuals and their criminal networks.

 

Roberto offers also support and consultancy to LEAs before, during, and after the acquisition, setup, and use of new LI systems and tools, and for the acquisition, setup, and use of software for the analysis of the data collected. To do this Roberto provides the client with specialized assistance supported by a team of consultants each specialized in specific aspects of the LI panorama.

 

Roberto is often invited to conduct lectures at conferences on topics related to the subjects of his work.

 

 

 

Specialties

 

International consulting, expertise in custom development of software application for LEA since 1990, experience in working with both LEA and PI agencies in several continents and languages, work both at the desk and on the field. Roberto has experience working in various areas of criminal intelligence, from investigations with local police forces to major enquiries of national or international importance.

 

 

 

Experience

 

Owner at ExComputer
February 2004 – Present (8 years)
– Providing consultations, training, and installation of hardware devices and software applications for Intelligence Analysis Management and IT Forensic Services. ExComputer provides the technology solutions to support LEAs in the collection of intelligence data through monitoring and tapping activities and the analytical process of managing and organizing raw intelligence information into finished intelligence.

 

IT Consultant at Memex
2007 – 2008 (1 year)
– As an external consultant Roberto has been hired to help Memex deal and manage a project involving as prospect client a foreign government.

 

IT Consultant at Italian Police
June 1990 – December 2004 (14 years 7 months)
– As an external consultant Roberto provided (self developed, or acquired and customized) several software systems to analyze data collected during investigations generating intelligence information later used in court. Occasionally Roberto provided forensic consulting on IT cases.

 

Software Development Manager at Blu Horse srl
December 2001 – February 2004 (2 years 3 months)
– Supervised and managed all software development projects. Most of the projects involved software development for securing Internet servers and client-server applications.

 

Start-up Manager at Avrion srl
March 2001 – December 2001 (10 months)
– Supervised and managed the start-up of the company, a joint-venture between two well know Italian IT companies. My role involved setting up the company and hiring the management team and developers. I also handled and closed the first sale for a project that generated an income of more than 500 thousand USD.

 

Programmer and chief of programmers at Akropolys Group and RCX srl
1990 – February 2001 (11 years)
– I started my first company called Akropolys at the age of 15. My company still exists. It become a group after 4 years of business, when it was split into 7 different company, one for each field of activity. One year later I sold my shares of 5 of the new companies, while remaining partner of the holding of the group and opened RCX srl, a software house and IT security consulting firm. I ideated and developed OptiCut, software for optimizing marble cutting.

 

Founder and event manager at MCM MegaComputerMania
1987 – 1989 (3 years)
– MCM was a club for IT enthusiasts. With other club members I created and programmed a protocol for VHF radio packet data transmission and a system for radio control (controlled robots).

 

 

 

Education

 

Istituto Meccanografico Veneto – IMV
System Operator on IBM-iSeries systems and RPG language programmer, 1988 – 1991

 

 

 

LANGUAGES

 

Italian (mother tongue)
English (fluent)
French (good)
Indonesian (good)
Spanish (beginner)

 

 

 

Recommendations (from LinkedIn)

 

“Roberto was very knowledgeable and helpful about the technology issues we discussed, and had an interesting and valuable perspective.”
— Jeremy Wagstaff, Technology Columnist, The Asian Wall Street Journal

 

“Roberto is a true expert in his field, with a great attention for detail and an ability to simplify the most complicated information. He is personable and enthusiastic about everything he does and I would have no hesitation in recommending him to any prospective user of his services.”
— Paul Gillies, was Roberto’s client

 

“Is a good technical and he know very well the aspect of the lawful interception in Italy and the way
of information management. He has a good relationship with all law enforcement in Italy”
— Giuseppe Di Ieva, Perito Tecnico della Polizia di Stato, Direzione Centrale Anticrimine – Servizio Polizia Scientifica – Sezione Indagini Elettroniche

 

“Roberto has a deep understanding of client needs and requirements. Roberto is a ‘putting the customer first’ expert and very tenacious in solving a problem. He can absorb a lot of information and pass it on in the appropriate channels and be a big asset on a project. Integrity and trust is very important to Roberto and makes him a excellent partner. I will have no hesitation to work with Roberto again on any project.”
— Cary Hendricks, was Roberto’s client

 

Roberto Capodieci,
Current position: COO at 25co Inc.

 

Roberto brings decades of experience in software development and analysis to the role of Chief Operating Officer at 25co Inc., where he is devote in overviewing the incorporation of the most secure, stable, and efficient technologies into “25task”, the constantly growing suite of tools that 25co Inc. uses as foundation for the creation of web applications and software solutions.

 
In a career that spans almost three decades and three continents, Roberto has gathered a wealth of experience as a programmer and software creator. From video game developer to chief analyst and project manager, he’s earned a reputation as one of the industry’s most innovative thinkers. He’s worked with clients ranging from multinational corporations to governments, and government agencies such as the FBI. In 1997, after leading one of the world’s first investigations into online fraud, he received a personal thank-you letter from then U.S. President Bill Clinton.

 
Roberto discovered a passion for computers at the tender age of 6 when, with the help of his father, he learned programming on a Sharp PC-1211. By age 10 he had developed and sold his first video game on a Commodore Vic-20. Roberto started his business career at age 14 when he secured authorization from Italy’s court for minors to open his first company. In the formative years of the Internet he expanded his experience into the online world and quickly found his services in great demand. Beside managing a software house, Roberto also offered consulting to local law enforcement agencies. His work with the Italian police’s anti-drug unit led directly to the arrest of several large criminal organizations and the introduction of new practices in the analysis of phone records to extract criminal profiles.

 
Since his early start as an entrepreneur Roberto has worked as software developer, chief programmer, software analyst, software architect, data mining coordinator and IT consultant. His companies have employed more than 100 people on three continents and covered fields as varied as IT, multimedia, marketing, and consulting.

 
Despite a unique career in multiple disciplines each role has shared a common theme: combining technology with common sense to enrich lives and extract value.

 
View Roberto’s LinkedIn profile at LinkedIn and some press in Italian

 
Roberto is Italian, but lives in Bali, Indonesia with his Singaporean wife and two children. He speaks Italian, English, French and Indonesian.

 

 
Bio

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Press

1980s

 

I was born in 1974, one of the first generation of acne-ridden, computer-loving geeks. I am old enough to have seen the birth of home computing, and young enough to belong to the group they call “Digital Natives.” At school I learned to write in my (paper) notebook and, at home, to write code on my computer keyboard. I have belonged to the digital era since a time when Information Technology was unknown to most people.

 

I would spend hours sitting in a darkened closet at my home, lit only by a green monochrome monitor. My inspirations were “TrOn” and “War Games”, only to be viewed in movie theaters–VCRs were rare in those days. At that time, nobody could imagine that computers could become one of the supporting pillars of our world’s economy and that, one day, they would become essential for human beings to survive on this planet. Nobody would have imagined that the mix of electronic paraphernalia, at the time still considered a toy, would become essential to the functioning of our modern society.

 

Today there are legions of IT “experts”. But at that time, when home computing was still in its infancy, the IT community numbered only a few people who shared the same “new” hobby of deepening their knowledge of computers. These circles of enthusiasts, many of whom today are prominent specialists, were for a long time members of a small and restricted elite, even though computers had already started to gain ground in our daily lives.

 

Two very different groups of computer owners naturally formed: a majority which used their equipment only to play games or to do word processing, and a minority that, curious and eager, went on daily “expeditions” inside the microprocessor. This latter group gave birth to an underground community of IT pioneers devoted to the discovery of uncharted virtual and cyber territories, gaining ground through daily experiments with new lines of code.

 

 

The Identikit of the first little IT geniuses

 

It required the right mindset, humility and capacity for extreme patience, paired with curiosity and maybe an undiagnosed light form of Asperger’s syndrome, to remain isolated in this digital world, with only a monitor and a keyboard for company, sometimes for several hours of daytime and, as often, the entire night.

 

Dealing with a very obedient, intelligent and yet stupid machine, supported by barely any documentation and just a few code examples to learn from, required a methodological and daring approach. Only those who understood “the rules” on how to deal with a computer would eventually succeed. The beginning required the humility of an apprentice, having a teacher that spoke a different language. Whatever you would say, the answer would always be: “ERROR”!

 

Having the patience to learn to communicate with the computer was essential, and keystroke after keystroke, the master of a few words would become a very obedient pupil, fulfilling every request without ever committing the slightest mistake. With time, learning the language to communicate concepts to the machine and, most importantly, understanding the machine’s psychology (the electronic psyche of the machine’s main brain) was the necessary step to create incredible and fascinating new worlds.

 

Reaching this stage would usually bring the programmer into a heightened divine state: he could define the rules of his digital world through lines of code that were considered commandments — more than mere commands. Being able to find refuge in a world where one person could assume the role of God was definitely a good reason for always trying to gain more control over it.

 

There was a constant need for experiment, trial and error, and hours of study in understanding and analyzing secrets held by another programmer’s code. There was a habit to search and reach the limits imposed by computers capacities, to demonstrate the complete domination over the digital environment. Every secret had to be unveiled, every obstacle had to be prevailed over. A better, deeper, broader knowledge would be the ultimate proof of one’s superiority in the digital world and over other programmers.

 

This is why the extreme challenge presented by cracking encrypted files, breaking into password-protected environments and overcoming protection systems has often been a preference for IT explorers. To breach a security system was, for those who succeeded, the demonstration of their superiority over the system’s creator. The theft of protected data was hardly the main goal, but a proof of the ability to infiltrate someone else’s system.

 

 

The birth of the Hacker community

 

At that time, there were no books or schools teaching the notions necessary to become a programmer. When somebody discovered something new or wrote an interesting piece of software, they would simply share it with other IT enthusiasts.

 

Unfortunately, finding a reliable source of information that would inspire and enrich one’s knowledge was a real challenge – it was as difficult as finding a way to share successful experiences. On the top of it, given that we were all living in our own secluded digital worlds, getting in touch with another IT enthusiasts to share something was barely possible.

 

The first “broad” connection between programmers of the first generation was rendered possible by scarcely available printed publications in the English language (giving an additional challenge to non-English speakers such as myself at the time). The year 1984 saw not only my 10th birthday, but also the birth of 2600, a controversial quarterly magazine collecting and re-sharing tricks and tips about IT and phone networks. 2600 is still published to this day.
From Wikipedia: “The magazine’s name comes from the phreaker discovery in the 1960s that the transmission of a 2600 hertz tone (which could be produced perfectly with a plastic toy whistle given away free with Cap’n Crunch cereal [...]) over a long-distance [phone] trunk connection gained access to “operator mode” and allowed the user to explore aspects of the telephone system that were not otherwise accessible”

 

With the growth of IT communities around the world, very shyly, other magazines addressing similar topics both in English and in other languages began publication. Unfortunately, these ones were only for beginners and were of interest only to a new generation of programmers. In the meanwhile, years before the Internet arose, and thanks to the birth of modems (MOdulators-DEModulators, devices capable of transforming data into sounds and vice versa), computers started learning to exchange data with each other over the phone network.

 

By leaving a home computer always powered on and ready to answer a phone call through a modem, the first virtual meeting points and document repositories were born. Data connection via the phone network opened a new way for getting to know and confronting others and learning new ideas, thanks to information sharing that was almost in real time.

 

The birth of the BBS (Bulletin Board System), accessible with a home computer through the use of a modem, was a major milestone in the growth of the underground IT community. Most BBS would have only one phone line, thus handling a maximum of two users per time (one connected via modem, and one – the SysOp – sitting at the console). Some other BBS, managed by wealthier kids, had two or more phone lines and modems, allowing more users to be online at the same moment. The SysOp was the “God” of his own computer and BBS, and those who where granted access were under his power. With no more than a key stroke, he could allow the users to consult archived documents, use messaging systems that were the precursors to today’s emails, as well as kick users out of the system and ban them from future access.

 

Thanks to the BBS that also provided the first electronic mailboxes, the first hackers started to consolidate their friendships and form groups with members that were often living in different cities. Concurrently, these new network systems also served as channels in distributing illegal materials, such as credit card information and stolen access accounts (username and passwords) to systems with sensitive data. The circle of curious and enthusiasts then spread, growing through several BBS networks (the biggest of which still in function is Fidonet), reaching out all around the world. A thin line separated the good and bad hackers, and the first police operations against the first cybercrimes had already started taking place.

 

In the years following, new big private and public data packet networks were put in place, and connections between these networks and the creations of “networks of networks” became the genesis of ARPANET, which in turn evolved into the Internet. During those years, a small community of people witnessed the birth of something that, today, belongs to everybody’s life.

 

 

Twenty years ago bits and bytes were the interest of a few; today they are vital to everyone’s life.

 

Until the birth of the Internet the IT world was merely about techniques and technologies catching the interest of a few programmers and small groups of users (the pioneers of world processing and electronic spreadsheets) and arguments over bits and Bytes were definitely not of public interest.

 

That has all changed. Today discussions about IT are of interest to everybody. These are the years of reality check in the IT world: we are at a point where abstract entities such as bits and Bytes (the data) are so important that governments all around the world are — sometimes from positions of deep ignorance — trying to regulate them.

 

This is because everything is now bits and Bytes: music, as well as movies, books, money, reservations, documents, signatures, certificates — practically everything — is moving from paper, film, tapes, into cyberspace. Commerce has become e-commerce; our lives are moving toward this new place and this new dimension. Digital information is becoming more important as our existence is in the process of being bit-ified.

 

In this process of evolution we trusted that transforming everything into digital information, and the place called cyberspace in which it happens, is nobody’s land. Land where there are no laws, no extraditions, and no taxes. “This is bad,” those who govern us must have thought as soon as they started to grasp what was happening. The knowledge that everything could be transformed into bits and Bytes, and transferred into cyberspace, must have put the highest authorities on alert. When even ordinary people understood what was happening, and the advantages that arrived with this new era, the powers that be decided: “We must intervene.”

 

And so started a crazy regulation race. The problem, sometimes, is that rules are made by those with no idea of what they are ruling upon, not even knowing that these rules are applied to something that is constantly changing and growing everyday at an incredible rate, a rate that scares even people like me, who have been in the field since the beginning. The legislators trying to regulate IT remind me of Don Quixote running against the windmills, making much dust and confusion for nothing. Cyberspace, in the meantime, remains nobody’s land.

 

 

The industry of software development in the hands of the new “experts”

 

During this unavoidable rapid change of scenery, this rapid evolution that has overturned out planet’s social and economic life, a new generation of experts has emerged. They venture into the IT world for mostly economic reasons. Compared to the geeks of my generation, these new white collars are expert at something else: they understand their client’s problems better. But the same can’t be said about their knowledge of a microprocessor’s ways. Since the late 90’s, as IT systems became easier to use, it is no longer necessary to know how a computer works to become a computer programmer.

 

This allows the new recruits to use pre-made tools for software development to create, in very short time, systems that they don’t even fully understand. As a direct consequence the old generation of programmers has found itself nonplussed. The circle of IT experts has grown, from the small elite I mentioned earlier, into a full army of hundreds of thousands of new IT guys that a starving market called “the new economy” wants to hire the most urgently.

 

Today, to satisfy clients who regard programmers of the new and the old generation as the same, the only requirement is to provide fast software solutions at the expense of security and stability. The new generation of geeks, info-sapiens from the least to the most expert, is born in an era where many things have already been done and many streets have already been paved. And because market needs are different, they find themselves covering a different function: no more forgers of new code, but fast solvers of specific problems.

 

They are an evolved, though not necessarily a better version, of those who were there at the eve of programming for home computing. This new generation army of white-collar experts has inherited all the fruits of the efforts of their predecessors. New recruits are now able to learn without the need of the baby steps that allowed the first generation of programmers to get acquainted with the finer gears of information systems. To acquire this kind of heritage has both positive and negative sides: The new “experts” certainly have many qualities the old ones lack, but they have lost something that we did have: the ethics with which we’ve been working for many years. What got lost with this excessive ease in programming computers is a love for the detail, the capacity of optimizing code, and the passion in making robust software. What happened throughout IT’s history is the same thing that happened in the Industrial Revolution: craft got replaced by industry. Quantity has won over quality.

 

 

The IT craftsmen and the IT industry

 

I am an IT craftsman; I do things with love–handmade, done well and with precision. I know them down to the tiniest detail, down to the heart of the smallest bit. I know why each thing works, even if there is no apparent need to know. I cannot be asked to work on a production chain, not even to use industrial tools. Today’s programmers, and it’s not their fault, are working with self-assembling, pre-fabricated kits. They use, and know how to use, programmer’s tools without knowing the “hows and whys” of their functioning. They only know what result they can get.  This is why it’s not their fault if often the software they develop has problems, doesn’t work well or has security breaches.

 

Today’s programmers can develop applications without making any mistakes. But if their tools are flawed, the end product is sold without any warranty of trust. The advantage is that today’s programmers can deliver finished products in two days, things that an old school programmer cannot achieve in any way. The old school programmer can, on the other hand, ensure the quality of his product, because he knows even the smallest details and effects of the instructions and commands that he used to write his software.

 

The paradox of all this is that, today, the need to guarantee the safety of information should be higher compared to the past, since we are moving into a cyberspace of sensitive data, and because we rely on frameworks that can’t be trusted for vital infrastructure. To repeat: Our money, our names, our secrets and our life today are all in the hands of computers that are managed by software applications which, potentially, are not secure.

 

Daily, without anyone noticing it, cyber thieves are stealing information and breaking into companies’ IT systems by using security flaws rendered possible by forgetful frameworks, right before the eyes of unsuspecting users. Beyond the act of stealing per se, this situation can ultimately have very serious repercussions on our economic stability.

 

We must move away from a cyberspace built on the fly, cobbled together by unknowing hands on a tight budget, to one that is secure, where the commitment is not just to the bottom line but to quality–built and maintained by those who know intimately the tools and the raw material they are using. Even if it takes a little longer. Otherwise we may lose more than we bargained for.

 

 
an IT artisan

Roberto Capodieci: un artigiano informatico.

 

Mi chiamo Roberto Capodieci, sono nato nel giugno del 1974 ed appartengo alla prima delle generazioni (italiane) che hanno sfornato quei brufolosi e secchioni genietti informatici. Sì, sono tra i primi a far parte dell’epoca informatica fin dalla nascita o, quantomeno, tra quelli nati in tempo per entrarci fin dall’infanzia. Insomma: ero piccolo a sufficienza per imparare contemporaneamente a scrivere sul mio quaderno di prima elementare e a digitare programmi sulla tastiera del computer. Appartengo all’era digitale già da quando l’informatica era materia sconosciuta alla gente comune. Mi sono svezzato a bit e Byte fin da quando “TRON” e “War Games” erano film che si vedevano solo al cinema (soprattutto perché non c’erano i videoregistratori!). All’epoca nessuno poteva immaginare che i computer sarebbero diventati uno dei pilastri portanti dell’economia mondiale e che, un giorno, sarebbero stati indispensabili all’uomo per vivere su questo pianeta. Nessuno avrebbe immaginato che quel miscuglio di cianfrusaglie elettroniche, all’epoca considerato un “giocattolo” (con il quale passavo ore intere chiuso nello sgabuzzino di casa), sarebbe diventato un anello fondamentale per il funzionamento della nostra società moderna. Oggi gli “esperti” sono in molti, ma agli albori dell’home computing la comunità informatica era composta da pochissime persone che condividevano il medesimo “nuovo” hobby: approfondire la conoscenza del computer. Questa cerchia di appassionati, molti dei quali sono oggi illustri specialisti, è rimasta a lungo una piccola e ristretta elite, nonostante la diffusione dei computer abbia poi preso piede. Questo è avvenuto poiché si è creata una rilevante scissione tra possessori di PC: una maggioranza, che usava il computer solamente per giocare con i videogames o per fare videoscrittura, ed una minoranza che, curiosa ed entusiasta, faceva quotidianamente “spedizioni” all’interno del microprocessore, dando così origine ad un underground di “pionieri informatici” sempre alla scoperta di spazi inesplorati e che avanzavano sperimentando nuove righe di codice.

 

 

L’identikit dei primi genietti informatici.

 

Non era cosa da tutti riuscire a rinchiudersi dentro questo mondo digitale anche per diverse ore al giorno, con la sola compagnia di monitor e tastiera. Ci riusciva chi aveva capito le regole per viverci dentro. Si doveva iniziare con l’umiltà dell’allievo, avendo un maestro che parlava un’altra lingua. Qualsiasi cosa gli si diceva, lui rispondeva sempre “ERROR”! Occorreva avere la pazienza per imparare a comunicare con il computer e, man mano che ci si riusciva, si capiva che il maestro era invece un ubbidientissimo allievo il quale faceva senza mai sbagliare tutto quello che gli veniva chiesto. Con il tempo, imparando a conoscerlo non solo nella sua lingua, ma anche nella sua “psicologia” (quella del suo “cervello elettronico”), si riuscivano a creare mondi sempre più incredibili ed entusiasmanti. Tutto questo in un crescendo che portava il programmatore ad uno stato divino: dettava le regole di vita del mondo digitale attraverso linee di codice che più che comandi erano “comandamenti”! Poter trovare rifugio in un mondo nel quale ricoprire il ruolo di Dio, era sicuramente un buon motivo per cercare di averne sempre più padronanza. Bisognava sperimentare per imparare e cercare di carpire i segreti analizzando cose fatte dagli altri. Si andava sempre alla ricerca dei limiti imposti dalle capacità del computer, quasi per dimostrare a se stessi la completa padronanza e dominio dell’ambiente digitale nel quale si viveva. Ogni cosa non doveva avere segreti, ed ogni ostacolo doveva essere superato. La manifestazione di superiorità stava proprio nel ottenere maggiore conoscenza di chiunque altro. Ecco perché la sfida estrema data da password e sistemi di blocco è sempre stata tra le preferite degli esploratori informatici. Abbattere un sistema di sicurezza era, per chi ci riusciva, la dimostrazione della propria superiorità rispetto a chi lo aveva creato. Il furto di dati protetti era difficilmente il vero fine, poteva al massimo servire come prova dell’avvenuta incursione nel computer attaccato.

 

 

La nascita della comunità hacker.

 

All’epoca non esistevano libri o scuole che insegnassero le nozioni necessarie per la programmazione, e quando qualcuno scopriva qualcosa di nuovo, o scriveva un programma interessante, lo condivideva con altri “appassionati” di informatica. Purtroppo trovare una fonte di informazioni esauriente per trarre spunti ed istruirsi, ed un mezzo per condividere con gli altri le esperienze fatte, non era cosa facile. Inoltre riuscire a conoscere qualche altro appassionato di informatica con cui consigliarsi, era quasi impossibile (forse proprio a causa del fatto che vivevamo tutti costantemente rinchiusi nei nostri mondi digitali). I contatti tra i primi programmatori, e la condivisione delle prime nozioni informatiche, ebbero luogo grazie a pubblicazioni che erano disponibili, quando si aveva la fortuna di trovarle, solo in lingua inglese. Nel 1984, quando io avevo 10 anni, è nata in America una pubblicazione di nome “2600” che, ancor oggi pubblicata, è una contestata rivista trimestrale che raccoglie e ridistribuisce trucchi e trucchetti informatici e telefonici. (2600, il cui nome deriva dalla frequenza del segnale di linea telefonico americano, contiene annotazioni di codice informatico e metodi per telefonare gratis, per ovviare password in internet o per aggirare sistemi di sicurezza di vario genere – anche non elettronico). Con il tempo e con l’allargarsi della comunità di appassionati di informatica, cominciarono ad uscire timidamente alcune riviste di settore in lingua italiana. Purtroppo quest’ultime erano per principianti e potevano interessare solo le nuove generazioni di programmatori. Nel frattempo, anni prima che all’orizzonte facesse capolino internet, grazie alla nascita dei modem, i computer impararono a scambiarsi dati per telefono. Lasciando un PC sempre acceso e sempre pronto a rispondere ad una chiamata, si creava un luogo di ritrovo “virtuale” alternativo alle riviste su carta. La nascita delle “Bulletin Board System” (BBS), bacheche elettroniche consultabili telematicamente, ha segnato una svolta nella crescita della comunità dell’underground informatico. Per via telematica ci si conosceva, ci si confrontava e si apprendevano nuove nozioni grazie alla condivisione di “informazioni”, spesso anche in tempo reale. Nacquero le prime “chat”, per due sole persone: l’utente ed il SysOp (l’operatore del sistema al quale si accedeva). Il SysOp era il “dio” del proprio computer e della propria BBS, e chi vi entrava era in suo potere. Con la pressione di un tasto poteva far accedere l’utente ad archivi di documenti, fargli usare sistemi di messaggistica, così come poteva “buttarlo fuori” ed impedirgli di accedere in futuro. Grazie alle BBS, fornitrici delle prime caselle di posta elettronica, i primi hackers hanno cominciato a consolidare le loro amicizie ed a dividersi in gruppi con componenti che spesso vivevano anche in città diverse. La cerchia di curiosi ed entusiasti del PC si è quindi allargata dando origine a diversi network di BBS (il più grande ed ancora oggi funzionante è Fidonet) che hanno raggiunto un’estensione geografica a livello mondiale. In seguito sono nate grosse reti pubbliche e private, i network di queste ultime, le reti di reti… fino ad arrivare ad ARPAnet, quella che, evoluta, oggi tutti conoscono come Internet. In quegli anni una piccola comunità di persone ha assistito alla nascita di qualcosa che è oggi parte della vita di tutti noi.

 

 

20 anni fa interessavano a pochi, ma oggi bit e Byte sono fondamentali.

 

Finché il mondo dell’informatica era una questione meramente tecnica ed interessava i pochi programmatori esistenti, oltre ad un piccolo gruppo di utenti (i pionieri del “word processing” o del foglio di calcolo), ogni discorso inerente bit e Byte non era sicuramente di interesse pubblico. Oggi, invece, le discussioni inerenti l’Information Tecnology interessano tutti! Questi sono gli anni della resa dei conti nel mondo della tecnologia informatica: siamo al punto in cui le entità astratte “bit e Byte” (i dati) sono così importanti che i Governi di tutto il mondo stanno, a volte nella loro ignoranza, cercando di regolamentare. I bit ed i Byte sono diventati improvvisamente interessanti, ora che diventa bit la musica, così come il film, il libro, i soldi, le prenotazioni, i documenti, le firme, i certificati… Da quando la compravendita avviene anche nel cyberspazio, il commercio diventa e-commerce, e tutte le nostre vite si stanno spostando verso questo nuovo ambiente e verso questa nuova dimensione. I bit ed i Byte, intesi come “informazioni digitali”, diventano sempre più importanti e fondamentali e le nostre vite si stanno “bittizzando”, se vogliamo. In questo processo evolutivo ci si fida a trasformare tutto in informazioni digitali ed il luogo dove questo avviene, chiamato cyberspazio, è terra di nessuno. Terra ove non ci sono leggi, non c’è estradizione e non ci sono tasse. “Questo è male!” avranno pensato i nostri governatori non appena hanno iniziato a capire cosa stava accadendo. La consapevolezza che tutto possa essere tramutato in bit e Byte ed essere trasferito dentro questo cyberspazio, ha messo sicuramente in allerta i vertici del potere. “Bisogna intervenire!”, hanno deciso alla fine, quando ormai anche la gente aveva preso coscienza di ciò che stava succedendo. E’ così cominciata la folle corsa alla regolamentazione. Il problema, a volte, è che le regole vengono fatte da chi non ha nemmeno idea di cosa si stia parlando, e che vangano applicate a qualcosa che cambia e si trasforma ad una velocità che spaventa chi, come me, conosce questo mondo da anni. Il legislatore che prova a regolamentare il mondo informatico mi ricorda Don Chisciotte contro i mulini a vento: solleva tanta polvere e fa tanta confusione per niente. Il cyberspazio, nel frattempo, resta terra di nessuno.

 

 

L’industria del software in mano ai nuovi “esperti”.

 

Durante questo inevitabile scenario di una rapidissima evoluzione tecnologica, che ha coinvolto e stravolto il nostro pianeta nella sua vita economica e sociale, sono nate nuove generazioni di esperti che si sono approcciate al mondo dell’informatica soprattutto per ragioni economiche. Rispetto a quelli della mia generazione, questi nuovi addetti ai lavori sono esperti in qualcosa di diverso. Conoscono di più le problematiche del cliente, ma molto meno il modo di ragionare di un microprocessore. Da qualche anno, a causa della facilità d’uso dei sistemi informatici, per essere programmatore non è necessario sapere veramente come funziona un computer. Questo permette alle nuove leve, usando attrezzi preconfezionati per lo sviluppo, di produrre in tempi rapidissimi programmi senza nemmeno sapere perché funzionino. I programmatori della vecchia generazione si sono trovati spiazzati. La cerchia degli addetti al settore è passata da quella ristretta elite di cui parlavo prima, ad un esercito di centinaia di migliaia di neo-informatici che un affamato mercato chiamato “new-economy” ha voluto impiegare il più urgentemente possibile. Oggi, per soddisfare un cliente, agli occhi del quale un programmatore di vecchia o di nuova generazione sono uguali, basta fornire una soluzione veloce a discapito della sicurezza. I nuovi “geeks”, queste nuove generazioni di informatici, dai più ai meno esperti, sono nati in un’epoca in cui molte cose erano già state fatte, molte strade erano state spianate e, visto che le esigenze del mercato erano diverse, si sono trovati a coprire una funzione diversa: non più forgiatori di nuovo codice, ma rapidi risolutori di problemi specifici. Sono quindi una versione più evoluta, ma non per forza migliore, di quello che eravamo noi agli albori della programmazione per home computing. Questa nuova generazione, quest’esercito di esperti in giacca e cravatta, ha ricevuto un’eredità di fatiche fatte da chi li ha preceduti. Questo ha permesso, alle nuove reclute, di imparare senza dover fare i piccoli passi che hanno invece consentito, alle prime generazioni di programmatori, di apprezzare e capire i piccoli meccanismi dell’informatica. Ricevere questo tipo di eredità ha lati positivi e negativi: le nuove generazioni hanno sicuramente molte qualità che mancano a noi “vecchi”, ma hanno perduto qualcosa che noi avevamo. Ciò che si è perso, con quest’eccessiva facilità nel programmare i computer, è l’etica con cui lavoravamo anni fa. Accade alla storia dell’informatica quello che accadde nella rivoluzione industriale: gli artigiani furono soppiantati dall’industria. La quantità ha vinto sulla qualità.

 

 

L’artigiano informatico e l’industria informatica.

 

Io sono un artigiano informatico, faccio le cose con amore, a mano, fatte bene e con precisione. Le conosco nei dettagli, fino al cuore del più piccolo bit. So perché ogni cosa funziona, anche se apparentemente non serve saperlo. Non mi si può chiedere di lavorare in catena di montaggio, nemmeno di usare attrezzature industriali. I programmatori di oggi, e non è una loro colpa, lavorano all’assemblaggio. Usano e sano usare strumenti senza conoscerne il “come e perché” funzionino. Sanno solo quali risultati possano ottenere. Ecco perché quindi non è colpa loro se i programmi hanno problemi, funzionano male o hanno falle di sicurezza. Il programmatore di oggi può programmare senza commettere errori, ma se il sistema informatico che usa per farli è fallato, inevitabilmente il prodotto che ottiene e che rivende non del tutto affidabile. Il vantaggio è che i programmatori di oggi possono consegnare un lavoro in due giorni, cosa che un programmatore “vecchio stile” non potrà mai fare. Riuscirà, però, a garantire la qualità del prodotto, in quanto conosce fino nei più piccoli dettagli gli effetti dei comandi informatici che ha usato per scrivere il programma. Il paradosso di tutto ciò è che oggigiorno la necessità di garantire la protezione delle informazioni dovrebbe essere più elevata di una volta, quando invece ci si serve di strumenti assolutamente inaffidabili. Come abbiamo detto prima, i nostri soldi, i nostri nomi, i nostri segreti e le nostre vite, oggi sono tutti in mano ai computer e vengono gestiti da programmi che, potenzialmente, non sono sicuri. Giornalmente, all’oscuro da molti utenti, avvengono furti di informazioni ed attacchi ad aziende con ripercussioni molto serie sulla stabilità economica di quest’ultime.

 

 

Conclusioni.

 

Dobbiamo tenerci a debita distanza da un ciberspazio costruito al volo, messo assieme da mani sconosciute con un basso budget, ed avvicinarci ad uno sicuro, dove l’impegno e la devozione nello sviluppo di codice stabile ed efficiente non è solo la linea base di lavoro, ma la garanzia di qualità di prodotti fatti e supportati da coloro che conoscono intimamente gli strumenti e il codice che usano. Anche se per ottenerli ci si mette un po’ di più. Altrimenti finiamo con il perdere più di quello che abbiamo cercato di risparmiare!

 

 
[in Italiano]

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Personal Assistant

 
Compensation: Rp. 5jt/mo plus limited benefits
Job location: Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Interviews will be held in (detailed location will be communicate to candidates):
- from 12 to 17 January in Mangga Dua, Jakarta, Indonesia
- from 18 to 25 January 2012 and in Ubud, Bali

 

The Personal Assistant position demand competence and skill at performing the following duties:

 

- be Indonesian citizen,
- have at least basic IT knowledge,
- be fluent in English and Indonesian languages (written and spoken),
- reading, monitoring and responding to the principal’s email,
- answering calls and handling queries,
- preparing correspondence on the principal’s behalf,
- commissioning work on the principal’s behalf,
- liaising with staff, clients, etc.,
- managing the principal’s electronic diary,
- booking meetings,
- organizing travel and preparing complex travel itineraries,
- writing minutes,
- taking dictation,
- planning, organizing and managing events,
- managing a budget,
- attending events/meetings as the principal’s representative,
- conducting research on the internet,
- writing reports, executive summaries and newsletters,
- preparing presentations,
- preparing papers for meetings,
- managing and reviewing filing and office systems,
- updating websites,
- typing documents,
- sourcing and ordering IT material,
- managing projects,
- coordinate outsourced works,
- travel nationally and internationally (not frequent).

 

The work position is NOT at big corporate offices, but rather on a family oriented environment with a small office.
To apply contact Roberto Capodieci via email (you can find it in this website!).

 


 

Web Application Programmer

 

Compensation: Rp. 10jt/mo
Job location: Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Interviews will be held in (detailed location will be communicate to candidates):
- from 12 to 17 January in Mangga Dua, Jakarta, Indonesia
- from 18 to 25 January 2012 and in Ubud, Bali

 

If you are a hands on Software Architect with experience working with source control (BitBucket, Git, SVN, or similar) and are specialized in working with web technologies such as NginX, MongoDB or MySQL, Perl or Ruby on Rail, HTML5, CSS3, PHP5, JavaScript (jSon, jQuery, AJAX), know how to develop WordPress plugins and how to create FaceBook applications, please apply for this awesome opportunity!

 

What you need for this position:

 

- 5+ years commercial development and architecture experience.
- Experience with full stack OO Web Development which would include some of these technologies – PHP, Javascript, jQuery, JSON, AJAX, HTML5, CSS3, Perl, Ruby, and NoSQL Database Development (database proficiency).
- Experience deploying applications to Amazon EC2 cloud, knowledge of how to horizontally scale.
- Solid object-oriented design, programming and debugging skills
- Excellent debugging and problem-solving skills.
- Well versed in code optimization and software design principles.
- Excellent knowledge of MySQL, including complex reporting.
- Web Services / SOAP / REST / XMLRPC experience.
- Proven experience leading a team of software engineers.
- Strong technical background in database driven, web-based applications running on open source platforms.
- Ability to handle multiple competing priorities in a fast-paced environment.
- Good documentation skills
- Excellent Communication skills (English is a must)

 

What you’ll be doing:

 

- Help build, organize and lead a team of developers
- Develop new products and improve existing products
- Act as a liaison between our customers, the business team and the technical team
- Lead Development of facebook applications, mobile applications, widgets, etc
- Lead the development of our application through to launch and building our development team from there on out.
- Design and develop frameworks to provide services for scalable application development.
- Add new features and fix code defects in web applications.
- Contribute technical leadership to the engineering team, including best practices and processes for design.
- Contribute to Product Roadmap. May be assigned to various projects using skills.

 

Candidates must be able to hit deadlines and contribute to the overall architecture and design.
Candidates will also be responsible for optimizing existing web applications as well as mentoring junior staff.

 

The work position is NOT at big corporate offices, but rather on a family oriented environment with a small office.
To apply contact Roberto Capodieci via email (you can find it in this website!).

 
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